First Winter Away - 2005 travel blog

tropical scene

snowy border

Perhaps it was because we were driving into the NORTHERN part of Mexico...

Our wagon master awakened us at 5am by thumping our tires with his baseball bat. We never get up that early - not even to go to work. Imagine our disappointment when we opened the trailer door and were confronted by large, sloppy snowflakes. As we drove out of the El Paso campground Ken struggled to get the defroster working so he could see out into the darkness. Since we were only a few miles from the border and no one in their right mind was up that early, we came into Mexico easily after we paid a hefty toll for those last few miles.

Ciudad Juarez is a typical Mexican border city. The landscape was littered with paper. Empty lots alternated with run down buildings. As the snow melted, giant mud puddles gathered, since sewers and gutters appeared to be an unknown convenience. We were grateful to be assisted by the local policia who held the traffic at some of the stoplights so our giant caravan of 23 vehicles could stay together. We were amazed that we never had to show our passports. We had sent photocopies to our tour company long ago and they had done so much paperwork for us, that all that was left was to pick up our holographic truck ID and pay the entry fees.

As we moved farther south the snow grew thicker, a blessing since it covered all the junk and garbage that littered the desert. The road was two lane, but narrow with a significant shoulder-less drop off. We were happy to see the tollway which allowed us to drive about 60 miles an hour since we looked forward to a 250 mile drive to Chihuahua. After a delicious lunch in the front seat of our truck, the road began to climb and the sun tried to reappear. Our first glance at Chihuahua was quite impressive. This mile high city twists among the foothills in an artful manner. Even the government housing for the poor was attractively painted in a riot of pastel colors. There are many companies who conduct tours such as ours, so the 23 of us weaving through town couldn't be such an uncommon sight, but whenever we passed someone, we got a friendly wave. Unlike Juarez, there was hardly a piece of debris to be seen anywhere.

I would like to write more, but my eyelids grow heavy. We are camped in a gas station parking lot and I am blogging thanks to our generator. Buenas noches!

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