Guanajuato and Querétaro

TAMAULIPAS, Mexico -- Tamaulipas is where we both entered and exited Mexico. Dr. Laurence M. Hardy, Don Huguley Jr., Richard LeBaron, and I left the campus of Louisiana State University in Shreveport at 1420 hrs (CDT) on Thursday, May 15, 1980. We first headed east to Bossier City, Louisiana, to pick up supplies. Then we headed back across the Red River, then southwest into Texas amid a heavy downpour and flooding near Lufkin.

Map of Northern Mexico and South Texas

We spent the night in Pasadena, Texas, (a suburb of Houston) at the apartment of Larry Dye, a former student of Hardy's. The next day we struck south for Laredo, a border town across the Rio Grande/Rio  Bravo from Mexico. (The United States calls the river the Rio Grande; Mexico calls it the Rio Bravo.) We arrived in Laredo about 1400 hrs. After a bit of trouble (described below), we got across the border and into Mexico later that day.

The photo below was taken in Tamaulipas some time after we left Nuevo Laredo, Mexico's counterpart to Laredo.

Chihuahuan Desert

From my field notebook

Friday, May 16, 1980

Texas: Galveston County: Pasadena: We luckily found our way out of Houston, picked up U.S. 90A W until we got on U.S. 59 S. It's raining in Sugarland. They sky's clearing about 20 mi. S of Sugarland on U.S. 59. We arrived in Laredo about 1400 hrs. We dropped by Sanborn's Mexico Insurance. We managed to get across the border finally, but we had some trouble. We picked up Mex. 85 S and attempted to get out of Nuevo Laredo. We stopped by the side of the road to eat, and continued on, arriving in Monterrey about 2200 hrs. [CDT]


The difficulty we had in getting into Mexico was more of a lack of difficulty. We could not find the bridge where the border crossing we needed was supposed to me. We asked someone about a bridge to Nuevo Laredo, and we were directed to a small one that we could drive over -- a lot of people walked over it -- but there was not immigration or customs outpost. As soon as the LSU-S van hit Mexican soil, a kid ran up to my window -- I was riding shotgun -- and yelled, "Hey mister, you guys want some girls?"

I was a bit disgusted by this "How do ya do" to Mexico, but I was more frightened by the fact that we were, for the time being, illegal aliens. Hardy managed to do a quick U-turn and double back into Texas. Soon we found the correct bridge. The only hitch on the way in was with a Mexican customs official who asked for a "tip," I guess in exchange for his thoroughness, or lack therof, in checking our baggage. Hardy talked the guy out of the tip and we got away from the border.

Read excerpts from my field notebook
or click on a thumbnail below to see the image.
Lizard Lair Sugarcane Field Desert Vista Scrub
Lizard Lair Sugarcane Field Desert Vista Scrub
Vastness Plateaus and Valleys Coastal Plains Matamoros
Vastness Plateaus and Valleys Coastal Plains Matamoros

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