Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Back to the US

After México City, we were ready to speed back to the States. Since Panamá, we had a mentality of “it just has to make it back to Tulsa.” As much as we enjoyed our surroundings and travels, Chuck was really wanting some garage time and we were ready to be in one location for longer than 2 days. One very visual example of “it just has to make it” was our sliding door panel. The clips were no longer sufficient to hold on the door for very long. We would pound it into place in the morning and hope it would last the day without coming off and keeping the door from opening. By the time we hit the States, it would now longer even stick for 30 seconds, so we had to pull it off and carry it in the van.

You know, we normally equate going north with getting colder, but it did the complete opposite for us. For one, we headed out of the highlands/mountains and down into the high plains. Just as we crossed the Tropic of Cancer, it really felt like the heat and humidity just swamped us. Poor Jonathan had to put up with my grumpiness as a result of the heat. “Honey, don’t talk to me right now, I am too hot.” We literally drove all day long with the windows down to get air, and then when we parked, we try to get wet. Either pool time or shower time to cool down, then we would turn the fans on and read, trying to ignore the heat. Definitely made us want to drive home quickly. But, with our driver’s door dinged in from our mishap in El Salvador, I had been looking into finding another one. However, our current rate would put us going past the most likely shops to have doors on Sunday, when they would be closed. So, we needed to take a day slowly.

We tried to stay an extra day in México, but things just weren’t working out. The movie I wanted to see wasn’t available. The campgrounds were expensive and hot. So we decided to skip our last planned camp site in México and rush to the US. The toll to the newer Colombia crossing was expensive (205 pesos, US$15.53), but the crossing was nearly deserted. We didn’t have to wait in line at all. There is a toll bridge there, though, and I had already gotten rid of all my pesos. They wanted 20 pesos. When I told them we didn’t have any pesos left, they charged us $2. We very nearly didn’t have that either, and had to scrape together some coins to pay it. The US side was pretty tame. I had to throw out an apple, but we didn’t get inspected.

Then we drove over to La Casa Blanca State Park to camp for the night. We took the next day easy since we needed to be in Austin on Monday. We stopped in San Antonio to eat lunch, shop for a few things, and catch a movie before we found our next campground. On Monday, we stopped at Austin Veedub where Jonathan found a door that he liked to replace the dinged one. We stored it in the middle of the van (good thing the door panel was out) and drove to Tulsa as quickly as we could, where we promptly started giving Chuck the attention he was wanting.

DSC05256
The traditional, good-burger meal when we return to the States.

DSC05259The new door. Note: you can see the removed panel resting on the bench seat back. 

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