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Letters to the editor

editor@vaildaily.com

On the roadWe have heard from many of our friends who want to know more about our adventures along the Mariposa Trail, following our dream to build a B&B on the Riviera Maya in Mexico. This is part 4:Now we were on Mexican time as we headed south on the last leg of our journey from Vail to Tulum. As we climbed up the Sierra Madre Mountains heading east, we were surrounded by a halo of fog and there was zero visibility, another challenge!Rain poured down and as we rounded the bend in Vera Cruz, 10 foot waves were crashing on the malecon. There were many large hotels all with underground parking which wouldn’t work for us with the trailer. We found a hotel on the back road and waited out the storm in our pleasant hotel restaurant. In this “easy” day of driving, we made 43 miles per hour and paid over $50 in tolls.As we drove out of town the next day we saw a herd of unaccompanied sheep on the interstate. We crept along, avoiding the potholes, and found ourselves surrounded by sugar cane and rubber plantations. Many hard working machete handlers were grooming the sides of the highway.Lou noticed something smoking and realized that one too many pot holes had snapped a spring on the trailer. After he assessed the situation and talked to a tow truck driver who had stopped to help another truck, we realized that we had no choice but to drive slowly to the next toll booth, where a mechanic was on duty.They could not help us, so Lou unhitched the trailer, removed the spring and drove with it to the next town 40 km away. I decided to stay with my book and folding chair and guard the trailer from a spot under a nearby tree. Within four hours Lou returned with the newly built part. I think the snack bar ladies were even more excited about his return than I was, as they thought I had been abandoned for sure.Lou had been a busy man in the nearby town, stopping at more than 10 repair shops until he found one that would do the work. But the mechanics were just beginning their dinner break – more waiting and hope knowing I would be getting quite anxious as dusk was setting in.When he returned and was propping up the trailer, the jacks broke and we stood back in awe. Within minutes six men, truck drivers, came over with jacks, blocks of wood, tools and in the dark propped up the trailer and helped Lou put on the new fabricated spring. They would not take any money for their work and within one hour we were on the way to the next town to spend the night.As we drove south the next day, the terrain consisted of swampland and lakes. A produce truck had overturned and a whole town of people came out to collect the spillage which they carried off in crates, bags and bundles.We drove past La Venta, where the huge stone Olmec heads were discovered. They are now housed in the museum in Villa Hermosa. This is one of the Mayan mysteries, as no stone is found in the area and the sculptures weigh over 1,000 pounds each. We note that we want to return to Chiapas to visit the ruins at Palenque and surrounding waterfalls.We were making 100 miles in three hours and this was a good day. The highways were very clean in this state and the terrain was lush with hints of rainforests in the distance. Small palapas popped up along the way selling bananas, as every inch of land for miles was planted with these plants.We were heading AGAIN away from our coastal destination, as we were advised not to use the coast road, due to some washed out areas. We finally reached our friend in Tulum, where we had planned to live in a casita at his hotel, and he told us that he had sold the hotel! But not to worry, maybe the new owner would still let us rent the house.We spent the night in a three-hotel town in Chicel country. Since there were no tourist attractions there, we drove north towards Merida. We were now in the Yucatan Peninsula and we started to relax.We decided to play tourist and stop for lunch in the old colonial town of Compeche and take a tour of the town by trolley. We were surprised to discover that the fort that protected the waterfront was not on the water. It turns out that the land was added later for a hotel zone.Since we were not in a hurry to get to Tulum, we stretched out the next two days and decided to arrive relaxed.We treated ourselves to a luxurious night at the historical Hacienda Chichen Itza and went to the light show at the ruins that night. The Hacienda has some of the buildings from the original cattle ranch built with authentic Mayan temple stones. The guest casitas around the grounds once housed the archeologists for 20 years in the early 1900s while the ruins were excavated. The grounds are lush with many palms over 60 feet tall and an array of lush flowering tropical plants and a beautiful pool. Meals were served in the building that was the rancher’s home.Refreshed and ready to tackle the next chapter in our lives, we drove the shorter, but rougher route on the Coba road to Tulum. We pulled into Vista al Mar after 2,845-mile trip that took two weeks, one of which we have described in our letters. We spent $505 in gas and $300 in tolls, of which $250 were in Mexico. Stay tuned for part 5 to see what happened when we arrived in Tulum.Moe Mulrooney and Lou PintowskiPart of patternAs I began to write this letter, my thoughts centered around a strong belief that we should use the term “civil union” rather than “civil marriage” in order to find a compromise between two extreme positions. One of those positions now is calling for a constitutional amendment barring any recognition of a same-sex relationship. The other insists that there should be absolutely no difference between that relationship and a traditional marriage.But as I continued to think about the current controversy, it occurred to me that this is not a unique issue in our history – it certainly is not one that warrants any extreme action.So, let’s go back a ways and remember when marriage between two persons of different religions was frowned upon. Specifically, Catholic kids married Catholic kids, Jewish kids married Jewish kids, and even within Protestantism, kids generally married others of the same denomination. Anything else was not to be considered. It was completely unacceptable. And now most of us couldn’t care less. Then, in a time frame following that, there were the really unthinkable interracial marriages. Not only were they generally thought of as incomprehensible, but in some states they were illegal and often caused violence to be brought upon one or both of the parties. Today, they may cause a raised eyebrow, but generally that’s about the extent of it.And now we’re faced with the divisive issue of same-sex marriages. Once again, most of us just don’t understand, and we’re sort of glad that they’re somebody else’s kids, and we worry about the degradation of the word “marriage.”But I wonder whether this issue isn’t one more of the same. Is it really any more of a big deal than inter-religious marriages or interracial marriages were in their day? Maybe, if we don’t get too excited and we don’t take actions that are really divisive, we’ll just learn to accept this phenomenon as we have with its two predecessors. Would that be all bad?David Le VineAvon”Little Cupids’The children and staff of the Vail Recreation District’s Kidzone After School program would like to thank the Vail Daily for their continued support. Their assistance with publicity for our “Little Cupids” fund-raiser – delivering kid-made tissue roses and chocolate for Valentine’s – helped generate nearly $500 for program supplies.Additionally, we wish to thank all the community members who placed orders, thus providing our kids an opportunity to spread love in their community on Valentine’s Day while raising money to purchase new materials for the after-school program! Thank you for your dedication to the valley’s young people!Amy DrummetYouth Recreation Coordinator, Kidzone DirectorVail Recreation District


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