The Rio Grande Valley in south Texas is said to be a one hundred mile strip of rich river soil with a 340-day growing season where a new crop is harvested every month. We saw the onion and broccoli fields ready for harvest and new plantings of other vegetables growing quickly. They also grow delicious oranges and grapefruit.
Our reason for choosing Alamo was our friend Bill and Ali. This was their first winter as Chaplains in an RV park. We had a great time experiencing the life of the Winter Texans. They’re people from the frigid northern states and Canada who have the time and means to escape the cold. We’ve met retired folks, those who are still working but can live anywhere, farmers who can’t till the ground until spring, and others who add to their income by working at the RV parks, or even state and national parks. Their interesting stories are one of the favorite parts of our experience.
Our friends took us across the border into Mexico. They said the Progreso Bridge was safe. (We learned a man we saw at lunch a few days later owns that bridge.) We’ve heard stories of senior citizens crossing the border to buy medicine and this was a medical mecca. Offices for doctors, surgeons, dentists, and pharmacies needing no prescriptions were everywhere. We questioned the safety of it all but were assured the people were U.S. trained and the drugs were the same as we get at home. Amazing. People get their teeth cleaned for $25.00 and we had the best pedicure I’ve ever had for $12.00. Gotta love these cultural experiences.
We were told we needed to check out the flea market in town. Next day we went exploring but hoped we didn’t find anything we couldn’t live without. After all, we just got rid of so much stuff. Jim had wanted to get a haircut but you know finding someone new can be scary. As we walked through the flea market there was a barber shop. We stepped inside and the Spanish man was finishing up a beautiful haircut on a handsome young boy. We knew Jim was in good hands. Price $8.00. We had hoped to find the citrus fruit available and lugged out delicious oranges, grapefruit, and onions.
No trip to the Rio Grande Valley is complete without a trip to the outlet mall in Mercedes, Texas. We had been there before and this time we went with a mission to find just one thing we needed. And it was a perfect setup as we had connected with some RV friends that were in the area and worked out a lunch meeting right at Mercedes. I love it when a plan comes together. But more about the Mercedes friends later.
Moving forward is a stop in Del Rio, Texas on the way to Big Bend National Park and some more adventure.