First I'll admit to not reading all the posts but.....
I understand you had a few issues to learn and sort but after having the wheel bearings replaced why did you head north and not south as planned?
I have been to Baja many times and something always goes sideways (forgot something, didn't bother to do something or couldn't fined something) crossing either direction a the US/Mex boarder. May have left me a little uneasy but never bailed on the trip, just part of the adventure.
Yeh... remember, I was 21, in school, with wife and daughter at home, part time job, and very little cash. I planned on camping when I got into the Sierra Madres and therefore had a VERY tight budget. Having the bearings replaced and staying in a hotel in McAllen totally blew my budget.
Besides, I was a skinny little poon that was skeered of Mexico.