Returning to the US: Who Doesn’t Love a 1,000 Mile Detour?

If you think this series is tedious, you should have been on the road with us! Let’s fast-forward a bit:

Aaron somehow forgot to order the tire and then delivery was delayed twice due to a winter storm so we were stuck in the RV with the dogs for a total of 9 ½ days. That was awesome. We left Ocotillo Wells on January 28 and I had another blowout (driver’s rear) just east of Twentynine Palms. A normal person would wonder what the hell kind of shape they were in for this to keep happening. The tread was still good on the remaining three. AARON CHECKED THEM. So back on the donut I went.

We just happened to need fuel when we made our way to Amboy, California. This place has an amazing history and an ongoing lack of potable water. As such, the café is only a gift shop and there are no working restrooms. This is exactly the kind of place I could spend an entire day exploring so it really sucked that we were so pressed for time. Here are a few pics I was able to grab while we tried to get the dogs to potty.

Kelso is another town I would have loved to photograph but we just couldn’t stop.

Kelso Depot courtesy Andrew Stack

We spent the night at a hotel adjacent to a casino in Mesquite, Nevada and hoo-boy, was that an experience. We’ve all seen some sad walks of shame but these were like rock bottom. I had all three tires replaced the next morning and the bf asked the tire guy his thoughts about whether the Mighty Dodge would make it all the way to Idaho with its four bald, mismatched tires. I think he gave it 50-50 odds.

We then attempted to power through Utah but were stopped by heavy, wet snow in Nephi. The truck was hydroplaning on basically anything wet for obvious reasons so we thought it best to take no chances. The place we stayed looked normal on the outside but our first assigned room had water dripping through the ceiling. I guess the pet annex doesn’t get the same level of maintenance.

So we FINALLY made it to our destination in Southeast Idaho on Saturday, January 30…more than two weeks after leaving Todos Santos. We had driven more than 2,000 miles and I rolled about 520 of them on that stupid donut. The dogs and I were so happy to get out of the Jeep and finally get settled again…but were we???

Click the links below to see how we got to this point.

Returning to the US: Motocross Heaven and the Tow of Shame

Returning to the US: He Literally Thought I Was Dead

Returning to the US: Sherman, I Just Really Need You to Poop

Returning to the US: Leaving Todos Santos

Returning to the US: First the Why

Returning to the US: Motocross Heaven and the Tow of Shame

We finally crossed the border at Mexicali East on Monday, January 18, 2021 at about 11:15 am. The dogs and I were waved right through without even being asked for their health certificates. The Joad Family truck was obviously referred for secondary inspection so I drove to a gas station adjacent to the crossing and waited. The bf was allowed to drive through the X-ray machine, which saved a ton of time. He fully expected to unload the entire truck.

We brought a laptop up from Mexico for some friends so we stopped in El Centro to ship the package and grab lunch. I wasn’t prepared for such a culture shock. It didn’t seem like I had been gone that long or maybe it was just being in California but I definitely felt out of place.

The same friends have an RV in the desert near Ocotillo Wells so we headed there to take a breather and hang out while my tire was replaced. By this point, I had driven approximately 350 miles on my spare. Totally fine, y’all. Our friends have a terrific fenced area for their very large dogs allowing Sherman to finally, literally, take a load off.

The RV park has a motocross track and it’s surrounded by trails. Lulu was predictably unimpressed by the off-road engines, but she was especially annoyed by a woman riding an old Honda two-stroke three-wheeler. The bf, who used to race motocross, thinks two-strokes sound like music but I only hear chainsaws on wheels. The track was deserted during the week so we used it to walk the dogs.

The next day, we drove both vehicles to Borrego Springs to fuel up and then dropped off my tire. We went to a coffee shop for lunch and Wi-Fi since there was no connection at the RV.

The coffee was good but not *that* good.

My Jeep died when we tried to leave and it made a weird electrical sound when I tried to restart it. I called the shop where we dropped the tire to see if they could send someone over but I was told they don’t do anything offsite. He gave me the number for a tow truck but that’s how people who haven’t lived in Mexico handle things.

Because the fence at the RV is short and the ground is soft, the dogs were with us when all of this was going down. There wasn’t anything in the truck that we could use to tow my Jeep back to the shop so we walked the dogs over to a NAPA and bought a tow strap. The way things had been going, I figured we would probably run into this type of situation again.

We stumbled on to a bank of chargers during our walk. All of them were out of service.

After completing the tow of shame back to the shop, we had to move a bunch of shit from the front seat of the truck into the backseat of the Jeep so there would be room for the dogs and me. We never imagined the Mighty Dodge would survive the trip, let alone save the day once again.

Wednesday morning, Aaron at the shop called to say he had to order a tire and it would arrive the next day. My alternator had failed (hence the electrical sound) so that also had to be ordered. We settled in and awaited his call to let us know it was ready.

Click the links below to see how we got to this point.

Returning to the US: He Literally Thought I Was Dead

Returning to the US: Sherman, I Just Really Need You to Poop

Returning to the US: Leaving Todos Santos

Returning to the US: First the Why

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