Cave Dwellings: The Los Ebanos Ferry..I HATE Progress!
Cave Dwellings

Buckhorn Creek, Lake O' The Pines, Jefferson, TX

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Los Ebanos Ferry..I HATE Progress!

This blog is really going to cast me as a backward, crabby, stuck in her ways old lady!..(A.K.A Maxine, as I have shown.)  Today was grocery day, so Den and I decided to drive into Los Ebanos, TX, about 20 miles further past Rio Grande City…We remembered the hand pulled ferry there that we visited in 2009.

“The Los Ebanos ferry is a part of the border that time forgot. Tucked away in the southwestern corner of Hidalgo County this crossing has existed as a popular place to ford the Rio Grande since the days of Spanish colonization.   The hand pulled ferry went into operation in the 1850’s and has seen few improvements since then. The ferry is still tethered by a thick rope tied around the base of a large Texas Ebony tree. And it’s still muscle power that propels the flat bottom barge from Texas to Mexico and back again.”

Above is how the ferry looked in January of 2009. It can carry 3 cars and 12 people.  You gotta help pull the rope if you ride along..And yes, that road on the other shore is Mexico.



This is the closest view we could get today…and I had to use my zoom…They are building a new customs building and changing the way you can enter and exit the ferry..IF  they are still using the ferry!!  Gosh, I hate to see this old crossing fall the wayside of border security like this, but I do understand that US security is of utmost importance. As I said, I am NOT going gentle into that good night.Vampire bat

The town of Los Ebanos hasn’t changed one iota, though.  It still has dirt streets, abandoned houses and a very colorful cemetery.




The Ferry Crossing sign is still there, but the store wasn’t open and looked pretty abandoned. Here is what it looked like in ‘09..

This store was closed.  This is the Ebony tree, (Ebanos), the ferry is lashed to, but we could not get near it today.Sad smile



..And here is the sign telling the history of this great old Rio Grande crossing..couldn’t get near this either because it was in a “construction area”..GIVE ME A DAMN HARDHAT AND LET ME CHANNEL SOME HISTORY!!! Grrrrrrrrr!!!!!


This whole thing has me very upset…It’s a doggone shame great old traditions have to “change it up” to accommodate a changing and more dangerous world..OK ,I  just gotta calm down and hope they at least keep the ferry running..You couldn’t tell by just looking …and I know darn well the workers wouldn’t understand me..(I really need to learn some conversational Spanish.)  Sorry about the rant…anyone got any Valium?

So, on a lighter note, the wildlife here continues to entertain us…


Mr. Cactus Wren posed under our feeder….The deer crossed the road in front of us (at least I didn’t have to drag out my Bird Book to identify HIM!)


The ants are a never ending source of energy..You can see all the way down the 20-25’ line of ants if you look close..That bunch of trees on the left is where they are heading into the brush..They must  have some kind of internal GPS.  Not a great photo, but trust me, those orange dots are ants…My God, I AM becoming obsessed with these guys!


We passed some pretty impressive homes on Rt. 83 to Los Ebanos..Right photo is one of the huge homes being built..I guess no one has heard of the real estate crunch down here..PEOPLE!!…Can you say DOWNSIZE????



No, this picture on the right is not the Taj Mahal..It is the Rio Grande City Bank.  Wonder how much of our money it took to get all those inlayed tile  in that dome???

Sorry about the quality of some of these photos..McGyver thinks I am a photojournalist for the paparazzi, and can take any photo “on the fly” .  This sometimes involves me leaning out my window or smashing my lens to the glass, as we sail down the road at 65mph!!

It is now 3PM…the groceries are unpacked and repackaged so I can jam as much as possible in our freezer.  I am not taking a walk this afternoon, I am opting for a bike ride…My feet are KILLING ME!! Besides, when I am on my bike (it’s an old lady bike, with no gears and foot brakes.)  I relive my childhood on this blast from the past, racing McGyver down every hill. Going UP the hill is pretty embarrassing though. McGyver has a  mountain bike with actual gears and handbrakes.. With that kind of bike, I would either throw myself over the handlebars, or out in front of a Javelina… So what,…I feel like I can FLY LIKE THE WIND!!!!

We bade our “blog lurkers”, Sharon and Bill goodbye yesterday.  They are heading up to Ft Worth area to see family.   When we went to see them, Sharon was cooking some fabulous looking shrimp kabobs in the oven and it smelled like Red Lobster in her camper…Smile



…Guess what Bill dropped off at our Hiker about 5PM?? ..a sample just for US! They WERE on a skewer when they arrived (and still hot), but in our frenzy to eat them we took the skewer out before I got a picture…Shrimp stuffed with jalapeno and wrapped in bacon…SCORE!!

Hey, Sharon…I want this recipe….Plate.  Thanks for making our cocktail hour like a Happy Hour at a great bar with snacks!!

And thanks to all you readers for your nice compliments…Please promise not to mention how much I paid yaWinking smile

See y’all manana!

“Progress always involves risks. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.” ~Frederick Wilcox


  1. Well heck... we should have brought over a bottle of wine and the rest of the "fixin's"... I think we'd have had a great time... in fact, we would probably still be there today instead of 230 miles up the road. Thanks so much for your encouragement and help with my blog. You folks are GREAT!

  2. Donna one of these days we can sit down and compare feet, and while were doing that slam down a couple, My day was frustrating to say the least. Now I know why people go ballistic, I feel like making my next visit to Walgreens in a Sherman tank.With a sign on it that says make my day. Anyway I found out four High Lifes is like the equivalent of 4 big tylenols, I am testing that theory now. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna..

  3. Ants are very entertaining to watch. That SO sucks that the old ferry is closed! As I read about it, I thought... WE will go there and do that! but then...No we wont... dang it.
    Thanks for telling us about it anyway.

  4. Remember, your bird book is your friend. :)

  5. nice looking snack for happy hour!!!!

  6. I want that shrimp recipe also! I wonder if you can cook those 'bobs on the barbie! Yes, it's a true shame to lose the old things like that, especially for the particular reason! This border problem has to be solved, but golly, what a loss to life in these United States!

  7. Too bad about the obstacles and stuff around the old ferry. I guess once a complete wall is built you won't even be able to see across to Mexico.

  8. butterbean carpenterJanuary 25, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Howdy D&D,
    SCREAM!!! Get a ice-tea glass of ice & Boone's Farm and relax!! Itz a wonder y'all didn't get run off at the 'crossing'; thinking y'all were banditos trying to smuggle Den across the river! Just stay calm and
    the federales won't bother you; if they do just hand'em a $20 and go on.. I'm sure glad I've got a pic of those 'killer' aintz..Please, take care of Dennis!!!

  9. Ruth Ann Day AndersonFebruary 18, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    Today-Feb 18th we went to Los Ebanos-
    Both liqour stores were open.
    The little gift/snack shop was open.
    We made our purchases, walked to the little building at the top of the hill and paid our $1 per person.
    Walked down the hill and boarded the ferry with 3 cars-rode across and back and back up the hill
    Don't give up-go and experience before the new building is done