This story illustrates why occasionally it is better being uninformed. We often enjoy ourselves more when we cruise along taking things as they come, appreciating the beauty around us.
In March of 2004 we were traveling west through Texas, enjoying our first trip through the Hill Country. We decided to drop down a little further south and take 90 West, in keeping with our goal to avoid interstates when possible. We liked what we read about the National Park Service camping area at the Amistad National Recreation Area near Del Rio. So we stopped for a few nights. The campground where we stayed was outside Del Rio about five miles or so, as memory serves me. There were only about 50 campsites and we could see that the setting would mean we had those quiet nights with skies lit by zillions of stars. A camp host was stationed at the entrance, so there wasn’t any concern about the scarcity of occupied spots. We settled into one of the sites on the outside where Jerry could position both our TV and internet satellite dishes. The Direcway Internet system was new to us, only about a week and two setups. We were prouder each time we successfully found that “golf-ball-sized” satellite out beyond the clouds. So anyway, we were comfortable. Other than a few partying teenagers at the end of the road late on a Saturday night, we were completely pleased with our home site. The next two days we explored the town of Del Rio and spent some time at Lake Amistad. As you can see by the photo below, the scenery is nothing but peaceful and natural. We ventured down the road along Lake Amistad just a few miles and came upon the bridge and border crossing area into Mexico. Ciudad Acuna, Mexico is just over the bridge. We turned around, not having prepared to leave the country yet.
One evening as we relaxed on our patio in our chairs, just gazing out over the desert and contemplating our next day, we noticed a van pull off into the desert and stop just outside our campground. The two people inside seemed to be waiting there for a while. Then they got out and walked out into the desert until we lost sight of them. About 30 minutes later they returned, got into the van and left. This seemed suspicious, but who knows? Perhaps they just needed some exercise.
When we had our next destination plotted, we headed west again agreeing that this would be a campground we would recommend to others. So we did just that. The next time we setup the Direcway satellite and fired up the Internet, we emailed friends to let them know about the nice spot in Del Rio. Before long a response came from a couple we had seen on another stop in Texas. They wanted to let us know that they had read a report on the Internet that classified Del Rio as the second most dangerous camping area in the country due to the illegal border crossings and drug trafficking through that section near Lake Amistad. We could only say that our experience was pleasant.
We have good memories of the short time we explored around the Del Rio area. Chances are that these seven years have made a difference and we would not feel as safe at that same location today. We haven’t returned and would hesitate to do so. But, maybe there are some circumstances when it turns out better not knowing everything.