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And so the adventure continues...

Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
720
Location
Austin
#51
A couple of pics from the trip I made to Asseradero last year. Love the satellite dish.


No GPS, these are my guides. Again, a shameless pic from last year. Valle Hermoso.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
720
Location
Austin
#52
And the somewhat infamous Bob Linder pic proving I can sleep most anywhere.
In Juamave.
Notice the right foot cleverly placed on my pack as a security measure should I indeed fall asleep.

 
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
720
Location
Austin
#54
Coming out of the mountains, making way for an approaching truck.


Lunch time, Miquihuana


Main drag


A $7 hotel room.


Street scene, sleepy Miquihuana


Part of the central plaza in Miquihuana.
Think of the time it took for the extra details on what is basically a concrete slab.

 
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Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
720
Location
Austin
#56
Ah, ha! Found Richard at the local cantina.
Check out the wild-west style swinging saloon doors.



..... after we bought a round for the house....
What was amazing? After we made it clear that we were buying a round for the house, each and every patron came up and shook hands with each one of us, thanking us personally. (Their hands were as hard as wood, working hands.)

Extreme circumstances do odd things to people.
Later that night Rich climbed into my bed. Much to my chagrin.
He claims he got our rooms mixed up.

 
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
720
Location
Austin
#57
Our plan was to ride a back road from Aramberri to General Zaragoza. Milton and Jimmy Ridge had done this route about six years ago so we knew the road was there but had no idea of its condition since no one else had ridden it since. Milton's description of the route made our group want to ride it but it took six years for us to finally get the opportunity.
Here’s the map I made of Jimmy's and my trip in 2010

The map is incomplete. I drew it on Google Earth with the resources available at the time.

You can read about that trip here
http://twtex.com/forums/showpost.php?p=750199&postcount=62

and here
http://twtex.com/forums/showpost.php?p=750200&postcount=63
 
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Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
3,976
Location
Austin
#58
I was 2 pm and we had just hit a dead end. The road ahead was washed out and clearly not in use anymore. And the map showed it as the only way to General Zaragoza. Was there a bypass? A way around? Could we get through?

We huddled for a few minutes to discuss the situation and decided to search for another road that would connect to the road to General Zaragoza. Mexico maps are often inaccurate and roads exist that aren't shown on the map. Maybe this would prove to be the case here - perhaps we could find an alternate road the went around the wash out.

For the next 2 1/2 hours we searched high and low for a way around but none could be found.

At 4 pm I told the guys we needed to abandon our attempt and backtrack to Aramberri if we wanted to get out of the mountains before dark. It's never an easy decision to abandon an attempt like this so the group was not in agreement on what the best course of action was. We continued to look for a way around by riding down the steepest road we had been on yet. This road was very steep and tough, littered with large rocks. I was thinking to myself as we picked our way down this steep path, "if we don't get through it's not going to be easy to get back up this road".

Finally, at 4:30 pm, the group reached a consensus - we weren't going to find a way through on this trip. Time to head back to Aramberri.

However, we had a problem - Milton was out of energy. The tough riding and multiple bike drops had taken their toll and Milton began to struggle.

After a half an hour of scratching and clawing, we finally managed to get all 4 bikes back up the steep road but the effort to do so completely drained the rest of Milton's strength. It would take us a minimum of an hour and half to get back to civilization from here and darkness was approaching. If we were going to get out of the mountains before dark we needed to move now and not stop. However, Milton wasn't sure if he had the energy to go on. He wanted to stop right here for the night, sleeping on the mountain.


He and I discussed it and I suggested that maybe, just maybe, if he ate some food and drank some water, if we rode at a moderate pace, that he would have enough energy to make it out.

But, alas, it was not to be.



After another mile of riding and a couple more drops it became clear that Milton was done. He just didn't have the energy to go on.

Light levels were dropping fast, fog was rolling in, and we were stuck in the woods for the night. There were spiders everywhere.
 
