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Fort Hancock to Mexico, a Giant Loop

izz

Joined
Oct 2, 2009
Messages
131
Location
Dublin, Tx


The Three Amigos make a "Giant Loop" Slabbing it 200 miles from Presidio to Fort Hancock, cross into Mexico, camp for three days as we bushwack our way back to America, 450 miles total.

Oilfieldtrash
izz
Muddmissle

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get your paperwork together and 100 pounds of gear, water and fuel, we are going on an expedition!

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Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
1,428
Location
Marquez, Tx.
Not much, in the way of Mexican immigrations was there izz. ( as in nothing) We did Fort Hancock to Persido on big bikes in an eighteen hour day.
Tell is more about your trip.
 

izz

Joined
Oct 2, 2009
Messages
131
Location
Dublin, Tx
We did all our paperwork in Presidio, even though nobody ever asked to see it, even the Army didn't look at it, our route had us zig zagging through the mountains instead of taking the River Road:

ARMY_zps8a7176b3.jpg
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
185
Location
Mansfield, Tx
Our goal was to find a way to make it back to Ojinaga through the sierras. The trip via the north side following the river has been done before and it was of no interest to us. We wanted to explore and find another way while enjoying the mountain scene, old cavalry trails, smuggler's trails, etc. So, we did our paperwork in Ojinaga and slaped all the way to Fort Hancock where we stayed at the Fort Hancock Motel. If you are not too picky, it'll do. However, be advised to bring good earplugs since the back rooms are just a few feet from the railroad tracks. Here is us getting ready to cross Sunday am.
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As you can see, we are not too far from the tracks and the trains come and go all night long!

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We are finishing the last details and we are on our way to the border. This is the first time I see the steel wall. That thing is huge! I couldn't take pictures and you all know why.
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One thing that surprised me was that we were stopped by US customs first and after a few questions about weapons, drugs, and ammunition, let us go on our way. The Mexican counter part was also very amicable and asked us the same questions getting the same answers. From there we headed south for a short period of time and then we headed south following the river for another short period of time. We encounter on this section of no more than 3 miles the only sign of human life for the next three days. A truck was parked kind of blocking most of the road and three fellows were just shooting the breeze. I took no chances and did not stop to ask what was wrong. In no time we were out of sight and into the hills.

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Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
185
Location
Mansfield, Tx
Logistically speaking, we had to carry food, fuel and water to last us 3 days; therefore, we were loaded to our eyeballs. You may think why it's taking them that long? We are exploring a maze of trails, ranch roads, river beds, goat trails, cow trails, and fences not knowing if there is locked gate, fence, or washout that can stop us from going through. So, we have to be prepared for any eventuality. I personally carried more than 100 lbs between saddlebags, duffel bag, and dromedaries.

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izz

Joined
Oct 2, 2009
Messages
131
Location
Dublin, Tx
The trip started early, we left my house in Dublin around 4:30 AM, by the time we got to Marfa it was lunch time so we hit the local Dairy Queen. Since they had some difficulties doing the math on making my cash change they gave me this cone for FREE.

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Joined
Sep 4, 2009
Messages
11,186
Location
Arlington
Nice pictures. Looks like fun. And I'm impressed that somebody who doesn't live in El Paso has even HEARD of Ft Hancock.
 

izz

Joined
Oct 2, 2009
Messages
131
Location
Dublin, Tx
Oilfieldtrash thinks if the diesel additive is good for his Dodge it must be good for his KLX450R:

Diesel_zpsb656fb6e.jpg
 

izz

Joined
Oct 2, 2009
Messages
131
Location
Dublin, Tx
Nice pictures. Looks like fun. And I'm impressed that somebody who doesn't live in El Paso has even HEARD of Ft Hancock.
If these cats could cross into Mexico on their way to Zihuatanejo , well then it would be good enough for us to cross there:
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JT

Forum Supporter
Joined
Sep 11, 2008
Messages
1,575
Location
Elgin
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What's Chad, the trashman, lookin for, tp? Heehee. :haha:

I sure wish I could've gone with you guys.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
147
Location
Oklahoma
What's Chad, the trashman, lookin for, tp? Heehee. :haha:

I sure wish I could've gone with you guys.
We had stopped there for a snack, yep, right in the middle of the road. Not a tree in sight for 10 miles. I was sitting next to my bike using it as shade and looked up under my rear fender to find the bolt holding my muffler on MIA. Had to take a dromedary off, a Wolfman Dry Duffel off, and pull every last thing out of the "Giant Loop" to get to my tool kit!

