Friday, February 19, 2021

The Texas Vortex-Traffic and Weather!

 We thought we had it rough, being without power for 36 hours....

The areas north of us are much much worse...Until you are in the middle of it, you don't realize how bad it really is...we only have seen the edges of it down here in Harlingen, TX. Gas stations running out of gas, people lined up trying to get gas for generators and their cars 20-50 cars deep, blocking local streets as they try to jockey their way into the station.  Restaurants are running out of ingredients and menu items. Stores are running out of food, because supplies aren't making it to them. People are trying to find hotel rooms for their elderly parents and maybe themselves and their families, there aren't any for miles and miles. ATM machines are not working, so you can't get cash. (Sparky went to the grocery store and got a few items with cash back). Water station pipes and valves are freezing and bursting down here and all over Houston. Sixty percent of the homes are electric. Texas has been hit harder because of some lack of preparation by the power people, according to the governor. The Texas power grid is privatized and not subject to federal regulation and that's how they wanted it! It's complicated but right now, the blame game is in full force. But you probably already knew that, since it's all over the national news.

Dallas has been colder than Anchorage, Alaska! Whoa!

OK, so now that we have power, let's talk about the park! Tropic Winds RV Park in Harlingen, TX.

This is an Encore park, (they are a big player in the RV campground system), a gated community, and we can stay here two weeks for free with our Thousand Trails membership. The park is laid out in a grid, we like that..It makes it easier to get in and out of sites. It does have the look of a parking lot, however. 
There are palm trees scattered throughout but no trees at the sites. Bet it's hot in the summers! Sites are grass/concrete. They are all 40' X 50' for the RV sites. The concrete pads are 10' X 40'.You have to park your rig on the grass, and your vehicle on the concrete pad, so no picnic tables, and no fire pits--because it's so windy all the time here? (Uh, Sparky, it's called Tropic WINDS RV Park, patiently explains E.)
AHEM! They have a full service laundry, heated pool and spa, an ADA pool lift, 

lighted shuffleboard courts, lighted pickle ball courts, a free wifi hotspot, a bocce ball court, a fitness center, free Warner cable, and tons of activities when COVID lifts. Some of them include: concerts, dances and shows, yoga, aerobics and water classes, SPANISH lessons, organized tours, organized golf at nearby courses, woodshop club, kite flying club, Spanish classes, Silver Sneakers Club, AND remote control racing. Check out this RC course!

They have a beautiful little birding park nestled in at one end of the park. Unfortunately, the multiple day freeze damaged most of the plants and flowers. The cacti were just getting ready to bloom, too.

There is a little dog park and it's right in the same area as the bird park. Sparky wonders if the birdies will show up with dogs around, but it's been too cold to tell.

People have been wondering why we didn't just get up and move to where it was warmer before all these problems with the cold hit? But where were we going to go? Look where we are...Can't get much further south! The weather was just as bad east, west and north of us. So we just decided to tough out the weather and we made it through.

What are some of the cons of this park/area? Not very many!

1. No picnic table --Sparky really misses a picnic table...she likes to do crafts sitting at the table, and of course, eat outside! Not sure why they don't provide them here. It's the first campground we've been in since July that hasn't had them.

2. Harlingen streets in the business district/shopping areas are hard to navigate. They seem to be laid out willy nilly with highways and interstates intertwining, rapid lane changes and confusing lane decisions to be made at stoplights. It's laid out a lot like the Houston metro area which does a really great job of traffic direction and flow. But here, it's more tangled. It's very confusing the first few days you are here, at least we think so. 

We will be in the area three more weeks, and the weather is going to turn wonderful, soon. Sparky is looking forward to exploring South Padre Islands, some birding refuges, and butterflies, if they are still around! 

We plan on visiting a little town, Nuevo Progreso, just past the border bridge, in Mexico soon. We will tell you all about the experience of crossing the border and what lays just beyond! Apparently, this is a little town that is a mecca for RVers to get dental work and vision care at VERY reasonable prices for competent, excellent care. We will also be visiting the local interests and tourist attractions. Stay tuned!


  1. I'm so glad it's finally 'warming' up in the south. George's sis in law had burst pipes in her house in Cypress TX. Only garage damage, but still! Can't even believe the weather. Meanwhile in CA...high 60's and low 70's :)

  2. We have had all our dental work done in Los Algodones BC for close to 10 years now. Eyeglasses too. Lower prices, and the best quality we've had in our lives, is a hard pair to beat!