Road Trip (2012)


Date of Original Post: November 19, 2012

This afternoon we are leaving for our drive up North for the purpose of getting the last of our stuff (including our vintage pachinko machines) out of storage in Northern California. Lucas did this trip a month ago, thinking it would be the last, but he couldn’t quite fit it all in the trailer. So, this will really be the final trip. (It better be!) We will stop for a few days in LA to visit with friends too. My internet access will be unpredictable over the next few days, but I will keep up my ZOELAB on my computer as much as possible.

Lucas has done the roundtrip Baja road trip at least 30 times since 2004. I’ve probably done it about six or seven times. This will be Emilio’s fifth time--his first was when he was not yet two months old. The first time Lucas and I did the drive was in 2004, after we had moved from Brooklyn. Before moving to San Francisco for me to start graduate school, we decided to go to San Jose del Cabo to visit with Lucas’ sister Emilia for a few months. We had bought a 1964 VW bug through Craigslist San Jose, California, from a father and son who, as a project together, had built it up as a Baja 1000 racing car with: 1835 cc, dual carbs, big head valves, transmission swap, 33 inch racing tires in the rear, full roll cage, racing seats with 5 point harnesses. The interior was stripped down to the metal to save weight. (No, I don’t know that much about cars. Luckily I have Lucas sitting next to me to give me all the specs from his engineer’s brain.) In other words, it was extremely fast, for a bug. Lucas raced a Porche in LA and beat it, but only because the other driver knew that Lucas didn’t mind scratching the paint of his car. And Lucas knew that the other driver knew that our entire car was worth less than his paint job. Needless to say, the LA driver was very angry. Because of the racing motor, when we went more than 30 miles an hour, it was so loud inside the bug that we couldn’t listen to any music, let alone hear each others voices. We had installed an old intercom headset system from an old airplane, but it was just too uncomfortable to wear for the long drive. The starter motor died 10 miles into the trip, and we had to push start it the remaining 1600 miles. Even in California, when we had to push start the bocho (what VW Bugs are called in Mexico), Mexican men magically came out of nowhere to help us push. We made it down to San Jose del Cabo  in four or five days, with our ears ringing from the loud car. I don’t have the photos of that road trip right now to share, but I will post them when I find them.

Road trips, for me, are usually both very difficult (due to the boredom, feelings of disempowerment, and lack of exercise) and very fun (sense of family adventure, opportunities for long, process conversations, visual stimulation, fun with camera). We’ll see how this one goes....