Mar 17, 2020

San Carlos to Quartzsite

We woke up at the Fletcha fuel station near San Carlos at 5:45 AM Monday morning and we both had had a wonderful sleep.  58F was cool enough to ensure that restful sleep plus we heard not a peep from any of the semis parked nearby.  We were driving by 6:35AM and it wasn’t long before we got to the Hermosillo bypass, our first time doing it in this direction. So very easy to find the turn off at exit 237. There are two huge yellow signs, one two KMs out and the other one KM out.  They bypass based on previous trips saved us at least 25 minutes making the toll fee of 250 pesos for four axles worth every peso.

Before the Hermosillo bypass.

We arrived at KM 111, Benjamin Hill about 9:10AM.  We were asked if we spoke Spanish and said no.  The military guard pointed his finger north and said ” Go, Go”, very strongly. I observed only about 13 semis there as opposed to the usual 3 – 5 mile line ups.  There were several passenger buses waiting to be processed.

Not a good day for this dude.

Basically Colin drove 12 hours straight Monday with very very few five minute breaks ( may be 3 -4 ).  He was like a robot.  Meanwhile I spent the time on the phone and the computer researching information which allowed us to make decisions and changes to our travel plans.  One big thing was arranging to get our water turned on at home and also to change our Vegas reservation which I was told was impossible. Impossible is not a word I use and so it only took 20 minutes to mange to get done what I wanted to. There were a few other changes as well. I realized today that I had missed most of the journey, the scenery and the relaxation not to mention processing that we were leaving paradise.  However being so occupied made those twelve hours past quickly.  FYI I used my Telcel iPhone as a hotspot to get data and use my laptop.

Hermosillo bypass sign.  Libramento means bypass.  Large vehicles must use this bypass.

Hard to miss the right turn to the bypass.

The hours seemed to pass quickly and by 12:45 we were approaching  KM 226 and the location to turn in our TIP ( enroute to the Sonoyta/Lukeville border ).  We managed the U-turn just past the second entrance which is the bus entrance that are RV’s are required to use. It took about 25 minutes from stopping to leaving to get the paper work complete.  Be sure to see the fellow in the small booth to the left in the car entrance area.

The entrance for RV’s to turn in their TIP.

The lineup at the border was long.  Not sure if it was the end of the long weekend or because of folks were wanting to leave Mexico.  Just as we were approaching the border and could actually see it we were pulled over by the military.  This happened to us once before and it was a fiasco and total waste of time.  They really just want to see the inside of the RV.  I asked the first fellow ( in English which he did not understand ) to be sure to wear a mask and  gloves before they came in.  I might have used the word Coronavirus.  His superior was there a moment later and asked me “que pasa”.  How appropriate 😎  I repeated my request for masks and gloves as I needed to be protected.  He said that he had nothing and told us to get back in the line for the border :-D. My purpose was to have no one board us if possible to keep our personal area safe.

Line up to the US border at Lukeville.

Finally the actual border.  We managed to snag a very very cranky border agent.  She really did not want to be there.  I offered our passport open to the main page in a ziplock bag in order to avoid her touching our passports after handling dozens of others and getting their germs on ours.  She was not happy and asked for only the passports ( I did use a sanitizer wipe on them later ) and then proceeded with her questions.  When did we leave Canada, when did we enter Mexico, where were we coming from ( always answer San Carlos ) and did we have any Mexican drugs with us ( ?? ) or Mexican prescription drugs, and exactly what was in our fridge and how much alcohol did we have?  She did not like any of my answers.  Of course we were sent for an agricultural check.  The fellow was delightful and only cared if we had potatoes or tomatoes.  I asked him to please use my hand sanitizer on his gloves and he said that he was happy to do so.  In fact once he entered he did not touch anything and had me open the fridge and then the freezer. He asked me to lift various times so that he could see more.  All was in order and when he left he thanked me for being so very careful.

The military diversion.

Finally the actual border.  We were directed to the left lane behind that RV.

We saw many RV’s heading to Puerto  Penacso ( spring break ) including a Canadian BC plated huge toy hauler.  Hmm, guess he is ignoring the return to Canada ASAP decree.  Next stop about 4PM was I8 and Love’s that had diesel for 2.749 cash but we headed further east to our normally economical ( last year we saved twenty cents per gallon and 21.50 USD total ). Sadly the cost was 2.759 but we went with it.  Next stop was the Holt Shell RV park.  We were shocked to find it as well as the Subway closed for renovations.  What to do?  The KOA next door wanted $75.00 for the night.  By now my mind was fuzzy and all I could think of was to head directly to Quartzite as it was still light out and I had no idea where else to go. Per my post yesterday you know that we got here safely.

One of two check points to I8.

We are at the Kofa Mountain RV Park and paying $22.00 per night through Passport America.  Great deal.  Lovely park.  More on our arrival in yesterdays post.

A good piece of advice this Tuesday evening  from Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

We have been in isolation here in the RV since we left the Isla.  The RV is like our cocoon.  Not once since leaving Mazatlan to crossing into the US were we asked specifically asked about how we were feeling nor was the word coronavirus used except for the two times that I brought it up.

Click here for the very latest, as in 5 minutes ago, update regarding what is being done in Mazatlan re the COVID -19 virus.

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