The Mexico Trip - A Failed Expedition
We had been talking about the trip for a year or maybe more, I can barely remember it being 15 years later. But the plan was to drive to the Caribbean Sea from Seattle. The idea was my dads, who is the king of long road trips. The participants would be my dad, my brother and I for this adventure. Our plan was to see the sights in Mexico, especially those along the west coast and then the ruins of the Yucatan Peninsula. We would take our Geo Prism, a small fuel efficient car that we had driven to the Arctic Circle a few years previously. The plan was to do the trip there and back in 22 days. The car was loaded tight, meticulously packed by my dad, a skill I definitely picked up from him. Within a day after we left Seattle on August 30th, 1998, a storm in the Pacific became a hurricane heading for the west coast of Mexico. Since we were camping as we drove south, we would not know about the danger from news reports. Although we did listen to the radio, U.S. news ignores anything south of the boarder. We drove two full days in Mexico until the trip came to an abrupt stop. We had driven into the aftermath of Hurricane Isis. Suddenly we are driving through a small town with water up to our doors. We manage to find a way through the town but back on the highway we find a nightmare traffic jam. Nobody was going anywhere; the next town was Culiacan, which isnít too far from Mazatlan. We got out and tried to find the front of the line but it appeared to go on for miles. The majority of vehicles were shipping trucks, any passenger cars had turned back, not waiting in the line. My dad who speaks Spanish went for a walk to go talk with various truckers and any police officers. He returned with some grim news, all the roads south had been damaged. The reports were that the wait could be from two days to two weeks. We contemplated our options but they were few. We had no interest in spending our vacation time sitting there. We drove back to Los Mochis and got a hotel. That night we decided to bag the trip and spend the next two weeks under our terms, not the Mexican transportation authorities. We suspected it would take a long time to get things repaired after such a disaster. As we drove the two days drive back to the United States, my brother started getting ill. He had eaten some bad food at a restaurant, making the mistake of eating salad on a burger that had been washed with bad water. Back in the U.S., we had to check him into a hospital where he was diagnosed with Shigella, a really bad bacteria with effects you donít want me to talk about. Weeks later, he was called by the health department and told he could never work in the food industry. We had recrossed the boarder in Nogales, where we proceeded to go to Tombstone Arizona, then on to sights in New Mexico, Texas, Colorado and Utah.
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Hurricane Isis was the deadliest tropical cyclone and only hurricane to make landfall during the 1998 Pacific hurricane season. Isis developed on September 1 and moved northward, striking the extreme southeastern portion of the Baja California peninsula before attaining hurricane status in the Gulf of California. Isis made landfall at Topolobampo in the Mexican state of Sinaloa on September 3rd. The remnants persisted for several days continuing north before dissipating in the state of Idaho. In Mexico, Isis destroyed over 700 houses and killed 14 people. This was primarily due to its heavy rainfall which peaked at over 20 inches. The rainfall caused widespread damage to roads and railways, stranding thousands of people. The damage to the federal highway between Los Mochis and Culiacan was restored about 48 hours after the passage of the hurricane. (Patience was never a family trait).
Hurricane Isis
In Guaymas Gulf of California on the road hurricane isis traffic federal highway Countryside hurricane isis hurricane isis in Los Mochis Gulf of California Mexico Gulf of California hurricane isis hurricane isis hurricane isis mexico road map mexico map
Route of our failed attempt
Rough Route Of Our Original Plan
My only picture in Los Mochis Sinaloa
In Guaymas with the Geo Prism
Gulf of California
Action Shot
A whole lot of this for two days
Waiting for the highway to open
Dry desert washes were overflowing with water
A creek that would otherwise be totally dry
Showing the rain amounts
Showing the path of the Hurricane
Hurricane Isis as it hit land
Gulf of California
Gulf of California
Countryside from the highway