Thursday, September 08, 2011

patton is my co-pilot

I have now been back in Melaque for a full week following my tour amongst the highland clans in San Miguel and Pátzcuaro. 

A bit of reflection may be in order.

The beach is about as constant as the moon.  It has its phases.  But they are predictable.

So, I was a bit surprised to see a few of the changes when I came back.  Such as the roads.

Melaque’s roads (“street” would be far too high-falutin’ for the paths on which we drive in my area of town), under the best circumstances, are passable.  Passable to the extent that John Ford could have used them in his westerns without a good deal of set dressing.

Very few are paved.  Most are just sand with a few rocks thrown in for a bit of sophisticated décor.

It is the sand sections that present the summer problem.  Because summer means lots of rain.  Sand, rain, and vehicles are a great mix if your goal is potholes.

I returned to Melaque on the departing edge of a tropical storm.  The main road that leads from the highway to my house is usually a bit rough in the summer.  It is primarily stone with about a 200 foot section of sand.

When I returned last Thursday it appeared that the Wehrmacht was setting up defenses against a belated attack by George Patton.  The buses, trucks, and cars had churned up the sand into potholes deep enough for the edges to bang against my truck frame.

200 feet.  Five minutes to cross.

I wanted to get a photograph to send to the Pentagon for future war planning.  But, when I returned on Tuesday, the grader had already created the impression of a passable road. 

It looks as if a Cessna 150 could do touch and goes on the surface. 

If you wait long enough in Mexico, things change.  Sometimes for the better.

In this case, the potholes were filled with sand -- just waiting for the next rain to reprise our little bit of Third Army history.

But the rain brought some other changes, as well.  And we will get to them with some better photographs.


blog said...

Here on the east coast of Mexico the roads can be unpredictable, mostly depending on repair schedules and weather. Wet weather and heavy vehicles are a wicked mixture for roads over here.

Just having returned from the U.S. - the road between Tuxpan and Tampico is a real suspension tester. Then the road from Coatepec to Xico is similar. Couple potholes with topes (speed bumps) and you can be pretty much guaranteed to have a wild ride.

Later we can talk about the two roads from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido.

Steve Cotton said...

Of course, I-5 through California is quickly getting to that point, as well.

Trinidad Garcia said...

In my neck of the woods we deal with washed out bridges due to the rains.  On one trip from the Puerto Vallarta airport to my little village out near San Blas there were a total of 4 bridges washed out including the main bridge connecting Puerto Vallarta to Bucerias.  Needless to say it took so much more time to get home. Like they say always expect the unexpected in "Mejico" 

ANM said...

Steve.  Patton doesn't do co-pilot.  I think you may be inadvertently channeling the grumpy old general.  Be careful with the dark forces!


Steve Cotton said...

I remember that storm -- and its damage.  I will count my blessings.

I noticed this afternoon that the sand stretch is reverting to tank traps.  One of the main roads through town is under construction.  As a result, large trucks, that would never use my street, need to get across the sand to get out of town. 

Steve Cotton said...

Speaking of dark forces, I was trying to conjure you up last evening -- wondering where you and your pithy remarks had wandered.