Clowns, cathedrals and comedy shows

I am back at the helm so today’s post will be a little less exciting than yesterday’s by Kary.  I must say I am very proud of that guy. Not only did he tackle his first mega Goliath on this trip, he did it without breaking a sweat. Okay, there was a lot of sweat involved, truth be told.  I think Kary’s mental sweat was probably much worse than the kind you hit with right guard.

That was one crazy day.

You must be wondering about the title.

Let’s just say that I have been bribed to secrecy but shall I just say, if you ever want to hear a good story, ask Kary what he did with a clown in front of about 100 people last night in el plaza Grande.

Ian has photography and I have video.

Could present a new form of fundraising for our work down here. image

We made it to San Miguel de Allende!

Thank The Lord for our eventful and safe journey across the border and through Northern Mexico.

The day started at 5:15am. A quick complimentary breakfast at our hotel and it was off to the border. Bridge 2 across the Rio Grande was our choice after much review. The first stop was immigration…..no problems. Next was the red or green light to see if we would get searched. It was green! Yes!. No so fast. When they saw our trailer we got hauled over to the inspection area where other SUVs and cars were in the process of unloading their overloaded vehicles of all suitcases, bags, bikes, appliances, etc for inspection. Language was an issue, but thanks to Darcy’s much better understanding and speaking of Spanish, we got the jist of it. Fortunately we had a certified household goods list from the Mexican consulate in Calgary which eventually, after much review got us through with no cavity searches.

Next was more immigration and vehicle import permitting. There was some confusion here and after 2 stops at counters 1,2 &4 each we got all the paperwork needed. We met a family who were also going to Mexico for 2 years to be English teachers and decided to convoy through northern Mexico for safety. Lots of federal police presence with big guns in Nuevo Laredo….sort of made us feel safe, and sort of made us uneasy. Either way, we are now heading south through northern Mexico…..check #1.

Manny (convoy leader) was a former UPS driver and he drove like one. My Nissan Titan and 4500# trailer load worked hard! but we kept up, passing all but the fastest. With the load, my truck only gets just over 300km to a tank and I had a full to the brim one for this day. The plan was to take the ring road around Monterray and on to Saltillo where we would stop for gas. At the speeds we were going, my fuel economy was not good and we weren’t going to make it to Saltillo. After a toll road, I emptied my jerry can safety supply of gas into the tank. Where are the Pemex stations and why is it so hilly here! Now on fumes only and in and out of neutral to save gas, we see the town of Saltillo! Maybe we can make it. Come on my beautiful white Nissan! Waving goodbye to our friends (no stopping aloud now) as we limp into a Pemex station. Praising and cheering by all! Thank you Lord.

Refilled and refreshed we head for San Luis Potosí and San Miguel. What beautiful country northern Mexico is. Mountains that rival ours, big valleys, and sunshine. Less anxious now, we are making good time as we need to get to San Miguel by dark, and it is over a 900km drive. We only stop for gas and a quick bathroom break and to ask if the frias Tunas con chile y limon they are selling on the side of the road in the middle of Mexico is really cold Tuna (we are a long way from any ocean). Tunas is actually the cactus flower and is a fruit…..we’ll have to try some.

Darcy got us out of another inspection checkpoint issue with her command of Spanish. Without her response to the man with the badge, I think we might have been delayed with a lot of hand gestures and finger waiving. I love that girl!

Ian is a great travelling companion, keeping the mood light. He is our muscle and good luck charm all in one.

We arrived safely at San Miguel just as dusk approaches. What a great feeling it was to pull up to the hotel and shut down my amazing truck! Time to relax for a couple days in one of our favorite places.

Thank you to all for your prayers and thoughts on this day which frankly was the single biggest stress for me of the entire 3 year journey. We felt your love and encouragement all day. Mostly we thank God for his hedge of protection over us and His removal of the barriers that could have made day #1 in Mexico a different story.

More to come. Hasta Luego mis amigos.

Kary, Darcy and Ian.

Darcy

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Run for the border

If ever there was a chance for an extra dose of traveller’s adventure, today would be the day. We are up at the crack of 5 to get organized with Ian, our traveling amigo who flew in late last night from Canada. Today we head to the border crossing at Nuevo Laredo with all the good guys, the bad guys and all the other hombres in between. Let’s hope the bad guys get caught and the good guys get through with nada problemos.

PS
please pray that they think we are the good guys, just a little on the pale side, speaking terrible Spanish but not making trouble.

PSS
If we get stopped by the policia our plan is to show them Jacqueline’s pink Barbie bicycle with basket as evidence that we are not drug runners. Do you think Billy the Kid would have been caught with a Barbie bike?

I think not.

PSSS
Mother, don’t worry.

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My roots are showing

Lubbock Texas tonight. Home of one of my old arch rivals, Texas Tech.

Found Bigham’s Smokehouse and BBQ joint. Smoked ribs, brisket, pollo , beans and the best baked potato I’ve had since childhood.

Texas, now I see how much I have missed you.

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Sister city

Arrived in Calgary’s sister city Denver safe sane and sound. Brakes are getting to know themselves and so are we.

There are a lot of cows, farms, wells and craggy sandstone formations between these two cities. A nice ride.

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Seating in

We are safe and sound in Billings Montana. Quick brake check this morning to see why the front brakes were so hot last night when we pulled in. Thanks to Ed we are fully checked out and confident that this is normal given that the brakes are brand new and ‘seating in’. Brake pads and drums are still getting used to each other.

I guess that’s exactly what an adventure like this will be about.

Seating in.

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Time to go

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“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, NIV)