A doctor and an engineer go on vacation… While this is most likely the beginning of cruel joke, so far it hasn’t disappointed.
When you live in the southern most part of Texas, there are a limited amount of places you can visit if you can’t convince your fellow vacationers to visit Mexico. I’m in the unfortunate dilemma of having a few more weeks of vacation than Yano this year, and my friend Alejo is in a similar predicament, having vacation but being restricted by his US visa status to stay within the country.
We originally planned to go on a road trip with our motorbikes, but being limited to a week, we quickly realized that Texas was far too big to get out without inflicting permanent damage to our buttocks. Instead, we wussed out, and decided to take the bikes on the back of the pickup truck where we could drive in the comfort of a/c for longer distances. Unfortunately, we ran into the cruel reality that is Texas geography, and realized that a day an a half would only get us to El Paso which is just like McAllen, but with less things to do (if you can imagine such a place). So, the only logical vacation not involving airplanes, involved driving as far out within a day or two, and that turned out to be Big Bend National Park in the middle of nowhere Texas (as everything in Texas is, with the notable exceptions of Houston, Dallas, Austin, and some say San Antonio). We’d drive with the bikes on the bed of the pickup, stay in the park, and ride on and off-road all day for a week. Meanwhile, the women would stay behind– tending the children, or in my case, the dogs and the operating rooms of McAllen.
Everything went according to plan until mile 500, when Yano calls and asks “do you have an extra pair of keys for the bikes?”. Alejo and I look at each other with eyes wide open, and slam on the breaks. The bikes almost ended up in the cabin and I nervously responded “huhhh… why do you ask?”. “Cause there are two pairs of keys on the dinner table here.” My fault entirely, I couldn’t blame the doctor for anything more than the sad state of medicine in the south of Texas. There were various insults, mostly flowing in my direction, and numerous threats of taking my bicycle wheels (which I’d brought too), to make sure I would be under the same inflicted boredom as he would be starting tomorrow.
There was no sense driving further, so we stopped at Marathon, Texas (see previous comment about nowhere Texas, and multiply it by 500). It turns out FedEx drops by every other day, and most popular carriers will sporadically deliver this far out. Luckily, the Gage Hotel and Spa is a quaint hotel not unlike what you’ve seen in popular westerns: cantina, guns, and pretty girls. I’m not really sure, but I think we are the only visitors here tonight.
12 Gage Hotel
We’ve arranged with Yano (who hasn’t stopped laughing), to ship the keys overnight. “Overnight” being an euphemism for “if you’re lucky in three days”, but hey– at least we’re not in McAllen– and there are mountains [I'm not allowed to ride on the bicycle].
p.s. Oh yeah, stay tuned for a week’s worth of insults (hopefully involving running bikes).