LOST IN TAMPICO
As the road ended from the toll road there were three options but none of the signs matched up with what I expected to see from reading my map. There was one option that I almost took but it had no number on it. I had only seconds to decide and I took the wrong one. Into the middle of a city I went. It was impossible as I stared at all the signs in Spanish. The streets were jammed with traffic in many lanes going the same direction. I was stuck in a turning lane but could not turn because of the long turning radius with the trailer. Finally I found a way to turn around and hoped I could go back and pick another option at the beginning of the city. I went around and then there were those options in Spanish again. None had a number or name on them that matched what I was looking for. I ended up in an even busier section of town.
I was pleading with God to help me. It could take me all day. If I got stuck trying to turn, We would need a ratchet to get the trailer off and the children could turn it but the traffic was not going to wait for us crazy gringos that did not know where we were going. The road was a mad house.
Suddenly Jenny cried out that she saw an American flag. On the big truck ahead of us there were English words. It had a license for Maine, I think. Hope flooded my heart. Maybe this truck was headed home to America also. If so, he could be getting on highway 180 also. If I followed him, I could either get more hopelessly lost as he went to empty a load or I could find my way home. Somehow 50 percent chance looked better than nothing. I took my chances and stuck on his bumper. He had to make wide turns too so I was in good shape.
The road we were on through town was all torn up ahead. A sign said "detour" and pointed to the right. The driver of the big truck asked directions of people standing in the street. I thought the people in the street were pedestrians. He saw them as helpers around the detour. I watched their hand motions and figured he was for sure trying to depart from the city going North.
It was easier just following. He was soon on a very good road. Several miles passed as I followed closely. Suddenly he pulled off the road before it divided. One way was towards Mexico City and the other one led to 180. I wanted 180 to get to Brownsville, Texas where I could read the road signs. He was my answer to prayer. The rest of the way was easy till the confusion at the border town.