Mental SuperDork
3/30/09 11:36 a.m.

Just got back from Mexico Saturday. What a freaking great trip!

Ride of the 4 Motoyellos. Videos with bad sound of me chasing a friend Bryan on his DR400SM through the Canyons.

Clicky for Video 1

Clicky for Video 2

Pics are here

Grtechguy SuperDork
3/30/09 12:23 p.m.

Looks like a fun ride. I can't wait for warmer weather

Mental SuperDork
3/31/09 12:17 a.m.

Okay, the ride report took a while, but here it is: This is my first Ride Report, so if I goof it, forgive me. I must also say for the sake of clarity that I have only been off-road riding since last fall, when two of my buddies invited me to Westfest and I did the Alpine loop.

A quick into to the cast of characters;

Mike A, .

Bryan and Mike B .

and of course me.

Mike A and Mike B are old school lifetime riders of anything that burns gas and several things that don’t, and Bryan is a transplanted east coaster who did school here in CO before moving to LA. So to say I am the amateur in this crew is an understatement.

Before the ride, I did a little work on my 07 DR400E. By work I mean I finally put on some DOT tires, and borrowed a bigger tank from buddy. I kicked a few things, tightened some bolts and off I went. Mike A was on his 08 KLR 650, Mike B on his old Honda 650 and Bryan on his DR400SM. .

Saturday we load three bikes on the trailer in CO Springs, and head out to Douglas Arizona to meet Bryan, who was riding out. Yeah, he’s that hardcore. We had heard the stories about TJ and Juarez and for that and other reasons elected to avoid them.

Now, it was said by a few co-workers, and by folks on other board that merely by heading to Mexico we were doomed to be beheaded, shot, raped and kidnapped, in that order. Now this is only one man’s opinion, but I gotta say it that was crap. We chose a smaller town to cross, got the hell away from the boarder as soon as possible and once you get into the real Mexico, the people are great, we never felt threatened or unsafe and if you still want to do this ride, by all means, you should. Just avoid the trouble spots.

Mike A and B had ridden Baja the year before and re-enforced the rules we read elsewhere. They became our mantra;

1, NEVER Ride in Mexico after dark.

2 Never pass up fuel or water.

3 Know where everyone is at all times.

Lunchtime; Mike A dialed up his GPS and we found Kocina De Raphael. Gravel parking lot, concrete floor. Yeah, this is the place. Holy crap the lunch was HUGE! And it was great. Highly recommended.

Back on the road. We gas up in Hatch NM, Home of the Chili and by their own claim, not really New, and not really Mexico. Save the flaming, I am quoting their T-Shirt. At 38, I am the old guy in my office, by far. Luckily I am a good bit younger than these guys and was reminded of it as they swapped stories of growing up in the 70’s. All I have is my Richard Greicio phase and it takes me longer to type that last phrase than tell it. Bryan has called and let us know he is safely in Douglas, and rather tired after a Banzai run straight through.

We grab a suite in Demming next to the Sonic. We get settled and walk next door for dinner. Yee Ha, the Sonic is the place to be, not just because we’re there. The kids all cruise through. Big Dodge quad cabs on 24s, Mustangs, a Z06 Vette and several Chrysler 300s. How in the hell do these kids afford these things? We are treated to a few peel outs as they leave the parking lot and head into town.

The next day we detour to Columbus for an Airport Condo park thing Mike B wanted to see. He missed it last year coming back. Its really cool, I’ll let him post pics. Douglas by lunchtime, hit the Motel 6, get Bryan and decide to relocate to the Hotel Gadsen downtown Douglas. We slip across the border and get our paperwork for the week. It goes surprisingly smooth. In fact the guy catches problems with Mike Bs and my registration a dozen computers have missed in the states. But we have no issues. We drop Mike As truck off at an RV park 20 miles outside of town where it will stay for the week. Back at the hotel we park in front next to a softail. We relax in front of the green screened TV in one of the rooms swapping stories of commuting in downtown Atlanta, Denver and LA. We find the terrace that overlooks the street and head to the bar downstairs. The lady behind the bar is quite “blessed.” Dinner is at Yogi’s a few blocks down and we hit the sack early. We sleep with the window open, its nice but the airflow keeps moving the dam door so I put a boot in front of it. The old guys are up stupid early, only to find the coffee shop in the lobby doesn’t open until 7. At 9:14 we uneventfully cross into Mexico and head for the bank to swap out dollars. This takes a very long time and you need a passport, if we do it again, its gonna be all ATM. Around 10:30 we are on the road out of Preita Agua.