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Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
720
Location
Austin
#62
High tech gringos in a lo-tech cantina


A walk home in the dark



Surprised to see these guys up so early


Checking in with Mayo at the Maria Luisa Hotel in Aramberi. I told him where we were going.
But I didn't ask how the road was.
:headbang:


Things started out well enough (don't they always?).
One little fall. Rich found my hand brake cable binding and not fully releasing.
Once the cables were re-routed the bike rolled alot easier. :doh:

We passed some houses, which I thought I remembered, a settlement called Agua Fria. Shortly thereafter we came to the end of the line.
A flood had created a ravine across our road.
We probably could've picked our way across, but the road on the other side of the ravine was growing grass.
Apparent but unused.

One thing I've learned. Usually when you come to an obstacle such as this, and you work to get past it, things can get progressively worse the further on you go.


The end of the line.


I was pretty tired at this point and the prospect of retracing our tracks (are you serious?) turned my stomach a bit.

We had passed a couple of other vague roads since passing Aqua Fria. Bob and Scott climbed back up the hill to seek information at the houses.

Rich and I waited.
"Milton," Rich said. "Is this fun to you?"
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
720
Location
Austin
#64
Eventually Bob and Scott summoned us via the radio to come back up the hill.
We tried another road. Down.
We came to a small but technically challenging stream. There was no way I was going to attempt it. We all had trouble but Scott seemed to be the most in control.
At one point I turned away from the little brook and the rocks and the road and looking back into the woods, to see a splendid water fall and pool.

A splendid waterfall and pool


We turned back, retracing our steps once again, and tried another road. Down.
To me, down means good, but after crossing a fallen tree stretched across the road, and much "Show me on your GPS" Richard convinced me this road would lead no where.
How can that be?
But these hills are laced with logging roads so conceivably he was right.
Me?
I was definitely lost.
There was no choice but to head back UP.
Did I fall again? I can't remember.
But when we got back to the houses at Agua Fria my bike pulled over and I instinctively dismounted.
What are you doing?
I'm staying here.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
720
Location
Austin
#65
Oh there was much discussion. Rich thought a little trail mix and water and I'd be fine.
My gut said "Stay here".
Scott cajoled and convinced me to come on, give it a try, you can do it.
Ok, I said, (reluctantly),
Off we go, up the switch backs, one after another. We passed a man walking on the side of the road.
Not a half a mile further on I fell again on an easy switchback.

Out of reserves, I just didn't have it in me.



I apologized to Scott, my wing-man.
"I just don't have my heart in it."


The guys got my bike started again.
Each and every fall flooded the engine.



OK. That's it, I said. I'm done. I'm staying right here on the mountain.
No problem. I've got this. You guys go on, I'll see you in Aramberi.
Much logistical discussion ensued.
Rich offered to stay with me, which I knew he would. (All that Ranger No Man Left Behind training, you know).
I didn't mind. Either way I had to ride out of here in the morning.

Well Rich. You wanted to ride with Milton.
Well this is how Milton rides.
 
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TGTUMBLEWEED

Forum Supporter
Joined
Feb 20, 2015
Messages
455
Location
GEORGETOWN,TX
#66
Oh there was much discussion. Rich thought a little trail mix and water and I'd be fine.
My gut said "Stay here".
Scott cajoled and convinced me to come on, give it a try, you can do it.
Ok, I said, (reluctantly),
Off we go, up the switch backs, one after another. We passed a man walking on the side of the road.
Not a half a mile further on I fell again on an easy switchback.

Out of reserves, I just didn't have it in me.



I apologized to Scott, my wing-man.
"I just don't have my heart in it."


The guys got my bike started again.
Each and every fall flooded the engine.



OK. That's it, I said. I'm done. I'm staying right here on the mountain.
No problem. I've got this. You guys go on, I'll see you in Aramberi.
Much logistical discussion ensued.
Rich offered to stay with me, which I knew he would. (All that Ranger No Man Left Behind training, you know).
I didn't mind. Either way I had to ride out of here in the morning.

Well Rich. You wanted to ride with Milton.
Well this is how Milton rides.
GREAT STORY FELLERS. I WOULD HAVE SLEPT ON THE MOUNTAIN TOO.
KEEP IN COMING.
LATER TATERS,
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
3,976
Location
Austin
#68
Spiders. More spiders. And even more spiders. I have never seen so many spiders. They were everywhere. A Mexican version of the Daddy Long Legs, crawling all over the ground. No matter where you stopped, they were there. Like the spider scene from that Harry Potter movie, but smaller. Thankfully smaller. Not harmful. They didn't want to eat us but I sure didn't relish the idea of sleeping on the hard ground while spiders crawled over me all night long.

