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View Full Version : TEXAS INVADES MEXICO aka Uncle Rogers Tour of Mexico


tx246
01-14-2007, 12:01 PM
DAY 1 THE LONG RIDE IN

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Day 1 finds all of us gathered at the 3 Palms Hotel(Presidio, TX) with bikes loaded and ready to go. Sixteen riders were originally on the roster but due to medical, home, work and/or various other reasons 13 of us make a break for the border. After a nervous start through Ojinaga (road construction and resulting confusion) we find the toll road to Chihuahua. My freaking bike is not liking the altitude and does not want to pull in top gear. Great, its only 320 miles to Creel and my bike doesn’t want to keep up. Billyj hangs with me and we make our way at 60mph instead of the 65-70 the others were running. I was told I needed 130 mile range. My bike regularly gets 160+ on a tank but not today......@#$%# as my bike quits going down a hill at 90 miles. I flip reserve and get another 16. The math didn’t add up and I was going to be short. I ended up adding two fuel bottles. I did not want to be the problem bike on this trip but it wasn’t looking good. We beat into a pretty serious headwind and a couple of others had fuel problems but a few tipped bikes and everybody made the first fuel stop.

Bikes fueled up and a couple of tollbooths later we reach the outskirts of Chihuahua. I’m bummed because the bike is running like crap but am making the best of it. Turns out that the route is running us through the interior of the city. Before you know it, the ride becomes a hare scramble event as 13 bikes try to keep up with the leaders who are leaving lights and changing lanes like its the Gumball Rally. Eventually, we made it to the far side of town and nobody got ran over by a bus. For lunch, the bikes got fuel and most ate tacos. Because my bike was running like crap, I told the group that I was going ahead as I knew that they would soon catch me. As the altitude got higher, the bike ran worse. On flat ground, I was good for 55mph. Within miles, the lead group make their way by me.

At La Junta, I got fuel and knew I had bikes in front of me but was wondering where the bikes behind me were. I waited 10-15 min but nobody showed. On the way into town, there looked to be an alternate road that bypassed the town. I thought maybe they had gone that route and was now way behind. I kicked the bike off and away I went at my slow as fast as I could go pace. As I edged southwest, the terrain quickly changed from the high desert to a more Rocky Mountain kind of landscape. Along with that change in landscape came a change in altitude and temperature. That stinking altitude now found my thumper chugging to a mere 45mph. I felt like a turtle running with a bunch of hares. The landscape was dusted with the white stuff they use in Aspen. It was quite striking. I was finding it hard to pay attention to the now curvy road because I was so busy rubbernecking. All of that stopped when I came across the ice on the road. Needless to say, the pavement condition in front of my tire became my focus.

Finally, I saw a sign that said Creel 65. Crap! 65 more miles to go! Oh wait, that is 65 kilometers. I did the mileage conversion on the speedometer and realized that I should soon be there. Margarita’s here I come.....or so I thought. Boy, Creel was bigger than I thought it would be. I thought how hard could it be to find 12 bikes in front of a hotel. On my 4th swing through town Bill waved me down to the hotel. There were only 4 bikes and I made the 5th. We were missing 8 bikes. I unloaded my stuff and paid Anna at the front desk. I shook off the chill and was trying to piece what might of happened to the rest of the group. I kept my ear out for the rumbling of the rest of the group. 10....15....30...60min and still 8 bikes on the road after dark. I was getting a bad vibe. Five of us sat down to dinner when I heard the bikes pull in. I’m telling you that was the sweetest sound. I jumped up from the table and ran out front and got my roommate Billyj unloaded. I counted to make sure there were 8. They were all tired but accounted for. Turns out that there was a flat and a fuel bowl full of sand that held up the group. Like good soldiers, they gathered around the sick bike and got it fixed. Turns out that this was going to be the theme for the rest of the trip.

As the rest found something hot to eat, I turned my attention to my bike. I rode a vintage dualsport on this trip. 1984 Yamaha XT 600 with 4100 miles on the clock. I had prepped the bike as had the others but couldn’t find anything on jetting my bike for altitude. It’s kind of hard to figure out jetting for 8000ft when you live at 600ft. I did buy some jets though. My bike has a two barrel carb. One has the traditional needle with clip adjustments and the other barrel has a constant velocity slide. I leaned the needle on the primary by adjusting the clip and hoped that was going to work. Finishing that, I went in and went to bed.


DAY 2 THE NEW PLAN, THE STAIRCLIMB AND ROGERS BIRTHDAY

Before we know it, the alarm goes off and Billyj and I get up and make our way to the breakfast table. There is talk about the rest of the scheduled days ride/mileage. Two groups emerge. One group(Irondawg, Rocketman650, Ray, Ian, Bill, Teeds and Skinny) are going on with the original route that Irondawg laid out. The other group consisted of (me tx246, team swaney (Roger and Jeremy), ta2240, Micah and Billyj). As a group, we decided to see more and ride less. This group adopted the "nobody left behind policy". We had a riding buddy and were responsible for each other. There was no hesitation on my part to join this group as I ridden with two of these guys in Moab last year. On top of that four of the six had been here before.

We make plans to meet up with the group headed out on the original loop later in the week. We were headed to Batopillas and the other group was on their way to El Fuerte via Batopillas. We left a few minutes before they did but they soon passed us as we stopped at the lake outside of town to visit with the Tarahumara.

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A few pesos traded for some local crafts and we are on our way. The road is paved but has more twist than Sour Skittles. The bike is running better but not lean enough as it noses over at anything over 1/3 throttle. We all have a kick***** time doing our best MotoGP on the pavement. We all do pinch some of the seat foam off our bikes as ice still surprises us in the shady spots but nobody falls all the way down.


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Soon enough, we are at the turn off to Batopillas. The road turns to dirt and we pick our way through the trees. We go through several small villages before the canyon breaks out before us.

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I’ve been to the Grand Canyon North Rim, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and the Royal Gorge but this was something entirely different. From the top, the Canyon is green, deep, and full of views. The road flips on itself all the way to the bottom. We ride a bit, watch Jeremy do some rock climbing, take some pictures and generally just do a lot of gawking.

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As we wind our way to the bottom, we come to a switchback that has a downhill shortcut and we use it to pass a truck. This little downhill will bite us later.

The little villa of La Buffa passes under our wheels and we are cruising and admiring the sights when we come around the corner to find Teeds standing beside his XR650r and it is evident that he has fallen. We get him on his bike and Jeremy gets it started as Teeds knee is tender. We put him in our lineup and continue through the canyon. Twenty minutes later we run into the lead group and return their lost rider. We head into Batopillas looking for lunch.


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Roger heads for a previous destination. He soon finds it and negotiates for lunch. Lunch is at Reyna's house.....not resturante....but house as in her kitchen. The cheese enchiladas go down as easy as the Cokes. We make a date for breakfast and continue through town in search of gas. It is here that we run into the other group and find out that Skinny's brand new Husky just popped its CDI. That makes two out of the first group (one mechanical/one physical) looking for a way to the border.

We head back to our hotel just outside of town. It is above the road and just gorgeous. Roger negotiates and all of us pay up after making sure there is plenty of frio cerveza.


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Everybody gets cleaned up and goes into town to find the lady who has silver jewelry. I stay behind to work on the XT. I adjust the back drum brake and pop in the leaner secondary jet. This ended up being the ticket to making the XT sing later at altitude and on the way home. Then its up to the room and take a quick nap. I hear the rumble of bikes and walk out to the rail. During negotiations, Roger makes sure it is ok for us to bring our bikes up into the courtyard at the top of the stairs. Let the great stair climb begin. There are four flights and some clear it and some don’t. I don’t but hop off and run it the rest of the way up.

Turns out that it is Roger's birthday. We didn’t have any cake but we had beer and limes. We sat out on the veranda and got into the spirit of things. Some of us got "more" into the spirit of things. Before long, we were serving ourselves and the bottles were stacking up along the wall.

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This is Micah telling us how much he likes beer.

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Birthday boy giving us the First Down Move.

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Jeremy trying to take Tims beer.

Jeremy ends up having the more fun than the rest of us. He ended up feeling guilty and tried to give some his fun back. The lime tree accepted it as well as the dog. We have pictures but due to graphic content, we will be leaving those out.

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Six of us knocked off 41 Sols. We settle some dysfunctional family issues and generally have a large time until the bar cooler had nothing left. We shared this hotel with one newlywed couple. Being tired and out of beer, the noise level drops as we retire to our rooms. Snoring starts up as soon as the lights go out.

DAY 3 THE CHURCH, THE WATERPUMP AND THE 8 BALL

Day three has us packed and headed down the stairs on motorcycles. It’s off to Reyna’s for breakfast. My stomach had been giving me problems so opted for some bland scrambled eggs while everybody else had huevos mexicali. It sure looked good. After breakfast, it was off to Satevo and to look at the "Lost Church". We soon find it as Billyj had been there before. There were kids in the courtyard and we handed out suckers and tootsie rolls. The church was unlocked for us and we admired the building inside and out. A stop that was very worthwhile. We headed back into town to get fuel and head back out of the Canyon the way we came in.

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Kids eating our candy at the Church.

We then ran into the Group that was supposed to be in El Fuerte yesterday. We chat a bit and they head off as they are already a day behind. We run into downed riders Teeds and Skinny at Hotel Mary's in the plaza. They have not secured rides back to Creel as of yet but are making phone calls. Billyj offers to look for a truck but they are sure there is nothing going out today, as it is Sunday. Billyj is fluent in Spanish and looking back we should have found them a ride.

We fall into formation and give high fives to all of the kids as we ride out of town. Soon we have run the length of the canyon and cross the bridge.


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Break at the bridge.

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Looking back towards La Buffa.


It is straight up from here and we arrive at the little switchback shortcut which is now a challenging uphill instead of downhill. I watch Jeremy think about it as he circles by it. I race up to the top to take pictures. As I get to the topside via the road, I see Billyj make it up. I’m looking down and see Micah's bike on its side. This could be bad as ta2240 is waving for us to come back down.

It is bad as the bike fell hard on the right side and drove the bash plate into the waterpump cover. It is now in thirty odd pieces. Roger has that "you *****clowns" look going on. Before we could even get tools out, we hear the rumble of a vehicle on this very lightly traveled road. It looks like an empty stakebed truck and we wave it down. Out hops the driver and an occupant. A 50ish clean-cut cowboy surveys the situation and talks with Billyj. He agrees to get the bike to the pavement but cant haul us to Creel as they need to go to Parral, which is in the opposite direction. The 6 of us hand load the mortally wounded DRZ into the back of the truck and Micah is tying the bike down as best he could. While that is going on cowboy admires Rogers mini vise grips. Roger responds with "you keep". The friendly cowboy is conversing as best he can when he whips out a bag and offers us something that is illegal in these United States. Each of us politely decline as he sticks his key into the stuff and snorts it off his key. We are laughing and in shock. Micah is unaware of what just happened and we decide he probably doesn’t need to know. Micah plans on riding in the back with his bike but we insist he ride up front and take his helmet with him. You see, ta2240 and Roger are LEO in the US and ta2240 said holy @$#$, that was an 8 ball which is slang for a very large personal stash. We mount our bikes and take off up the hill.

We beat the truck to the pavement junction and get something to drink. It isn’t long and the truck pulls into the store. Before we can unload the bike, we find another truck that is heading to Creel. Friendly Cowboy gets us all hooked up and tied down in the new truck. Friendly Cowboy is cutting lengths of rope to tie the bike in the new truck but is having trouble with his smaller type knife. Roger whips out a nice SO knife and tells Friendly to keep it. We ask Micah about his ride up the canyon and he proceeds to tell us a story. Friendly made a comment about Micah’s sunglasses, which were red lenses. Micah told him "you try" as he handed them to him. Friendly put them on and looked in the mirror. Micah then replies "Ohhhh El Diablo!" and they both got a laugh. Friendly then asked how much Micah paid in US for them because he wanted to buy them. Micah insisted he keep them and didn’t want any money. Friendly pulled his wallet out and said " Me No Bandito!" Micah convinced him it was gift for getting him to the road.

Creel is still there and we make it back to Hotel Margarita's. Same routine as we unload, clean up, and look for beer before dinner. Micah and bike arrive and we unload. We consider our options and decide our best bet is to have a water pump cover pulled from a buddy's bike and have it overnighted. Turns out fastest delivery to Creel from Houston is 6 days. Next best alternative is to have it shipped to Chihuahua in 2 days. That is what is decided on and phone calls are made. Thanks to all that made that happen(Michah's wife and greasemonkey). We go to a restaurant and end the day thanking our lucky stars with all things considered. I make my way to an internet cafe and let the family know that I'm still alive. I get back to the room and Jeremy has started the surgery on the cover.

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Fankencover


We are missing several significant pieces but the seal portion is intact. He has started with JB Weld and has most of the pieces together. I whip out my tools and pull apart my feeler gauges. The brass one makes a nice addition to the Frankencover. In the morning, Jeremy and Billyj look for anything remotely looking like a bike shop with no luck. They do return with rtv silicone. We sealed the inside with the rtv and added a layer of moose putty on the outside. Hey! A can of spray paint and it would look factory.

DAY 4 TO SNOW OR NOT TO SNOW TO THE FALLS

Originally, the plan had us going to Urique today but with Micah’s still hardening and untested Frankencover, we decided to head to the Basisahchi Falls instead which was supposed to be an hour and a half from Creel. Earlier this morning, Teeds and Skinny showed up with their bikes. Roger had already secured a ride to the border from Creel the previous night. IF YOU ARE EVER IN TROUBLE IN THIS AREA, FIND CEASAR AT MARGURITAS! This guy gets it done and speaks excellent English. He also manages a hotel in most every town. Back to the day's adventure......We decide to ride to the falls but had one bike down but there was a healthy 650r that just arrived (Teeds). I agreed to ask Teeds if we could use the bike for the day as his knee was keeping him out of action. The thought occurred to me as Micah and I were walking up the sidewalk that Skinny too was physically able to ride and this would be his last chance at riding as he and Teeds were leaving for the border in the morning. Micah agreed that we should offer the ride to Skinny but he would take it if Skinny didn’t want it. Teeds offered the BRP faster than I could ask. It took some convincing, but Skinny finally took the ride. Skinny has a bum ankle so he would ride Billyj’s ATK and Billyj would ride Teeds BRP. Micah spent the afternoon with Teeds while we made a late start to the falls.

Boy, you could tell right away that this road is slated for pavement, as there had been considerable widening and work done in the first 15 miles or so. It wasn’t long before we were in the snow/ice/mud all at once.

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Progress was made but it was late in the afternoon. We found some locals and asked how much more and we were informed that it was another 15 miles. Nobody wanted to be on icy pavement in the dark, so we reluctantly turned around and made our way back to Creel. Everybody was filthy but had a good ride. We would have to return another day. Again more food and some beers with Caesar finish off the evening. Caesar sits with us and gives us some information about where to ride the next day and we make arrangements at another one of his hotels for the next days ride.


DAY 5 TO URIQUE I SAY

It is a new day and we are headed to Urique. Only Billyj has been there so it will be some new territory for the most of us. We wave bye to Creel again and head toward Divisidaro. Before there we head to one of Caesar’s recommended turnouts and boy was it spectacular. Several canyons were visible from this vantage point. We soon took our pictures and headed into town.

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Billyj made friends wherever we went. This time they were from Latvia and had been on the train to Los Moches. Not long after leaving town, the road turns to dirt and there is a military checkpoint. Billyj does his dumb gringo act and they wave us through. The road runs through a higher canyon and it is quite beautiful if not a bit busier than other dirt roads we have been on. We see several tunnels and rail bridges that the train uses along this road. We follow the river for miles and actually have to cross without aid of a bridge. We make it to Boachivio and have lunch.

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billyji outside the restaruant.


This time its Carne Asada and it is quite the treat followed by a couple of frescas. It’s later in the afternoon and we are headed to the motel for which we have a letter to hand to a Paco y Christina in a small pueblo that is well before Urique. We find the hotel and it is closed up but from the outside it is fantastic. The main lodge is literally perched on a private canyon. There is a 5ft walkway across the front of the Lodge and after that is some serious air.

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Inside the lodge is a center fireplace that has a good 10 ft opening on both sides. It isn’t long before Paco y Christina show up and get things going. Hot water heaters fired up/fires built/and dinner started are all a going. We sit in front of the fireplace and start draining Tecates.

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Dinner is served and it is delicious. We retire to our rooms, which are ridiculous. In the States, the only way I could get close to one of these rooms is if I worked there. They are that nice.

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Roger does have a problem in his room as he turns back the sheet to find a big iguana in the middle of his bed. The help come in armed with brooms and herd the critter outside. I sleep like a rock once again.


DAY 6 SMOKING BRAKES, STILL HOTTER SAUCE AND THE GREAT MEXICAN ROAD RACE

We wake up short of Urique but climb out of our palatial digs and load up as breakfast awaits us in Urique. Within miles, we are at the top of the canyon and it takes our breath away. It is stunning in scale and beauty. The road is dangerous as witnessed by the many roadside memorials. We pick our way down in the early morning light. The road was like a pile of spaghetti all the way down. There is so much to look at, that we almost forget to steer.


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Thats Urique in the bottom of the canyon.

We see the town long before we get to it. The sides of the canyons are carpeted in green. All of the farming is old school and done by hand as is road maintenance. We go a long way before we see the first inhabitants of this magical place. Always friendly, they wave, as do we. Two thirds of the way down, everybody has pretty much lost their back brake due to overuse. I learned my lesson going to Batopillas and relied on engine braking most of the way down. Finally, we descend the final 1000ft or so and find ourselves at the literal front door of the town. We cross the threshold and make our way to the plaza. We pull up to a place where a nice KLR is backed against the curb. We meet Kevin inside and find out has been out since the first of Dec and planned to be back in Idaho the first of May. We tell him of our travels and he shares with us what he has seen. Breakfast is ordered. She rattles off egg choices and the one that caught my ear was "camarones" which means shrimp. Yeah gimmie that por favor. Micah tried it too. It turned out to be my killer breakfast of the trip. There was a seedy looking hot sauce in the middle of the table. I warned Roger as he smeared a bunch on his first tortilla. He sampled it and I swear his eyes bugged out the same time ta2240 was coughing and looking for another drink. A little dab will do ya. We finish up and pay. We roll through town and make good with the kids. Its too short and we are headed back up the canyon. This time we stop at an overlook and stare at what is indescribable at best. Helmets strapped back on, we head back up the Copper Canyon. We travel back towards Creel on the same route we came into Urique.

The military checkpoint is still there before Divisidaro. This time there are more soldiers and an older looking Senior Officer is heading today’s crew. He pulls us over and Billyj is doing the stupid gringo routine again. Captain asks where have we been and we tell him. Captain asks "druggas?' while making the classic weed puff. No. Says our translator. Captain starts barking carrera, carrera! and pointing to each bike individually. Then it dawns on me. He wants us do a motostart!! We line up and give him a show. Slowing down a half mile later, we are laughing our heads off as we head into town. Creel shows up through my goggles in the late afternoon and we check in for the last time at Margarita's. This time we crash the bar on the corner and drink quite a bit before dinner. The group of five that left us days before have arrived with one less. They lost Irondawg due to a backed out sprocket bolt that ended up riding the chain all the way to the case resulting in catastrophic failure. He/bike were headed to Chihuahua via train and then to Presidio on truck. We all got caught up with each other’s rides. Some went back to the bar and because that was me, I don’t know what the others did. Reports from home indicated that cold, wet weather was on the way. A vote was taken and we decided to make a break for the Texas border while the weather was good.


DAY 7 RAIN OR SHINE HOME BY NINE.....MAYBE

We awoke find drizzle outside the window. That meant raingear for the day......yech. After breakfast, the long haulers group decided to head out to the falls and continue with the original route. We said our good byes and made our way out of Creel for the last time. The first 60 miles were wet and cold but it soon stopped raining. The canyon outside Creel was beautiful too. Coutomec came and went and we found ourselves in Chihuahua in the early afternoon and feeling good about it when it started raining again. But this time it was only raining under Micah's DRZ. Uh Oh. The Frankencover had let go. We pulled up on a wide sidewalk and Roger did his best taxi call. Before Micah could get his helmet off he and Billyj were stuffed into a cab and off to the DHL office where there should be a part waiting on them. Jeremy and I hung out with the bikes while Roger and ta2240 went to the tienda. Ta2240 brought me an oversize chocolate Hershey bar, which hit the spot as I had been having withdrawals. There was a possibility that the part had got hung up in customs and would not be there but we were confident. Thirty minutes later, the cab rolled out with two thumbs up sticking out the window. Faster than you say teamwork, the part was on and we were adding water. Bye bye Chihuahua. Got last gas and cleared the last tollbooth when we heard it. Hisssssss. It was coming from Billyj's ATK back tire. A nice nail was pulled from the well-worn tire. A quick shot of air and the slime didn’t seal it so a tube change was in order. Tire expert ta2240 handled the tube change like the pro he his. If a flat was going to happen, that was the best place for it. It was done in last light and I hope somebody got a picture or two. Loaded up, we headed toward the Texas border in the dark. The miles quickly passed and there was Ojinaga. A quick check in with the Mexican authorities cleared our vehicle permits and soon we were stateside. A quick flash of our passports and we were back at the 3 Palms looking for showers, food, beer and Tony. We soon found all four. More stories and updates on the riders followed but soon it was time load up on the trailers for quick getaways in the am. Before turning in, we said our goodbyes and thanked each other for the ride.


DAY 8 HOME


Uneventful was the race to DFW. It was close though. The temperature dropped quickly and we flirted with freezing temps for the last 4 hours home. As always, its good to make it home.


EPILOGUE ROGER IN MY REARVIEW ......TIM IN FRONT OF ME

Just wanted to say thanks to all of my teammates on this ride. It was a good feeling knowing someone had my back and I had theirs. My roommate for the trip was somebody I had met just hours ago, but soon found out cut from similar cloth. Everybody contributed in some way to make my Mexico experience greater than I could have ever hoped. Riding is a very individual thing but can be rewarding in a group environment. We never got lost and never lost a rider. We never went too slow nor too fast. We all got along and in a group of six, that is saying something. I can’t wait to do it again.

PICTURES PENDING IF I CAN FIGURE OUT THE SMUGMUG THING.

Goat Trail Green
01-14-2007, 12:46 PM
Sweet write up my friend

What a hoot !!!

I had a riot !!!
It was awesome to be part of the sweep riders. Friendships I will value for a life time !!

Mike Green

skinny
01-14-2007, 01:53 PM
Man, I wish I'd been there...great write-up...thanks to all of you for your help after Teeds & I fell by the wayside...


Skinny

Greasemonkey
01-14-2007, 02:21 PM
I think I'm going to cry:clap:

Teeds
01-14-2007, 04:33 PM
MEXadventure 2007: The Intervention

Building the foundation ...

Like many of the rides reported on in this forum, this ride started quietly one evening over a drink last spring ...

Why don’t we go to Mexico?
Sounds like fun to me.
Me to.
Me three.
When?
Dang, I would really like to go, but don’t get any vacation until January and can only use one week for the trip.
Ok, well how about January and we do ... say 9 days, which is a work week plus the weekends.
Cool!

With that, informal planning took over and a general route was proposed and a thread posted on TWT about the ride.

The route:

Who was it that originally described the “Great Circle Route”?
Well, this wasn’t THAT great circle route, but it was ambitious from the very beginning ...

Day One - Presidio, Texas/Ojinaga, Chihuahua to Creel, Chihuahua
Day Two - Creel, Chihuahua to Los Mochis, Sinaloa (via Batopilas)
Night Two - The Midnight Ferry to La Paz, Baja California Sur
Day Three - La Paz, Baja California Sur to Mulegé, Baja California Sur
Day Four - Mulegé, Baja California Sur to Mike’s Sky Ranch, Baja California Norte
Day Five - Mike’s Sky Ranch, Baja California Norte to Douglas, Arizona
Day Six - Douglas, Arizona to El Paso, Texas
Day Seven - El Paso, Texas to Presidio, Texas

Stop laughing!!

To complicate things a bit further, the post on TWT yielded 14 people interested in the trip and willing to sign on. Now logistics became a huge issue. For those that have ever been in the military, they well understand the logistics of movement of large groups and often every attempt begins with ... hurry up and wait.

This is the reason for choosing the name “intervention” for the ride. As you will learn from our noble attempt, intervention became the watch word for planning and executing this effort. Never one to shirk from adventure, the intrepid band of merry adventurers slogged forward into the darkness, only barely aware that poop could hit the fan at any moment.

Many of us geared up for the ride by reading the many epic adventures chronicled in the annals of Adventure Rider and more particularly, the adventures of Gaspipe and Big Dog. Cognizant that everyone on ADV had many more adventures than we under their belts, we absorbed, like little sponges, the wisdom gleaned from the ride reports.

Intervention One -

The route always looked to be ambitious beyond belief to me, and I lobbied for dropping the Baja leg from the beginning. The hurricanes in Baja, reality that many towns would be unable to take care of 16 ... oops, the group had grown from 14 ... and the fact that one members wife had a due day just after returning from Mexico, dictated a reworking of the route.

Baja was tossed ... in most people’s minds anyway. Steve still wanted to go to Baja, and kept saying he was heading for the ferry, if he ever saw the sea. I also wanted to go to Baja, but I saw it as another adventure. John was caught between us.

Revised Route ...

Day One - Presidio, Texas/Ojinaga, Chihuahua to Creel, Chihuahua
Day Two - Creel, Chihuahua to El Fuerte, Sinaloa via Batopilas, Chihuahua
Day Three - El Fuerte, Sinaloa to Témoris, Chihuahua via Huatabampo, Sonora for lunch with John’s in-laws
Day Four - Témoris, Chihuahua to Creel, Chihuahua via Urique, Chihuahua
Day Five - Bonus / Off Day
Day Six - Creel, Chihuahua to Buenaventura, Chihuahua via Basaseachic Falls
Day Seven - Buenaventura, Chihuahua to Fort Hancock, Texas
Day Eight - Fort Hancock, Texas to Presidio, Texas/Ojinaga, Chihuahua to retrieve our vehicles.

We had added a day ...

OK, I’m betting that you experienced adventure riders are still laughing at the “revised route”. It was still ambitious, but believe me, I saw it as 1000% more achievable than our original route. As we all know ... every good adventure needs a plan and most plans get tossed in the first minutes of any good adventure.

There was still hope ...

