Thanks for all the advice. I'm currently reading the recommended book (amongst several others) and am learning a fair amount, dog-earing page after page, and getting more and more excited with every chapter. This seems to be (by far) the best book I've read on the subject thus far (in terms of planning/preparation).
Regarding Mexico, I was actually thinking of hoofing it due south, entering through Nuevo Laredo and making my way to Monterrey and then down the east coast. However, after some research I've decided against this as I don't particularly want to get chased down, robbed, shot and/or hung from a bridge. Am I being overreactive? http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/loc...do-3866368.php