As we prepared to leave Los Barriles northbound we started asking THE question that was a concern for all of us who wintered south of the border; Return to the United States on Mexico1 – that narrow hell of potholes the size of VW Bugs, speeding truck drivers, and winding miles, or take on the as of yet still unfinished Mexico 5 where 22 miles can take hours?
I think I’ve lost track of how many such posts I’ve done. These past 27 months have found us in dozens and dozens of campgrounds across Mexico and the Western United States and feature everything from boondocking beach camps to $100/night RV parks.
We had planned on heading north via Arizona and Utah. Well, plans changed and Oregon was on the radar but we knew what we didn’t want to do was repeat the same route that we have traveled too many times over the last couple of years. By taking the border at Mexicali and heading down some back roads we effectively missed all of the dreaded San Diego/ LA/ San Francisco traffic. We also made a point of trying out some new spots along the way. Camp CDA research and all 🙂
We crossed the border recently~ a 3-hour soul-crushing grind before arriving back in the good old USA in what was our longest, and yet least invasive border crossing in over two years. Los Barrile’s winter entered the history books. As always, it was incredibly bittersweet.
Two years ago yesterday we drove away from Jim’s parent’s road to drive the Pan American Highway. Two years. Three Countries. Tens of thousands of miles. And yet we find ourselves back in Los Barrile on Baja understanding more than ever that the road of life is rarely certain and even less often a straight line.
As we headed south towards Baja we knew we wanted to do some campground research along the way. Although we have camped on five continents, it never hurts to view other campgrounds with open eyes when planning improvements for Camp Coeur D’Alene.
With this in mind, we specifically chose to stay at some vastly different types of campgrounds to experience each end of the spectrum, checking out bathroom facilities, camp stores, and pricing options. While we didn’t garner any huge new ideas from what we were already thinking it sure was fun!
Today marks three weeks here in Los Barriles. Although we are all set up with our “shade compound” and, in between working on camp business, have been actively joining the local scene of art shows, pickleball, and yoga, it also feels as though we just arrived and is a perfect indication of how elusive the concept of time can be. As ever, one of our very favorite parts of our crazy life is the fact that we get to meet so many interesting people every day. And, also as ever, everyone is capable of being a critic. But for any negative vibes we encounter we just sit back confidently knowing we are mastering the art of living.
Well, we have arrived at our home for the next three months. Three Weeks. Three Mechanics. Thirteen Campgrounds. Nearly 2500 miles.
Although our most recent reinvention has us less overlanders than the last couple of years, we are still firmly rootless on many levels. And these last few of weeks moving from our summer -home at Camp Coeur D’Alene, to our former state of Oregon, to our latest winter resting spot in Los Barriles have reminded us of the reality of a life lived, at least part-time, on the move.
I craned my neck, searching for one last glimpse of Lake Atitlan, perhaps the most magical places I had ever been. Luckily, the drive out of the lake was greatly improved from our entry nearly three months earlier and soon my sights were focused on making the border.