We were camped in the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, near Arrivaca, Az. It's a great place to camp and explore, and the designated camp sites are often a half mile from the nearest neighbour.
Like many areas near the border, there can be a lot of foot traffic from undocumented border crossers. This area is no exception. And like my previous camp in Ironwood Forest, there are lots of these cheap, camouflage backpacks, that must be issued to all border crossers by their handlers. Inevitably, they are cast aside as soon as their designated ‘ride’ shows up. Sometimes there are other personal items, and sometimes a pair of crude carpet sandals, designed to make tracking more difficult.
Lots of nice trails to hike or bike.
This one ended abruptly where it went down into a wide valley, and erosion ripped a trench 10 or 12 feet deep.
We were camped near one of the Border Patrol’s blue light rescue towers, with reflective flashers that sparkled during the day, and an intense blue strobe light that flashed at night.
I hadn’t seen any Javelina in the area, but after a few days, I learned to identify their tracks and the holes they dug and the vegetation they eat. In many areas where they are hunted, they are also quite nocturnal.
As many other snowbird bloggers have commented, the weather down in the southwest has not been that favourable for the last month or so, with temperatures often quite a bit below normal values. So – when the forecast started to predict freezing temperatures at night, followed by barely warmer temperatures during the day, and something called a ‘freezing mix’ for precipitation for a few days – I’d had enough. Get me out of here!
I thought, why be essentially stuck indoors for three days, with not much better weather after that?
Why not hook up, put on some good tunes, aim the truck down the road, and spend those days seeing some new scenery, and finding some better weather at the end?
So that’s what we did. We blasted off, and headed east. Before long, we found ourselves in New Mexico!
With daylight to spare, and good tunes on the radio, we kept right on a-rolling down into El Paso, Texas, and beyond.
We all know that Texas is big, but it’s still a bit of a shock to see the sign near El Paso saying that Beaumont, Tx is ONLY 854 miles ahead! Yikes.
Lots of overpasses and bridges getting through El Paso, which is on the Rio Grande.
So, right across the river is Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, clearly visible here from the Interstate.
The speed limit might be 80, but you have to be prepared to stop!
Sure enough, another Border Patrol checkpoint!
We didn’t find a primo spot to spend the night, but ended up on a dead-end street in a fairly quiet residential neighborhood in Horizon City – because the Walmart was just too bright and noisy. Continuing eastward the next day, we got off the I-10 as soon as practical to slow the pace and enjoy the ride a bit more.
Large pecan operations predominated in some areas.
I think this balloon was worried about being shot down, to opted to stay on the ground!
Some of us slept most of the way …
You know you must be close to the border again, when you start to see Border Patrol trucks parked on hill tops along the highway.
And, you know you’ve made the right decision to leave Arizona, when you see the temperature is 32C, or 89.6F!
With the help of iOverlander app, we found a very nice, quiet, very scenic spot to stop for the night, overlooking the Pecos river, where it flows into the Rio Grande. It is a free spot inside Amistad National Rec area in an old abandoned campground, that we had all to ourselves!
Still headed southbound in Texas – till next time …