I’m right at the edge!
I initially planned to be in Mexico on the 7th. But here I am on the 8th, and still not through the border.
Having had little sleep, I had a hard time getting out of bed. At 8:30 AM, I hopped on the motorcycle and cruised away. Feeling fatigued and not up to dealing with accessories on the handlebars, I enjoyed the moderately short ride ( five hours) to Loredo. The road between these cities was nice, but pale in comparison to yesterday’s ride. Also, a large part of the ride was under grey clouds.
At one of two lengthy stops for traffic construction, a man in his sixties got out of his pickup truck and asked me the question, “where are you coming from?” After telling him my story, he told me a little of his. He said he spent some time in Canada years back and visited Stewart, British Colombia, which borders with Hyder, Alaska (population 200). Strangely enough, I know the area and rode my motorcycle there too. Also a motorcycle enthusiast, he said that he used to be a Harley Davidson and Victory Motorcycle type of rider. He said he also rode a dirt bike when he was younger and doing some “patrolling.” Just as I was going to ask him the follow up questions, the traffic flagman opened up our lane of traffic. I never got to know more, but enjoyed the short time with a very friendly Texas man.
I wonder if he meant patrolling the borders as a Border Patrol Agent. There were many more on the roads today, even though my route was several kilometres (or miles) away from the border. At one point, the lane on the road I was on was diverted to a truck inspection site and I was briefly stopped by a Border Patrol agent and asked to produce an identity card to show that I was Canadian.
Seeing all these border agents made me think. There must be so many stories from the people crossing the border and the agents looking for them. Wouldn’t it be interesting to hear both sides of these stories?
Arriving in Loredo, my GPS took me through a city industrial district where hundreds of tractor trailers brought or picked up their cargo at warehouses. I have to get better at using my GPS. The unintended route made me aware of amount of international business between the US and Mexico. I left the district feeling impressed by the amount of products that must be exchanged between the countries, but also overwhelmed. Likely because a motorcycle maneuvering through the maze of giant trucks and trailers makes me feel like a bug flying between fly swatters.
During the evening, while looking at the next day’s route, I starting playing around on Google and calculated distances. I determined that there is 4,471 kms (2,778 mi) between Loredo and Panama City, and 2,490 kms (1,547 mi) between Cartagena, Colombia and Puerto Lopez, Ecuador. How I’ll get from Panama to Cartagena will be fun (and remain a mystery), since there is no way to drive through the swampy jungles in the Darien Straight which divides the two countries. So, as I sit in a comfy chair in Loredo, Texas, 780 kms (485 mi) have been done in three days, and more than 6,018 kms (3739 mi) left to go before I reach my yoga course. Once that’s done, I’ll make my way back up to Canada.