But that's what I was prepared to do.

Milton was too tired to go on. So, we were staying right here. On the side of the mountain. Sleeping on the ground (none of us brought camping gear 'cause we don't camp). It was going to be uncomfortable but there was no other option. Milton needed to rest enough to regain his strength.

We had a group discussion about how to best handle the situation. I told Bob and Scott to ride back to Aramberri and get a room in the local hotel. There was no need for all of us to suffer. I would stay on the mountain with Milton and we would ride out in the morning.

During our impromptu group meeting, a man walked by. Astute readers of this story may have noticed laundry hanging on a clothes line in one of the previous pictures. That was his home and it was about a mile back. His name was Cirilo and he was walking to a field up ahead to retrieve his goats. We visited with him for a few minutes and then he continued on his way.

Finally, Bob and Scott agreed to ride back to Aramberri. I told them Milton and I would be along about 10 am the next morning. If we didn't arrive by noon it meant that either one of our bikes had broken or that one of us had gotten injured. Mount a rescue and come get us.

Off they went.

Milton and I settled down, sitting on the rocks as I watched the spiders coming in for a closer look. Ugh, I really don't care for spiders.

A bit later Cirilo came back down the road, driving his goats back to his place. "Come to my house", he says to us. After a short discussion, Milton and I agree. Anything is better than sleeping on rocks. Or with spiders.

Milton and I mount up and head back toward Cirilo's house. Milton drops the bike again, he is exhausted.

Finally, we arrive at Cirilo's place and his father, Frederico, greets us by opening the gate in the wire fence and escorting us to their home.


The adventure needle just pegged "Epic Milton".
 

bwdmax

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 20, 2010
Messages
1,382
Location
Victoria
#70
Astute readers of this story may have noticed laundry hanging on a clothes line in one of the previous pictures.

The adventure needle just pegged "Epic Milton".
I had noticed the laundry and at the first mention of spending the night I had a feeling that Milton would not be camping on the side of the road. The hospitality of the Mexican culture is second to none.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
720
Location
Austin
#75
Yep. This was Agua Fria alright. Where my bike instinctively wanted to stay for the night.


Scott cajoled and convinced me to come on, give it a try, you can do it.
Ok, I said, (reluctantly),



Not a half a mile further on I fell again on an easy switchback.

Out of reserves, I just didn't have it in me.
OK. That's it, I said. I'm done. I'm staying right here on the mountain.


Sleeping on the ground (none of us brought camping gear 'cause we don't camp).
?? Say again, sir. Speak for yourself. I always carry a bivy bag, tarp, parachute cord, and matches. I am always at least a little prepared to pass a night in the boonies.

Cirilo, the guy I'd passed before my last fall, came walking up. He had a splendid mustache, Salvadore Dali style with the ends leading to his sideburns.
"Do you live here?" I foolishly asked.
He lived back at Agua Fria he said. I told him my situation, and my desire to spend the night on the mountain.
He was just going to fetch his goats, he'd be back en un rato. I told him Rich and I would stay right here until his return.
It wasn't long before we heard the tinkling of bells and a herd of goats came straight down the hill, cross country thru the woods crossing the road, followed by the attendant dog.
Cirilo wasn't far behind, huffing it down the road.
He'd had time to review our situation and invited us to Agua Fria.

He told me when we came to the houses to go "mas adentro". It was a lot further back to the houses than I remembered, (and I did not fall, Richard!).
What was weird was when we came to the houses an old man held the gate open for us.
There was no way Cirilo could have beat us back but this man held the gate open for us motioning to come on in.
What was this? The bamboo telegraph? How did this guy know?
Because our motorcycles had been here earlier.
And anyone approaching his house on a motorcycle at this time of day was going to stay the night?
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
720
Location
Austin
#77
My camera (actually it was Rich's camera on loan) had lost all it's settings in today's series of get-offs,
But here is Federico, (who turned out to be Cirilo's dad), standing with Rich in front of the building where we were to sleep for the night.