One of our additional adventurers to help us grow to 16 was the owner of Wolfman Luggage. Steve had met Eric at the Nevada Rally Experience and all of a sudden, we all developed the desire to try and buy out Eric’s entire supply of Wolfman luggage.

But that is getting things out of order ...

Intervention Two -

In early August, we organized a ride from Pandale, Texas out to Van Horn, Texas and back to act a shakedown trip. Four days and 1,100 miles with many of the group and a few other folks in beautiful Big Bend, Texas. That is always a great way to spend a long weekend.

This would not be a new adventure for many of us with the exception of Longfellow Road (all but me) and the Lost Trail (a few). In Marathon, we lost Matt, my Cajun buddy from south Louisiana and a tense couple of hours transpired before we located him. It would have been easier, but there were only a few of us capable of understanding the unique “English” he uttered, and trust me on this, none of them live in Big Bend. Ken and I located him and we backtracked in the darkness to Terlingua Ranch. This led to lesson number one ...

Lesson Number One -

Everyone needs a riding buddy that they always know the whereabouts of. We would not have lost him if one person had been responsible for him, rather than the “group”. Now I understand how mothers lose kids in the grocery store and drive off without them.

That is but the first part of the intervention, as I went down while being distracted in thought and broke my right scapula. Well, it was only 400 miles back to my truck ... let’s go ... I can hold the throttle with my hand, as long as I use my left hand to put my right hand on the throttle. This lead to lesson number two ...

Lesson Number Two -

Don’t fall down, it will hurt you.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/90303786-M.jpg

Both lessons would come to haunt us later.

Stop laughing!!

The fall of 2006 was uneventful, see comments about shopping for bags above, and soon the Terlingua Dual Sport Ride preparation and execution was behind Steve, John and I. Only Thanksgiving and Christmas loomed between us and the adventure that had come to be known as MEXadventure 2007.

An Aside ...

During the Terlingua Dual Sport Ride we encountered some folks with a great deal of recent experience in Baja ...
To the casual comment about going from Mulegé, Baja California Sur to Mike’s Sky Ranch, Baja California Norte in one day, their comment was ... are you crazy?

Ok, I was feeling a bit better about the route change ...

Well, I thought I was feeling better. About 11:30 PM, the Wednesday before Christmas, I awoke with what felt like an ice pick in my right ear. Hurt does not even begin to tell the story. I had been fighting a cold about a week, but the only time I had ever experienced this was once when I was a kid. I managed to get back to sleep and awoke in the morning to find my pillowcase covered in blood and my ear crusted up with dried blood. A trip to the doctor ensued. Some of y’all may have noticed that it was a bit chillier, as everyone that knows me, knows that it would be a cold day in **** before I would go to the doc at the first sign of anything being wrong. I always wait until I can smell the rot, run out of beer, or my vacation is over, whichever comes first. She confirmed that I had messed up my ear, gave me some antibiotics and told me that I would be unable to hear and that my ear would ring for a while.

After a week of banging into walls, I realized that I had to have lights on for the visual clues, as I drifted to the right without them. I also could not tell where things are by sound and kept losing where my cell phone was. If I could not see the flashing, I could not find it. Therefore it became a permanent fixture on my hip, even around the house. I had to consider changing the ring of my phone as it was the same ring I was getting in my ear.

Stop laughing!! Wait a minute, that may actually be the ringing ... shhhhhhh ...

Teeds
01-14-2007, 04:34 PM
Day T-2

Who remembers Creep Show II?

Remember the green slime and how everyone was trying to escape it’s grip?

Well that is what “it” felt like to me.

Being self employed is great, because every now and again my boss fires me because of my attitude, and I get a few days away from work. The world was determined to not let go and my attitude was ... uhh ... I’ll leave it at bad. I get paid to drive square pegs through round holes and now “it” was beginning to feel like a game of Whack a Mole at the local Chucky Cheese Restaurant ... I needed a break ... fire me!! Are you listening?

I was only 30 minutes late getting to Mike’s house and an hour late to Gene’s house, which only left me an hour and a half late to Suzy’s house to drop off a computer. She was kind enough to agree to download all the viagra, Costa Rica land offers, penny stock offers, and “enlargement” SPAM emails on my laptop. All that to make sure the server was not so clogged as to be unable to accept the three or four emails that I might get that were important.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123096720-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123096372-M.jpg

Only a quarter of a day behind schedule, we were finally on I-30 heading west out of the Metromess. Baker’s Ribs, in Weatherford, served up BBQ and only 3 hours of driving in the rain separated us from beds. We came in for a landing in Sweetwater, Texas, home of the WASP Museum and took up residence on the second floor of the Days Inn.

The National WASP WWII Museum (http://www.waspwwii.org/museum/)

Teeds
01-14-2007, 04:38 PM
T-1

The day started early. We awoke to the sounds of working stiffs at the motel, firing up and warming up their trucks, as they prepared to face the day.

The restaurant on-site served up a free breakfast and let me assure you ... we got our monies worth! Bad, I tell you ... bad ...

Wal-Mart satisfied a small lists of oops and we were soon motoring west.

Mike ... is that an evil grin or what?

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123099002-M.jpg

Gene ... normally he does not have the deer in the headlights look, but it was early

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123098651-M.jpg

Everything appears to be riding nicely ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123099906-M.jpg

We passed an upcoming renovation project I am starting in Big Spring in the spring. Midland and Odessa fell by the wayside and we turned off the interstate at Monahans to head south towards Alpine and Presidio.

While we were filling our truck and bikes with fuel Mike mentioned that a buddy was in the area scouting for property for his oil company. About that time Mike’s phone rang and it was his buddy. He was in a rent car parked about fifty feet from us. Go figure. As big as West Texas is, we both arrive at the same gas station at the same time. Introductions ensued and we chatted a while before heading back out on the road.

Coyanosa, the I10/US 67 intersection, and Alpine fell behind, as we battled the headwinds westward towards Marfa. The winds were unbelievable as they were focused by the mountains around Alpine.

Marfa served up a splash (fifty something dollars actually) of diesel, and we headed south towards Presidio. In the relative quiet of a crosswind, we were all lost in our individual thoughts about the trip. Nervous laughter remained as the only outward evidence of the upcoming test.

Bad Omen -

Somewhere along the road between Marfa and Presidio, we encountered a flock of birds on the right side of the road. As is often the unexplainable case with wildlife, they all decided that they needed to be on the left side of the road just as I appeared on their little piece of the road. Well, the last one misjudged the speed of my Silverado and committed suicide on my grill. Bummer, as I went bowling for racoons on the road to Pandale just before breaking my shoulder in August. Now I am not superstitious and walk under ladders regularly, but killing animals lost its thrill when the Army taught me how to hunt humans back in the 70's. Now I get bummed when I kill any animal and thoughts of that bird weighed on me as I passed through the ghost town of Shafter, on our way to Presidio.

Those thoughts crowded to the back of my mind as we entered Presidio. Skinny had called saying we were all going to go to Ojinaga to get our tourist visas upon our arrival. We piled in Steve and my trucks and off we went. John was running interference, as he knew Spanish. The rest of us ducklings trailed along behind him.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123111865-M.jpg

True to course, the fellow behind the desk was not behind the desk when we arrived. John had to ask around for someone to help us. Well, upon encountering a group of six of us, he felt overwhelmed about the possibility that he might have to work and sent us our way with the admonition that we could ONLY get a visa on the departure date ... yea right, but we knew better than trying to buck the system ... we would simply wait for a shift change, so ... back across the border to America we headed.

Guard: Everyone Americans here?
Us: Yup
Guard: How long you been in Mexico?
Me: About 10 minutes, we were trying to get tourist visas.
Guard: OK, you are clear to go.

Hee Hee, we waved at Steve as they had to stop because of Ian ... he is British and cannot say y’all well enough to fake out the border guard.

Copies of the emergency contact list ... I asked for 12, paid for 12, and got 15 (typical somehow), and some last minute shopping in the Dollar General and we headed back to the Three Palms Motel for a few hours before attempting to return to the border.

Ray and Bill arrived and we headed back to the border in smaller groups. Ahhh, the sweet smell of success, or was it the taco stand up the street? ... it didn’t matter, we had our visas. When I went back outside, I saw Micah in Roger’s truck and found out that Tim and Jeremy were inside getting Jeremy’s papers wrapped up.

Now the entire gang was here!!!

Only dinner and repacking remained ...

The Oasis Restaurant, right next door to the Three Palms Motel served up dinner. Then we were off to ...

Pack
Lift
Toss out and repack
Lift
Toss out and repack
Lift
Dang this bag is heavy ...

In a variation of the Peter Principal, crap carried was expanding to fill the space available. The camping gear (my security blanket) was taking up way too much space and weighed more than I wanted to carry, but this was Mexico and I refer you again to the route at the start of the thread ...

Stop laughing!!

This concludes the build-up of the trip and brings you to the first intermission. Go get a favorite beverage. From now on there will be multiple versions of this tale as others get on-line and contribute their thoughts and photos to the menagerie that came of MEXadventure 2007.

I should say HOPEFULLY they will post. Many are embarrassed to have been associated with what they consider to be a fiasco, but I accept it as a learning experience.

I learned a great deal about myself and other folks on this adventure.

Teeds
01-14-2007, 04:40 PM
General Information on the Trip

We started with 16 wanting to go, but 2 had to drop out early on, and one more two days before we left, because of an injury to his knee that was aggravated by a ski trip between Christmas and New Years.

We stood at 13 for departure ...

Bill - 400 DRZ
Gene - XT 600
Ian - 400 DRZ
Jeremy - XR650R
John - WR450
Micah - 400 DRZ
Mike - 605 ATK
Ray - XR650R
Roger - XR650L
Skinny - 610 Husky
Steve - XR650R
Tim - XR650L
Tony - XR650R (me)

Riding experience varied from almost forever (Skinny and Steve) to Ian (a few years).
Ages ranged from Skinny at the top to Jeremy. I am very near the top ...

Some had been to this part of Mexico before (John, Mike, Micah, Ray, Roger and Tim), but the rest had not.

Mike had been around the world and I hear that experience became a true asset.

Stop laughing!!

Trail Boss
01-14-2007, 05:20 PM
:popcorn:

dbdolan
01-14-2007, 05:32 PM
:popcorn: These reports are great, the writing is superb as I feel like I was there.

Teeds
01-14-2007, 05:38 PM
Day One - Friday
Blastoff!
January 5, 2007 had arrived

8:30ish, we headed south towards and across the border. Along the way, we topped off our tanks at the Presidio 66 station as Villa Aldama, Chihuahua was a ways away.

We stopped almost immediately and exchanged some bucks for pesos. 10.1:1 was not too bad, considering we could see the border, if we turned around. The official exchange rate of the Pemex stations was 9:1, so we were doing better than that.

Since 10.1:1 is real close to 10:1 and my math skills are somewhat limited after a beer, I hung my hat on 10:1. I figuring all I needed to do was drop the final zero to decide the value of something. Close enough for horse shoes, hand grenades and atom bombs, and in this case, all my purchases in Mexico.

Well Ojinaga was, is and likely, will always be, under construction, at least the road out to the toll road is, so we wondered about. Seeing your folks going left and right across your direction of travel became suggestive of our ability to travel together for the balance of the trip. We gradually broke up into a fast group and a slower group. I will not say slow, because we were still fast, but we were not ripping up the asphalt. I have seen many adventures ruined in the first rush to adventure in my many years in the wilderness, and was determined to keep the pace sane, as Creel was WAY over the horizon.

At the intersection of the toll road and Chih 67, we encountered the first military checkpoint. We had passed through the Aduana Station just moments before, but the military was there for drugs, not tourists, so we were waved through.

On Chih 67

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123161675-M.jpg

Kicking it up a notch, we motored southward across the plains (mesa?) of northern Chihuahua.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123162047-M.jpg

An aside ...

For those of you following along on the map, the toll road roughly parallels the railroad tracks that loop-de-loops southward out of Ojinaga towards Chihuahua.

Back to the story ...

Tradition dictates that when you lose sight of the person behind you, you slow down. Tim slowed down and I slowed down as I was in front of him. With the leader trying to run 70, it is hard for the guys at the end of the whip to keep up. Gene was on a XT 600 and the jetting was a bit off, so 55 was about it, before it would cough and sputter. We stopped and gathered all the quail back up, only to discover that a couple of folks had been tied up in a turn/no turn scenario at the military checkpoint and only the friendly gesture by the guards got them on the right road ...

See Lesson Number One -

That one had fallen apart all too quickly. Oh well, the fast group tore off again and the rest of us followed.

We caught up (at least momentarily) at the toll booth ... 34 pesos please ...

And in the middle of nowhere ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123163438-M.jpg

This is a test ... how many dollars, using my simplified math? If you said $3.40, go get a favorite beverage.

We stopped for a baño break ... la cerca served this role.

Outside of Villa Aldama, we all begin the process of going from main to reserve. My bike ran out at the worst possible time. A truck was behind me, there was a sharp drop off on the shoulder that disappeared into brambles so thick I would have been lost and the grade was up hill ... couple that with gloves too thick to flip the lever and I came to a halt. The guys behind me stopped, the truck honked and passed us like a getto cruiser through a toll booth, and I got the lever flipped ... the sounds of Willie Nelson wafted through my brain as I heard the XR fire back to life ... on the road again.

Gene coasted to a stop in front of me. I gave him a Primus bottle full of fuel and he poured fuel in his gas tank, as he had already used his bottle. I laid my bike over with his help and we were off into town. The Pemex filled us up and we soon gathered about. As the first group was no where in sight, Roger asked if my GPS could get us through town. I said it could and we headed out on the by pass around Villa Aldama.

An aside ...

If you are concerned about gas and cannot go 130~140 miles on a tank, do not use the toll road or carry gas between Ojinaga and Villa Aldama. That would be the only time we needed to worry, but there is little to nothing out there. Also, the Pemex Station is in the heart of Villa Aldama, so follow “Business” Chih 16 into town. There is a new Pemex just past where the bypass and the old route come back together, but it is 5 pesos for the baños there. We just went in together. It was a two (dos) holer.

Back to the story ...

Where the bypass and the old route reconnected, we ran into the rest of the gang. Unfortunately, they fired up and took off just as we arrived. John dropped something (which turned out to be a Leatherman) and by the time I had picked it up and tucked it safely away, the fast group was over the horizon. Not to worry, we could get there in time.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123162420-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123162420-M.jpg

An aside ...

Coming into Chihuahua, I was struck by the roadside architecture. Similar to many of the buildings in the arid southwest US, they harkened back to the 30's, 40's and 50's, when automobile travel was king. Did I mention that I am a historic preservation architect? I was chewing on this like a dog with a fresh cut of prime steak.

Back to the story ...

Gene and I were WAY behind. Try as we might, we could not get through the traffic. Even lane splitting would not work on this road, as the no man’s land where the stripes reside was 6~8 inches above the roadbed in many places, which is not conducive to passing when trucks are on both sides.

I saw the left turn for the airport and vaguely remembered it in the instructions. The waving arms of one other adventurers made me feel a bit better about the decision as he awaited us on the far side of the turn. Unfortunately, he took off as the light turned green and we had two large trucks we could not get around because of the road width. The trucks lumbered along at maybe 20 MPH, so we simply fell farther behind. At least Gene’s jetting was not hindering our forward progress, only two vastly overloaded dump trucks.

Finally getting around them, I spotted the guys again and the chase was on. I will be mercifully brief about the balance of the process of getting through Chihuahua as I would probably start cussing anyway. Just suffice it to say that Chihuahua finally spit us out on Chih 16 and we continued towards Creel.

Lunch was served a Pemex station on the south side of Chihuahua accompanied by the bump and grind of a couple of late teenage girls dancing to the sound emanating from their third world brief case. This was the first time all 13 of us had been in the same timeslot, except for a few brief moments, since leaving Ojinaga.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123116818-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123117081-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123117346-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123117678-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123117930-M.jpg

Everyone mounted up and the groups split up again. John waited as my XR was being cranky (altitude?) and would not start. Finally it started ... and off we roared. I could see the tail end of the second group of riders in the distance so I wicked it up in hunt of a rear knobby, feeling certain that John was doing the same. The traffic was crowded ... think 635 around Dallas, 610 around Houston ... so the focus was on not becoming a statistic. Did I mention the wind? Well the hills perpendicular to the road were playing weird tricks with the wind. If you were next to a cut, the wind was from the left and you leaned that way. Cross into the valley between hills and the wind was from the right, so lean right. Over and over, up the wall of the mountain to the mesa above. Every now and again I attempted to look for John in my rear view mirror, but because of concentrating on the wind I was at the top near an obelisk, before I felt comfortable to stop.

John did not appear and I was sitting in the middle of nowhere. I was comfortable that the group had stopped as well, but I didn’t know how far ahead they were. With the knowledge that the roadbed split north and southbound lanes, I didn’t feel comfortable going back, for fear of passing John without being able to see him. So ... I went on and in about five miles, I found the balance of the second group. They told me that the fast group was on the road to Creel. It was decided that we would send folks back at one minute intervals in case someone saw John and the folks in front had missed him. If you lost the guy behind you, you were to assume that John had been found. Complicated, perhaps, but in the heat of the battle, it seemed like the best plan.

Micah, Ray and Mike headed back ... Micah returned, no luck ... Ray returned, John had been located. We headed back, again at 1 minute intervals in case Mike and John got back on the road and missed us.

To make a long story short, John’s saga had started with a flat, then a pinched tube and by the time we found him, he was borrowed a wrench from Micah and was cleaning sand from his float bowl. Well, getting the slower herd of cats (plus 1) together and back on the road in the same timeslot had set us back about 2 to 2 1/2 hours, if I remember correctly.

Cuauhtemoc was the next town and we had a police escort through town. Well sort of anyway. He was going the same direction we were and he/we all diligently waved and grinned as we passed him.

Oops, where is Hoop? His bike had stalled at a light and we stopped as soon as we found a safe spot out of traffic. It was right in front of a shop that sold boiled squash. How is that for a specialty?

Squash Cooker

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123118933-M.jpg

Mike, while waiting on Hoop ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123118164-M.jpg

Hoop soon reappeared and we headed towards the edge of town in search of a Pemex. Sure enough, right on Chih 16 stood a modern “self service” Pemex. Attendants were scurrying about taking the pesos. Soon we were back on the road and heading west now on Chih 16 towards Adolfo López Mateos. The road was a complete mess and all you could do is follow the rhythm of the traffic as it appears to be as bad as “rush hour” in America.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123118419-M.jpg

Dos chica with “Cowgirl Up” on the back window of their Silverado and a death wish, made us look like good drivers as they rushed headlong into the future, oblivious to the fact that they skirted death almost constantly. Crosses lined the road in some areas and shrines appears to be placed at the more deadly areas. They should have noticed, but they were busy with makeup ...

In any case, the sun went down, or at least it did on my GPS, so this means we pull over, correct? We have always been told that you don’t drive in Mexico after dark, so we are going to stop, correct? Naw ... we slogged on.

Did I mention the fact that we had not reached the junction of Chih 16 and the road to Creel? We finally turned south and after the sun went down, entered the twisties. Holy Chihuahua, this road had more curves than all the girls in Chihuahua. Most were covered in water that was diligently trying to become ice.

An aside ...

After arriving in Creel, everyone talked of the fires along the edge of the road for people to stop and warm themselves besides ... who in the **** had time to look at anything other than the lines on the highway? Are these super humans I ride with? But I digress ...

Back to the story ...

Cloaked in darkness, the world shrinks to the width of my Baja Designs (unpaid advertising) headlight and the pinpoint of the tail light of John’s bike in front of me. This is beyond nuts, but for a while we have a Nissan Pickup running a blocking pattern for a bunch of broken field runners. Then the yoyo at the front of our pack passed the Nissan!!!! Now, we are going it alone leaving our blocking cover behind. Nuts I tell you, completely nuts!

Oops there is a sign for topes. Kawump I should have stood up ... there goes a church on the right. Say a prayer for me Padre, I don’t have time to stop ... Oh lord, was that a beer barn? Clearly, THAT fellow used to live in Texas. I have seen it all ...

Whoops, there is a car in my lane going slow ... screw the traffic laws ... what traffic laws ... pass that sucker ... the tail light is getting smaller ...

Finally I see the sign that says ... Creel 7.5 Km ... OK, with nothing else to do, I tried to figure out how far that was ... let’s see ... 1 Km = 0.62 miles (approximately for those of y’all that really care) , so if I round it off at 0.6, so that means 0.1 = 0.75 miles, so 7.5 Km should be about 4.5 miles ...

OK, how that I had finally figured out that bit of trivia, can SOMEONE please tell me why I had not ridden 4.5 miles by that time and FOUND Creel! Things were getting nuts! Did I mention the cold? Maybe that is why the 7.5 Km, felt like 75 Km.

Holy Honda there Batman, I think I see lights. We gather at the edge of town and head into the middle of the fray. One wrong turn and we found Casa Margarita’s. I could have kissed the ground, but it was covered with ice and dirt. Actually there was ice and dirt everywhere. I learned that it snowed recently for the first time in a long time and no one could remember the last time it snowed that much.

An aside ...

My mother is laughing right now, the Eeds curse is alive and well. When she was alive, she said that all someone had to do to break a drought is to invite us there on vacation. Oops, maybe I should not have mentioned that ...

Back to the story ...

Casa Margarita’s was serving dinner when we arrived and we dumped our gear and quickly joined the gang for dinner. We drank the place dry of Sol and had to move on to wine and their namesake drink ... margaritas.

Beer goggles

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123120289-M.jpg

Skinny and Mike

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123120693-M.jpg

Steve and Roger

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123121020-M.jpg

My dinner ... yum

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123121378-M.jpg

The entire gang, except for the ones that were missing ... uhhhh ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123121746-M.jpg

Dinner behind us, sleep came quickly. Hopefully tomorrow everyone will calm down a bit and we can get back on track.

Today’s route almost proved to be more than we could achieve. The fast group made Creel about 5:30 PM, while the rest of us came in around 8:00 PM.

Stop laughing!!

Tekisasu DR
01-14-2007, 09:44 PM
Wow, great write up! :clap: :clap: :clap:

I am one of the guys who really looking for the report, but it looks a lot more than expected!
As I read slow, I would need several days to finish reading them all with regular speed. You know, I will just print this thread and read in my spare time!

Thank you all for sharing!
Ken

Teeds
01-14-2007, 09:56 PM
Ken:

You might want to wait a few days ... this could get epic ... only two of us have posted so far and I have 5 more days to post myself. :trust:

Tekisasu DR
01-14-2007, 10:26 PM
I can almost cry... Looking forward all the reports.
Thank you Tony for sharing!

Ken

Teeds
01-15-2007, 07:30 AM
Before I go a bit farther into the report, I want to recommend that anyone considering going to Creel consider staying with

Hotel Plaza Mexicana Margarita
Zona Centro Creel, Chihuahua, Mexico
Tel./Fax. (635) 456-02-45, 456-01-08
hotelesmargaritas@hotmail.com
http://www.hoteles-margaritas.com - I could not get it to come up ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123182302-M.jpg

Nice and affordable accomodations, that include breakfast and supper in the price of the room. Hot water and heat in every room.

Caesar speaks very good English, which can be a real plus in certain situations.

In addition, they have hotels in two other towns nearby, Batopilas and (help me out Tim, Roger, Gene, Mike) ...

Type in Margaritas and Creel in Google and you will get pages of links to reviews.

ta2240
01-15-2007, 09:33 AM
The two other hotels are in Batopilas and in Cerocahui just outside of town.
All three hotels are incredible. Here are some of the pics of the hotel on Cerocahui

The lodge room
http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123316085-L.jpg

the dining area
http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123316146-M.jpg

the room
http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123316287-M.jpg

the view in incredible, sorry but this does not do it justice
http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123316260-M.jpg

Like Tony said, Cesar is the owner along with his mother. In 2003 they took care of Micah, Roger and I. This year they really took care of us. Anything you need Cesar will get. As a matter of fact the next time we go we are taking another bike and he is going to be our guide to places most people never see.


Give me some time the "Girls" report is being written and will be posted shortly!!!

The Bruce
01-15-2007, 09:48 AM
:coffee: Good reading. Thanks

mcrider
01-15-2007, 11:29 AM
What a great way to spend a cold rainy morning & I mean ALL morning. :clap: :eek2:
Stories are just starting I know, but they'll have to wait 'til I get back from the MLK day parade in downtown Houston. :lol2::giveup:

I'll be back with :popcorn: :chug:

FirstMan
01-15-2007, 11:50 AM
I recived Mike's version of the story in person over dinner and after reading Gene's version it sounds like Mike didn't lie too much;-) . A great trip with a good bunch of guys. I am glad the 6+2 were able to have an adventure and keep it fun.

ta2240
01-15-2007, 12:28 PM
Day 1………………………….Nope, lets go back a few months. Several months back while sitting around with a great group of riders in Broken Bow, Ok. Mention was made of a Copper Canyon/Baja trip. Since myself and teamswaney had already been in 2003 and irondog had been there a couple of different times along with XR650rocketman racing the Baja 1000 it would seem to be the makings of a Great ride. Discussions started along with e-mails and threads here on TWTexans.

Problem 1. I needed to get another bike because I did not want to ride my WR450 in Mexico. I tell Roger that I want another XR650L before I go. As usual he grins when I tell him because he tried to get me to keep the last one I had. One thing you learn about the Swaney brothers a short time after you meet them is that they are true to their word and they are ALWAYS right. Like the good friend Roger is, while I am on the family vacation in July he comes across a great deal on an XR650L and he buys it for me before he even asks me if I want it. I won’t go into the details but it was a deal that could not be passed up.

Here is the bike the day I brought it home.
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c18/ta2240/6504.jpg?t=1168879590

Here was the finished product on the trip
http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123315594-M.jpg

Problem 2. Suddenly people started jumping onboard by posting threads that started out like this, “I have always wanted to go to Mexico, what type of bike would you recommend for the first time dualsporter”. I suddenly realized we may have made a horrible mistake. I called Rocketman and teeds and made my concerns known. They agreed and eventually a limit on the number of folks was made along with the qualifications needed for the trip.

Problem 3. A few weeks after the initial planning started I read the routes that irondog had prepared. The 1st day was over 300 miles. That was not a big deal because I had ridden that way before and I knew that it was mostly or all blacktop. But then it got worse I did not think that the routes were possible.Don’t get me wrong I like riding but if I am going to Mexico I want to go to Mexico and have a good time along with riding. My idea of riding is about 5 to 6 hours a day with plenty of time for Cerveza and to handle problems that may occur. Anyway I made my concerns known to teeds and to the group I was going with which was teamswaney(Roger) along with his brother Jeremy and another buddy that I went with in 2003, Micah.

