Wednesday, February 17, 2010

La frontera

We are at the Wal-Mart in Del Rio, Texas (map), across the river from Ciudad Acuna, Mexico. While there are better places to stay here in Del Rio, including three primitive Park Service sites on Lake Amistad and the Elks Lodge where we dumped and filled on our way into town, I needed a prescription filled and Wal-Mart is my pharmacy.

This Wal-Mart is so used to winter Texans rolling through in their RVs that they have marked and striped RV parking on heavy concrete at the south edge of the store. While we normally shun the "RV ghetto," we respect the store's wishes, and we had three other rigs next to us last night. BTW, for those who are constantly asking if Odyssey is too tall, note that the two fifth-wheels in the photo are actually taller (when our dish is stowed, of course). There is a BBQ joint just a few paces away, and a Chili's on the other side of the parking lot.

This is an enormous and well-stocked store, as are most of those along the border. Lots of Mexicans cross each day to do their shopping here, although today it was quite uncrowded, probably due to Ash Wednesday as Mexico is a devoutly Catholic country. It's the last nice store we'll pass before we meet up with our friend Ara-the-chef near Big Bend, so we also used the opportunity to stock up for our couple of meals together.

We never made it to the Plaza Club yesterday. The spot that I had picked out ahead of time using Google Earth and Google Street View about 3/4 mile from the club turned out to be in the midst of not a few, but dozens of shady-looking characters milling around on the streets with nothing to do. That coupled with an abundance of graffiti made us uneasy about the parking spot, and with no other real alternatives within walking distance of the club, we just bailed out of town and canceled our reservation. From there it was a straight shot here on US-90; we did come across some $2.599 diesel along the way and topped up the tank, as we're not likely to see anything that low until El Paso, if then.

In a few minutes we will continue west on 90; I expect to be somewhere between Longfellow and Marathon tonight.


  1. Thought you were headed to Tucson for the "wheels" meeting. You really to have to do some humping to get there. Guess I just don't consider Saguaro Coop a RV ghetto.

  2. @Ed: We are headed to Tucson for a Red Cross meeting. Not sure I would characterize it as "wheels"; the way the selection criteria were explained to me there were several factors including recent deployment in the field as a manager. As I understand it, there are more than 60 folks scheduled to attend.

    As far as "ghetto" I think you are reading too much into the term. If someone tells you "RV's have to park in this specific section of the lot" then it is, by definition, a "ghetto." From Merriam-Webster:

    Ghetto 3 a : an isolated group; "a geriatric ghetto" b : a situation that resembles a ghetto especially in conferring inferior status or limiting opportunity; "the pink-collar ghetto"

    Derived, of course, from the original meaning:
    Ghetto 1 : a quarter of a city in which Jews were formerly required to live

    To be clear, I was not talking about the SKP coop or any other RV park, I was talking about sections of Wal-Mart lots where RVs tend to congregate. As I have written here many times, we usually choose to park somewhere else.

  3. Understand the Wal-mart description. There were 11 of them in Walmart in Benson this AM, including 3 Prevosts. The only good thing with Wal-mart is that you usually have some sort of security. Appreciate your clarification since I knew you both prefer boon docking.
    Golly, thanks for the dictionary lesson. :) We had the pleasure or staying in a Wal-mart Dec. 1, when the place we were planning to stay in was full.
    Thought your meeting was this week, not next. Obviously plenty of time.
    Take care
    Weather should be great in Tucson for all the people used to snow this year. Chances of rain in Benson through Monday.


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