Agua Fria consisted of some houses scattered about and maybe 20-30 inhabitants. Incredibly Federico, 73yrs old, told us he had been born here.
:giveup::eek2:

Cirilo arrived, proper introductions made, we were shown the outhouse and we where to wash up. It was the time of day for the chickens to gather in their tree for the night,
Safely off the ground.
A plastic tube stretching some 6km up the mountain delivered fresh spring water to the settlement.
There was limited electricity. The kitchen had a couple of solar panels, and our sleeping quarters had a series of car batteries rigged to operate the light.
The beds were high and welcoming.

One of the houses was the kitchen. We were invited to sit down and have some tortillas and beans. Lots of fresh water.
We ate alone, watched over by everyone. On display?
In these rural areas the women don't eat with the men anyway.

I was asked if I wanted coffee, and when it came it was a cup of hot water.
A bottle of Instant Nescafe was handed to me.
When I opened the lid it still had the seal on it. It had never been opened!
Embarrassed I protested, but they would hear none of that.

"They" were Federico, his wife, a couple of younger teenage girls, and Cirilo's son, Heriberto, who was extremely shy at first.
Rich did a couple of magic tricks to break the ice.
I wish I knew some magic tricks.


The kitchen, in the morning


Cirlilo and Herberto, hangin' with Richard in the kitchen


After eating in the kitchen, which I guess was Federico and his wife's kitchen, Cirilo came up and asked if we wanted to eat and his house now.
 
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Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
3,976
Location
Austin
#78
The kindness of these people was humbling.

Cirilo and his wife live here with their eight children and his parents, Frederico and Grandma. (As seems to be traditional in the Mexican culture, the women were not introduced to us and basically did not speak to us, so we didn't get names. They weren't rude or anything, they just basically stayed out of sight.)

They had a small cluster of buildings, each with a different purpose. One building was Grandma's kitchen, one was where Cirilo and his family lived, Frederico and his wife lived in another, Milton and I were in a guest/storage building, and so on. The buildings were all of similar design, primitive, built from earth and wood, with metal roofs and dirt floors. The little bit of electricity they had was used to light a bulb or two in the buildings and was provided by car batteries, recharged with a few solar panels.




This ranch is at least a three hour drive from town or a six hour walk. With no other people living in the area, there are no stores, churches, or schools so Cirilo and family have to be mostly self-sufficient. A field of corn was growing near the buildings and they had chickens, pigs, goats and cows, which, presumably, provided meat and milk. They also had dogs (ranch security) and a couple of horses.

Wood was used for heat and cooking. The little solar panels don't produce much electricity but wood was abundant and free. But, of course, it had to be chopped up to be used, which I presume is a near daily chore.


As Milton mentioned, water was sourced from a natural spring four kilometers up the mountain.

An outhouse was located beyond the cluster of buildings.



Frederico had us park our bikes in the middle of their cluster of buildings and then he and Cirilo did what they could to make us feel at home. They fetched a couple of old wooden chairs for us to sit on and then covered our bikes with some plastic tarp to keep them from getting wet from the overnight dew. Meanwhile, Cirilo's children peaked out of doors and windows to get a look at the two old gringos on their dirty motorcycles.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
720
Location
Austin
#80
By the way, it was an extremely chilly night. We would've been very uncomfortable without a roof over our head.

Federico, the older man, was 73 and when I asked where he was born, he answered Here! Incredible.
 
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Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
3,976
Location
Austin
#81
I caught Cirilo's eight year old son, Heriberto, peaking around the corner of one of the buildings at me. I said hello to him but he was too shy to say anything. Cirilo, seeing this, spoke to the boy, giving him instructions on the polite way to respond. With Cirilo's encouragement and guidance, Heriberto walked up to me, stuck his hand out, and gave me a proper handshake. I introduced myself and told him "mucho gusto". I then proceeded to show him a couple of magic tricks, which I have always found to be a good ice breaker with children. Amazed at my incredible magical talent, Heriberto decided I was an okay guy and never felt the need to hide again.