Jeremy, Roger, Micah and I have been on numerous trips together and we normally think along the same lines. When we are not on the same lines it is usually me that is a little off, but the Doctors are working with me on that.:lol2: Anyway we ride well together and we know each other very well. After telling them the routes Roger agreed and thought that the routes were too much but we decided to see how things went.

Okay, Pre Day 1, or the night before.
All 13 of us are eating dinner at the restaurant next to the Three Palms Inn in Presidio, Texas. John and Steve say that we are crossing the border at 8:00 am sharp.

Day 1 Presidio to Creel

My group, later to be known as the Sweep Riders or as Gene has named, "Uncle Rogers Group” was waiting at 8:00am outside of Steve and teeds room ready to pull out. As teeds already pointed out with that many folks nothing will go as planned.
At about 8:30am we leave and while some of the guys stop for gas my group exchanges our money for pesos and wait. We finally pull out with the entire group and the fiasco begins. At one time I watched four bikes cross the same intersection going all different directions. WOW it was cartoonish.:rider: We finally make it to the toll road and are headed off.

After about 15 miles irondog pulls over because the GPS was not agreeing with the way we were headed. After some discussion we decide that we are on the right track. Everyone pulls off except for Gene and Mike(billyji). Micah and I stop because we never leave people behind. Mike is trying to adjust his gear bags it appears and he waves for us to go, so we do. After about 10 miles I stop and wait, and wait, and wait and nothing. I suddenly realize that I am by myself and I got an uneasy feeling. I started my bike and took off trying to catch the group. A little while later I catch up and pull up in front to get everyone to stop. Everyone stops and some rules of trail/riding adequate are explained. While that discussion is going on Mike and Gene pull up. Once back together we take off again.

I will skip to the end of day 1 because that has already been covered by teeds and Gene.

After arriving at Margaritas and having dinner Roger, Jeremy, Micah and I had a discussion about day 1. I guess the riding at night on icy Mexico roads was the main thing that pushed us over the edge. We decided as a group that we were going to part ways with the main group and go our separate way. Before it is all said and done Gene and Mike have joined our group and we have discussed the plans for the rest of the trip.

Now teeds can refer to the groups as the “Fast Group” and the “Slow Group” but it really comes down to the group that helps/waits on riders and the group that keeps blazing the trail. That is where the name Sweep Riders comes from.

ta2240
01-15-2007, 01:04 PM
Day 2. Creel to Batopilas

Before breakfast I tell Steve that we are going to split from the group. He thinks that it is a good idea because 13 people trying to stay together is really difficult. After breakfast we all saddle up and head out. In our group is teamswaney which includes his brother Jeremy, tx246(Gene), billyji(Mike), Micah and myself. As few miles after you leave Creel on the left side of the road is a beautiful lake. We stop and take a few pics.
http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123123310-M.jpg

We buy a few things from the Indian children and then give them some candy to contribute to their tooth decay.
http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123123599-M.jpg

We then head out and attack the twisties for the next 20+ miles. They are great except for the ice that is still hidden in the shaded areas.
This is not a good photo of the twisties but it does show how good the roads are.
http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123124353-M.jpg

Here is a photo of Uncle Rogers group except for me I am taking the pic. From left to right.
Mike, Jeremy, Roger, Gene and Micah.
http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123124931-M.jpg

When we hit Samachique we stop at the little store and Roger buys all the folks standing around a Coke. Some people really don’t know what to think of us white guys but they take the Cokes and watch us really close. We then leave and hit the dirt. Between the ice, snow, rock and water puddles we have a good time in the woods. A few miles in we see the first view of the Canyon. This is the picture I am sure you have seen in every Copper Canyon ride report.
http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123125620-M.jpg


http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123127123-M.jpg

We head down into the canyon. On the way down we catch up to a truck that is a few switchbacks below us. With Jeremy leading we will soon pass it. Due to the fact that Jeremy has grown up with motorcycles, gocarts, snowmobiles and lawnmowers that do wheelies I put him in with the top three best riders that I know. Being the guy that is always looking for the challenging ride he spots a shortcut between two switchbacks and he drops off. Like good little Indians we all follow. What we did not know was at the bottom the shortcut drops off about 4 feet directly into a ditch. By the time you realize it you cannot stop so, “Gas On It”. I hit so hard that my front forks and my rear shock bottom out. OUCH! Oh well we get by the truck. And on to the Bridge just before La Buffa.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123127265-M.jpg

A few minutes after crossing the bridge and passing La Buffa we come across teeds who is just standing on the road next to his bike. We all stop and he tells us that he wrecked and has been trying to get his bike up for the last 20 minutes. I wish I had a photo but I don’t so let me paint the picture. Remember CannonBall Run where Chief biker rode a wheelie the entire race. Well that is what teeds should have been doing. He had 250lbs of gear on a Wolfman bag attached to a Pro Moto Billet Rack. Teeds had to use two straps as a shoulder harness to get the bike up. When Jeremy heard that he jumped on the bike and started it right up. Teeds said that he thought that he hurt his knee pretty good. About 30 minutes later we arrive in Batoplilas and start looking for Reynas Restaurant. When we find it she is closed but her sister/ sister in law looks out the window and she tells us that we needed to go back to Reynas house if we want to eat. We were then escorted back through town to Reynas house where we go inside for dinner. Man She Can Cook! Roger, Micah and I met her on the last trip and now we will always give her our business. After dinner we went to get gas and back to the hotel which is another one in the Margarita Hotel Chain.
http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123128759-M.jpg

We unloaded the bikes and decided to go back to town and see if the silver shop was open to buy the wives some silver. While there we decide to find a little cantina and have a few.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123127935-M.jpg

Here is the street in front of the silver shop.
http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123127606-M.jpg

I cannot remember when but we find the other group and we find out that Skinny has had a major problem with the electonics on his bike and that he cannot continue. That makes two out in their group.

After leaving the Cantina we head to the hotel again where we continue with the Cerveza. Refer to tx246 report here. It was kind of foggy. At some point during that night there was some sneaky stuff involving the shower and my digital camera. I was involved in the photos but I was not aware that I was. Get the picture:eek2:

ta2240
01-15-2007, 01:32 PM
Day 3 Batopilas to Sativo to Creel

We leave the hotel and head to Sativo to the Lost Cathedral. It is only a few miles down river and if you are in Batopilas make sure you go to it.
http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123314243-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123314198-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123314274-M.jpg

Here is a HeadStone in the floor of the church. There were more but this is a good photo that you can actually read the writing.
http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123314334-M.jpg

After leaving the church we head out of Batopilas and back out of the canyon. As you have read we had and accident with Micahs bike. It would not have happened if Roger had not loaded Micah down with all of his tools after Rogers rack broke but that is in the past and we need not dwell or over analyze.:lol2: Her is a photo of our Guardian Cocaine Angel and his truck. He is the one with the hat.
http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123314510-M.jpg

After loading the bike we go ahead to wait on the truck.
Here is a sample of the road before you get to the canyon.
http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123314830-M.jpg

After getting the bike out of one truck we loaded it in another and off to Creel we go for more Cerveza. After arriving back at Margaritas Jeremy starts trying to piece the water pump cover back together while Greasemonkey is contacted along with Micah’s wife who ends up shipping the waterpump cover off of Greasemonkey’s DRZ to Chihuahua. What a DAY!

ta2240
01-15-2007, 02:00 PM
Day 4 Creel to the Falls

Out plans for day 4 before the waterpump incident was to head to Urique but now that Micah was out we thought it best to stick around Creel so we discussed heading to the falls. Before that we talk to Cesar and asked him if he could arrainge for a truck to go to Batopilas and pick up Skinny and teeds. Cesar called Hotel Mary in Batopilas and found out that they had already left and were headed to Creel in a truck. We then discussed Cesar taking both riders and bikes back to Presidio. Even though teeds and Skinny were not “In out group” we were not going to leave them hanging trying to figure out what to do.
We decided to wait around until they arrived and then go to the falls so we went shopping around town for suveniers and we also paid out Visa fee.
After teeds and Skinny arrived and they got settled in we left. Micah wanted to go with us but he decided to let Skinny take teeds bike because the trip for him was already shot and it would probably be his last chance to see anything. Skinny, Roger, Jeremy, Gene and I then left and headed to the falls where we encountered the deepest snow yet. It was beautiful and fun.

Jeremy Roger and I
http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123314900-M.jpg

Skinny on Mike’s bike
http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123314960-M.jpg

Jeremy and Gene. Yes that is hard packed ICE they are standing on:rider:
http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123314991-M.jpg

Some of the views before you reach the falls
http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123315026-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123315085-M.jpg

We thought that we were getting close to the falls when we found a truck with two guys drinking cerveza parked on the road. Mike being the billingual asset he is finds out that it is another 30+ miles to the falls and we are running out of daylight. After a brief discussion we decide to race back to Creel and visit the falls on the way out of town when we head for the border.

The road to the falls is being prepped for blacktop and it made for an incredible ride back. The speeds were fast and fun.

Tumper
01-15-2007, 02:18 PM
Great trip report, I am always amazed at the quality of the writing and pics in these reports. Great job!!

OK, back to the ride reports.......:popcorn:

Teeds
01-15-2007, 02:20 PM
Day Two - Saturday
January 6, 2007

The morning dawned early. I am usually up by 4:30ish Texas time and with us being on Mountain time, I easily got up before everyone.

Breakfast was great and we were soon putting gear back on our bikes.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123181838-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123183406-M.jpg

The clouds of yesterday were but an memory. Today promised to be a great day for riding.

I should have picked this method of riding ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123183845-M.jpg

Ice was everywhere ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123184444-M.jpg

Jeremy and Roger aka teamswaney

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123185755-M.jpg

The 75 Km to the turn off for Batopilas proved to be an exhilarating ribbon of asphalt. Rising to a high of about 7,500 ft, it required that I baby the throttle a bit, as the XR would complain now and again of the thin air. The shadows had created some icy spots and they were usually found in corners. Not a big problem all in all, but they kept us alert.

Skinny

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123188894-M.jpg

Our surroundings on the pavement to the cutoff

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123189527-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123191979-M.jpg

Just before the Batopilas cutoff, we passed a newish Pemex station. Didn’t stop, but did note the location for future reference ... A quick gathering of the group and we tore off towards Batopilas. Today I was with the fast group and we quickly strung out along the road. I was not really worried, as my GPS showed the road and I had a map for backup. We reached the top edge of the actual canyon after a while and stopped for photos. From there on, I had ever intent of stopping every time the mood struck me. The other group was behind me and I intended to enjoy the day.

The cutoff

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123192479-M.jpg

The classic shot ... there should be tripod holes

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123192947-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123193899-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123196481-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123198789-M.jpg

John on the road ... see him?

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123198213-M.jpg

John with some other inhabitants on the road

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123199827-M.jpg

The trip into the canyon was everything it was advertised to be. Beautiful beyond compare, we wound down La Bufa Canyon, clinging to the edge of the mountain on roads that varied from a lane to a lane and a half wide. Donkeys grazed peacefully along the road, seemingly oblivious to our passing.

That thin white line is the road ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123200873-M.jpg

The bridge ... see the Chicken Bus?

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123202232-M.jpg

Let’s play find the bridge ... sure make one feel small, doesn’t it?

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123203367-M.jpg

More locals ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123204007-M.jpg

Soon we reached the bottom of the canyon and the bridge across Rio Batopilas. Situated almost at the midpoint of the journey, now we found ourselves on the south side of the canyon.

Looking NE up the Rio Batopilas

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123206347-M.jpg

The sun had come up strong and with the decending elevation, I found myself struggling to understand the venting system on my new Belstaff jacket. It had done a great job yesterday keeping the cold out and with all the zippers, I should be able to stay cool ... assuming I could figure it out. Defeated by the jacket, I simply unzipped the front. Being distracted by the jacket would soon bite me in the buns.

Stopping on what appeared to be a large scree pile at La Bufa, we took a group photo and we are soon motoring on towards Batopilas.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123242070-M.jpg

Skinny talking with a gringo that has lived in La Bufa for a long time ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123242669-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123243040-M.jpg

Rounding a simple left hand downhill corner, my rear end broke lose and the next thing I know I fishtail and am heading directly towards the edge of the road and a LARGE drop off. I manage to lowside the bike and come to a halt just shy of the edge of the road.

Whew, that was close ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123245056-M.jpg

I jump up and start waving my arms at the other six riders, but they don’t see me from the other side of the canyon and I am soon alone in the quiet of the canyon.

I slip up under the bike and turn off the gas. Now to check out the balance of the bike and me ...

My right knee aches. Apparently I twisted it when I laid the bike down. Not to worry, it does not appear bad.

The right handguard has twisted off and broken at the inner mount, but it did its’ job and saved the master cylinder and brake lever.

I unload the gear bag and tool bag off the back and upright the bike. Just after getting the gear strapped back on the bike and now feeling the pain of my knee, wondering how I was going to start the pig, group two (then and there dubbed the sweep riders) pull up. Jeremy jumps off his R and soon has mine running, as he knows the drill.

From fall to restart consumes maybe 20~30 minutes of sunshine ...

Back on the bike, we motor on towards Batopilas.

I even manage to fire off a couple of photos along the way.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123245542-M.jpg

I pass Steve coming back to look for me after a bit and give him a half *** thumps up. The knee now hurts pretty bad. Soon John appears on the edge of the road and I muddle on. The sign for Batopilas is a sight for sore eyes and Steve heads off into the dust of the Chicken Bus as I pass the Hotel Margarita.

Perched on the side of a rock cliff, the hotel proves to be the most stunning architecture in town. I wish now that I had stopped to take some photographs, but alas, that will have to wait for the next trip ... soon ...

Meandering along the edge of the canyon just above the river, I soon come to a bridge that deposits us back on the north side of the canyon and into Batopilas proper. Just after the bridge John passes me, so I guessed I was going the correct direction. A few wrong turns and I manage to lead myself and someone (I’ve forgotten who shadowed me) to the main plaza, where I find other bikes parked. The town is strung out about a mile (or so) along the edge of the river. Never more than a few blocks wide, Batopilas reminds me of the colonial cities of Central America. Indeed, Batopilas was a important mining concern for the Spanish. Antigua is very similar to Batopilas in feel and architecture. I “heard” that buildings in Batopilas have to be historical in appearance. Bravo!!

Upon arrival, I learned that they are working on Skinny’s Husky. It died when he tried to plug in his GPS and there appears to be no spark. They are searching for fuses as Steve, John, and Ian walk and I hobble to a nearby restaurant to discuss the future for the day.

Ian, Steve and John

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123249105-M.jpg

The Patio 5o Restaurant

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123249536-M.jpg

While we discuss, I learn that the sweep riders have officially decided to break off and do a slower paced sightseeing trip and hook back up at Fort Hancock. Although the change appears to be common knowledge to others, my general lack of attentiveness and bad ear has left me lost in my own thoughts and world for much of the trip.

In that it is already 2:00 PM and as the sun sets early in the canyon, it was decided that Batopilas would be a stopping point, rather than pushing on to El Fuerte. John heads off to call Lupita and tell her the news, as we had scheduled to be at his in-laws in Huatabampo at noon on Sunday. With El Fuerte a long way over the horizon, it appeared to be unlikely that anyone could make Huatabampo by noon Sunday ...

As mentioned, the ride had officially broken into two groups. We stayed at Hotel Mary, while Tim, Roger and the gang were bedding down at Margarita’s. We crossed paths later in the evening at the doorway to the El Zaguán Restaurante Bar, but I am getting ahead of myself.

Hotel Mary

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123282427-M.jpg

Parking ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123258694-M.jpg

It appears that Skinny is down for the count. I am still hoping, but my knee doesn’t feel all that great. Thank God for my Asterisk braces. Without them, I might have been carrying my lower leg and been in far worse pain.

Stop laughing!!

(To be continued)

DaveC
01-15-2007, 02:28 PM
:popcorn:

ta2240
01-15-2007, 02:55 PM
Day 5 Creel to Cerocahui

We think that he waterpump cover is fixed so Jeremy and Micah try it out. Low and Behold it works. It was hard work for all the guys that worked on it but it paid off. With teeds and Skinny taken care of we leave Creel. In my opinion this day would be the most fun ride of the trip.
Before we go Cesar makes arraingements for us to stay at another one of his hotels called the Wilderness Lodge he also tells us of a view that is just before you arrive in Diversidero on the way to the Lodge.
The view was easy to find as Mike was leading. When we turn off of the road we begin to climb until we find a closed fence we open it and keep heading up. We then realize that we are in the right spot. We come across some incredible views and a couple of log cabins that Indians are living in.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123315424-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123315888-M.jpg

Cesar said that from this view you can see where all 7 canyons come together. Because of the haze it is hard to tell from the pics but you can see all of the canyons.
http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123315483-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123315748-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123315808-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123315861-M.jpg

After we buy some bean necklaces from the Indians we leave and head on our way. Some of the next riding was on dirt through the woods that would make you believe that you were on R.L. Lemkes Fall Color Tour. You would never think you were in Mexico. This photo is a little difficult to see but there is a waterfall and a river in there.
http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123315956-M.jpg

When we finally arrive at the Wilderness Lodge which is one of the Margaritas Hotel were are stunned. It is something that you must see in person. The photos were already posted but here they are again.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123315978-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123316085-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123316146-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123316204-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123316287-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123316260-M.jpg

The food cooked for us this night was the best of the trip.

ta2240
01-15-2007, 03:51 PM
Day 6 Cerocahui to Urique to Creel

We get up in the morning and are off by 8:00am. We head up through the woods for a while then suddenly the first view of the Urique Canyon.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123316368-M.jpg

The trip down to Batopilas is beautiful but the trip to Urique is incredible. I enjoyed it much better because of the views and the trees that overhang the road.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123316516-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123316632-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123316425-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123316949-M.jpg

After arriving in Urique we ate breakfast and then rode through the town. Not much to see but it is much more advanced in my opinion than Batopilas. It is still a very neat small village. We then left and headed back to Creel. It was a good ride back.


Day 7 Creel to Presidio

We got a call from teeds who had made it back to Presidio and was waiting on us because he was Mike and Genes ride back to the DFW area. He said that he was watching the weather and saw that a severe winter storm was going to be moving through the area with sleet and snow. We decided that it would be best if we cut the trip a day short and head back to the border. It was an uneventful ride back.

All in All it was a great trip. Everything happens for a reason and Mike and Gene coming into our group made it a lot of fun. I had been to Moab with Gene in 2006 and had ridden in Broken Bow with Mike. Both of them turned out to be great riders that added a lot to the group.

Until next time!!!!!

skinny
01-15-2007, 06:39 PM
I won’t further comment on the genesis of this expedition, since Teeds has done a thorough prologue.
On Day1, 13 of us left Ojinaga as a group and after several course corrections and a hare scrambles thru the road construction eventually found our way to Creel. Part of us arrived about 5:00 PM and the rest about 8:00. It was a hard 320 mile ride with a killer head wind from Cuahtemoc, and half-melted snow the last hour or so. The rest of the group hit the hotel about 8:00 PM even more tired & cold. They had gone back to find one of the group who had been delayed by a flat & a pinched tube on the repair. I crashed early and hoped Day2 would be a little more pleasant.

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m5/seseaton/canyon5.jpg
Day 2 in front of the Hotel...that's snow and ice we're parked on

Day2 found us splitting into 2 groups which I will refer to as Group A (me and 5 others) and Group B (the remaining 7). Our paths would cross later in the day. After breakfast and a trip to the Pemex, we rode south for the turn-off. More snow and ice greeted us in the shady areas, but we made it to the dirt road and headed for the bottom of the canyon.. A short ride thru the trees and we reached the edge of La Bufa Canyon and started the 6000 ft. descent.

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m5/seseaton/canyon8.jpg

We soon reached some of the scenic overlooks where you can see your road several thousand feet below as it hugs the canyon wall. This is what I came to see and it was every bit as spectacular as I had imagined.

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m5/seseaton/canyon7.jpg

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m5/seseaton/canyon10.jpg

We caught up to a bull-dozer just before crossing the bridge at the bottom of the canyon and cheered the operator on as he creaked across the bridge.

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m5/seseaton/canyon11.jpg


We stopped in La Bufa and took some photos on the tailings pile from one of the old mines, then continued on to Batopilas. We stopped at the big hotel east of town and waited for Teeds who was riding sweep. Steve and John decided to ride back and make sure he was Ok, so the rest of us rode on into the central plaza.
As I was parking along the curb my Husky suddenly died, and just like that, my trip was over. I spent the next 30 minutes checking everything and with a sinking feeling, finally admitted to myself that I was stranded.

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m5/seseaton/canyon13.jpg
One dead Husky

As if that wasn’t enough of a downer, Teeds arrived to announce he had taken a low side and twisted his knee, which was rapidly getting worse. We checked into the Hotel Mary and discussed my predicament. After a beer or 2, John (who speaks some Spanish) and I tried to find someone to take me to Creel. We spoke with a local who said it was possible, but not tomorrow (which was Sunday). There wasn’t much else to do but eat supper and ponder just how long I might get to spend in sunny downtown Batopilas.
Since we had an odd number, I was rooming by myself, so after supper I headed there hoping for a hot shower anyway. After no luck getting any hot water, my mood was getting darker, and when the light bulb in the bathroom burned out, I climbed into bed cold and disgusted. As some of you know, a lot of the hotels in Mexico close and lock their gates after dark for security. This means if you want to talk to someone rooming there, you have to wake up the gate keeper. Apparently there are a lot of people in Batopilas who like to visit the Hotel Mary at 1or 2 in the morning, which requires copious amounts of knocking and banging and talking, etc. This, along with thoughts of how to get a dead motorcycle back to Texas, was hardly conducive to a restful night.
Day 3, the rest of Group A planned on going to Satevo and El Fuerte, so I would soon be on my own, but as I walked into Teeds room, even though he was already in his riding gear, it looked like he could barely put any weight on his bad knee and I suspected his ride was over. After John came in and agreed, Teeds decided that the prudent move would be to bail out with me. Since we had an unkown (to our group) route ahead and at best, someone would have to kick-start his XR650, He agreed. Although I was happy to have the company, I knew he was as disappointed as I had been when my ignition box took a dump.
After breakfast, we waved goodbye to the rest of Group A and set off for the central plaza to wait for the phone office to open. We had cell phone service in Creel, but down here, the only way to call out was thru a public phone office. We spotted 2 other riders whom we had met the day before and asked if anyone in their hotel spoke English, and one replied “yes, the couple who own the hotel speak English”
I found an elderly woman inside and explained our problem. She said her husband was just outside and stepped out to ask him if he could help. He began talking to the man next to him and immediately said “Yes, Arturo here can take you at 6:00 AM tomorrow” Our mood immediately improved and after a short conversation to make sure we all understood each other, Teeds and I had the rest of the day to sit in the sun, take pictures and enjoy Batopilas.

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m5/seseaton/canyon15.jpg
Foot bridge from Batopilas

Local architecture
http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m5/seseaton/canyon17.jpg
http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m5/seseaton/canyon20.jpg
http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m5/seseaton/canyon21.jpg
http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m5/seseaton/canyon22.jpg

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m5/seseaton/canyon23.jpg
A genuine Mexican Chihuahua

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Packed & ready to load

Day 4, Monday morning about 5:50 AM, our ride showed up, and after loading and a side trip to get gasoline from a local, we began the 3 hr drive out of the canyon. As a passenger, I was free to sit back and enjoy the ride out. I got a much better view of the scenery than on the ride in.

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m5/seseaton/canyon28.jpg

As we neared the top we caught up with a local bus that had left about ½ hr. ahead of us. Just after passing the bus, as we came over a hill, we were greeted by a Federale check point. After ordering us out of the truck, one guy checked inside the cab as 2 more crawled in the bed and began going over our motorcycles. We must have looked un-worthy of a thorough search, as they skipped our gear bags and waved us on , and began another search on the bus behind us.

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m5/seseaton/canyon26.jpg
snow on the road to Creel
http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m5/seseaton/canyon30.jpg
Another 30 miles of pavement and we were back in Creel at the Hotel Plaza Mexicana-Magarita. Group B had arrived in Batopilas Saturday and knew that Teeds and I were stranded. They had told our story to Cesar, the son of the Hotel owner, and he had called Batopilas earlier in the day to make sure that we had caught a ride out, and furthermore he was willing to take us all the way to Presidio. Cesar spoke English, so we had no problems getting a deal settled on, and once again, we could kick back and do the tourist thing.

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m5/seseaton/canyon33.jpg
A relaxing afternoon sunning in the hotel court-yard

We spent Tuesday walking around Creel and after loading the motorcycles in Cesar’s pickup,prepared for a Wed. departure for the border.

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m5/seseaton/canyon31.jpg
Group B at the bar up the street from the Hotel

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m5/seseaton/canyon32.jpg
Group B getting info from Cesar (in cowboy hat) for the next day's ride

Day5, We got rolling about 10:30, and as we began the 6 hr drive to the border, got an excellent commentary from Cesar about the Creel area. He runs a local guide service from his hotel and was immensely helpful to 2 gringos who were in a bind. We hit Ojinaga about 4:30 and cleared U.S. customs with a minimum of fuss.

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m5/seseaton/canyon34.jpg
Back at the motel in Presidio

By 5:00 we were un-loading at the 3 Palms in Presidio, and our Mexico adventure was over. We bid farewell to Cesar who was driving back to Creel that evening, and set about winding down with dinner and few beers. Later that night we would hear from John in Group A, who had thrown a chain which punched a hole in the crankcase. He was arriving in Chihuahua by train, with his crippled Yamaha on another train en-route to the border (he hoped)
Day6. I prepared for a short drive back to Odessa, while Teeds would remain another day or 2 waiting on some of Group B to ride back to DFW.

Although my motorcycle trip ended on Day 2, the rest of the trip was more than enjoyable and once the un-certainty of my situation resolved itself, I relaxed and had a great time. Since I only got a glimpse of the rest of the canyons, I’m already planning a return trip. Maybe next time we can skip the snow and cold weather, since I’m much happier when I’m warm.

mcrider
01-15-2007, 07:08 PM
http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m5/seseaton/canyon33.jpg
A relaxing afternoon sunning in the hotel court-yard

This says it all about your trip. Sorry to hear of ya'lls bad luck! :thumbd:

skinny
01-15-2007, 07:25 PM
This says it all about your trip. Sorry to hear of ya'lls bad luck! :thumbd:

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m5/seseaton/canyon33.jpg
Yes, I think we had just about solved the Iraq problem here, and where just about to move on to World Peace when we realized it was cervesa time. Teeds was a hoot, and we got to chill for a full day in Batopilas...
not a bad place to be....

