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Blazing Saddles - a hot ride in Mexico

Joined
Jan 17, 2005
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1,375
Location
Midlothian
First Name
Steve
The big bike day 2 headed north through Rayones, followed the river up to Caillas and turned NW en route to Jaime. Part of the Double Dragon route. We would have ridden the whole D.D. route if the afternoon thunder storm hadn't had other ideas for us.

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We don't need no stinkin' guardrails!
[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RF9CBivuans"]MexTrek, Day 2 following the river north of Rayones - YouTube[/ame]

Brian thinks he's riding a transformer and temporarily turns his German machine into a U-boat. :rofl:

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b72jNkvi2pE"]MexTrek Day 2 water crossing - YouTube[/ame]
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2008
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Austin
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John
Last Name
Murphy
A few pics from our bike repair work:

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Installing new battery:

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We passed a small school before Camerones. Rich shared some candy with the kids:

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Trees along the road with moss looked like something from a movie set:

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Just before entering Camarones we passed this man and I stopped to chat:

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the Happy Gringos Back at the square:

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"smoke 'em if you got 'em"

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Joined
Jul 2, 2007
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720
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Austin
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Milton
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Otto
View from my hotel balcony, taken with my iPhone.
Philipe, the desk manager and I figured out I’ve been coming to Galeana for 16 years now.
I first chanced upon Galeana Oct 1997 on my ’85 Harley.

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Many changes since 1997. Nowadays everyone has a smart phone. This girl thought it necessary to work two at once.
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Local hooligans
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The boys went to eat at “the” restaurant, at least an hour sealed away from all the local color happening on the square. I chose to eat at a food trailer, Mexican style.
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Hotel Magdalena or Hotel Jardin Colonial? To each his own.
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Evening chats on the plaza. No two ways about it, Galeana is a swell little place.
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One of the not-so-subtle changes in Galeana. A super-mercado type pharmacy on the plaza. I hate to see changes like this in Galeana, but the locals seem to embrace it.
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Now this is the real Galeana.
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Oops. Who are those guys?
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A pot of stew. Now that’s a pot.
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Joined
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Austin
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Milton
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Otto
Day 3,
started off with us riding the rain.
Off the pavement, this is the road south of Inturbide, leading to Curvas, Camarones, and points beyond.

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A wet somber day to be sure, but it could be worse. It can get pretty hot here in the summertime.
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Regrouping after the first crossing of the Pabillo River, north of Cuevas
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[/IMG]

Well this bridge lasted about 7 years. It was new in 2008.
The 2nd crossing of the Pabillo River, south of Cuevas.

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Downtown Camarones
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Joined
Jul 2, 2007
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Austin
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Milton
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Otto
Beyond Camarones the riding just gets better and better
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Approaching Santa Inez
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Joined
Jan 21, 2007
Messages
366
Location
Austin, Tx
Approaching Buena Vista we started to encounter various issues with the road. Either downed trees, rock slides or a combination of both. One side of the road was a steep slope up and the other side a steep slope down so we pretty much had to find a way through each obstacle as it presented itself. Even if this meant having to ride dangerously close to the edge of a cliff. On several occasions we put spotters in these areas to help.

JT clearing the path for the rest of us:






These sections were actually pretty exciting. It was neat to see everyone pull together as a team to overcome each obstacle as it arose. The whole time never really knowing if we would be able to get through to Buena Vista or if we'd have to backtrack out to avoid spending the night in the woods.



After getting all the bikes through the obstacle in the above video we were taking a much needed break when all of a sudden I started seeing some sort of bee or wasp flying around. First just one or two but the numbers quickly multiplied. I felt a sting on my neck and about that same time several of the other guys were getting stung as well. I looked up and there was a rather large swarm that must have been agitated by the sound of the bikes. We got out of there as quick as possible with all but one rider getting stung at least once.



 
Joined
Jun 11, 2008
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Austin
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John
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These pics follow where Milton's left off. I think all these pics were taken over a very short distance, maybe 5 miles. Just don't let the beauty of the landscape fool you. Remember the journey of Frodo Baggins (and we all know how THAT turned out!).

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Then, I came across this man, and stopped to talk. He gave me a very ominous warning:

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The old man pointed at me carefully with his is sunburnt index finger and advised me that the road ahead was washed out, and there was a ravine that would lead to certain death. He said, “I don’t think even Evel Knevel or Travis Pastrana would dare to attempt to cross that road”. He squinted his eyes and shook his head and looked at me, “Muy malo”. I was surprised that he knew who Evel Knevel or Travis Pastrana was. “Hoy hay Sies Gringos. Manana, solo uno!” Well, I did not know what he meant, but I knew there was Danger ahead!

