November 25, 2012
Total miles: 3,826
Time on road: 10 hours
Saltillo, Coahuila to Bastrop, TX
Morning started off with fog and mist in places with the temperature averaging around 45 degrees. Lot of wet roads
Later it turned into a sunny day and the temperature went up close to 70. Just a good riding day and not a lot of traffic.
Made good time up to Nuevo Laredo. Got the paper work completed in about 15-20 minutes and was on my way to the international bridge and back into the US. About 3 blocks from the turn for the bridge, the traffic was backed up and stopped. Just enough room between the stopped traffic on my right and parked cars on my left to squeeze through. As I got up to the turn for the bridge, there were several Army soldiers between me and the turn. Slowed down some and the first soldier that I came to stopped me. He said something to me in Spanish which I did not understand. I replied with my usual "No hablo Espanol". The soldier said something else to me and I thought that he was saying to get back in line and not cut traffic. I pointed toward the stopped cars on my left. He said something else and I caught the word "bridge". I responded with "Si, bridge". He then stepped back and pointed toward the bridge. The other soldiers started waving me on and stepped back so I had room to pass. When I got to the turn, they blocked the traffic so that I could make my turn and get in line. Not sure what is going on the the Army on this trip, but I sure am liking the new Mexican Army. They did not even search my bags on the entire trip.
Now I am in line and about 75 yards from the toll booth where I pay my $0.90 and get to go across the bridge. Barriers are on each side of me, and with the bags on the bike, there is not enough room to filter towards the front. 45 minutes later and I pay the toll and am on the bridge. Traffic is totally stopped all the way across the bridge and to US Customs. I get an opening on the on coming traffic lane, move left and am across the bridge in less than a minute. Saved around an hour. Barriers were coming back up so I cut back in line. Now I am the third vehicle back from customs. Few minutes later and I am having an interesting conversation with the Customs Officer about my trip, and then I am traveling north back in the US.
20-30 miles later and I stop at a US Inspection station. Short delay. Most of the delay time was from the Officer asking questions about my bike. Think that I may have talked him into trying the ride next year.
Heading north again on I-35 toward San Antonio. Major concern is that this is Sunday and the end of the Thanksgiving holidays. Expecting heavy traffic so I plan on seeing how far I can get and then stopping for the day. Traffic was actually light going toward San Antonio. Traffic was increasing, but as I was going into San Antonio, it still was not bad. Coming out or San Antonio it was a totally different story. Same as riding in Atlanta heavy rush hour traffic. Stop and go. It would start moving and I would think that I was out of it, and then it would come to a stand still again. Get out of San Antonio and the traffic is finally moving at a good speed. Then it stops again. Moving about 5 mph. After about 15 minutes of this it comes to a complete stop, as in not moving at all. No change as far as I can see ahead. After about 5 minutes of sitting I decide to take the risk and move over on the shoulder of the road. Around 3-4 miles later I reach the location of the accident. All 3 lanes blocked and traffic is moving single file onto the shoulder to get around the accident. I merge back in and am soon around the accident and am able to pick up some speed again.
I get up to San Marcos and exit off of I-35 onto Hwy 21. After I clear the town, traffic is light and moving good. As I start getting closer to Bastrop the traffic starts increasing but is still moving. Get into Bastrop and once again it is stop and go. Find a motel, order a pizza so that I don't have to get back into the traffic, and call it a day.