Monday, September 26, 2016

Parting is such Sweet Sorrow...Leaving Mexico

Back in February...shortly after "The Last Ride"...we started doing the things that we had to do to move out of La Paz and get ourselves moved to our new home in Longview, Washington. One of the first steps (at least from my point of view) was to move the motorcycles up to the new home. I was very lucky to have a good friend with a good truck and a good trailer to take it all up. Johnny Johnson got it done in about a week. He just happens to be...probably...the most experienced guy in the world at driving the Baja Peninsula. Check out his racing resume by clicking on his name...amazing!

We had to be ready to vacate our La Paz home by March 1, 2016...actually we left a couple of days later. Just before we left, a Mexican moving company picked up the stuff that we were taking North and departed for the Border. United States laws will not allow a Mexican moving company to move beyond the Border region, so a California moving company picked up our load from just across the Border and drove it North to Longview. Catherine and I just drove ourselves up in our Nissan Xterra..a perfect car for the rain and snow of the Pacific Northwest. On the trip, we were well protected by Paco...our middle aged Weimaraner. As you can well imagine, none of this was cheap. Which certainly raises the question...Why bother? Why not just stay in beautiful tropical Mexico?

Many reasons spring to mind starting with the fact that medical care for aging United States citizens is paid for by the government (Medicare) but this advantage of citizenship is not available unless you are actually in the United States. There is no coverage for procedures performed outside the United States. I am well, but I am also 73 years it is only prudent to position myself to take advantage of this benefit. My wife, being essentially a child bride, is not eligible for Medicare for another year. So, she will be ready to take advantage when the time comes.

A second reason is weather related. It has been our experience that hurricanes are unpleasant events...not to be repeated if possible. Two years ago Catherine and I  went through a Category 5 hurricane at our home in La Paz and I believe that as a consequence of that event we made an unspoken agreement to leave as soon as it became convenient. Up here in Washington, there is also a distinct lack of widow spiders...rattlesnakes...mosquitos and millepedes. These are creatures that we can all do without. Up here in Washington our biggest problems are the giant slugs that wander out of the forest at night. Some people do not like our squirrels. From my point of view, they are massively preferable to the scorpions of La Paz.

So...what about Washington? It is very different from anyplace that I have ever lived before. Catherine has been around cold weather, rain, snow and tall green trees for at least some of her life...Me, not so much.

This is what the new place looks like from one of the game trails that surround the property. It did not take us long before we were hiking around the area. Below are a couple of shots from the game trail that is just south of the house.

I am not a fan of spiders and this one looks like something out of s Sy Fy movie!

In La Paz I had a spacious workshop where I could conduct my experiments on unsuspecting motorcycles. Here I am suffering. We have a nice (and even spacious) two car garage. But we also have three cars and way too many motorcycles. So, my search began for a local builder. I am happy to report that I am now awaiting the construction of a decent size (700+ sq.ft.) shop. Once that is up, I will be ready to start bringing back to life my bikes which have been suffering in the cold and damp weather. Below is a shot of the building pad under construction.

So, what else is new? Actually we re-stocked our weimaraner population. Two girl dogs from Kentucky arrived in early June. They are sisters from the same litter and they are growing like weeds. I expect that they will be keep us safe from the slugs and squirrels and letter carriers as well as the Fed Ex visitors. I'll have some more up-dates when construction begins on the shop.

The puppies at eleven weeks

The puppies at three months