Sunday, January 30, 2005

We are parked at a lovely spot overlooking Lake Amistad, in the Amistad National Recreation Area (map). This particular site is a National Park Service primitive campground (called, unimaginatively, "277 North"). It's actually a handful of graded sites with ramadas, just off the old 277 grade (from before inundation of the lake). The old road simply dissappears into the water, and one can see it rise again from the opposite shore in the distance. We are on a finger of the lake here entirely on the US side, but the lake is an impoundment of the Rio Grande and thus spans into Mexico. The Pecos and, I think, one other river also empty into this lake.

Our route west from here is actually US90, and we will need to backtrack a few miles on 277 back into Del Rio to pick that up. There are also several primitive sites in the recreation area along 90, but our guidebooks list them as unsuitable for rigs over 29'.

The campground host, Larry, invited us over to enjoy the large campfire they have going in their site, so we went over bearing the remains of the birthday cake. With eight participants, the cake dissappeared instantly. Turns out most of the handful of rigs here belong to full-timer retirees who appear to be staked out here for a while, and it has become sort of a community. We had an interesting fireside chat, including a pseudo-argument with a gentleman named Paul. Paul was appalled at our conspicuous consumption of, in particular, electricity, and took us roundly to task for trying to maintain all the comforts of home. Of course, he's the guy cutting all the firewood, so it's impolitic to complain too loudly. He's also the guy with numerous bags of aluminum cans that he collected along the highway stacked alongside his trailer...

We arrived here fairly late today, on account of a navigational snafu. We had hoped to take the road closer to the river, but it went from asphalt to graded dirt some 20 miles or so out of Laredo. We had to backtrack about 15 miles to a (brand new) tollway connecting the Columbia Friendship bridge to the freeway. On top of which, just getting turned around when the pavement ended was something of a challenge.

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