A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Border Town Shopping


A new day and a fresh approach.  
I decided to make the drive into Roma.  Roma is a large town of 11,561, a population increasing every year unlike all the other towns we visit, and 98.5% of that population is hispanic.  
We were underway before 9 am for the 14 mile drive to Roma.

First thing I see crossing into town is a purified water station.  Now I had asked Chuck if there were any places to get drinking water.  He thought there might be one and gave me vague directions.  So when I saw this I jumped on it.  By the time we were done with Roma hours later I had seen dozens of these purified water stations. 

I had planned to make this quest for milk worthwhile and one of the things I wanted to do in town was find a car wash.  Just a half a block down from getting water was a car wash, not the one I had mapped out.  This will do.  I pulled in and parked sideways blocking three stalls.  We couldn’t fit under the roof.

That was okay,  Really what I wanted to do was blast all the dirt and grit from the roller runners on this slide-out storage bin.  I could barely budge it.

Cheap car wash for only $1.25 and I got it done plus some bug removal up front.

Next was a stop at a auto parts store for an upcoming project, then a walk over to the nearby Family Dollar.  They had milk.  Family Dollar always seems to be better than Dollar General.

Auto parts in the distance.
Clean windshield now.

I noticed in the same large parking area was a Valero station.  We had a half a tank.  We have a long way to go when we leave Falcon Heights.  We’d have to fill up eventually upon arrival wherever we wind up.  So I decided to do it here and be done with it.  
Diesel was $3.68 which seemed about average for south Texas.

While it filled I looked up.  Riverview Market.  That is one of the stores I had pegged.  
Good deal, it is right here.

Inside I heard no english being spoken.  Mexican music wafted through the air.  The bread selection was pitiful minimal. It looked to be all enriched white bread.  No bags of salad.  I picked up some small steaks.  No cottage cheese except Daisy brand which I do not care for.  They had milk.  With just three items in my basket I felt it wasn’t worth it.  I’d try someplace else.  I put those three items back.

Now Roma has over twenty grocery markets.  We drove on through town for seven miles.  All those stores were small tiendas.  There is no shortage of tortillas, frijoles, carne, pollo, tamales and such in Roma.  At the edge of town was a road sign: Rio Grande City - 8 miles.  Damn, eight miles more and we would be at a Walmart!  I turned around and went back to...

The store was nice.  I just had to realign my thinking.  Just as I did back In Ajo.
After all, this is a border town.

This time I saw the bags of salad.  See arrow.  Maybe four to six bags.  Not the big selection to choose from like I am used to seeing.  I didn’t pickup those steaks though.

I did get another milk.  Ever see milk in a yellow container?  How could I pass that up.
And I did get a small Daisy cottage cheese.  
Buck-up trooper.

On the way home we stopped at Dollar General to give the ginger cat a can of food.
He wasn’t around.

Back home I scooted underneath and took a small wire brush to the track then sprayed it all with a lubricant.  Works slick now. 

- comment reply -
Yes, I have questions.  They euthanize millions of chickens, create an egg shortage and then all of a sudden eggs are plentiful again?  How long does it take for a baby chick to mature to egg-laying size?  And just where did those baby chicks come from if all the millions of chickens were eliminated?
And why was chicken meat still available all during this time?  Maybe I don’t want to know the answer.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Got Milk?


I was down to an inch of milk left.  I rode the motorbike on down the highway, safe enough as there is very little traffic and it was only three and a half miles away.  I was able to get a few items but would you believe it, the milk shelf was empty.  I was so mystified by this sight that I didn’t think to take a photo.  I asked the young girl at the counter when the milkman was coming.  She said he was supposed to have come on Monday.  It was Wednesday already.  So this wasn’t good.  First it was eggs, what now, milk? The next nearest store was ten miles further on down the highway in Roma.  Not riding the bike that far. 

Outside while I was transferring my purchases (less the main reason why I came here...milk) this guy came up the greet me.  Just what I didn’t need now.  Upset by not getting my milk now I am going to have my heart gutted.  He was really talking to me and finally let me pet him a bit as he wound in and out between my legs.

What to do?

He didn’t even mind when I started up the bike.  Finally he wandered off.

I passed this little store on the way and it appeared to still be in business unlike every other business in the three mile stretch of Falcon Heights.  Notice the sign Beer, Milk, Bread, Ice.  I went inside.  La senora no habla engles.  No tienen leche either!  There was hardly anything in that store.  

