Oct 28 2008

264 Days – Arrival

Published by under xAmerica

Galeria 23 (Canada)  -  Circulo Ártico (video)  - Caminos Alaska (Video)  -  Recepción (Video)

 
Wednesday October 15th of 2008, with 264 days traveling, almost 80,000 kilometers through the American continent which is the equivalent of going around the world twice, eighteen thousand (18,000) liters of gasoline both cheap and expensive, 36 border crossing proceedings, twenty thousand (20,000) pictures taken of almost 200 towns and cities visited, and with many more statistics that for the moment escape my mind, RoverTa crosses the border in Nogales, AZ, to set foot on her home, her city from which she left 9 months back destined to return; at 18:20 hrs. she is greeted by the City Mayor, friends, family, firefighters, policemen, the press, among many others in the Flags Plaza in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.

Today in the quiet setting of my home, which after a week I still have trouble getting used to, it seems incredible to see some many pictures of places that I only knew from magazines or the television, and to think that RoverTa took me there so that I see them in person. It seems unbelievable that I crossed the Amazon, the Andes, the South Pole, the Arctic Circle, thousands of kilometers without pavement, cold nights of -20 degrees Celsius and hot days of up to 45 degrees, mosquitoes, wolves, borders, historic places, wonders of the world, tribes, neighborhoods, jungles, deserts, mountains, rivers, volcanoes, channels. It seems incredible that RoverTa was able to do it when I see her so quiet parked in her house; I also can’t believe that in addition to all these pictures everything is in my memory and my heart has a space for all the people who participated in this ambitious adventure.

The City Mayor, Marco A. Martinez, gave us the keys to the city; he never forgot about us and he helped us financially so that we could get here with a little more meat on our bones. Thank you very much! It is a great honor to receive them in the setting of a city festival, northern country music, a parade with baton twirlers and marching band; a great event that was planned for us and made us feel very happy and even more so because in the crowd you could find the faces of our loved ones, friends and acquaintances. The following days were of interviews, radio, television, pictures in every spot of the city where someone recognized RoverTa the hero, weekend of conferences in Hermosillo, Sonora, where I continued what I felt was the essence of the trip, meet nice people and make close friendships who you miss the moment you say goodbye but now with the great advantage that they are only 3 hours away and not thousands of kilometers like the rest of our other friends. We returned to the normal life and I am now lost in my thoughts as usual but immobile and in my hometown.

It seems life hasn’t changed, I feel the world moving forward and restricting me to do new things because I feel it will leave me behind; the same conversations, the same life, identical routines, I get barked at by the same dogs that did so when we left, as if life entered into a freezer in our absence and everything is the same except for some changes in the city infrastructure and a psychosis in the people living here because you cannot find positive stories in the press lately because there is no room for them, or so it seems. Nothing has changed, but what about us! How much have we changed?

I remember that leaving Anchorage, Alaska, I had in my mind how wonderful the southern part of this state is. After so many lakes, glaciers, the fall colors that never ceased to amaze me, I felt the desire to return one day and practice extreme sports because the options for activities are endless. A state with little population and very quiet compared to the rest of the country; of course the prices are higher as well. After 100 normal kilometers the snow was waiting for me again but now in Polar amounts, since between Alaska and Canada we drove almost 900 kilometers in snowy roads, which gave me a severe back pain and eye strain because of all the tension while driving, so here my thoughts changed and again came the anxiety of getting home, the exasperation of asking for the snow to suddenly stop so that I could feel safe territory again and free of risks for the safe return to our Mexico.

I entered the Canadian Yukon again, we had to cross in order to reach the British Columbia which in turn would need to be crossed making a stop in Vancouver, take pictures and return to the USA. During all these moments where there was hardly any contact with people the recurrent thought in my mind was that I was headed towards the end of the adventure and that almost nine months of unexpected events would end soon. This made me realize that what I would miss the most would be not being able to tell stories and that there would be no more world to know and show it to you with words and pictures. But I think that I still have lots to talk about, and when I run out of anecdotes, I will begin a new trip so that we can continue discovering the world together, so that we can continue discovering the people, the countries, landscapes and customs.

