I’m starting my journey north next Saturday, April 23rd. So this is my last full week in Mazatlán.
Things are kind of in limbo right now because of work unexpectedly grinding to a halt. I’m not worried as things always pick up and I did better in February and March than I thought, although I have a significant outstanding receivable that I’m concerned about. But it doesn’t look like I’ll have any income worth mentioning for April and May. That determines what kind of trip north I’ll have. Thankfully, the coffers are in fine shape and so far I don’t need to change my Europe plans, even though I’m still not at a point of being able to focus on that. I tend to be a one milestone at a time kind of gal.
One thing that is helping me be so relaxed about this lull is my beloved Haven. I remember when departure day would loom when I was full-timing and I was always stressed about where I’d land and how long I could stay. With Haven, I know I can land sometime in May and be in absolutely no rush to head out again. I’m not looking forward to insane grocery prices and crappy internet, but setting foot on my very own 5,000 square feet of property? I can’t wait. Four years now that I’ve owned Haven and the novelty of having my own land hasn’t worn off.
But there is a whole country between my Mexican casita and Haven. It’s not like I can snap my heels together and, poof, be in Saskatchewan. Because of work commitments in the spring, I did a mad dash south. With spring having come early to Haven, I thought of doing the same thing to go north, only with a long stop in Wyoming rather than in Nogales. My friend Vicki, whom I stayed with in Keystone last year, is going to be in Cody for the summer and has graciously invited me to pop in. Cody is on one of my three most direct routes home from Nogales, not even a detour, so it’s a no brainer to go!
That means I’ll be driving through Utah. And if I’m driving through Utah, I have to find a way to spend a week at Arches National Park to do some hiking. So now, I’m looking for reasonably priced accommodation around the park, similar to what I did to visit Zion Canyon. I haven’t started doing any real searching yet, so I hope this will be possible. With the current exchange rate, anything more than 40USD a night will be a stretch (I paid less than that in Hurricane to visit Zion, at a weekly rate). Of course, I can reduce the stay to a few nights only if I don’t find a reasonable weekly rate. I just want to make sure I can fit in at least two really good hikes.
So far the trip home looks like this:
April 23rd: Isla to San Carlos. I need to find accommodation in San Carlos since I refuse to stay at Totonaka. I’ve been asked why I go out of my way and don’t stay in Guaymas instead. San Carlos will be my last chance to see the ocean before heading into the desert, then Prairies. I cherished my last Mexico evening last year and think I will regret skipping San Carlos this year.
April 24th: San Carlos to Tucson or even Phoenix. Last year, I had work to do right around border day, so I was glad to have an excuse to stop in Nogales after a tiring morning. But this year, if I don’t cross too late, I’d like to start pushing north, especially since I’ll be gaining an hour. In fact, I’d really like to get as far as Phoenix.
April 25th: Tucson (or Phoenix) to Moab(ish).
Then Moab(ish) to Cody, very likely with a stop halfway. Then Cody to home. As long as I’m on the road by 7:00 or 8:00 am, I’ll be able to get to the border well before it closes and still get home before dark. I don’t feel the pressing need I did last year to be home early in the day.
So at this point, I’m seeing myself at home by the end of the first week of May to the end of the second week of May, two weeks earlier than last year. I’m prioritising the trip to Europe over more gallivanting in the U.S., of which I’ve done plenty. 🙂
This week, I’m just enjoying being on Isla. I went out both days last weekend, so I’m glad to stay in this week and enjoy the beach. I had an nice dinner at Miguel’s last night and my yardmates and I are going out to Che’s on Thursday evening. Next week, I’ll probably want to do a couple of excursions into town, to say my final goodbye to at least the Malecón. I don’t think I’ll be heading back up to the Golden Zone, though. And, of course, I need to start packing and deep cleaning!
I remain a little distressed by how quickly the winter flew by. I wonder what I did all this time and, yet, I know I did a ton, including two vacations! I think part of thing is that while I was here, I didn’t have as much novelty of discovery as I did last year. However I look at it, these have been the best six months of my life.
And now, ¡nuevas aventuras!