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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Big Reveal

Tomorrow I will be embarking on an expedition.  Chucho and I will be driving down to Nicaragua to explore the area as a possible landing spot for the next phase of our lives.  Chucho is very anxious and can't be crated.  We tried a couple of years ago and he bloodied himself breaking out of it on two occasions.  My fear was that he would wake up from being medicated under a plane and have no idea where he was, then possibly get out.  If he did make it alive, it's almost certain he would be scarred both physically and emotionally.

I looked into hitching a ride on a sail boat through  I got a couple of firm maybes but the timing was extremely tricky due to the undefined day we could set sail which muddied the waters.  Plus there was a good chance I'd end up with some dude who just went naked all the time.

I looked into catching a ride on a container ship but they don't allow dogs.  I looked into catching a ride on a small plane but no one was headed in that direction on dates which might have worked for us.  I even looked into a small private plane but the quoted price of $65K was about 40x more than we were willing to pay.

So it was decided we would liquidate just about everything we own and I would drive down with Chucho.  Originally I was going to cross into Mexico at Brownsville, but the Reynosa area (as one enters Mexico) is pretty dangerous even during the day.  So I will be crossing at Laredo and taking the fastest route through the innards of Mainland Mexico.

After much research I realized a 4x4 isn't necessary, but it also pretty much bars me from stopping to surf.  The good news is that S swell season is almost over and it probably wouldn't be great.

I bought a Honda Odyssey van from two German girls who spent their summer driving from Vermont all the way to the west coast and then some.  I removed the middle seat and folded the back seat flat into the floor.  We crammed it full of our stuff and sold or gave away everything else.  There were many emotionally wrenching give-aways: my Rollerblades which were my pride and joy from ages 14-16 (which my Mom bought me for my 14th bday), my custom-made surfboard shaped wood desk, my sweet Les Paul (only an Epiphone, but still hurt) and amp were all given away or sold 😔

After spending hours figuring out how to load it most efficiently and  doing so, I realized I might have some trouble as the back wheels were cambering (leaning in) a bit from the weight.

I took it to a mechanic who recommended inserting spring spacers but couldn't do it because of liability issues.  I called around and found someone who would do it but couldn't have gotten me into until Thursday (tomorrow).  I eventually found a guy who would meet me at an Auto Zone for $70.  We went in, I bought $13 worth of parts and he for some reason decided to charge me only $40.

The wheels did straighten out a little, but not all of the way.  They will bounce a lot less so they should be fine.

Stay tuned...

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