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Crashing Our Way Through Mexico - The Furious Five Draw First Blood

Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
3,978
Location
Austin
After closely examining the 2017 calendar and my vacation balance I picked up the phone and called JT.

Me: Hey, let's go ride Mexico over the Labor Day weekend.
JT: Okay.

And with that brief conversation we began drafting plans for our ride. I wanted to experience some roads south of Galeana that I had always intended to ride but just hadn't gotten around to. JT was game, so we invited three others (Doug, Ken, and Zeke) and earnestly began our preparations.

I drew up some tracks and sent them to JT for review and discussion. After a few routing suggestions we reached agreement. We had a plan and a route - and my excitement level began to rise.

I love riding in Mexico. It's muy sabroso. :)
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And even more, I love exploring new roads in Mexico. There are roads in those mountains I haven't ridden yet and they are calling to me...
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Labor Day weekend couldn't arrive quick enough.

Due to the logistics of the situation, JT, Ken, and I travelled together from Austin to Mission on Thursday evening. I had to work half a day on Friday but am fortunate at times to be able to work from anywhere as long as I have a phone and an internet connection. We decided to preposition ourselves in Mission, TX on Thursday evening so that when I finished work mid-day on Friday we could immediately depart for Galeana and get in an extra half-day of riding.

Doug and Zeke would be leaving Texas on Saturday morning and joining us in Galeana that evening.

After our arrival in Mission on Thursday, we sought out a local establishment for nourishment and refreshing adult beverages. Luckily, this place had a special on beer. What a deal!
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At about 1pm on Friday, the Tequila Three suited up and headed off on an adventure.
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Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
3,978
Location
Austin
After completing the usual paperwork shuffle (start here, go there, then get copies, then go over there, then back to here for final approval), we finally were on our way to Galeana via the supremely twisty road to Rayones followed by some fun class 2 dirt.

As Mexico vets know, the ride from Reynosa to the mountains isn't anything to brag about. 150 miles or so of riding highway across the desert. It was mostly flat, hot, and boring. We did, however, stop for a bite to eat. :)
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Finally, we arrived at the turn off to Rayones. Yes! I love this road! It's paved but oh so twisty and fun. And the views are inspiring.
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A long time ago my friend Milton Otto, the World's Foremost Adventure Dentist, told me about another road to Rayones. He said the road was dirt and followed a canyon through the mountains to the outskirts of Rayones. He spoke of a river and all the times you had to cross that river in order to reach Rayones. He didn't make it sound particularly fun. No one I know of, beside Milton, has ridden that road.

See the canyon in the pic below? That road is down there. Waiting. For you.
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Once we reached the bridge over the river just outside of Rayones, we decided to take a short detour to see the western end of the fabled dirt road to Rayones.
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We followed the dirt road from the bridge to the first water crossing. The river was wide and running quickly, but didn't appear to be too deep for us to cross on our bikes. JT asked me if I wanted to continue, but I politely declined. I wanted to go to Rayones, not back to Montemorelos and sure didn't need to do a bunch of river crossings to try and prove something. So we made a U-turn and headed to the Pemex in Rayones for much needed fuel.

Uh oh! The Pemex is closed. And I don't mean closed for today. I mean closed as in it doesn't appear to be re-opening tomorrow or anytime soon. Don't plan on getting gas there.

We ended up buying gas from a 55 gallon drum from a vendor on the side of the road. For $7 a gallon! If you are coming this way to Galeana I suggest buying your gas in Montemorelos before entering the mountains.
 
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Joined
Jan 1, 2005
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3,978
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Austin
After gassing up, we headed south on dirt toward Galeana. One thing I've never done on this section of road is visit Puente de Dios (God's Bridge). I've driven by it many times but never taken the time to stop. Today, I rectified that, taking a few pics as I walked the 22,342 steps (give or take a few thousand) to the bottom. In all my gear. Palm to head, Why, oh why, didn't I take my jacket off before making this trek?
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Joined
Apr 10, 2014
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Texas
Good stuff! Looking forward to the rest of the ride report !