Goat Trail Green
01-15-2007, 08:37 PM
Tim

See if you can get Micah to post up some of his pics......

Mike Green

irondawg
01-15-2007, 09:46 PM
Thursday - Austin to Presidio

4:30 and I'm up...right on time. For some reason when Steve, Tony and I get together for a ride, the wakeup time is usually around 4:00 am in the morning. This trip started no different. I quietly get the truck packed for the long ride to Presidio. I kiss the wife and kiddo and am on the rode by 5:30. The roads are a bit wet but clear up by the time a get Junction.

My phone rings about 7:30...

Steve: Hey buddy, where are you?
John: Just passed thru Junction.
Steve: Wow! I figured you'd be up. Ian and I are an hour ahead of you.

Steve and Ian took off the night before and stayed in Ozona for the night.

John: Okay, I'll see y'all in Presidio.

My phone rings right after I hang up with Steve...

Tony: Howdy! Where are you?
John: Just passed Junction. Where are you?
Tony: About 1/2 hour west of Sweetwater. You got up early.
John: The usual time.
Tony: 4:00 am?
John: Yep. On the road by 5:30. No traffic whatsoever...go figure? Hehehe.
Tony: Okay, we're about two hours behind you. See you in Presidio.
John: Okay, cheers.

I make record time...6 hours flat. I love driving thru west Texas. There's something special about the desert in the winter. Cold yet dry. Some spots green others brown. And the sky in the winter desert is clear and intensely blue. Before I know it, I'm in Presidio.

I meet most of the gang at the hotel and unpack and do a final prep on the bike. As Tony wrote, about 8 of us head for the border to finish up some paperwork. No one is at the office so I go hunting for someone. A couple minutes later an old guy comes to the desk and I already know we've got problems. I tell him we need tourist visas. He asks for when we are crossing. I tell him tomorrow. He says we need to come back. Right then I knew we had a flojo (lazy) on our hands and he didn't want to do the paperwork. It happens around quitting time...which it was. We head back to the hotel and decide to adjust the valves on Tony's bike. We'll come back at shift change, this time two at a time. As Ian and I walk to the office we see flojo heading the other way. GOOD! About 3 minutes later we have our visas and call the rest of the gang to head over.

That night we had dinner at the Three Palms restaraunt and tell stories. Everyone seems ready for the ride...except for Tony. He's got a LOT of gear to sort out. There's no way he can carry it all. I do some last minute gear organization. I planned on carrying my sleeping bag outside of the Wolfman bag. At the last minute I decided to put it inside and rearrange everything. This would come back to bite me as all the heavy stuff was on one side with a lightweight bag on the other. I really felt it in the twisties.

irondawg
01-15-2007, 10:07 PM
Friday - Presidio to Creel

The plan was to leave the hotel by 8:00 am. However, getting 13 folks pointed in the same direction is difficult. We had a few moments were car keys were misplaced, bikes wouldn't start and gear still needed to be packed and mounted on the bikes. I'm not sure when we finally rolled out but it was closer to 9:00.

First stop was gas where I filled up 3 885ml fuel bottles since my range is right at 130 miles. I also figured someone might need extra gas. Then we hit the money exchange.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/123451783-M.jpg

After we left I was looking for the toll road to Chihuahua. Now, Mexico names the toll road and free roads the same...that wasn't the problem...the construction was. The roads were all torn up and signs were no where to be found. So I put faith in the GPS and tried to get back on track. After a couple of u-turns I asked a local and she pointed me in the original direction.

We ended up on toll road 67 which does a big dog-leg to Chihuahua. It was a fairly new road but wasn't the one I wanted. No sweat I thought but now we really need to have the range since there is nothing...I mean nothing for 135 miles.

Like folks said, keeping track of 13 bikes is tough...even tougher when the bikes all have different cruising speeds. I set a comfortable 60 mph figuring everyone could keep up and we wouldn't be burning thru gas going any faster. I later found out that Gene couldn't keep up. We stopped at the crossroad of 67 and 16 to wait up for everyone. Some folks were already on reserve and we still had about 20 miles before gas. This will be interesting. People started stopping on the side of the road obviously out of gas or needing to put on reserve. Ian and I continued figuring that we'll get as far as I can, fill up and bring gas to whoever needs it. We pull into Aldama and they only have magna which is 87 octane or less. I ask if there's another station with premium. It's only a few kilometers away. I've been on reserve for a long time...not sure if I'll make it and I've got 140 miles on the trip. Sure enough about 50 feet from the station I run out. Ian goes by and I grab his bag and he tows me the rest of the way. We head back and find some of the guys waiting at a little square.

After everyone regroups, off we go to Chihuahua about 30K away. We get almost all the way thru town (1 million people) but get a bit lost less than a mile from the other side. A few u-turns, one way streets and everyone got separated. I pull up to a park and ask a local while some of the guys backtrack to find the rest of the gang. He speaks pretty good english and says we've only got a few turn before we're out of town and back on 16. Everyone is gathered and we head off.

After we get out of town I find a little road side eatery where we get lunch. I only stop at road side joints if I see locals eating there. This one had a few and the tacos were excellent. So was the scenery. A few local honey's were putting on a nice little dance show for us.

Problem #1. As we gear back up, I notice Tony having trouble starting his bike so I wait. He get it started and we head out. About 1/2 kilometer later I get a rear flat. Dang it!! No problem, I've got a spare tube but as I'm waving Tony doesn't see me and heads off. No problem I thought, I've changed plenty of tubes on my own. I roll the bike down an embankment and begin the process of removing gear and getting the back wheel off. I locate the problem. A huge roofing nail. I pull it out with my Leatherman. Slime is all over the tire and wheel making things rather sticky and difficult. I get the tube out and put the new in. By this time the slime is really sticky and I'm having all sorts of trouble getting the Maxxis IT back on. Sure enough, I pinch the tube. Now I'm screwed. I passed a Pemex about a 1/4 K back so I load up the bike and push. I get to the Pemex station and they tell me there is a tire repair another 1/4 K down the road. So I push the bike another 1/4. I'm wiped out. Pushing a bike with a flat is hard enough...pushing a bike with 25 lbs of gear on the back makes it down right tough. I get to the shop and go thru the process again.

By this time Mike shows up. We clean the slime of the wheel and tire, patch the first bad tube and dump the pinched tube that now has the valve ripped out from me pushing the bike. Even with the wheel and tire lubed, the Maxxis is still putting up a fight but I managed to get it mounted without pinching the tube this time. Remount the wheel, gear and off we go. One thing I've got to add to my checklist is a small can of WD-40 for tire lube if I'm going to run slime.

Now for problem #2. By this time Tim, Micah, and Tony arrive. The bike will not go more than 30mph. What's going on now? Is my ride over? I tell Mike what's going on. Maybe the plug got fouled. So....again...off comes the gear. Mike and I pull the plug and it looks great. Let's change it anyway. Go for a test ride and same results. Hmmm...maybe bad gas. Okay lets check. I take the carb drain plug off and I find it FULL of sand!! How the @#$@ did all this sand get in here? Clean the sand out of the carb drain, take the filter skin off for good measure and go for a test ride. Success!! I'm back in business. 2 1/2 hours have gone by. We are getting to Creel in the dark...and there's ice on the road!!

Luckily we all arrive safely and meet the rest of the crew for dinner.

I figure I'm having all these problems now because the last time I went on a long adventure ride I didn't have one problem covering over 9700 miles. Now they are creeping up on me. I figured I made it thru the worse...what else could go wrong?

Teeds
01-16-2007, 09:31 AM
Day Two (continued)

We all change and wander down to and across the suspension bridge over the river.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123262207-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123264911-M.jpg

On the far side, we intend to pass out the candy we have brought with us to the kids running about.

At first they hide, but soon they come out of the woodwork and we are soon out of goodies.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123268416-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123272798-M.jpg

Coming back from the house above ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123272211-M.jpg

Looking inside the Ford remains, we found it in use ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123272486-M.jpg

Wandering back on the path, I am now going downhill and my knee is complaining more than a bit.

I need to quit complaining about my house ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123273105-M.jpg

The kitchen window and shelf ... all combined into one ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123273383-M.jpg

Their grinder

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123274151-M.jpg

The little girl had a doll ... sweet ... I like the plants on the windows also

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123274584-M.jpg

Their neighbor

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123274936-M.jpg

Under construction ... we’ll just incorporate the boulder, rather than move it ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123277061-M.jpg

I like the way they key the concrete pours together ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123277876-M.jpg

Ray slows down to hang with me as we photograph the balance of the crew on the bridge over the river.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123276484-M.jpg

Looking back at the house under construction from the bridge

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123279421-M.jpg

The afternoon is spent wandering about and hanging out in the sun at the plaza.

As I mentioned above, we procured rooms at Hotel Mary. Just off the plaza, the rooms were clean and affordable. Two hundred pesos per night, for a room with two double beds. No heat, but they do have hot water and there must have been 25 pounds of blankets on the beds. I’m not exactly sure, but I may have encountered a few bedbugs while there, as I ended up with some unexplainable bug bites. No biggie really, just a few. I would recommend Hotel Mary as a good place to stay, but we encountered a couple that spoke English, which made it a bit easier on us gringos, but that is in tomorrow’s info ... soon ...

The local “City Hall”

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123286854-M.jpg

John began scouting the town for a ride for Skinny and soon had one fellow that promised to take him to Creel on Monday for $20. Skinny promised to throw some real money at the fellow for a ride on Sunday, but the fellow balked at the offer. Something told me that he would not work out in any case.

Spying familiar bikes down the calle adjacent to Hotel Mary, we drifted that way.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123285398-M.jpg

The entrance to the El Zaguán Restaurante and Bar ... cold beer ... ★★★

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123291805-M.jpg

Just as we got there, the sweep riders emerged after downing a few ...

Tim

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123287570-M.jpg

Mike

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123287762-M.jpg

We took over and took up residence on the wall overlooking the rio, after scooping out the place ...

La cocina

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123288666-M.jpg

Water supply ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123288452-M.jpg

Bill, me, John, Skinny, Ray, Ian and Steve

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123289276-M.jpg

They has dark beer, sorry for the focus ... or lack thereof ... this one is for Gaspipe ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123289542-M.jpg

Sunset looking down the rio

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123291315-M.jpg

Dinner is at La Nevada.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123292219-M.jpg

Reviews varied, but I liked my chicken. They have Texas Size Roadie Beer here too and no paper sack is needed.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123294430-M.jpg

Ian’s dinner ... sorry I forgot what it was.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123293063-M.jpg

A night shot ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123296059-M.jpg

Good photo of Bill

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123296652-M.jpg

Lights out ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123296750-M.jpg

Day Three soon ...

Stop Laughing!!

XR650Rocketman
01-16-2007, 02:06 PM
I sure am glad we're not down there this week.....It's nasty.....

thumper
01-16-2007, 03:46 PM
So how many miles did the end group cover? Did ya'll make a map?

XR650Rocketman
01-16-2007, 04:58 PM
So how many miles did the end group cover? Did ya'll make a map?

The GPS on Willsy's bike recorded 1694 miles when he and I rode back to Presidio from Van Horn.
Basebill and Hoop took the highway back and I think that's a little more mileage.

I have GPS tracks for our route which I'll post when I get a chance.

In general we were able to follow the route we had hoped to take, but not on the schedule we had hoped for.
The trails we followed turned out to be much more demanding than we had anticipated in many cases.
Some days we were only able to average 17 mph and we rode for over 10 hours.
Some proposed trails turned out to have been abandoned many years ago and were impassable due to fallen trees.
Some trails were impassable because of snow and ice.
We did enjoy a few hours at the beach on the Sea of Cortez as well as a great seafood lunch.
Some of the riding fell into the category of "as tough as I've ever done"
A lot of the ride fell into the category of "I've never ridden anything that tough for such a long way".
Racing the Baja 1000 was easier!!!!

All in all I hope everyone enjoyed their trip. Skinny and irondawg's bikes can be fixed.....Teed's knee should be OK....The water pump fix on Micah's bike was a masterpiece....I learned how to use my GPS to navigate....Luggage racks are still the weak link.....Wolfman luggage rocks!!!!




Next time we go we'll all know what to expect.

Teeds
01-16-2007, 05:41 PM
Day Three - Sunday
January 7, 2007

Sunday dawns early and I had made two trips to the baño, so I am well aware how weak my knee is long before I attempt to get my riding gear on. The knee actually felt better with the Asterisk brace on it and I was somewhat encouraged. Even with the brace, the balance of the gear became a challenge. Once dressed, I was faced with the reality that the knee would only bend about 80 degrees and it needed to bend at least 110, maybe 120, degrees to be able to get my foot back far enough for the peg. The light was on, but it is only 7.5 watt, and I was desperate to ignore it, in any case.

Intervention Number Three

This intervention proved to be a bummer for me, although I already knew the answer. Both Skinny and John pressured me to stop and not go on towards El Fuerte. As I said, I already knew the answer, so I decided to stop. Bummer, but at least I had Skinny to hang with, as we figured out how to get back to Presidio with our bikes.

OK, now the light was a spotlight ...

Two gringos, ten~twelve good words of Spanish between us beyond the common phrases and one UNIQUE accent. I will long remember the way Skinny says por favor.

Coming to the reality at hand let more than a little pressure off of my shoulders. I had been fighting life, actually beating on it to pound it into submission and go on this trip. Life had hit me back, first with the ear infection and now the knee.

The pressure was off ... anyone got a cold beer? Well, it was a bit early for beer, but not too late for breakfast, so breakfast it was.

Laughter returned, as is often the case, when life wins and I swallow and accept the results.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123295285-M.jpg

After breakfast, as Steve, John, Bill, Ian and Hoop wrapped up packing, the sweep riders passed by, heading south to Satevo and Barranca de Batopilas. One of the sights I really wanted to see and now 6 Km might as well be 600 miles as it would be too far to attempt. In reflection, I guess I could have hired a driver, but that seemed so lame ... wait a minute ... I was lame ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123318129-M.jpg

Breakfast was back at the Restaurant 5o Patio. Across the calle from the bar of last night, it seemed to be the only restaurant open on Sunday morning.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123318680-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123318803-M.jpg

They had hotcakes ... sorry, no photos, but ... ★★★

Soon Steve and the gang were off south towards El Fuerte and Batopilas sank into the quiet of the Sunday morning. Interrupted only by the sounds of the church bells, children’s laughter and the occasional vehicle, Skinny and I enjoyed the sunshine in the plaza while updating our journals. My journal was taking on the tone of a soap opera.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123319070-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123345160-M.jpg

Round and round she went

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123345375-M.jpg

She got tired and grabbed a spot next to dad ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123345548-M.jpg

With info updated, we returned to the room and I got out of my ride gear and into jeans that I had brought. Off came the brace, only to be replaced by the ACE bandage I had purchased on the spur of the moment for the trip. God has a way of taking are of fools and little children. I still don’t know which I am, but I was guided to toss that bandage in the basket at Albertson’s a few weeks earlier. I’m now glad I listened.

Stop Laughing!!

Day Three (to be continued soon)

Goat Trail Green
01-16-2007, 05:51 PM
According to my GPS we accended about 90,000 feet in about 8 days.

Mike Green

ta2240
01-16-2007, 06:26 PM
Our group did 1176 miles total according to my Odo.

XR650Rocketman
01-16-2007, 06:27 PM
According to my GPS we accended about 90,000 feet in about 8 days.

We let Willsy keep our overall records and we discovered an interesting thing...The GPS record goes to 100,000 feet and then just quits!!!
After that it just shows a series of dashes.

Can't you do something about our weather Mike?????

skinny
01-16-2007, 07:51 PM
Day Three - Sunday
January 7, 2007

Two gringos, ten~twelve good words of Spanish between us beyond the common phrases and one UNIQUE accent. I will long remember the way Skinny says por favor.




I told y'all if you hung with me, I'd teach you how to talk real Texan...:mrgreen: However, Spanish would have been a lot more useful...:trust:

thumper
01-16-2007, 07:59 PM
Some of the riding fell into the category of "as tough as I've ever done"
A lot of the ride fell into the category of "I've never ridden anything that tough for such a long way".
Racing the Baja 1000 was easier!!!!

Next time we go we'll all know what to expect.

That says alot!It must have been a real challenge [10 on the adventure factor]. It'll be good to checkout the map against the pics [terrain and altitude/snow].

I'm curious about the jetting problems. Seems like some had major problems and others had none. I always thought stock was good to 6000' and even slightly rich died way before that.

Hoop
01-16-2007, 08:26 PM
sorry I'm running several days behind, but I have a couple of points to make:

1. I had to pass the Nissan (in the ice coming into Creel after dark). I think he was tired of us following him and was slowing down more and more until we passed.

2. The GPS route from OJ to Chihuahua on the GPS followed the libre (free) road, not the toll road. That's why we were off the route after the turn for the toll road in OJ. We took the free road coming back and were on the GPS route all the way to and through OJ.

I appreciate the reports. I'm wondering if Bill or Ian or John will post more about the ride after we lost Tony and Skinny. If not, I'll get to it this weekend, and also post some of my pics.

Goat Trail Green
01-16-2007, 09:16 PM
We let Willsy keep our overall records and we discovered an interesting thing...The GPS record goes to 100,000 feet and then just quits!!!
After that it just shows a series of dashes.

Can't you do something about our weather Mike?????

Man you are getting hammered !!!!!!!!!!

I cancelled everyone of my flights from Chicago and Dallas to Austin today.. I hope you trees make through the storm

interesting on the 100,000 feet. Its hard to imagine

Mike Green

Teeds
01-17-2007, 06:48 AM
This Entire Post is an Aside

The following shots are some of the sights in Batopilas ... as an Architect, I could not resist ...

Enjoy or skip on to the continuation of Day Three below ...

Warning - My passion for historical preservation is coming out!

It is said that architecture is frozen music. If that is the case, Batopilas is a symphony. As I mentioned earlier, I have “heard” that the town fathers have seen fit to require new structures to be “historic” in appearance. Bravo! Architects are guilty of the ubiquitous (Steve loves it when I work in that word) crap that assaults our senses on a daily basis. Here is a town that all members of the symphony are in tune.

In the high tech world we live in, many do not understand the high touch world we yearn for. Almost by accident of geographical location and absence of development pressure, Batopilas has maintained, and strengthened, the connection between the old and new world.

¡Salud!

An Editorial - Why do we like motorcycles?

I submit that we like bikes because of the immediate, and direct, connection with the sensory enriched, high touch, world around us. When I am on my bike, I am alive ... ALIVE!

Hermetically sealed, life has become detached modernism, shrink wrapped to prevent theft. Theft of what? Reality? Modern life has become but an imitation of reality. We all yearn for roots.

Motorcycling reconnects us to the barbarism of our past. The risk, the reward, the thrill, the danger lurk at every corner. In a blink of an eye, one wrong move, and we are granted entry into eternity and exit from this world. Dancing on the edge of the sword, in fear of that transition, we find life.

I am never more alive than when I feel the sphincter tighten ... oops, this is beyond my bubble, over the fence, so to speak. Once survived, my boundaries expand. I lengthen my view, expand my horizons.

Nothing competes with cheating death and finding life in the process.

Some call us crazy. I submit we are the definition of sanity.

Back to the aside ...

The local Catholic Church

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Surrounding the plaza

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About town

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I will spare everyone the pleasure of the many, Many, MANY, MANY photos I took of Batopilas, but for those interested, all can be found in my Smugmug Account (http://teeds.smugmug.com/)

Enjoy and celebrate life, because it is within that celebration that we are most alive.

Goat Trail Green
01-17-2007, 08:35 AM
Tony

You take some awesome pictures....

Mike

XR650Rocketman
01-17-2007, 09:00 AM
I'm curious about the jetting problems. Seems like some had major problems and others had none. I always thought stock was good to 6000' and even slightly rich died way before that.

Our XR650Rs were running a 172 main and we had no problems at all, even running the 87 or less octane gas.
We went all the way from sea level to 8800 feet. We were running rich up there for sure but they still ran smoothly enough. We did change our filter skins often to get as much air in as possible.

The DRZs ran great also.....Maybe basebill or willsy can let us know what jets they were running.

Hillcountryrambler
01-17-2007, 11:06 AM
Teeds--beautiful photos. Haave not visited Batopilas. When I did moto to Creel in '95, the town was uglier than a mud fence!

Teeds
01-17-2007, 12:00 PM
Teeds--beautiful photos. Haave not visited Batopilas. When I did moto to Creel in '95, the town was uglier than a mud fence!

Thanks!

Batopilas is quite photogenic actually.

I'm ready to be back there hanging out in the plaza. I'm betting it is warmer and drier than Dallas right now.

Teeds
01-17-2007, 12:06 PM
Day Three - Sunday (continued)

There were a couple of KLR guys from Washington (the state) staying at a guest house facing the plaza and they mentioned that the couple that ran it knew some English. We meandered across the plaza and were soon conversing with Arturo, via a translator, about our needs for a ride. He assured us that he could get us to Creel on Monday. Relieved, Skinny and I set off to enjoy the town and the day.

Located on the south (river side) of the plaza were our good Samaritans. If you need any help while in Batopilas, ask here. We will be staying there the next time we are in Batopilas. The KLR guys spoke highly of everything.

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The Sweep Riders came back through and we chatted a bit about our situation and our newly found ride out scheduled for early Monday morning. They heading on back to Hotel Margarita to pack and were planning on heading north later in the morning.

Now Skinny and I were really left to our own devices. So, what do two gringos, left to their own devices do in Batopilas? We went to lunch!! Back to the Restaurant 5o Patio, as that seemed to be the only restaurant open.

Ordering went something like this ...

¡Hola!
¡Buenas tardes!
Quisiera Cuatro el Taco Carne y uno guacamole por favor...

¡Gracias!

Don’t laugh, it worked ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123365712-M.jpg

I love to eat good food and in Mexico, everything I ate, was great! I love the Lemonada as well. I can only assume it was either made with bottled water, or that I have a strong gut.

Then it was off to shop ... the local LEOs had stopped in to eat and one had on a shirt that said Batopilas on it. I had to find me one ...

An aside ...

As is often the case in every culture, the more locals in the restaurant, the better. We never ate at the Restaurant 5o Patio that there were not a local or two.

Back to the story ...

Speaking of locals, here is some of the pets and domesticated animals

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Tres perro, one is asleep on the right side ...

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I love peeking in open doorways ... there is always a surprise waiting

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Finally, dinner was back at the Restaurant 5o Patio ... we had not managed to find any other restaurant open and then off to Hotel Mary to get ready for an early departure tomorrow morning.

Packing complete ... except for getting off the bed ...

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I had to leave a sticker ... if you stay in Hotel Mary, Room 109, tell me if it is still there.

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As 0600 would soon arrive, we turned in.

Conclusion for the day ...

As is often the case when rides form up, people sign on that we do not know well. Skinny and I had known each other over the web for a year or so, but personally, only a few months. I thoroughly enjoyed our time together and realized this bit of good fortune could be one of the things that I was supposed to “learn” from this experience. I had discovered a real “gem” of a friend!

¡Salud Flaco!

Day Four soon

thumper
01-17-2007, 02:56 PM
The DRZs ran great also.....Maybe basebill or willsy can let us know what jets they were running.

If ya'll DRZ guys have a second, let me in on your set-up. E or S carb, jet size, w/ or w/o 3x3 mod. Thanks

BTW great story and pics.:clap:

irondawg
01-17-2007, 05:01 PM
Saturday - Creel to Batopilas

I woke up looking forward to the days ride. Last time I was out here, I was riding the GS1150 with about 100+ lbs. of gear. It was a bit of a handful. Now I'm on the WR450 with about 25 lbs. and a good set of knobbies. Ian and I geared up and headed to our bikes. It was 'brisk' out but the sun was up. I put my heavy thermals on so I was nice a toasty.

After a somewhat quick breakfast of chiliquiles and beans we finished loading the bikes. Today I'd empty the extra fuel cans that I was carrying in my backpack, put the bottles in the rear bag and strap the sleeping bag to the back to even out the load. Talking with the Are-fellas group, they decided to ride at a different pace. Mike and Gene decided to go with them leaving myself, Steve, Tony, Ian, Bill, Skinny and Ray. After a stop for gas, I realized I left my octane boost in my buddies truck which meant I had to be careful or the engine would ping to death on low octane Mexican gas.

All gassed up, we headed down the nicely paved and curvy road. The road has lots of ice and snow in the shadows. It wasn't too difficult figuring out where the ice would be so I slowed down to let the others know ice is coming up. As we passed the lake, we see the Are-fellas buying trinkets from the indians and getting pics. We head up a little ways to an overlook for our first real view of the canyons. Like everyone says, pictures don't do it justice.

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We head to Samachique where the turn off is for Batopilas and the start of dirt. The beginning of the road starts out with large pine trees blocking the sun. The road is a bit rougher than I remember with lots of rocks and tree roots sticking up making for a very bumpy ride. I remember an overlook where the cliff is a straight drop of at least 1000 feet or more.

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I climb the big rock and take a pic right at the edge. The river is a long way down. I ask Bill, who base jumps, if he could jump off this point. No problem he tells me. I think he's freakin nuts!!

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I tell the guys that our next stop is the bridge at the bottom and everyone takes off. Soon we are out of the pines and into the low lying brush that makes up most of the canyons. I hang back with Tony because I want to get some shots of me on the switchbacks everyone takes. I get half way down and take picts of Tony at the top...but it's difficult to see since he's about 500 feet above me and blocked by the tall grass. He's in the middle of the pict to the right.

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I wait till he's almost caught up and take off to the river. It's switchback heaven. The bike is handling great even with the extra gear. I bumped up the sag to adjust for the gear and it's paying off. I can really hustle the bike down the canyon. Before I know it I'm at the bridge where the gang is waiting for us. I pull a wheelie for the last 10 feet of the bridge hoping someone would get a pict...but they've been waiting for a while and were ready to go.

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Soon Tony catches up and we're off for the next stop in La Bufa. Last time I was here I met Fritz, a crazy German living in the hills. I wanted to catch up and get another picture on the mine ruins...but he's no longer there and the place was up for sale. After a few picts on the ruins, we head out with the next stop in Batopilas. It's getting late and I'm worried about the next leg of the trip...but that would all get washed away.

