Another Season, Another…?

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The Walti family prepares for another South of the Border expedition.  Where’s the kitchen sink, you ask?  Well, no kitchen sink but there is a kitchen faucet,  two TVs, one sound bar, one CD player, two end tables, one desk, one chair, one tool chest (the only thing of mine), and more decorating “jewels” than one guy can count.  We also had a roof rack, of course.  We were searched once at the border, but no problems.

Where did it go?  Those lazy,  hazy days of summer?  I’m not sure its ever been that way, but there was no lingering this summer, as we seemed to be on rails to ….  A pattern is now developing in which KR comes up to LA during the ungodly hot summer of PV, spends four months buying and packing things to take back, and then we reverse the trek in September and drive back to PV.  Which is where we are now.  I’ve just dropped off KR in PV and am winging my way back to LA to pick up the oars-of-commerce once again.

Spending four months together in the same 900 sq. ft. loft worked out pretty well as we didn’t fight (much) and enjoyed hanging together.  KR tells friends she hasn’t seen me that much as I’ve been in the office most weekends, which is true, but we found enough time together to “get things done”.

We both like living in the urban jungle life of the Arts District and continued to explore it until the very last week.  I’ve been living there for two years,  but we just found a new bar three blocks away that I didn’t know was there.  It’s address says it all:  “Skid Row Post Office Box.”  KR found that she was a couple of blocks from the fashion district, which means she could buy fabric for furniture.  And I found a El Pollo Loco (the world’s best chicken) even closer, just over the 6th Street Bridge in Boyle Heights. Its surprising what one gets use to calling “home.”

But, let’s stop the kidding.  This summer was all about prepping for going back to PV with the right stuff jammed in the back of the Iron Duke.  Which meant weekly (daily?) shopping trips to all parts of the region, looking for the next treasure.  I focused on refurbishing the Iron Duke, who was looking and feeling a little down and out when we rode him up north.  This time, no (minor) expense was spared: new shocks, the right headlight was a-fixed with something other than grey tape, tune-up, fluids changed, his habit of stalling was fixed and I even washed him once.  KR actually got him legally registered in both countries and presto – he’s ready to rock and roll down the road.

Rolling into PV after  2 1/2 days on the road (a record) and four months in LA was a welcome sight.  Green, glistening, and pretty deserted as we were just at the end of  “Hungry September,” (i.e. no tourista money) PV was just as pretty as when we left.   The town was deserted of most tourists, which gives the place a whole other vibe.  Most restaurants close for part of the off season, there’s no lines at the bars, and lots of retail refurbishments are underway.  Eveyone’s poised for the new season.

As are we.

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Chaos as camorflauge. Packed to the ceiling with junk, I mean KR’s treasures, keeps the border guards away. Would you want to touch this mountain of mess? Hidden in the center was the good stuff — TVs, boom boxes, tables, chairs. We barely had room for Lilly and there was no room for suitcases. Plastic bags had to do.


We’ve mad the trip often enough to know which motels have the best beds, which towns have restaurants we like, etc. This is one of KR’s favorites in Gila Bend, Arizona.


The key to a record run is getting moving at sunrise. We were rolling out of Gila Bend at 5:30AM.


Beasts of burden. The Iron Duke’s ass still sags under the weight, despite new shocks. Top “rack” was full of sheets, blankets, towels and the like.


The summer rainy season brings new shades of green and roads consumed by the jungle, which is one reason it takes 3 hours to go the last 100 miles over the mountains to PV.


Relief. We pull around the corner on Corona and see the Corona Adobe still standing.


A quick inspection reveals the pool in good working order.


The view is still there


As is the kitchen, sans the “Jaguar” class faucet that broke almost immediately


Getting ready for the crowds. Here a couple of guys clean this day’s catch of oysters and clams


It’s still the rainy season. Most evenings, the sky darkens as the clouds slide over the mountains onto the Bay. Heavy downpours don’t last long towards the end of the season.

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At lease one of the Walti clan is ready for an adventure…

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First planning session for our next trip to Central America. I thought a multimedia approach would get KR’s juices flowing. “I don’t want to watch videos of traveling, I just want to go do it!” So much for planning…

this is a test

Back to pulling on the oars of commerce, I get to visit the Tesla factory in Fremont, California.  I even get a ride in a Model S, which is pretty damn quick.   The most impressive feature?  The computer-sized screen streams the Internet.


9 replies
  1. Ron says:

    Kudos to you both for the packing job you did on the Iron Duke. Very clever hiding “the good stuff” in the middle. You’re right…who would even try to dig into door-to-door-to-ceiling treasures?!?
    And congrats for making it through the summer without KR saying “I’ve Had Enough Already!” and fleeing back to PV early. You’ve proved the three of you could survive in 900 square feet.

  2. Debbie says:

    Hi Fred and Karen,
    Happy to hear you and the overloaded jeep made it safely back to Puerto Vallarta. We arrive in Vallarta on Nov. 3rd thru Dec. 5th……looking forward to seeing you ! How about Thanksgiving at Conchos ? Sending love…Debbie and Dennis

  3. Sindhu & Greg says:

    Our third attempt to post a message. It now looks like you guys finally have everything under control at Corona Adobe. What is your forecast for Tesla?

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