Friday, March 27, 2009

Lauren Scheller's Version of The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Excerpts from Lauren Scheller's blog..........

Friday, March 27, 2009
the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Starting with the ugly to get it over with:

Going back to Tuesday when I last wrote...Funny how I thought that was bad. Little did I know that our border problem wouldn't be solved until late Wednesday afternoon (if you can call it "resolved"). Tuesday night drug out as follows: 7:00 pm - With no other resolution, the only option to get us across the border was to take the truck/trailer across as an empty and physically drive each car across the border as well. We only had an hour to do this bc the commercial gate (where the truck had to go) closes at 8:00pm. We decided we had to go for it so we busted ass to unload ALL of the cars plus all of the cargo. Then, at 7:40 with one more car to unload, we look over and the gate is closing (picture big steel gate in our new 15' border fence). Marco, the "broker who really isn't a broker after all" sped over in his car to tell them they can't close early and that we're trying to come though but they didn't like him telling them that so they called for reinforcements. Next thing we know a helicopter is flying over head. They didn't open back up. Exhausted and frustrated we called it a night at 10pm to go find food and somewhere to stay, leaving the cars and the trailer in the impound yard with the guard.

First thing Wednesday morning we get back to the cars to drive them each across and then take the truck across and then load all the cars, strap them down, and equipment and be on our way. Got through with re-loading by 11am and finally headed down the highway to Chihuahua City.

70 kilometers down the road we come to another Aduana (customs) stop. They check all of our papers for cars and truck and tell us that we need to turn around to go back to get one more permit for the truck. @#$%!!!

Back to the closest option, below Juarez, go to the Banjercito who gives out the permits. This was supposed to be a quick and easy process, maybe 20 minutes. 4 hours and much swearing later, we finally discover that we are stuck in the cross-fires of a political dispute between Mexico and the US. Something like We (the United States) shut down the border to semis coming in from Mexico. Thanks Obama. In return, Mexico isn't letting semis from the US come into Mexico. And the ladies who were supposed to give us the permit thought Tom's truck looked too much like a semi (even though it's registered in CA as a motor home) so they wouldn't issue the permit.

Disgusted and fed up, we decided that the cars would have to be unloaded and driven to Chi. Tom would have to drive his truck and trailer back to the Santa Teresa side to leave it in the safe yard where we were previously and he would drive the Suzuki Sidekick down to Chi this morning (Friday). The owners of the Lincolns had a taxi drive them the 200 miles up to get their cars, Dad and I drove down the Victoria. Wilhelm and Alex (red Chevelle) happened to see us on the side of the road as they headed south in their rental so they were able to have their permits changed so they could drive the Chevelle down. We packed all of the cars with our luggage, tires, parts and anything else we could and made the trek down to Chi.

It was actually a fun drive. We cruised at about 80 the whole way. Once it got dark I switched with Dad and drove the rest of the way. It only 3 1/2 hours and arrived at the hotel at 8:30 last night, completely worn out but relieved to be here.

Now the bad news:

When Dad and Tom were unloading the Victoria at Juarez, Dad noticed some brake fluid dripping down the inside of the front right tire. Upon taking the wheel off and looking inside the brakes*** they found that one of the O rings in one of the calipers was damaged, thus forcing the leak. Translation: We would soon have no brakes at all if the fluid kept leaking. Solution: Plug that brake so that it is "turned off" and rely on the 3 other brakes to get down to Chi. The car drove fine, just pulled hard to the left whenever we touched the brakes.

That brings us to the bad news: Without that brake working, we can't race.

***bonifide technical terms to follow

Now finally the GOOD NEWS:

It has turned out for the best that we didn't get to race today. We were still able to join in with opening "ceremonies" at the center of town this morning. I had a blast! We still wore our racing gear and pretended like we were really racing today. The only difference was that as all of the cars roared out of the center of town, we started on a hunt to find a new O ring. After going to several different car part shops, we found one that carried what we need, or as close as we can get to it.

The latest is that Dad and Tom are down at the car putting the brake back together. Fingers crossed that this works! If all goes well, Dad and I will be racing tomorrow. If not, we might spend the rest of the trip at the bar.

No comments: