Thursday, February 27, 2014

More museums. . .

We headed out Thursday to Hidalgo to tour the Hidalgo Pumphouse. The pumphouse was built to draw water off the Rio Grande River for irrigating the valley. Without irrigation, they would not be able to grow the crops they do. Cotton was actually grown in large quantities down here. I don't think they grow it anymore, but they grow a lot of citrus and sugar cane now. Irrigation is still very important and the museum showed the pumps and other machinery used to pump the water and disperse it through the irrigation system. It's another place we had always planned to visit and never did. Quite interested.

The pumphouse sits right inside the levee where the fence is situated. There is actually a gate there, but obviously it wasn't open. I think the gates are for the border patrol and in some areas, I think farmers actually use them to access their farm land on the other side. We were able to walk right up to the fence and take pictures. There were some makeshift ladders laying on the ground and we are sure they were from illegals making attempts to get across.

We headed back toward Mission and visited the La Lomita Mission, which is the mission that Mission, Texas, was named after. It is always an interesting stop and we were able to go inside and take some pictures as well as some outside. Then we drove down the levee and stopped at The Riverside SupperClub to try out their tenderloins. We have had them before and they are very good. After lunch we able to walk out onto the deck of the restaurant right on the river and watch the river a bit.

Once we had our fill, we traveled on to the Bentsen State Park and World Birding Center. We walked into the park and then sat at one of the bird feeding areas while we waited for the tram. We were rewarded with several birds including the Chachalacas which I had told Jim about. They are large birds and make a lot of noise, but they were quiet when we saw them. We did see the elusive green jay, but no javelinas. They say that in the flooding of 2010, those animals were all swept away and haven't repopulated yet. There is a bobcat we just missed seeing that seems to stay and live in the park. The park is all wild now and nothing like it was when we stayed there and camped. They said that because of the flooding, much of the landscape has changed and even the vegetation is different than just a few years ago.

We headed back to the house and rested a bit before having a light supper. Then we went over to the jam. Fortunately for Jim and Luanne, it was better than usual. LOL They have been having some problems with the jams with personalities and egos getting too large and affected the music and participants in general. But things were better than what we have seen this year.

We spent more time outside as the weather started warming up and we were able to visit outside under the canopy.

Till next time. . .


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