Log #050903

Fernando gets baptized

I called my cousin Blanca in Monterrey late August just to catch up on things. That is when she invited me to Fernando's baptism. This Fernando was just born on 050507 to his father, Fernando who is the son of my uncle Fernando, who is married to my aunt, sister of my dad Fernando. Being a Fernando myself, I was compelled to go. He's probably the youngest Fernando in the family so you know that is special!

Justin and Matt were in the pool with me and Vero at the house when I told her that I would request the school get her homework assignments so we could take off Friday 050902. The trip would be for just the weekend and Justin and Matt opted to go with us.

At last, the time had come, the Jeep was getting it's first trip to Mexico! A luggage rack became required and was acquired. All of the proper documents had been collected.

Matt and Justin spent the night on the first. Everyone woke up on queue to load the vehicle early on the morning of the second.

At 6am on 050902, the countdown cleared and we launched the Jeep to shuttle us out through the vastness that is Texas, finally breaking the surly bounds of America on our maiden voyage to the moon, Rancho La Luna. As the miles were traveled the anticipation grew. Nuevo Laredo was entered, it got a little bumpy, forms were filled out and tariffs were paid. We entered Mexico's atmosphere by 4pm and made a fly by of Cienega de Flores at 6:00pm. At our final approach, the trail leading to Rancho La Luna, it starts to rain - hard. I know it's not supposed to rain on the moon but that's just a generalization. It does in fact rain on the moon. I have documented evidence for a lot of water on the moon and I didn't spend $20 billion figuring that out.

Whoopee! Of all the flavors of happiness, I think mudding in a new jeep has got to be on the short list of the very best variety. It was a challenge keeping our luggage firmly secured to the roof rack and keep from cramming that new steel skin on the trunk of an Osage Orange. All of this was done while riding street tires on mud that could have easily been just 2000 years of freshly rehydrated cow manure. That was some slick shit.

We stayed until sun down when the roof lights torched us out.  After a short detour to Vero's favorite taco stand, Rey de Tacos, we landed at my cousin Blanca's house. We had to pass on the traditional "stay up until 3am when you get here" gig cause the promise of the baptism begged strength AND endurance.

It's time for Chereeo's and tamales?   No, I told Justin,  Chilorio and tamales.  Hurry up, let's eat and go.

The party was held in a quinta in San Nicolas just minutes from Rancho La Luna and started at noon after a short compulsory mass. The plain cinder block fence wall surrounding the quinta did a fair job of blocking the view and provided the much needed privacy, but it did nothing to muffle the raucous mariachi music that filled the air walking in.

On the left was one of those bouncy air filled cages that small children stay in without provocation. It was decorated as a barn with images of pigs in an apparent homage to the one roasting on the spit. The children delighted jumping up and down in that thing while they drooled at the smell of roasted pork.

Behind the inflatable pork grill was a pool full of more children, all new members to the family.  Regrettably, I only knew the names of a couple of them but you can rest assured that if you called out Fernando, someone would probably answer.

A trip around greeting the relatives and introducing the gringos went quickly before I found myself holding a glass of tequila in one hand and a Tecate in the other. The conversation spiraled pretty quickly. Our meager defenses did nothing to detain waiters from accosting us with so much tequila and beer that pretty soon we were leaving our table just to return unopened beers warming on the table. No tequila went back. Just as the day before, it had started to rain, only this time the drops were of 100% pure blue agave of the Traditional Cuervo kind. We were out of control. Bio breaks had to be scheduled.

Things had to change so we bailed back to La Luna. This time things were different. The open trail was dry and it was speed that provided the adrenaline. Cooler and passengers defied gravity. 40 mph was clocked at one point. Any flat clear spot provided the disguise of control only to be met by the certainty of a hair pin turn or burm. It was a blastThe views were magnificent.

At this point Justin recommend we name the Jeep.  He wailed "GLORIA" but I remembered a veloceraptor named Bambi that bit me once.  Vero broke out my uncles poker table and hands of Texas Hold'em were dealt.

Music blared out of the Jeep. Darkness was upon us again quickly and we knew we were due back at the baptism party. Things changed again.


Expectedly, the humor of the previous half of this party had turned as dark as it was light hearted earlier. The music included words usually NOT reserved for polite company. Men, women, and young adults swayed and arm wrestled until 1am. This party was better than a Corona commercial.  At no time did the bar close or run out of any beverage. At no time did the tables of excellent typical dishes of food retire.  You've got to love this.

I here gluttony is a sin. I didn't feel ashamed. It was nice. Only in Mexico!

I got in the cool water of the pool and switched to grape juice so we could drive home, which was at about 2am.  Hunger beats on Matt as often as Westminster's Abbey rings a bell and Rey de Tacos was still open so we tore into that place like Saddam invading Kuwait.  We made another messy toxic dump of lime and salza on the table there then packed down at Blanca's and dreamt of the day ahead. One of us ended up rolling off onto the hard concrete floor. Can you guess who that was?

There's nothing like a pounding hangover to make you wanna get up and do some rock crawling a few thousand feet in the air first thing in the morning, right?  Life was being played as a competitive game of ultimate risk and payoff and we were determined not to lose out by default.  At 9:30am we managed to climb back into the Jeep and head for the mountains. 

Barnwell Mountain is a pimple on a hippo's bum compared to the mountains of the Sierra Madre near Monterrey.  The qualification route I took 050806 was like waltzing in a field of daisies.  This was like taking the Texas Giant dowsed in kerosene, no brakes and a ring of fire to jettison through at the end of the ride... Danger, danger Will Robinson. 

My goal was to see waterfalls in Mexico and I'm not talking about just Cola de Caballo I was looking for Chipitin.  

Cola has many meanings. Cola de Caballo refers to the tail of a horse.  "Una cola por favor" is "a soda please", whereas "Lava tu cola" means wash your butt. This waterfall is called Cascada del Chipitin.  I think it looks like a butt that has recently had some of Blanca's hot sauce.

So we survived, and ate more tacos then headed back to Blanca''s.  The ride back was fun.  I missed another exit getting back, of course.  It was raining and dark of course.  Lightning was going off and the streets were quickly flooding like it does in the mountains in a stiff rain, of course.  That.  That... That! was when I missed my exit and was forced to take A BRIDGE OVER GONZALITOS down to Santa Catarina where the actual river below was slowly filling.  I freaked out a bit like I do on most tall bridges and had to stare at the hood of the Jeep like a donkey with blinders on pulling recycled cardboard while going down a highway.  But we got home. 

In retrospect, "thinkin bout" taking my brand new car up that road was about as good an idea as Condi meeting George.  On this trip I learned about what it is like when it rains on the moon.  I learned you might not want to get stuck in a river at Matacannes.  Justin saw a butt shaped waterfall and me pulling tequila out of Matt's hand and replaced with a glass of grape juice.  I won the hold'em game and kicked Justin's ass only to cuss him and V for keeping me up so long.  That was fun.  Sorry Justin.  Sorry V.  Justin learned that after thirty minutes of terrifying heights, you go numb.  Matt learned bout how gravity works. Jeep has one heck of a product in that diesel, it is very trail rated.  We all saw the crazy love that is in Mexico.  Thank you Fernando for inviting me to your son's baptism.  It was great!






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