Its mostly open flat Canyon roads through sagebrush with a few power sweepers. We come to a Police checkpoint just outside of town, the guy basically waved us though after seeing the first guys vehicle pass. After 105 miles we stop in Nacozari De Garcia for gas. A young girl flirting with the PeMex attendant asks us where we are from in excellent English. I think she was really trying to impress the guy. The next town in Cumpass, we pass a small roadside taco stand and stop for lunch. It is amazing.

In Mazocahui, Mex 17 become Mex 14 and we press onward to Ures, we refuel and ride through the town. The road gets very fun. Elevation changes, tight canyon turns and nice views. We get on it a bit. We stop at the bus station there at a small stand. Mike A and B get Gatoraide, Bryan and I have rice milk (he told me the name of it but I forgot.) its very sweet. We try and stave off temptation, but the 1 lb bricks of homemade fudge for 140 pesos get the better of us and we split one.

Wow its great. The guy running the stand is trying to get us to detour to a lakeside resort town, but he mentions there is a lot of tourists there and that what we are trying to avoid. He even draws us a map. We politely accept and thank him, but don’t mention we just aren’t going. Just a few miles down the road is the turn for Santa Rosia. The road is dirt, nothing bad, but very dusty so we spread out a bit.

A word of caution. Cattle guards. This is open range country so there are several cattle guards. These are nothing like we see in the states and should be approached with great care. The first one only has bars on the sides with a 2 ft gap in the middle over a concrete ditch 2 feet deep. If I had hit this in the center at full bore, I would have launched and undoubtedly trashed my wheels and probably my forks as well. The next few are similar and when we think we have it, another one has bent bars and the safest way to cross was in the center. No two are alike and they can be detrimental if not sufficiently feared.

It’s a big wide flat dirt road and travelled fairly quickly, we arrive in Santa Rosalia. It is a small town with a divided center median and no pavement. The next few miles are very rocky roads, very dusty and do not go by as quickly. We emerge on the other side on pavement. We clean the dust off our visors and hit the road. It is flat but a few power sweepers and rolling hills keep it from being boring. We pass through Mazatan and regroup at the PeMex, Mike B suggest we stop for the night, as it is almost 6 and will be getting dark in about an hour. Our next town is Tonichi, 60 miles away. Bryan and I argue we can make it, Mike A is undecided. Mike B succumbs to the group and we press on. Less than a mile out, Bryans chain guard comes off and we pull over and zip tie it back in place.

Mike A mentions this is a sign that we should stop. We all agree and roll back into Mazatan and find a small hotel with a lockable courtyard. The rooms are small, but have a shower and two beds. Total is 300 pesos for all of us. By the time we’re unloaded it is dark and kinda chilly. We walk to the Tecate store and buy a 6 pack of Sol. We start looking for food and see a small house with a fenced porch. Mike B’s broken Spanish gets us in and seated. The daughter is cooking tortillas from scratch over an open fire. We have our fill of casadias, goat cheese and refried beans. It’s the first day and I am running out of adjectives for how good the food is. We ask for the bill and she seems to just make up a price off the top of her head, 100 Pesos. Basically 4 guys just had several helpings, as well as a couple of cokes for 6 bucks. Mike A gives her 200 Pesos, and we head back to the Tecate store for another 6 pack.

On the way back to the hotel, one of the children from inner comes back out to the street and beckon Mike A back to the restaurant. The lady has decided that 200 pesos is too much and wants to give it back. Mike assures her it was well worth it and thanks her again. The whole family hugs him. Bryan and I wander up to another small shop as he has a craving for sweet. They have a parrot. We end up with nutella like stuff with crushed nuts between two thin sweet panels. We sit in front of the hotel and have a few more beers before calling it a night. The next day we awake and Mike A tries the 220-volt shower water heater hoping not to get electrocuted.

