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Old 10-31-2016, 06:28 PM   #21
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Re: And so the adventure continues...

I'm pleased to see you guys getting out with Milton again. These trips are much of what has inspired me to get into dual sporting. I now have two Mexico trips and a couple of rallies under my belt with much still to learn. If I survive long enough to learn it, I'll go down and do some exploring too.
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Old 10-31-2016, 09:47 PM   #22
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Re: And so the adventure continues...

Nice report + pics. Thanks!
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Old 11-01-2016, 07:31 AM   #23
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Re: And so the adventure continues...

Day 2- Miquihuana or bust

There is a big dirt loop running north around the town of Miquihuana that I've been wanting to ride forever but just had not yet gotten to. Actually, no one I know, including Milton, had ever ridden the entire loop. Note that I said entire loop - Milton started on the loop in 2015, solo, but got a bit turned around and then ran out of time, so was unable to complete the course. Earlier this year, JT and I made an attempt at the loop but bike problems with my XR650L stymied that attempt. Well, today was the day. We were going to ride that loop, by God, if it was the last thing we did (luckily, it wasn't the last thing we did. ).


To get to Miquihuana and the start of the dirt, we first had to ride west on a bunch of twisty pavement on the old section of Highway 101 from Ciudad Victoria. Darn.


I've ridden this section of road a number of times and it is always a lot of fun. We took the opportunity to work on our paved riding skills. While Valentino Rossi has nothing to fear from the likes of us, it was fun anyway.






Eventually we turned north, on the last bit of pavement to Miquihuana and encountered this beautiful field of flowers. I'm a manly guy and all but, hey, sometimes you have to take a picture of flowers.


Finally, our goal was in sight. I could see the start of the loop ahead, climbing up, up, up, the distant mountains. Oh yeah! Time for some fun.
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Old 11-01-2016, 11:42 AM   #24
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Re: And so the adventure continues...

left me hanging
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Old 11-02-2016, 06:52 AM   #25
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Re: And so the adventure continues...

The ride to the top of the mountains was typical for this part of Mexico - spectacular. The road was a normal, class 2, shelf road, clinging to the side of the mountain with a steep cliff on one side and a quick trip back to the valley on the other. Roads like this perfectly illustrate why Milton calls Mexico the Land of Personal Responsibility.




The view of the valley below did not disappoint.




The road in the picture below is the paved road leading west out of the valley. We would ride it the next day on our way to Aramberri.


The loop proved to be as fun as I hoped it would be. It was all class 1 and 2 riding, with great views everywhere. Near the north end of the loop is the village of Aserradero. It seemed as good of a place as any to take a break.


One of the local dual sport units checking us out.




Aserradero is fairly typical of the types of villages we encounter on the high mountain backroads.


Five kilometers after leaving Aserradero we rode through Valle Hermosa (beautiful valley), which is appropriately named. It was wonderful and I was really happy to finally be riding this loop.







All too soon, the road started heading down, back toward the valley and the town of Miquihuana. On the last section of shelf road, Bob and I both agreed that this loop was a great find. Time for a fist bump.
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Last edited by Trail Boss; 11-02-2016 at 06:54 AM.
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Old 11-02-2016, 09:09 AM   #26
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Re: And so the adventure continues...

Loving this pic/ride report....certainly getting the 'ol going south juices churnin.

Much abliged !!
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Old 11-02-2016, 11:11 AM   #27
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Re: And so the adventure continues...

Great fotos and story. I too had an unforgettable time with Meeltone in that area and this report brings back fond memories. Saludos.
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Old 11-02-2016, 11:47 AM   #28
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Re: And so the adventure continues...

Awesome report and great pictures! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11-02-2016, 05:41 PM   #29
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Re: And so the adventure continues...

Allow me enter the dialog here and try to catch up.
Two of my favorite riding companions.




Historic Hotel Hacienda Santa Engracia.


From the notes of my first visit to Santa Engracia, July 2001:
Quote:
I met fair skinned Carlos Martinez on the front porch — 52 years old, the heir of Santa Engracia, a true aristocratic gentleman. He spoke English with very little hint of an accent and used big words like “anecdotes” and “sanguineous”. His grandfather had been governor of the state of Tamalipas,… until he was assassinated, and his father had been one in the series of owners of Santa Engracia. Old pictures of his father and mother were in the game room. He showed me the library/billiard room, with its display of authentic Spanish armor. I was impressed.
I think Carlos went to UT. I remember talking to him about Barton Springs.
Santa Engracia seemed like a logical place to stay. In my book at least. But Richard had other plans.

My ever patient wing-man Scott on what I'll call Richard's Pinche road.
Beautiful country, right?



Here is the pinche part. Broke a rib on my first fall. Oh, what’s another rib at this point?
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Old 11-02-2016, 05:47 PM   #30
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Re: And so the adventure continues...

Riding way out of my league.
Every time we stopped, I was the only one gasping for breath. Mis compadres acted like it was a walk in the park.

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Old 11-02-2016, 06:06 PM   #31
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Re: And so the adventure continues...

Sometimes you grow so accustomed to Mexico you don’t even notice the most obvious things. This photo, for instance, inspired by Richard, represents the Pemex station’s employee break room. (In Mexico you don’t pump your own gas, you know. There is always an attendant there to do it, take your money and make change.) Anyway. That broken two-legged table in the pic, would’ve been in yesterday’s trash back in the ‘States. Here it is returned to use, propped up against a wall. A three-legged chair? No problem. You’ve got balance. And the blue chair, the seat has been punched thru and is wired back together, reinforced with newspapers. Ahh….., Mexico. Nothing dies.

