Saturday, April 18, 2009

racing arizona

I feel as if we are on one of those crash diets. Day one: starve. Day two: eat what you want.

On Thursday, we drove almost 1000 miles and spent almost 16 hours on the road. By contrast, Friday was a veritable day of leisure.

We slept in until 7, ate breakfast, took a walk with the dog, and did not get on the road until after 9. I had not driven along the west shore of the Salton Sea. So, we did.

The Imperial Valley is an extremely interesting place. Not only for all of the produce it -- produces, but also for the wildlife along the shore of the lake. One of these days, I will need to spend some time there.

But Friday was not that day.

Instead, we took several short breaks along our drive along the California-Mexico border into Arizona. We encountered one Border Patrol "administrative" road block. We were waved right through. But a very despondent family was sitting under a tent. Apparently, their papers were not in order -- a phrase that still causes my blood to chill.

We discussed whether to stay in Gila Bend or Lukeville. The decision was rather easy. After Thursday, we were both tired. Our short jaunt from Ontario was enough to make the first available motel look inviting.

And that motel would have been inviting without the fatigue factor. We decided to stay at the Best Western in Gila Bend -- also known as The Space Age Lodge. It was the dream child of a NASA retiree. When the place changed hands, the new owners retained the decor.

To call it cheesy would not do justice to the place. It looks as if George Jetson designed it while sipping one too many vodka tonics. I especally like the rockets shooting in space pictured above each bed.

But it met our needs: to get rested for the border crossing.

After a full year of exchanging email and comments, I actually talked with 1st Mate on Friday evening. We are going to get together with Brenda and Roy for dinner on Saturday. It should be a hoot.

If we do not get lost in Guaymas. If we do, we will simply have another good tale to tell.


Larry in Mazatlan said...

Thought you might find that place a kick. Your drive south this morning is going to be interesting as you pass through Organ Pipe, if you head south from Gila Bend.

Did you already get your sticker? If not the folks at the crossing are really nice. When we went through the little guy still used a manual typewriter to fill out the form. Some of the keys didn't work so he filled in the missing letters with a pen. Ah Mexico, the land of innovation!

Larry in Mazatlan

Billie Mercer said...

I hope you are now finding time to take more pictures. I can't believe that you are finally headed SOB.

Anonymous said...


Your "day of leisure" reminded me of the famous Mark Twain quote...

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

~Mark Twain

Un cordial saludo

GlorV1 said...

Hi Steve. I'm just taking a break from cleaning house and decided to see if all was okay with you. Already you are having lots of adventures and thank you for thinking of me as you passed right on through the central valley. The Imperial Valley is awesome. I'm not sure where you are at right now but I think you are pretty much getting close to meeting with Brenda and Roy. You didn't mention Mr. Jiggs in this last post, hope he is okay. Please always mention him because he too is very important. How fun and I am so happy for you and your new life to be. Continue with your journey safe and sound. Beware the rattlers and things that go creep in the night. lol Take care.

Cory said...

It seems like a good idea to slow down and enjoy some of the terrain, fauna & flora.

Enjoy the travels.

Envious in Eugene.

Tancho said...

Nice to hear that you are FINALLY "On the Road"! Take a look on the northbound lanes as you pass Magdalena, and marvel at the 150 to 200 trucks that are waiting to cross the Army inspection line. I would love to hear your analytical estimate on how long it is until the last truck makes it's inspection. I wish that I would have stopped and snapped a picture of the event. It's something that you don't see very often.
When we came back in Feb, the roads were in great shape, better than the California ones.....go figure.
Drive Safe!

Anonymous said...

I am following your great adventure. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

Hugs to Prof. Jiggs. Corrinne

Mike Nickell and Cynthia Johnson said...

You can't get lost in Guaymas! There's really only one road to follow. Have fun with my girls!

maria luz said...

You are doin' great Steve! Thank you for keeping us informed.

I am just lovin' it!!

Be safe!


Steve Cotton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve Cotton said...

Larry -- Everything this morning was computerized. But everyone took his/her time at the border. We were the only people being waited on, and it still took an hour for the two of us to clear. I did not get my sticker in Phoenix. I am not certain that would have mattered much.

Billie -- There have been some great spots for photographs, but I have taken next to none. For some reason, we are still in a rush.

Kim -- Great advice. I am not certain all of our driving team members are in agreement with it, though.

Gloria -- All is well with Jiggs. I suspect when this trip is over, he will never want to see that truck again. We are supposed to have dinner with Bliss, Brenda, anmd Roy tonight. But we still have not finalized plans.

Cory -- This road trip is not as relaxed as I had planned. Of course, if we had done as I had planned, we would not be to Melaque until next year.

Constantino -- I agree about your road observation. The California roads are terrible. I have been very impressed with the Mexico roads so far. Even the Lukeville-Santa Ana road was better than the California freeways. We missed the Magdalena checkpoint because we joined 15 at Santa Ana.

Corrine -- My pleasure.

Cynthia -- We are at the Flamingo. Jiggs is fed and down. We are just waiting to see if we make conmnections with The Girls (and Roy).

Maria -- And thank you for your kind comment.

Frankly Ronda said...

SO excited for you!!!! Just got caufght up from being swamped over the last week.