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  • Writer's pictureKandy Thietten

God Blessed Texas

Wow! Texas has been so friendly! After we left the El Paso Cracker Barrel, we went southeast to San Elizario, where we were going to use our Harvest Host app to stay at the Licon Dairy. On the way, Abe wanted to make a quick Costco run so he plugged it into Google Maps and clicked on the closest one, 16 miles away. Abe followed the directions, turning off on the exit it told him to take. I barely noticed that the exit was to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and thought it was interesting that we were so close to the border that one of the places the exit led to was in Mexico. Then I started reading road signs. No U-Turn (that doesn't look good), No Returno, (starting to get a little nervous), You Are Now Leaving the United States of America (Nuh-uh! We can't go to Mexico!) The exit took us straight to the border. Um...we can't cross the border. Then I saw the sign that said taking firearms or ammo into Mexico will land you in prison. I don't want to go to a Mexican prison!!! Abe's laughing, and I'm nervous as all get out. No, no, no...we can't go to Mexico right now! The boarder guard stationed before the port of entry saw us, and I think he saw a bit of what was going on inside the RV and could tell that we didn't mean to be there, so he moved a cone and motioned for us to turn around. Thank you, Mr. Border Guard! Google Maps for some reason thought we wanted to go to the Costco across the border.

Abe gave up on Costco after that and took us to Licon Dairy. When he had called earlier to get directions, they told him to turn at the camel. We wondered if it was a real camel or a camel statue. Why would there be a camel at a dairy? We showed up, and sure enough, there was a camel. There was also about a hundred cars in their parking lot, and parked up and down the street, so we drove around a bit. We passed a Mexican bakery, and decided to stop in and see what they had. Mexican bakery's have some really good goodies that I don't let myself eat very often, but this time I gave in. We got corn tortillas because we were almost out, and we each got a filled pastry - pineapple for Abe, and pumpkin for me - because we hadn't eaten much and were hungry. The gentleman who had owned it for 40 years was super friendly, and happy to talk to us. The whole town of San Elizario felt like we were in the middle of Mexico. The styles and colors of the buildings, the very helpful, genial people, even the stray dogs running around (all of the strays in Mexico is quite sad to see).


Eventually enough cars left that we were able to get into the Licon Dairy and park. Everyone had been there to see their free petting zoo. We walked around and looked at all of their animals. Lots of doves in a few cages, chickens, guineas, peacocks, pheasants, turkeys, donkeys, goats, llamas, sheep, parrots, a kangaroo, a pig, and the best part of all...Roger, the sweetest camel in the world, who happily came to the fence when we called him and let us pet him. Oreo the pig was pretty dang cute, too. That evening, we saw a lady hosing off the concrete by the store and restaurant and went over to talk to her. We learned that Sandra, the lady we spoke with, and her husband, Gene, run the dairy and keep the petting zoo going so the kids around there can have access to animals. Several of the animals are rescues, and it was obvious that they are now really loved and cared for.


Sandra had told us that we were welcome to take the dogs around the petting zoo, so the next morning we did. They were very curious about the animals, and several of the animals wouldn't come anywhere near us with the dogs there, but they did really good. Then we took the dogs to meet Roger. Marley really liked Roger. She saw him and completely spazzed out, jumping on the fence, trying to get under it, whining. Truffle was curious, but calm. We kept a tight hold on both dogs; leashes, nervous of what they might do, as Roger moved his head to the ground with the speed of a sloth and put his nose under the fence to meet the dogs. With all of Marley's over the top excitement, he calmly kept his head there, smelling her, while she sniffed frantically until she calmed down. We both miss Roger and wish we could have brought him with us. He was a rare, extraordinary animal.


Before leaving Licon Dairy, we went in the store and bought some asadero cheese. They make it fresh every day, and sell out of it every day. Gene gave us each a sample when we asked to buy a package, and as soon as we got back to the RV we made quesadillas, using half of the cheese. When we were done eating, we went back in to get another package for the road. SO GOOD! I'm a sucker for good food. It makes me very happy.


We spent the rest of the day driving, and driving, and driving some more. The drive was long, with no towns for hours and a very occasional curve in the freeway, but pretty soon we started to notice that it was getting greener. Hours after we started noticing the changing scenery, we started feeling the increasing humidity. After four weeks in different deserts, there are no words for how good the moisture felt on our skin. By the time it got too dark to see, the landscape had turned from sand and rocks, into grass, flowers, and many deciduous trees, and our skin was slightly sticky from the moisture in the air, a precursor to the lightning and rain we would have while we slept. We finally arrived at our camping spot for the night, the Junction, TX city park, after 9:00 Monday night, pulling in to the first spot we could see. There was a street light that showed us that we were parked next to a small concrete dam, but that's pretty much all we knew about the area.


In the morning, after looking around at the river on one side of us, and the grassy park on the other side, we left the dogs in the trailer and set out on a long walk through town, stopping at the visitor center and chatting with the very affable ladies, Candy and Lisa, who were working there. They told us about the antler tree in town, and about the coffee cart near it. We stopped in a few stores to look around on the way to get coffee, and sipped on our coffees while we made our way to the antler tree and on to the other end of town. Everybody we talked to was...you guessed it...friendly. I am loving all of the smiling faces in this state. People are quick to talk to strangers, and help out with any information they can give. There's a farmer's market on Saturday that I'd love to stick around for, but we will probably need to take off before then.


When we got back to the RV, we aired up a paddle board to take out on the cloudy, blue-green waters of the Llano River that we are parked next to. The waters I've seen that aren't clear have always been murky, either from brown mud and silt that has been stirred up, or from thick, pea soup green algae. This cloudy water is beautiful, even if there is only a foot of visibility. I'm also used to rivers fed by melting snow in the mountains. If you step into the Boise River this time of year, it's so cold it is painful. I was shocked when I tested out the water here and it was cool, but pleasant to stand in. The air was in the low 70s and breezy, so I didn't want to go swimming, although Abe did jump in for a moment, but it would feel like Heaven on a hot day.


Now, I'm sitting in a chair outside in the dark, listening to the cicadas, frogs, and crickets singing their songs, to the water pouring over the small damn in front of me, and to the traffic on I-10 in the distance. I'm brushing off the occasional insect that lands on me, attracted by the light of my computer screen. It's just getting a touch too chilly for my shorts and tank top so I'm about to head inside, but it all feels pretty near perfect. I'm sure we'll find more near perfect places on the rest of our trip, and I look forward to them all.


If you're ever in Texas, be sure to stop by San Elizario and Junction. You'll be glad you did.



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6 comentários


Ray Thietten
Ray Thietten
15 de abr. de 2021

Thanks for the update Kandy! Bringing Texas to life for us

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penthorpe53
penthorpe53
14 de abr. de 2021

I was also going to comment on how fun your hair color is.💖

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penthorpe53
penthorpe53
14 de abr. de 2021

I love reading your stories. I know others have told you this, but you should put all these blogs into a book some day. Your writing is wonderful.


So happy for you guys. I knew the first time I met you, you and Ape would be a great couple.


Happy trails.


Penny

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Kandy Thietten
Kandy Thietten
14 de abr. de 2021
Respondendo a

Always.

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