My friend Dan has been going down to Cuauhtémoc, Mexico, for the last few years. Cuauhtemoc is about an hour west of Chihuahua, which is about two and half hours south of El Paso, Texas (if you don't count going through immigration). Dan said that he originally went there because he had just taken a bunch of Spanish, and wanted to drive to somewhere in Mexico that was not too much of a tourist town. So after he and Dave got back last year, he invited me to go with him in 2005, and that's how this trip began.
From the beginning the plan was to not have too much of a plan. It would be enough fun just being there. However, we thought that it would be fun to hook up with a missionary in the area, so before we left, I sent an email to the Assemblies of God director of missions in Mexico, and he forwarded my email to Mike Hadinger, a missionary near Cuauhtemoc. I got a reply from Mike, and he said that he'd love to meet us and show us his ministry sites if we had time. So we decided to plan on calling him when we got down there.
Dan and I met Jess, Rocky, and Peter for breakfast at Ruby's before hitting the road Friday morning. It was great; they prayed for us. We ended up getting out of town about a half-hour late, but that was okay since we planned in some buffer time. We were going to meet Andrew in Pocatello, Idaho, and then the three of us would drive to Moab, Utah, and spend the night at the Silvertip Motel.
Well, the roads weren't too great outside of Missoula. Like ice really, and right before Rock Creek traffic on the freeway was completely stopped. There were cars bumper to bumper as far ahead as we could see. While we were sitting there a trucker hopped out of his truck and came to talk to us. He was hauling frozen carrots. He said that there was a three truck pile-up that was stopping traffic. Truckers are cool. I think it must get lonely on the road though, because he talked to us for about forty-five minutes or so. The roads were so bad that he was just going to head back to Missoula and wait a day for them to clean them up before trying to drive them. We waited there about two hours.
Once we got a little farther away from Missoula the roads began to clear up. However, we passed by a car that had spun off the freeway and stopped in a snow bank in the median. There was someone in it, so we made the quick decision to stop and see if he needed help. He had been waiting a while for a tow truck that another passer-by had called, so we asked him if he wanted to be pulled out. Dan always carries a tow rope in the Suburban. He was glad to get pulled out, and we managed not to not tear up his car or get hit by anyone else in the process.
Well after all that delay, we thought for sure that Andrew would be waiting for us in Pocatello. He lives in Boise, and it is only about a three hour drive for him to get to Pocatello. We pulled into the Super Walmart parking lot in Pocatello, and I gave him a call. He had trouble getting out of Boise, but he was just getting off the exit to Pocatello. He arrived about five minutes after we did. Nice timing. We parked the Suburban at Walmart, and took off to Moab.
After a very clear and nice drive, we pulled in to the Silvertip around 11:00 p.m.