Joined: Jan 2007
Drifter and I flee just before dawn as we want to get some miles before the cosmic cauterizer appears.
This is our last day in the saddle but the terrain and the route are unknown and exciting so there is not much time for the traditional last day introspection. This day is more alive with opportunity and excitement than most. My general direction will require one more drop south toward the border. I decide this is as good a place as any so I head down toward I-8 in Yuma AZ. The highway is as straight as, pause, something that is really straight (fill in with your own witty analogy, a fine chance for some do it yourself wit). I am not sure but I believe this is the northern part of the Sonoran Desert that starts down in Mexico, famous for killing people that want to come to our country to cut our grass and hang drywall.
It is I don’t know how far to Yuma so I gas up. The air is 95deg as the sun rises on our left.
Profiles in cartage
Last day introspection warning
By this point in the trip all of the tension of our roles has vanished. No homework to be handed in, beds to be made, bills to be paid,
I have seen my son for what he truly is a kind, intelligent, beautiful, tough young man and I love him more than ever. I hope that the transmogrification has allowed him to see the man his momma fell in love with in 1982 not the grumpy old man I have become. I pray that when he is tested by the future he does it with more grace than I did.
Last day introspection over.
The ride toward Yuma was beautiful, we where in a valley between two ridges. The sun rise to the east was lovely, painting a cool flame job on the mountains to the right.
Yuma was a little different than the rest of the desert, lots of agriculture.
Do you really need a picture of cotton? Oooookay
We stopped for victuals at Brownies Diner. I usually look for old diners to eat in not for the homey ambience or a look into a simpler past but to keep my immune system at full alert.
You people that eat at the tidy, sterile restaurant chains are gonna drop like flies when the big bug hits and I will be the last Vermin standing.
Survivors of the next pandemic
These fellers where up bright and early to go blast the feathers off of doves. I felt there was some irony in giving the universal symbol of peace lead poisoning. I kept it to myself as this particular crowd looked like it didn’t appreciate subtle irony.
In the back of my mind I had considered the notion of doing a strategic invasion of Mexico.
Drifter tech tip
Ask the locals about the real situation don’t rely on prejudice or fear to stop you from doing something.
I asked the cutest blondest waitress there about the risk involved in travel across Baja and she said it was no big deal. We assimilate the data, weigh the risk and twist the throttle toward Baja.
I live in the Detroit Michigan Metropolitan Area we have on the average (I’m guessing, if someone has pesky facts to the contrary please interject) 500 murders a year. I am 49 years old, that is 24,500 mothers, sons, daughters, cousins, buddies, fathers, lovers and friends have violently gone to their reward within spittin distance of my big fat mansion since I was born. I drive by a huge dump every day on the way to my cubicle and I often wonder how many human souls are buried in that pile, it is a great temple to the gods of consumption and sometimes there are human sacrifices.
In other words Mexicans should be afraid of Michigan.
We cruise down I-8 toward Calexico as I have decided to enter at Mexicali
This years cat litter harvest looks abundant
We pull up to the border and there are several lanes to choose from, some say “stuff to declare” (I am paraphrasing} and one says “no stuff to declare” I have no items worth declaring and any thoughts I have to declare are best left alone so I pull in to the no declare lane. Do to my unconventional conveyance I expected substantial scrutiny. There was no one there! I pulled up slowly looked around and nobody seemed interested in me so I cruised right on through. I have heard tales of hassle and Mexican insurance and what have you but that was not the case this time. No one seemed remotely interested in my comings and goings.
Once again there is scant photographic evidence.
Drifter seems unfazed by the stark contrast between the level of affluence in the US and the chaos and poverty of a Mexican border town. I attribute this to the amount of time he spends in his room which makes a Mexican border town look like Beverly Hills.
Dead Bronze guys
Naturally we get lost looking for the cross Baja freeway. I figure go south and west until you hit a wall. I didn’t find it for awhile and the neighborhoods where getting worse and worse .