Like the ever-present, prescient, under-appreciated warning label on a duraflame long, “Warning: Risk of fire”, there was obvious near certain death ahead. I had to act. Fast. And quickly!

Little did any of us know of the danger that lay ahead! Had we known, we surely would have turned around and not risked likely injury and/ or death!

Now I cursed myself for stopping for all my above photograhs - I was the last in line and far behind the Cinco Amigos! I had to get ahead of them and tell them to STOP, and not face possible injury, death, and also possible very bad scratches to their gas tanks!

It suddenly occurred to me: the fate of the Cinco Amigos lay in my hands! What should I DO? A thousand things raced through my mind! If they didn't make it, would I have to pay for their hotel bill? I kept going over and over in my mind what I should do. I was repeating all kinds of stuff in my head. Just like these sentences above, it really got annoying. It was Jay va due. Again!

Finally, I reached a critical decision! “I’m gonna get some really good pics for the ride report!”.

So I quickly dropped my kickstand, took off my gloves, glasses, helmet, jacket, shirt (right. Put my shirt back on) and grabbed a new battery for my camera. I knew I would have a difficult challenge ahead. So I pulled out some trail mix and ate about half bag. I ate fast, but it took me almost 10 minutes.

If any bikes had plunged in the ravine, I knew I’d also need some quick sugar energy! So, I grabbed some candy and stuffed a handful in my mouth! But all I had was gummy bears! This was not a good choice as it took me almost 10 minutes to chew and swallow them (I made a mental note to NOT eat gummy bears when you need to ride like the wind to save the life of your amigos).

Finally, I geared back up and fired up my trusty KLR and raced in hopes I’d catch the Cinco Amigos. All kinds of crazy things raced through my head! I suddenly knew exactly how Frodo Baggins felt (except the hairy feet part).

Would I catch them in time?

Would any still be alive?

Is it too late to add Full Coverage to their bike insurance!?

Would I miss all the good pics?


Stay tuned....
 
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Joined
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Richard
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Gibbens
The road beyond Camarones is just so beautiful. I tried but was unable to fully capture the beauty.

[ame="http://youtu.be/G11kZRteejk"]http://youtu.be/G11kZRteejk[/ame]




















 
Last edited:
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The road was quite steep in many places. Here is an example.

[ame="http://youtu.be/m0gbRHmirCI"]http://youtu.be/m0gbRHmirCI[/ame]
 
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At this point things took a decided turn to "much more difficult". A heavy rain or hurricane in the near past had washed out the road ahead for an unknown distance, presenting us with an unknown number and difficulty of obstacles.

The biggest challenge was that where there used to be a road there was now only a narrow path about 12 inches wide that veered dangerously close to the edge of the cliff in multiple places.

We had 2 choices - a) turn back or b) work as a team to overcome each obstacle until we got to one we couldn't get by or we made it all the way through. After a bit of discussion, we elected to press ahead.

The first obstacle was the easiest. It involved navigating around some larger boulders while crossing a small washout.
[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_MWjCAEMUc"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_MWjCAEMUc[/ame]



Obstacle #2 was much more serious than the first. A short, steep, boulder filled hill was setting in the middle of the "road" and the trail around it skirted the edge of a 100 foot drop-off. One little error while trying to negotiate the trail would result in a long fall and either serious injury or death. We decided to push the bikes across the trail but then decided that it might be possible to ride over the hill.

Group discussion at the 2nd obstacle



RacerJohn conquering the 2nd obstacle
[ame="http://youtu.be/T4ndT1dOdpo"]http://youtu.be/T4ndT1dOdpo[/ame]


Stingray goes up and over
[ame="http://youtu.be/cg3oJPgP1wA"]http://youtu.be/cg3oJPgP1wA[/ame]



Milton's turn
[ame="http://youtu.be/pi5__hssaf8"]http://youtu.be/pi5__hssaf8[/ame]
 
Last edited:
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After Milton rounded the corner in the above video, the trail narrowed, clinging to the edge of the cliff for a short distance. As Milton attempted to negotiate that section something knocked him off tracked and he and the bike toppled over the edge of the cliff.

Milton landed in a conveniently placed tree and was able to scramble up the cliff, safe and sound. Several of the fellows managed to upright his DRZ.