We have a few rules when we ride...first rule - No WHINING!! It'll cost you $5. Second, you are responsible for the rider behind you. Well, that hasn't worked out very well on this trip. After taking picts and heading out, I see Bill coming the other way. What? Turned out he didn't hear that we were stopping in La Bufa. I took off first so I could find Fritz and blitzed down the canyon. Bill not knowing and being behind me didn't see me turn off the road to the goat trail leading to Fritz's place. Luckily Bill turned around and regrouped with us.

As we headed down to Batopilas, I kept a pretty quick pace, I could see Steve and Ian behind be so I kept going till we hit the outskirts of Batopilas. I wanted to wait for everyone before we headed into town. After a few minutes everyone shows up except Tony. Dang it!! Steve, Bill and I turn around a go looking for Tony, the rest head for the town square. A little while later we run into the Are-fellas and they tell us Tony went down but is coming. I turn around and wait. Soon Tony shows up with a thumb sideways, letting me know something isn't right. We get to town square and I notice something in his forks...

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No wonder he went down. Tony, you shouldn't drink and drive!!

I then get news that Skinny's Husky went dead...electrical problem. Bill and Skinny are trying to find the problem while I go get us a hotel.

Sure enough, Skinny's bike is DOA. All we can figure is the CDI is fried. We head for the hotel, unpack and head for the restaraunt. Steve and I discuss what we should do.

Like any adventure, you plan and then as the days go by, you adjust. On my two month adventure, I thru out my plan on the second day. This would be no different. With Skinny's bike down and Tony's knee hurting, we decide to call it a day and hang out. I call Lupita and tell her we are not going to make it Sunday to hang with her family.

After showers, we head out to the foot bridge that crosses the river to where the indians live. I've brought crayon and little pads of paper for the kids and the other guys have candy to pass out. We had a bit of a climb to get there and Tony, bad knee and all, hobble along with us. I gave away all the goodies I had. At first the kids were really shy but after a while we had lot's of kids coming around. I didn't have anytime to take pics since I was handing out stuff to all the kids.

On a side note, there was a basketball field where kids were playing. The court is right on the edge of the river. As we were coming back across, we saw one kid kick the ball over the fence into the river...bye bye ball. Across the bridge was a little shop. We took a collection and bought the kids a soccer ball. As we were waiting to air it up, I decided to look for a ride for Skinny so we took off. Steve later told me that when he gave the kids the soccer ball, they played with it and then tried to give it back. Steve tried to explain they could keep it. Finally the kids got it and smiles all around.

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I talked to the local police and said we could find a guy who could give us a ride down the block. I found him and said he'd give Skinny a ride but nothing is going to happen tomorrow...being Sunday. No problem I thought. At least he's got a ride. We tried to up the price but he wouldn't budge...and I think he got a little upset. I offered him a beer at the bar later.

The night ended in the restaraunt with pretty good food but better company. Everyone was in good spirits...well...except for Skinny now that his ride is over.

What a great ride today. I love being in the mountains on my bike. The feeling of crossing mountain ranges is hard to described.

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As we walked back to our hotel, I was thinking that the next leg will be difficult riding once past Satevo. Boy, was that an understatement!!!

basebill
01-17-2007, 07:05 PM
[QUOTE=thumper]If ya'll DRZ guys have a second, let me in on your set-up. E or S carb, jet size, w/ or w/o 3x3 mod. Thanks

I have the S model with stock exhaust and the 3x3 mod to my air box. I have a K&N air filter and the Dyno jet kit installed in the stock (Mikuni) carb. I installed a 142.5 main jet. The Dyno jet kit comes with an adjustable slide needle and I have it on the 2nd position (from top). I think that my main jet is a little small. I did not have detonation problems at higher altitudes, but at sea level I have to take it pretty easy. I wanted the smaller main for this trip due to evevations up to near 9000'.
I think a stock set up would work fine in all the riding we did. The 3x3 mod and rejetting just seems to give the DRZ a bit more "pep".
Hope this helps.

Bill

thumper
01-17-2007, 09:09 PM
[QUOTE=basebill
Hope this helps.

Bill[/QUOTE]
That's what I needed. Thanks.

Hillcountryrambler
01-17-2007, 09:46 PM
Irondawg--I'm enjoying the report and look forward to next installment. It was a fine thing to do--buying those kids another ball.

Teeds
01-18-2007, 08:24 AM
Day Four - Monday
January 8, 2007

0600 came early, but not as early as the Chicken Bus. As Skinny indicated, there was a steady stream of folks going by our room to gather for the bus from 0400ish on.

Tony Travel Tidbit

Get as far away from the front entry of a hotel as possible!

Back to the story ...

Getting ready to go consisted of putting on my ride gear. I had not planned on packing it, so there was not enough room for the bulk.

Arturo was out front when I stuck my head out about 0530 and we quickly wrapped up getting gear tossed into the truck and Skinny and Gimpmeister (me) headed down to the plaza with our bikes, while they backed the truck up to the edge of the plaza. It would be far easier to lift the bikes 9 inches than 3 feet ...

Loaded ... now to tie them down ...

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An aside ...

During our time in Batopilas, I had been struck by the fact that Batopilas was absent trash. I had seen the trash truck about on Saturday, but there was nothing ... NOTHING ... on the ground. The town was virtually spotless. Don’t get me wrong ... I was not complaining.

How did they do it?

It was all the ladies of the town. At 0600 on Monday, while we were loading the bikes, they were everywhere, sweeping leaves and paper that had been blown about. The respect that people showed for the clean town during the day was directly attributable to the efforts of these unseen ladies toiling in the predawn darkness. To say the least, I was impressed.

Back to the story ...

I was impressed by Batopilas, very impressed. I had enjoyed my time there and looked forward to getting back someday soon.

¡Adiós!

¡Gracias!

I will return!

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We’re off!

Safely ensconced in the cab of the Ford, we started rolling at 0621 towards Creel. Batopilas was asleep, except for the afore mentioned ladies. The sounds of Mexican oom-pah, quietly mixed with the rhythm of the tires on the cobblestone street, serenaded our departure.

We meandered through town, taking roads that apparently were one way, although not so marked. Did I screw up when I arrived? Probably, but nobody seemed to care.

It was but a short while before we stopped though ... We needed gas, gasolina, motion lotion ... whatever you call it.

A quick beep of the horn, a shout and the light at the “gas station” clicked on. I use the term “gas station” loosely. It was but a hose that snaked out of a hole in the wall of a building. Clearly, this was not a Pemex.

Geo/Political Commentary ...

Capitalism is a great thing and here it was at work. I could only guess, but I suspect that someone (mucho loco for sure) made the trip between Batopilas and civilization to get the gas that flowed into the tank of the Ford. A little markup and everyone was happy. Will the Mexican government ever get it? Who knows, but with a very efficient private mass transit system (Chicken Busses) everywhere there was profit to be made and Carta Blanca Signs in every town that supported more than five people, you would think they would. Based upon the efficiency of the transit system, the “more developed” countries have much to learn though.

Back to the story ...

OK, I went a bit crazy trying to get “the shot” ...

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Dawn was coming to the canyon ...

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Upward we snaked, unraveling the route of a few days earlier. My lord, it is beautiful as it unfolds in the growing light. Dawn is my favorite time of the day. To experience dawn in La Bufa Canyon was a VERY memorable experience. At some point I point out the window at an airplane. It is heading south down the canyon, as we crawl northward. With pantomime, we learned there was a fly-in development nearby. Oh boy, here comes money.

The crack in the windshield is somehow symbolic of my adventure in life the last few months ...

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We stopped at a bridge that I should have stopped at on Saturday to photograph. Maybe I would not be in a truck right now ...

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One more, looking back at the bridge, shrouded in shadows

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As we round a blind corner, we are faced with a 1 1/4 ton Ford truck with a stakebed and duallies. Of course, it would be a narrow spot. The passenger jumps out and they back up into the corner as tightly as possible. We ease forward, trucks barely inches apart. Mirrors are folded in as trucks pass. I peer out the passenger window and see about 18 inches of roadway and a huge amount of air beyond the tires of the pickup. Eternity is but a bobble away. Slipping by, we all breath a sigh and grins fill the cab.

Ever understanding the wants of man, we soon encounter a cantina. This cantina is so far away from everything else in the world that I am reminded of “the restaurant at the end of the universe” celebrated by Douglas Adams.

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Continuing northward, we soon encounter a caravan ... We have found the Chicken Bus, closely followed by another stakebed truck. The rear of the stakebed is full of people, but not nearly as crowded as the Chicken Bus.

A left blinker comes on and the truck slows. We pass and soon scoot around the Chicken Bus as well. Wow, that sucker is packed!

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Rounding a corner, I spy some tents and think this is a silly place for backpackers to set up camp. Whoa, these campers are in camo and carry automatic weapons. We stop and they proceed to poke through our stuff. Not to deeply, just skimming for effect. These are kids, young kids actually. Most appeared to be younger than 20. Soon the Chicken Bus arrives and another soldier apparently asks all the folks standing and sitting in the aisles to disembark. Soon there were 20~25 people milling about and the three guys dealing with us lost interest as they contemplated the number of folks in the bus.

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Not a half a mile of dirt remained as we got moving. Soon we were on the asphalt and we headed straight to the Pemex. While we were topping off the Ford, the stakebed headed by on the road. He honked and we all waved and grinned. We did not see the Chicken Bus again until Creel, some 4 hours later.

Back underway, only 75 Km of asphalt lay between us and Creel. The road unraveled quickly and we soon rounded a corner and came to south side of Creel. Never had a town looked so inviting.

Intervention Number Four

Intervention Four proved to be a good thing. Upon arrival in Creel we were greeted by the smiling face of Micah. He had seen us pass and come up to the corner. The sweep riders were back at Margaritas. Cool, back among friends!

Micah had trashed his water pump cover and the troops had rallied around him to get him back on the road.

I volunteered my bike and all except Micah and I headed out to go to Basaseachi Falls. It is after noon, but they were confident that they could make it.

Meanwhile, Micah and I spent the afternoon perusing Creel, purchasing souvenirs for folks at home and getting to know each other.

Being slapped down a couple of days ago hurt, but this slowing down gig was turning out nice. Micah and I had some great conversations going and I found one more really nice person to add to my life.

Soon the sweep riders were back, and for the first time in the entire trip, they did not achieve their goal. Like many goals, Basaseachi Falls was over the horizon, shrouded in the mist of inexperience, when they headed out. There were rumors that asphalt was on the way and that the road was graded, well graded actually. I wasn’t there, but I understand that well graded meant mud, and judging from the front of my bike upon it’s return, goo would be more accurate.

In any case, after cleaning up, we all headed to Tio Molcas for the debriefing.

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Roger explaining ...

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Tim listening ...

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Jeremy

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Micah and Skinny

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Mike

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Gene

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The gang ...

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Following the debriefing, we rambled back to Margarita’s, consumed dinner and adjourned to the bar in Margarita’s for a nightcap. Skinny and I soon departed for sleep ...

This concludes Day Four ...

Please keep your arms and legs in the car until the ride comes to a complete halt.

Thanks again for coming and enjoy the rest of your adventure here at Six ... oops ... TWT

Oh yea ...

Stop Laughing!!

This is turning into a kick *** ride!

Hillcountryrambler
01-18-2007, 09:03 AM
Teeds--another great entry. I share your enchantment w/Mexico. Six years ago got to spend two months on the beach near a small fishing village 100 miles S. of Mazatlan. Saw many, many amazing events performed by local people whose ability to survive and prosper under tough conditions is nothing sort of remarkable. Because of your great writing and photos, I've added Batopilas to my list of "must visit." Thanks.

Willsy
01-18-2007, 10:35 AM
If ya'll DRZ guys have a second, let me in on your set-up. E or S carb, jet size, w/ or w/o 3x3 mod. Thanks

BTW great story and pics.:clap:

Stock S Carb. 3x3 mod. 160 main jet ( from JD Jetting ), full Yosh exhaust. Ran without stuttering or stammering all the way from sea level to 9000 feet. Above 6000 feet though a significant loss of power, but thats OK it still ran without any issues.

Cheers,
Ian

thumper
01-18-2007, 12:12 PM
Stock S Carb. 3x3 mod. 160 main jet ( from JD Jetting ), full Yosh exhaust. Ran without stuttering or stammering all the way from sea level to 9000 feet. Above 6000 feet though a significant loss of power, but thats OK it still ran without any issues.

Cheers,
Ian

Wow, I wouldn't think the DRZ would be so flexible at those alts. One w/ 142.5 and one w/160.

That covers me w/ 3x3-145DJ/stock-uncorked.

Thanks:-P

mcrider
01-18-2007, 12:47 PM
I had to leave a sticker ... if you stay in Hotel Mary, Room 109, tell me if it is still there.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123431157-M.jpg

An aside ...
Why do'nt I have one of those?

Nice pics. I did the whole 500+ slideshow on smugmug.

I'm glad y'all broke this up. I was getting mouse arm pump the 1st day.

Teeds
01-18-2007, 08:36 PM
Day Five - Tuesday
January 9, 2007

Up early, Skinny and I emerge to blue skies and promised sunshine. Jeremy is out and about with reconstructed waterpump cover in hand. Brass fealer guages had been sacrificed to fill two holes left when the corresponding crumbs of the cover where not found, while sifting the wreckage site.

Thanks to a little JB Weld ... good as new!

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The inside ... those are not casting marks ... those are chunks, crumbs if you will ...

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Reinstalled

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Trivia tidbit

How many of you have seen the mansion that JB Weld built? It is on I 30 near Sulphur Springs Texas if you are ever in the area. You can check it out at 70 MPH as you pass. Watch for the gate, it has the logo.

Back to the story ...

Intervention Number Five

Intervention number five revolves around Roger. For those of you that have not had the pleasure, let me introduce you.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123470758-M.jpg

One of the finest walking earth, Roger always goes out of his way to help other people. In this case, Roger had stepped in and procured a ride for Skinny and I to Presidio. In addition, he had Caesar call Hotel Mary to confirm that we were on the road, the morning of day four. He was prepared to mount and expedition to rescue us, assuming we were not en route.

Back to the Intervention ...

Roger had talked with Caesar and he was going to carry us back in one of their pickups. All we had to do is pick the day. Wednesday was agreed upon, which left Caesar a day to wrap up things at Margarita’s and Skinny and I a day to enjoy Creel.

Roger ... Buddy, my hat is off to you for being there for us. Thanks don’t say enough!

Breakfast was served ...

Mike enjoying Café with his creamer ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123470899-M.jpg

Soon, everyone was packing as Skinny and I watched. Like a well orchestrated team, there was no lost motion, no lost energy, as the Sweep Riders wrapped up preparations for the days journey. They were headed south on the west side of the canyons towards Urique and a rendevous with another Margarita’s Hotel.

The day promised to be full of sights, as Caesar filled them in with tidbits of information about sights and stops, not to be missed.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123470974-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123471465-M.jpg

The day proved to be interesting for Skinny and I as well.

First up was a trip to the plaza and the store that supports the Tarahumara Indian Hospital. I had checked it out the day before, but Skinny was interested in getting memorabilia. I was on a quest for a few more things and most importantly ... a refrigerator magnet ... I had completely forgotten to look for one the day before. This I simply could not accept, as my refrigerator at home was but a vehicle to display all the magnets I have collected over the years.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123471649-M.jpg

WARNING ... Architecture to follow ...
http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123471864-M.jpg

Margarita’s Hostel ... on the plaza

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123472180-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123472396-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123472716-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123473073-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123473925-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123473434-M.jpg

Chicken Bus

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123475072-M.jpg

We ran across Roberto at Three Amigo’s and he told us where we might be able to get some tie down straps ...

Three blocks that way, cross the road, left and next to the auto repair shop ... We were off ...

Success!!

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123478436-M.jpg

Apparently you can get Carta Blanca while waiting on your car to be fixed ... nice touch ... maybe they knew Gaspipe?

Colorful, but difficult to find specific things in.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123475534-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123476627-M.jpg

Need a turn signal cover ... perhaps a jacket?

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123477227-M.jpg

Perhaps a taillight?

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123477873-M.jpg

We were successful and left with to ratchet straps ... 150 pesos ... ¡Gracias!

The commercial street ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123479024-M.jpg

The “sidewalk” back to the tourist area ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123479563-M.jpg

The sidewalk to the surrounding neighborhood ...

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123480016-M.jpg

A serious cattle ramp ... I had seen White Face and Charolais about. Charolais are big enough to need the ramp

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123480348-M.jpg

Success at procuring the straps drove us to the bar to celebrate ... The back (Bar) door to Tio Molcas, with Skinny looking the part of a world traveler tourist type.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123481197-M.jpg

After a beer, or three, we loaded the bikes and Caesar headed home with them for safe keeping.

Dinner, yum, but I slouched on the photos after doing so good early on and them it was off to wrap up packing, get our papers in order, etc., for the ride back to Presidio in the morning.

The sun sets on Day Five

Day Six soon.

FirstMan
01-19-2007, 10:56 AM
Teeds, I am glad you were able to take so many pictures. I now don't feel like I missed a thing :lol2:

I just got back from the Dr.'s two week follow-up. The knee is fine, I can do anything I want except run.

irondawg
01-19-2007, 02:10 PM
Intermission...

I've made screen captures of each days routes...

Day 1 Presidio to Creel

320 miles

2600 ft. to 8500 ft. - I don't have total for elevation change.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124138028-L.jpg

Day 2 Creel to Batopilas

96 miles

7800 ft. to 1900 ft. - Total elevation change was roughly 26,000 feet for day 1 and 2.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124138035-L.jpg

I'll put the other routes as a finish the day's report.

Teeds
01-19-2007, 05:20 PM
Teeds, I am glad you were able to take so many pictures. I now don't feel like I missed a thing :lol2:

Like the janitor's creed ... We aim to please ... Next time, you gotta go.

I just got back from the Dr.'s two week follow-up. The knee is fine, I can do anything I want except run.

Great news ... mine is getting better. It still feels a bit loose when I move fast, but most of the time I don't favor it. No running ... ouch ... then it talks back to me.

P.S. Had dinner with Mike the other night, didn't even think about the tires until I was half way to his house. He is tied up with his sweetie this weekend, so maybe next week. I have to go to Fort Stockton on Monday, but will be back Wednesday night late.

Goat Trail Green
01-19-2007, 05:57 PM
Adam

Here is your JB weld you gave me

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123470674-M.jpg



Mike Green

Teeds
01-20-2007, 09:27 AM
Day Six - Wednesday
January 10, 2007

Well, today is our trip back to the US.

I am a bit melancholy about the way Mexico has turned out. I accept responsibility for my situation. As I mentioned above in the report, I had many warnings about this trip that I chose to ignore. I was swatted down by the adventure, but thankfully there appears to be no permanent damage to hinder further adventures. Time heals all wounds. My knee is getting better and frankly, I probably could be back riding by now, but that is a questions that would have to remain unanswered, as the bikes are loaded in Caesar’s truck, and all we await, is his arrival.

One last breakfast and we are gathered our gear in the lobby. Five hundred pesos, one room key and we are good to go. Just before 9:00 AM, Caesar arrives, we toss our gear in the truck and we are off.

Now I would get to see what I missed in the darkness of Friday night. I had heard comments that it looked like the National Geographic photos of Switzerland.

Darn close in my book ... having never been to the continent anyway.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123512059-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123512180-M.jpg

Skinny with our bikes at an el baño break

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123513789-M.jpg

There were apple orchards everywhere. The trees were dormant and the surroundings quiet, but I am betting the area bustles with activity during the growing season. They had constructed a very elaborate retractable netting system that is used to protect the trees from birds. Interesting, but I didn’t get a photo.

Chihuahua came and went. We had one wrong turn near the airport, ,but all in all, we found the quickest route around Chihuahua. I had my GPS on the dash of the truck, so I captured it all.

I will be posting a copy of my track info in the GPS forum, once I clean it up.

Two strange buildings ... I love weird architecture

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123514442-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123514909-M.jpg

Soon we hit the toll road and came to the toll booth ... Interesting to reflect on how much had changed in a little less than a week.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123517319-M.jpg

The military checkpoint was more interested in us today and spent 5, or so, minutes checking out our gear. We did not have to open any luggage though.

The Aduana Station didn’t even notice our passing ...

Caesar

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123517698-M.jpg

Soon we were in Ojinaga and at the border ... the crossing process could not have gone smoother. We turned in our vehicle permit and were only stopped briefly by the US border guards. Caesar took us straight to our trucks, after a mercy stop to get some worm dirt for Jeremy. It seems he did not have enough Skoal for the trip ...

Dinner was back at the Oasis ...

About 12:15 AM, we got a call from John and got an update on his situation. He was in Chihuahua, but was not sure about the location of his bike. More information would follow in the AM.

Sleep came quickly ...

Like Daffy said ... That’s all Folks!

I will post a conclusions thread soon, with thoughts about the trip.

skinny
01-20-2007, 11:57 AM
After reading Teeds' trip report, I've decided that it was a lot more fun than my version. :clap: I spent months getting amped up to run with the big dogs, and when I found myself un-able to continue, it took a few days to wind down and re-adjust my expectation for the rest of the trip. I was primed for 8 or 9 days of blood & guts, but had to settle for a leisurely few days of sitting in the sun and enjoying the surroundings. An extra day spent in Batopilas, and another in Creel gave Teeds and I the opportunity to enjoy the area, and it was well worth the time spent.

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m5/seseaton/grp1.jpg

Teeds was a welcome compadre, always quick with a smile, and if I had to be stranded in Mexico, I couldn't have ask for a better partner.

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m5/seseaton/truck1.jpg

Our trip ended in the back of a pick-up, but we learned a lot and with that knowlege, the next trip will be be even better. I'm already planning a return just as soon as anyone else gives some indication of some free time...stay tuned for another adventure, coming soon

Skinny

Tourmeister
01-21-2007, 12:50 AM
Just glad everyone made it home with their bikes and generally in one piece!

Great stuff folks. Kills me to have missed it and the Terlingua ride in November :tears:

stevenrosenblatt
01-21-2007, 08:10 PM
[QUOTE=tx246]DAY 1 THE LONG RIDE IN

It’s later in the afternoon and we are headed to the motel for which we have a letter to hand to a Paco y Christina in a small pueblo that is well before Urique. We find the hotel and it is closed up but from the outside it is fantastic. The main lodge is literally perched on a private canyon. There is a 5ft walkway across the front of the Lodge and after that is some serious air.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123149564-M.jpg

Inside the lodge is a center fireplace that has a good 10 ft opening on both sides. It isn’t long before Paco y Christina show up and get things going. Hot water heaters fired up/fires built/and dinner started are all a going. We sit in front of the fireplace and start draining Tecates.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123148276-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123148574-M.jpg

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123148910-M.jpg

Dinner is served and it is delicious. We retire to our rooms, which are ridiculous. In the States, the only way I could get close to one of these rooms is if I worked there. They are that nice.

http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/123147685-M.jpg


Roger does have a problem in his room as he turns back the sheet to find a big iguana in the middle of his bed. The help come in armed with brooms and herd the critter outside. I sleep like a rock once again.




Great trip report and outstanding thread all around. Do you happen to know the name of this hotel just short of Urique?

Did you turn around at Urique because of time limits on the trip or because the "road" ended? How deep was the water at the river crossing and do you know if it becomes impassable for dual sports if it rains hard?

If there is more "road" past Urique, where does it go? Does it follow the train to Los Mochis? Thanks in advance.

chadleys1
01-21-2007, 08:49 PM
Wow!!!

I enjoyed reading every post on this thread, as well as the outstanding photos.
Thanks for taking the time to share it all. I really appreciate it.

I hate it when bad things happen to good people on a trip like that, although it's good to see Teeds and Skinny made the most of their misfortune.

thanks again for the posts

Mexico is definitely in my future.

-Chadley:-P

ta2240
01-21-2007, 09:59 PM
[QUOTE=stevenrosenblatt
Great trip report and outstanding thread all around. Do you happen to know the name of this hotel just short of Urique?

Did you turn around at Urique because of time limits on the trip or because the "road" ended? How deep was the water at the river crossing and do you know if it becomes impassable for dual sports if it rains hard?

If there is more "road" past Urique, where does it go? Does it follow the train to Los Mochis? Thanks in advance.[/QUOTE]





The Hotel before Urique is called the Wilderness Lodge and it is owned by Margaritas.

We turned around at Urique because of the river and lack of maps/GPS. The road does continue further down the canyon and you have to cross the river. We could have done it because according to another guy we met in Urique a guy offered to take him across in a truck. From what Cesar said Batopilas to Urique is a good trip and we will do it next time. Cesar also said that Urique to Los Mochis is also a good trip. We will see

gotdurt
01-22-2007, 10:57 AM
Wow, I'm jealous. Where do you guys find the time and kitchen passes???

ta2240
01-22-2007, 04:20 PM
Wow, I'm jealous. Where do you guys find the time and kitchen passes???

We all have great wives, except for Teeds, he has a partner:rofl:

XR650Rocketman
01-22-2007, 04:25 PM
We all have great wives, except for Teeds, he has a partner:rofl:

Maybe a little clarification is needed there Tim.....Teeds has had several great wives, currently his first ex-wife is his partner.

tx246
01-22-2007, 04:40 PM
Steve,

Thats some funny stuff man^^^

We were gone exactly 8 days. Scheduled for 10 but the weather in dfw area brought some of us home early.

About kitchen passes, my wife practically begs me to go:doh: . Im not sure if that is a good thing.

ta2240
01-22-2007, 08:25 PM
Maybe a little clarification is needed there Tim.....Teeds has had several great wives, currently his first ex-wife is his partner.


Yea, thats what I meant:lol2:

ta2240
01-22-2007, 08:26 PM
Sorry Duplicate, had to EDIT

Teeds
01-22-2007, 09:27 PM
Maybe a little clarification is needed there Tim.....Teeds has had several great wives, currently his first ex-wife is his partner.

Several ... is three more or less than several?

Hee Hee ... Suzy is far more than a partner ... the mother of our my twins ... confidant ... best friend comes to mind.

I have a blank copy of a kitchen pass that I just copy when I need to get away ... as I am the one that approves the requests, it is easier.

I have a special pass to use when I want to buy a new bike. I am gonna pull that baby out and use it in the next few weeks ...

I need to wrap up my conclusions ...

