More Router Work in McAllen and Brownsville

Besides fighting downed connections like I did the previous week in San Angelo, we have some flaky routers in our environment that are on the brink of going down. This is the case in McAllen. I also needed to install 2 Cisco 819 cellular routers in Brownsville, one at the POE booth and one at the POE tax office. Since McAllen and Brownsville are about an hour apart from each other, I’d combine this work into 1 trip.

Just like Laredo, it was hot as heck. I had the AC cranked a good amount of the way and I definitely made sure to limit my time outside. The temps might have been hot, but the outside of the McAllen office looked pretty cool.

I basically dropped off the equipment, replaced the router, and got them up and running for the night. I was going to come back the next day to make sure things were still working and resolve any other IT issues. Since the drive was over 5 hours, I only worked a little bit before going to the hotel. This hotel was brand new and just opened a few months prior.

The room itself was pretty nice overall.

My view outside showed that this was a booming area with another hotel being built across the street.

I decided to go to HEB to get some supper. It looked almost exactly like the one in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

I decided to get some corn and tortilla chips, taco sauce, and salsa. I already had some canned salmon.

I put the taco sauce on the salmon and then some salsa on top. I dipped it with the chips. It wasn’t too bad overall.

The awesome thing about this hotel is they had the stuff to make a breakfast taco. This definitely made a great breakfast!

They even had salsa and a big thing of Tabasco.

The internet connection was slow in McAllen, even after replacing the router. I found out the modem was old and also needed to be replaced. I called Time Warner in a few hours, a tech was out to replace the modem. Things definitely did speed up! After replacing the modem, I continued to work until I got kind of hungry. I decided to get some Panda Express for lunch since it was close by.

I was able to finish everything up in McAllen that day. The next day I had my breakfast taco and then drove to Brownsville. To get to the booth, I had to drive dangerously close to the bridge that led into Mexico. At first I thought I might accidently cross. That would have be an interesting story to tell the border guards that would probably make them pull me into secondary questioning like I usually do.

I was able to make it to the booth before crossing into Mexico. That was definitely a relief.

I got the router setup and everything working. In the meantime, some guy came through with some super rare and expensive Johnny Walker. Both me and the tax collection officer took a picture of the bottle.

I had to go over to the tax office to install the other router. This area was highly fortified.

I was waiting for the port supervisor and had to take a leak. I guess that is a good sign I was hydrating enough. The bathroom for the foot bridge was even sketchier on the US side for people coming over than the Mexican side in Nuevo Progreso with the urinal pucks hanging from zip ties. At least their toilets had stalls. This one had no stall and no privacy.

The router install didn’t take too long. I was asked by the port supervisor if I could look at something at a bridge down the road. I followed him to that bridge and took care of an issue there.

The day went smooth and I only actually worked a little over 8 hours. Usually, when I’m on the road, the days are longer than that. The next morning, I checked out. Come to find out, I should have received some snacks and a bottle of water when I checked in, like I did in Houston. Instead, they gave me them to me for the ride back to Austin.

The drive back was another long 5 hour drive. It was definitely very dry out.

I ran into an oversized load-carrying truck carrying a huge dump truck bed. There must be some sort of mining going on in the area.

There was a road that was FM3006. I could see this being a good place to have a hunting ranch.

Eventually, I made it back to Austin. It ended up being just as hot in Austin as down in The Valley. This trip was actually really nice considering the hotel was great and everything went pretty smoothly. It was definitely nice getting out of the office too. Maybe I’ll retrace this route on my own time and go back down to Nuevo Progreso since it’s in the same area. I doubt I’ll need boots yet, but there is some good cheap liquor there and a lot of other good sights to see.

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