THE ILLEGAL AND THE TRAMP

It’s been a while since I wrote, nearly 18 months I estimate, but now I’m not working, and I have some time on my hands, I thought I’d resurrect it! Besides, it’s a good way of staying in touch with all of you and it forces me to record my travels on paper.

Of course, the usual caveat… I get really concerned that either a) you have no interest in my spam and this email is blocking up your inbox or b) you think I am rubbing your nose in the shit just because I happen to be on the road while you are at your desk. Please delete this email immediately if either of these is the case.

So, tomorrow, I’ll be flying to Pheonix, Arizona and driving deep into Mexico with my friend Bo Keeley. For those of you who don’t know Bo Keeley, he’s this old hobo dude I made friends with earlier this year.

Bo is famous. He was world championship racquetball player… a university professor and now he lives underground on the edge of a bombing range in the desert in California. Here’s a link to his Wikipedia page.

In May and June we went on a three week hobo trip around north-western Canada and northern USA together, including that fabulous freight train trip across the Rocky Mountains. While we were there, Latin Like Me was born.

The coyotes (the bandits you can pay to sneak you across the border if you choose) would love to give us a quick shoe-ing if they figured us out. Or the rednecked vigilantes with big guns who think the government doesn’t do enough to stop the illegals entering the USA…. they are always happy to take the law into their own hands. So we altered the plan, and dropped the dye. But the name still stuck… Latin Like Me.

The new plan is simple, and comes in two stages.

Stage 1 – Copper Canyon

The Copper Canyon is the Mexican version of the Grand Canyon, and by all accounts, equally as stunning. It’s gigantic, colourful and wonderful. A railroad track runs right along the canyon floor, and my investigation leads me to believe it’s still active. We’ll catch a freight through it and then head up to the U.S. border.

Stage 2 – The Border

Freight trains cross the border, but it’s not a good way of sneaking across. Security is too tight and I given that I am not a U.S. citizen, I really don’t want to get caught. Would they kick me out of the USA if they caught me? I doubt it, but I don’t want to test that thesis either way. Instead, we’ll wade across the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park and then hike to the nearest highway, where we can hitchhike out of the desert. Keely lives in the desert, so he can guide us. if we’re caught, we just say we were out hiking and got lost. It could be a tough walk, but temperatures should be down at this time of year and we’ll carry plenty of water.

We leave on Monday. Look out for part II shortly thereafter…

Lots of love,

Jerry

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