I wasn't the only one w muffler issues. The cap on Izz's pipe resembled the work of a drunken mechanic who had riveted on a Chicken of the Sea tuna can. He was a quarter of an inch away from having the loudest bike in Mex!:eek2:
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
185
Location
Mansfield, Tx
Back to the story, we headed for the mountains and it was looking very promising till we ran into the first locked gate. This one meant business, no way around it and no weak or down points. We were staring at the trail disappearing into the mountains and we couldn't get to it. I don't have a picture of the gate but I took one from the sides while I was looking for a way to go around it.
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Massive stone wall! We have to make a decision to go and investigate a possible road about 2 miles to our right or west or backtrack to a possible track that could take us to a road that possibly would lead us back to the same track we were following. Every alternative had to be weighted in terms of fuel consumption as well as water. we decided to back track a few miles and bush-wacked our way through the desert till we met our planned track.
[ame="http://youtu.be/lIm35tx81Uc"]First locked gate - YouTube[/ame]
 
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JT

Forum Supporter
Joined
Sep 11, 2008
Messages
1,575
Location
Elgin
Back to the story, we headed for the mountains and it was looking very promising till we ran into the first locked gate. This one meant business, no way around it and no weak or down points. We were staring at the trail disappearing into the mountains and we couldn't get to it. I don't have a picture of the gate but I took one from the sides while I was looking for a way to go around it.


Massive stone wall! We have to make a decision to go and investigate a possible road about 2 miles to our right or west or backtrack to a possible track that could take us to a road that possibly would lead us back to the same track we were following. Every alternative had to be weighted in terms of fuel consumption as well as water. we decided to back track a few miles and bush-wacked our way through the desert till we met our planned track.
YouTube
Oops...
 

Attachments

Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
185
Location
Mansfield, Tx
Yes, we all have some kind of GPS. Izz tracked and had the tracks on his Montana, which was a great tool. I had a 62cs and Oilfield had one as well. The Montana had the Mexico maps as well as the SW USA maps. I was very impressed with Izz ability to use his Montana to get us in and out of the sierras. My GPS had no maps of Mexico so all I can see was the tracks, if we were on track.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
185
Location
Mansfield, Tx
We did some bushwacking and ended up connecting to a road that was supposed to connect somewhere with the track we were following. Now, you have to understand that these tracks has been done just using Garmin's Base Camp, Google Earth, Bird's Eye, and Maps from Mexico. From the sky, any thing can look like a promising trail. Fortunately, the Montana could show official roads, elevations, and changes in topography. So, we ended up on this road with the following sign.
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The road seemed to has been out of use for quite some time. We encountered many washouts and deep roots. In one of these Izz dropped his bike as he was trying to turn it around and circumvent the obstacle. Then I ran into this.
[ame="http://youtu.be/nQ7H34lzPZ0"]FILE0945 - YouTube[/ame]

We ended up on this dried river bed looking for the way out. We took a breader once we found the road again and had lunch.
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After lunch we headed out and started to climb noticing that the vegetation was getting greener and the air cooler. It was turning out to be a beautiful afternoon. We stopped at the top of one of the hills to take some pictures and determine where it would be a good place to set up camp for the night.
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Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
185
Location
Mansfield, Tx
We kept loosing the trail due to washouts and overgrown desert plants so we had to do what some of us like best, bushwack! It is amazing that after all the mesquite, cactus, and whatever we ran over we did not get a single flat. All thanks to Slime and other tire sealants.

[ame="http://youtu.be/RKc4pXc5rB4"]Bushwacking in the desert - YouTube[/ame]

We ran into some difficulties as we were getting tired but we prevailed.

