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#979535 - 02/03/17 07:41 AM Re: Bakery Quest - 2016/17 Hacking the US with the kid and dogs [Re: szurszewski]
szurszewski Offline
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Registered: 06/27/06
Posts: 1943
Loc: Portland, OR
Ok- I failed to get an update in, but we are loading up right now to leave for Tequila. I already know where we plan to stay tonight does not have wifi but is within 500 meters of the both the Cuervo and Sauza distilleries, so there will be no update tonight either!

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#979767 - 02/06/17 09:12 PM Re: Bakery Quest - 2016/17 Hacking the US with the kid and dogs [Re: szurszewski]
szurszewski Offline
Member

Registered: 06/27/06
Posts: 1943
Loc: Portland, OR
Tequila was great, the road from there to Zacatecas was lots of fun but wiped us out completely (well, me anyway) so we took a rest day in Zac and made it to Arteaga earlier today. Tomorrow, if all goes well, will be our last day in Mexico - about 200 miles to the border, and we'll probably hole up just after crossing.

Laura's mom is coming down from Oklahoma to meet us in Corpus Christi - she used to live just outside there on North Padre Island, which is also where we got married. We're going to amuse ourselves by seeing if we can find the spot on the beach where Laura walked down the "aisle" (I didn't do that - I was already standing on the beach sweating a lot in my tuxedo and wondering if she was really going to show up...).
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#979829 - 02/08/17 08:03 AM Re: Bakery Quest - 2016/17 Hacking the US with the kid and dogs [Re: szurszewski]
szurszewski Offline
Member

Registered: 06/27/06
Posts: 1943
Loc: Portland, OR
Made it to Texas. Have pics from Mexico uploaded finally a d will post them soon - maybe even tonight!
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#979856 - 02/08/17 01:42 PM Re: Bakery Quest - 2016/17 Hacking the US with the kid and dogs [Re: szurszewski]
Bud Online
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Registered: 03/27/05
Posts: 6445
Loc: Southern Illinois
Originally Posted By: szurszewski
Tequila was great, the road from there to Zacatecas was lots of fun but wiped us out completely (well, me anyway) so we took a rest day in Zac and made it to Arteaga earlier today. Tomorrow, if all goes well, will be our last day in Mexico - about 200 miles to the border, and we'll probably hole up just after crossing.

Laura's mom is coming down from Oklahoma to meet us in Corpus Christi - she used to live just outside there on North Padre Island, which is also where we got married. We're going to amuse ourselves by seeing if we can find the spot on the beach where Laura walked down the "aisle" (I didn't do that - I was already standing on the beach sweating a lot in my tuxedo and wondering if she was really going to show up...).


She did, lucky for you! clap
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#980430 - 02/18/17 10:39 AM Re: Bakery Quest - 2016/17 Hacking the US with the kid and dogs [Re: szurszewski]
szurszewski Offline
Member

Registered: 06/27/06
Posts: 1943
Loc: Portland, OR
Updates long overdue!

We - the humans - are currently in WA, here to celebrate my grandmother's 98th birthday on Sunday, while the dogs and rig are lounging luxuriously in Austin.

While I'm sitting here enjoying the sound of rain on the roof, how about some pictures?

These were taken just after we figured out that "something was wrong" - I was pretty sure the FD was toast again, and - yay me? - I was right. Jeremiah seems unconcerned.





Perhaps he was already looking forward to driving the rental car



With our planned week (tops) in Barra extended to "10-21" days by UPS (oddly, I was able to ship our drive north via UPS, two business days (shipped on Friday; arrived in Oregon on Tuesday) for about $200; coming south was more than double that in $$ for 10 ish days), we took advantage.

We climbed monuments old,


and new


We saw a sunset or two (...or three...or...well, lots)


Some of us even saw some sunrises, or such is the claim - no good pictures though, so....

We held tiny crocodiles, and saw really, really big ones -


We saw but did NOT hold a LOT of iguanas (image search iguana bite wound sometime if you want to see why we didn't hold them...)



All that makes you hungy, so we had to eat - a lot


(left that one clickable - if you zoom in you can see the grill for the restaurant over Jeremiah's shoulder - it's a BBQ made from a 15" car wheel - and it's my favorite place to eat in Barra)

Eating makes you sleepy (tequila too), so we did a lot of napping


and Jeremiah greatly improved his swimming with daily dips (and by dip I mean, 90-120 minutes most days) in the pool.


Eventually there were boxes, and the boxes held parts (and tools!) and it was time to dust off the rig and put it back together (actually, it still needs to be dusted....)



With a short test around town and a longer run for supplies, it was time to say our goodbyes. Honestly, after all the biscuits and scraps, I was suprised to find Eddy more than ready to get back in his trailer - I thought for sure he'd want to stay with his new best buddy Steve.

