Day 1 May 16th Akumal to Cardenas
. Left Turtle Bay Bakery 7:30 am. with pastries to go , breakfast on the road . Down to Tulum , then out west thru , Coba & Villadolid to Merida . Got stopped at the state police checkpoint , license and registration , just checking if your legal . Then off south thru Campeche and lunch in Champoton , Pelicanos 2 is my favorite . Whole fried Snook , with salad , I love that place . Its right on the water , the Gulf of Mexico is calm and the breeze is good . After lunch its off to , Ciudad Del Carmen , I was driving down the coast , with the Gulf on my passenger side , nice view , it was 2 hours of smooth road .From Ciudad Del Carmen , the next 2 1/2 hours , is 2 lane road , when this area gets flooded , the road is just above the water line . I made it to Villahermosa , before sunset , so off to the next town ,only 1/2 an hour away , I got into Cardenas before 8pm. The hotel was new , right next to the gas station , Internet was slow , nothing new from Telmex .
12 hours and 560 miles , not bad for the first day .
Day 2 May 17th Cardenas to Matehuala
Started at 6:45 am. Out the door and on the road , from Cardenas to Agua Dulce is toll road , nice and smooth , making time . After going thru Agua Dulce ,I’m back on the toll road till Acayucan , got off the toll road for breakfast . 8:30 am. and my favorite chicken shack was open . I love this place , they must go thru 200 or more chickens a day . With a full belly , I’m good to go . Toll road for 3 hours or more , all 4 lanes , all the way to the end . Then its off to , the mountain road , still 4 lanes , but thru the clouds . The climb is about 3000-3500 feet , winding around Orizaba . Today it was socked in , almost no vision , I was doing 20 mph , 30 at best . When I hit the top , I was feeling better , back up to speed . The toll road continues, past the VW plant in Puebla , then off to the bypass around Mexico Shitty . Too cloudy to see the volcano , popocatepetl , it has been erupting lately , I’ve seen it on previous trips , always smoke coming out . I made it to Queretaro , long before I expected too , off the toll road then past Santa Maria Del Rio , another good area in the mountains , I’ve stayed there before . When I got to San Luis Potosi , it was 6 pm. another 2 hours on the road , I would make Matehuala . I made the Hotel Las Palmas before 8 pm. once again , just before sunset . Great hotel , lots of people stay there , nice restaurant .
13 hours on the road . Good nights sleep , well needed !
Day 3 Friday May 18th Matehuala to Austin Texas
8am. good belly full , ready for the road . Toll road from here to Saltillo , then on 2 lane thru hills and valleys .Some small towns along the way , mostly open road . Monclova is the next big town , thats where my buddy Ed man is from . From there I’m only 3 hours, from the border , I still have 1 more town to go thru , Sabinas is the last real town before , Piedras Negras , I gassed up in Sabinas , one last time in Mexico . Piedras Negras is my crossing point , the US side is Eagle Pass Texas . I’ve crossed the border so many times , I should know these guys by name . After a brief search of the truck , the customs people were satisfied , no drugs – people or animals . Next stop Austin Texas , 4 hours later , I’m done for the day . Awesome BBQ dinner , a couple beers and say good night . Safe on the US side without any problems , once again .
12 hours on the road . Another good day !!
2000 miles done in 3 days , 4500 to go !!!
Day 4 Austin Tx for the day , make that 2 days .
Saturday was oil change and switch phone service , AT& T has the best coverage in Alaska and out west as well .
Sunday is my day to chill and repack , I don’t need 5 prs. of shorts , I will need some long pants , long sleeve shirts and leave my Mexican stuff at Wreckie’s place .
Day 5 Austin to Roswell Nm.
I’ve been thru Austin many times , going west is easy to get out of town . Stay on 290 going to the hill country , I passed thru several small towns , The big one is Fredricksburg , Czech and German immigrants, settled this area in the 1800’s , along with farming they brought sausage and BBQ . Many Texans don’t even know , who brought this style with them , from the old country . After that its , 60-75 miles to boring ass I-10 , the speed limit is 80 mph. so you can get past everything out there . If you run off the road , you might hit a cactus , so what !! When I got to Ft. Stockton , the route north was under construction , oh well , off thru Carlsbad then Roswell . Lots of oil fracking going on out there , I must have passed 60 or more , oil drilling trucks , plus countless pickups on the road . I was amazed at the airport in Roswell , as I drove in , their were a dozen or more 747’s , DC-10 ‘s and other large aircraft on the ground . I first though aliens , had gotten them , and this was there warehouse , not this time . Then I drove around to the entrance , it was a repair shop and storage lot . American Airlines must have , 75 planes or more , just sitting on the ground , waiting to be sold or scrapped , most were MD- 80’s . Older less fuel efficient planes , with more flight time on them . Some planes were just brought in , then ripped up for parts . On to the Best Western , drinks and a whirlpool are next . Best way to finish the day !!
