Friday, March 19, 2010

Los Ebanos Ferry Crossing

This is how people cross the Rio Grande River into Mexico at the tiny border town of Los Ebanos, a few miles west of Mission, TX. The ferry is hand-pulled, the last one of its kind operating on the US border.

It's located at the site of an ancient river ford used by Spanish explorers, Mexican war troops, smugglers, and Texas Rangers chasing cattle rustlers.

Established in 1950, the ferry is attached to a rope which is anchored to large ebony trees on each side. (Hence the name "Los Ebanos.")

The crossing costs $2.50 for a car and driver, but we walked on for 50 cents round trip. Here we are at the Mexican border. There's nothing here, the town of Diaz Ordaz is 2 miles away.

So we stayed on the boat and rode back to the good ole USA.

The view up the river.

It was kind of a relief to be home.

We had to go through customs, but at least the line was short. The immigration agent was not happy that we didn't have our passports, but the other agent had said, before we went over, that we didn't need them.

This old jail was on the US side.

The only thing in it was a bunch of paper.

Also there was an antique public telephone booth. Remember when we used to use them?


  1. Enjoyed your entry today as always but I still enjoyed your boondocking photos and story.

  2. The old phone is is funny now to see. Most of the time when you needed to use the phone the line was cut or it was not working.
    Thanks for the pictures.

    Dan (Bubbadan)

  3. HOW cool is that!! Amazing that in our life time we have seen numerous things become relics with all the new technology! Dont know if its a good thing- look at that ferry, all that is needed is a good rope and couple of willing men to pull it!! No motor to break, no computer to go offline, no gas to run out of--its a sure thing!!

  4. LOL wow yes I do remember the telephone booths we were just commenting on that the other day(hubby and me) about how you dont see those anymore, I loved the pics thanks for sharing and you be careful out there!!

  5. The day we attempted to ride the ferry, we loaded our bikes in a friend's truck, planning to bike to town once we crossed the river. We were very disappointed when the ferry was down for repairs.

  6. A great ferry, simple and efficient. We stil have a few red phone boxes scattered around but they are never used.

  7. We've been down to that area twice, but never made it to the ferry. Nice write up! Thanks.

  8. Good post. Great video.


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