Laredo was not our favourite. It’s a bordertown, which is fine, but next time we will plan better – we kind of got lazy with planning, once we decided that we liked to stay longer at campgrounds, and we figured since we were going to a state park, there should be lots of things to do in the city! No, epic fail – dud. Turns out going to the state park was like the #2 thing to do in the city (depending what top 10 list you were looking at). This is the first state park we have been too that didn’t have ANY camp hosts – this was such a surprise, as most state parks we have been too have at least 2 camp hosts on site. We can’t complain the weather, which was an average daily temp of 33 C and night-time was 18C, so this is what we were hoping for during the Canadian winter. It was a desert campground with a lake – another lake that was about 75 feet lower in depth, due to drought. The park was pretty big though, so we were able to ride our bikes for a good 10-12 km loop a couple times.
There is a lot of history here from the Mexico/American war, with quaint districts, but the majority of the buildings in the districts were empty. There were a few museums that were recommended, but also not open – not sure if it was still due to Covid or just “Laredo time”. Since Laredo is a border town, everything with a schedule happens on “Laredo” time (which we assume is Mexican time – or tal vez mañana). Majority of taqueria restaurants are open for breakfast and lunch and closed by 2 and open the next day – so no taqueria for dinner. The city has quite a few outdoor pools and when we drove there to go use it, the pool was closed. We tried 3 different pools and although the worldwide google said they are all open, NONE of them were! We did chat with an employee at an indoor rec center that said the pools don’t open until summer and only if they can find lifeguards….ok. So we didn’t get to take advantage of the cheap pools and we were bummed, especially the lazy river….who doesn’t love a lazy river.
On day 3, we debated about leaving a few days early to another campground or dry camping, since there was really not a lot to do. But after a bit of research, we realized we were kind of screwed – every other place was booked. So we sucked it up for the rest of the week and looked at alternatives like:
- Walking across the border to get our teeth cleaned. The good thing about walking is that you don’t have to get insurance for the car or us or get an FMM card. It cost us a whole $1.25 each to cross over and come back AND we didn’t need a passport to cross into Mexico (just needed it to get back). We did bring an extra bag and brought back some Mexican clear coat paint for Ruby (something about paint from mexico is better) and 4 bottles of Axion dish soap (there is a good chance that it is just plain old Palmolive for all I know, but I loved this soap when we were in Baja). FYI gas in Mexico was $1/litre (unlike home where it is $1.70).
- Went to the planetarium and watched a short movie about nature for 45 mins. They only charged us $3 each, which was the senior’s rate (this made us happy and sad at the same time, especially since we didn’t ask for it!). We enjoyed this show and the commentator suggested we attend a free event the next night at the Texas A&M uni where this famous scientist guy talks about Chicxulub impact crater in the Gulf of Mexico. We did end up going, what else were we going to do, and learned some cool science stuff! Both times we went to the university and parked the car, we realized that they don’t charge for parking! WTF?! For sure we aren’t in Canada if there is no charge for parking!
- Found some new bike paths around the city and even set our alarm to wake-up at 6:30 so that we could start our day with a bike ride before the temperature reaches 33C! Here is the Rio Grande: Rio Grande – end of pathway
- Went to the mall…twice (it was pretty big!)
- Hang at the lake (although it was very green, seemed a bit sketchy, but was still refreshing and cool)
Our last full day in Laredo was Todd’s birthday – here is his homemade onion rings he wanted!
Laredo as a whole is quite safe, there are police, state patrol and border patrol EVERYWHERE! We googled it to see what the www thought…
After 7 days in Laredo area, we packed up Ruby and headed about 4.5 hours north (ugh, i hate North!) and landed in Sonora, Tx for a couple of days. We pulled into Stadium Park (sonorarv.net) for a reasonable nightly price of $22. This private RV park also supplies a water hose and sewer hose at all their short term stay spots – I have never seen this before, ever! If you are in need of a good, quiet overnight spot – we highly recommend staying here – Mike is the best! He also asked us “what are you going to do here for 3 days?”. Well lets see what we found to do:
- Will Carver Day – he was shot dead in front of the bank on main street in 1901. He was part of the original Butch Cassiday gang, but left before they became really famous. The city of Sonora decided to grab on to this outlaw history and celebrates him on an annual basis by doing a re-enactment of the outlaw and the shooting. I video’d part of the re-enactment but there was too much shooting for me to keep rolling – I had to plug my ears! This is all I got: Will Carver and bed races
- Fort McKavett – was built/open in 1852 to protect West Texas settlers and serve as a rest stop for California-bound immigrants. It closed a few years later, then reopened in 1868 and served as a major supply depot for the military. It is now a 150 year old fort of a ghost town about an hour north of Sonora. This was a pretty cool place!
- Sonora Caverns – ok we have toured caves and caverns before but this one was probably the BEST one we have ever seen! Check this out: Sonora Caverns