Cruising  ~ The Cat’s Meow Style ~  Summer, 2009

Our Most Excellent Summer Adventure – Pt. 1



So, there we were in La Cruz, near Pto. Vallarta, on the mainland coast of Mexico. Our RV was loaded with the cats, all of the things we brought from The Cat’s Meow for the road trip, and a few boat parts to be repaired as well. Jaye and Irwin, of Winsome, decided to ride along up the highway as far as Mazatlan. That was truly a boon for us, as Irwin helped Martin with the RV projects – brakes, water system, AC, etc. – and Jaye helped Robin with the provisioning and cleaning up of the RV. While doing all of this, we found a few different RV “parks” to locate while we readied ourselves and the motorhome. 



         An RV park where we…er..Martin fixed stuff on the RV                                          We also made a little time for margs and relaxation


After finally deciding it was time to move on down the road, we drove to Mazatlan, where Jaye & Irwin were house-sitting while Winsome was getting some repairs in the near-by boatyard. Jaye put out a call on the VHF radio, and a party ensued! She also did a bang-up job of preparing a Thai dinner for all to enjoy. It was really fun to see some of our boat buddies again, and we all had a great evening. 


                                    Boating friends in Mazatlan came together for a fun evening 


Then……..we were off! Heading north, then east, and eventually west, on our Stateside trip. We planned to spend two months in the US, visiting some of Robin’s family, exploring some new-for-us sites, and seeing more family and friends in the western portion of the continent. Well, we did it all!!! Altogether, we put around 13,000 miles under the tires of the RV, and it took us three months instead of two!! We cannot include all of our exploits and adventures here, but we hope to describe many of them, as we really did have a great summer. Read on:


                           Toes kept us on the right track


Our drive from La Cruz, through Mazatlan and up to the border, was purrrty easy and uneventful. We didn’t try to hurry, the roads were all good, and we had no mechanical problems. John, of Chez Moi, had told us that when he drove his motorhome in Mexico, he stayed overnight at the Pemex stations. Pemex is the national gasoline, and Pemex stations are sprinkled all over the country (many more now than there used to be, as well). Pemex stations are akin to truck stops in the US – many trucks stop there, the drivers spend the night, and the larger stations include restaurants and even showers. One night, however, we decided to stay in a local WalMart parking lot. WalMarts provide overnight parking in the States, right? So, we bedded down about 11 pm, and finally at midnight when the store closed, it became quiet. Aaaaaahhhhhh……….  For a very short while! All at once, we heard loud ranchero music and voices VERY CLOSE to us. Hmmm……well, it turned out that some of the young employees of WalMart decided to party after work (after all it was a Saturday night), and they picked the spot right next to the only vehicle in the entire parking lot: us. When Martin started the engine, it startled some of the kids, but then they came over and invited us to stay and have a beer with them! Quite clean-cut and amicable, they really didn’t want us to leave….but leave we did and we found a nice quiet place with a bunch of truckers across the street  J  


We entered the USA at Nogales, after what seemed like a reeeellyyy long wait in a very long line. Once Stateside, we could not believe all of the traffic, trucks, cars towing boats, RVs, more trucks, just hordes of cars zooming past. It was AWFUL. Poor Martin was very tired, the traffic was horrid, so once through Tucson we decided to pull off and rest, and let some of the traffic die down. The following day, after arriving in Phoenix, we realized that we had arrived on Sunday, the end of the July 4th weekend!!! No wonder it had been so terrible!! Sheeesh. Well, we spent about four days in Phoenix, where we had a chance to visit with friends Pamela and Mack, and a few others. For the first time, we had some RV problems – fuel-to-motor problems. And, of course, Martin was out in the 110 degree heat fixing it….


From Phoenix we drove up to the Verde Valley, where Robin once lived, and visited with many more good friends. Marsha let us park behind her cool little house in Clarkdale. She put out a call, and we had the chance to have a pot-luck dinner with friends Robin had not seen in a few years.



Martin relaxes at Marsha’s cool, quaint abode (that is her art studio                      Another opportunity for a pot-luck and catching up with each other

                                In the background)


And, while in the Verde Valley, Marsha & Robin sorta ran into some other great girlfriends in a local drinking establishment.


                         Marsha, JoAnna, Phyllis, Robin and Linda together having some more fun



Once back on the road, we headed east and north, with Bright Lake in Ontario Canada as our destination. Lots of miles to go, purrrrty darn hot, and now the RV was giving us fits. More fuel problems….. we were broken down on the roadside and on the freeways four more times!!! Finally, while in Amarillo Texas, we ended up at a repair shop that serviced trucks and other larger machinery. Two days later, we were finally back on the road!! A bit lighter in the pocketbook, but safer, too.


            …and then there was the RV repair part of the trip…..


We found that most RV parks charge more than we really want to spend for a night, especially when we just roll in around 5 or 6 p.m. and leave again in the morning. We spent most of our nights at truck stops, like TA or Pilot – nice big ones, with restaurants serving very nice soup n’ salad bars – and in rest stops on the highways. It was noisy, but safe and free! Some nights it was quite warm, some nights we were bantered about by strong winds and rain. But our self-contained RV was great, and very comfy.


We both really looked forward to finding and seeing Carolyn & Dave, friends we had boated with in the Sea of Cortez. They had been part of the “team” helping save boats after hurricane Marty – and they were there for us throughout, during our on-the-rock adventure with TCM. Carolyn & Dave are now land people, living in Illinois. We found them and their cute little house on a lake, and we thoroughly enjoyed spending a few days with them!



    Carolyn & Dave’s cute little home on the lake in Illinois                                     Dave, puppy dog Paz, and Carolyn enjoy their fire pit of an evening


Robin wants to add here that one thing she misses very much, living in Mexico, is good sweet corn! Boy, does she miss eating that!! So, from the Verde Valley in AZ on, during the entire trip, she was on the hunt for good sweet corn. And Carolyn was able to find some for her!! Robin continued to eat sweet corn, and sourdough bread, as much and as often as she could!! YUM.


This story can get even longer, but it is probably a good idea to stop here. We will continue, with stories and photos of our visits in Michigan, Canada, Ohio, and more in the next “episode”. PLEASE, come right back and see what we did and who we saw…. land Cruising ~ The Cat’s Meow Style…….