by Taylor Lasseigne and Angela Driscoll / August 18, 2005
Via I-10, the trip from Houston to San Antonio is about 240 miles and then another 155 miles from San Antonio to Amistad via Hwy 90. Just 5 miles before reaching Amistad, we stopped in the large border town of Del Rio to stock up on water and food for the next 2-3 days.
Finally we arrived at Amistad National Recreational Area. Aside from a few guys launching a boat at Black Bush Point, three men fishing, and two ladies that would only stay for about one hour, we were the only people out there.
According to the park brochure, Amistad means “friendship” – fitting for a location on the US-Mexico border where the boundary is blurred by a giant reservoir whose recreations are shared by citizens from both countries. The brochure states, “The reservoir was created by the 6-mile-long Amistad Dam on the Rio Grande. The United Sates and Mexico cooperated in developing a combined recreation area, flood control, water storage, and power generation project. The waters present an extraordinary blueness because of their great clarity and the area’s limestone character and lack of loose oils.”
That night we hit the sack early so that we might wake early and get a jump on the second leg of our trip. The wind blew fiercely until the sun went down. Then the wind, as though powered by the sun, completely stopped. The temperature rose quickly in the tent. Neither of us got much sleep.
A quick anectode: We did wake early, before the sun came up even. We quickly packed the tent and gear into the car and were ready to hit HWY 90 when I decided it would be a good idea to walk down to the water again, to see what it looked like at night (it was still pitch black). Angela said she would wait in the car. I grabbed my mini maglight flashlight and started down the rocky trail to the water, only able to see about five feet ahead at most. I was almost at the water when I noticed a set of eyes staring at me from the direction of the water. I stopped and then noticed another set of eyes. Then something happened that completely frightened me, both sets of eyes came together and started slowly moving toward me! Thinking of all the nice creepy crawlies in these parts, I slowly started to back up. The eyes were gaining on me so I turned and ran for it. I ran straight to the car, threw open the door, and lept in. I can’t remember the expression on Angela’s face. I can only remember wanting to get out of there. “There were two animals coming for me out there!” I said to her. I backed out of the parking spot and as I put the car in forward the beasts walked right out in front of the car – two ferocious kitty cats; Latin Felis catus.