This is Heriberto


Shortly after we arrived, they invited us to eat. Grandma had been working steadily in her kitchen on the evening meal with the assistance of one of her granddaughters. With the meal ready, they asked us to enter into Grandma's kitchen and take a seat at the table.

The work table in the kitchen is a large wooden box filled with, presumably, dirt. Grandma builds a wood fire on the work table and uses a wire frame above the fire to hold the cooking pots. Aside from the cooking table and cooking utensils, a dining table, and some additional chairs, there is nothing else in the building. It is used for cooking and eating only.


Grandma in her kitchen


Milton and I were invited to sit at the table and after doing so I realized they did not plan on joining us. Instead, Cirilo and his family sat or stood around the inside perimeter of the building and watched Milton and I eat.

Dinner consisted of frijoles, corn tortillas and water. They offered us peppers but I declined thinking they would be too hot for me. I wasn't sure how much to eat. Was this all the food that Grandma had cooked? Was there enough for everyone or would others go without because Milton and I were unexpected guests.

Not surprising, the food was excellent.

After we finished eating I suggested to Milton that we step outside since it was obvious that they were not going to eat until we were completely finished.

I felt so honored and humbled to be here with these people. They have so little compared to us and, yet, they were incredibly generous and welcoming.

Not long after dinner, with the last of the day's light fading, Frederico shook our hands and wished us good night. With minimal electricity and no television, bedtime is when the sun goes down.

Luckily, they had a spare building with two beds that Milton and I would be using. As Milton noted earlier, it was going to be a cool night, and I, for one, was happy to be indoors with a bed, blankets, and pillow versus outside on the hard rocks and a zillion spiders.

This was my accommodations for the evening
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
3,976
Location
Austin
#82
I slept soundly through the night, undisturbed by Milton's snoring in the other room in the shack. :)

At daybreak I decided to get dressed and explore the compound a bit more, this time with my camera in hand.

A short time later, Heriberto showed up and started chopping wood. There was an extra axe so after taking a picture of him, I grabbed the spare axe and helped him chop wood. As we chopped away, Cirilo and Frederico spotted us and chuckled, presumably at my rusty axe chopping skills. Milton remained mysteriously absent the entire time.


With our chopping complete, I joked to Cirilo that I was working to pay for breakfast but that since Milton hadn't done any work he shouldn't get any food.

The morning routine was in full swing shortly after Heriberto and I finished chopping wood. The chickens were fed corn, the dogs were walking about, Grandma was cooking again with the assistance of one of her granddaughters, and everyone else was doing what everyone else did each morning to prepare for the day.


Once again, they invited us to eat in Grandma's kitchen. Breakfast consisted of potatoes, frijoles, corn tortillas, and water. And, once again, the food was excellent but no one else would join us.

With our bellies full and bikes packed, Milton and I said our most grateful goodbyes. It was 8:45 am and I knew we would have to move with a sense of purpose the entire day in order to make it back to Austin today.

As we rode away I reflected on how a potentially uncomfortable situation had worked out so well. Once again, a little bit of that Milton Magic had come through for us, turning this into a wonderful and unforgettable experience.

I grabbed just two pictures as Milton and I rode the 1.5 hours to Aramberri. It's a long way to Austin and we don't have time for picture taking or dilly dallying...



]

Once in town, we linked up with Bob and Scott and shared our story with them. After that, we hauled butt toward the border but we were so far away that I didn't actually arrive home until about 2 am Tuesday morning, 20 hours after getting out of bed in Agua Fria. Which, as those that know him will attest, is pretty typical for a Milton ride.

In summary, it was a superb trip and I was really thankful for the opportunity to ride with these men again. I anxiously await the next one...
 
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Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
720
Location
Austin
#85
I didn't actually arrive home until about 2 am Tuesday morning, 20 hours after getting out of bed in Agua Fria. Which, as those that know him will attest, is pretty typical for a Milton ride.
Hey. Be glad you didn't arrive wet.
Cee-Bee Chuck used to say that when riding with me you always came back tired, late and wet.
Or something like that.

Excellent pics, Richard


I was really thankful for the opportunity to ride with these men again. I anxiously await the next one...
And you can take that one to the bank.
 
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