He doesn’t fry, probably because it doesn’t work. The water is cold. I shower as well. Mike B and Bryan don’t tempt fate. We grab breakfast at another roadside stand therein town. Slow simmered BBQ shredded beef burritos with fresh coffee out of a metal pot cooked over the same open fire and the beef. My mouth waters just thinking about it again. This is where all the players in Mazatan come to in the morning, as we eat we see them come in and sit at another table. It is obvious these are the business guys here in town.

Breakfast is 150 pesos, we leave 200. We gas up at the PeMex there in town and are on the road around 8:30. Our goal that night is Creel

The road out is about 25 miles of paved flat with a few turns, and then we reach the turn off to Rebeico, which is dirt. This should take us the short run to Tonichi, the town we were shooting for last night and Mex 16 to Creel. The first part is dirt, then its old pavement covered in tiny smooth gravel. This was slick for my bike and I am on off road tires. Then we hit the construction. It is substantial and covers many miles. This will be a great road when they are done, but meanwhile we are weaving through dozens of dump trucks, under giant backhoes, around graders through silt and the many detours they have for folks to drive around. These are actually fun, as they are simple one lane dirt roads. Slide into the corner, point the bike, grab a handful and squirt out. Its fun but slow going. Halfway across when stumble across a beautiful town, Soyopa. A divided concrete road leads us to the town center, we pass a schoolyard full of children, and they press against the fence and cheer. Bryan rides a beautiful wheelie to their delight, he turns back around and rides to the fence to hand out candy he carries just for this occasion. We stop and remove some layers, as the last bit of road is a workout. We then find a small store and get some water and cokes. We relax and as we snap some pics, a young cook comes out of another building and converses with Mike B about the bikes. They have a lively conversation. After a short time he leaves and returns carrying an empty plastic coke bottle with a fishing line wrapped around it and a hook. It’s an automatic fishing pole in case we have to camp out near a river. How cool is that?

We rest up and go to leave. We can’t find a way out of this town. We go down every road we can and they all dead end. The last road ends in a beautiful park by a deep river. There is a hand propelled car ferry on the other side. A pickup truck comes down and give us directions, we have to go out the same way we came in. We find the road again, but the construction has not gotten this far, it’s a jeep trail and a rough one at that. Up the hill, down the hill. It takes another hour and ends in Tonichi. Tonichi consist entirely of a restaurant and house. Bryan remarks it is a dam good thing we didn’t press last night. We all resolve to continue to listen to signs and take Mike B more seriously when he wants to stop.

Pavement, straight and flat for 20 miles, then the curves start. Oh Yeah. I get some good footage with my hero cam chasing Bryan and Mike B through the curves. Its new smooth pavement, my new Kendras are very squirrelly. They like the rougher pavement better. Everyone is having fun. In San Nicolas, we come to a military checkpoint. As always you move slow and make sure they don’t see you as a threat. But they do want in all of our bags, and we comply. Mike A slips one of the guys a power bar, he smiles. Back into the curves which are getting tighter. They wrap around a pick, descend into a valley, the back up the other rim; this goes one for literally 80 miles. We start to see pine trees. Another 20 miles and the gray rounded rocks become alabaster colored. The contrast between the pines and the cliffs is breathtaking. Every valley is another postcard. When we get farther, we start to see semis. One double trailer almost crushes Mike A and Bryan during an attempted pass, just because those doubles need the whole turn to make the curve. We dial it back appropriately. We swap positions a lot because someone stops for pictures or just to get a view and the others press. We roll into Yecora, and it looks like the Rockies. Cattle ranches in an open valley. We gas up and grab a late lunch. The breakfast has not agreed with Mike Bs stomach, so he grabs some Pepto I was carrying and we press on. We probably will not make it to creel, but we do want to see the Basaseachi Falls.

42 miles after Yecora, we cross the border to Chihuahua, and stop for the obligatory picture. These roads are just great turn after great turn, the views and the pavement, its all fantastic.

At 70 miles it has gotten cold. We have passed a mine and there are a lot of pickups and heavy trucks on the road. We stop to layer back up. We pass through Basaseachi on to the state park. We get there about 6. Mike A hangs with the bikes and we make the long walk to the falls. Its worth it, they are amazing. An 812-foot waterfall into the gorgeous Candameña Canyon below.

