Yesterday was Black Friday, and I wanted to be as far away from a shopping mall as I could get. It seemed like a good day to get on the scoot and go for a ride - a nice long ride.
US Route 83 follows the Rio Grande northwest out of McAllen, Texas. Yeah - there are a few more towns upriver, but there are no shopping malls and the traffic gets thinner. Finally, you get to the town of Zapata. It sits at the head of Falcon Lake, a man-made reservoir that also provides an excellent fishing lake. There is a fairly good economy of providing fishing guides, tackle shops and boat dealerships in Zapata. A fair number of Winter Texans (retirees from the mid-west who winter here) occupy the numerous RV parks, enjoying the low cost of living and a lot of fishing.
But remember - on the other side of the lake is Mexico - and the drug cartels control that side. About a year ago, a young couple got on their jet skis and went across the lake to explore an old Mexican village that had been submerged when the lake was created in 1953. The Zetas didn’t like them poking around in their backyard and came out shooting. The husband was shot and killed while the wife barely escaped. That has prompted American law enforcement to remind folks to be careful on the lake - and not to cross the international boundary.
After a decent, if not spectacular lunch of enchiladas, I refueled and was ready to continue on my way, but not until I took a look at this old Chevy for sale. Anybody out there know what year this is? The seller spoke only Spanish - I tried to ask him.
Notice from the map that I went northeast from Zapata. There ain’t nothin’ out there but dry brush, buzzards, rattlesnakes and the occasional cow. See the little town of Guerra? It consists of five buildings, only one of which is occupied and the rest falling down. Not much to see in the ranch country north of the Rio Grande. The rest of the ride was uneventful.
I covered 255 miles - and I didn’t see any shopping malls.