Thanks to America and its inhabitants who allowed us to get home in one piece, thanks to every one of the people who offered me their friendship, their care, to those who robbed their bank account so they could drive me when it was necessary, thanks to those who posted things on the website for so long because they were fuel for my soul in countless occasions, thanks to those who included me in their prayers, thanks to the ones who inspired me and motivated to continue, thanks to those who never told me to go back (I wouldn’t have done it), thanks to the love that moved me nonstop, thanks to those who shared this dream, thanks to RoverTa who lost several parts and even her vanity in order to fulfill what seemed so complicated. Thanks to everybody.

On the next chronicle our pass towards Mexico through the West of the continent: Vancouver, Oregon, California with stops in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Arizona with stops in Phoenix and Tucson.

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Oct 06 2008

Arctic Circle

Published by under xAmerica

Galeria 22 (USA – Canada)

RoverTa has stopped her legs……. She has turned her high heels, with a bleeding mouth like Jose Alfredo’s white horse, towards the warmth of her home land, with the memories and the melancholy of everything that has passed before, proud of having ridden the entire continent and even though from the start her final destination was always Nogales, after so many months she realizes that in fact in only a couple of days she will cross the border of her town, so the anxiety makes her heart beat stronger.

Spring went by while we were crossing the southern US. Autumn received us in the Northeast and Canada, and as if it were a date where one should be there on time we arrive to the Arctic Circle in Alaska on the day of the first winter snow storm. The road had been long, for days we had been sleeping in places where the pine trees could protect us from the weather, with some wolves that every day sang to us in our sleep or didn’t let us come down from the tent, even though they smelled Roverta’s legs to recognize her, so between buffaloes and bears who came to see and check out the foreigners on their land, at last we slept comfortably under the parking lot lights of a Wal-Mart in Fairbanks Alaska to continue the next day and return to the inhospitable and reach the North of the world.

There are one thousand miles back and forth from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay, where only the first 70 miles give a breath of tranquility because there is pavement, which gets very complicated with the snow! I was later wishing for the dirt road because Roverta’s high-heel shoes have a better grip; some of the trucks carrying oil or supplies waved at us greeting the strangers on the tundra territory. The color of the sky is different, the sun is always on the south rising on the southeast and taking a ride towards the southwest never reaching a middle point in the sky. With additional gasoline on the roof, water, charged batteries for the equipment and a small engine oil leak we reach the Arctic Circle after eight months, 20 hours and 28 minutes since the moment we left from Pirinola Hill in Nogales, Sonora.

The sky ceases to send us the white storm and the stars come out, an excellent opportunity to see the aurora borealis or “northern lights” and have this daring feat rewarded with such a marvelous celestial event; we waited even with the howling of the wolves close to us but it never came to our unscheduled visit. We spent the night at -17 degrees Celsius, which according to the local folks is not that cold and we should feel lucky for having a favorable weather for this time of year. The water inside the car and all the liquids and medications have frozen, even the car’s CD player is having trouble to sing us a melody. We were looking forward to seeing the Arctic Ocean but we couldn’t because due to the weather we weren’t allowed to pass even though we insisted.

Never before had I felt anxious to get home, never before had so many memories come to my mind, never before had I been afraid in a difficult time, that day everything was part of the landscape and the bad weather was making things worse. Being isolated by days we knew that if something happened over there no one would find us quickly and we were worried about not being able to send life signals to the south towards where the sun always tries to keep us a little warm.

We have arrived at Anchorage, the state capital of Alaska. We crossed the tundra, the snow storms, the Denali and 800 miles of roads. The desolated landscapes and Northern plains had only changed to snowy mountains; at last the cell phone rings telling us that we have a signal, that we are once again in civilized territory.

We must leave Alaska and we believe that by mid-October we should be back home.

Goodbye and until next time when America allows us to meet again.

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