You can keep walking around the rim to two other spots, but the boots we have are in fact, not made for walking, so we return. We head back to the town of Basaseachi proper. We get a room at the Alama Rosa. It’s a clean room with three beds, one double and two singles. The jokes start early, but Bryan and I have to share a bed. We unpack and while we’re doing that Mike A heads into town for a pack of smokes, the first store the guy won’t get them, so he ask where he can have some, the guy snorts. “You mean in this town there are no cigarettes?” The guy replies no. So Mike makes his way to the town outside of the park, finds a grocery store and gets a pack. He notices it is the same as Demming NM, the young folks are walking and cruising up the main road.

We grab dinner at the Hotel. During dinner we discuss our plans further. The construction and dirt roads have slowed us considerably and we need to scale back out ambitions a bit. Tomorrow we decide we need to hit Creel. If we get there by lunch, we can push to Copper Canyon and to Batopilas. Dinner arrives. Bryan and I both ordered Burritos. Bryan gets two and I get one. He’s not hungry so we switch. As soon as the girl sees this she asks if he wants another one. The lesson? Dreads beat a shaved head every time.

We all agree we want an early start, to give plenty of padding on the travel day. Its low miles, but we don’t know what’s in store. So I set the alarm on my phone (which oddly enough gets reception) for 6 AM. At 6 my Chemical Brothers ringtone goes off, prompting Mike to make a disco joke. If anyone gets it, no one admits it, Disco sucks. I shut it off and get in the awesomely hot shower. Mike A later comment the shower alone is worth recommending the place. Seriously, 4 guys and no one is in a hurry and we all had hot water. When I get out I start gathering my gear and put on my watch.

Oops. My phone is on CO time, its actually about 20 after 5. Everyone is surprisingly good natured about it, but Mike B tells me to put in the Rid Report how I got everyone up at the “butt crack of nothing.” There ya go Mike.

We all get up anyway and grab some coffee before hitting the PeMex and heading out. 3 miles out of the town we take a turn. The next 10 miles are the same tiny pea gravel on old pavement. Its brutal, you really don’t know how much traction you have. The it gets worse, 10 miles of big chunky moving rocks. They beat the hell out of you and the bike. That is a suck fest. Multiple construction sites, and then at 12 later it’s the gravel, and then some smooth graded dirt that clibs up and around. It will alos be a great road when they are done, but challenging now. Then 32 miles after the PeMex, we suddenly we have great pavement until we get to San Juanito. We stop at a small store to recover from the brutality. It has taken us almost 2 hours for about 40 miles. At the PeMex I have to pay 2 pesos to pee. If you encounter one of these you put the selector switch in neutral, deposit the money, the hit the switch, otherwise it rejects the coin. So far I have enjoyed the affordability of Mexico, but for that, I make sure I take a dump as well.

It’s a quick 15 miles to Creel from San Juanita. Goregeus pin groves with power sweepers. We quickly discover that Creel is the Gatlinburg of Chihuahua. Very touristy, but lots of places to eat and buy stuff. Lots of Americans wanering around, and a even Best Western for the real wussies.

Lunch is still good and affordable, but we have gotten pretty spoiled. Being a larger city we make sure we can see the bikes while we eat. We are back on the bikes by noon. Its almost 90 miles to Batopilas. We hit a PeMex just outside of Creel and hit the road.

Simply put, this is the best-paved road of the trip. Clean, uncrowded, fresh blacktop for almost 80 miles. The first part is smooth power sweepers up a bit in elevation. The first valley the road winds following a small river past a gorgeous lake. Then the next series of 5 valleys are the same as earlier, but just great they sweep into a valley, ride along the rims, and then up and out and repeat. It’s striking. We pass several GSs. They are a bit too clean, but we resist judgment. I wave, Mike B gives them the ADV sign, no one responds. We stop several times for pictures. More GSs, KTMs and Older KLR, I also give them the ADV sign, nothing.

