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Old 02-11-2018, 01:56 PM   #1
Trail Boss
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Expedition Big Bend 2.0

During our first attempt at riding across the Coahuila desert of northeast Mexico during Thanksgiving week 2017, JT and I were stymied by one particularly bad road. (You can read our report from that trip here.) Dissatisfied with having to miss the section between Boquillas and Manuel Benavides I decided that the next time I had chance to attempt the back way to Big Bend I would give it a go.

That opportunity arrived Christmas evening 2017. JT, Mark Winer, and I met up in Del Rio, Texas and then spent Dec 26th and 27th making the trek across the desert and around the mountains from Acuna, Mexico to Ojinaga, Mexico.


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Old 02-11-2018, 02:19 PM   #2
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Re: Expedition Big Bend 2.0

On Christmas afternoon, my wife and I loaded my Husqvarna 701 into my truck and headed west to Del Rio. Our plan was to meet JT and Mark in Del Rio that evening. I have one of those newer mid-sized Chevy Colorado trucks and my adventure loaded and ready 701 fit nicely in the back.


I originally parked the 701 outside our hotel room…


…but my wife was nervous that it would be stolen during the night so I moved it inside the room to alleviate her concerns.



JT and Mark both arrived safely in Del Rio, ready for an adventure.
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Old 02-11-2018, 02:19 PM   #3
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Re: Expedition Big Bend 2.0

More!
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:34 AM   #4
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Re: Expedition Big Bend 2.0

You still have the 500 also Richard?

Looking forward to the rest .
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:18 AM   #5
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Re: Expedition Big Bend 2.0

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You still have the 500 also Richard?

Looking forward to the rest .
Yes, I do.
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:13 AM   #6
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Re: Expedition Big Bend 2.0

-
keep it coming
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:16 PM   #7
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Re: Expedition Big Bend 2.0

Subbed


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Old 02-12-2018, 01:40 PM   #8
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Re: Expedition Big Bend 2.0

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Old 02-12-2018, 03:08 PM   #9
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Re: Expedition Big Bend 2.0

He is to sore from all the Baja training to write a report.
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:16 PM   #10
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Re: Expedition Big Bend 2.0

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He is to sore from all the Baja training to write a report.
Ha! Now, that's funny!
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:46 PM   #11
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Re: Expedition Big Bend 2.0

For a long time (years) I have wanted to do this route. The challenge, at least for me, has always been fuel. It is 500 miles from Acuna to Manuel Benavides, with no known, guaranteed fuel supply between here and there. However, now that the international crossing at Boquillas in Big Bend National Park has re-opened, the town of Boquillas, Mexico is revitalized and gas is available, a fact JT and I confirmed when we were here in November 2017.

So, JT, Mark, and I gassed up at the last Pemex on the outskirts of Acuna, pointed our bikes west, and headed for Boquillas about 8 am on Dec. 26th. Yes, it was cold – the morning temperature was about 40 but the forecast said it was going to warm up to somewhere in the 50s.

Our first stop was the small village of Santa Eulalia, about 40 km west of Acuna. The little store was closed but we didn’t really need anything anyway. We stretched our legs, made a few adjustments of our gear, and then headed west.



The first 100 miles or so of the route is desert. The rocky road is well maintained (for Mexico) and a lot of fun. Very few people live out here, so we didn’t pass many houses. However, there is one settlement that is interesting – it appears to be a resort/lodge of some type. My guess is that it is a hunting camp.



We passed very few vehicles but there were a few. These two were the most interesting. The old yellow truck was towing the newer black truck but as they attempted to climb this hill the chain broke/came loose and they were stuck. I waved as I went by – after all, I was on a motorcycle and wouldn’t be able to help with towing activities.



It had been a wet and cold winter, as evidenced by the many ruts in the road. They were everywhere.






The ride was quite interesting but it was dangerous to spend too much time sightseeing. You never know when you will encounter something like this mangled cattle guard. If you came flying through here at 50 mph and didn’t stop in time, it would end badly.



Aside from that, the riding was great! I highly recommend this ride.



Mark on his new-to-him KTM 690, showing how it’s done.


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Old 02-12-2018, 09:53 PM   #12
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Re: Expedition Big Bend 2.0

Quote:
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We passed very few vehicles but there were a few. These two were the most interesting. The old yellow truck was towing the newer black truck but as they attempted to climb this hill the chain broke/came loose and they were stuck. I waved as I went by – after all, I was on a motorcycle and wouldn’t be able to help with towing activities.


He didn't need help. He was probably going to go behind this guy and push. He already had his protection on the front bumper.
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Old 02-15-2018, 05:33 PM   #13
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Re: Expedition Big Bend 2.0

One of the interesting things about this route is this abandoned village. I don’t know when or why everyone moved away but this village was deserted the first time I came through here more than 10 years ago. There are a few folks here – we saw one of the buildings being used by the security patrols (see our Expedition Big Bend report from Nov 2017 for more info on our encounter with a security team).



After a few hours of riding, the temps started to rise and it was time to remove a layer. Though it had obviously rained a lot in the last few weeks, today was a very nice day.



Around 2 pm we reached the small village where we were able to find a small store and some chicken tacos on our last trip through here. Unfortunately, the woman who runs the store and makes the tacos was off visiting with her relatives, so no hot lunch for us.





I settled on some salsa verde flavored Tostitos to hold me over until our arrival in Boquillas several hours from now.



We were able to get the fellow that owns this house to sell us some gas. While we were sure we had enough to get to Boquillas, we knew that it would be close and if anything happened along the way it would be very possible to run out of fuel. We didn’t need much – just a few liters each to make sure we weren’t pushing the bikes the last mile or two into Boquillas.





While we were re-fueling, these two young fellows were practicing their vaquero (cowboy) skills next door. I couldn’t resist getting a photo.



It was time for an afternoon drink. The goats came back in a herd and headed straight for the water trough.





After our break, we waved good-bye and headed west. About two hours later we reached pavement at Hwy 53, the main highway between Boquillas to the north and everything else to the south. Hwy 53 is the main road used to get supplies to Boquillas from the town of Muzquiz, about 180 kilometers south of Boquillas.

This is looking east from the intersection of the dirt road (which we had just ridden) and Hwy 53. The sign says born, live, die, always chivalry (roughly).



It was time for another break. As luck would have it, JT found this abandoned car seat to rest on.



This is Hwy 53 looking north toward Boquillas. The road crosses the mountains – and is quite entertaining. Once on the other side, it’s back to desert riding.



The final stretch into Boquillas has just a little bit of sand to keep you honest.



Once in Boquillas we set about finding food, lodging, gas and adult refreshment. Luckily we knew where to find a room. The restaurants were all closed so that option was off the table. We were able to find the guy who runs the one bar in town and he agreed to open up for us.

Aside from that, we saw no evil, heard no evil, and spoke no evil.
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Old 02-16-2018, 12:57 AM   #14
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Re: Expedition Big Bend 2.0

Nice update . How do the big bikes do with regular gas ?
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Old 02-16-2018, 07:51 AM   #15
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Re: Expedition Big Bend 2.0

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Nice update . How do the big bikes do with regular gas ?
I'm not sure if JT's XRR requires higher octane gas. For Mark and I, neither of our bikes had any issues with regular gas. Maybe because Mexico gas is 100% gasoline and not an ethanol blend? In any case, it would probably be a good idea to bring a little bottle of octane booster next time, just to ensure there aren't any problems.
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"Nice bike. Have you taken her to Mexico? All bikes want their owners to take them there. " - tricepilot

Dirt, sweat & gears - adventure is calling

www.texasadventure.net

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