Teeds
01-22-2007, 09:33 PM
Margarita's Web Site (http://hotelesmargaritas.tripod.com/)

Cerocahui Wilderness Lodge Web Page (http://hotelesmargaritas.tripod.com/archives/english/bz4-index-en.htm)

We will be hanging there next time.

stevenrosenblatt
01-22-2007, 10:19 PM
Just curious if any of you guys have any knowledge of going from Batopilas out of the canyon and directly to Urique as opposed to going back to Creel and down to San Rafael and then the dirt road to Urique.
I heard there was a way to do it but I'm not sure I want ot handle a road more thrilling than the way down to Batopilas. I'm wondering if it is at least a sort of maintained road with no loose boulders or deep water crossings.
We are thinking of riding it in late February. Thanks in advance.

ta2240
01-23-2007, 06:40 AM
Call Cesar at Margaritas he is full of information. But to answer your question, yes you can go from Batopilas to Urique according to people that have done it. Some say it is part animal trail. We could not do it because my group had no map for that section and we were told the river was too high. Next time we will go a different part of the year when hopefully dont have to worry about the river.

mcrider
01-23-2007, 06:42 AM
Just curious if any of you guys have any knowledge of going from Batopilas out of the canyon and directly to Urique as opposed to going back to Creel and down to San Rafael and then the dirt road to Urique.
I heard there was a way to do it but I'm not sure I want ot handle a road more thrilling than the way down to Batopilas. I'm wondering if it is at least a sort of maintained road with no loose boulders or deep water crossings.

Yes there is. We did the Rosen's Rides (http://www.rosensrides.com/index.html) tour in April '05. We went Creel, Batopilas, Casa Colorado, Urique, Cerocahui & back to Creel. We left Batopilas via Lost Cathedral of Satevo & were very soon on a very very rocky steep un-maintained "road". We eventually crossed the Rio Urique, 3' deep with large river rocks, before camping at Casa Colorado. The next day we went to Urique.

So, yes there is a way out of Batopilas Canyon, but it has all the wonderful things you did not want, steep claims, switch backs with loose rocks & deep water. A more thrilling way out! :eek2: :clap: :rider:

irondawg
01-23-2007, 05:53 PM
Sunday Batopilas to El Fuerte (the long way around)

We started the day realizing that Tony wasn't going to join us. I'm a bit relieved but sad he's ending his trip. He's hobbling pretty bad and I knew this was going to be one of the tougher riding days plus the route is completely unknown. But this gives us an excuse to come back!

When I began planning this trip, I wanted to do something a little different from the routes I've learned about from other adventuristas when heading towards the coast. Instead of taking the shorter, more westerly route to Choix, I thought a swing south would be more fun.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/125075299-L.jpg

I couldn't find any info on this route and wasn't sure even if it was possible. I put faith in Bicamapas, Roji, Google Earth, and my bro-in-law cop who lives in Alamos. According to the topo, we'd be riding up and down the canyons all day. In 2 days of riding we've already had more than 27,000 feet of elevation changes. We'd easily pass this mark today.

As we finish packing the bikes, we gas up and head south to Satevo. Last time I was here we turned right at the end of town. What a big mistake that was. Nothing but volcanic rock and no one could get traction with the big GS's. This time I've learned that the road goes straight south. Off we go and find the Are-fellas taking picts of the locals. We wave and head on to Satevo.

After passing Satevo, we start the long climb up the canyon. The road wasn't that bad but a lot steeper than from Creel to Batopilas. The switchbacks are tighter too. The mantra of the day is to keep the bike on two wheels and moving at a good pace...nothing quick since there's a lot of trucks taking folks to church.

As the day progresses and the sun comes up over the horizon, it really heats up. We stop and start removing all the layers.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124013055-L.jpg

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/123460519-M.jpg

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124013184-L.jpg

With gear now adjusted we take off. Before I forget, Tony fixes me up with the helmet cam. The camera is a slick little unit but the extra gear includimg chargers, hard drive, and all the cables is a pain. I've got a waist pack to carry most of it plus another small pack with the chargers. Unfortunately I'm not familiar with it and, thinking it was recording, was in stand-by mode...so no helmet cam. Sorry.

We've gone up and down the canyons a couple times now and are feeling pretty good. I take a slower pace at the top of one canyon to enjoy the cooler weather and let everyone catch up since there's not much dust to deal with. As we are motoring up, the road takes a slight right hander. I'm on the outside line, and I hug the edge and setup for the left turn up the next switchback, but just before the turn, half the freakin road is gone!! There's about a 6 foot wide hole that's deep enough for someone to stand in. I'm too far to the outside and didn't want to hit it sideways. I pin it and try to wheelie the bike over. Holy crap...this is gonna hurt!!

Being in cruise mode, a higher gear to keep the revs down, I barely get the front wheel up and to the other side of the hole. However, with all the extra weight on the back of the bike, the rear wheel hits the far side face of the hole. I'm standing with my butt a couple inches away from the rear bag. Needless to say, when the bike rebounds, the bag hits me hard in the butt and I get launched over the bike. I'm not talking gently either, I clear the bike by at least 8 feet. I'm not sure how I land but end up on my back and the bike comes to a stop on my feet. And then I see the worst. Here comes Ray and 300+ lbs of XR650R right at me. I flatten out and he run over the bike and then right below my knees. Arrggg!! That freakin hurt!! Ray 'mercy' crashes right after running over me. I lay there for a bit and Ian comes over to check on me. I tell him I'm okay but think I twisted my ankle. I kick my bike off of my foot and get up. Sure enough, my ankle's tweeked, right thumb and left sholder are hurting a bit too. I pop a few advil just in case. Nothing happened to the bike...or the gear. Kudos to Eric from Wolfman for making some stout gear.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124014785-O.jpg

Ray is on his feet and is appologizing. I'm half laughing and tell him he owes me a new pair of pants. I've got a rip the size of a knob on my right leg. Actually, I think Ray is hurting more than I am. He's complaining about his back and side but is moving around okay. (The next day, I find a six pack of knobby bruises on my right leg.)

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124014792-O.jpg

Bill finds the missing hazard sign, piece of plastic, on the side of the road that's used to warn people of the hole. It must have been knocked or blown over. He puts it back in place to let other's know of the danger.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124014799-M.jpg

After the adrelaline slows down, we gear back up and take off. My ankle is already feeling better so I'm no worse for the wear.

The road continues to serpentine down and up the canyons. Is this ever gonna end? As we start coming down, we are treated to the view of a crystal blue river meandering its way thru a valley of green pines. Wonder how long it's gonna take to get there? Two hours later we finally reach the river on a high bridge which enters San Miguel. We decide to have lunch on the bridge which consists of powerbars, Bill's excellent jerky and water. Ray decides he needs some caffine and heads off to the town on the other side in search of a Coke.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124013779-L.jpg

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124015413-M.jpg

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124015750-M.jpg

After lunch we continue south. In town we get confused. There are many roads going in all directions. You never know which one is the right one. The road straight thru town may make a u-turn and head north. We keep faith in the GPS and turn down a small road but we think it's wrong. As we are trying to get our bearings, a man comes running up the hill and in good English asks us where we're going. It turns out he's the mayor and doctor of Morelos. He let's me know that there's a hotel and restaraunt in town. Good to know if we ever do this again.

We continue up and down the canyons enjoying the views. I've become one with the bike gripping the tank with my knees and working the bars around the switchbacks. We are all getting low on fuel and time. We hit Las Lajitas and I see little shack. From experience I know that's a local gas station.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124014805-M.jpg

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124014814-M.jpg

ON a side note...for those of you wondering, all the little villages get their gas delivered by trucks driving down the same roads we're on.

The sun is now very low in the sky making it tricky going from the dark shadows to the sun directly in your face not giving your eyes enough time to readjust...but we head on keeping a good pace. Soon we are out of the mountains and come to a flat and wide dirt road that's straight as an arrow but with lot's of dust. We soon split into a couple groups riding side by side so to stay out of each other's dust. The GPS tells us we're about 60 Kilometers to El Fuerte. It's dark now so our speed is as fast as our lights will allow...that's about 35. We get to Tetaroba and find a large group of guys in pressed jeans and big white cowboy hats standing under one of the two street lights in town.

I pull up and ask for directions. Steve and Bill are with me so we wait till Ian and Ray catch up. As we wait, these guys try and sell us drugs...not just the smoking kind but the snorting kind as well. I can see that Bill and Steve are nervous. Soon we see Ian and Ray and get on the bikes and head off. About 1/2 hour later we reach El Fuerte.

Earlier Steve and I talk about making the 60 miles to Huatabampo. I ask Steve what he thinks and says I'll have a riot on my hands if I don't get us to a hotel quick. So we take off and I look for the Centro signs pointing the way to downtown. We find a nice hotel, The San Fransico, at a decent rate right on the main street in walking distance everything, plus they have a garage we can lock the bikes in.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124020676-M.jpg

As Steve and I head to get accomodations, the guys have a cold one.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124016063-M.jpg

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124014825-M.jpg

That night we head to Gaby's, I think that's the name, and have an excellent dinner of beer, tortilla soup and fish tacos. We're only 60 miles from the beach so we figure the fish would be fresh and it was.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124014837-M.jpg

Today was AWESOME!! Even after getting run over, the riding and scenery were beyond compare. It was a long day, over 10 hours with an average speed of 17 mph. Now that we know the route, I'd suggest splitting the day in two and staying in Morelos.

Tomorrow we head to Huatabambo. The route takes us north a bit around the lakes before turning thru the farmlands to the coast. I don't expect any mountain crossings tomorrow so the ride should be easy. What we find is something more difficult!

stevenrosenblatt
01-23-2007, 07:27 PM
Hey Irondawg, I tried to find the places you mentioned on your map but most of them I didn't find like Morelos where you say you would split the day and there was a motel.
As to the two halves before and after Morelos is is safe to assume there are no deep water crossings in late February. I get the impression that a good sized truck like a pickup can run these roads from your writeup. What concerns me are long steep runs up or downhill on loose rocks big or small with a switchback in the loose rock section. Is there any or a lot of that?

How do you get back to Creel from El Fuerte. Is the train an option? Is it paved for part of the way and do you know what the road back to Creel from El Fuerte is like when the pavement ends. How long is the ride do you figure from El Fuerte to Creel.
You mention a shorter westerly route from Batopilas toward El Fuerte, is this the route the Rosen's ride takes or yet some other one?
Did GPS help much? Did you see enough Spanish speaking locals on these mountain roads for confirming directions?
I figure we might have 5 days for a loop from Creel. I'm only moderately skilled offroad and have ridden some rocky passes around Silverton CO. What is a realistic loop for that time frame and skill level? Steve

Hoop
01-23-2007, 07:33 PM
A "mercy crash". I like that.

The restaurant in El Fuerte was General Meson, or something like that. Gaby's was in Temoris.

I see you've got some of my pics incorporated into the report. Found out today that my wife didn't mail the disk yet, I can upload the rest if you want.

Good job on the report. Can we skip the next day, though?

irondawg
01-23-2007, 08:48 PM
Hey Irondawg, I tried to find the places you mentioned on your map but most of them I didn't find like Morelos where you say you would split the day and there was a motel.
As to the two halves before and after Morelos is is safe to assume there are no deep water crossings in late February. I get the impression that a good sized truck like a pickup can run these roads from your writeup. What concerns me are long steep runs up or downhill on loose rocks big or small with a switchback in the loose rock section. Is there any or a lot of that?

How do you get back to Creel from El Fuerte. Is the train an option? Is it paved for part of the way and do you know what the road back to Creel from El Fuerte is like when the pavement ends. How long is the ride do you figure from El Fuerte to Creel.
You mention a shorter westerly route from Batopilas toward El Fuerte, is this the route the Rosen's ride takes or yet some other one?
Did GPS help much? Did you see enough Spanish speaking locals on these mountain roads for confirming directions?
I figure we might have 5 days for a loop from Creel. I'm only moderately skilled offroad and have ridden some rocky passes around Silverton CO. What is a realistic loop for that time frame and skill level? Steve

:eek2:

Ummmm....yes. :rofl:
















I'll answer all your questions later. I've got a 2 year old wanting attention now.

irondawg
01-23-2007, 08:50 PM
A "mercy crash". I like that.

The restaurant in El Fuerte was General Meson, or something like that. Gaby's was in Temoris.

I see you've got some of my pics incorporated into the report. Found out today that my wife didn't mail the disk yet, I can upload the rest if you want.

Good job on the report. Can we skip the next day, though?

Ummm.....no. :trust:

Hillcountryrambler
01-23-2007, 10:11 PM
Irondawg--Outstanding report and pics. I, along with many others I'm sure, await the next installment.

gotdurt
01-24-2007, 09:12 AM
Sure enough, I pinch the tube. Now I'm screwed.

LOL, I feel for you John; I had the same problem in Baja, last day. Despite all the tires/tubes that I've changed with the very same tools, I pinched the new tube, borrowed Dan's tube, then pinched that one... he had to go looking for a village with a store that sold patch kits. I patched one of the pinched tubes (the valve stem had sheared off of the original tube from running flat) and was able to get it home, although I had to stop about every 1/2 hr and pump-up.

Your experience with the hole is exactly how I shattered my wrist, except I was going much faster than I should've been :doh: Of course, the trip was over for me and the bike... :rolleyes:

irondawg
01-24-2007, 09:55 AM
Hey Irondawg, I tried to find the places you mentioned on your map but most of them I didn't find like Morelos where you say you would split the day and there was a motel.

You'll need Roji maps or the Bicamaps for Copper Canyon to see all the pueblos.


As to the two halves before and after Morelos is is safe to assume there are no deep water crossings in late February. I get the impression that a good sized truck like a pickup can run these roads from your writeup. What concerns me are long steep runs up or downhill on loose rocks big or small with a switchback in the loose rock section. Is there any or a lot of that?

No deep water crossings in January...don't know about Feb. It's pretty much a steep run for 170 miles. The roads can be very tricky, some places it's hard packed dirt, other places in crushed granite that's slick and will throw you down if not careful with brakes and power.

How do you get back to Creel from El Fuerte. Is the train an option? Is it paved for part of the way and do you know what the road back to Creel from El Fuerte is like when the pavement ends. How long is the ride do you figure from El Fuerte to Creel.
You mention a shorter westerly route from Batopilas toward El Fuerte, is this the route the Rosen's ride takes or yet some other one?
Did GPS help much? Did you see enough Spanish speaking locals on these mountain roads for confirming directions?
I figure we might have 5 days for a loop from Creel. I'm only moderately skilled offroad and have ridden some rocky passes around Silverton CO. What is a realistic loop for that time frame and skill level? Steve

In a nutshell....

Wait for the next report. Yes, there is a train. There's pavement on the shorter route for 75 miles or so...get yourself some maps. GPS helped. Yes...most of the locals spoke spanish (go figure ;-) ) the trick to getting directions is not to ask where a town is 50 miles away. Ask where the next town on the route is that's the closest.

If you've got 5 days. Stay in Creel and make day trips from there to Batopilas/Satevo, Divisidero, Urique, and Bassarichic Falls. I wouldn't go south from there. With moderate skill, I would skip going from Urique to Batopilas, or Temoris or El Fuerte.

Anymore questions? XR650Rocketman would be glad to answer them...:mrgreen:

skinny
01-24-2007, 03:42 PM
Sound like you had a bigger disaster than Teeds and I...more trip report, por favor...

On a related subject, it seems that everyone agrees any return trip would involve hauling the bikes to Creel, and riding from there. I've just found a tidbit on Advriders that says you may not have import permits for more than 1 vehicle at a time. The obvious question is "how does one take a truck and a motorcyle into Mexico if you are only allowed 1 permit per person???"

irondawg
01-24-2007, 03:51 PM
Sound like you had a bigger disaster than Teeds and I...more trip report, por favor...

On a related subject, it seems that everyone agrees any return trip would involve hauling the bikes to Creel, and riding from there. I've just found a tidbit on Advriders that says you may not have import permits for more than 1 vehicle at a time. The obvious question is "how does one take a truck and a motorcyle into Mexico if you are only allowed 1 permit per person???"

I would call it a 1 in 4 million chance that a sprocket nut could defy physics and end up where it did. I'll explain in up-coming reports.

Yes. There are many complications when trailering bikes from US to MEX. I've never attempted to do it. But I would like to learn how. I didn't want to try on this trip. Maybe another where it's a weekend thing and if we can't do it, we ride the Lost Trail and Big Bend.

Goat Trail Green
01-24-2007, 04:05 PM
Sound like you had a bigger disaster than Teeds and I...more trip report, por favor...

On a related subject, it seems that everyone agrees any return trip would involve hauling the bikes to Creel, and riding from there. I've just found a tidbit on Advriders that says you may not have import permits for more than 1 vehicle at a time. The obvious question is "how does one take a truck and a motorcyle into Mexico if you are only allowed 1 permit per person???"

Skinny

We inquired with bajicerto when we left the country. The guy said you need a title and a transport in your name. We said can 1 guy bring a truck,a trailer, and a bike. Yes you will need a title for each one with the VIN matching in your name and you can do it. Can another person put their bike in that truck or on that trailer. yes if the other person has a title and it is in their name. can you bring a dirt bike or atv. yes it if you have a title and it is in that persons name.......

Mike Green

stevenrosenblatt
01-24-2007, 04:17 PM
Skinny

We inquired with bajicerto when we left the country. The guy said you need a title and a transport in your name. We said can 1 guy bring a truck,a trailer, and a bike. Yes you will need a title for each one with the VIN matching in your name and you can do it. Can another person put their bike in that truck or on that trailer. yes if the other person has a title and it is in their name. can you bring a dirt bike or atv. yes it if you have a title and it is in that persons name.......

Mike Green


Do Texas trailers even have a VIN or a title or will they simply use a registration and match it to a plate number on the trailer.
I only live in TX part time so pardon me if this is a stupid question. It is a factor for us as we intend to trailer to Creel and ride a loop from there.

irondawg
01-24-2007, 04:19 PM
It's not that there isn't a way to do it. I'm more worried about the actual people at the border crossing who do the paperwork. If all the vehicle paperwork can be done prior to crossing the border that'd solve a lot of problems. I can't remember if Banjercito does trailer paperwork or not.

skinny
01-24-2007, 04:35 PM
Skinny

We inquired with bajicerto when we left the country. The guy said you need a title and a transport in your name. We said can 1 guy bring a truck,a trailer, and a bike. Yes you will need a title for each one with the VIN matching in your name and you can do it. Can another person put their bike in that truck or on that trailer. yes if the other person has a title and it is in their name. can you bring a dirt bike or atv. yes it if you have a title and it is in that persons name.......

Mike Green

If I understand you correctly, a vehicle import permit is required for the pick-up and only a title (without import permit) is required for any motorcycles that are hauled...

Goat Trail Green
01-24-2007, 04:39 PM
If I understand you correctly, a vehicle import permit is required for the pick-up and only a title (without import permit) is required for any motorcycles that are hauled...

Thats it. But as John as said who knows when you are standing there

Mike Green

skinny
01-24-2007, 04:43 PM
It's not that there isn't a way to do it. I'm more worried about the actual people at the border crossing who do the paperwork. If all the vehicle paperwork can be done prior to crossing the border that'd solve a lot of problems. I can't remember if Banjercito does trailer paperwork or not.


Yes, after our aborted attempt to get tourist visas, it's obvious that incompetence and laziness are still a major hurdle...

ta2240
01-24-2007, 05:04 PM
If I understand you correctly, a vehicle import permit is required for the pick-up and only a title (without import permit) is required for any motorcycles that are hauled...

Skinny, I don't think that is correct.

From my understanding with the guy ALL vehicles need a permit. I asked him if the bike(dirtbike) had an "Offroad" title and no registration could we still bring it and he said that the title will get you the permit as long as the VINs match and the person it is registered to is present.

skinny
01-24-2007, 06:02 PM
Skinny, I don't think that is correct.

From my understanding with the guy ALL vehicles need a permit. I asked him if the bike(dirtbike) had an "Offroad" title and no registration could we still bring it and he said that the title will get you the permit as long as the VINs match and the person it is registered to is present.


That's where the question arises. I've found more than 1 post on other web sites that says you cannot have more than 1 import permit in your name...if you try to register another vehicle without canceling the first permit, you will be refused. I've emailed the Banjercito web site asking for an answer, but I don't really expect any usable info. I'm afraid we'll have to wait until we get to the border to do the paperwork, and leave ourselves at the mercy of the mexican border officials...Perhaps the vehicle permit people are a little more competent than the moron who refused our first attempt at getting tourist visas....

irondawg
01-24-2007, 06:47 PM
Monday - El Fuerte to Huatabambo (meeting the in-laws....where'd Ray go?)

I have no clue what time it is but I hear Steve get up and head to the bathroom. This means it's either 4:00 am or time to get up...it was unfortunately time to get up. Actually, I slept like a stone. Steve offered some Tylenol PM. Man...that stuff works good. I don't think I moved a muscle the whole night. I'm surprisingly not stiff or sore from the long day's ride yesterday or from the new set of bruises on my right leg. Wow, a perfect set of six knobby marks. Unfortunately or not, no one took pictures.

We gear up and head to the same restaraunt from the night before for breakfast. Fresh squeezed OJ, and chocolate calliente and omlette for me...excellent. We discuss the route for the day. It should be pretty easy since we are close to the coast and out of the mountains. We're splitting a couple lakes and heading thru farmland close to where Lupita was born and where her family's ranch is located. We then turn west for the coast and then to Huatabambo.

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When we get back to the hotel, I ask for directions towards the lake. The manager searches around and finds a small map of downtown and points the way. Only a few turns and we'll be on the road. Cool! Couple shots of the garage and bikes...

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We pack the bikes and head out. I find the street we need to turn on. Hmmm...one way right...but we need to turn left. We go down a block and make a big loop further down. Hmmm...still no left. Okay...now I'm lost so I pull out the map and strap it to the carry all bag. I find the main street and then see the turn we need so we are finally headed the right way. Hmmm...the street dead ends. Steve points out a turn a little ways back and sure enough we find our way out of town.

The road is paved until we hit the turn off for the lake. I don't have names for the two lake we split. The road turns to dirt but is wide and easily ridden except for all the cows and horses being corralled back to their ranches. Oh yeah, and one huge washout in the road...its so big that we simply ride down in and out. There's a lot of dust so we do the side by side thing for a while.

At a major turn after we pass the first lake, Ray takes off with Steve leaving 30 seconds later after adjusting gear. Me, Ian and Bill are close behind. The road makes a few turns that are a little confusing since they look like they go in the right direction, however, going down them a few hundred yards we realized that it's not the right road so we turn around. The three of us have to wait while a rancher herds about 25 head down the road. We shut the engines off so not to spook the cows. Now that the doggies are past, we head out to the next major turn west. Here we find a closed gate but no Ray or Steve. I get off and look around for tracks. I see a single track coming to the gate but then head north. So we decide to wait. Behind us we see Steve. What? When did we pass him? Turns out Steve made the same mistake as us but didn't catch it till he was ways down the road. We ask if he's seen Ray...not since we stopped he says. Well, now the single track makes sense.

I've talked about the rules before...I think we need to change the order....

RULE 1 - You are responsible for the rider behind you. If you screw up, it'll cost you $5. If you're in the lead and screw up, it'll cost you $10.

RULE 2 - No whiners unless you screw up Rule 1.

We figure Ray went north to the next town Buyobambo. We see his track and haul butt where we look around town but don't see him. Not only that, we can't find his track anymore. After a little pow-wow, we figured he went back to the gate via a different route since we didn't run into him. We headed back to the gate butt there were no new tracks. Oh geezh...now we've got problems. You can see on the route where the two mistakes are.

So after another little pow-wow, we open the gate and keep on course hoping to find Ray ahead of us in the next town.

The trail was pretty cool, we are riding straight thru a fields of corn. We open and close a dozen gates or so until we are out on the 'main' road. We're starting to get low on fuel...we didn't fill up in El Fuerte (DOH!!!)...so I start looking for the signs that someone might have gas. Steve goes on reserve first. I know this because he stops and lays his bike on the right to get the remaining gas from the left of the tank. Just as I pass, I hit reserve too. I don't stop. I see on the GPS that we're almost to El Mezquite. I see a little house that looks promising. Sure enough the nice lady is willing to sell us 10 liters of gas in 5 liter bottles. Steve and I each take one. Steve gives the kid some tootsie rolls as a treat.

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This should give us about 30 miles before we need to fill up again. We are all worried about Ray, he's no where to be found and I ask the lady if she's seen another motorcycle...no. So we press on. The road slowly changes a few times from graded dirt, to rock to packed dirt. We make a little error at Basiroa and find ourselves riding thru a river bed with deep small river rocks. It was great. The river parallelled the road so at first opportunity, we got back on the road. There was a gate that had to be opened and a steep climb. I go first. I don't have a lot of speed, it's a little hill, about 15 feet, and ground looked solid. It wasn't...it was soft silt. About half way up the bike starts losing traction and I peddle my way up. The other seeing, make sure the have plenty of speed.

We continue down the road that's nothing but farmland Again, we are getting low on gas but find a place where we fill up in Yocojigua. This time from 5 gallon buckets and they've got plenty for the four of us. Still no sign of Ray, but he's got his GPS loaded with the maps and routes and paper maps as backup. We still are plenty worried and check our cell phones for service...none.

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We finally hit Hwy 15 and cruise down to the beach at Las Bocas. Another small milestone achieved! We hang out there waiting for Ray and just enjoy the beach.

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Our elevation change...there was really none today. So we went from 27,000 to 55,000 in one day! Not bad.

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I take my boots and socks off and head for the water. Man it was freezing but felt good! Steve helps...I think...as I put my socks and boots back on.

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One last shot of the beach before heading out.

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We decide it's time for lunch. Steve spotted a restaruant up the road a ways. We get there and are greeted by a nice fellow and his family. The place also has rooms for rent...a little pricey but have their own access to the beach.

Steve and I split a halibut since it comes as the whole fish! It was excellent...very fresh as expected. After our meal, we locate a gas station, fill up and head back to the turn off to Huatabambo. Not the paved road but a two track thru the farmlands.

