The initial test runs went smoothly throughout the Arizona desert. So we were ready to cross the border and head to Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point), Mexico. This is a crossing that we have used hundreds of times in the past 30+ years. Rocky Point has fallen into and out of favor of American tourists. But it has retained its reputation as Arizona’s beach! The highway is straight South from Phoenix. The crossing is at Lukeville. And the entire area is in the “free zone” so no vehicle paperwork is required (except Mexican insurance). Once the border crossing is cleared, it is about one hour to “toes in the sand”.
We had business to take care of this trip. We needed to have some welding done on a bumper and rear deck system (watch for a later post on this cool project). We also wanted to test the rig on the rough Mexican roads and the notorious “topes” (sleeping policeman, speed bump). And we wanted to arrange a “burial at sea” for the ashes of my mother and father. This would be a fun way to accomplish all of this and spend some extended time in Mexico!
Before we hit the road, Geneva decided to donate her hair. A trip to the hairdresser netted just about 11 inches of ponytail to send away to an agency called “Children With Hair Loss”. It is the second time she has done this. And it feels great to have less hair to manage while living in the camper.
Once we arrived in Rocky Point we set up camp in a quiet little RV park named San Rafael. With our camper in one space, and my sister and brother-in-law in the next space, we were the largest crowd in the place! All those other units you can see are empty! The large, flat spaces and full hook ups are hard to beat at just $18 per night. Did I mention that we are just a few steps from the beach? Once we were set up and settled in, we ran to the hardware store (ferreteria) for some parts. This VW kombi, van is nestled into the front pillars. It seems to be used as overflow storage for inventory. Later we went to the grocery store, where the man out front was soliciting donations for a local addiction care facility. But instead of just giving money, for a small donation we received a tiny assortment of spices. These were delicious on our breaded fish dinner that Richard cooked for dinner the next night!
While waiting to take the camper to the welder, the guys worked on the casket for the burial at sea. This little pine box held Pops ashes for almost 10 years. When Mom passed away we opened it and placed her ashes in there also. But with Mike and I living full time in the camper, it really wasn’t practical to save this any longer. We decided that we would find a way to send my parents to sea together, and Mexico (they loved visiting) was the place to accomplish that. Before we could drop this little casket in the sea, the guys needed to make sure it would sink swift and deep. So they drilled a few holes and then hung a very, very heavy chain off the bottom. The box became quite heavy, and would most assuredly sink to the bottom of the sea floor!
We secured a reservation for the four of us on the local Pirate Ship. The folks seemed shocked when we said we were willing to pay the full price for the minimum number of people, just so we could make sure to have the boat go. You see, if it didn’t fill their quota, they didn’t sail the ship. Our schedule was tight- so we agreed to pay $380 to conduct our ceremonial burial at sea on a privately chartered pirate ship! My folks would have loved it!
The day of the ceremony the weather was beautiful! We boarded the ship and discovered that three other guests were on board. The captain in full regalia and his scruffy, costumed crew greeted us and kept the margaritas flowing. It really was a perfect setting for our event! We waited about an hour (way out in the sea) and then dropped the casket. Moments after the casket disappeared beneath the waves, a pod of dolphins surfaced. They jumped and frolicked around the ship. Then the ship turned for the harbor. The pirate show began, and ended with a sword fight. Then the fireworks were set off. And as we entered the port, the sun settled into the horizon. It was light hearted, fun and a wonderfully symbolic way to release the ashes of Mom and Pop together!
Back at camp, we worked on a few projects for the rig. And the dogs caught up on their rest!
A few days later was the new celebration of Carnaval. Since Rocky Point hasn’t done this before, it was a fun but somewhat disorganized weekend. We did catch the parade one afternoon. We also visited the American Legion in Rocky Point, Mexico for an afternoon bingo session. And we spotted this sports car which was modified to haul a full sized canoe around! One of the most fun activities during our visit was a soccer game! The local team (Puerto Penasco Tiburones) was playing against a neighboring town. The stands were packed and the home team won the game. The beer vendor kept having to walk to the mini-mart to buy more beer (which he carried through the stands in a 5 gallon bucket of ice!) We had a great time in Puerto Penasco during this time. We will be posting about some of the welding and modifications we did. Be sure you are signed up to receive updates when new stories are posted!
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