Airstream Home Again


It’s been a pretty crazy month for weather in Portland. Snow the day we arrived. An ice storm. And more snow when we left. Kids, of course, find all the changes to be interesting and fun. Adults, not so much.

This old Chevy has been sitting in this very spot for as long as my mom has lived in the neighborhood. One of these days I’m going to ask if I can see what’s under the hood. I like how they’ve still got miscellaneous receipts and things sitting on the dash like one day it didn’t fire up and they just haven’t gotten around to giving it a jump yet.

The kids did their part to help Grammy avoid a lawsuit.

They didn’t shave before going out to dinner.

Ali and Ouest were due to fly out to Minnesota on Wednesday—how many people do you know that have to fly in for their orthodontist appointments?—so of course on Tuesday night 12″ of snow fell on Portland, a town with one snow shovel and maybe a pound or two of salt, total. Their direct flight that would have had them there at four in the afternoon ended up being a one-stopper getting them in at one in the morning. Awesome.

Somehow, twenty-four hours after they left Portland, all four of us met up in Texas ten minutes apart.

Our friends in Houston took good care of our lives for us while we were away. The Airstream was as spotless as we left it, the truck fired right up, and Hermie and Crabby were still alive. It’s good to have friends. Thanks guys, we’ll see you soon.

In one hour Ali had found a home for everything that we had brought back with us.

With all due respect to our friends who live in Houston, on a list of America’s worst cities, this would be very close to the top for us. It looks and feels like a giant being threw up concrete and malls, and there were tiny bits of homes in there that hadn’t been digested yet. Does that paint a pretty picture?

How about this picture of seven lanes of traffic on a Saturday, at eleven?

So, back on the road, headed for the border before the Mexicans wise up and stop letting us in. We’ve got a crazy drive in store for us in the next couple weeks—the 40D across Mexico, one of the few major routes in Mexico that we have yet to drive.


24 Comments on “Airstream Home Again”

  1. I agree on Houston. What a pit. I had the unfortunate opportunity to spend 5 weeks there while in training. So glad my company moved its training center out of there to Denver so I won’t have to spend time there again.

  2. Nice Mustaches, getting ready to enter the heritage of “Pancho” Villa huh? I must say the kids look impressive with them. 🙂

  3. PS: You might just have trouble diriving an “American made” car like that. 35% border tax. 🙂

  4. BIG cities are not to everyone’s liking myself included. Driving through Houston is one of my nightmare memories but then driving through Dallas brings the same feeling. And, for that matter, every other BIG city brings on cringes. But oh that open road of adventure…. I’m excited to see your posts from your new experiences. Enjoy and be safe.

    1. We like both big cities and small ones – Houston is just a concrete mess with no zoning rules. Strip mall, house, gas station, repeat for mile after mile.

  5. **** Beware that Mexico is out of gas. My husband just drove back from Puerto Penasco last week (we live in Tucson) and the stations he drove by were closed. He had just enough to get over the border into the states and fill up…I’ve heard that other parts of Mexico have long lines that take hours with just 1 pump open. I didn’t realize you were crossing the border or I would have mentioned it sooner. Best of luck.

  6. If you pass through Rockport, look us up. Just a tad bit north of Corpus. I will make frozen mojitos. Surfs up this week so we are surfing every afternoon….in spring suits. In January. The weather here has been crazy.

    1. Thanks Jody. We are at Lake Corpus Christi today with plans to head to Laredo tomorrow. This weeks weather is crud, except for surf.

      And yes have been reading posts about the gas shortages, protests and road blocks – we are more worried about the mountains. 🙂

  7. Oh and yes. Karen is right. Get on Surfer Magazine forums and the travelers are discussing the gas issue. I talked with our guide in Oaxaca and being near the port of Salina Cruz all is okay near Huatulco and Barra but north and towards Pacific there are lines, shortages etc. Also protests and road blockages.

  8. What route out of Texas are you taking? If you’re taking highway 59 south you’re going about 1 mile from our house.. been reading your blog for years, would love to see you guys!

    1. Hey Jay, We are at Lake Corpus Christi State Park tonight – let us know if you are in the area. Taking Hwy 59 down to Laredo for a few nights before crossing over on Saturday.

  9. Any HazMat restrictions on carrying propane bottles through the tunnels on 40D? Looks like your red ones are 30-pound bottles. I know certain tunnels and bridges have prohibitions and alternate routes here in the NYC-Phila metro areas. Couldn’t find any reliable info on 40D with a first-pass internet search. Just something to consider. Best wishes on your ongoing travels, and glad that you enjoyed seeing Lucy the Elephant!

  10. We just drove from Lo de Marcos to Mazatlan and all the gas stations we passed seemed to be open. Everything in Maz is good as well.

  11. Houston is kind of crappy, especially the highways, we lived in that area for 5 years. The winters are great though.

  12. We crossed at Pharr, Texas, yesterday and drove the 40D to Monterrey. Nice road, a little boring though. If you like climbing, try El parque Potrero Chico, in Hidalgo north of Monterrey!

  13. Weird, we were at Lake Corpus Christi SP last week for a few days before heading to Falcon SP just south of Laredo. Just missed you guys, would have been fun.
    Genovese clan. NOW full-timing.

  14. I laughed so hard at the Houston comment! We visited my daughter in San Antonio a few months back, and my impression matched yours except instead of “threw up”, my giant had a bowel problem!
    Glad to see it only took a few chilly hours in my building, for me to negatively impact your attitude! Lol!
    Have fun,

  15. Exactly!! Born and raised and living now just outside of Houston for 49 years. I have described it for years as if Godzilla swallowed a city and hurled it up again.

  16. We rode from Agua Prieta to Playa del Carmen last month, some of the roads were a little rough for my Harley, but there are plenty of gas stations, now we’re in La Cruz.

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