@wegimex: hehe I am trying to get up to date with the story but it is so hard with all the nice riding and so many places to see. I end up writing in the night most of the times. So please excuse my mistakes...
Here it goes... the next episode:
Mexico, but not quite there yet: 20 September – 2 October
The morning finds us humming a famous Romanian songs that goes like “In Arizona I was born on horse saddle / From her arms my mother lost me when she was going to the salon” Well as you know, once you start the day with a song in your head… it is so hard to get rid of it.
Near Page we find an interesting message:
OK, so we might not have the money to own a million dollar view, but at least let’s see it. So we look around. Maybe is this one?
Oh I think this is not the view that the potential buyers are looking for. Let’s search some more…
That’s better. And look, already two owners of the million dollar view. Hmm does this mean that each of them gets only 500 000 dollars worth of view? Eah… we must be just jealous. So we prefer to move on and soon enough we are in Navajo reservation.
Well I do not know much about these reservations and how things work but for me something is very strange. Even the name, “Reservation” seems demeaning for me. Why free independent people would like to leave in a “reservation” with fences and barb wire and signs? And why would such places exist in the “most democratic country in the world”? And do these people really live better there? We just passed form one side to another but we so just a huge wasteland and small humble houses from place to place. Maybe further in the reservation things are better. Maybe…
And why there is a need to separate (segregate) people (be them indians or other nation) in the XXI century? That has such an old smell to it… What kind of life do they have in the desert there?We so no farm land, no crops groing (it was desert) a lot of litter and stray dogs. But all of the houses had TV dish. Let’s not forget about the important things in life, eh?
But again, forgive the ramblings of someone who doesn’t know all the details. I am sure the situation is much more complicated. We admire also the canyons created by the Little Colorado. Little little but he means business.
And because we’ve anjoyed so much the North Rim of the Great Canyon we decide to have run also for the South Rim. We go around the crowded areas and find a nice spot where we can admire the view in silence.
Our next target is Flagstaff and another piece of American history: Route 66. The legendary road, created at the beginning of XXst century used to unite Chicago with the extreme West in California. Now decommissioned with the introduction of the interstate system, the road is still a touristic attraction.
From Flagstaff we are dashing through the Arizona heat towards Phoenix where Julio,From Flagstaff we are dashing through the Arizona heat towards Phoenix where Julio, a fellow ADVrider, was waiting for us.
From Phoenix you almost can feel that the border is close. It is right there, across the desert. We start to get a little bit nervous about the crossing.
We spend one day preparing a bit. I change the oil and the oil filter, go and make some copies of our documents for the border formalities and so on. Time flies so fast that we don’t even get to see the downtown Phoenix. So the only “Phoenix picutres” are related to “interstate beauty”
But we are not sorry that we miss the crazy town traffic. Julio stays in such a nice place and we find everything that we need close by. And his garage is well equipped with tools. We have a blat staying with him and his family.
We say thank you to Kim, Antonio and Julio for all their generosity. Little that we knew how soon I would see them again.
We depart for Bisbee, a small border town (former mining town now artist and bohemian town). But on the road we first make detour to see a big open copper mine.
The site is really impressive. But one cannot help to wonder if it was worth it. If the big, sterile hole will ever be again just nature. Probably not
The site has a place for visitors, where you can see a wheel from the trucks used to haul the rocks. It is very big and very expensive. 20 000 dollars for a new tire. How’s that for economy?
Above all the technology and all the gained resources, what is left behind is just a wasted land. Nothing grows here.
It is impressive what humans can do and how destructive our race can be, if we are not careful. And last time I’ve checked we still one single place we can call “home”. Maybe we should find another planet. Soon…
In Bisbee we meet Adam and his wife Karen, them too friends from advrider. We quickly find a place for Gunnar in the garage near his 2 bikes a Moto Guzzi and a KTM LC4 which Adam is preparing for a trip up to Alaska.
As Bisbee is really close to the border Adam say that we might go this evening to Naco and get the paper work done so that next day we would just pass through. Excellent plan. let’s go.
We reach the border, leave the car on the American side, walk over to the Mexican side and basically we need to take care of two things:
1. get a visa for us
2. get a motorcycle permit that will allow us to drive through Mexico.
At point 1 we trye to convince the customs officer that there is an agreement between Romania and Mexico and we should not pay for our tourist visas. And since we are the very first Romanians that try to cross through Naco, the guy is really in a though spot. He tries to do some research but with no success. In the end we pay the visas as it was getting close to closing hour and we wanted to solve also point number 2.
We move to the next building where a very nice young lady smiles and she even knows some English. Oh, this will be easy I’m thinking. And it looks simple. I need to hand over the newly acquired visas vehicle registration, passport and driver’s license. OK, here you go. Hmm wait. Where is my driving license? I cannot find it in my wallet.
Ashamed, I gather my other documents and return home. On the road Adam and Karen try to cheer us up but we are really worried. How could we be so stupid to lose it? And where could it be? We search all our luggage without any success. I know where it is. We forgot it in the Staples copy center when we were doing the copies to cross into Mexico. Ironic, isn’t it?
I call next day the store and a wonder happens, the driver’s license was found by an employee and kept safe. I am so happy. Thank you so much sir, I will be right there to take it. Thank you!
Oh and when I say I’ll be right there… I mean 200 miles later right there. I was prepared for a long day riding on the highway. But that didn’t matter, what matter was that I could recuperate my license. And then… Adam says, you know I could come with you. And even better, we could drive the car so we can talk and spend the time more pleasantly. How incredible is that? Instead of having a rest on his Sunday, this friend prefers to spend his free day in a car with me, driving around to Phoenix and back. What else could I say? We end up having a typical American road trip with muzic, nice conersations, stops on the side of the highway to have burgers for lunch. It was fun.
We meet Julio who went in the store and took my license from there. So we get to see each other again one more time. That was nice. We return to Bisbee in good spirits stopping one more time to eat an American burger (on the road we determined that I didn’t had much luck at the border until now because last night I didn’t had a burger and my last meal in the U.S. had to be a burger…)
Oh and I forgot to mention, the trip was also awesome because we go to ride in this Yellow furry of speed:
Photo courtesy of Adam
Yellow Fiat 500 with red break calipers. It does not get much cooler than that.
We tried again to get the moto permit. But again we had no chance at Naco border crossing. For some reason they couldn’t verify my VIN into their computer data base. I was told that I should try at another border crossing. A bigger one.
So we return back home, still without all the papers for crossing the border but at least with all the needed documents, finding the girls in good spirit after they had a relaxing day in Bisbee.
We spend a peaceful evening at Adam’s talking and making plans and the next day we leave wishing them “che te vaya bien”.
We turn our bike Eastwards heading for Douglas. In the morning cold air, our thoughts are already in Mexico. We hope that this time customs formalities will finally be OK and we will be as well, in Mexico. Next time we will find out how difficult was the border crossing on our third try and how were our first days in Mexico. Stay tuned!