Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Note from Texas

We have made it successfully to a campground east of Houston, Texas, but it was not without incident. Leaving Xpu-Ha, I was a bit concerned about the very high topes ( speed bumps to non Mexicans, pronounced towpay), but it was needless. I drove very slowly over them trying to hear the scraping sound of something under the RV, but there was no noise.

Later on, I was not as fortunate. Coming around a curve at considerable speed, I came to an unmarked tope of considerable size and although I tried to brake as much as possible before the front tires hit, we took an awful jolt. When I pulled over to look at possible damage, I was SHOCKED to see the tow extension bent up about 30 degrees and part of the base plate was torn from the car. With few options, I used many, many wraps of nylon cord around the tow plate and anti-sway bar. later I tried to get it welded in a good sized town, but without success.

Our first night was at the Selva Restaurant and our second was in  Pemex station. The third day we made it to SMA to meet our friends Sue and Brian. Sue took Helen to Delores Hidalgo one day and toured the Talavera factory and then they went shopping the next day also. We had a good time with the people at Hotel Rancho San Ramon. There is a lot of land there and the dogs had quite a good time doing more running than they have in a long time. 

I had a problem with the engine overheating on the hills and that had never happened before. Even running in low gears and keeping the RPMs up didn't help. Finally, I stopped and hooked up the hose to my water pump and gave the radiator a good, long back flush. I was shocked at the amount of dirt that has accumulated in the radiator during my driving over the dusty roads of Mexico. It's running nice and cool now, but I do have a small coolant leak which I think is coming from the low coolant level sensor. It's happened before.

After spending another night in  a Pemex, we approached Columbia Crossing early this morning. I wish I could say it all went well, but it wasn't as smooth as it could have been. In Mexico, I pulled into a wrong place, (well out of the way, but the wrong place) so I had to make another trip around the complex to park exactly where some parking attendant wanted. Then I turned in our Tourist Permits. The Immigration Officer wanted to see the receipt that said we paid for them. Who keep that? I don't even remember seeing the sample he showed me. He checked on-line and since we passed through that same office only a few months ago he was able to validate that we were leaving.

Over the bridge to USA. I stopped on the bridge and walked to customs to find out where I should go. Last year I got the royal run-a-round. One arrogant agent told me that if I could pass through the car lane, fine. Otherwise I would have to go through Cargo. I took a good look at the car lane and reasoned that I could do it. Please note that there are straight through lanes, but they were closed. The one open lane required a close turn, but I was confident I could make it.

I got back to the motorhome and pulled into the car lane and Mister Arrogant said "You can't seem to follow directions, I told you to go through the cargo lane." The other agents told him to leave me alone and we were visited by the agent that has the drug dog. He didn't come in with his dog, just to inspect and he got along great with our three. Something about dog people. Finally got the signal to go and we did. Much better than last year, but I could have done without the attitude on BOTH sides of the border.

I'm still working with Old Faithful, my Dell computer, so there are no pictures, but I hope to catch up when I get home.



  1. So glad to see you guys are home in the good ole USA. Donna is doing much better and her breathing problem is improving.We are battening the hatches for an ice and snow storm tonight and tomorrow,Stay clear of all catwalks and weather decks due to high winds and heavy seas. Remember that.Hope the damage to your MH can be fixed easily when you get home. I'll bet the girls are excited to smell the USA smells again. Be safe out there , hope to see you soon... Sam & Donna..

  2. That must have been a big one to do that kind of damage:(