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Back to the USA
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A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!


Visit Expedia…

Expedia is my favorite place to book airfare, and they handle hotels, car rentals, cruises, etc. I like the organization of the site for figuring out what flights I want. Click on the suitcase to take a look.

I was very pleased to win an award for this blog! Even better for you: click through for lists of all sorts of award-winning travel blogs.

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

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June 2, 2005 —

Our last day in Mexico was spent driving north through the state of Chihuahua. The roads were good and we continued our conversation about the various places we’d lived. We had sold our llama ranch after some years, and we chortled to remember how annoyed some of our friends and acquaintances had been. We had been living their dream and they couldn’t see why we would give up such a perfect life. But the impulse for something new, including travel, was at work in us. We moved into the city of Ashland for several years and then we moved again, north to Olympia, Washington. We think of those four years as our experiment in city life, and while Olympia is a very livable city, we really do prefer smaller places.

Our last year in Olympia, we had a Grey Line Hawaii tour bus parked in our back yard. We turned it into a charming motorhome, with lots of closet space, nooks for our two dogs, and a desk for each of us. Leaving order fulfillment for our business in the hands of some friends, we took off in June 1996 to explore the West. One of our favorite discoveries was the small town of Crestone, Colorado, and we bought some land there. We also liked southern New Mexico, and ended up buying four acres outside of Deming for a song. Later we built the ecological house that is our current home in Crestone. All this rambling conversation was helpful in thinking about the choices we’ll be making when we get back there soon.

We kept an eye on the gas gauge this time as we talked, and we came upon the city of Chihuahua. We had taken a periferico bypass around it two years earlier but this time we missed one turn and ended up following signs to Ciudad Juarez via something called the Ruta Paisano. It was well marked and took us through an area of shopping malls, Sears, Office Depot, Wal-Mart, and upscale neighborhoods, in fairly heavy traffic. Kelly enjoyed every minute of it. I didn’t, but had to admit it was interesting to get more of a sense of this prosperous city.

Our northward route took us off the main highway and along good two-lane roads via a small city called Nuevo Casas Grandes. We had stayed overnight there two years earlier but it was hot and still only midafternoon when we arrived there, so we went on to the border even though we weren’t sure we were quite ready to leave Mexico.

The Palomas, Chihuahua — Columbus, New Mexico crossing was one we knew well, as we had spent some time in Columbus and had gone over to Palomas for lunches, eyeglasses, and other things a number of times. When we got there around six, we were pleased to see that the main street of Palomas was finally paved.

Crossing the border turned out to be a piece of cake. We parked by the Mexican border offices. First we went to the Migracion office, where we presented our brand new FM-3s to be stamped. But the official smilingly gave them back to us and told us that they didn’t need to be stamped and that with these visas we could come and go as much as we wanted to without even stopping by their office. That astonished me, and I intend to check it out further. But as I’ve said before, every Migracion office can do what it wants. Next we went to the office where vehicle stickers are issued. Someone came out, removed the sticker from our windshield, and issued us a receipt indicating we were removing the vehicle from Mexico. This is a very important step which isn’t at all obvious that you should do, but if you later try to go to Mexico, you can get stopped if there is no proof that you did it.

How long would it take us on the American side? I checked my watch as we pulled into a line of half a dozen cars. Twelve minutes later we were through. The official hadn’t even asked us where we were born, though in having conversation about the foods we couldn’t bring in, he certainly heard our American accents. We had to give up our raw eggs and some fruit.

So we were back. Were we ready for this? We drove half an hour to our land outside Deming and camped there. The desert was like what we had been driving through much of the day, and nature knows no boundaries. We took a long walk until dusk, changed our clocks from Central time which most of Mexico is on, to the local Mountain time, and enjoyed the deep quiet of the desert. While there were more houses cropping up all around Deming, there were no new ones right near our land, we were pleased to see.

The view from our Deming land

Yesterday, our first full day back in the US, was very interesting. A neighbor we know drove by, as did a couple of others we hadn’t met. Veterans all, one of them had received resounding applause the day before when he had given a Memorial Day speech and had said that there were already too many American soldiers in the cemeteries. We saw the front page article in the local paper. We had a good visit with these colorful characters as we were setting up our internet satellite.

Later we went into Deming for lunch, errands, and to see what the town was like after two years. It appeared a bit more prosperous, and as ever, full of retirees. Kelly dropped me off at a grocery store while he went to get gas. I was keeping an eye out for him to join me, and I saw his white head from some distance away. Or was it? No, it was a stouter man. After six months of easily spotting my husband because his was the only white hair around, now I was seeing white heads everywhere. Later, we ended up in line behind the other fellow, and I told him I had mistaken him for my husband. It turned out he had lived and worked in Mexico for some time and we swapped stories.

Another white-haired man was humming with a small smile as he moved down an aisle in the grocery store in his wheelchair. I had been watching for smiles, ubiquitous in Mexico, and this was the first one I’d seen in a couple of hours in Deming. I told the man that we were just back from six months in Mexico, and about how I was already missing the smiles. He said he had nothing to do but be happy, so why not? A great attitude.

Deming has a new library and I had a lovely chat with the head librarian. It was great fun to be speaking English again with people besides Kelly, and I talked with practically everyone I had a chance to. I bought several books and magazines in English. Being back in the USA has its compensations! Now it’s time to leave our land and continue heading north to the place we’ve called home for eight years.

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