El Potrero Chico

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I shuffle into the small customs office on the border.  There are two Mexican border patrol agents sitting at their desks.  A fan drones on in the corner, doing its best to keep the sweaty room cool.  I greet the agents with a solid “Hola!”  It’s one of the few words in Spanish I know.

I walk up and hand an officer my Greyound ticket and passport, and sit down in the chair in front of him.  He begins filling out my visa and questioning me in Spanish.  The lost look on my face probably gives me away.  He raises his eyebrow, bemused. “¿Habla español?”

“Uh… no. Sorry.” I say. He chuckles, and continues filling out my visa.

“How many days?” He asks.

“A month and a half.” I answer.

“Days!” he barks.

“Oh.  Uh, sixty.” I reply.  He shrugs, and writes it down.

Somehow I make it through the border crossing and arrive at Potrero Chico.  The next two months are a blur of climbing, tacos, and Tecate.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

85090025Outrage wall.  One of the better sport crags at Potrero.

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El Buho views.  El Buho is a local coffee shop and makes rest days a dream.

85090012The hike to the crag from Rancho Sendero on a foggy day.

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Alex at TNT wall.

85630025The back door of Rancho Sendero.  Sunsets are a dream here.

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Mitch on the way up Pancho Villa Rides Again.  Sick line.

85630013The view back into the Portrero.  You can hear the cows mooing while climbing.

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Sean on Space Boyz, on my last day in the Potrero.

85090023Sean cooking at hotel Suby in front of the Buho.

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El Toro.  Timewave Zero ascends this via 23 pitches.

85090014Buho rest days.

85090003Yours truly.

On one of my many rest days I hitch a ride to Hidalgo with Frank in his van.  “To be honest?” I say to Frank as I sit in the passenger seat.  “I’m gonna come down for longer next year.  A month and a half just isn’t enough.”

“No amount of time is man.” he replies.  “You always leave wanting more.”

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The Gulf

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I’d take the coast over the mountains any day.  I just tend to be in the mountains more than the ocean due to my profession.  It was an hour and a half away.  Resistance was futile.  I pulled myself away from my family for a day and headed down to the gulf coast just to see the ocean before heading north again.

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