Tuesday, November 24, 2015

not driving in a winter wonderland

I love surprises.

Even the one we received from Jack Frost this morning.

My dislike of driving in the snow has been a topic on these pages before.  That dislike is exacerbated by the fact that my current Escape is not 4-wheel drive.  That was not an option in Mexico for 2013 Escapes.

Usually, that would not matter.  Unless I wanted to take up off-road racing (a thought that has sauntered through my Walter Mitty imagination more than once), I have no need for 4-wheel drive in Mexico. 
But it matters now that winter has invaded the Cascades and Siskiyous.
There are two major routes to return to Mexico.  Down I-5 through California -- or through Nevada.  The I-5 option includes driving through both the Cascades and the Siskiyous.  The Nevada option includes both mountains and expanses of high desert that have already received a fair amount of snow.

It is far too early to talk about our route options.  Weather conditions tend to change day by day, and we are nowhere ready to leave.

I need to shake off my cellulitis and the remnants of a rough cold.  Darrel is still in the midst of his cold.  We are probably a week away from driving on health issues alone.

Then there is the SUV.  The ABS warning light came on in Puerto Vallarta.  Darrel and I suspected the used tire we bought (which was slightly a different size than the other three) had thrown off the sensor.  After buying new tires here, I took it into the Ford dealership to reset the light.  No go.

The mechanic said he could fit us in at the end of next week.  But he could not guarantee a completion date if a part needed to be ordered.  The fact that the Escape was built in Kentucky for sale only in Mexico was a potential complicating factor.  The dealership in Bend does not get many Mexican-licensed vehicles.

So, we will wait on the ABS warning light until I can get it to the Manzanillo Ford dealership.  After all, we drove both ways across Baja -- including some racing terrain -- with a failed brake cylinder, using only the hand brake in a Meyers Manx (calling stirling moss).  Life always offers options.

And options we still have.  Because I have been fighting the cold and cellulitis, I have not started inventorying what I can take back with me from my mother's garage.  A quick look has made clear that it will not be everything.  Maybe tomorrow.

The surprise I would like to see next is a weather envelope at the start of next week a day or two after Darrel is fully recovered from his cold.  We can then make a reasonable drive south.

I wonder if we can do it in two days?*

* -- The printed word often disguises what would have been an Oscar Wildeian tone on that last sentence.


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