Sonora Time

Today, I returned from a quick trip to Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico. I spent a couple days meeting with our team at Horst Engineering de Mexico. Like the past couple of trips, I stayed in San Carlos, a quaint little town north of Guaymas on the Sea of Cortez. San Carlos is a community that is made up mostly of “gringos,” especially at this time of year. Many Mexicans have “summer homes” in San Carlos, but they only come on vacation. Whereas, many Canadian and American snowbirds make their way south in the winter to spend time in Sonora. There are several RV parks. Some folks also live on their boats. Others have second homes.

San Carlos also has a handful of residents who are expatriates working as managers in the Guaymas maquiladoras. Our maquiladora is only a short drive from the airport. On Wednesday and Thursday, I was able to get up early (thanks to the two-hour time difference) and run with my headlamp at sunrise. I also caught a couple of sunsets. I like to run with my camera because there are always interesting images to shoot when in San Carlos. I was the only one doing laps in the hotel pool. The 70 degree Fahrenheit air temperature is freezing for most Sonorans. I was the crazy guy in the pool, but I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity considering that I left on Tuesday in the middle of a snowstorm.

San Carlos is heavily dependent on tourism, and the tourist economy has been hammered by the recession. It is a beautiful place, but it is rundown in spots, and there are many other warmer options in Mexico. San Carlos is very popular for sport fisherman, sailors, and divers, but there isn’t much else besides the beaches. The town has the feel that its glory days were some years ago. The town fills up during Semana Santa (Easter Week) with Mexican college students on their traditional “spring break,” and it is busier during the summer when the Sea of Cortez warms up and the fish are running.

There were more boats on land than in the marina, which is a sign that times are tough. On the other hand, Guaymas, a much larger city, is industrial and has several hundred thousand Mexican residents. It used to be known as a commercial fishing port, but now has a lot of industry. The government is working hard to bring precision manufacturing to Sonora and that is one reason why we have expanded there.

Both Guaymas and San Carlos were hurt by Hurricane Jimena, which was a major disruption back in August 2009. 24 inches of rain in 24 hours washed away the main road in several places. Bridges are still out and detours are in place. Thankfully, Sonorans are resilient and the rebuilding is happening rather quickly.

It is almost comical how many gas stations and convenience stores are in Guaymas and San Carlos. In Guaymas, there is a Pemex station every several hundred meters. In San Carlos, where I already said they could use some more tourists to perk up the economy, they are building another new convenience store. Maybe they business people know something about economic growth that I’m missing. From my own experience, I know that the fact that they are getting their own Wal-Mart (the closest one is 80 minutes away in Hermosillo) will impact the convenience store business ever so slightly…

Regardless, we are hoping that the Mexican and United States economies pick up soon. We could use the business too.

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@thecubscouts #pinewoodderby never gets old. Pack 157 Bolton, Connecticut #cubscouts So that little injury caused by my @renocxnats crash on Saturday afternoon wasn’t so little after all. It’s a broken leg (fibula). Prognosis is good, but it hurts like heck. My blog post report with blow by blow details is linked in my profile. #cxnats #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #crossisboss - - -

This #lifedeathcyclocross stuff is true!!!! I crashed out of the Singlespeed Championship @renocxnats (on the dreaded off-camber) but not before having more fun. @artroti43 raced on the frosty course ❄️ at day break. 🚴🏽 We met a lot more @horsteng #crossspikes customers. I hung with little bunny hopper 🐰 Miles, the Junior 11-12 year old Silver Medalist.🥈I cheered for Nic, who represented @the_ccap in the Junior 15-16 age group. @sportstert and Iva came down from Tahoe to cheer LOUDLY for me. 🎺 I got my badly sprained ankle taped and iced. I had a beer. 🍺 I’m even looking forward to my red eye flight home ✈️ . Best of all, I’ll see @trailrunningmom and the kids on Sunday. I can’t explain the sensation, but despite the pain, I’m ready for next #Cyclocross season to begin... after some rest. #teamhorstsports #cxnats #horstengineering @parkavebikeshop #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming You could say that at least for this week, I’m married to my #bicycle - - -

@renocxnats #cxnats @seven_cycles #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #horstengineering #crossspikes @horsteng #chapelofthebells #Cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross Good day representing @horsteng at @renocxnats in the 45-49 age group. It’s a great course. The wind was blowing hard, but the sun finally came out. I’m happy with 37th place but should have made a move to get to 29th, which was 30 seconds ahead. That’s a long way when you are going flat out and cramping. 4,500 foot elevation was a factor. I’m disappointed that they cut one lap of my race when I wasn’t close to getting lapped by the leaders. You train this hard and come all this way; and you want to get the most racing for the $ and time invested. They only let 25 riders do the full six laps. The only positive to come out of that was that I watched fellow New Englander @adammyerson execute a perfect final sprint to win the Stars and Stripes again. Teammate @artroti43 had a good ride too. 
@seven_cycles #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct #crossspikes #cxnats #renocxnats #Cyclocross #crossisboss @therichardsachs didn’t have the race he hoped for but it was still great to see him @renocxnats and “pit” for him. He said he officially started his second off season, but first of 2018. @artroti43 and I played soigneur/mechanic for 90 minutes, but minus the massage! atmo #renocxnats #richardsachs #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #hauteframebuilding #Cyclocross #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross I previously hadn’t published this image, but it recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 @appalachianmountainclub Photo Contest for the People Outdoors category. Check out my blog (link in profile) for the interesting story of his photo (shot with this iPhone 6s), a trip report from this amazing Maine adventure, and past contest history. I love this image of two of my favorite women. I’m barred from submitting images to the 2018 contest, but I’ll be back in 2019. #appalachianmountainclub #baxterstatepark #katahdin Congratulations to Master Park, the Park Family, and the entire team at Park’s U.S. #Taekwondo at the Grand Opening of the new facility in the former VFW building. Our kids love it! So much better than being next door to the pawn shop and liquor store.😊#tkd 🇺🇸🇰🇷 This morning, the @trinitycollege Main Quad was bathed in beautiful sunshine ☀️but it was frigid and the wind was blowing! ❄️ The chapel was packed with an overflow crowd to celebrate the (shortened) life of a lovely friend. She will be missed. #circleoflife 🌏

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