Well, it was a good first day. It was a bit longer than we had hoped, but still not bad. We got up early, like eight or something, and our goal was to make it to El Paso or Juarez. We kind of wanted to stay the night in Mexico, so we were hoping to make it to Juarez. The travel book of Dan’s said that most people would remain oblivious to the drug trade that was going on all around them in Juarez, but listed a few hotels with “a professional” staff. I guess that was a good thing.

We remembered to take that right back at Albuquerque, but around a town called Los Lunas the brakes started to make an awful noise. It began to happen just when you would brake, but before too long it was happening even when the brakes weren’t on. I thought that it was probably that the brake pads were worn, and the little squeak bar was rubbing on the rotor, so we decided to stop and check it out. It was about six o’clock and we didn’t see a Midas or anything, so we just found the local AutoZone, and worked on it in the parking lot. This was kind of annoying, but these things happen. I just hoped that it wasn’t going to take too much time that we could otherwise be spending in Mexico.

After buying new brakes and some tools that we would need, we jacked up the front driver’s side. I broke off a couple of the lug bolts before I managed to remove the wheel. (Stupid mechanics with air guns) Sure enough the brakes were shot, but Andrew had just got them replaced a couple years ago. Brakes don’t wear out that quick, do they? Well, no they don’t. The brake caliper was seized, and the brakes were being applied all the time on that wheel, so they wore out prematurely. The other side was fine. Thanks to the fine team at AutoZone we figured that one out. Luckily they had a caliper for the Gallant in stock too. So we bought it and some jack stands, and we borrowed some Vise Grip pliers to pinch off the brake line. Oh yeah, and some new lug bolts.

After only three hours, we had the car back together, and we were ready to roll. We bought the guys at AutoZone a six pack of Corona, for all their help. They had even offered to stay after the store closed.

We made it to El Paso at around two a.m. We would have crossed over to Juarez, but we couldn’t find an insurance place open that late. I had heard there we some, we just couldn’t find any. So we found a hotel in El Paso, and crashed for the night. It was another long day, and I still had that annoying cold I left Montana with, but the border was right across town. We were all excited.