[ame="http://youtu.be/8apNLBdJHqk"]still bushwacking - YouTube[/ame]
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
185
Location
Mansfield, Tx
Eventually, we ran into a nicely maintain two track road that lead us into the hills for quite some time. I am not going to bother you with boring riding on nice dirt. However, it was getting late and it was time to find a place to camp. Izz had planned several options but we had to scratch them for the mean time. We headed down toward a canyon where we knew there was a homestead but we had no clue if someone was living in it. We decided to stay away and do the least noise to reveal our presence in the area. We rode a river bed that eventually would connect us to the main trail we were following. As we rode, we were looking for a place to camp. We found one after following some cow tracks off the river bed. We hit gold since the cows had clean the place of bushes but leaving plenty of organic fertilizer behind. No problem, we could use it to fire up the camp fire. I'll post some pictures of the camp later. here are the videos.

[ame="http://youtu.be/dULOPhvw744"]Trail to camping site - YouTube[/ame]

[ame="http://youtu.be/FYPuMmi0J2s"]Riverbed trail to camp site - YouTube[/ame]
 

izz

Joined
Oct 2, 2009
Messages
131
Location
Dublin, Tx
We managed to setup camp in a great spot and we even made this fire with my Christmas gift from Edwin the old flint and steel, Davey Crocket style:

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Here's our camp the next morning is was 34 degrees!

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close quarters in my green one man tent:

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The blue tent belongs to the most interesting man in the world:

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Chad is still asleep in his yellow tent, for some reason...I am not sure if the Tequilla flask has anything to do with it:

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Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
185
Location
Mansfield, Tx
As Izz mentioned, we set up camp and did some house cleaning before working on supper and enjoying the rest of the evening. There is always an opportunity for Izz to pull out his machete and start terrorizing the green life around.
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He created a dust storm that resembled rain drops on the picture. Here is Izz making fire!
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At the beginning he had a rough time but he quickly figured out that the grass he was using was a bit too green. He grinded it more and voila, fire.
[ame="http://youtu.be/bIMzB32QQFA"]Izz making fire - YouTube[/ame]

Next morning camp pictures
http://mudmissile.smugmug.com/photos/i-dfZR4jQ/0/L/i-dfZR4jQ-L.jpg
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After breakfast we headed out on the river bed to find and connect with the possible trail. There was a homestead somewhere but we had no idea if it was inhabited. We went up the creek for what it seemed some time trying to find a path to the homestead. we found a cow trail to the right that seemed promising and we took it. We had no much trouble getting out of the riverbed and were riding on single cow track for a short period of time.
Her is a video of that part.
[ame="http://youtu.be/zx3gzCORQsw"]Heading up the creek - YouTube[/ame]
 
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Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
185
Location
Mansfield, Tx
Arriving at the abandoned homestead. Never fails to amaze me how people try to make a living out of this place. It can be beautiful but deadly.
[ame="http://youtu.be/rotk7TKEccs"]Trail to homestead - YouTube[/ame]
 
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Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
185
Location
Mansfield, Tx
After the our excursion around the abandoned homestead, we headed back to the river bed in search of the connection to the trail. We followed a decent two track that left the house toward the creek. We rode for a few minutes when we realized we missed the cutoff. We back tracked and found what seemed the trail. Izz went first and followed right after. Here is what happens next.

[ame="http://youtu.be/RAH9TV94MqU"]FILE0960 - YouTube[/ame]
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
185
Location
Mansfield, Tx
Once I got out my debacle with the help of oil field trash, I headed up and waited for him to clear the obstacle. Soon after, we were heading on this two track road toward a little abandoned shack. The road split and we continue going sort of straight. The track started to disappear and became more sandy and more sandy. I tried to lift the front wheel by accelerating and leaning back but the weight of the bike with its load and the little bushes kept throwing me around till I hit the ground, softly nevertheless.
I tried to keep going but the efforts seemed futile. I was getting tired and more tired by the second and was not advancing much. The terrain was becoming harder and harder to navigate. I decided to call the other two that were a few yards in front of me and discuss a new plan of action. we debated for quite sometime about going forward or finding a different way out of there. There was a homestead near by that we could see from where we were and it seemed brand new. This brought up suspicions of the type of people inhabiting it so we decided to avoided at all cost. Ultimately, we turned around and started looking for a way around the ranch house. We found some trails but each one would take us back toward the ranch house. Ultimately, we found a type of service road running next to a fence. We followed till we hit payday, a way out of the ranch.

