It was time to start heading back North to the US border just outside Tucson. The last couple weeks had been filled with too many emotions to count and it was time to move on from our time in Puerto Vallarta. Rachelle had signed a 3 month travel nursing contract in Boise, ID which was set to commence on May 2nd, 2016 giving us enough time to stop over in Laguna Beach for a wedding, spend a few days in Park City shuffling out gear, and make the final drive to Boise. The calendar was beginning to fill with hard dates as the last year of our lives had been spent living in a new place every other night. Both of us were tired, not physically, but emotionally drained and not as inspired to explore much more of Mexico. We had lost the zest for new exploration, clearly telling us we needed a break and a little familiarity.
Instead of going through the details of the drive back home I am going to highlight a few memorable experiences along the way. Really the drive was pretty uneventful (which is good) as the military checkpoints were few and far between, when compared to Baja, and luckily the Rambler made it to the border even though the "check engine" light illuminated at the beginning of our 1,000 mile trek to the border. I figured it was the sulfur rich diesel fuel which caused the light to come on but then something else happened...the van began to vibrate when idling, not optimal. Our short 3 day trip to Mascota coincided with an unusual snapping sound from the engine compartment as we crested the hill and began to descend into Puerto Vallarta. Immediately coming to a halt at the nearest turnout my stomach began to cringe with the thought of a broken part just as the trek north was about to begin. My limited mechanical knowledge shone through as I peeked under the hood confident I would find a broken part...if I appeared as if I knew what I was searching for, I did not. Shrugging my shoulders as Rachelle looked on from the passenger seat we continued down the hill until coming to an abrupt stop at a police checkpoint with no less than 80 police trucks lining the road all the way back to Puerto Vallarta. I hope they found what they were looking for! Here is when the van began to vibrate at idle as the realization something seriously went wrong came about us. I am not one to ignore a problem but in this case I crossed my fingers and toes because the last thing I wanted to do was explore the unknown of a Mexican mechanic, as even our local Mexican friend had discouraged it.