A Travellerspoint blog

Rained out

storm 10 °C
View Mexico 2015 on millerburr's travel map.


You’ve all been there – driving through torrential rains with headlights coming at you on the left and tail-lights in front of you, and reflections off the pavement and even with your windshield wipers going madly, you really can’t see a thing. Your safety lies with the guy in front of you, because if he doesn’t notice that the guy in front of him has slowed down, then you’re in trouble. So you just keep driving and watching for signs, because you know you have to change freeways in a few minutes, and that means crossing two lanes of heavy traffic in darkness and poor visibility. This was our first night on the road, after almost 3 hours crawling through Seattle and Tacoma at rush hour. This was the storm that ushered us into the U.S. and followed us all the way south to the border. That was Washington and Oregon.


California? Fugettaboutit! They have had devastating rains with major, major damage, so it seems churlish to complain about our scary drives, but scary they were. Water creeping up to the shoulders of the highway – at one point we had to navigate through a foot of water on a portion of highway that luckily, was still open. Rest stations closed. Driving beside convoys of trucks for hours, and then slowing to a crawl to drive by accident scenes. Cop cars and tow trucks everywhere. Driving beside mile after mile of flooded fields – hard to know what damage has been done to next year’s crops. We’ve traveled though a bit of California before (down the coast to San Francisco and Carmel) , but would love to come back when the weather is better– what a diverse and beautiful state.

On Day 3, we arrive in Indio, CA, which is just south (east?) of Palm Springs to see our friends Vikki and Roy. They are staying in a complex until the end of February, and as luck would have it, they had glorious hot weather before and after our visit but we arrived with rain and cold. No matter – we had a grand time, sitting on their covered deck and enjoying a home-cooked meal.

We love the U.S. – every trip brings new adventures and observations. This one stood out for us: Abel’s Complete Cremation - $585.25. This was one of the highway signs that caught our eye and for so many reasons. I’ve always regarded the funeral business as being hushed and respectful. Who knew cremations are such a competitive business that billboard advertising might be justified? We pondered a few things about this sign – why the 25 cents? Why not round it off to the nearest dollar, or make it an even $600? And what is the meaning of “complete”? Surely they do not offer “partial” cremations? Are there other cremation billboards?

These are the road conversations we have – laughing over place names like “Sore Finger Road”, or police warnings like “Drive Hammered. Get Nailed.” We wondered if the town of “Sweet Home” is really all that sweet. We actually argued over how many streets exist in North America named “Old River Road”. I thought many dozens, Stephen thought perhaps two or three and there is no easy way to solve that argument. There is no way to solve many of the questions that arise as the miles whiz by. Stephen has come to refer to my many comments as the “imponderables.” Perhaps they are better left that way.

So…it is early evening on Saturday and we are off the road for the rest of the day – it feels good. We have driven over 3102 kilometers in 4 days, and are currently relaxing in the delightful Candlewood Suites in Nogales, Arizona – just 3 km. to the border. Our hotel last night was a bit of a dump, and this one is a treat – renovated, free laundry facilities, huge room, kitchenette – safe, secure and super clean.

The bogeyman has mostly disappeared. Nogales, AZ is not Nogales, MX, but still… crossing the border feels easier from this perspective, and we’re really looking forward to beginning our Mexican adventures.

talk to you in a few days!

Posted by millerburr 18:54 Archived in USA

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We were so pleased to see our friends from Gabriola .. Enjoyed a meal together and sent them on there next leg of there trip ... "Hast a la vista baby "

by Vikki

Wow! You are almost there (Mexico), you sound so positive, despite all the obstacles (the weather). Piotr

by Peter

Oh yeah u made it to the Mexican border. Yikes, sounds like a tedious streatch in the rain, what a relief to end that section of the drive. Guess we can't complain about our storm and high winds after hearing this account of California . Say hi to Sayulita for us !

by Bonnie Blacklock

Gin, very fun to be able to follow your journey. Makes me feel like I am there with you. What a delightful adventure. Xox gin

by Ginny

Sounds like you are sharing the weather we have had on Vancouver Island the last while. Keep the updates coming, they are interesting to read. Happy trails.

by Ron Davis

Nothing like a road trip and U.S. ones do have the funniest road signs. One of my favs was a cat B&B The Cat's Pyjamas and a licence plate "Support Search & Rescue, Get Lost.
Happy trails.

by anne wood

So glad your trek has been safe, here's to better weather.

by Annie

And u thought this would be the easy part!

by brock

What a wonderful blog. Love the ruminations about cremations. We are glad you are safe. It's all about the journey, right? Be well. And dry. xo

by Schliggy

So nice to see that a few storms haven't dampened your spirits. Love the humour.
James and Sheila

by Hawkson

Glad you both not only survived the Monsoon but are both safe! On the bright side - your future can ONLY get warmer and drier! Your story reminded me of our honeymoon touring around France... We were so looking forward to the Pyrennes but hit weather almost as bad as you just had and not only did we not see the mountains, we could barely see the road for the rain and fog... Went from a scenic to a survival experience. One good thought: your relaxing beach is not too far away now!

by Bey

Travel on dear friends, travel on. Dave x

by dave

This is so great..we feel like we are on the journey with you. Looking forward to next segment!!! All ok back here!

by Ian & Karen

just opened my Birthday card!!!! Love it- Love the blog- you are the best at descriptives and making me feel. smell. eat the experience...You da BEST

by nanc

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