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exsetBp-YQs"]Old abandoned ranch house - YouTube[/ame]


So we thought till we ran into this old abandoned ranch house. It looked like it was a nice one at its time. There were structures every where in all kinds of conditions. The main house, or what I think was the main house looked very big, in my opinion. We rode past by and then we found another gate. It was not locked, but it was not easy to get through. The locking bars were very rusted and as we prayed the gate open, the columns holding the gate seemed like they were about to collapse.

http://youtu.be/exsetBp-YQs
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
185
Location
Mansfield, Tx
We are now finally on an official road. Our average speed has been 5 miles/hr or so. We had planned on covering 120 or so per day and so far we have done only 40 some miles per day. We needed to make up some time some how. We made the decision not to try to connect to the road that we aborted because of the sand dunes. Well, we didn't have to go too far looking for the dunes, we found them in the middle of the road again. This time there were no bushed throwing you off the side. It was a combination of silt and fine sand that it was deep in some places and deeper in others, However, we were on a sort of straight path so it was not too bad to get out of it.

http://youtu.be/DmV-NGixy0M

Once we got out of it we were hauling *** for quite sometime. We eventually stopped to take a breather and have some lunch.
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And here is when Oil field trash noticed that the bolt that supports the muffler was missing. Fortunately, he had spares but they were buried in his Giant Loop bag.
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So, there it comes the garage sale! Everything must go and went out of his bag. I am glad we had no unexpected visitors, otherwise he would have been in real trouble.
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I don't recall why his bike was down but it was not the first time, that's for sure!
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We rode on the flat desert till dark. We wanted to camp in the mountains or near by where we would feel safer and away from anyone. Izz had found this large body of water on google earth and we were near by. We headed toward it and unexpectedly found ourselves riding on top of it. The lake was completely dried so we rode right through it till we were near the hills. By this time the sun was gone and we were riding in the dark, in the desert, in Mexico. By this time, we have seen many ranches but all of them abandoned. I guess that once that lake dried out the ranchers pulled out. Many of the buildings were still in good shape, only missing the windows, doors, and every thing else that could be used in another house.
[ame="http://youtu.be/w0wLmoViZwA"]Riding the dry lake - YouTube[/ame]
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
185
Location
Mansfield, Tx
Where was I? Oh yeah, riding at night in this magnificent desert. We have seen our share of wash out areas, or deep ruts and we did not feel like running into one of them at night. Therefore, we took it easy and proceeded with caution. We were happy to used our aftermarket lights that needless to say performed fantastically. We rode for quite sometime looking for a good, safe place that could not be seen from far away. We wanted to build a fire again since the night was promising cool temperatures. However, we did not want to let the whole world know our whereabouts. We finally ran into a water holding tank the looked promising. It had bushes around, so plenty of firewood and nice cover from the hillside. There was a homestead up far on the hills but we couldn't tell if there were people living there. Izz tried to climb one of the retaining walls of the pond when he realized that he couldn't see what was on the other side. I had climbed near him and had a quick view of what was waiting for him on the other side, water! I'll let him post pictures of debacle coming down the hill. I could not take pictures or movies because I was trying to find a place to place my stand and get off the bike. Ultimately, we picked the bike off Izz, who has been trapped under the bike and all its 300 plus lbs, and rolled down to the base of the pond. We discussed camping site possibilities and decided to roll the bikes inside the dried area of the pond. We changed our minds once we checked the area out. We set camp at the base of the pond and built our fire.
[ame="http://youtu.be/azkM9o4aQbA"]Riding at night in the Chihuahuan desert - YouTube[/ame]

I don't have pictures of this camp so hopefully Izz or Oilfilltrash has some to show.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
185
Location
Mansfield, Tx
Next and last day we headed out early in the morning after a light breakfast of oatmeal and coffee and started bushwacking again through the desert. Eventually we ran into a fence which we followed till we reached a gate. From the gate, we could see a ranch up on the hill and we decided to go and check it out. After talking to the man in charge of the place we found out that they race goats and cattle. Some time before we got there the owner had brought some hay for the newly born goats. He also mentioned that there was a natural spring on site and that the nearest town was Coyame and Aldama. We ran out of things to talk and said our goodbyes. We headed back toward the gate and follow this road till pretty much disappeared in front of us. Bushwacking time again! We ran into a few fences and gates and found our way around them.
[ame="http://youtu.be/HY3av1ymCv4"]Visiting the goat farm - YouTube[/ame]
 

izz

Joined
Oct 2, 2009
Messages
131
Location
Dublin, Tx
Ok here's Mudd Missle hiding from the desert heat while Oilfield Trash has his "Giant Loop" yard sale just to the right out of frame. You will need to imagine some sort of Venezuelan music playing out loud from Mudd Missile's iPhone. He might actually be asleep...who can be sure.

