Tuesday morning we were up REALLY early and on the road. As mentioned last post - we wanted to get some miles behind us across Western Texas while it was still coolish. We chose to stick to Interstate 10 because 1. we were headed to San Antonio and 2. we have done the 90 several times before. Come to think of it we have done the 10 many times before also - but with the new fuel pump now also undependable - we just wanted to get this vast area done with.
I can't say that there have been many times that we have seen the sunrise while driving.
I actually quite enjoy Interstate 10 through Western Texas - I'm a particular fan of the yellow limestone. Check here for our trip from east to west back in 2012.
Around 9:30 am we stopped in Ozona for gas. When Cassia spotted a playground next door we were busted - so we decided to give the pump some time to cool down.
An hour or so later we were back on the road. By noonish we pulled into the rest area just west of Sonora - we had done 143 miles.
I don't know why but I didn't even take one picture at the rest area even though we were there for about five hours. We ate, we napped, and we hung out at the picnic table while Cassia played. Can't say that we really enjoyed the fact that everyone else was coming and going while we waited for the sun to set before we headed out. Better to be sitting at the rest area then stranded along the side of the Interstate.
A setting sun always looks so nice on the landscape.
The plan was to go all the way to the Home Depot in San Antonio and then look for a Ford dealer the next morning to get our fuel pump looked at. It was well into darkness when we stopped into Kerrville for gas. Boy the interstate was busy with all the semis…… As we pulled into the gas station we noticed the Lowe's. So - we decided to stay the night - we just aren't fans of night driving.
The good news was that I found a Ford Dealer in Kerrville - our plan was to head there first thing Wednesday morning.
We also found out that our friend Chris was still in San Antonio and headed home Friday morning. We were actually also headed to Chris's house so - what luck. Since we have never been to Chris and Juan's house south of Monterrey we thought that we would follow him home.
Wednesday morning we pulled into the Ford Dealership. Again, no photos. I guess the stress of getting the van fixed had a huge effect on my ability to remember to take pictures. That's ok - not really a time on our trip that I want to remember.
In the end we were at the Dealership for about six hours. They did everything - they really did - but in the end they just weren't sure what our problem was. The fuel pump was the most likely candidate because everything else checked out ok. We decided to go ahead with a new one even though it meant returning in the morning. The final thought was that the fuel pumps we were getting from Pep Boys were not designed for our engine/fuel specifications.
At around 3:00 we left the dealership and headed to the playground. Cassia sitting around watching cartoons all morning meant we had to get her to play off some of that energy.
Then we headed here. Because we were planning on entering Mexico soon, our groceries on board were becoming quite slim. Plus, we knew this would be one of our last meals in the USA until the spring. At the playground I asked a lady where the best BBQ would be in Kerrville - Buzzie's was her suggestion.
Nice to visit with the gang from Buzzie's. They took really good care of us - thank's again Cameo, Hondo, Tyler and Reggie!
Tyler, Buzzie's son by the way - at the smoker.
We opted for the two meat combo plater which included one pound of meat - brisket and ribs in our case, a side of beans and a side salad - which was a salad bar. A really really super deal at $15.95. The meat was great and we couldn't even come close to finishing it for dinner.
First thing the next morning we were back at Ken Stoepel Ford. Complimentary cartoons, wifi, electricity, water, popcorn, comfy chairs and friendly people made the wait that much more tolerable.
Here's Tommy - he took SUPER care of us. In the end - all the wondering and waiting was more about trying to solve the problem. We were well taken care of and would highly recommend Ken Stoepel Ford in Kerrville.
Loading up and heading out around 1:30 pm.
With the two night delay in Kerrville we deleted San Antonio from our travel plans.
From Kerrville we were headed straight to Laredo Thursday afternoon. We took the 173 south from Kerrville to Devine where we got on the I35 south.
We stopped at the Camp Verde rest area for lunch. What a perfect picnic area!
Initially we drove right by the rest area. As we drove by we realized it was a good stop so we had to turn around at the next turn off. While doing that we saw bison. So - after lunch we walked up the hill to take a look. Most had relocated to the trees - couldn't blame them - it was HOT.
Amazing look at the ornamental grasses as we were leaving.
Our route took us through Bandera. We have a funny relationship with Bandera - we have read about this town but have never stopped - even though I think we would like it a lot. Spring 2013 we came through on our way up from Mexico - it was cold and we didn't stop. Now, Fall 2014 we are headed to Mexico - we have a deadline so no time to stop.
I've read about the General Store in magazines….
The trip from Kerrville to Laredo was 200 miles - so we were working hard to make it happen.
We did stop however, at the brand new rest area along the I35 just south of Cotulla.
The greenery, flowers, and butterflies were amazing!
Derek took all the pictures at the rest area - it was hard to stop taking pictures. The rest area has been open for 1 1/2 months - very nice. Hopefully they'll add wifi in the near future.
From the rest area we went straight to Laredo.
We've been to Laredo before - it's a crazy busy place. I'm betting that at any one time - Laredo has more semi trucks coming and going than any other place in North America.
We had a few errands to run in Laredo prior to meeting up with Chris on Friday morning.
First stop was Best Buy. One of the reasons we were heading to San Antonio earlier was that we desperately needed a new power cord for our MacBook. The one we had bit the dust with the wires splitting.
From there we continued on to the Home Depot. As soon as we pulled in we realized we had been here before. Oh no - not THIS Home Depot again! Not the best for an overnight stay but really - not a lot of choice. We were here back in January when we were smart enough to go through Laredo during rush hour (@$$%^&!!$%).
After dinner we headed over to Walmart. Here's what we got -
+ baking soda
+ hand sanitizer
+ a rubbermaid container for Cassia's bath tub (she's not the biggest fan of showers)
And that's it. Oh sure - we could really stocked up on stuff for the winter but really - we don't have the room. If we can't get it in Mexico we won't be having it. The only real thing missing is Salt and Vinegar Chips which I mentioned back in January as we were preparing to go to Mexico. With this Walmart so far south, S&V chips have already disappeared - oh well.
With that we made it a fairly early night - a big day crossing the border into Mexico ahead of us.