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2005
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Spring Texas
Trailboss "Today, I rectified that, taking a few pics as I walked the 22,342 steps (give or take a few thousand) to the bottom. In all my gear. Palm to head, Why, oh why, didn't I take my jacket off before making this trek?"

Cardio.....it's for what ails you......:-P
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
3,978
Location
Austin
Cardio.....it's for what ails you......:-P
The heck of it is that I regularly do cardio (hiking with a 25 lb backpack) but I rarely do stairs. Walking stairs is not the same as hiking on hilly terrain, a fact my calves will attest to. There were quite sore and painful for the next 2 days. Reminding me that I need to re-introduce the Planet Fitness stair climber into my workout plan...
 
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Joined
Jan 1, 2005
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3,978
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Austin
Once in Galeana, we did what we always do. Find something to eat and then root through JT's stuff till we find his hidden stash of tequila.

Galeana has a new sign. :)
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Having located JT's tequila, we proceeded to have a small sample. Please note that I really don't drink tequila or any hard liquor. I drink a little beer sometimes but the truth is I'm a lightweight.

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I gotta stop drinkin' that stuff.
 

TGTUMBLEWEED

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Joined
Feb 20, 2015
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468
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GEORGETOWN,TX
Once in Galeana, we did what we always do. Find something to eat and then root through JT's stuff till we find his hidden stash of tequila.

Galeana has a new sign. :)
2017091316383103-FC6CA7C0-A0C7-4F28-A9A5-283E1D2664BE-XL.jpg


Having located JT's tequila, we proceeded to have a small sample. Please note that I really don't drink tequila or any hard liquor. I drink a little beer sometimes but the truth is I'm a lightweight.

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I gotta stop drinkin' that stuff.
Ur not supposed to drink the whole bottle at one sitting

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk
 
Joined
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Messages
3,978
Location
Austin
After being corrupted by JT the evening before, we decided to pay a visit to Galeana AA early Saturday morning. Unfortunately (or, depending on your point of view, fortunately) they were closed.
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So we went in search of breakfast instead. Which can be challenging, since most places don't open earlier than 8:30 or so and it wasn't quite 8 am yet.

We spotted this mural as we walked the streets.
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The next time you are in Galeana and need a car wash, this is your place.
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The front door to the Plaza Restaurant was open, so we walked inside to see if they would feed us. At first, the man said no, they weren't open yet, but then the cook came out of the kitchen and said she would cook for us. Sweet!
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Breakfast done, it was time to hit the road. We had big plans for the day and they wouldn't wait...
 
Joined
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Austin
I wanted to ride from Linares to Mainero and then west over the mountains to Camerones. JT wanted to find a track/trail/road that would allow us to go from Milton's Secret Route to La Florida. So we decided to do both...if possible.
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Riding east on Hwy 58 to Linares never disappoints. Wonderfully twisty and oh so scenic.

Once out of the mountains, we headed south to Mainero on some fun dirt roads.
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Sometimes you see some funny things in Mexico. Like a no-passing sign on a one car wide dirt road. Is passing such a big issue that this stretch of dirt really needed a no passing sign? Really?
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Those are the mountains we will be crossing later today. Yes!!!
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"So then Ken say, 'You've got to lean right, turn the handlebars to the left, feather the brake with one finger, kick your leg out, and go for it.'" And, sure enough, an hour later as I was attempting to cross the washed out creek without crashing, turns out he was right.
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As we took a short break at Abarrotes Don Beto, this older gentleman asked me if I would buy him a Coke. So I did.
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Left or right?
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JT says right. And don't fail to notice that this road is two way traffic.
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A short time later we reached the edge of the mountains. Time to start climbing.
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Windmill

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Joined
Mar 5, 2015
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Thorndale
Thanks for posting. Great adventure for you guys. That timepiece forever stopped at 3 pm is an interesting mural. Can someone translate words painted under the cross. Just curios that's all.
 
