In the beginning of January we left our truck and trailer at Desert Trails RV Park in Tucson and flew to El Paso Texas. Our nephew Jacobo and his wife Renee met us at the airport with their three year-old daughter, Anita, one of our favorite people on the planet. Then we drove into Juarez Mexico bound for Chihuahua Mexico. We had business to take care of in Chihuahua; visiting friends and family, renewing my Mexican residency visa, and renewing Sonia’s Mexican social security account.
After an excellent taco supper in Juarez we made the four-hour drive to the city of Chihuahua in the high deserts of north-central Mexico. There we settled into brother-in-law Randy’s office which his wife Sagrario, Sonia’s youngest sister, had prepared for us; a large, old adobe house in a quiet neighborhood and conveniently located near downtown.
We spent the rest of January in our comfortable home away from home. By mid-January I had renewed my temporary residency visa for three years. Now I could now stay in Mexico indefinitely, bring in a U.S. registered car, join Mexico’s social health care system, even buy land in Mexico if we wanted. We still needed to wait for Sonia’s social security renewal date on the first of February.
We filled our time taking yoga classes with Sagrario at her favorite yoga studio. We went to a performance of traditional folk dances featuring nephew Luis Angel and his wife Sandra. And, we visited with friends and family sharing meals of barbacoa, caldo de res, elotes, rajas, machaca, and other delicacies from northern Mexico.
By February first, Sonia completed her social security renewal. The next day we took the bus from Chihuahua to El Paso, rented a car at the El Paso airport, and drove back to Tucson spending the night in Las Cruces, New Mexico on the way.
Back in Tucson we decided to extend our stay at Desert Trails through March 8thand settled in for the next few weeks. But, it had turned rainy and cold in Tucson and by mid-February it even snowed in the RV park itself. We took advantage of the nice days between storms to hike into the canyons, mountain bike through the desert trails, and continue planning our travels for the coming year.
One day we met our brother-in-law, Randy’s, parents at a local brewery, a lively couple in their eighties. I had lost a filling in a molar, so we drove to Nogales Mexico where I had the broken tooth replaced with a porcelain crown ($465). We reserved a bed & breakfast in Ajo Arizona for a couple nights and explored Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument from there.
Finally, winter broke, the snow melted away, and our last two weeks in Tucson were sunny and warm. I took advantage of the weather to hike into the Baboquivari Wilderness, a little visited mountain range outside of Tucson. Together we hiked around the Catalina Mountains and desert canyons, the normally dry washes transformed into clear-running mountain streams.
As our departure date came near, we spent a few days preparing our trailer for the next year’s travels, performing a number of maintenance projects we’d postponed. A couple ore hikes and bike rides and then, suddenly, it was time to hitch up the trailer and move on towards New Mexico. We have a big year in front of us and we can’t wait to see what happens next.