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izz

Joined
Oct 2, 2009
Messages
131
Location
Dublin, Tx
Here's camp two before the sun came up as you can see I am usually the first person to wake up...not really I was just too cold that morning...

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izz

Joined
Oct 2, 2009
Messages
131
Location
Dublin, Tx
You can not tell from this picture, but the firewood was dangerous with large thorns that were long enough to stab though my camp shoes and into my foot:

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Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
383
Location
Austin, TX
Fantastic stuff guys! You really put the A in Adventure! Hats off to you for really charting your own way. Really roughing it in the back country and totally self-sufficient! If the end of daze comes, you all would be in prime shape to survive! Izz, your ride looks excellent, you really went out of your way to get it right. That custom fuel tank rocks. Looking forward to more!
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
185
Location
Mansfield, Tx
The road that we followed seemed to appear and disappear as we went through thickets of mesquite and bushes. I felt that at any time a freaking lion would come out and jump us. However, as I mentioned to Izz more than once, we did not see anything alive unless it was domesticated so my worries were groundless. You can see that the two track trail was straight away heading toward the mountains. On this road/track/trail I crashed at least twice when I hit washed outs. I have no pics nor videos since I was not running the Contour at the time; however, one of then was an over the handlebar one landing a few yards ahead. Two perpendicular ruts, one deeper than the other. I cleared the first one by accelerating and lifting the front wheel but the second was just a couple of yard ahead and way deeper and wider. Fortunately there was a soft landing and no damage was done beside my ego. One thing I have to mention is that before this or right after I crashed again and was pinned down under the bike. Oilfield trash came to help but he could not lift the bike because of the angle in which the bike and I were and I couldn't help much either. Finally Izz came back once we radioed him and between the two of them lift the bike off my leg. This is why we needed at least three riders instead of two on this trip, or any trip for that matter. Eventually we came to a place where we found some fresh horse tracks and fresh foot tracks. We decided to cross a fence a follow the fence to a road not too far north. We got to the road and saw a ranch not too far away. Time for some recon!

[ame="http://youtu.be/Qdno3DK6jkA"]FILE0984 - YouTube[/ame]
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
185
Location
Mansfield, Tx
We arrive at an intersection of a fence maintenance road and a road that headed east toward El Murcielago, a ranch we have been through before. From here we kind of new what would be ahead of us if we went east. However, the road also headed toward a ranch on the distance. we quickly decided to check out the ranch ( we forgot to bring binoculars) and see if the road continue toward the mountains. I headed out first (as usual) and rode into the main yard but no one came out but this friendly little Australian sheep/goat dog. It reminded me of one of my dogs. I called out to see if anyone would come out but no luck. I could sense that someone was in the house but was not daring coming out to talk to a spacesuit wearing guy on a bike in me middle of nowhere. I always have a sense that someone is watching me and I only hope that is not through a rifle scope. I waited for a bit, pet the dog a couple of times and headed back to where the guys were. We discussed options for a bit and decided to go explore where the road from the house would lead into the mountains. We set a criteria of 6 miles in, 6 back in case it lead to nowhere. We were on our last day and fuel was an issue we had to keep in mind in every decision. We could spare 12 miles, meaning we could walk or ride B... for that long distance if necessary. We went through their front yard, and found tracks that leaded us to believe that a goat truck was using this road. By previous experience we knew that goat buyers come around the sierras driving 350's trucks buying stock from the ranchers. This road looked promising and we continue following it. At one point we ran into an intersection and Izz went first to explore possibilities. This is what happened next.
http://youtu.be/earUpJdmS-0


The hill climb did not look that steep but it was. Izz's bike was the lightest of the bikes and he had issues making it go up. he tried a couple of times and we decided to called quits and mark it for next exploration trip when we could be lighter in weight. I turned around and saw this.

http://youtu.be/xwNV-eAEalw
We finally turned around and continue following the tracks till we ran into a dried creek. we followed the creek and the tracks till they disappeared. I'll continue the story later.
 
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