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Joined
Sep 25, 2007
Messages
8,805
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Cibolo, Texas
Thanks for posting. Great adventure for you guys. That timepiece forever stopped at 3 pm is an interesting mural. Can someone translate words painted under the cross. Just curios that's all.
"Y no se muere quien se va, sólo se muere el que se olvida."

Basically this means 'he who departs (in death in this context) doesn't die, only he who is forgotten dies'

This is from the rap song by Canserbero "El Primer Trago" "The First Drink"

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWAkVH8-Y3g"]Canserbero - El primer trago Letra - YouTube[/ame]
 
Joined
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Messages
3,978
Location
Austin
Not long after we began climbing, we encountered a small obstacle. The bridge was washed out.
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We assessed the situation and decided to push through. Hey, we can't allow ourselves to be overcome by a bunch of boulders.

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRv32QWr79I"]The Bridge is Out 2 - YouTube[/ame]


[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhlcsnVqd7U"]The Bridge is Out 3 - YouTube[/ame]


[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCcK512Uhvc"]The Bridge is Out 5 - YouTube[/ame]


[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Viq1U7TvpGk"]The Bridge is Out 1 - YouTube[/ame]
 
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Joined
Jan 1, 2005
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3,978
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Austin
Once we had cleared the creek obstacle, it was climb, climb, climb. Up and over the mountain we went. The road has clearly been abandoned and the vegetation is starting to take over. If you want to ride this way, do it soon, before the road becomes impassable.

Once we crossed over the top of the mountains this is the view that greeted us as we headed down toward the village of Camarones.
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Camarones in the distance
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We made a brief stop in Camarones and then headed west toward the village of La Purisima. Our plan was to take the low road around the mountain (the route known as El Alamar in the MexTrek ride guide) in search of a connector that would allow us to ride north into the valley of La Florida. There is no road on the map connecting to La Florida from the south but JT believed he had found one on Google Earth.

The only way to find out was to go ride it. So, off we went.

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La Purisima isn't much to look at.
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The road out of La Purisima - the El Alamar route - is beautiful. Highly recommended if you haven't ridden it. Or haven't ridden it in a while.
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Lunch break on the mountains
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The quads have discovered these roads, as you can see from this sign nailed to the wall.
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Joined
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Austin
JT's map reconnaissance proved to be accurate - we located the connecting road and were able to ride down into the valley to La Florida.
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The road north from La Florida runs through a valley and out to Highway 2. It was a nice ride, but not as spectacular as the remainder of the El Alamar route that we missed. Still, it was fun, and worth riding.

Once back on the highway, we rode north into Galeana and checked in to the Magdalena Motel. Then it was time for supper.

Galeana has a new restaurant - the La Bonita. It's fancy for Galeana, but the food was good and the beer was cold. It's across the street from the now closed El General restaurant. Worth a visit.
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Mmmm
[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciMQVcxC-Yw"]Bubbling Queso[/ame]
 
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Joined
Nov 10, 2009
Messages
488
Location
10 miles from Mexico
Awesome pix. Next time, I'm stopping and trekking down to see this for myself!
You definitely should stop and hike down to the bottom under the natural bridge. Ive done it 4 times and in exchange for your strenuous physical efforts, you're rewarded with a great scenic view, calm river sounds below and some good cardio to make up for sitting in the saddle. It gets the blood pumping good. Now its all cement steps with metal rails but not even 8 yrs ago, it was a regular hiking trail with some spots with a few ropes for rails. Fang told us that there might be a hiking trail on the north side of bridge that you can follow down to a cave ?? Take JT with you down there but make sure he doesn't walk under any spiraling stair cases, ochh!
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
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Location
Austin
Nice pics ! I see why you chance a nice camera in the rough stuff.
Thank you.

I used to carry a DSLR but found it bigger and bulkier than I prefer for adventure motorcycle travel. A few years back I switched to micro 4/3rds, using the Olympus OMD EM5 and have been very happy with it.
 
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