The going is pretty quick until we see it. Mud. I'm not talking about a little mud but about a hundred yards of the stickiest farmland mud you can imagine. Steve finds a line that looks pretty good so I follow in his tracks. About 25 yards to go and the stuff is getting deep and clogging the knobs, sprockets, chain and just weighing everything down stopping him in his track. He's stuck and I'm right behind him. I try and turn out of the track without luck. We wave to Ian and Bill to stop. Ian comes over to help push me. I try and turn to the left but go nowhere. I turn to the right...in the deeper mud...and get out of Steve's rut. I've got the bike pinned but I'm hardly moving. The mud is getting deeper and deeper. I keep it pinned an Ian keeps pushing. I'm finally clear and shut it down. WOW!!! The mud is so thick and sticky you cannot see the chain roller and sprockets. I clean it out the best I can. There's nothing here but mud...no sticks, rocks, trees...just farmland and mud. Bill pushes Steve out. Ian goes back and takes a line closer to the fence and makes it thru. Bill follows. We clean as much mud off as possible and take off. Hmmm...my clutch is slipping like crazy. I stop and clean more mud off and take off again...well atempt. Nothing's happening. I touch the clutch cover and its hotter than the freak'n sun. So we decide to wait for it to cool. About 15 minutes later, still nothing. Okay, lay the bike over and take the cover off. Man, it's hot. We wait 30 more minutes, still nothing and the sun is starting to set. Then Steve realizes we didn't try adjusting the cable. Doh!! After we figure which way to turn things, all is better and we head off.

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Soon we are in Colonia Union, about 5 miles from Huatabambo, and I see the Oxxo that was our calling point before hooking up with the in-laws. I call Lupita and tell her we are here. Steve calls Linda to tell her about Ray. After a few minutes, Steve gets a message from Ray's wife that he's okay and in a hotel...but he couldn't figure out where.

One of Lupita's brothers, she has 7, owns a Oxxo (think 7-11 without gas) in Huatabambo and we are going to meet them there in a few minutes. We get more news about Ray. He's in Alamos...65 miles north at a hotel!! What? How the heck did he end up there? That's way the wrong way. At least he's alive and we are headed that way tomorrow so we'll pick him up.

It's been dark for a while now and we head off for the other Oxxo. Well, it turns out that we are at the Lupita's brother's Oxxo! They've been just around the corner the whole time at a hotel where we'll be spending the night. As we take off, I see them waving out of the corner of my eye. A quick u-turn and we're here!!

After our hello's, Pancho make arrangements for us. We take off for showers and do some cleaning. They're going back to L's mom and dad's to cook dinner. They'll be back for us in a hour or so. The bikes look like bad. They are literally covered in mud that's setting up into concrete. Pancho's son...Panchito (hehehee) agrees to wash the bikes tomorrow morning at the car wash next door to the hotel.

That night, we go to L's mom and dad's and have a great time. They made some sort of mixed taco meat with fresh guacamole, red and green salsas and corn tortillas. Can't for get the cold cervesas too!! We all pigged out. Lot's of pictures were taken by all. The little kids were a hoot...dancing and playing around us. I had my map and showed everyone the places we've been and where we're going. Everyone got a kick out of it.

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Later, we watched a video of the family back at the ranch explaining the history of the place. The funniest part was watching them ride a little horse bareback. Some of the brother's were very good...a couple not so. About 11:00pm we call it a night and head back to the hotel.

Another great day!!! Everyone had a great time with the in-laws despite the language barrier. I'm glad they enjoyed it. They all thought it was one of the highlights of the trip. Huatabampo is a must stop next time we ride down here. Ray surely missed a good time. Wonder how he's doing?

thumper
01-24-2007, 09:01 PM
Great pics, interesting story.:clap:

Btw, I asked one of the guys that works for me about the permits. He travels to Mexico all the time and has been a US citizen for 15 years.He's crossed the border hauling a variety of things[atv, boat, camp trailer, etc..]

He said this is how it works. Only one permit per person while in Mexico, but they will list at the bottom [of the permit] whatever else you are hauling or pulling with the primary vehicle.

Catch No.1- Whoever owns it must be present.
Catch No.2- When you return everything must be the same as listed on the permit or you'll have a hard time getting back.

ta2240
01-24-2007, 09:19 PM
[QUOTE=irondawg]
I take my boots and socks off and head for the water. Man it was freezing but felt good! Steve helps...I think...as I put my socks and boots back on.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124014913-M.jpg

Oh man, I laughed at this until I wet myself:rofl: :rofl:

ta2240
01-24-2007, 09:20 PM
Great pics, interesting story.:clap:

Btw, I asked one of the guys that works for me about the permits. He travels to Mexico all the time and has been a US citizen for 15 years.He's crossed the border hauling a variety of things[atv, boat, camp trailer, etc..]

He said this is how it works. Only one permit per person while in Mexico, but they will list at the bottom [of the permit] whatever else you are hauling or pulling with the primary vehicle.

Catch No.1- Whoever owns it must be present.
Catch No.2- When you return everything must be the same as listed on the permit or you'll have a hard time getting back.

That would go along with what we were told at the border but not as much detail. The Banjercito employee just acted like it was no problem and they do it all of the time.

XR650Rocketman
01-24-2007, 09:26 PM
[QUOTE=irondawg]
I take my boots and socks off and head for the water. Man it was freezing but felt good! Steve helps...I think...as I put my socks and boots back on.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124014913-M.jpg

Oh man, I laughed at this until I wet myself:rofl: :rofl:

It was just a crazy impulse thing, irondawg didn't even know I was there!!!!

Purely innocent, I assure you.....We did get a laugh out of it when we previewed the pics.....I guesss irondawg thought it was funny too, he posted it!

irondawg
01-26-2007, 05:02 PM
Tuesday - Huatabambo to Temoris (almost)

What the $#%! is that noise? Ian says someone's banging on the door. It's 6:30am, cold, and I'm nice a toasty in bed.

Panchito is here to wash the bikes. Dang, he's a bit early. I get out of bed and open the door. Aqui es dinero. Limpio mi moto primera. (Here's money, wash my bike first.) I close the door and get back in bed. Dang it's cold out when all you got on is skivies.

Ian: Who was it?
John: Panchito to wash the bikes.
Ian: Dang it's cold.

Bastid is still in bed under the covers, he's got no idea.

Soon we are up and get our gear on. Today, after the bikes are clean, we'll do some basic maintenance on the bikes. I do an oil change, tighten chain and check for lose bolts, spokes, etc. I walk over to check on Panchito and he's got a bucket and cloth and is hand washing my bike!! Wow, bike looks brand new. I should have told him no mas lodo solo (losely translated to only get the mud off). He's spent 30 minutes on my bike alone poor kid. He's mud splattered from head to toe. Hehehehe. I tell him, "muy bien, para no mas limpo excellente, solo no mas lodo!" We head back and get a couple more bikes and begin the process of blasting off the now rock hard mud. Here's Ian's bike shiny and clean. Good job Panchito!!

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In back of the car wash is a concrete car ramp used for oil changes and repairs. I roll the bike up so I don't have to get on the cold wet ground and start changing the oil. As the bike warms up, I check the chain and it's really lose from all the mud yesterday so I yell at steve to throw my tools over the wall. With the oil changed and chain adjusted, I roll the bike back and get to packing. I've got a little less weight now since I'm no longer carrying the extra 1.2 liters of oil so I throw Tony's camera the bag so I don't have to carry it around my waist. A little while later 4 of Lupita's brothers come by before they head off to work. We have a nice breakfast in restaraunt next to the hotel and discuss the day's ride. We're going to slab it to Alamos to pick up our lost rider Ray and then get back on course. It's about 65 miles on the road. Here's the days route...

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The road is just like any interstate in the states. Like all major road in Mexico, there's a toll to pay. We pull up to the booth and there's a rather cute attendant so I take my time taking my gloves off and fishing for my wallet. She tells me the toll is 56 pesos!! Wow, $5.50 to go about 25 miles. Freakin Ray owes us lunch!! After I pull from the toll booth I wait for the others. I see Bill at the booth doing the same thing I did. Ian starts honking at him to get moving!

Grouped back up, we take off for Navajo to the north where we'll turn east for Alamos. Ray is at a hotel near the center of town. Also, we're going to meet another of Lupita's brothers, Rosario, who's a state cop for Sonora and who's helped with the route. The road is super smooth and is brand new with some construction still going on. We make good time getting to Alamos. The cop shop is just inside of the city limits. I pull off and tell the rest to head on and we'll catch up in a bit. I get off the bike and Rosario comes out and gives me a hug. He's got a nice shiner. I ask what happened and he said he was trying to get a drunk in the back of the his truck and had a little fight. Got punched in the eye. I can only imagine what the drunk looks like. We head out to find the others. I follow Rosario in his cop truck thru town. This is pretty cool getting a police escort!! We hit the center and I see the guys sitting at a little cafe. There's Ray looking very apologetic.

John: So, guess you forgot the rules huh?
Ray: Sorry.
John: Goof!
Ray: I know which way out of town to Temoris...it's this way.
John: Geezh.......

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124015129-M.jpg

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124015119-M.jpg

Rosario pulls up and he's on the radio and needs to get back but before he takes off, we switch caps. My Yamaha cap for his state police cap!! Too cool!! I walk back with my new cap and show the guys. I then realize I've gotta be careful where I wear this since we'll be riding thru drug country.

We gear up and take off. The road out of town is a wide dirt road. We are at the foothills of the Sierra Madres and soon will be getting back up to altitude. We start climbing and the traction is a bit lose with all the crushed granite. However, we are making good time...until we start hitting the tight switchbacks again. More of the same but this time they're a bit wider open. I'm hustling the bike up the side of the mountain and really feeling good after yesterdays meet with the in-laws and that we've got Ray back. I'm in the groove. Gripping the bike with my legs and muscling the bike around the switchbacks, everything feels right, nothing else matters except moving forward. I look back and don't see anyone. Oops. I pull over and soon Steve comes around a turn and I take off. After we get up the first mountain we take a little break and have a powerbar and water. Ray decides to keep going to stay ahead of a truck we passed??? Will he ever learn? A minute later he's back. I guess he did.

In this picture, you can see the road going across the mountain.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124015136-O.jpg

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124015142-M.jpg

We ride thru Los Tanques and start getting into the higher mountains. The short straights are gone. We are now in complete switchbacks...no straights whatsoever. We do a small river crossing at Los Camotes, nothing major, I'm glad the rivers are low. I'm sure in a few weeks when all the snow melts, it'll be a lot different. Again, up and down the mountains. The view from the top of one mountain are simply amazing.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124015182-M.jpg

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124015197-M.jpg

Far below we see a river and on the other side a pretty little village that we'd find out is Chinipas. We are in the pines as we head down. Man, this is probably the steepest switchbacks yet! Steve's in the lead and I'm behind him...well above him by a good 30 feet but he's only 25 yards ahead of me. We pass folks cutting trees, for firewood I guess, and they smile and wave. It's a little risky but we wave back. We finally come out of the mountains and follow the river for a ways. We finally get a good look at the church in Chinipas.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124015209-M.jpg

We see a truck on a parallel road closer to the river. When the road curves right he's there too and crosses the river. It's about 200+ yards across. I'm there first and wait to see how the truck does. Hmm...not bad...so I take off and cross without problems. I jump off the bike and start getting pics. Hope no one decides to test the water temp...:trust:

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/123461275-M.jpg

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124015248-M.jpg

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124015268-M.jpg

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124015216-M.jpg

Unfortunately, no one does. We head into town for lunch. Chinipas is a nice, clean little place with a big church smack in the middle of town...just like every other town but, to me, this is a little different. I think it's because of the architecture of the church. It's towers are rounder and larger than usual. Anyway, the restaraunt is basically the front room of a family. To keep this simple, I order carnita asado, flour tortillas and cokes for everyone. A little girl heads leaves and comes back with the groceries. The beef is typical for Mexico...tuff, but tasty.

We say our thanks and ask where we can gas up. It so happens to be on the way out of town where we're going. We find the place and they've actually got pumps and...PREMIUM!!! I've been runing on Magna (87 octane...maybe) for days.

It'll be nice to get some good gas so I don't have to worry about pinging my engine to death.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124015276-M.jpg

Again we hit the switchbacks up and down the mountains. Near Los Llanos was a turn that headed a little west down a goat trail that I had in the GPS. We find the turn and head down. This trail hasn't been used in years! There's a couple deep stream crossing and nasty rock climbs. Soon the road ends at a very deep river. We couldn't tell where it started again on the other side so we turn around to get back on the main road to Temoris. You can see the little pig tail on the route. Coming back, I'm headed down one of the nasty rock hills and I hear a loud crack! My back wheel locks up and come to a stop. Oh $#|%!!! I jump off and look at my chain. Still on. Hmm...? Then I see oil dripping.

Then I see something stuck on the countershaft sprocket. What is this? Looks like a nut? I roll the bike back so it's not cover up by the chain. I check the rear sprocket and sure enough, the sprocket bolts are lose...all of them and I'm missing one nut. So...the nut worked it's way loose, and somehow found it's way from the inside of the wheel to the outside and followed the swingarm all the way down and over the chain guide into the countershaft where it was in a position to lodge itself on a tooth of the countershaft sprocket!! What are the odds? This in turn pushed the chain into the case and it rubbed a hole in the clutch lever shaft eventually breaking it. This might be the end for me.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124015297-M.jpg

Now for some back story... While Steve, Tony and I were in Big Bend making the routes for the Terlingua ride, I had a bungee come loose and get stuck in the countershaft. No biggie since the stock case saver did it's job and took the brunt of the force. It was pretty bent up and I'd need a new one. After checking reviews on case savers, I read many good things about TM DesignWorks products. So, I bought one to replace the damaged stock saver. This thing was constructed quite a bit differently. It's at least 3 maybe 4 times thicker and made out of the frictionless plastic they use for the chain guides(which I also have). After installing it, I noticed it could be bent just a bit from side to side...obviously due to the plastic but I figured it was designed that way so I forget about it.

Back to the story...A closer look at the problem reveals that the case saver, bent and moved out of the way when the chain hit it instead of taking the force of the chain and locking up the rear wheel. What a piece of junk!! I now realize that the stock and other thinner metal case savers sit in the middle of the rollers for a reason. If something happens, the chain links act as a guide keeping the case saver in place so it can do its job. This junky TM Designworks thing did nothing!!

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124015309-M.jpg

I've got some metal putty so we get to working on the bike to see if it's fixable. Steve cleans the area with gas to make sure the putty sticks while I mix the putty. It's getting dark now making things difficult. Steve goes to work getting the putty around the broken case. It looks pretty good. I start the bike hoping all is well only to see oil spewing from the back side of the clutch lever!! DANG IT!! Well, there's a couple houses back on the main road with trucks in front. I hop on the bike and take off...oil is spewing out like mad. I've got about a half mile of some nasty terain plus a deep stream to cross. I keep the revs down as much as possible and make it to the house.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124015313-M.jpg

I head for the house and ask if we can work on the bike under the light. They say no but they'll give us a ride to Temoris!! Even better I thought! I introduce myself to Arturo. He lives in Temoris and was making some deliveries. He's headed back there now. Wow...how lucky! We load my bike in the back of Arturo's truck and head off.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124015319-M.jpg

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124015335-M.jpg

Soon we're in Temoris. Arturo's friend, Corky, owns a hotel and we'll stay there tonight. After showers, we head off to make some calls and find a place to eat. We meet up at Gaby's for dinner. Ray tries to buy some beers since Gaby doesn't have any but all the stores are closed. It's only 7:30. However, there's a group of Canadian miners staying in the hotel and offer a six-pack. There in the area mining for gold.

I talked to Arturo earlier and we've arranged to meet up later where we'll load the bike on the train headed to Chihahua. I'll take the train also. Only problem is there's two trains, passenger and cargo. The cargo doesn't run everyday so I might need to spend an extra day in Temoris. No problem as far as I'm concerned. I'm bummed that my ride is over. I tell myself I'm not missing that much though since we're starting to backtrack some of the route. I'll miss Temoris to Bahuichivo. I've ridden from there back to Creel.

Nothing for me now to do but wait. At about 4 in the morning I can't sleep so I get up and work on the bike to see if there's a glimmer of hope. When I take the putty off an loosen the screw that keeps the clutch shaft in the engine, the whole piece falls off. Now I know I'm done and go back to bed.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124015355-M.jpg

Hopefully I'll be able to catch the train tomorrow.

stevenrosenblatt
01-26-2007, 07:04 PM
I am so jealous. What a great ride and awesome pictures. I notice in the pics of the bikes load that some are carrying what looks like a ton of "stuff" on the rear wheel and a back pack. Did any of you guys prepare a list of stuff to take that you can share. Were you carrying camping gear is that why the bikes are so loaded up?
Having done the trip is there stuff you brought that was just useless? Keep the reports coming. I'm very interested in the next one. Which month did you do this?

Tourmeister
01-26-2007, 09:20 PM
As I am in the market for new gear, I am interested in the personal gear: Jacket, pants, boots, armor, rain gear, etc,...

Good to hear such glowing reviews of the Wolfman luggage. I have been considering that for the KLR.

ta2240
01-27-2007, 10:45 AM
As I am in the market for new gear, I am interested in the personal gear: Jacket, pants, boots, armor, rain gear, etc,...

Good to hear such glowing reviews of the Wolfman luggage. I have been considering that for the KLR.


Scott, I made a lot of purchases for this trip and the two things I have to rave about are the boots and the jacket.

The Sidi Discovery Boots and the Kilimajaro III jacket.

teamswaney and I both purchased the boots and we both thought they were incredible. My feet stayed warm and dry. I think he agrees they were the best purchase we made for the trip.

As far as the jacket I NEVER got cold, not even a little. With the liner in and a set of Arctiva thermals I actually got hot even while riding in 30 degree weather. The jacket vented great on warm days with the liner out.

http://www.motogearoutlet.com/jacket.htm

irondawg
01-29-2007, 05:38 PM
Wednseday - Temoris to Chihauhua (via train)


Now that my ride is offically over, I revert to Mexican time meaning I'm taking it easy and not worried about getting to the next stop before dark...even though we haven't managed it throughout the trip so far. For all those that think riding at night in Mexico is dangerous, well it is unless you're out in the middle of nowhere and you ride slowly.

Anyway, I get up and let the crew know I'm done. Steve was up early to work on my bike but found what I found the night before. So all that's left is to figure out how I'm going to get me and the bike back to Texas. I'm not really worried that much since I'm in a relatively good spot. I'm close to a train station and I can get a ride from a local as long as I've got the cash.

Since I've been navigating for the crew, someone, or a few someone's need to take over. Everyone has a GPS and the routes loaded. I've got my map as backup just in case. After the guys gear up we head to Gaby's for breakfast and I go over today's route. From Temoris to Bauchivo will be tough, after that, the route is back on the main roads out of the canyon to Creel.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124108023-O.jpg

Steve takes the map with a good idea where they are going. We head back to the hotel. I drain the gas out of my bike since its got to be empty before going on the train. I also offer the guys my spare fuel bottles since they might need them later in the trip. I also give Ian my sheepskin since he's been complaining about lack of skin remaining in his nether regions...and that's all I'm saying about that.

Soon the guys are ready and head north out of town. I walk up to a little store with an internet phone to make a call. I turn around and the guys are coming back? They're lost...already!!

Steve: Where lost!
John: You were going the right way.
Steve: Oh...the road didn't look right.
John: You got the right day loaded on the GPS?
Steve: Yep.
John: The directions say Northeast...this is Southwest.
Steve: Okay...see you later.

They take off back the way they came. I've got a funny feeling they're going to do this a few times today. I make a call to Lupita telling her about my situation. From what I've learned from Corky, either the cargo train is coming today at 4:00pm or tomorrow at 1:00pm. Nothing I can do but wait.

I head back to the hotel and talk to Corky, he's going to check if the train is coming today, but I'm a little confused. He's got to drive out to the station, about 20 minutes away since either he cannot make a call or there's no one in the station. He takes off. Not much for me to do but wait so I start packing. I've got to somehow get all the gear on the bike and riding gear into an already filled up bag. I contimplate leaving my boots behind since the sole is ripped but end up taping them together with electrical tape. I'm able to cram everything into the bag and my camelback...MAN, this stuff weighs a ton!! Next time, I've gotta pack lighter. I figure with riding gear, tools and all the other crap, I've got at least 50lbs. of stuff.

Corky returns and says the cargo train is leaving today at 6:00pm. GREAT!! However, the passenger train is leaving at 1:00 today and the bus is heading out in 15 minutes! Dangit!! I better get moving. Another of Corky's friend, didn't catch his name, will take the bike to the station later. We exchange paperwork so I can pick the bike up in Chihahua.

The cost for the bike and delivery is $500 pesos...or $50. Wow, I got out of that cheap. But I'm concerned because I'm leaving my bike behind in the hands of strangers. I had a bad feeling I'd never see it again...but what could I do?

I grab my gear, exchange money since I'm down to US dollars and hop the chicken bus for the 30 minute ride to the station. Yes, the bus was beyond standing room and we're headed down the side of a canyon. At times I saw nothing but air and a 500 foot drop, but the driver was very good. I'm sure he's been doing this run for 30 years since that's how old the bus was.

While waiting for the train, I took a few shots at the station.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/123459195-M.jpg

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/123461725-M.jpg

About 45 minutes later the train arrives. There's two trains, one economy for $45 and one luxury for $90. Corky says take the economy but I'm taking the first train that passes thru. Again, luck is with me and its the economy. $45 all the way back to Chihahua! Wow, that's way less than I would have paid for gas!! I take a seat in the last car up front so I've got room for all my stuff. It's a long train ride, so I settle in. I take some pics as we pass thru the canyons.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/123460013-L.jpg

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/123462918-M.jpg

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/123460093-O.jpg

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/123463036-M.jpg

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/123459404-M.jpg

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/123463125-M.jpg

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/123463167-M.jpg

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/123463226-M.jpg

There's a few stops on the way, Bauchivo, Divisidero, Creel, and others. Most stops are pretty quick but when we get to Divisdero, we've got about a 10 minute break. Good, I'll get to take some pics of the overview here where you can see the 4 canyons come together. As I'm taking the scenery in, I hear the sound of big thumpers. Can it be? Yes, it's the crew!! What are the odds of them getting here the same time I'm here!

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124015489-M.jpg

The view from the overlook...

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124015509-M.jpg

They tell me about the 8 miles of he#! getting to Bauchivo. It was the hardest part of the trip. Super steep switchback with BIG rocks. Dangit! I missed all the fun. I tell them everything is okay with me and I'll be in Chihahua tonight. Not sure about the bike or if I'll see it again. The train sounds its horn so I take off. As the train pulls out, I see the guys take off down the road.

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124015445-M.jpg

http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/124015453-M.jpg

Feeling pretty good about my situation, I go back to enjoying the ride thru the canyons. The sun is setting as we pull into Creel. I can see bikes in front of Margarita's...good, the guys made it. We've still got a long way to go so I take a quick nap.

About 11:30 we pull in to Chihahua. I get a cab and tell him to take me to a hotel in downtown. The cabbie want $10 US for a 5 minute ride! Bastid!! I give him 7 and say that's all I've got. He takes it. I get a room for $37 a night with heat, hot water and TV. I'm asleep in 5 minutes wondering where my bike is?

Hoop
01-29-2007, 08:52 PM
What is the picture that looks like a rail car down in a rock slide???

A couple of notes: The road out of Temoris is by the soccer stadium, I remembered it from 1995. (This was about the first or 2nd time I was right on this trip.)

The "8 miles of HExx" is a section of old road between the old road leaving Bahuichivo towards San Rafael that is no longer in use, except for one cowboy on horseback and his dog. We got off the GPS route before we hit the "8 miles" trail. There was a right turn in the route that led up a mountainside, but it had grass growing over the road, then we hit a couple of downed trees, and it didn't look do-able. The problem was the Bicimapas didn't have the new truck road from Bahuichivo north to Creel.

The next opportunity to get back on track was the "8 miles" trail. It's marked by a small sign that says "San Rafael 24 km" high up on a tree.
http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/126355074-M.jpg
It was probably the roughest 8-mile stretch I've ever ridden. This used to be a 2-track road, but it had fallen into disuse, and was down to a single-track cow trail. We ran into a cowboy riding the opposite direction at one point.

At one point, there was a fork. To the left looked pretty easy. To the right was a boulder-strewn river crossing. We needed to go right. It looked un-doable. Steve was leading, and he launched right into it. It turned out not to be so bad once you got into it. After 8 miles of torture, it came out at the RR tracks, and the road improved quite a bit from there.

Looking back at the road coming down the mountain.
http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/126354787-M-LB.jpg
http://irondawg.smugmug.com/photos/126355391-M.jpg

Guess I need to re-size these pics so they'll show up in the text on TWTEX.

stevenrosenblatt
01-29-2007, 09:11 PM
There was a right turn in the route that led up a mountainside, but it had grass growing over the road, then we hit a couple of downed trees, and it didn't look do-able. The problem was the Bicimapas didn't have the new truck road from Bahuichivo north to Creel.





I'm waiting for my Guia Roji map of Chihuahua state to come from Amazon, but are you saying there is a two track road from Creel to Bahuichivo. Would this be the extension of the pavement that runs out at San Rafael? What was the road like from Temoris to Bahuichivo?

Hoop
01-29-2007, 09:19 PM
There is a wide, mostly graded dirt truck road from the end of the pavement to Bahuichivo and on to Temoris, then on to Chinipas. Bicimapas GPS map doesn't have the new truck road between Bahuichivo and San Rafael, it has the old road, which is no longer rideable (at least not without a chainsaw or a winch). The truck road is easy for the most part. We still managed to have a flat when one of the gang hit the edge of a cattleguard and pinched his front tire.

stevenrosenblatt
01-30-2007, 06:14 PM
There is a wide, mostly graded dirt truck road from the end of the pavement to Bahuichivo and on to Temoris, then on to Chinipas. Bicimapas GPS map doesn't have the new truck road between Bahuichivo and San Rafael, it has the old road, which is no longer rideable (at least not without a chainsaw or a winch). The truck road is easy for the most part. We still managed to have a flat when one of the gang hit the edge of a cattleguard and pinched his front tire.


Did Bicamaps have "roads" not on the paper map from Roji? I haven't done GPS before. I can visualize some confusing intersections on these pass roads but are there really that many. Are the confusing intersections in places where there normally were no locals to ask? Did Bicamaps actually wind up steering you right when the confusion came up than steering you wrong? You report some instances of being steered wrong and going down dead ends. Was this a common or frequent thing or are we talking two or three times for the whole run. What concerns me is going down some wrong cow path that is really hard to either turn around in or ride back on because of it being fairly steep. Comments?

