Texas: Our first weekend in Rockport, part 2

On Sunday of our first weekend, we decided to do a day trip to the Brownsville/McAllen/Mission area. The area is a heavy “winter Texan” area, so we checked out RV parks in the area. We also did a short visit to the Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park. The drive is 3 hours each way, but it was nice to see a new area of Texas.

Road trip time

Most of the route is done on Hwy 77, which will become the future Interstate 69.

Road, grassy areas, trees, and clouds.
The view alongside Hwy 77.
More roadside views.

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park

The park’s woodlands and brushlands provide habitat for a wide variety of birds (and other wildlife). About 360 bird species have been recorded in the park. These include subtropical species common in eastern Mexico, such as the Plain Chachalaca, Great Kiskadee, and the Altamira Oriole. The park is also a stopover for migratory birds, including Swainson’s and Broad-winged hawks. Thousands of hawks stream overhead in spring and fall as they migrate.

We didn’t have a lot of time to visit, so we went for a shuttle bus drive around the park for a quick look.

Our open air shuttle bus and driver.
View in the state park.
Another view in the park.

The state park borders the country of Mexico, so we saw a little bit of the wall construction as we drove by.

The border wall in the background.

Once the shuttle bus ride was over, we headed back to our Jeep and headed to lunch at Five Guys.

The McAllen Five Guys location had Rexburg, ID potatoes.

Our trip home

We didn’t expect any surprises on the way home, but we got one. Somehow, in the time between leaving Amarillo and our first day in Rockport, someone stole our front license plate.

Our suddenly “license plate” less winch at the rest area on the way home.

We initially thought that it was stolen in Mission or McAllen, due to border proximity, but my photos from our Goose Island State Park visit show that it was already missing there.

The fun part was determining what to do. We settled on calling the non-emergency police number in Rockport on Monday, and they filed a lost/stolen license plate report. From what we read, having the police report would make it easier to replace the license plate. The next day, Bob went to the local county tax assessor’s office, paid $6.50 and turned over the rear license plate, and we got new license plates. Because RV parks note your license plate when you arrive, we notified the RV park we were staying in about the plate update. Later, we updated our RV park in Amarillo and the TxTag system, which issues RFID toll tags that are good in Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

It turned out to be a very eventful weekend. We look forward to going back to the state park when we have more time.

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