Day 6 Roswell to Green River Ut.
From Roswell I took 285 north to I-40 , jumped off at I-25 north , then out thru Cuba and the 4 corners , I’ve seen this area before , not much interest , The place I wanted to go thru so bad , was Moab Utah . Last trip down from Seattle , I was amazed with the number of hotels , restaurants and shops . Turns out this is, the entrance to Arches national park , summer time is their , big money season , hiking – biking and rafting . The cheapest night in a hotel , was $ 129 plus tax , for something that was 40 yr. old , and looked like it . I went 45 min. up the road , to Green River Utah , just off I-70 . The Motel 6 was 3 years old , free wi-fi and $ 49 with tax . The hotel next door , was on the river with a restaurant and view . Sold out , just my luck , but the food was good .
Day 7 Green River Ut. to Parma Id
Utah has a lot of mountains and Mormons , passing thru any subdivision , you are likely to see more that 1 church , sometimes 3-4 . The elevation gets higher , the temp. drops , sometimes you see snow . Not this time , but it was colder , I’m still wearing shorts and flip flops . The wind was blowing me backwards , when you step out , you know how cold it really is . By 5 pm. I was at Karl & Suzie’s house , just outside of Parma , Idaho . They still run the family farm , its been in Karl’s family for generations . This year they have Potatoes ,Onions and Wheat seed . Come September , I’ve got a job driving a truck , a field truck that is , never done it before !! How bad can I screw up , drive down the field ,stay next to a harvester , don’t try to race him for the barn . Anyway we had a blast , took off across the bridge , to Oregon , had dinner with Fred & Kathy , more of the Akumalic crowd . Great dinner at Bob’s Steakhouse and” Tavern or Saloon” ?? Karl & Suzie’s house is right, on the Snake river , ” You can see Oregon from their house ” plus lots of deer and critters . Suzie packed a to go basket , in case I got lost , or was about to starve to death . Venison peperoni sticks and salami , with crackers !! Karl is no skinny farmer either , never trust one of them !!
Day 8 Parma to Bend Oregon .
When I left Idaho , it was 63 and sunny , that was before noon time .The drive to Bend , winds thru a mountain pass , nice river next to the road . I have no idea what the speed limit was , when the first cop passed me , he did hit the brakes . Lucky for me , that’s all he did ,then right behind him was another Oregon state trooper . So far so good , I’ll stick to less than 65 mph. Before I even got to Bend , about 45 min. out , the temp. started dropping , then I saw snow flakes , oh well a couple flakes , then less then 10 mins. it was white outside , the sides were covered , then there was slush 2 in. thick on the road . Mind you I’m still wearing , sandals and a t-shirt , what an idiot !! 5 min. before Bend , 48 degrees and cloudy , what a time . In Bend I stopped at the Shell station , this one you have to Goggle , check out ….. The Balloon Guy Kent Couch . He fly’s from the gas station , to Idaho in a lawn chair with helium balloons , every year he does this , around the 4th of July , I’ll go by car thank you !! I met Tami, at the 10 Barrel Brewery in Bend Or , 541-585-1007 , they have some great handcrafted beer , I love a good IPA , the best was , Apocalypse . For food I had the Lamb Burger , feta cheese and cranberries mixed with ground Lamb . My waitress Kate , said the Pesto Potato salad was awesome , oh god was she right !! I almost licked the bowl , that was the best I’ve ever had , just the right mix ! ” Get on it Bart ” you know people up there , send somebody in !
Last Day in The US
From Bend , I went north to visit , my aunt Jean and her husband Terry . They have driven to Alaska by motor home , not to miss anything , I took notes . Damm good thing I did , they had the best spots to see , places to stay . Just out side of Tacoma Washington , I saw my uncle Leigh , he also lives in Mexico , during the winter , he and his wife Lynn have been traveling by car for 10 years or so . They have 3 dogs , which is hard to do by plane . It seems everyone in my family, just has to travel no matter who they are . Off to the hotel !!