Friday, January 16, 2009

Will Ride For Food

We've all seen the guy on the side of the road with a sign that reads "Will Work For Food." Some of them will and some of them won't- would rather have a quick buck in the hat and off you go.... But here in Yuma, our pals Gary Skaggs and his bride Juneau Judy and all their friends "Will Ride For Food" for sure! Once again we were desert riding with a band of ATV riders. The gang back in Brenda packs a lunch and has a picnic. This crowd sets the GPS for a burger and heads out. It was some great fun. We made a pit stop at Ligurta, an old road house on the old stage coach line, outside of Yuma ( I can heartily recommend the mushroom burger). While the climate still has this ride in the desert, there was also a lot of greenery as the irrigation ditch we rode along is used to water huge fields of crops, much of it different types of lettuce. Here and there we found some would be "catchers" trying their luck in the canal with a fishing pole. Didn't see any fish though. The weather has been warming but the water is still a bit too cold for the "big bite" to be on.

Seems like there is a daily gathering of the riders at the end of each day for happy sunset hour and there is more than one karaoke machine in the crowd if you wanna get up and let go a song or two. I practiced my "Elvis." There is NO photographic evidence of that fact - and glad of it.

I've been playing it easy the last couple weeks trying not to make a bad situation worse- I split a crown right down the middle. I called my dentist back home in Florida for advice- even sent him digital pictures of the half that fell out, and he suggested getting a new temporary crown put in if I could find a place to do it inexpensively. After a little research and quite a bit more assurances from friends out here, I decided to pay a visit to the town of Algodones, Mexico. Our friends from Alaska, Gary and Judy have gone there many times and, since we don't have Mexican auto insurance in place, they offered to drive us down south of the border and give us the tour. This makes the second state and the second country that they have been so kind as to show us around- and they are really good at it too. The "ciudad" is about 8 miles down the road. You actually go into California to make the crossing. It's a wonderful little Mexican market town. At almost any market stand, you can buy a serape, some beads, a sombrero (the hat not the drink), a t-shirt, or some pottery. But what makes Algodones "different" is that each merchant can also take you to his favorite dental clinic or for an eye exam, or even to the pharmacy where they pretty much write you a prescription for whatever you need. It is not a scenario that you can warm up to quickly if you are accustomed to waiting four months for an appointment back home. And I've been mulling it around for a while, but since nothing else had turned up I decided to give it a try. A quick interview with the receptionist at the Valenzuela Dental Group, two pages of forms (the simplest I have ever filled out in at any doctor's's office), and off to the free exam room (which included x-rays) for a look-see and a quote on the work needed. Admittedly, my palms were sweating a bit, though the same thing happens in any dentist office if to a lessor degree. No, the old crown could not be fixed. Yes, they could do a new one jolly on the spot and the price was agreed to. El cheapo. Now if it will just El Stayo in place. 45 minutes or so total in the office and then off to lunch at Paraiso to test the adhesive on a couple of beef enchiladas, which were excellent, by the way, especially with that queso blanco sprinkled nicely on top. I nursed a goblet of Marguarita for 20 minutes before eating (the doctora made me do it). That set up the adhesive rather nicely. I have a great deal of respect for dentists who recommend tequilla immediately following any dental procedure. I will recommend that to Dr. Logrippo next time I see him I think. Though maybe I won't. Anyway, this evening I am happy to report that the new "tooth" is hanging in there. So far, so good. I don't really know why I should be so suspicious of medical care in another country. When we lived on the island of Roatan off the coast of Honduras I blew a disk in my lower back and had to have spinal surgery. That went really well too and cost a mere fraction of the same surgery in the states. We joke about it, but it is not true, that the surgery was performed with a machete!

Here is a look at a slide show of our first big burger ride in Yuma and our day in Algodones:

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