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#980431 - 02/18/17 11:39 AM Re: Bakery Quest - 2016/17 Hacking the US with the kid and dogs [Re: szurszewski]
szurszewski Offline
Member

Registered: 06/27/06
Posts: 1943
Loc: Portland, OR
Leaving Barra de Navidad heading toward San Antonio, we had some routing options. I picked the one going through Tequila because...well, yeah.

We got a late start, but still managed to get to Tequila early enough to drop the dogs at our Airbnb



and make it to Sauza for a tour. The tour was ok, and - as usual - Jeremiah managed to make some friends


At this point we had already booked a flight from Austin to Seattle on the 11th, so our schedule was limited - if it hadn't been, we would have stayed in Tequila another day or two as it was a really lovely place with several museums and other things that we thought would be worth a look. As it was, we did take time to pick up something healthy for breakfast,



Jeremiah tried to pick up a souvenir,


and we got a good agave pic before setting out for Zacatecas.



Tequila was certainly picked for the name, and then for the history (I don't feel too bad that I didn't know much about it as most everyone we've told we stopped there has said, that's a place?), but our next stop in Zacatecas was purely on the route because it was a biggish looking place (read: would likely have somewhere we could stay with the dogs) about the right number of miles from Tequila.

We arrived late and tired, having left tequila closer to lunch than breakfast and then having spent an hour stuck in traffic on the very edge of Guadalajara, so the decision was easily made to rest the next day there and spend an extra night. Great choice.

Zacatecas is a large, old city that the Spanish built up because of rich silver deposits. There is still a large mine right in the city; it's open for tours but not mining and apparently still holds quite a bit of silver and other minerals.

Of course we started our day with something fried and rolled in sugar,
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and Jeremiah spotted somewhere he wanted to check out.


The center of the city is situated between two hills and we'd already climbed the smaller hoping to take the cable car to the larger, but that was closed. Jeremiah assured us it would be no problem to walk down the smaller hill and up the larger one. Did I mention that the low point in Zacatecas is around 8000'? Well....



after a lot or walking, we made it up and found some great views



which we blocked with our faces, but we also found a camera obscura! (which we also blocked with our faces for this shot)



In addition to taking ridiculous selfies in front of it, we also went in and got a tour and it was very cool. I find the things fascinating and I'd never seen one of that size (though I later found out there were seveal we missed on the CA coast) and certainly never been inside one before. Very cool.
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#980530 - 02/19/17 11:45 AM Re: Bakery Quest - 2016/17 Hacking the US with the kid and dogs [Re: szurszewski]
szurszewski Offline
Member

Registered: 06/27/06
Posts: 1943
Loc: Portland, OR
Eventually we walked back down the big hill, then walked up the other one again (seriously - by this point we assumed our legs would not be functional the next day and were glad we'd be sitting down all day), and then back down to the center of the city where we found a Mediterranean restaurant that was quite good. (I'm sure being quite hungry helped.) Regardless, the view was excellent and got even better as the sun set.



And so ended our time in Zacatecas. It's on the list for future Mexico trips as there were many things to do there in addition to just walking, walking, walking.

The riding became less interesting, for the most part, as we headed north and stuck to the toll roads...less interesting and hot... but on the way from Zacatecas to Arteaga we did get to see lots of Joshua Trees (though I still don't know what they're called in Mexico).




And Laura got to feed one last Mexican street dog.



Our last night in Mexico was booked hastily on Airbnb and wasn't ready for us when we arrived. The host apologized profusely and tried to send us for dessert and coffee at a nearby cafe, but we were beat and opted to sit under an amazing tree, alongside a stream running down the middle of the street. That's our lodging to the right in orange and white.



And this is what it looks like inside. By far our most picturesque of our south of the border lodgings.



To mix things up, breakfast the next morning was fried and enrobed in sugar.




And then there was multihour search for a post office in Monterrey, and there was a LOT of hot, straight, relatively fast (for us - 120kph was a speed we hadn't seen in some time) riding, and there was a border crossing. There was NO ONE at the Mexican side - I mean, not in line - there were very bored looking agents, and it took no time to cancel our tourist cards, and little time to cancel our import permit. I think there was some talk on the phone between the booth agent and a supervisor about the trailer for which we had no permit, but I just kept not speaking or understanding much Spanish and eventually it was bien and we rolled on. He almost forgot to remove the import sticker, and I forgot to get a picture of it. Too bad as it looked pretty cool next to our National Parks permit.

On the US side there were LOTS of people. Well, many fewer than there could have been waiting, but also only a few lanes open, and we tried hard not to melt sitting on the asphalt in the sun. Jeremiah had shade at least, and lots of folks in nearby cars who wanted to talk to him about our rig and the trip. Eventually we got checked back in and they started with the hard question: where are you coming from? I never know how to answer that. Today? The furthest point in the opposite direction where we turned this way? The place we spent the most time? Or where started eventually. I feel like saying, to this border agent, that we were coming from Oregon would sound smart ass (how I usually sound - but try really hard not to when talking to folks with guns). Once again the border cared not a whit about the dogs, but they did take the oranges we picked that morning from the tree in the yard at our Airbnb. And some Spanish ham.

