Day 30 – Rendezvous and Inspection Day

Day 30 – Friday, July 26, 2013

Sorry for the delay in posting. We have quite a bit going on in our final few days here in Mission, TX. We spent this morning with the tour leader reviewing the log book for the “Trek of the Americas”. This was rendezvous day. We met the other family in the group that arrived today. Justin, Alyssa, and their son Rhett from Colorado. They were born and raised in New Orleans and are making a permanent move to Panama. They are traveling with a fifth wheel trailer as far as Panama. Julie notes “Rhett is 3 years old and prefers to be called Wally, Wally Bing Bang and calls me Julie Julie Bing Bang. He has 2 tiny plastic geckos that both enjoy a nice smoothie in this hot weather. He has put on so many miles on his little 2 wheeler since he arrived that if he was going in the right direction, he’d be in Panama by now. Not sure if you can tell but I am very happy to meet this nice polite young man. Wally, Wally also has a husband just like me, but his husband’s name is Dustin and he’s 35. We’ll introduce you to the 4 other members of Rhett’s real family some other day. Pictures will be the best way to do that.”

Victor is our other trek traveler. He is traveling with his dog Mindy. He is a retired longshoreman from California but was born and raised in Hawaii. He is traveling in a van and tent with 7 surf boards strapped to the roof. He is also making a move to Panama and will drop off the trek at that point. Julie notes “Victor has offered to teach us surfing when the occasion arises. He has a great soft board that is practically fool proof for beginners. Hmmm I think I see funniest home video clips in the making.”

The tour leader, Norm, is traveling in an older Class C motorhome.

Norm’s son, John, conducted a thorough vehicle inspection of each rig after we finished a review of the log books, traveling practices and expectations. He noted a few minor items on our vehicle. We decided to have them repaired here so made arrangements with D & D Wheel Alignment to fix the items as a preventative measure.

We dropped the vehicle off at 3:00 PM after a long day of last minute preparations and shopping for various supplies.

John and Norm conducting the vehicle inspection. Julie notes “No family resemblance there eh?”

One of the “preparations” was a mother-in-law Vera inspired container with small miscellaneous items stored inside for quick and easy retrieval. Pens, markers, scissors, crazy glue, elastics, etc. Genius! Julie notes “Even the 2 permanent markers came from mom’s bottomless supply in her craft drawer and the little scissors are from dad’s collection. Brad even put the ‘Stop Itch’ stick in there because he’s pretty sure mom used to keep hers in the pencil can on the kitchen table.”

Julie and I walked out of the RV park and across the street for supper at La Fogata. It was quite a nice place. A little more upscale than we had anticipated. I had the house special steak cooked on cast iron, with a baked potato and grilled onions. It was dripping with delicious butter and was extremely tender. Really good but not quite Alberta beef good. Julie tried the tilapia recommended by our waiter. She wasn’t overly thrilled with her fish but it was good, not great. “Julie notes “ehnnn too much celery and it came wrapped in foil, sort of a camping dish, but the fish and shrimp were nice and firm. And I did not leave any on my plate so what does that tell you?”

The kitchen was viewable through a large glass window. They had hardwood burning on a large open “BBQ” with goat, chicken, and other meat cooking away. Pretty neat. Julie notes “We are guessing that is what we were looking at based on the menu items. Things look different there than at the petting zoo.”

Julie notes “I spent the better part of the afternoon cataloguing our large first aid kit that we have carried faithfully since our first kayaking trip back in 2005. It is a requirement in some of the countries we will be travelling to, to have a kit or you’ll be fined. The lab tech in me noted a lot of overdue expiry dates but oh well. We just won’t wear our glasses if we need to take any of the meds. Hopefully we have meds to counteract any issues from the old meds. And if we ever have an emergency where many 2×2 sterile gauze patches are required, we’re prepared; multiple bee stings, an avalanche involving tiny rocks, someone attacking us with a sewing needle, any other ideas? I also found some cinnamon flavoured dental sticks in the kit. Now that one makes sense, nothing worse than something stuck in your teeth in the wilderness.”

…over and out, the muleskinner and his sidekick