good time today

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We made up for the time we lost yesterday and arrived here in Tepic more or less on schedule. Tomorrow we will get to our beach, near Ixtapa! Happily, today was pretty uneventful. lots miles, lots of $ into the gas tank, and lots of $ into the Mexican toll road system. The truck ran great and no speeding tickets/police bribes!

Once we hit Tepic we followed the directions out of my Camping in Mexico book to this really nice little RV park. We have wifi, the weather is nice and cool instead of a stifling 108! We are 3000 ft. elevation.

Tomorrow we go thru Guadalajara, then Morelia and on to the coast. I think we should get in around 3 PM…. fun!

So, it is time for this short entry to come to an end!

Until mañana… adios!

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Now we are smiling :) :)

So… we are in Guaymas — many miles from home!

We found the genius mechanic that Paige told me we would find!

We crossed the border this morn, about 7 AM. Went right to the Pemex and asked the attendant if he knew any genius mechanics who could fix AC units. The guy said he would call his friend and the friend would come to us. We waited.

An hour so so later this guy, Ignacio, THE GENIUS, showed up. He pulled off the serpentine belt and, wow, you could hear how funky the AC pulley was. Just very raw sounding as he spun it with his fingers. He told us to follow him back to his place. He had the AC unit apart in less than 5 min. The seal was shot and the bearings were dry and really noisy…. this thing would not have last much longer before seizing up!

He had spare parts there at his place – at one point he even took his own AC unit out of his Ford Bronco – same AC unit – and was gonna install it in my truck — he was missing a couple of spacers, specific little washers – so he went back to town and got the parts. We sat in his yard for an hour or so waiting, kind of napping. Ignacio finally returned and got to work He ended up putting in a different unit he had lying around his shop — Had us back up and running within a few minutes of his return !! OH… then he checked the freon level – was low so he topped it off…. love this guy.

WE WERE AMAZED TO FIND THE GENIUS AC SPECIALIST! IGNACIO – YOU ARE A SWEET MAN!

cost: $100

So, we lost a few hours with all this, but had a nice smooth and cool ride today. Didn’t get as far as we had originally planned.  Guaymas, is really nice. Real nice dinner tonite – shower too!

At least two more days on the road…

Adios for now!

Afterword: I just read this to Cliff. He wondered why I did not include the $100 bribe in my story. The bribe I had to give the cop. Right after we got the truck fixed. For going 35 in a 25.

long 1st day!

June 16 in the morning

So here we are… in a sort of parking area about 100 yards north of the Mexico border in Lukeville, Az. We left Chico yesterday morning, June 15, at 3:00 AM. Arrived here last night about 7:30. 977 miles!! Yikes! That is more than 1/3 the distance of our entire journey south!

A long day, indeed! We won’t be having anymore 16 hour days from here on. Today we should arrive at Los Mochis by late afternoon, after going around 500 miles or so.

Yesterday was not without incident. We have trouble under the hood. The A/C unit is failing! Ugh! We are sitting here now trying to decide our best course of action.

Initial symptoms: The AC quit cranking out cold air yesterday afternoon. We shut down the AC and kept driving, thinking the unit needed to cool down (it was 112 outside). Turned it back on afrer 15 or 20 min. and BINGO – cold air again! Yay!

Then: We pulled into Ajo, about 40 miles north of here and as we slowed down for the 25 mpg speed limit, we heard squealing and began to smell something. We pulled over and checked under the hood. The AC unit was squealing away and smoking… We found a mechanic who unplugged the AC unit plug, leaving the free-spinning pulley on the unit to spin without a load on it. He said he thought we’d be fine – no AC, but on down the road we could go.

We thought OK, fine. We can tough it out til we get to the beach and then get it fixed. When we got here to Lukeville the unit was again pretty noisy. So now are going to cross the border and find another mechanic to get another opinion. Will the whole thing seize up, shredding the belt, or will we be ok to continue and get it fixed in Zih?

Other than that, we had a really nice ride yesterday. Beautiful desert vistas.

More later.

