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Old 03-30-2004, 12:48 PM   #57
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Roger & Roxie (rore62) Smith (Air#178 - WBCCI#1646)
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Old 03-30-2004, 01:10 PM   #58
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And yes, those are real Daffodils in my window.
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Old 03-30-2004, 01:12 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caadoptees
Uwe and I after passing a military checkpoint.
creampuff came one day later, and left earlier on Sunday, due to other obligations. This is why they're not in any of the travel photos.
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Old 03-30-2004, 02:54 PM   #60
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How did we leave??

Looks like fun! How did you leave?[/QUOTE]

RELAXED AND SUN BURNED !!
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Old 03-30-2004, 07:15 PM   #61
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Relaxed, indeed!
I just vacuumed the last bit of beach sand out of my trailer and took it back to storage. Does this mean I am officially back in business here at the office?
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Old 03-30-2004, 09:39 PM   #62
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Boy, it is hard to get back to life with a clock. I had to get up at a certain time this morning. Unlike at Punta Estrella. The weather at home today reminded me of all the days in Mexico. I am looking forward to the fall. I hope we can get a few more trailers along.

Some thoughts.

Day 1:
For us, the stretch from home to El Centro was too much (400 mi) for my passengers. The LA and SD traffic was too much for my wife and her 'phantom' brake pedal. It was nice travelling with Uwe since he slowed me down and I got better mileage.

Day 2:
Into Mexico. The crossing was simple. The border guard wanted to look inside our trailer but it was not a problem. The drive south was uneventful, slow (due to 80KPH limit) and somewhat boring (many asleep in the truck). When we got there, the first thing Uwe did was take off his shoes (an indicator). We setup the trailers then plopped down in some chairs and waited/worried for Creampuff. He showed up later with no problems. The weather was nice with a little bit of breeze. Had a nice dinner and talked for a while.

Day 3:
Woke up to a low tide. LOTS of shells, clams, snails, worms, etc. That was very fun. The crew got antsy about going into town (9800 population). We went for lunch and had some good tacos interspersed with street vendors. Weather was fantastic. That evening we had a campfire on the beach.

Day 4:
More low tide exploration. Found a hermit crab on the beach. Went into town but was 'informed' that I pressured the shoppers to go faster. So I took a chair and sat on the beach in town. Watched the swimmers, the jetskier's, people being pulled on floating banana shaped devices (bad description). I had a good time, so did the shoppers (win/win). That night we had a pot luck and tried to eat as much of the food as we had so the border guards (US) would not confiscate them. We also got to hear Creampuff's singing dogs (you may see them sometime on America's Funniest Home Videos). Went to sleep with a cool wind that got warmer overnight.

Day 5:
Creampuff left early. The two of us left around 8AM. We went through the first military checkpoint with minimal trouble (we gave the guards some food for lunch as did Uwe). The second checkpoint was different. Uwe went first then we were called in. However we got out first. I don't know what Uwe was hiding. However, he did have his daughter-in-law with him and the guards were very interested in that.

The trip back got VERY eventful in Mexicali. We were travelling along in the slow lane, Uwe first. When Uwe hit his brakes and my wife started saying "Bus, bus, bus". A buss had turned off the road in front of Uwe with no signal and was still in the lane. Well I was trying to stop, more brake, more brake. Then I realized this would require FULL brake. I gave it, the trailer locked up, the truck did not (ABS) and we stopped about 6 inches from Uwe's trailer. I was visualizing a repair job for Andy. THAT was exciting. I am so thankful that I have that extra capability in my truck.

We got to the border and it took about 35-45 minutes to get to the guards. I am glad that I don't have a trailer longer than 25' or it would have been hard to thread it through their lanes. The guard asked us what our citizenship was, asked to look in our trailer, stuck his head in, looked around and said thanks.

We split from Uwe then and headed to Desert Hot Springs (halfway). It was nice to be in a hot pool that evening.

Day 6:
Home. Blah.

That is about it in a synopsis.

It was nice to have water at the campos. It made the camping extremely low impact.

Highly recommended!
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Old 03-30-2004, 09:59 PM   #63
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Roger, I can see how 400mls with 3 ladies in the truck might be a bit much in one day. I know, because I went 400 miles home, with 3 ladies in the Suburban. One 29year old, one 5 year old, and one almost 2 year old.
Next time we should meet at Desert Hot Springs, seems like as good a place as any to break up the drive.
You know, that bus incident made me aware how well the trailer brakes actually work. I doubt my Suburban alone would have had enough stopping power, without the trailer. I could feel it tug, even felt the slight bump when the generator hit the front goucho, followed by Stacey's suitcases. Everything survived fine, though. Good thing we slowed to the speed limit just before then, no?
Our drive home was relatively uneventful as well. Lots of diaper stops and milk purchasing sprees, but otherwise no probs. I was amazed how well the Suburban with the 5.7l Vortec and the 3:73 gears pulled up the El Centro grade. A 15 mile climb from 0 elevation to 4400ft, all in one steady grade. My speed never fell under 55mph, although it took some getting used to hearing the engine go 3500rpm the entire time. No temp problems, either. I guess i will be keeping this truck for a long while.
I averaged 12.2mpg going down to Mexico, and 10.8 going home. Should be reversed, as driving home the tanks and fridge etc. were empty. Must have been the headwind going north in Baja, or my lead foot once i got onto I-8.
I will go again soon, probably try out a new campground with full hookups. Punta Estrella onlyu works when the temps are liveable. Too hot in Summer without hookups and A/C. I'll post my findings once I return.
Next stop: San Clemente State Beach over Easter, then El Capitan State Beach over Mother's Day weekend. Then, maybe Baja in June.......
Oh, do let me know if you want to go in October - might as well plan it out now!
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Old 04-01-2004, 08:31 PM   #64
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Pretty accurate description of the 'soire' Roger. Believe it or not the milage to my house was identical going back via the coast - 414 miles, same as going through D.H. Springs. I averaged 11.9 mpg for the trip.
I'll PM you guys as soon as we have a weekend for California Hot Springs - look at maybe early/mid May. I'll bring the famous 'singing dogs' !!
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Old 04-02-2004, 10:15 AM   #65
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Very interesting reading, Roger. I was wodering how the boreder crossings and check points went for you guys. I've heard horror stories. Glad you guys had an awesome trip. Also good to see Califronians on these boards. I feel like we're outnumbered by the "East Coasters" around here.
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Old 04-02-2004, 10:57 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dee
Very interesting reading, Roger. I was wodering how the boreder crossings and check points went for you guys. I've heard horror stories. Glad you guys had an awesome trip. Also good to see Califronians on these boards. I feel like we're outnumbered by the "East Coasters" around here.
When we crossed into Mexico, the guard wanted to look in my truck (under the lid) and inside the trailer. I thought that would be a premonition on how the rest of the trip went.