Too close for comfort.
[ame="http://youtu.be/8_gyOoAVDDY"]http://youtu.be/8_gyOoAVDDY[/ame]


The next section was more of the same - a rocky narrow trail at cliff's edge, where one mistake could be extremely costly.

Scott walking along the edge of disaster
[ame="http://youtu.be/0S7SNXjdmiM"]http://youtu.be/0S7SNXjdmiM[/ame]


JT gives it a go. He is both a better rider and braver than me.
[ame="http://youtu.be/DxPAtQNCEaI"]http://youtu.be/DxPAtQNCEaI[/ame]
 
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More scenes from the edge







Shortly after rescuing Milton's bike, bees showed up and started stinging us. Scott got hit in the neck, I took a shot in the temple, Chuck got nailed on the scalp, and Milton got stung in several locations. We quickly made a bee-line for safer surroundings.



It would be extremely difficult for just 1-2 average riders to get through this section by themselves - it was very tough. With all 6 of us working together we made it through, but, candidly, it was quite taxing. After clearing the last obstacle, we were soaked in sweat and highly fatigued.



Luckily, the remainder of the road was in good shape and no other serious obstacles presented themselves.

The views after Buena Vista were beautiful.



Milton and Scott happy to have overcome some bad road.



Buena Vista



A meeting of 2 worlds



Scott says we are all loco






Nearing Agua Blanca






We reached pavement at San Juanita de Solis. RacerJohn and I headed north for Galeana while Milton, JT, Scott, and Chuck headed south for Aramberri. They planned to ride east across the mountains to Camerones the next day, while RacerJohn and I were planning on riding a northern route with Brian and Steve.


The end of the road



The Gang of Six
 

Tourmeister

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The Gang of Six
:tab If I were planning an adventure, this gang would be high on my list of invites, not so much for riding or technical skills, but just for the adventure attitude that makes these kinds of trips so much fun. That other stuff is just icing on the cake :-P
 

CeeBee

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Joined
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Magnolia, TX
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Chuck
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Blair
Where Scott had to pull over and start the process :giveup:

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Few water crossings

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On the trail

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Our hero Milton, climbing out of the ravine

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Joined
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Austin
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John
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Murphy
Here are a few pics from my camera:

JT and Richard arrive at Buena Vista:

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Milton and Scott in Buena Vista:

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Richard, Milton and JT. Check out the fog ahead....

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a pause on the road......

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another brief pause to discuss routes. But Milton, using just his memory, was amazing at picking where to turn!

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Another brief pause at one of many forks in the road:

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Ahead of me I saw the big tree growing out of a rock. Put my KLR in front of it and got this shot of all three: KLR, rock, and tree? It's an Epic Symbolic Shot:

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More stops to confer and discuss the Road Less Traveled:

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Just one of many nice views, on the way to San Juanita De Solis:

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Thanks again to Rich, Milton, JT, Chuck and Scott, for letting me be part of this ride. It sure was a pleasure to have Steve and Brian join us as well.
 
Joined
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Saturday

The next morning I woke a little earlier than normal and spent some time walking around the Galeana with my camera, grabbing street scenes that caught my eye.













There is a new hotel in Galeana, just three blocks from the plaza.



Most of the restaurants in Galeana don't open until 9am and we didn't want to wait that long to head out. We decide to get on the road about 8am and eat when we arrived in Rayones, an hour north of Galeana. Steve, Brian, RacerJohn, and I were riding together today with the intent of riding the dual sport double dragon route and then riding to the top of Mount Potossi.

A short distance out of Galeana






A local directed us to this little place for breakfast.



Our faithful steeds waiting for us to finish breakfast.



The views on the dual sport double dragon are arguably the finest of all.









This beautiful high plain is just outside of Cienaga del Torro.






After navigating our way through Cienaga we took a new-to-me route to Mimbres. The riding was easy class 1 and the views didn't disappoint.















We took a short break in Mimbres. It was Saturday so the kids were not in school. These young fellows took a keen interest in the 4 gringos and their motos.



Unfortunately, the afternoon rain was starting to catch up to us (it rained most afternoons). We could see it raining in the distance and the clouds were heading in our direction. So we cut our visit short, saddled up and tried to out run the rain. We had a small window of opportunity to do so.






At the cutoff to Mt Potossi we stopped to discuss the situation. The top of the mountains was shrouded in clouds so it didn't make much sense to ride to the top for the views. Instead, we decided to ride up as high as we could go and still see the horizon. I warned the group that it was the bumpiest road they will ever ride. Words don't do it justice. After riding about 3 miles up the group decided the payoff (the views) weren't going to be worth it - the road was just too jarring on man and machine. A new group decision was made to head back to Galeana and call it a day. Unfortunately the rain caught us shortly after we got off the mountain and followed us all the way to the plaza in Galeana and the end of our riding day.

