Well we have been at Brownsville for several months last year and just one month this year. I have read where lots of Winter Texans are avoiding Brownsville because of crime. I’m sure it is there but we didn’t witness it. I find the area to be undesirable for me because simply finding local homes of all classes being fenced and gated. We also moved in February to stay on the west side of McAllen and find the same type of fencing. To me the whole valley seems poor and most homes have way to many cars setting it the front yard, as can be easily witnessed when trying to navigate traffic.
As for the valley itself I find it pretty stark! I was raised in Missouri along the Mississippi River and know a flood plan when I see it. This place is flat and has very few trees of any size. For the most part is Ebony, Mesquite, Spanish Live Oak, I think that means tiny oak! When it rains here the grown is clay and sticky. City’s here have brought in Palm Trees to give the roads a tropical look. I believe the Sable Palm is indigenes to the area along with Spanish Daggers’ and other assorted large leaf palms. And don’t forget the Catechus. What we might call the forest or woods back home here they call it the Thicket and it is easy to see why. Only Javelin’s can make it through the stuff. Most everything in nature here will Sick you, Scratch you or Poke you. And don’t forget the Coral Snakes, Western Diamondback, the Cottonmouth and Copperhead.
We have had a good time in the Lower Rio Grand Valley and as soon as the weather warms up a little we plan to head west for a couple months.
Ok thanks to Mr. Franks comments I am going to try to put together more comments and try to keep things going as have been and hope to improve my style so I dont put you all to sleep.
We have made our way back to Brownsville, Texas for a couple months of hosting at the Resaca de la Palma State Park. This place is promoted as a Bird Sanctuary. We like it here because it’s pretty laid back as far as work and the host sites are buried in the woods away from the hustle and bustle of the area. Anytime we get down this way we like to spend a few days at Magnolia Beach. It’s a great place to boondock and if you find the beach to be too crowded for your taste move on east a little ways to the Indianola Beach. We always have a great time there and if we want to dump or tanks an take on water we head into Victoria City Park. Full hook ups is $12 or you can use their dump station for $2 and head back to the beach.
Boondocking last year around Brownsville, TX we only were able to spend a few day at Port Mansfield. But this year the word is the town closed it. I find not to much to offer in the area. We have parked for the day at the Convention Center on South Padre, spent the day exploring around and crossed the bay at night and stayed at the Walmart at Port Isabel. I generally promote the idea of parking where I want to and simply keep an eye on my surroundings as far as a safe area. Over the years I find I don’t trust an area where all the homes have walls or fences around them. Unfortunately most of the Reo Grand Valley is like this.
The UP in our rear view mirror! Headed for Brownsville Texas again. Blazed a trail through Wisconsin that took us through the Kickapoo River Valley, WI 131 from Tomah, Oil City, Viola and Readstown. Its for sure Mennonite Country and great Hillandale Farms, Meadows and Windy Roads. If you don’t have reservations this is a great route.
Also discovered the Illinois Great River Road to be another great find. From Muscatine, IA. too many different roads to mention but hugging the River to Louisiana MO. The stretch from Nauvoo ILL. and hwy 96 to Hamilton, ILL. is a great route with a pull out ever very few miles. Spent most of a day just on this little stretch.
Paint River Hills Campground and Cabins, Crystal Fresh Market & Ace Hardware, Slivensky Hardware and Lumber, Logans’ Place, Fumee Falls, Horserace Rapids, Reany Falls, scott falls, Miners Falls, Munising falls, Ogemaw Fall, Canon falls, Bond Falls, Eight foot falls, Eighteen foot falls, Long slide falls,
We have found the Campground to be an interesting site setting on a bluff between the Paint River and the Town of Crystal Falls. I guess being from Missouri, I find the Pine Forest and rock bluffs to be very interesting here. Tent Camping, some with Electric and Water just inside the woods along the bluff over looking the river makes for a magical atmosphere. Dark with Liken and green Moss clinging to trees and rocks, and pine needles blanketing forest floor. We have found the town to be very friendly and our dealings with the Grocery Store and Hardware Store have been excellent. Logans’ Place has fast food and “Amaretto Mackinac Island Fudge” Ice Cream! Amazing!!
As for the UP, we have found it not to be as exciting as we had expected. Woods are very interesting for about a month. Then reality sets in and you realize everything that is of interest is a two or three hour drive away. The coast of Lake Superior is very nice, could spend a few weeks traveling along it. But seems once inland there is only woods and lakes. Woods are thick and lush and lakes are devoid of birds of any kind. A few Crows or Ravens, Blue Jays but not really any song birds to speak of. We found a few opportunity’s to photograph Sand Hill Cranes! ORV and Snow Mobiles are popular and there are hundreds of miles of gravel trails for them. Paved bike trails are few and far between. All in all we met and made friends with some wonderful people from the campground and the town of Crystal Falls.
Paint River Hills Campground and Cabins,
We have come to the Upper Peninsula to run a Camp Ground for the summer. Paint River Hills Campground and Cabins! At first glance its quit plain in appearance, right next to the town of Crystal Falls. Seems more like a city park rather than a destination park. But as we have discovered it sets on a unique bluff between the town and the Paint River. Tent camping is very popular here as the bluff has many rock out cropping’s and undulating forest floor with a thick Pine and White Birch. There are accommodations for large and small rigs here with the usual back in and pull thou options, with 50 and 30 amp, with an assortment of full hook ups and some with only water and electric. Some more level than others. Has shower house and a dump station, also has sleeping cabins. Fire pits and tables with gravel pads. The place is dated but has been well taken care of. This is our Summer base camp which we plan to take day trips from each week to explore the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. If you where to consider visiting, Google has no idea where we are, so use these coordinates: 46° 5’57.73″N 88°19’50.76″W
Dubuque IA, Sheboygan WI, Sturgeon Bay, Green Bay
After laying up for a week and a half getting our new fridge. We blew though Dubuque as it seemed a little pricey for us, Thirty Dollars to visit the City Park! Making up for lost time we shoot across Wisconsin to Sheboygan and had breakfast on the beach on Lake Michigan. Then spent a day hugging the coast of Lake Michigan up to Sturgeon Bay. Found the USS Wisconsin docked at the town of Manitowoc. Found ourselves a Covered Bridge at Mishicot. And a water fall at Wequiock Falls. And the Ludington Tug to tour at Kewaunee. Then the Door County Maritime Museum at Sturgeon Bay. Had a great time riding on the Ice Age Trail near Sturgeon Bay. Back down the Green Bay side of the Peninsula and found our favor camping are in Green Bay.
At Green Bay we spent a couple days riding the East River and the Fox River Trail, both trails are very much worth a nice sunny afternoon. Spent one morning at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in north Green Bay. Very nice and has a lot of injured hawks and Owls. During the week it is a 4-K school and has a ton of kids running around in groups learning about the birds and the bees. I guess on the week end it might be a mad house. But we had a fun time.
Crossed into Michigan at Menominee on HWY 35 and moved up the coast of Green Bay to a nice little rest area on the bay called Airport Park. Very nice and quiet for the night. We are going to be in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for the summer running a camp ground at Crystal Falls. So post will be even less frequent. Have a safe Summer.