Continuing his story from yesterday’s post, my dad Hal is sharing his story of traveling through Central America on the Pan American Highway, 1963. Enjoy the sixth episode in his journey:
Two days later I was in the mountains near Tamasunchale (A lot of Americans call it “Thomas and Charlie”). Sanborn’s log said this was one of the most treacherous roads in Mexico and that you should not drive it if the weather was foggy. Sanborn was right because for the most part there was only one lane and when you met another car, you had to figure out who would get over and where. If it was necessary to back up, the other person would have to because I couldn’t back very far with the trailer. Well, how could I have known when I started up the mountain that it would not only be foggy but raining on top? The manual didn’t say what to do if you got caught up there in rain and fog. At one place I remember I had to get over so close to the edge that I could see straight down for what looked like a mile or two. I unfastened my seat belt in case I had to jump out and let the Suburban go over the cliff. But God was taking care of me! Going down the mountain didn’t seem as scary to me.
When I drove into the city of Tamasunchale, crowds of Indians, the indigenous people, were in the streets, all dressed in their colorful clothing. There were evidently two or three tribes (people groups as they are called now) because of the different types of dress. Being from Oklahoma where we had lots of Native Americans, and having seen a lot of Western movies, I imagined that maybe I had driven into some kind of war between tribes. At first I was scared, but when I saw no one was fighting and everyone seemed to be in a pleasant mood, I realized they had come to the city to buy and sell, not to fight.