Now what?  The next day was to be high winds and 99 degrees (39C).
Geez, I didn’t want to drive 15 miles to Roma for a bottle of milk in that!
I’d call Dollar General in the morning and see if the milkman came.
A quick ride on the motorbike I can do in those conditions.

to be continued

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Dry Boat Ramp


Falcon State Park

After touring the near vacant campground loops I would go see the lake.

The boat ramp to nowhere.

See how all that in the distance should be filled with water.

I had to continue on down these dirt roads to find any water.
You can just see the spillway gates on the dam.

Midway across the dam is the border with Mexico.  That may be the check point to the right.
Will ride over there another day.

That is Mexico in the distance.

Well a look on the satellite view it appears I’d have to deal with U.S. Customs.
Not worth the bother.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Falcon State Park


This Texas State park is right next door to our county park.

I took a ride over there on the motorbike.

Why pay money when you can have the same (kind of) for free?

There were a few campers there.

Granted we don’t have hookups.
But there were some tent camping at the ten dollar spots.

The restrooms were nicer.

To each their own I suppose.  I like the rustic setup we have.

More to come.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Service and Maintenance Day

 A nice overcast but much warmer day to do some maintenance.

I rolled Gracie down off the rack and dusted her off from all the road dirt that got kicked up underneath her cover.  I use an old wide paintbrush to dust her off then wipe her down with a soft cloth.  She started right up after I remembered to flip the choke lever the correct way.  With her idling and the back wheel up off the ground I put her in gear and hold a wire brush to the chain as it passes by cleaning all the crud off.  Then I lubed the chain and added some air to the tires.  I noticed the crate on the back is coming apart.  It is the top and bottom glued together with the middle section removed so that it isn’t as tall as a standard milk crate. Tomorrow will be a warmer day, better conditions to glue it again.  

Then on to the generator on the RV.  I added some oil and checked the air filter.
  It needs to be replaced.

Lastly I filled a propane canister as it went dry trying to stay warm yesterday.
I sure do like that little gadget I bought that allows me to refill those canisters.
Much better than spending $5 plus in buying new ones.

By the time I was done it was tea time.  Ever notice how it takes forever to do anything when you get older?  Or does it just seem that way?

- comment reply -
I was just being silly about not eating veggies watered with dirty bath water.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Sorry Chuck


You were wrong.  It does rain here.
It was cold too on Sunday.  We woke up to the mid 40’s (5C).  I had to dig out the heater from storage for it was only barely going to get into the 50’s for the day.  A quick check of the weather showed darn well everywhere else in the nation was in the 30’s and below.  So we’re happy to be here in way south Texas.  After Monday it will be in the 90’s (32C) from then on.  Whoopee! 

This is the camp area off from the restrooms and ‘community center’.  Most of those in tents are camped there to be close to the facilities.  They are why I try not to snivel and whine much about being cold.

- comment reply -

I don’t think I’d want to eat veggies that were grown in dirty bath water.


Saturday, March 18, 2023

The Community Center


This covered area is next to the restrooms.  

Someone has built a shelf case filled with books and free items that no one has any need for anymore.
This got me to thinking.  I can polish off some of my books while here and leave them behind.
Then I thought some more.  I’ve got stuff to give away.  I’ll do some house cleaning.
Notice the microwave up top.  Not a giveaway item.  Plugged in for use.

A small center table with electricity to do anything you need to do from charging devices, heating water and cooking on your electric stove.  Great for those campers in tents.

Another French/Canadian so we had little to say to each other.

He was percolating the morning coffee for he and the Mrs.
That was his cooktop and coffee maker.

The two of them were living the winter out of their Toyota van.
Better than freezing to death in Quebec.

- comment reply -

Trust me ladies, I treat floors in all restrooms and showers as if they we HOT LAVA.
Shoes or flip-flops at all times.

Friday, March 17, 2023

The Toilet and Shower Room


One of a kind for me I have ever seen.

No doors.  You pull this hanging sign over.

The shower area does have a tattered curtain.

This why the sign.  No door.

It is up to the campers to keep it clean.

It is up to the campers to make improvements too.

I have never seen a shower head like this before.

Gets my vote for the best shower head ever.

The shower water drains out through a hole in the wall,

...across the walkway and waters the weed garden.

I want to check out the women’s now.

- comment replies -
 We’re about a hundred miles from the Gulf of Mexico, that’s bird miles.
Nope, haven’t seen any lizards.  Poor Beans.