man driving fj cruiser on highway

Baja Adventure The Start (note on the road)

The outside temperature in Seattle read 29 degrees.  The temperature reading in Cabo San Lucas was 67 degrees.  We are definitely headed the right direction.

The plan for the first day was simple enough…  Take the ferry into Seattle, grab the sat phone, head to Portland and stop by Metal Tech.

The day didn’t get off to the best start.  Arriving at the ferry terminal I handed over my pre-paid trip pass to get scanned.  She was polite and very sympathetic but that didn’t take the sting out when the woman in the booth said “your pass has expired” and I still had two unused trips that were no longer valid.  Big breath, count to ten and hand over $14.95.  After all this is the first hour of the first day of the Baja off-road adventure.  It’s going to be great.

The satellite phone guys require you to set a time with them when you’re going to pick up your rental phone.  Its not like the cable company where you tell them some time between 9:00 am and noon.  No, they want to know exactly when you will be there.  Evidently that doesn’t mean they will be there…   We agreed on 9:30 a.m.  I was there waiting since 9:10.  At 9:45…  Apparently my call to the sat phone guy woke him from a deep, restful sleep.  He was sincerely apologetic and agreed to ship it over night to Portland where I was headed.  Strike two.

The warm greeting I received when arriving at Metal Tech washed away all the bad  karma of the morning.  They were set to help me swap out a half shaft that had a leaky boot.  They also let me use their bay to finish up last minute adjustments on the rig.  I think I died and went to heaven.  heated, well lit, dry space out of the elements to work on my rig.  What a treat.  LT and I swapped out the half shaft.  I re-torqued the bead locks and wheel lugs, topped off the diff oil, Ian laid down a few tack welds to secure the winch from would-be thieves and I took a final look over everything.  The day was definitely improving.

Today may not have been the epic beginning and tomorrow looks like a little last minute shopping for me, as my copilot, Brad tries to wind up things at work.

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