Marokko Dodra

What we miss from the southwest of the USA

Texas Longhorn Titel

What we miss from the southwest of the USA

When we go back to the USA after almost 2 years, we are looking forward to the new impressions. So we drive from Mexico at Mexicali East across the border and enter the USA. Before that, we looked at our I-94 status. We have to be out again by March 9, 2024 at the latest. Why? Because we had a short stay in Florida in September 2023 before we fly to Switzerland for the funeral of my (Thomas) father. Thus, the residence permit has already been running since September.

We meet our friends again after years

So now, October 2023, we’re back in the U.S. and we’re going to Yuma. We bring a package with a spare part to the post office, because our friends, the Mowglis, need a V-belt tensioner for their vehicle. So how does it work with the spare part? We have a Duro and the Mowglis have one too. I am good. The Mowglis are in the Sedona, Arizona area. The package is posted, the Mowglis are informed and we continue towards Wickenburg, Arizona. That’s where we want to meet Anke and Wolfgang. We met and fell in love with the two in Oaxaca in 2021. We haven’t seen them since 2022. So off to Wickenburg. We meet Anke and Wolfgang on BLM and enjoy the time with them very much. A lot of talking, laughing and talking stupidly.

Arizona and new solar panels

After saying goodbye to Anke and Wolfgang, we travel towards Phoenix, Arizona. A pretty big package awaits us. Specifically, actually 3 monster packages that we pick up at the Home Depot north of Phoenix. We ordered 3 new solar panels with 175 watts each. Because the existing ones have gradually given up their function. Even loading the solar panels is time-consuming. The panels are enormously large. They are so large that they take up the entire space in the cab at night. Because during the day – as long as they are not yet installed – the panels are stowed in the suitcase, at night in the driver’s cab. First we try our luck on BLM land to install the panels there. But it quickly turns out that the aluminum block that I bought for the bases of the panel mounts in Switzerland can hardly be dismantled into 12 pieces with a hand saw. This takes hours. So look for an alternative. We safely drive 5 business to find aluminum L-profiles. When we have the things, we reserve a campsite in Lost Dutchmen State Park. It’s quiet there, we have electricity and I can work. And here we also made an agreement with the Mowglis. At this point, we don’t know what kind of experiences we can expect.

Travelling with the Mowglis

Well, who are these Mowglis now? These are Anita and Roger (, owners and travelers with a Bucher Duro special model. It is the shortest Duro there is. Under 6 meters in length, but with the more powerful engine we have. Really nasty. After I have installed the solar panels, we first celebrate our Mini-Duro meeting. We chat, laugh, bawl for all we’re worth. Yes – we are a fun and lively group of four. Roger tells us that we can pick up the package with spare parts that Roger has ordered from Andreas Bauer in Tucson, Arizona. So we drive to the location of the UPS store, pick up the spare parts and install it in the parking lot. Yes, that’s how you do it as an overlander. Don’t wait – implement. Slowly it is getting evening and we have no idea what we should spend the night. On iOverlander we are shown that there is a casino nearby that allows overnight stays when we go to the casino. OK, let’s go to the casino. We park in a quiet place away from the big car flows and walk into the casino to register. To our amazement, registration includes an overnight stay in the parking lot, a casino membership, a $20 dinner voucher, and $10 per person play money. Claudia then won another 10 dollars with the play money and so the four of us can have dinner for free with voucher and prize. And after another night where we attend a country music concert in the atrium of the casino, we will separate the next day. We will miss Anita and Roger.

Direction Texas

We drive through New Mexico to Texas. The nights are bitterly cold and we trust that it is warmer in the south of Texas. That’s why we’re going in this direction. Our route through Texas drags on. Texas is incredibly big. It is not for nothing that it is said that everything is a little bigger in Texas. Via El Paso, Hueco Tanks, Guadalupe Mountains, Van Horn, Ozona, Junction our route leads to Fredericksburg, Texas. In Pedernales State Park I start the big repair on the engine. The water pump has been leaking since Arizona and more and more cooling water is dripping out of the pump. And the water pump was in the package of spare parts that Roger ordered. So get to work with our newly acquired Monster adjustable wrenches in the size of a 5kg sledgehammer. What a part and that only to be able to remove the viscous fan. Läck Bobby was a choke. Just to open the screw with the monster adjustable wrenches took me about an hour. The nuts jammed massively. Then disconnect all hoses, collect water, remove V-belt, remove the water pump. I now have to get rid of the one fitting from the defective pump so that I can screw it onto the new pump. And this fitting persists. I try everything I can think of – with all my strength, hitting the open-end wrench with the hammer, heating the pump housing – nothing works. The fitting is in place. I curse and stomp on the campground. And a ranger sees me, offers his help. We are trying to solve the fittings by joining forces. Not a chance. He takes the defective pump with him to his workshop – which he is basically not allowed to do – and after about 20 minutes he stands in front of me again with the fitting loosened in one hand and the defective pump in the other. He says that the person who installed this pump at the time fastened the fitting with Loctite Red. Loctite red on a water pump? The guy who installed it must have been drunk. You don’t do that. Nada. Not at all.

