Mexico, Part 18: Projects in Ensenada

We have to apologize for not having a post last Monday. In our mad dash back to Colorado, we were off the grid and pounding pavement for several days. Time for some catch up!

Chelsea was ordered to stay in bed for the first two weeks of her recovery, and only partook in the most limited amount of movement. I, on the other hand, was bored and restless. Luckily, Mauricio, our host, let me help him remodel his new rental property. The house, which was situated next to his existing rental, would eventually be used as an AirBnB product, but first needed a new kitchen, some furniture, and a lot of paint. Lucky for us, they agreed to let Chels recover in the back room while the remodeling happened. The location was amazing, and with some hard work, the house would soon be able to host couples and families, and start generating income for Mauricio and Abby.

We had done some furniture shopping before Chelsea's surgery so there's a few photos of us walking around Los Globos, an enormous flea market that stretches over city blocks. Chels and I are huge fans of second hand stores here in the US, so visiting Los Globos was a real treat. In addition to the great shopping, we had a chance to sample many local dishes, including shaved ice, fried pork rinds (chicharones), tacos, and some sort of fermented corn sugar beverage.

 The walkway to Mauricio's second AirBnB rental after we got it all cleaned up.

The walkway to Mauricio's second AirBnB rental after we got it all cleaned up.

 Much of the kitchen renovation happened on that shaded patio. What a view!

Much of the kitchen renovation happened on that shaded patio. What a view!

 The old kitchen, coming apart. SOme other travelers had already painted the walls.

The old kitchen, coming apart. SOme other travelers had already painted the walls.

 Demo complete and a new kitchen counter being built.

Demo complete and a new kitchen counter being built.

 All finished! Chels' photography really makes it shine.

All finished! Chels' photography really makes it shine.

 The living room, complete with a couch from Los Globos.

The living room, complete with a couch from Los Globos.

 Starting the shopping excursion with some sort of fermented corn sugar beverage.

Starting the shopping excursion with some sort of fermented corn sugar beverage.

 City blocks upon city blocks of this: the best used good available.

City blocks upon city blocks of this: the best used good available.

 So many things we wanted. We need to move into a home with a garage next.

So many things we wanted. We need to move into a home with a garage next.

 Chels found a camera!

Chels found a camera!

 Shaved Ice!

Shaved Ice!

 Loulou couldn't come with us to Los Globos, so she stayed at home...

Loulou couldn't come with us to Los Globos, so she stayed at home...

 ... and made a friend!

... and made a friend!

In addition to helping Mauricio and Abby with their mini renovation, and helping Pablo and Anna with their Airstream restoration, Chelsea and I had a little wish-list of projects for Little Foot. First things first, we wanted a roof rack over the cab, partially to add storage space and take weight off the top of the roof, and partially to add security. Without a roof rack, anyone could take a knife to the cab's soft top and gain entry. While a burglary would be heartbreaking, the cost of replacing the soft top is crazy! $2000 for a new one! So, to dissuade the unjust, we added a roof rack.

Mauricio and Pablo got in contact with a Lupe and Mario, two very talented fabricators who used to work with Baja Rack, a performance roof rack company that outfits a lot of adventure ready vehicles. Lupe took one look at the project, deemed it to be very simple, and told me to meet him the next Monday to fit the rack to the truck. Awesome!

 Scoping out the project.

Scoping out the project.

 Lupe and Mario getting after it in the workshop.

Lupe and Mario getting after it in the workshop.

 Me, wishing I could help. Or weld. Or be cool like Lupe.

Me, wishing I could help. Or weld. Or be cool like Lupe.

 Test fitting.

Test fitting.

 More test fitting. (We used the old machine gun foundation on top of the cab to bolt the rack to for support. It worked really well.

More test fitting. (We used the old machine gun foundation on top of the cab to bolt the rack to for support. It worked really well.

 Welding in place!

Welding in place!

 Finished welding, and ready for powdercoat.

Finished welding, and ready for powdercoat.

 Installing Little Foot's new hat. It attaches in three places…on the machine gun mount, and on the hood where there were already bolts for the windshield to fold down.

Installing Little Foot's new hat. It attaches in three places…on the machine gun mount, and on the hood where there were already bolts for the windshield to fold down.

 Isn't he handsome?

Isn't he handsome?

 Aren't I handsome?

Aren't I handsome?

In addition to the roof rack, Lupe was willing to fabricate a larger fuel tank for us. The original held roughly 19 gallons, which just wasn't enough. After 5 days of work, Lupe, Mario, and myself and created a tank that would hold over 32 gallons, and greatly increase Little Foot's range. I slept on a street corner (in Little Foot!) for 3 nights, abandoning Chelsea at Mauricio's, just to get the project finished. It was a big undertaking, but I made great friends. By the end of the project, Lupe's family was feeding me, and I was well acquainted with most of the drug addicts in the area, all of whom were very nice to me, and most of which returned my salutations of "God bless you," something that doesn't happen often in the states.

I can't thank Lupe and Mario enough. They worked crazy hard, and they are very talented, and we made a beautiful tank. I don't know when I will see them again, but I hope it is soon, because they're my friends now. God bless you guys!

 Little Foot's Original tank.

Little Foot's Original tank.

 Unbloting and draining.

Unbloting and draining.

 Draining the rest.

Draining the rest.

 Trying my hand (and my mouth) at siphoning.

Trying my hand (and my mouth) at siphoning.

 TACO BREAK!!!!! I love Mexico.

TACO BREAK!!!!! I love Mexico.

 Finishing fabircation.

Finishing fabircation.

 Dryfitting the tank.

Dryfitting the tank.

 Looking good in steel. Ready for paint..

Looking good in steel. Ready for paint..

 Painted!

Painted!

 And mounted. (We chose white because fuel doesn't like being hot, so black was out of the question…and, as you can see, our paint job isn't quite holding up that well, so we might try to repaint LF White in the future.

And mounted. (We chose white because fuel doesn't like being hot, so black was out of the question…and, as you can see, our paint job isn't quite holding up that well, so we might try to repaint LF White in the future.

 Loulou freaking out because we locked her in Chels bedroom. She just couldn't be pleased. First she missed Chels and wanted to hang out, but then when the door was shut she could only focus on trying to escape.

Loulou freaking out because we locked her in Chels bedroom. She just couldn't be pleased. First she missed Chels and wanted to hang out, but then when the door was shut she could only focus on trying to escape.