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Old 11-02-2016, 06:17 PM   #32
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Re: And so the adventure continues...

Awesome. Great to hear your POV.
(I notice you are not the only one reclining at rest stops.)
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Old 11-03-2016, 08:50 AM   #33
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Re: And so the adventure continues...

Quote:
Originally Posted by miltonotto View Post
Here is the pinche part. Broke a rib on my first fall. Oh, what’s another rib at this point?
Camino pinche de Ricardo parece un buen lugar para la Aventura! No??
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Old 11-03-2016, 09:30 AM   #34
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Re: And so the adventure continues...

Looks like an awesome trip.

Do one of you speak fluent Spanish?
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Old 11-03-2016, 11:05 AM   #35
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Re: And so the adventure continues...

Keep it coming!!!
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Old 11-03-2016, 03:35 PM   #36
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Re: And so the adventure continues...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwdmax View Post
Camino pinche de Ricardo parece un buen lugar para la Aventura! No??
Claro!
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Old 11-03-2016, 03:36 PM   #37
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Re: And so the adventure continues...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTS View Post
Do one of you speak fluent Spanish?
Bob and Milton are both good with Spanish. I know a few hundred words. Scott knows how to order beer and tequila. So between the 4 of us, we've got it covered.
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Old 11-03-2016, 04:35 PM   #38
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Re: And so the adventure continues...

We exited the mountains about 3 pm and decided to ride into Miquihuana for a late lunch. As we rode toward town I discovered I had a problem. Entering one of the many sharp curves on the highway leading to Miquihuana my bike failed to decelerate as I rolled off the throttle. I don't run hot (i.e. at 100% as fast as I can go) so the bike not slowing down as I entered a turn was not as big of a pucker moment as it would have been if I had been pushing the limits. Still, it was a surprise and I needed to react quickly or become a giant fireball of death. I grabbed both brakes and managed to slow the Husky down enough to navigate the curve. After that, I began to experiment with my throttle. It wasn't stuck wide open but it was definitely stuck open. With the judicious use of my clutch, gears, and brakes I managed to safely arrive at the outskirts of Miquihuana. In town, I needed a new procedure. So I allowed the bike to accelerate to an unsafe speed and then would simultaneously pull in the clutch and hit the kill switch. I would coast as far as I could then restart the engine and repeat the procedure. In short order I made it to the plaza without killing myself or running over an unsuspecting pedestrian or stray dog.

We decided to grab lunch at a nearby restaurant and then tackle my bike problem.

After a fine meal, we checked in to the El Presidente Hotel where we were made to feel like big shots (Presidents, actually. ) I figured it would be the best place to disassemble my bike.


We checked into our rooms and unloaded our stuff. Once that was done I began the process of trying to figure out what was wrong with my Terra 650.



I figured this was going to be a long painful job, but to my great surprise and pleasure I spotted the problem as soon as I removed the seat. My bike had been serviced right before this trip and the mechanic had left too much slack in an accessory power cable. The cable had gotten caught under the throttle body and was preventing the throttle from completely shutting off. I managed to pull the cable out, which fixed the problem. I zip tied it so it wouldn't happen again and happily celebrated the easy fix.

Now what should we do? It was 4 pm, relatively early. Should we go exploring south of Miquihuana? Ride somewhere else? Or just enjoy a leisurely afternoon and evening in Miquihuana. Decisions, decisions.

Ultimately, Bob decided to stay in his room and read the Bible, while Milton, Scott, and I decided to find a cantina and have a drink.

As we walked through town looking for a bar, we spotted these "fences" made of giant cactus. They were an amazing sight.




A door overgrown with cactus.


Initials carved into the cactus.
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Dirt, sweat & gears - adventure is calling

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Last edited by Trail Boss; 11-03-2016 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 11-03-2016, 04:52 PM   #39
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Re: And so the adventure continues...

The cantina was tiny. It had two tables and a maximum capacity of about 20 people. Which was probably about right for the size of Miquihuana. It was early and we were the only patrons. The bartender wasn't sure about the three gringos who suddenly arrived as he was going through the process of opening, but he let us in and served us cold beer and good tequila.

After a few hours of drinking alone, some of the locals began to arrive. First one guy showed up and sat at the end of the bar and drank topo chico. Milton took the only other stool at the bar and made Stingray stand up.


Then another guy showed up and started drinking beer. He brought his own blue bar stool with him, so now we had three stools for five guys.


Eventually those two guys got together and invited the bartender to join the conversation.


The more beer we drank, the better the tequila tasted. I'm not sure of the physics of how that works, but that's what happened. Honest.


Eventually three other guys showed up and it turned into a party. The locals weren't too sure if they liked the gringos drinking in their bar but after we bought a round for the house and then another round for the house they decided we were okay.


The locals were amazed at the size of El Gigante (Stingray).


After way too much booze, we decided it was time to wander back to the hotel and check on Bob. When I asked the bartender what the damage was he did some math in his head and said "497 pesos". Using the current exchange rate of 20 pesos to the dollar I did some math in my head and realized that we had drank a case of beer, an entire bottle of tequila, bought two rounds for the house, and had a most memorable night for the grand total of just $25. I love Mexico.
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Dirt, sweat & gears - adventure is calling

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Last edited by Trail Boss; 11-04-2016 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 11-03-2016, 07:50 PM   #40
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Re: And so the adventure continues...

Awesome
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