Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mission, McAllen, and My Family

My parents and brother showed up in Mission the day before yesterday. They are a funny trio, prone to excitement and chaos. It's a constant battle in the car over simple things like speed and direction, but I'm glad they came. Raisin, having already met my parents in Laredo, was delighted.

My parents are both retired, my dad a former lawyer and my mother a former CCISD employee, and my brother is going strong as a computer programmer in Silicon Valley. There's a lot of potential there for enlightening conversations, but there's no sense bringing up what might possibly BE because what might possibly BE is accompanied, inherently, by what might possibly BE NOT.
Said another way, we yell a lot.
But all is well in the Read family history. It's loud, yes, but loud in this family is par for the course. It just wouldn't be the Reads if we could only whisper.
Charlie walked with me yesterday, part of the point of his visit to Texas. We got dropped off at the Speer Public Library in Mission (this library was like a palace with computers everywhere) and walked to a point a couple miles north of Hidalgo. We went from 9am to 12pm and 6:30pm to 8:30pm. He's atheletic and had no problem with the pace (not that I walked fast).
During the first segment toward the end, I was about ten degrees away from feeling miserable, but Charlie was in the midst of his limit. California's made him soft, I guess. The weather had put the temperature around 95 degrees with a heat index of 110, but I'm told the weather peaks between 2pm and 6pm. I wasn't yet at my limit, but both Charlie and Raisin were ready to when noon rolled around.
We slowed down for two spots along the way: the McAllen Nature Center and a US Border Patrol Headquarters on the old Military Highway in the south of the state. The nature center was a maze of paths in a wooded area, very green and very quiet. It helped that it was closed to visitors for we had the place to ourselves. We snuck in through a separate open entrance.
The US Border Patrol Headquarters was a little different. We got as far as a little lobby. We wondered who would visit the headquarters, but sure enough, the visitor registration sheet was filled with signatures. I got some cold water from a fountain, said hi to the man behind the glass (who was completely unimpressed by the way), and we continued on our way.
The evening hike was a little different. Raisin sat this segment out, something she hadn't done since Big Bend National Park, and Charlie and I continued. When we got to what looked like a big river, we started hiking along side of it.
The river, it turns out, was the flood waters that are still coursing through the area. Several north-to-south roads which dip low are covered in water and are closed to the public. The massive flooding was a few weeks ago, but the flow here was still a couple of feet deep. We saw a few people fishing on the road who reported a small bass catch. It was so nice to get away from the traffic.
Today, Charlie and I will hike a bit more, then he and my parents will take off. Raisin and I will be left for the final stretch home. Whether that will be on Padre Island or the parallel road is up to the fates.
Until next time...

1 comment:

Brandon Champion said...

I hope this last stretch goes well. I thought you were nutso when you said you and Raisin were going to swim across Mansfield Cut, pack and all. hahaha