Two Goats and a Canadian

 My trip North from Mexico began ordinarily enough. I dropped Carlito off at my chico's mom's house and she gave me a ride to the bus station, picking up a friend of hers along the way. Her friend was a cute old ranchero man, decked out in western gear and carrying a small chihuahua that, fittingly, had the exact same coat and colour as a dairy cow. We went to a taco stand outside the bus station and I had my last mexican street tacos, relishing every bite, before goodbye hugs and getting on the 10pm bus.

 I arrived in Guadalajara at about 3:30 am and took a rather long taxi ride to the airport. My luggage was 5 kilos overweight so I did yet another round of frantic possession dumping. As I reluctantly piled a few things on the floor beside my luggage, hating the fact that it would be thrown in the garbage, a sharp eyed old woman came out of nowhere and asked if she could take them. "Claro que si!" I replied. As I left her, sorting happily through the pile of stuff on the floor, I thought to myself, I love this country! Mexico there is no shame in taking a used pair of pants, no "I just need to get rid of all this" excuse needed for counting change at the grocery store. Just wily, sharp eyed smiles.

 The plane was delayed, and I found myself stuck in a crowd with nowhere to sit. I was totally exhausted at this point, and so fell asleep on the floor with my legs crossed, hugging my big backpack. When I woke up about an hour later as the plane was finally ready to board, I attempted to jump up only to find that my entire right leg was still unconscious. This resulted in me floundering around on the floor for several minutes to the tune of laughter, several hands shooting out to help me up. And with that final comedy act, I bid goodbye to my beloved second home and flew the skies to San Francisco.

 After several amusing encounters with two Asian customs agents because of my lack of a destination address (an old man who sternly reprimanded me in a way that made me feel like a delinquent asian granddaughter, the other a cheerful chatty woman who poofed my talcum powder in the air and asked jokingly if it was really just talcum powder), I made my way to the exit and found my dear disorganized friend from Sacramento. He had forgotten where he was parked, so we had a mini adventure scooting around with the luggage cart, disobeying pedestrian traffic laws.

 We had a great caffeinated road trip north, taking a detour to where we were to pick up two baby goats (or so we thought). We were driving a pickup truck with an uncovered box, so figured we could put the goats inside something and keep them in the cab so their little poops wouldn't get all over the place. Merrily we drove up the hill onto the well-kept property, parked the truck, and jumped out to inspect the small group of goats. The two young ones were a bit large, I thought, but felt confident we could still manage them. I mentioned the thought to the owner of the goats and he casually corrected me, saying, "Oh, nah, those two are the ones you guys are here for."...I followed his pointing finger, and there stood two fully horned, fully grown nanny goats. My jaw dropped. "Oh, uh, well shit," I managed to stammer, "I don't know how we are going to transport those two..." The guy replied confidently that he had lots of bailer twine and went to fetch it.

 I grew up with goats. Lots of them. And even the nicest goats we had would never make it 4 hours on a freeway tied in the back of a pickup with bailer twine. Not without some sort of horrible disaster involving a smashed out window, or a terrfified, ill-timed lunge for freedom. This did not bode well and I said so. Despite my trepidation, my farm training kicked in and I rigged up a rope across the front of the box, firmly tying a loop in the middle. We found two thick pieces of rope which I tied around the goats necks in a way that wouldn't tighten, and we tied them both using more twine to the loop, so they couldn't move away from the middle of the box. The goats were surprisingly calm and willing subjects, but I still wasn't convinced that they weren't on the fast track to untimely deaths and sat in the box with them for the first few miles.

 To my amazement and relief, both goats handled the trip like old pros, taking up positions facing eachother with necks crossed. They even munched on alfalfa hay the whole time while we drove the winding freeway going about 70 mph. Finally, at about 1 am, we arrived at our destination. Snow White and Canela (now renamed Bianca and Unicorn by the new owner's kids) had survived against all odds and now happily munch on the weeds I provide them with every day from the strawberry patch. This was one trip north that I won't soon forget!

Pit stop for gas in Northern California