And then we were hot, and tired, and hungry and almost out of gas, but we decided to go another half hour or so and find a motel not quite so close to the border. And we did. And there was a Denny's within walking distance - welcome home smile

Oh - funny thing - at Denny's the very friendly host sat us and I said gracias. In Mexico they just assume you don't speak Spanish - or rather it's very obvious that I don't - and when you are seated and say gracias at most you get a de nada. Here though, and this makes sense, the host must have thought - oh, this dude speaks Spanish, and he launched into some long thing about something. I just smiled. And then I drank a lot of water. With ice. Replenished frequently without having to ask. Ah.
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#980539 - 02/19/17 12:53 PM Re: Bakery Quest - 2016/17 Hacking the US with the kid and dogs [Re: szurszewski]
szurszewski Offline
Member

Registered: 06/27/06
Posts: 1943
Loc: Portland, OR
Some years ago, while living in Alaska, we happened to be married in Texas. You know that thing where you keep the top or some part of your cake from the wedding and then eat it a year later? Well, I'm not sure who came up with that idea, but we did it. Or sort of. It went into Laura's mom's freezer on Padre Island, but we didn't get back to Texas for a little over three years. We did eat the cake. It was not terrible, but it was weird. We REALLY liked our wedding cake (fresh!) and I contrived to have the cake top recreated by the same bakery.




When I called I requested their smallest round cake. Wow. I'm sure our top section was not that large. I "snuck away" to go pick it up (Josh: I have to go do a thing; I'll be back later. Laura: You're not going to tell me where you're going? Josh: No.) and that thing BARELY fit in the topbox of the LT. Good thing we have a big honkin' bike. I dropped it off where I hoped we'd end up for dinner, and thankfully we did.

Fortified with cake, and with Laura's mom's help, and her friend Donna's help, we found the spot where Laura walked down the aisle.



then:




now:
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#980540 - 02/19/17 01:04 PM Re: Bakery Quest - 2016/17 Hacking the US with the kid and dogs [Re: szurszewski]
szurszewski Offline
Member

Registered: 06/27/06
Posts: 1943
Loc: Portland, OR
Ok - one more to catch up:


After two nights we left Padre and headed to Austin


where we stayed with some new friends and sorted stuff for a flight back "home"


where we embarrassed my little brother for his birthday,


hung out with some "old" friends



went to see our dentist and our doctors




and where Laura found out why she's been feeling pretty lousy since Zacatecas.




Turns out she's been eating for more than one; more than two even. In fact,















she's been eating for thousands - of these :




Tonight we'll fly back to Austin and ... yeah - something after that. But this morning we're getting ready for a 98th birthday party smile
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#981256 - 02/28/17 09:00 PM Re: Bakery Quest - 2016/17 Hacking the US with the kid and dogs [Re: szurszewski]
szurszewski Offline
Member

Registered: 06/27/06
Posts: 1943
Loc: Portland, OR
Back in Austin we picked up the rig and headed for Llano, TX. An ADV inmate was kind enough to invite us to his brother's ranch (brothers are fun like that, yeah?) and how could we turn that down.



If you're particularly sharp-eyed you might have noticed that something's not quite right in that picture, and maybe even have made the leap of logic that it must be from later in the timeline. If not, click it and take a look again - yep, Jeremiah's left arm is in a sling.

See, Scott, the brother generous enough to play host to some folks his brother ran into on the internet, took us on a grand tour of his property, and while he was getting a horse ready for Jeremiah to ride the boy found this tree...



An excellent climbing tree to be sure, but not a great one to fall out of -



A trip to the excellent local ER and, yep - it's broken. Both long bones (but just a little each).



Though it obviously hurt like crazy, Jeremiah was a trooper. Scott insisted we stay and relax at least until Jeremiah's follow up appointment at the end of the week, and I must say I can't imagine a better place to do a little recuperation.

We had this view every morning just outside our window,



we watched a few movies - Culprit really like this one



we did a little fishing



ate some meat



(Laura had bread and corn for dinner that night...poor girl)


did a tiny bit of farm work




and took a few rides around the ranch to say hi to the cattle and look for snakes




Scott was busy on the phone for work and getting ready for a trip of his own most of the week (poor, poor fellow!), but we did get to chat a bit, and his cousin came over to visit one day and check out our rig - some of you may know him as his cousin turned out to be Peter Yeager, former owner of Lone Star BMW. We had a nice chat with Peter and his wife, and did get a chance to sit down for breakfast with Scott our last morning at the ranch. Hopefully we'll be back again someday when Jeremiah's arm is better form for ranch fun.


Thursday morning it was time to see the Doc -



He confirmed the diagnosis from the ER and said the boy should heal up well with a month or so in cast.



We spent one more night in Austin with some of our new ADV friends,




and then it was back on the road. But not for long - we found a nice little spot for lunch in Dripping Springs, TX,


which was about halfway from Austin....to....Whipville smile
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