Sonoran Growth

Last week, I returned to Sonora for the first time since last fall. Ever since Horst Engineering moved our maquiladora operation from Nogales to Guaymas, I have taken a connecting flight from Phoenix directly to Guaymas. That all changed when on that last trip, I took the last flight out of Guaymas before USAirways cancelled the route.

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That meant that this time, I would either have to fly from Phoenix to Hermosillo and drive, or drive the whole way. I opted for the latter approach, but with a variation. I returned to Tucson for the first time since those Nogales days, which was very cool. So, last Monday, I flew into Tucson. In the afternoon, I visited a customer, and then I got a motel for the night. On Tuesday morning, after swimming at a Tucson pool, I hit the road for the 6.5 hour drive south to Guaymas.

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It was a good trip. I’ve made the drive before, but only as a passenger. There were no serious delays, other than some traffic in Hermosillo. I figured out the border crossing, immigration, and checkpoints. It was uneventful, which is good. I had a new Ford Fusion that had only 150 miles on the odometer when I got it. It had satellite radio, which was awesome considering the events of the week starting with the Boston Marathon. It was a weird feeling to be so far away from my beloved Boston knowing that so many of my friends were running or watching the race. CNN, Bloomberg, CNBC, Fox, NPR, and MSNBC on the radio kept me close to the action.

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Business in Sonora is good. The manufacturing economy is thriving in Mexico again, and this time it is higher tier more precision products that are leading the way. Our business is taking advantage of this resurgence. Sonora is a great nearshore location for companies who are focused on developing a lower cost manufacturing location. It isn’t the total solution to the challenges that manufacturers in high cost regions (e.g. New England) face, but it is part of the solution. Route 15 from the border south is being developed with separate southbound and northbound lanes, and with two lanes on each side. The construction is ongoing.

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The rail line between Sonora and Arizona is being developed further. Guaymas continues to expand its deepwater port as an alternative for incoming cargo that will ultimately reach the United States. Hermosillo was booming with multiple infrastructure projects and a lot of construction activity. Even San Carlos, that little town favored by ex-pats and snowbirds, is seeing some economic development. Our maquiladora shelter partners are clearing land for further development of their Roca Fuerte industrial park. Things are looking up.

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All of the development has a downside. It is sad that Mexicans struggle with conservation and an environmentally sustainable mindset. They are decades behind the United States in this regard. Actually, even Arizona is behind many other states in this regard. Recycling is almost non-existent. There is a ton of litter and the growth is far from “smart.” Evidence of this in San Carlos was the further desecration of the land around Teta Kawi. Last year, on a return trip, I noticed a new OXXO convenience store go up across the street from the mountain. This week, on my normal morning run route past the marina and towards the beach, I came across a sign on the Teta Kawi side of the road announcing a new gas station. What a shame. There aren’t enough cars or visitors to San Carlos to warrant another gas station. You have to know the area to know this, but trust me. I wish for a land trust or some conservation organization to assert itself. I need to learn more about the local politics. It pains me to see Sonora make the same mistakes that the USA made decades ago.

My return trip to Tucson was last Thursday. It took a bit longer to go north. I drove by our old plant in Nogales, skipping the truck route and saving one toll. Our old building has been empty since we left for Guaymas. Nogales was busy, but it has border town challenges. I was back in Tucson in time for dinner. The total trip north took seven hours including a full hour waiting in line at the border. Eventually, I was just waived through after  quick check of my passport, but there were a lot of vehicle searches around me. On Friday, I had a few more customer visits in Tucson. It was a good trip.

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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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