Section 13: Carizzo Springs to Laredo
Behind the RV Park we followed a gravel road that we hoped would lead us in the right direction. It took us straight into the middle of a neighborhood that we had no business walking through. Or at least the mansions were of such proportion that we felt extremely out of place. The were old and sprawling but also muted in their ostentatiousness, as if they wanted to keep their wealth a secret. One had a vividly green lawn that spread out of sight behind a line of palm trees. Oddly situated by the driveway was a large army tanker.
Hope that’s some relic from the past?
And past this residence, an old airplane was submerged in the bushes.
Our mysterious road led us straight into a dead end. We had half expected this, but fussed about how to go forward. Our options were to hop the fence and hope no one saw us or to backtrack for a mile or two. Forward, always forward. Our first examination of the fence did not look promising. It was at least 10 feet tall with no breaks, making it the highest one we’ve had to scale this trip. We climbed tentatively, passing our bags up and over and trying not to notice how much it started swaying near the top. Don't look down, don't look down.
After some creative bushwhacking, we rejoined the road, now the very busy I-35. Laredo is the largest commercial crossing from Mexico into the States and wow did that translate into an absurd number of truckers. The road was a wall of semis, trucks and cabs. A handful of cars nervously ducked through the obstacle course of trucks but almost every vehicle was hauling some sort of cargo. The noise was deafening.
Closer to town we ran out of road and ended up walking on whatever space we could find between the road and the fence. Not our safest section of hiking. Luckily we didn’t step on any snakes, but the pitted ruts and trash hidden by the knee-high grass had us stumbling and cursing.
Trucks rumbled by us, occasionally blasting their horns to - what? - warn us? Say a friendly hello? Compliment our sexy hiker grime?
Whatever it was it didn't give us warm fuzzy feelings.
As we neared a major loading area for most of the Laredo trucks, we began to run into more and more discarded bottles filled with some sort of yellowish liquid. Gross. The truckers must use this particularly pleasant stretch of highway to get rid of all of their on-the-go toilets from their journey. We were looking at a graveyard of pee. Lovely!