Daily Archives: 30 December 2010

Vent Envy

New Year’s Eve is tomorrow. With a little luck regarding
accommodations I should be spending it in Xilita. It’s crazy how
the days fly by into little Outside meaning when one is traveling.
It was a long day, although only five hours of it was spent behind
the steering wheel. That was enough; it was hot. I had vent envy
today: Mac’s 109 has the safari top which is loaded with air vents.
I even missed my old Chevy today, with its huge vents right at your
shin. I probably should have considered taking the Rover out on a
high-temperature test run to work out some of those kinks, but I
never thought about that. Damn, it was hot today. The drive was
beautiful though. Hwy 80 is a narrow two-laner that winds its way
over some rough mountain terrain between Ciudad del Maiz &
Antiguo Morelos. It’s a twisting, black ribbon even on the free AAA
map, so I knew exactly what I was getting into. There are no
shoulders to speak of… and only air on the one side. Several
hundreds of feet of air in some cases. It was a fun road, although
not what The Rover was really built for. This is stunning country:
Amazingly thick, green and lush. There was even standing water and
flowing streams, which I had not seen further north and west. The
little farms & larger ranches looked prosperous. At least,
I saw more horses than burros and I am no longer surprised by the
sight of a horse riding in the back of a pick up truck. In one of
the many small towns that I passed through, a young teenage boy
waved and grinned when I came alongside him. He was next to one of
the thousands of topes I thumped over today. I braked, clutched,
shifted and waved all in one fluid motion, and I began to wonder if
the kids were sending word up ahead about El Loco Alaskano y El
Rover Rojo. I suddenly felt like Don Quixote. The truck did well,
although it suffered a case of the vapors once again when we were
high & hot. I had stopped to add a five to the gas tank,
since my mileage gauge is out of whack. Hopefully, it will
stabilize again soon. I was pouring, when a couple who had seen me
fly off into one of the few turnoffs, came back around to see if I
was all right. “No problemos?” They left me with a very cool
feeling until the vapor lock hit again. Luckily, I was almost to
that peak, so I coerced the truck to the top, and let gravity work
for us for a while after that. There was one crop that stood out,
and seemed to be giving a decent harvest. I want to say it was
sugar cane, but I am woefully ignorant as to what sugar cane looks
like. Maybe I’ll google it later. I crossed what I think was the
Rio Valles. A beautiful turquoise green, slow moving, body of
water, with what I can only describe as huge lagoons. I wanted to
stop badly to take a picture and jump into one of the inviting
lagoons, but the town on its bank was having some sort of street
fair and the place was packed with cars & people. I just
didn’t want to deal with parking. I’m such a curmudgeon.