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Posted May 6, 2016 in Adventure Journals by Jim Markel
When musician Scott Anderson signed on for a music gig in Mexico he had no idea what he was in for. Lucky for him, he chose his trusty Red Oxx Sky Train Convertible Backpack to load all his daily belongings. Not only did it keep items he needed at hand, but it also was capable of loading up a few south-of-the border souvenirs. It’s a great adventure for a humble traveling musician. Here’s his story.
Last year, after months of searching for the type of bag I need, I was packing my Sky Train Carry-on Bag only to realize nothing tops Red Oxx. I was preparing for the week-long excursion we had on the books for a performance in central Mexico. I was able to pack everything inside my Sky Train of course, ranging from my trumpet stand, mutes to even a tuxedo, just like Jason Bourne.
We flew from Chicago on a horribly cold day in January to head south to a ranch near San Miguel, Mexico. A beautiful ranch in the center of the country with cacti for walls, surrounded by mountains as far as you can see. Mountains that look like purple stacks on top of the arid landscape and rusty colors of the desert. It was paradise, and a well-needed change from the gray, biting cold winter of the American Midwest.
Upon arrival to the airport in Saltillo, we were picked up in two private SUVs that formed a motorcade line and drove us through the winding roads of shanty towns and rollings hills to our destination, Ranchos Las Sabinas. There we were dropped off with a smile and some laughs only to find ourselves all alone.
Nobody from the event was on site and it was Thursday morning; our performance was scheduled for Saturday! None of us spoke Spanish and the only people for miles were the ground’s keepers and the three little ladies who prepared food.
We tried to communicate the best we could for what seemed like hours but really after a few minutes of staring contests, we were led into a amazing dining area and served the best chilaquiles I’ve ever tasted!
We needed to figure out how to get to San Miguel and try and get some supplies. We were in the midst of another crazy show-down with the cooks when a planner from the event showed up and saved the day. She talked to the staff and let them know who we were and how long we would be there. Then she explained to us how to get to the town to do some site-seeing and a few short treks through the colonial city in order to get our bearings and enjoy the area’s culture.
Thank God she showed up. She had accidentally left something there and had come back to pick it up. She didn’t even know we had arrived.
We then made our way to San Miguel, picked up some treats and local coffee and did a little site-seeing. Of course, no one brought anything with them to carry our goods back to the ranch. Luckily I had my Red Oxx Laundro Bag with me and it made a perfect shoulder carry-all bag for us. We could fit everything we all purchased into it before heading back. We settled in and hunkered down for the evening with drinks, sounds of wild dogs (or coyotes), and some music. All-in-all a great first day and nice little adventure.
The next morning I was awoken by our bass player who proceeded to tell me a story about his run early that morning. He had decided to take a run towards the mountains and due to the lack of being able to communicate could not ask which way to go to "avoid any issues". He set off and was gone for a few hours. Upon his return he’s sweaty from the exercise yet looked like he’d seen a ghost.
He told us that he made it over some hills to a clearing and was all-of-a-sudden, out of nowhere, being chased by wild dogs. They approached him growling and acting aggressive to the point that the only thing he could do was pick up rocks to defend himself.
He fought off the dogs while pushing forward and then retreating. Back and forth this went on for awhile until he made it to a small house. He was there fighting the dogs off when a man with a shovel came running out from behind the house screaming at the top of his lungs "Vamanos! Vamanos!".
That guy saved our bassist from a vicious attack. He made it back without getting hurt. He was pretty shaken up! We ended the afternoon hiking in the area and another trip to town. It was a crazy morning.
A few days later it was the day of the event and there were 50 to 100 people that showed up to work on the grounds. Everything from someone to set up tables, to racking rocks so as to smooth them out so that they looked perfect for the arriving guests. They built a stage, set up lighting and tables and worked with efficiency matched by none. While all of this was going on we finally met the owner of the ranch who had just returned from an adventure in Colorado.
He was able to get us information about WiFi for the ranch and tell us a little history about his place and fill our ears with amazing travel stories. He was one of the more interesting men I had met in awhile, and of course warned us towards the end of the conversation not to hike or run, as he pointed in that direction. Of course, it just happened to be the direction the bassist had gone for a run a few days earlier… The owner laughed and said "Well, now you know!"
The time for our performance had finally arrived and we put on our tuxedos (it was HOT). Just at that moment it began pouring rain. It wasn’t letting up at all. It rained for hours. We were set up on stage waiting out the storm hoping to not have to play in the rain. However, the person who had booked the band insisted. We were somewhat lucky at this point as the pianist and sound man had flown in and they were fluent in speaking Spanish.
They were able to speak with the local sound and lighting guys to ascertain that the system wasn’t grounded and that we were all possibly in certain danger of being electrocuted.
We argued with the clients and eventually were told by our leader… "I know this is crazy, but we have to perform. You can play or not. I can’t be responsible for what happens from there." Luckily everything worked out and we rocked the event. We even helped the storm to pass. They had us join in the party after our performance was over. They treated us with food and drink. All-in-all, it turned out to be a rocking party. The guests could not have been happier.
We finally had to say goodbye to paradise the next day and catch our plane. Of course, the plane was late and we ended up missing our connecting flight in Dallas. To which we answered another kink in the chain with drinks at the bar on the company card and called it a night. A six day trip for a four hour performance. It was an amazing week and I couldn’t have done it without my Red Oxx Sky Train and assorted Red Oxx Cool Luggage Accessories!
Yeah, me and electricity don’t exactly get along. I admire your bravery in going ahead with the gig in the rain. Glad it all worked out. For telling his story, Scott got to choose from a Rigger Wallet or a Market Tote. You too, can get a free Wallet or Tote. Send us your Adventure Journal today! Cheers, Jim Markel, CEO