Hoop
01-30-2007, 07:18 PM
I had a Roji map for the 1995 trip, I didn't have a newer one to compare the bicimapas to. There are a lot of roads on the bicimapas database, some that we rode literally looked like cow trails. There are a lot of side roads in some parts, and with proper preparation of the GPS route, you can avoid most of them. If you zoom in, you can usually pick the right turn, but the GPS maps are not infallible. No map is going to be perfect in these parts, that's part of the fun.

XR650Rocketman
01-30-2007, 08:21 PM
The problems we had that caused us to have to turn around were generally because of the condition of the trail, not because it wasn't shown on the map....
Between ice and snow and fallen trees we had to "Punt' a couple of times...
Some of the newer "roads' were not on the GPS maps but were generally sign posted.

One interesting thing happens when you navigate by GPS.....You always know exactly where you are within a few feet but you get no sense of where you are in the big picture of the country you are in...

This took me a little while to get used to, made more difficult by my old eyes not seeing the GPS screen well without my cheaters.

I'm a GPS convert now, thanks to irondawg and teeds.....They shamed me into one....

stevenrosenblatt
01-30-2007, 09:17 PM
One interesting thing happens when you navigate by GPS.....You always know exactly where you are within a few feet but you get no sense of where you are in the big picture of the country you are in...

This took me a little while to get used to, made more difficult by my old eyes not seeing the GPS screen well without my cheaters.

I'm a GPS convert now, thanks to irondawg and teeds.....They shamed me into one....


Is this what you used? Did it cover your entire route?

http://www.bicimapas.com.mx/Barrancas.htm

XR650Rocketman
01-30-2007, 10:47 PM
Is this what you used? Did it cover your entire route?

http://www.bicimapas.com.mx/Barrancas.htm

As soon as we crossed the border the bicamapas worked very well for us...

Goat Trail Green
01-31-2007, 07:58 AM
As I am in the market for new gear, I am interested in the personal gear: Jacket, pants, boots, armor, rain gear, etc,...

Good to hear such glowing reviews of the Wolfman luggage. I have been considering that for the KLR.


Scott

I bought a Technics Spider convertable jacket which I wore a nylon shirt and a fleece jacket under, depending on how cold it was. It was awesome. I was never wet or cold period. If it got warm the guys would zip the exterior 600 denier off and i would have a kevlar mesh jacket left with all the armor in it....With the high collar that is removeable I did not need a baclava. i also used a full face helmet instead of my moto helmet.
http://www.ironpony.com/ironponydirect/product.asp/ImageName/SPIDER-BLUE.jpg/Brand/TEKNIC/Class2/Jackets%20and%20Vests/Class3/Textile%20Jackets/Class1/
The pants I wore were the tecnics textile. With these I wore bicycle pants and fleece or long johns. I like these but they were a little balky and usually too warm. They also had the armor in them but I took the knee pads out and wore my six,six,one knee pads.
http://www.ironpony.com/ironponydirect/product.asp/ImageName/teknic-chicane-pant.jpg/Brand/TEKNIC/Class2/Pants%20and%20Chaps/Class3/Textile%20Pants/Class1/

Boots were the FLY Talon. they were a little balky for walking aorund but worked real well riding. I wore a pair of motocross socks with a pair of shorty cotton socks under them. My feet was always dry and never cold. One cold day when we were riding in the snow and rain I heard some guys say there feet were cold but mine were perfect.
Gloves I ended up wearing a variety. I brought my OR(Oregon Research) ice climbing waterproof gloves but with the bark busters protecting my hands they became hot real quick. When the sun was up my motocross gloves seemed to work real well even at 45 degrees, but offer little protection if i were to dump it on the pavement. In the end I wore a pair of leather gold wing gloves. if it was dry the were perfect. The day where the guys feet got cold my hands were just starting to get cold when we reached the motel.

Mike Green

stevenrosenblatt
02-01-2007, 10:09 PM
I had a Roji map for the 1995 trip, I didn't have a newer one to compare the bicimapas to. There are a lot of roads on the bicimapas database, some that we rode literally looked like cow trails. There are a lot of side roads in some parts, and with proper preparation of the GPS route, you can avoid most of them. If you zoom in, you can usually pick the right turn, but the GPS maps are not infallible. No map is going to be perfect in these parts, that's part of the fun.


I just got the Roji map for Chihuahua and it is really lame. There are no dirt roads on it leading out of Batopilas in the direction opposite La Bufa. I suppose the maps that the route is shown in these trip reports are the Bicimapas just not zoomed all the way in? Even on these Bicimapas at that level of zoom have more towns showing than the Roji map.
My assumption is that you guys laid out the whole route on Bicimapas and navigated off the GPS and maybe asking locals than using that pinche Roji map, right?
The Roji map shows no roads from San Rafael to Urique or Temoris. There is a road shown from Temoris to Urique but didn't you guys go from Creel to Urique and back to Creel? Must have been a road,huh? Not on Roji:confused:

Hoop
02-02-2007, 05:05 PM
yes re planning the route on the bicimapas, it has quite a bit of detail.

Teeds
02-03-2007, 10:38 PM
Steve: That is the Bicimapas set we used. I have the full Mexico maps, but it is the same for the CC area.

We had three different maps open at the same time, looking at the same area and the towns and the roads did not match. It seems that is the norm for Mexican maps and no one gets really worked up. I am odering topo maps of the area, scanning them and rubber sheeting them together before my next trip. Topo is about as accurate as you can get.

stevenrosenblatt
02-04-2007, 08:53 PM
I have read all your posts again and laid out a 5 day loop from Creel that I wonder if you all can comment as to whether it is short enough to avoid 10 hour days of riding. I was tempted by the southern and western route out of Batopilas towad Morelos but it seemed that in the middle of that 170 miles there is a whole lot of nothing for accomodations whereas in this route there are spectacular places with great views.
By the way in Alamos just up a hill from the square is a nice hotel with a pool named after the Mexican Maralyn Monroe too bad I forget the name.

So what do you experts think of this route

Day 1 Creel to Batopilas

Day 2 Batopilas to Divisidaro via Creel

Day 3 Divisidaro to Urique then back to Charchui (stay at Wilderness Lodge on canyon edge)

Day 4 Charachui to Alamos via Temoris and Chinipas (using the new truck route and avoiding the 8 mile road from h#%%)

Day 5 Alamos to Creel or however far we get by dusk.

Hoop
02-05-2007, 08:04 PM
Not knowing your riding ability, or what machine you're riding, it's hard to say, but here's my 2 cents:

Day 1 Creel to Batopilas - pretty easy (on our trip we lost one rider due to a crash in the mud - twisted his knee)

Day 2 Batopilas to Divisidaro via Creel - pavement from Creel to Divisadero, so if you can do Day 1, you can probably do Day 2. Hotels in Divisadero seem to be pretty expensive?

Day 3 Divisidaro to Urique then back to Charchui (stay at Wilderness Lodge on canyon edge) - I think you mean Cerocahui - if you survived the first 2 days, you should be able to do this.

Day 4 Charachui to Alamos via Temoris and Chinipas (using the new truck route and avoiding the 8 mile road from h#%%) - You have to cross the wide river south of Chinipas. This is definitely an opportunity to destroy your bike if you manage to drop it. When we were there, it was about 12-18" deep, but there were a few deeper spots. I'd be very careful, wait for a truck to come along and watch where they cross. It might be somewhat difficult to navigate once you get past the river, use the GPS tracks from our trip.

Day 5 Alamos to Creel or however far we get by dusk. - We did this back in the mid-90's in a day, but it was a pretty long day. The roads are better now, so with good luck, no problems crossing the river, no flats, no crashes, it is probably do-able.

stevenrosenblatt
02-05-2007, 08:41 PM
Not knowing your riding ability, or what machine you're riding, it's hard to say, but here's my 2 cents:




I'll be on a 2001 XR400, probably with a lot less luggage than some of the bikes I saw in your group:trust:
I started riding off road in 2002 on a DRZ 400.I have ridden road since the late 1960s. I ride mostly in the Pine Barrens of NJ when I'm in the north. Generally flat, sandy, single track with whoops and water crossings. I have ridden off road through the roads in Big Bend National Park when in Texas and one long trip to ride the passes around Siverton CO.
I'm now 58 and while not being terribly strong I'm in reasonably good shape and not overweight.
Where I really get spooked is steep slopes with loose rocks and no semblance of a trail. I can't wheelie over logs either. I have about 4k miles of off road experience as described above.
I saw your pictures of the river crossing at Chinipas. You were there in January and we'll be there in late April or late May. I suppose the water will be higher from snow melt? I guess it never gets deep enough where trucks can't make it. My approach would be to pay some trucker to ride us across if it looks too deep. Did you notice regular local traffic there being that close to Chinipas? I can't believe there is no bridge:lol2:

Yes the hotel at Divisidaro is not cheap, but the food is good and the bar has big picture windows of the canyon and we're on vacation.
Thank you for the detailed reports and the tip about the Chinipas water crossing. I'm a firm believer in suerte so I'm sure well both make it across fine. The other bike will be a KLR 650.
We rented a truck one year to go to Batopilas from Creel because we didn't know what the "road" was like. After being driven down I concluded that the road was doable on the VFR I had then (without linked brakes). It will be easy on the XR and fun at a relaxed pace for sightseeing.

Do we even need GPS to do the portions of the route beyond the pavement end at San Rafael to Alamos and back?

Hoop
02-06-2007, 07:23 PM
Do we even need GPS to do the portions of the route beyond the pavement end at San Rafael to Alamos and back?

Past Chinipas, you might have trouble navigating to Alamos without GPS or a good map and enough spanish to ask directions.

Tourmeister
02-08-2007, 04:56 PM
Okay, here is the thread for paperwork to go to Mexico:

http://twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15434

I still need some info for the first post.

Teeds
02-09-2007, 04:42 AM
Yes the hotel at Divisidaro is not cheap, but the food is good and the bar has big picture windows of the canyon and we're on vacation.

I like your style ...

Being the rider that fell, twernt no mud around ... the gravel attacked me. I swear it did.

Whatever you think you will do, allow more time.

The original goal of Groupo Rapido was to make Creel to El Fuerte in one day ... this turned into 16 hours on the bike. I did not go the second day from Batopilas to El Fuerte, but understand that it was a "challenge" to say the least.

Goat Trail Green
02-09-2007, 08:15 AM
Steve

The wilderness lodge is not open daily at this time. If you arrange things with Cesar at Magritas in Creel he will probably open it. Teamswaney and I had to go to Mesa De Arturo and find Paco and Christina who came out and unlocked the Hotel for us. Cesar sent money and instructions with us. When you go through the puebla of 20 houses heading south,the road does a lazy S turn through town you will slowly head up a hill. About the last house on the left half way up the hill is their house !!
I believe Cesar told us that April and May were the lowest times for the river crossing you and Hoop have been talking about. He used to take atv trips through there at that time of the year..

Mike Green

stevenrosenblatt
02-09-2007, 12:05 PM
The original goal of Groupo Rapido was to make Creel to El Fuerte in one day ... this turned into 16 hours on the bike. I did not go the second day from Batopilas to El Fuerte, but understand that it was a "challenge" to say the least.

After reading the ride report from Batopilas to El Fuerte I decided I wanted no part of an all day ride. It also looked like the only stopping point with a "motel" was in Morelos and then nothing to El Fuerte. Morelos looked very close to Batopilas meaning that even if that ride is over two days, the first will be relatively shorter and the second way longer.
I agree that in Mexico it is best to aim low on distances to be covered, especially "off road":trust:
The whole idea is to relax and enjoy the scenery rather than ride the bike all day to the point of exhaustion. We'll be going in mid May so it might also be a tad warm.
Question about the fuel you cariied and how often you actually used it. Same question for how much water each person carried each day.
It sure looked like a lot of luggage on some of those bikes. Does anyone have a tool/spares list that is cut down to size based on your ride experience?

Teeds
02-09-2007, 08:33 PM
Question about the fuel you cariied and how often you actually used it. Same question for how much water each person carried each day?

I carried two Primus fuel bottles. Never needed either myself, but did give one to another fellow. Ojinaga to Villa Aldama was the only day it got really interesting fuel wise for the group. Many of us used reserve. John mentioned in the RR one day later in the trip that was a problem.

I (as did most others) carried a 100 oz water bladder.

It sure looked like a lot of luggage on some of those bikes. Does anyone have a tool/spares list that is cut down to size based on your ride experience?

Too much gear, at least for me. I had some things specifically related to my fear that we were going to spend a night under the stars. That alone was more weight than I should have carried, especially up high on my bike. Panniers are the way to go. I had some, but decided not to take them at the last minute.

Regarding tools and spares, I have not analyzed what I could have left out specifically. Clearly I could have left some tools that were not needed for my bike. That would have saved a few ounces. The problem is, you never know when you might need an oddball that you don't have. John did not have a 17mm and would have had a much more difficult time getting the sand out of his carb, had Micah not had a 17mm readily available.

As far as spares, I had jets, a float needle and a float, a set of cables and levers. Tubes of course, heavy duty, preslimed ... bulky.

I'm sure I missed mentioning something.

Tourmeister
02-10-2007, 12:09 AM
Hmmm... The biggest fuel bottle at REI is this one:

MSR 33 oz (http://www.rei.com/online/store/ProductDisplay?storeId=8000&catalogId=40000008000&productId=47575376&parent_category_rn=5760743)

It holds about 1/4 gallon (~1 liter). I guess a half gallon would make a difference if you were close to your destination :shrug: That would be maybe another 20 miles or so for me on the KLR. That would get my range up to about 220 miles or so depending on the riding conditions and speeds.

I agree with Tony. It is hard to pack for every possible problem. I try to pack for the likely problems and hope the odds work in my favor ;-)

tx246
02-10-2007, 10:18 AM
one other aspect was that i think all of us on the trip packed independently as far as tools go. if you knew who you were going with, then the tool/flat/tube load would of been much lighter divided among the group. we all packed in a manner that we would be self sufficient. if we had trailered to creel, we would of traveled on the bikes much lighter as it would of been a day ride back to creel to get truck/tailer if something broke. i too, packed something that would make an overnight outside survivable. the rides we did were not technical at all (except for the ice/snow and riding up the stairs bit). on a scale of 1-10. it was a 2 only because some of the elevations and heavy braking. now you could of made it a 5 by flying down the gravel roads and hitting a truck around a blind corner ect. the route the other guys took out of batopilas did have some challenges. if i rode a lot slower, i could of made the stuff we did on my zrx1100. that being said, if it was muddy goo, then the difficulty would of been higer in some places. most of the roads were hardpacked. think colorado fs roads. again, that does not include stuff beyond batopilas.

irondawg
02-11-2007, 10:08 AM
150 mile range is sufficient for Mexico. You just have to know where and who to ask to get gas. I carried 3 of the 33oz bottles. I didn't need them but I would bring at least two again. I get about 135 per tank with two it gets me about 160 range.

stevenrosenblatt
02-11-2007, 07:14 PM
Guys, thanks for answering a lot of my silly questions. Billyj, thanks for the tip on the Wilderness Lodge, I'll look up Ceasar at Margaritas in Creel and set it up for two nights later.
As for carrying gas, I think I'll pass with the big IMS tank on th XR 400. Are there any gas stations at the end of the pavement at San Rafael?
I will carry a lot of water, but basing out of Creel and riding the loop I outlined before, I will do without any camping gear.
I ordered a Garmin Zumo 550 and it it on the way. I will download the Bicimapas. Which type did you guys use, topo or the other. Sorry, my first ever GPS;)
Let me ask about cell phones. Did you have to contact your provider to set up anything to make the cell work in Mexico. I can't believe there is any service in the canyons. It seems you got service in Creel and on the Pacific coast. Did the phone work anywhere else or did you just have no need to try it?
I think it is good that the dirt roads that the group doing the shorter loop took were fairly easy. There are enough hazzards on Mexican "roads" that are paved and unpaved adds just a few more dimensions. I have been on rides in Mexico where people crashed hard and the local clinica in San Juanito just north of Creel is scary without modern medical devices. The idea is to relax, breath in the scene and drink yourself senseless with great views and beers each day, after riding, of course.
I wish we had more time in Mexico but to be honest the food in many "restaurants" in Mexico in the hinterlands just scares me. After about a week of it, I'm ready to run for the border anyway. Alamos is an exception as is Divisidaro:eat: . I was not too impressed with the Margaritas food in Creel but the bar was cool. People from everywhere:party:
Back to luggage, I'm big on having tools, tubes, inflator, master link and a few changes of clothes. Lighter is better.
How about riding gear, I have dirt riding gear and an Aerostich for road. I notice from the pics most of you were in off road gear despite the January temperatures. Did anyone wear street gear and helmet and if so how did that work out. We're there in May.

Hoop
02-11-2007, 08:15 PM
Pemex stations are at the turnoff for Batopilas, and at Bahuichivo, as well as Creel. If you fill up at each opportunity, shouldn't be a problem.

Cingular cell phones will pick up Mexican carrier Telcel without having to do anything ahead of time, as I understand it.

I had a Nolan 102 convertible (flip-up) street helmet on. It was new before the trip. On the 3rd day of riding, the face shield refused to close all the way. Since it was dusty, this was a very bad thing. After it got dark and we were still riding in the dust, this was a very very bad thing. I cleaned the mechanism that night, and got it to work again. On the 4th day of riding, the flip-up release refused to release anymore. I tried to blow the dust out of it, but short of having a magnifying glass and a jewelers' screwdriver, I couldn't really do much. Also had trouble with the latch on the flip-up not closing properly when it would open. I like wearing a street helmet when it's cold, but an off-road helmet with goggles would be much better for warm and dusty conditions.

I usually wear off-road gear for d/s riding. We were layered up and I didn't have trouble staying warm except for the day we rode in the rain.

X1Glider
02-15-2007, 08:06 PM
Awesome guys! Been wanting to do that trip myself. Found this post at the ATK BBS. (researching a newer bike)

I haven't logged in here for well over a year. Guess I need to make an effort to come back.

I did my first off-road ride at Mike's Sky Ranch last summer on a 1985 XL600R and had a blast. This is with people that live in other parts of the country. I'll have to start hanging out here and tag along on a DS ride some day. Of course I need to get the bike to generate a spark again (ignition or rectifier?) and get a larger tank.

Once again, great report.

tx246
03-11-2007, 12:47 AM
well, we are famous. my wife and i went to dinner to meet the parents of my daughters boyfriend and dinner conversation turned to guess what? Motorcycles, then Mexico, then motorcycles and Mexico, and he says there is some story on the internet about a bunch of Texans that recently went to Mexico and somebody broke their arm(thats you Teeds), four bikes blew up? but it looked really cool. hey, thats me(us)!! a complete stranger found this thread and met one of us.

i would like to thank my mom and dad.......music plays

Goat Trail Green
03-11-2007, 07:38 AM
well, we are famous. my wife and i went to dinner to meet the parents of my daughters boyfriend and dinner conversation turned to guess what? Motorcycles, then Mexico, then motorcycles and Mexico, and he says there is some story on the internet about a bunch of Texans that recently went to Mexico and somebody broke their arm(thats you Teeds), four bikes blew up? but it looked really cool. hey, thats me(us)!! a complete stranger found this thread and met one of us.

i would like to thank my mom and dad.......music plays

Now thats some funny stuff there. Even with the internet fables live on !!

LOL

Mike Green

stevenrosenblatt
03-11-2007, 08:46 AM
well, we are famous. my wife and i went to dinner to meet the parents of my daughters boyfriend and dinner conversation turned to guess what? Motorcycles, then Mexico, then motorcycles and Mexico, and he says there is some story on the internet about a bunch of Texans that recently went to Mexico and somebody broke their arm(thats you Teeds), four bikes blew up? but it looked really cool. hey, thats me(us)!! a complete stranger found this thread and met one of us.

i would like to thank my mom and dad.......music plays


I don't suppose your daughter mentioned the ride and the thread to her boyfriend and the boyfriend (wisely) mentioned it to his mom and dad so that they could look it up and work it into the coversation to ease what is normally a stress filled event for all involved. Nah, that's not what happened:trust:

BTW thanks to XR650 Rocketman for the link to Wolfman luggage for d/s on another thread. I'm going to get some but I'm not going to load up the weight like you guys did, nor will I ride at night and off road either.:lol2:

Did any of you use disposable covers on the air filter for the dust issue and if so who sells them. I assume they are one size fits all?

Goat Trail Green
03-11-2007, 08:49 AM
[QUOTE=stevenrosenblatt]I don't suppose your daughter mentioned the ride and the thread to her boyfriend and the boyfriend (wisely) mentioned it to his mom and dad so that they could look it up and work it into the coversation to ease what is normally a stress filled event for all involved. Nah, that's not what happened:trust:

QUOTE]


Nothing like taking the wind out of our sails

Mike Green

Hoop
03-11-2007, 10:22 AM
Filterskins, I think by MSR. You've got to be careful that they don't distort the filter and pull it away from the seal. Get the large ones, and if you've got a 650R, don't try to cover the whole filter, just the wide part.

stevenrosenblatt
03-11-2007, 11:29 AM
Filterskins, I think by MSR. You've got to be careful that they don't distort the filter and pull it away from the seal. Get the large ones, and if you've got a 650R, don't try to cover the whole filter, just the wide part.


Well I have an XR400 and the Malcom Smith site has these sizes none are called large. It suggests the next to largest fits XRs, are you saying to get the 6-8" daimeter size rather than the 5-6" size suggested for XRs?

http://www.malcolmsmith.com/dlrindexsend_pg_catprod_levelcode_4029_catalogcode _2656_partheadernumber_321671-FILTERSKINS.htm

ThirdCoast
03-11-2007, 01:05 PM
Great ride report! Thanks for that. I like your advatar, same place that I went to. This is a picture coming in from the back side of the church.

http://bill311.smugmug.com/photos/37448824-M.jpg

ThirdCoast
03-11-2007, 01:11 PM
We even stayed at the same hotel!

http://bill311.smugmug.com/photos/135168112-M.jpg

ThirdCoast
03-11-2007, 01:20 PM
Here is a picture of one of the trails. YOu can see a KLR rider on the trail about in the middle of the picture if you look real close.

http://bill311.smugmug.com/photos/37448827-M.jpg

donroger1
04-15-2007, 11:28 PM
well, we are famous. my wife and i went to dinner to meet the parents of my daughters boyfriend and dinner conversation turned to guess what? Motorcycles, then Mexico, then motorcycles and Mexico, and he says there is some story on the internet about a bunch of Texans that recently went to Mexico and somebody broke their arm(thats you Teeds), four bikes blew up? but it looked really cool. hey, thats me(us)!! a complete stranger found this thread and met one of us.

i would like to thank my mom and dad.......music plays

Gotcha! :thumb:

I am currently in Alpine after traveling Big Bend by CAR.

A friend and I, and our wives, have been planning this trip for two years and I was showing him the thread and pictures of Mexico earlier this year.

He told me he had supper with Jarrod's girlfriend's parents and that you had indicated that the trip in question was your trip.
(You knew about the "repaired" water pump housing) I didn't believe him.

Two Wheeled Texans is a very diverse group but this "connection" is plain freaky.

That entire thread was quite engaging and so well reported that I am considering the "Dark Side" so I can play too.

Keep riding and more importantly, continue the reports and photos.:thumb:

EDIT to correct the boyfriend's name. :doh: Evan is married. It is Jarrod who is still dating.

Teeds
04-16-2007, 09:05 AM
Well I have an XR400 and the Malcom Smith site has these sizes none are called large. It suggests the next to largest fits XRs, are you saying to get the 6-8" daimeter size rather than the 5-6" size suggested for XRs?

http://www.malcolmsmith.com/dlrindexsend_pg_catprod_levelcode_4029_catalogcode _2656_partheadernumber_321671-FILTERSKINS.htm

Just found this post ... sorry to be late on the draw.

Try Whitehorse

Large Filter Skins (http://www.whitehorsepress.com/product_info.php?products_id=4753)

That is what I use on my BRP and it covers the entire filter. It is a **** though, unless you use the UNI filter with the internal frame.

tx246
04-16-2007, 07:43 PM
For a second there I thought it was just a coincidence as Sarah is dating Jarrod and I know he has a brother but did not know his name.

So I was right...........we are famous or at least recognizable to some.

tx246
04-16-2007, 07:55 PM
donroger1

If you are considering the "darkside", all Im gonna say is DO IT and DO IT right now. You will never be sorry. I have a primo zrx1100 that gathers a lot of dust nowadays. Ive been riding street since 19, but as the years go by the skill level and equipment level has gone up to the point that the speed and lean angles are going to have much more serious consequences when I or a cage make the mistake. Dont get me wrong. I still enjoy road trips (with the wife) and the occasional boys night out ride.

I just find the adventure aspect of dualsporting to be the attraction. Lots of action, getting lost, ect. If I had to lose my bikes they would go in this order.

zrx1100 first after a good cry
drz400 next after fits and threats
cr250 after they removed my cold lifeless hands from the grips

donroger1
04-16-2007, 11:35 PM
donroger1

If you are considering the "darkside", all Im gonna say is DO IT and DO IT right now. You will never be sorry. I have a primo zrx1100 that gathers a lot of dust nowadays. Ive been riding street since 19, but as the years go by the skill level and equipment level has gone up to the point that the speed and lean angles are going to have much more serious consequences when I or a cage make the mistake. Dont get me wrong. I still enjoy road trips (with the wife) and the occasional boys night out ride.

I just find the adventure aspect of dualsporting to be the attraction. Lots of action, getting lost, ect. If I had to lose my bikes they would go in this order.

zrx1100 first after a good cry
drz400 next after fits and threats
cr250 after they removed my cold lifeless hands from the grips

I started out riding more dirt than street.
It was a fall in the dirt that moved me to the street.
Last November was my second wreck in 20 years.
I'm Old and Still sore from the broken rib.
I think "Adventure Riding" should fall somewhere between "Street" and "Full on Dirt".
Just have to sort out the finances because like you, I'm not ready to part with the FJR just yet. :)

tx246
04-17-2007, 04:08 PM
i can imagine how nice the fjr is. i put many miles on a 1986 open class at the time fj1200. i waited and waited for the canadian fj1300 aircooled standard that never made it here and ended up with the zrx. next yr the fz1 came out. wished i had waited.

donroger1
04-17-2007, 07:13 PM
i can imagine how nice the fjr is. i put many miles on a 1986 open class at the time fj1200. i waited and waited for the canadian fj1300 aircooled standard that never made it here and ended up with the zrx. next yr the fz1 came out. wished i had waited.

:tab So Many Bikes....So Little Money....:rofl: