We have arrived back in town. It was a bit of a wet drive of it back up to-day. At 06:35, the beginnings of quite a storm set in, and we received over 1 inch of rain in the first 10 minutes. We drove off into the semi-darkness and the rain at 07:00 and drove, and drove into the un-relenting, moderate to heavy rain, stunning lightning displays, and all nature of strangely odd, totally deferential traffick manners being displayed by 99% of the driving class.
Mexican courtesy on the highway takes a while to pick up on, but it normally abounds. To-day, however, seemed like a cloistered period or silent-time retreat at an old-style Opus Dei or conservative Episcopal-Anglican cursillo meditation and rededication seminar.
It was just as well, because about three-fourths of the trip being done, we came upon the phenomena of the highway being violated by three fairly close-together crossings by high-water runoff. It was something that we had been through before, especially in Vera Cruz State of Mexico and in Central Texas at various times.
The first crossing was a little touchy, while the second was fairly easy to wade through in the little Ford Ranger XLT. But the third was impossible. Water was two to nearly three feet deep running across the highway for what appears to have been at least one mile. A few large trucks could manage to make slow progress through, but even that appeared to be precarious.
The locals who came out from the farms and little community congregations informed those of us who were parked on the side of the road about previous episodes that carried off dogs, cats, chickens, goats, and even a few Volkswagen Jettas and Nissan Tsurus-type vehicles. The older among them seemed to think that it would be three to four hours of waiting, it there was no further rain to the west, before the flow would subside to the point where general traffic could proceed. Busses carrying luggage and forwarding packages in their bellies had stopped crossing and high-rise military and police pickup-type vehicles were pushing or towing stalled vehicles to drier confines.
Locals, who actually appeared to be somewhat prosperous, were generous in loaning telephoning devices and providing their home facilities for charging cellular phones for those with low batteries and the like. My own contribution was to provide jumper cables and help connect-up said cables to autos that had been hauled, pushed, or otherwise delivered to our nearby "command post". The "drown-outs" can (and all did) respond to extra voltage supply when trying to do the "wet-dog shake-off" and get going again.
When it became apparent that my progress would depend upon changing routes, first by retracing the 30 kilometres back to the Matamoros - Cd. Victoria highway, and then by going to Valle Hermosa and then to the Los Indios International Bridge that connects the Republic of Texas to Mexico in a rural area just south of Harlingen, Texas. My generosity and good nature were rewarded by the fact the I was the only entrant arriving at that bridge and there was no delay of any kind. After a perfunctory computer analysis of my passport and a couple of questions, the lady-officer sent me on my way, backtracking a bit towards the McAllen-Mission area to the west.
Rainfall total ranged, for the area around deepest South Texas and the zone pertaining to the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre etc. from another six inches for already wet yet to as much as twelve inches during the preceding 24 - 36 hour period. All along the core of the Republic of Texas for these days....including my in-laws, children, grandchildren, and El Zorro up in North Texas adjacent to the Red River, nearly....there has been repeated heavy rains, hail, a bit of tornadic activity with casualties, and all the flooding one would normally associate with such events. We shall be checking on ours and hoping that all of yours are safe and sound.
More later to-morrow when this old bag of old bones rests up a bit.
El Gringo Viejo