When my good friend drops off the face of the earth and claims to have found a better life away from the rat race and corporate hamster wheel, the 90% of my jaded side thinks that he has just dropped out and is running away. After all, we were both raised in retired military households and educated in government schools where the fact that the USA is the greatest country in the world was ingrained and nowhere else could compare. Especially Mexico. But then there was the 10% of me that realized that Rick was always bright and inquisitive and was known to travel the path less taken. That part of me trusted that he made the right decision.
We had talked over the years and he always reassured me that his life was as normal and typical as any live he would have in the US. In the next few days I would find out.
We both grew up in modest homes in rural Alabama. Visiting Rickís home reminded me a lot of that time. He and his wife Artemiza had built their home from a single room on the property into a nice home. Artemiza painted the murals in the sun room and the entry hall. The sun room was the main gathering spot in the house and had a cool old stove for cooking out there. There was a kitchen inside the house also.
Behind the home is Rickís shop. He works out of this shop doing repairs and tinkering. Beside his shop is a trailer that he got in trade from a circus traveling through town and it is filled with lapidary equipment. Rick makes his living from both of these pursuits along with erecting garages and awnings. This fits Rick well as he always loved to tinker and solve problems.
Around mid morning a truck drives by blaring music from a loudspeaker. Itís a guy selling bottled water. As I see through the next couple of days, its possible to live here without ever leaving home for anything. There are delivery trucks for propane, tortillas, fruit, meat, and water that I saw. They each have different music. If that doesnít get you by, the neighborhood is scattered with little stores. There is a typical country store where they charge your food until payday, several beer stores and assorted businesses. I would soon find out that is just the tip of the economy in these little town. Just like Rickís house, this was a condensed version of our home town.
Chilaquiles for breakfast:
About midday Rickís step daughter Marlena was driving in to Guaymas for some fabric and we hop in for the ride. Rickís wife Artemiza is a seamstress and she specializes in wedding dresses and quiencenra dresses. Quiencenra is a celebration of a girlís fifteenth birthday and is marked by an elaborate party where the dress is similar to a ball gown and is a prominent part of the event.
We took in the downtown and riverfront sights while Marlena shopped. Guaymas is a bustling place with government offices for the county seat and a nice walk along the water.
After returning home, things got real interesting.
An older man pulls up on a three wheeler and wants Rick to fix the steering tube that has been beaten out by decades of riding these dirt roads. With Rick interpreting I find out he is 76 years old and he rides this trike all over the place.
In a few minutes another older gentleman cruises up on a motorcycle and I find out he is 86 years old! And he is not babying his bike, he cruising at a pretty good clip down the dirt roads.
We chart for a while and these guys are out just making the rounds and enjoying life. The fellow on the trike is scopes out my bike and was smiling as he heard about my ride down. I guess he was ready to be cruising on some longer rides because he offered to trade me his house and his motorcycle for my bike. That was a little humbling.
We took a little ride down the road to see the main industry of the village, brick making.
As the afternoon approached we struck out towards San Carlos in search of free internet so I could let everyone know how I was suffering through the 100 degree heat and toughing it out on the road Ė lol. In sharp contrast to the harsh and humble desert landscape, San Carlos is an affluent resort town, with celebrities like Danielle Steel, Willie Nelson and Jon Claude Van Damme keeping homes there.
Rick and I amble into the coffee shop at the yacht club feeling like Eddie Murphy at the country club in Beverly Hills Cop. After I update the folks at home, we take a tour of the resort. Even though I am not a resort kinda guy, I have to admit this is a beautiful place. While we are there, Rick picks up a rock from the overlook and grinds me out a arrowhead on his lapidary equipment when we get back to the house.
For supper, we all loaded up and headed to Miramar.
We dined at an outdoor seafood restaurant and this place was a feast. I had something with marlin and everybody got exotic looking dishes. The seafood was so fresh I am not sure some of the octopus arms werenít still wiggling. Artemiza and her daughter teamed up against the gringos and ordered our food with extra peppers and cut up the whole time. I did have a soup called beche, which means nekkid, and I guess itís the brine from cooking the sea food. It was really good.
On the ride home we took the coastal road and ended up in San Carlos. It was a beautiful drive.