Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sleeping in

We are still on the relief operation in Mercedes, Texas.

Today is the first day we are not starting at 7:30am since the operation started, back in San Antonio on the 21st. It will likely be the last day for HQ, and we're starting at 9. By the book, today should actually be our day off, but we're probably all done by tomorrow anyway.

There will be a handful of people continuing to work out of the chapter office in Harlingen, and we are leaving some equipment there. We've agreed to go over there and pack it up if they wrap up mid-week, so we're hanging on to a Red Cross rental car. Most of the cars had to go back to San Antonio (where most of the volunteers had to go anyway for their return flights), but we managed to trade the Chevy Trailblazer we were driving for a Toyota Camry that was rented in Harlingen. Once we ship the equipment, we'll have to figure a way to get it back to the Harlingen airport -- I'll probably just have to follow Louise over there in Odyssey.

I expect that tomorrow, after the truck leaves, we will collapse into a heap here at home to recover for a day, and maybe clean up the various piles of junk that have collected around the coach while we've had no time at all to deal with them. Perhaps Tuesday we will drive over to Nuevo Progreso for fuel, which, at $2.25 a gallon, is still about half what we'd pay here, even though diesel has dropped a good 25 cents just in the three weeks we've been parked here.


  1. Sean,
    There was an article in our paper today about the "authorities" in Mexico impounding the vehicles and imposing fines on Americans coming across the border just to fill up with "large" amounts of diesel. The article was quite sketchy so take this for what it is. Free advice.
    Take Care,

  2. Bob,

    That article was posted by the Associated Press and widely picked up by local papers. Amusingly, many east coast papers ran it.

    The article discussed the fact that Ciudad Acuna is cracking down on this -- one border city, not the whole country. The claim is that it is in response to fuel "shortages" there, but, if I know my Mexican officials, it's more likely about filling the city coffers, or perhaps lining the pockets of the "officials" involved.

    Also, the issue in question is specifically folks filling up drums, cans, or auxilliary tanks in the beds of pickup trucks -- filling the vehicle's stock fuel tank is permitted.

    So this issue will not affect us, even if it starts spreading to other border towns. (Most of whom, BTW, are happy to have Americans cross over and spend money there for any reason at all -- it's the federal government, not the cities, that is subsidizing the fuel).

    Thanks for thinking of us, though, when you saw it. We might well have missed it, buried in a relief operation as we were. I only caught it because someone had posted it on one of the RV boards we monitor.


  3. Sean,
    My paper must have clipped the AP article so much that the info you have was not provided in the short blurb I read.
    I've been following your travels for almost 3 years. I worked with you and Louise in RTT (now DST) back in Baton Rouge after Katrina. I got my tour of Odyssey out in the K-Mart parking lot. I can understand if you don't remember me. I think we had a team of about 40 there at the time.
    I've gone on to work on about 12 DRs since then. Hoped we would cross paths again sometime. But, the ARC hasn't sent me any farther west than San Antonio last July, and the two of you haven't been to the east coast for anything that I'm aware of.
    Take Care,

  4. @Bob,

    We do remember you, very clearly. We don't forget the smart, competent people :-) I'm pretty sure we still have your business card somewhere and that you wrote your personal email on the back.

    I'm suprised, too, that we haven't worked with you since 2005. Perhaps later this season. Two more investigation areas hanging out in the Atlantic may bring us all to the east coast soon.

    This job was the first time we've seen Gene Miller again since Katrina; he was RNT in Baton Rouge and Manager here. Do you remember him? He's a great manager, easy to work for.

    Thanks for being a loyal reader and hopefully we'll see you soon!

  5. Sean & Louise,
    Taking this thread off your blog.
    I'll email to the email addresses I got from you then.


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