Digging Deep with Mossy Creek – one more time before heading for the border!

digging deep

Had one last hurrah with Mossy Creek yesterday afternoon. We played for KZFR’s 25th birthday celebration! KZFR and Danielle were born the same year! Was fun – the band sounded sweet!

So…. the count-down is on! Cliff, Paige and I packed up the truck this afternoon. I’ll be picking up Cliff at 4 AM, 12 hours from now!

I am officially on a  5-week hiatus from all of my bands. Those would be Mossy Creek, Running in the Shadows, and the Red Dirt Bullies (I think that’s all). That does not mean I won’t be playing music! Cliff and I each have a mandolin and a guitar packed in the truck. And Bob the Barber is already at our beach in Mexico with his guitars and music books! Indeed, part of the thrill of this trip will be our daily jams each afternoon.

Our afternoons consist of the Bob the Barber ritual: ice-cold beer; maybe a shot or two of mezcal; cowboy hats and good songs.

I like the songs and the cowboy hats, and I used to be right there with the booze, but I’ll take a Cranberry and soda-water nowadays, please!

So the months of planning this trip are at an end. It’s time to go. I’m just sad neither one of my girls will be along! 😦

Should be just a ton of fun though…stay tuned!

Ooch! My aching back!

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One day closer to departure! About to unpack the massive and heavy PA equipment from the back of my truck! I really pushed it last night with Running in the Shadows, my Fleetwood Mac tribute band. Too much heavy gear for this old and creaky back of mine! (The gig was super-fun, tho!). I did not ‘throw out my back,’ but i’m moving kinda slow today! I am only too keenly aware of my fragile condition and WILL NOT injure myself on the eve of my departure! I do not plan to spend days in agony on the road and then watch the surfers from the beach!

One more gig today with Mossy Creek (no heavy lifting!). Then off to dinner with Paige and my mom. Mañana, Cliff and I will load up ‘ol Woodrow (read: surf-wagon) and then settle in for a half-night’s sleep.

We leave Monday morning at 4.

Hello world!

Hey all!

Cliff and I are leaving in a couple days for the big Surfari 2015. We are headed off to Mexico! We will be driving my Ford F150 surf-wagon, packed with camping gear, musical instruments, and surfboards down through the heart of mainland Mexico, headed to the beach. Hmmm….. that reminds me of a long-forgotten song: To the beaches down in Mexico – Down the cactus-bordered road I go…

So we are pumped! My garage is full of all our gear, ready to be packed into the truck this Sunday afternoon (I do have a couple gigs this weekend and will need to pack up the ‘ol PA system one more time before leaving Monday morning). Tents, chairs, hammocks, guitars, mandolins, surf gear, tools, ice chests and etc. are all assembled and ready to be stowed!

It’s the BIG ADVENTURE!! It’s going to be awesome with Cliff; my only regret is that Paige is not able to go on this trip. Alas! Maybe best that Cliff and I make all the mistakes this trip, so Paige and I can have a smooth voyage next time around…. !

I hear there is a possible hurricane forming off the coast of Mexico as I write this…. by the time we get there next week, it will have passed on by. It’s supposed to be a little windy down there over the next few days!

So, I will be (b)logging daily, noting our progress, route, and specific issues getting through the many towns and cities along the way. Here’s the basic plan:

Monday morning, June 15. Leave Chico at 4 AM. We will head south on Hiway 5, then east at Bakersfield. We should make it to the the Arizona border town of Lukeville by sunset.

Tuesday morning, June 16. Cross the border at Lukeville. Deal with customs and immigration and head south! Our destination for that day is Los Mochis.

Wednesday morning, June 17. Continue south, heading for Tepic where we will spend that night.

Thursday morning, June 18. Last day on the road. We will go straight through Guadalajara toward Morelia, then head toward the coast. Should hit our beach, near Ixtapa, Guerrero, late afternoon…

Then will settle in for a month of good surfing, good music and good times!

So, a little Fleetwood Mac this evening; a little Mossy Creek tomorrow afternoon…pack the truck on Sunday and ADIOS!!!

to be continued!