The first checkpoint was on the road to San Felipe, right after where the road to Ensenada (3) joins 5. This time the guard just asked some questions and let us pass. I always tried to speak Spanish to them.

The next checkpoint was south of San Felipe but north of where we were staying. A few more questions and we were on our way. We went through this checkpoint at least 4 more times on our two trips to 'town' without the trailer. One day the guard recognized us on the way back and just waved us through.

On the way home we were stopped at the San Felipe checkpoint and they went in the trailer and looked around. Uwe gave them some food that might not make it through the border and I did like wise. I asked the guard what they are looking for. He said 'armas, drogas, personas perdidas' (weapons, drugs and missing people).

The checkpoint by the highways 3 & 5 junction was much more thorough. The guard looked in EVERY cabinet of the trailer. I even saw them looking through doors outside some RV's. I was second to be checked but I got through before Uwe did.

The final one was the border crossing into the US. This is where we thought we would have to dump our food. Not the case at all. Even with the strawberries that we bought in Mexico. Again we got through faster that Uwe. Luck of the draw of agents?

Some things that I think helped were:
1) travelling together. Maybe we didn't look so suspicious?
2) speaking spanish. My spanish isn't perfect but it got by.

The Mexican guards are very young but also very friendly. The US guard I got was also very patient and friendly. Uwe told us some stories of them using dogs, etc. on other crossings. I am thankful we didn't have any problems.

As an aside, we went through the US Ag checkpoint north of Brawley by the Salton Sea. It wasn't open. As someone told me, I guess it is OK to smuggle things on Sunday.
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Old 04-02-2004, 11:08 AM   #67
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It is draw of the luck. We were waved through many times, and disected just as many times. The Mexican soldiers were always very respectful and kind, I never had a bad experience, other than loss of time.
One trick, which i forgot this last trip, is to have chilled drinking water bottles and hand them a few right at the beginning. This seems to divert their attention and they send you on the way much quicker.
Did you know that they are working these beats on the request of the US government? Most likely a case of our tax dollars at work.
The AG checkpoint near Alpine awas closed also. So was the immigration one between Oceanside and San Clemente. A good day for questionables, indeed!
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Old 04-02-2004, 11:36 AM   #68
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I think the AG checkpoints have all been closed since I haven't found one open in a year or two.

I will remember about the water and food for the soldiers. I am sure that really "greases the skids." Very nice to hear the soldiers were nice and respectful. Sounds like the best way to go is in a caravan with a spanish speaker in front. Just need the time. Someday!
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Old 04-02-2004, 08:02 PM   #69
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Actually, I don't speak spanish, went by myself quite a few times, and it's not been a hassle. This was the first Caravan for me ( how fun!), and it seemed to have made only little difference. No worries. It seems that re-entry into US is more inconsistent.
Murray ( creampuff) apparently got searched big time, while Roger and I more or less just breezed through.
Maybe next time you can join us. Probably early October. Dogs are no problem at all.
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Old 04-03-2004, 04:30 PM   #70
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Thumbs up Checkpoints

I'm lucky "the Creampuff" doesn't have bullet holes in the rear endcap!! The first checkpoint was fine - a mere wave through. The second ,south of San Felipe, I was tired ,cranky (made a wrong turn a mile back) and misread the hand signals! I slowly rolled on through and glancing in the mirror I saw 3 gun toating guards in a cloud of dust!! Good thing the other 2 rigs had gone thru 2 hrs earlier - or maybe they are just bad marksmen!
Trailer got checked over at the northern one on the way back and at the US border they called in the drug dog while the guy had me stand 10 feet away with my hands clearly out of my pockets. He went thru the refer and barked questioned about the meats and eventually after an AG lesson he took 3 oranges. We were most worried about losing the awesome jumbo shrimp we bought at the harbour the day before for $8/lb.
Bottom line is : NO PORK, Citrus and Chicken is risky if not clearly labeled,un-opened and frozen. They didn't even bother with the tow veh.,but I did have to remind the guy to hand back our docs. that he had stuck in his belt at the get-go.
It was nice to 'camp outside the box' for a change! Try it -you'll like it! Two thumbs up!
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