Friday, October 18, 2013


Friday, October 18 – Even though we think it's a little early for the migrating birds to reach the Rio Grande Valley, on Tuesday, we decided to go for a hike at the World Birding Center:  Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park.

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park


Being a Texas State Park, they do not accept the America the Beautiful Senior Pass, but we read on line that Texas Residents 65+ get a 50% discount. So Paul (He's a young 65.) asked about the discount at the front desk. Sure enough, the girl issued him a Texas Parklands Passport – Senior Partial. He can use it at any Texas State Park for half off admissions. Cool but another card to carry in his wallet!

The gal at the front office told us the birds have been arriving. There was a flock of over 14,000 hawks that arrived this past Friday, and several other species have begun arriving.

Ramp to the hawk lookout.
hawk lookout

We didn't see 14,000 hawks, but we saw a few. Also, saw a couple wild turkeys and a few green jays. But the birds must have been staying home in their air-conditioned nest because most weren't showing their feathers.



One of the picnic areas.
picnic area

That is Mexico on the other side of the La Parida Banco.

We did enjoy a hot 4+ mile hike and were plenty hot by the time we returned to the truck. But that didn't stop us from driving a mile down the road to visit the National Butterfly Center.

butterfly center

Good news folks! Even though thousands of migrating butterflies were getting smashed on the front on cars, many millions more made it to the RGV.




Unfortunately, the Butterfly Center charges $10 admission. That's a little steep in this penny pincher's mind, so we just looked around the visitor's center and took some pictures in the front of the building. It did look like a nice place to spend some time but $10 each.....YIKES!

On Wednesday, we met good friend, fellow blogger, and RV'er, John – Shoeless Joe – for lunch. We found him waiting for us at the Riverside Club. This is a cool bar and grill located on the banks of the Rio Grande River about 75 yards from Mexico.

Paul, Marsha, John, Angie, Ricklunch group

We were welcomed by several Texas and Border Patrol gunboats flying down the river. These were scary looking boats, heavily armed and quite a few armed crew on board.  John said they were moving up and down the river since he arrived. They were even accompanied by a helicopter earlier. Must be some of our “south of the border” friends trying to sneak over to the Riverside Club to have lunch with John.

Mexico is on the other side of the river.border patrol

It's interesting how seeing this has become “business as usual” and doesn't seem to alarm anyone, including us. There isn't any shooting or obvious danger. These aren't shootouts with drug runners. There is a large number of border patrol personnel in the RGV area. Just part of the ambiance.....LOL

We had a great lunch with John and Angie/Rick. It was nice to hear about John's summer travels. Pretty good food too!

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all back real soon. Have a great day.


  1. 14,000 hawks. . .that is amazing. . .we definitely need to make it back down there during migration. . .wow!

  2. Seeing that many hawks at once would truly be Awesome.

    Looks like you were helping John to Enjoy the Good Life! Be Safe!

    It's about time.

  3. Love those green jays and kiskadees. Riding our bikes around the state park and looking at the birds is one of few things we will miss about Mission.

  4. When we moved from Washington to Texas years ago we were amazed at the number of birds that migrated. They were everywhere. It was quite a sight!

  5. Glad you gave John something interesting to write about for next Sunday. ;)

  6. I have only heard about--not seen- this bird lover's paradise. I am sure the real birds will be returning right alongside the snowbirds. Glad to know the butterflies made a safe trek to their winter haven.

    The patrol boats do look scary but I imagine life without them could be scarier.

  7. It amazes me the things we can learn to accept as "normal"--gunboats in the USA?!

  8. Sorry, it definitely alarms me.

    Love the pictures.

  9. Sounds like to much entertainment are the border, we kind of enjoy it ourselves. Just need to duck when the bullets start flying.

  10. I agree with Linda - this really shouldn't be something we have to accept. But I sure did like the birds and butterflies.

  11. I noticed Shoeless Joe was actually wearing shoes - wassup with that??

    I think I'd rather have the gunboats racing up and down rather than a 14' high border fence.

  12. With the temps you were having, I don't blame the birds for going into hiding.

    I do enjoy butterflies and all their colors. But I have to agree that $10 a person is real steep.

    I think I would be nervous watching the Border Patrol boat flying up and down. But I guess it is good they are there.

    Nice time meeting a fellow blogger!!

  13. Hope you get some relief from the high temps soon. It has begun to cool in KY and got down into the high 30's last night. It is amazing to me to see how many friends you two have made on the road.

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  15. Butterflies migrate? Its a good thing I wasn't a school teacher.


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