Chiricahua Monument and Nogales Mexico
Trip Start Aug 11, 2007
7Trip End Aug 20, 2007
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What a day the J and I have had. I was up at 6:30 when Jeff came to the door to drop off some gear to me as he was leaving for Canada. I stayed up and showered, then packed up a few remaining items...fridge goodies and toilettries. Jay woke around 7:30 and had a quick shower. We loaded the van at around 8. I heated up some chicken stir fry and rice left-overs from last night for breakfast. Jay had two bites of a bad apple. J was still beat from the hectic routine, so she crashed while I drove back to SE Arizona. Along the way, we came upon a tractor trailer on fire (I've uploaded all the new pics on flickr), but unfortunately, all that was left of the truck was a burned out metal carcass that you probably won't recognize from the pics. We rolled into the Chiricahua Monument around 10:30 and headed to the top of the mountain range for a quick 30 minute hike around the summit. J and I had fun climbing and posing on the amazing rock formations. We saw some kind of horned deer sized mammal and several lizards, but the awesome views dominated the show. Next, we descended a bit and tackled a 5.4 km trail at Echo Canyon, a beautiful, but technically and physically challenging trail. The first half was all views and downhill, the second half was much less spectacular and all uphill...for 3 km...uphill...all the way. By this time, 1:30ish, J was regretting not eating breaky or lunch and was crashing. We drove to the nearest Subway for emergency fuel, which was an hour and a half drive. Once fed, J needed another nap, so she lay back again while I drove to Nogales, Mexico. The plan was to leave the car in the U.S. and walk acros the border for some exciting shopping and deals. So we found a parking spot next to the border walk-across and headed over for a delightful spree. Once on the Mx side of the gate, the guard announced the border gate would be closing at 6 PM. It was 5:50 PM. I asked and he said the other main pedestrian gate was open 24 hours, so no problem returning...fair enough...so off we went for our discount date.
Passing through the Mx gate across the alley from the U.S. gate, we were met with the stench of raw sewage...pungent, 110 degree raw sewage. Moving quickly along in an attempt to outrun the stench, we found ourselves in a run down ghetto lined with bars, strip clubs and a "massage parlour" on a street line with stationary bodies with following eyes. Clearly, we'd passed through the "locals" gate and were not in the day shopping Mecca we'd expected. So I guided us in the direction of the main border where I could see line ups of cars waiting to pass into the U.S. J, meanwhile had lost her enthusiasm altogether and was not impressed, amused or comfortable with the situation...nor was I. On our way through the ghetto and along the main vehicle and pedestrian routes, we saw many crappy discount shops that appeared to be closed or closing. We decided the daytime border-shopping must be wrapping up at 6PM, so agreed to get the Hell outta there ASAP and cut our losses (3 hours round trip out of our way). So all we had to do was find the 24 hour pedestrian border crossing and we'd be on our way. I guess we weren't the only ones in Mx today to go for a little cross border shopping...so we lined up in the customs cue and waited...45 minutes to cross back into the U.S. We finally made it across without incident and headed for our car. J was speechless the whole time (15 minutes trying to escape the ghetto and 45 minutes trying to get out of Mx) and immediately plugged in and tuned out when we got into the van. I drove back to the Sabino Canyon Comfort Suites in Tucson and checked us into our room. The maid had turned in our battery charger, so we've recovered the $30 batteries and have a free breakfast tomorrow AM. Not quite enough to make up for tonight's double booking, but it will have to do. J was too tired to blog tonight so I decided to do it and get it done. Tomorrow is a relatively easy day, so we'll sleep in a bit and hopefully J will rebound from her sleepies. We've both been sleeping less than we're used to and hiking all day in the sun and heat of Arizona and New Mexico. J has also been eating very little during the day, which is contributing to her condition. We have to go to Mt. Lemmon, NE of Tucson to recover our bug trap and then shop and sight see our way to Phoenix.
We are missing you girls more and more every day. All along our hikes today we were including you both in our moods, discussions and poses. WE MISS YOU BOTH...AND LOVE YOU TOO MUCH FOR WORDS.