Texas our number one state?

Can we say that Texas is our number one state in the USA? We haven’t even seen all 50 countries yet. So far, however, Texas has convinced us very much with a wealth of impressions of the country and its people. So what is so fascinating about this state? Well, on the one hand, it’s the sheer size of this state. From the state border of New Mexico to the town of Fredericksburg alone, we needed 5 days. Yes all right. Our Duro is not a Lamborghini. We are always the slowest on the interstates. Fredericksburg is something – as the name already implies – a town of German immigrants. And so we also find a restaurant with German décor everywhere up to Lederhosen music, bratwurst, rolled roast, sauerkraut etc. And to our great amazement, there is even a pyramid about 10 meters high on the main square. It’s Christmas and in eastern Germany the Christmas pyramids are all the rage – and so it is here in Fredericksburg.
Our journey continues to Luckenbach, Austin, Lockhart, New Braunfels, Lake Corpus Christi, Corpus Christ, Harlingen, Brownsville, South Padre Island, Port Aransas, Rockport, Lamar, Rosenberg, Katy to Houston. So we experienced the south of Texas very intensively. Highlights were the SpaceX launch pad in the far south and the Kings Ranch near Corpus Christi. And everywhere we meet Texans – here in the south with a strong Mexican touch. Many people here also speak perfect Spanish. Texans are rather reserved compared to people in other US states. In Brazos Bend State Park we see alligators. It is a protected state park, which means that alligators and other animals find a protected territory here. Here we meet two emigrated Germans by chance – Sabine and Harald. We chat for a while and they invite us to their house at Katy’s. Katy is a suburb of Houston and we are happy to accept the offer. Because the two are on fire when we talk about ourselves and our journey. They want more knowledge.
So we drive to Katy to the house of Sabine and Harald. We are invited to dinner and are allowed to spend the night in the driveway. We talk in depth about our journey, how we started and what we experienced. The fire and flames are visibly growing for the two. At breakfast the next morning, they tell us that they have given a lot of thought and have many questions. However, both have to go back to their everyday lives and so we arrange another meeting in Lake Livingston State Park, where they already have a reservation on the campground with a couple of friends. And that’s how we do it. Reserve a campground in the state park and continue our conversations there.

It’s getting cold

And up here in Lake Livingston State Park, the cold season begins. We have to heat every day. Sabine and Harald have to go back to Katy for work after three days and we drive down to Houston, more precisely to Humble and prepare the Dubu for a longer period of time in a storage. On the day we park the Dubu it snows. It’s fucking cold. Claudia prepares everything inside and I outside. Skylights cover on the icy roof. Slipping possible at any second. So shortly before departure into the warmth, that would be a disaster. My hands freeze. Can hardly tie everything down. At some point we have made it, lock doors, luggage ready, wait in the icy cold for the Uber to take us to the hotel in downtown Houston.
We move into the hotel room and notice that it is freezing cold in the room. we turn on the air conditioning, set the thermostat to 28 degrees and heat. The next morning we notice ice at the window. Not outside at the window – inside the room at the window. It’s cold, really cold, freezing cold. Ice on the inside of the windows. We are incredibly happy to finally be at the airport heading for Thailand. That’s another story.


We were very happy to have met two great travel couple friends again. These are experiences that are difficult to put into words, because it goes deep into the heart. We have more in common with Anke and Wolfgang than just going through a difficult time back in 2021. We have found new very dear and warm friends. We will meet Sabine and Harald again after our return from Thailand, because they certainly have more questions that we will be happy to answer. Texas – what is special about this state? It’s big, no question. The people are very friendly with a pleasant reserve. The Texans are proud and do not put up with everything the government says. That’s why the Texans have retained a bit of their idiosyncrasy. This is especially evident after 3 years of Corona hysteria. The Texans pass laws that are good for the people, not good for the pharmaceutical industry.
Texas is diverse. From desert to beaches to mountains and green cities like Austin, you can find it all. We are looking forward to North Texas. We travel to it after our return from Thailand.

Wir sind Claudia und Thomas und möchten mit unserem Blog und unseren Tipps Anregungen geben und die Fantasie ankurbeln.

Post a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.