The other group arrived in Galeana a few hours later with stories of mud, closed roads, and JT's bike catching on fire. Luckily the fire didn't destroy anything essential and the bike ran fine all the way back to Texas.


It had been a great trip but all too soon it was time to head back home. Tomorrow we had to begin the trek back to Texas.
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2013
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TX
Great ride and report!

What's with the glass door in the hillside?

RacerJohn, would you do it again on the mighty KLR?
 
Joined
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What's with the glass door in the hillside?

I don't know 100% for sure but I believe it is a shrine to a loved one. It's not uncommon to see shrines set up in small caves. That was the first one I've seen with a glass window/door.
 
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Reluctantly Going Home

Sunday morning was beautiful. There were just a few clouds in the sky and the temperature was pleasantly in the high 60s. The weather app on my phone was predicting a chance of afternoon rain showers, which was no surprise - that had been the weather prediction every day of this trip.

Our plan today was to ride north on the Gold Standard route and then head east for McAllen. With a little luck we would be back in Texas before the sun set today. If we ran into issues we were prepared to stay another night in Mexico.

We wanted to get a somewhat early start so we decided to ride an hour north to Rayones and grab breakfast there.

A last view looking back toward Galeana


Milton knew of a fine little restaurant in Rayones, so that's where we went. I was surprised to see a couple on a R1200GS when we arrived. Then, during breakfast a number of other riders showed up. They were riders from Monterrey out for a Sunday ride and this restaurant was one of their normal ride-to-eat destinations.



The owner and his wife.



After breakfast we rode north toward Las Truncas and the turn-off for The Gold Standard route. As was my habit I stopped frequently to grab a picture here and there.



Cabanas are a popular lodging option in this area. These particular cabanas are owned by the guy who owns the restaurant in Rayones.



The views never fail to satisfy.



In Las Truncas we stopped to take a short break. Three young locals swimming in the river decided we were more interesting than swimming and decided to hang out with us. With a little urging we were able to get them to sing a song for us. Very cool.









Shortly after leaving Las Truncas, we began the climb up the mountains. The Gold Standard is a fantastic dirt road that goes up and over the mountains to Mesa de Oso and then on to Laguna de Sanchez.









Yes, the road really is that steep in some areas.









Once over the top we were treated to a magnificent view of the tops of the mountains above the clouds and the clouds sweeping into a valley between two peaks. A Kodak moment if there ever was one. :sun: Even the non-picture takers stopped and took a picture.










After that the road became an easy class 1 but the views were wonderful.












Once we reached Laguna de Sanchez we stopped for a short break at El Mirador restaurant. It was packed with couples and families out and about on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. In fact, from this point until we reached the toll freeway to McAllen, there were people everywhere taking advantage of a fine Sunday afternoon.



The view from the top deck of El Mirador



A short time after we arrived at El Mirador the afternoon rain showers showed up. We ended up riding in the rain for about 1/2 hour. Once we exited the mountains to the desert below we were mostly out of the rain.



The last good riding of the trip. After this it we were out of the mountains and headed east across the desert.



We made it to McAllen at dark. A short time later we were holed up in the local Motel 6, drinking a post-ride beer, calling family members to let them know we had cheated death at the hands of drug lords, and checking email and text messages.


We collected a few battle scars on this trip.



Thanks for reading - I hope you enjoyed our journey.

I'm going to do it again next year on Memorial Day weekend...
 
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We collected a few battle scars on this trip.



Thanks for reading - I hope you enjoyed our journey.

I'm going to do it again next year on Memorial Day weekend...
Yea, that's not infected. You'll be fine!:rider:
 
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Sulphur Springs
Inquiring minds want to know( at least I do ).
After riding with you and your Super DRZ are JT and Milton ready to do the changes on their 400's? :rider:
 
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In the afternoon of Day 3, after the Bee Trail, Buena Vista and Agua Blanca, the 6 of us split up into two groups. Rich & John back to their digs in Galeana, while the more adventurous headed for a night in Aramberi. There are numerous places to pass the noche in these parts, even if you don't count sleeping on someone's porch.

We checked into the Hotel Maria Luisa, our favorite. They stoked the wood burning hot water heater for us, and soon we were showered, clean and ready to explore the town, just in time for a torrential downpour that lasted hours, flooding the streets. All dressed up with no place to go, we decided against going out and ate at the hotel restaurant.