Drifter tech tip
Always ride motorcycles and wear apparel that is appropriate to Mexico this is an entirely cack oriented area so I raise no eyebrows. I also do not appear like a profitable target for theft or vandalism. If your stuff is inferior to the locals it is much less likely to be purloined
Wry sarcasm warning
I have spent no small amount of time sucking bus fumes in Mexico as an agent of the great nervous gringo businessman invasion following the historic NAFTA agreement. This was a sweet deal. All we had to do is move all of our manufacturing facilities to Mexico helping to assure that there is no middle class in this country and they would rapidly become prosperous and stop flooding across our borders. That went without a hitch.
Wry sarcasm over.
I am hopelessly lost and pull over to a street vendor and say “Estoy gringo estupido, donde esta autopista dos”. Which in English means I can’t find my ass with both hands would you help. Imagine my chagrin when he points to the on ramp.
By now I am starting to feel “rode hard and put up wet” I just want to get this routine over with so I start hauling some serious west bound ass. I relaxed a little as I was on a freeway. I came around a corner and saw something in the right lane. Veer, clench sphincter. It was just half a dozen Mexicans, scratching their heads, standing around a Lincoln arc welder the size of a minivan (gross exaggeration used to reflect how things are amplified during a crisis). The heat during this stretch is brutal. I can’t imagine what it is like in Julio (Espanish for July, one of about eight words I remember from $300 of tapes, classes and online learning. Meaning that word alone cost me $37.50, enjoy, I offer it to you free.).
The bumpy part you feel on the globe
The bottom of this roadside ravine shows the results of the Mexican attention span.
Are there any Mexican Grand Prix racers?
Hot ride ride ride hot desolation ride ride empty lake bed.
ride ride ride.
Sorry I have no deep introspection on the human condition in Mexico, no one seems particularily upset to be Mexican.
Awkward moment of the century.
Americans (people from the Estadios Unidos (sic), that’ll be $75 please), tend to be a little more tense about entry into their country. As we sit in the line to enter our great sovereign nation at Tecate I inform drifter that sometimes vehicles that are as beautiful and inspired as ours may get additional scrutiny at the border. We buy water from a cute girl on the side of the road. I then ask “ have you ever heard of the law enforcement technique called cavity search? Drifter has a shot of adrenaline course through his veins and his eyes become as wide as saucers. “You are kidding right Dad” “I hope so Drifter”
We did receive some lackluster scrutiny but not the big glove. I presume they figure no one would be so brazen or stupid to carry contraband on this vehicle with a kidnapped minor on the back.
It never rains in California, girl don’t they warn ya, it pours.
(song stuck in head)
We pull in to aunty and uncle B’s house in Del Mar on the coast. Had I known that Sweet Thangs sister lived such an opulent life I would have elbowed their son out of the garage apartment and been their lawn boy/servant.
Imagine the revulsion and the sour milk drinking feeling my rels. got when this abomination slunk up the drive way. I took the remaining Stabil and put it in the gas tank (I don't know how much Stabil or how much gas). The original plan was to put the old girl (cack not sister-in-law) in my father in laws barn inland but the Corona fairy waved her wand over us that evening and made plan A impractical. What ever fate becomes her she has been a good and faithful servant and I will always cherish riding her (cack not sister-in-law). Unfortunately now my big shooter brother in law has a piece of crap moronocycle next to his sweet Heritage Softail Classic in his nicely tiled elegant garage.
Uncles list of things to do today
1) Make big gillion dollar corporate decisions
2) Criticize wifes execution of the construction project
3) Wonder about what to do with the piece of crap in the driveway and resolve to never invite vermin into our home again
As it stands i think this bike will be a pain in his ass for some time I didn't want it to end this way but you know "The best laid plans of Vermin and men". I am sorry uncle! Hey you shouldn't have given me Corona.
Stay tuned next year. If big cheese brother in law (who is a hell of a nice guy) doesn't throw the bike away I will fly out and cack (verb) down to Cabo or Costa Rica or Canada or Camden I don't know somewhere with a C name.
Dear opulent garage livin nephew,
You fell in it Roscoe.
Dear aunt and uncle b,
Prepare yourself for a vermin infestation when I retire which could be any day now the way the auto industry is going.
Love, your opportunistic vermin-in-law
I am not so proud that I couldn’t be a parasitic hanger on.
The day has exhausted the pair of drifters so they walk to the beach.
Frolic in the surf.
Am I thinking of work at this moment?
vermin screwed with this post 03-05-2008 at 04:07 AM