First Winter Away - 2005 travel blog

the group

Although we only had fifty miles to drive to the border today, this trip was as challenging as any that we have had. Our colleague who has battled mechanical troubles the entire trip, found that he couldn't get out of second gear and could drive a maximum of 40mph on the tollway. In Tijuana we left the expressway and worked our way through a congested city with many stop lights, multiple unmarked lanes, and awesome potholes. To help us with the goal of keeping all together to return to the US in a group, we were assisted by the green angels. These Mexican assistance vehicles cruise the Baja, loaded with extra gas, tools, spare parts and anything else that could help a stranded motorist resume forward movement. Today we had the assistance of three angels - one to lead the way, one to stay in the back with the broken RV and one to help at intersections where we might miss a turn in the crowded metro area. Even with their help we lost four vehicle in the middle of the caravan, but reassembled at a siding right before we encountered the US border officials.

Although we had heard many rumors of extensive drug searches with dogs, we passed through so easily, we hardly knew we were home again. Unlike past trips we did not have to complete customs forms or show passports. Only after the pavement became smooth, the signs were intelligible and the astronomical gas prices appeared, did we realize that we were really back in the USA.

Perhaps it is too soon to reflect on and summarize the experience in Mexico we have just had. We are sure that our adventures have bound us together with our fellow RV travelers. In some ways I feel like we have all been on Survivor together. As the youngest member of the group I looked to them for a hint of what being a retired traveler is all about. They are a group I would like to emulate. Their positive approach and their ability to have fun no matter what Mother Nature was throwing in our direction added greatly to our enjoyment of this trip. There was no mention of aches and pains or regrets. No one was interested in how wealthy they were or previous occupations. We were a big family and looked out for one another as we moved down the road. I aspire to join them in looking forward with joy to the next adventure.

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