It poured that night at the Maria Luisa
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After dinner yarn telling on the patio.
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In the morning the evening's rain had washed everything clean and crisp. A few shots from around Aramberi.


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Scott & I explored around town a bit, looking for someplace to eat breakfast. People around here aren't too early to rise.
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Day 4
We had come this way to explore the back way into Camarones, a route Chuck & I had blazed in 2008, see my Smugmug album. We remembered the route as being cow trails, especially in the parts nearer Aramberi, and we fretted about the effects of last night's rain.

We found many changes in the road, this is one of the shots past Lampositos
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Past Rodeo the road became a muddy slog. We stopped, conferred, and then mounted back up
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Everyone I asked told me we would have no problems getting thru, still, you never know
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This looked familiar
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And what's this? The cow trails have actually been improved.

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Yep. Maquina. This was the toughest part back in 2008.
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Deep in the woods. Having fun now.
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The down side of the little pass, a killer back in 2008, we were praising ourselves for such good decision making
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Seasoned JT, he made life a lot easier
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The community of Alamos
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Rejoining the main road on the other side of Alamos.
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Joined
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Inquiring minds want to know( at least I do ).
After riding with you and your Super DRZ are JT and Milton ready to do the changes on their 400's? :rider:
I can't speak for them but I can tell you that I very much appreciated the Super DRZ during this ride. The wide ratio + big bore + Lynx combination really worked well for me.

I told both Milton and JT they could ride my DRZ anytime they wanted but mysteriously neither took me up on the offer.
 
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Yep, fantastic pictures and ride stories! :clap: You guys sure have the rest of us salivating for a ride into Mexico. Glad you all had a great time, and nobody got hurt, got weigh laid by mechanicals, or caught them selves on fire. Sure hope I can do this one next year. :rider:
 
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Yep, fantastic pictures and ride stories! :clap: You guys sure have the rest of us salivating for a ride into Mexico. Glad you all had a great time, and nobody got hurt, got weigh laid by mechanicals, or caught them selves on fire. Sure hope I can do this one next year. :rider:
This would be awesome to do. One day for sure!
 

SpiritAtBay

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Thanks for posting and sharing yall's adventure with all of us (by comparison) couch potatoes.
some day.....
 
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Walking around the streets of Aramberi in the early morning Milton and I pass a Tortilleria who's employees were hard at work. We stopped to have a look and they invited us inside and gave us free samples.





On the way out of town that morning we took a paved road heading into the mountains that had been effected by land slides:



The sign to El Saucilla had remnants of a goat carcass hanging on it:


As we enter the mountains Milton asks the locals about the road ahead:


 
Joined
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We ride upon a group of cows that wanted to show us who really owned the road:



On the last stretch of our route we came upon a few washed out bridges. We decided to work our way through the first few obstacles before ultimately turning around and slabbing it back to Galeana before dark.







Chuck initially tries an alternate route out:




JT gives goat herding a try:
 
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Man that pic inside the tortilleria really speaks to me. I bet it smelled heavenly in there. Just give me a stick of real butter... and it's on! :eat:
 

CeeBee

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Here's the last of my pics.
Hotel in Aramberi

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Roughing it

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The wood fired water heater
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Is this Avocodo?

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Hotel guard horse
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breakfast in Camorones (sp)
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The singing chitlins
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Last but Definitely not least
THE FAMOUS EL RAY

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Had a great time and look forward to next year
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2008
Messages
363
Location
Austin
First Name
John
Last Name
Murphy
Here's my last pic of the trip, in front of Milton's house. We unloaded Milton's bike. Rich lives a few miles from Milton. I live about 20 miles north.

So, I unloaded my bike, and rode to the Great North Austin.


Here's the Dos Amigo's saying Adios.

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Those two guys are such good buddies, and they go way, way back....their friendship kinda reminds of good old Roy and Dale:


[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgw_yprN_-w"]Roy Rogers - Happy trails - YouTube[/ame]


Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin' until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we're together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you, 'till we meet again.

Some trails are happy ones,
Others are blue.
It's the way you ride the trail that counts,
Here's a happy one for you.

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin' until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we're together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.

Happy trails to you, 'till we meet again.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
3,980
Location
Austin
First Name
Richard
Last Name
Gibbens
C'mon Man! Roy and Dale? Really? That's just not right...


Truth be told we are more likely to remind folks of these 2 fellows.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,982
Location
Huntsville
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Friday
What does JT have on his hands in the shot with him smoking the pipe?
 
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