By the time the group arrived in Palenque, the malcontent guide I had with me on the river was in full rebellion, and he wasted no time in convincing the truck driver to join him in his cause. Adding fuel to the fire were two passengers, a couple who sided with the two guides. The bone of contention was a statement I had made to the effect that after the river trip and land excursion to the ruins in Merida, I might be willing to put the boat in the water somewhere along the coast of Cancun and explore the coast for a few days before heading home.
But trying to mesh our personalities was like trying to mix water and oil, and I didn’t want to spend any more time in the company of these individuals. I told them I didn’t feel comfortable in spending more time in the country, and it was time to head home. I was obligated to the two guides to get them back to Utah, but they elected to leave me and hang out with the other couple. The four had a lot in common, and eventually they hitchhiked home.
It had been my intention to leave the pickup truck and fully loaded trailer in the compound at the resort in Palenque where we had had dinner, so that I could ride the train to Merida with the other passengers. At the end of the tour, I would ride the train back to Palenque, pick up the truck and proceed to drive the three thousand miles home.
After dinner, the two guides informed me that if I left the trailer at the compound, they would vandalize it. I had to take them at their word, which meant having to drive the truck and trailer all through the night to Merida, in order to be with the group the next morning, which is what I did.
I eventually made it back to Mexico City without incident and spent a few days at the home of an exchange student who I had met while in high school. I had located this individual the year before when I first came to Mexico. He and a friend wanted to come to Utah to visit, so when I left Mexico City, they came with me. They were good company all the way back to the states.
It’s experiences like this that build patience. After forty years of river running and encountering many suchlike experiences, I have become a very patient man. There is nothing that fazes me. I can keep a poker face and my composure intact in the face of some really gosh-awful situations. That which inconveniences others, I barely recognize or raise an eyebrow to.