We pass a closed PeMex station, we Mike A has told us is the sign we are looking for a turn, about 3 miles up the road we come across another construction site across from a large gravel parking lot and a small roadside store. The foreman is great, he gives us directions that are spot on. The first part of the unpaved road is wide, very hard packed gravel. My Kendras stick like glue. There are some silt spots, but nothing too bad, we spread out to allow for the dust,. But then I round a long sweeper than narrows to one lane, that is being block by a bulldozer clearing huge boulders as they widen the road. We are gonna be here a bit. The road re-opens after a ½ hour or so. More of the same nothing too terrible, but not the greatest either. The silt is playing havoc with Bryan on his street tires, but he is very good and keeps it upright.

The road slowly narrows, then weaves along a rideling to open into the canyon proper. We gather at the first of the many tiny prayer sites. The view is the best I have seen this trip, and I have seen some great ones. We get a sense of the descent, as we can see the bridge over the river at the bottom. We have been told 6 hours for this, we prepare accordingly. If it takes us that long, we’ll hit Batopilas at 6. Perfect. With the dust and the elevation changes, we spread out a good bit. I head down first, I have the best tires for this part, Bryan is right behind me. I let the DR engine break in 3 and on occasion 4th, 2nd for the switchbacks. I pass three trucks, but they leave plenty of room. It’s a lot easier than we have been lead to believe. Bryan follows at the same rate a decent distance, but his is on very street biased tires and has little problems. His only issue is his brakes down the hills in neutral and has to stop to let his brakes cool down. Mike A catches up to him and convinces him to do it our way. We all meet up at the bridge. Its hot now and Mike A and Bryan are considering a swim in the river.

The rest of the road weaves slowly up and down the side of the valley following the river, the views simply get better and better. If you like great rides, this one needs to be on your “must do” list.

We actually hit Batopilas in 4 hours, and that’s with a ½ break and lots of picture stops for all of us.

Now, this will get me flamed, but before you start up with the “youngsters” bit, bear in mind while one guy is in his late 20’s, he was on street tires, another is 2 months out of a hip replacement, another is a retired Navy man who teaches 8th grade science, and while he is an avid rider, he is not king of the extreme guys and the last one is an Air Force field grade flyer has been riding trails for less than a year. So I don’t want to hear how difficult this ride is. Slow, yes. Gorgeous, for sure. Difficult? I have harder rides on the undeveloped parts of my neighborhood here in the suburbs. Now if you are scared of heights, yeah, this ain’t the ride for you. But everyone else, game on. I could do this road on my R1100RS.

It is however still hot and dusty, as we cross the bridge into town, we stop for a bit. Mike B and Bryan have a talk with a pig in a corral below us on the wall. Then we ride through town looking for lodging. Mike A has gotten some good recommendations off this board, and we are looking for that place. Kids hold out there hands to “high five” us in the streets. Batopilas is very narrow with one main street, but it is kinda long. We get to the town square, and while we are securing the bikes looking for a place, a woman catches us. She heard the bikes and has a courtyard and rooms. It is the same woman Mike A was looking for and the same Inn we have heard about here.

The Hotel is the “Casa Real de Minas de Acanasaina.” You have seen the pics and heard the stories of this place before here on ADV. They are all true. She has a locking gate for the bikes, the courtyard to hotel is fantastic, the rooms are huge, the bathroom is nicer and larger than my house. This may not be the only place to stay in Batopilas, but it is simply the best. Whats more, is she knows bikes and she knows bikers. She has a place to keep them and will come find you if she hears the bikes. If you go to Batopilas, stay there.

We unpack, grab some beers while Bryan gets a shower. Mike B and I wander a little bit to the bridge over the river and around the square. Mike A and Bryan catch up to us, we walk around, its just an Oasis. So beautiful everywhere. I get some pics of the church, we are enjoying the place and we see the museum of the town. Rapheal greets us, he is the manager of the nuseum, and as it turns out, our Innkeepers son. He speaks better English than I do and gives us the history of the town. The museum has photographs from the 1800s, ledgers from the mines and all kinds of cool stuff. Batopilas was the 2nd town in Mexico to get electricity. If you go, look for Rapheal and take the short trip through the museum. Its great.

For dinner, we have also heard where we should eat. Raphel knows its, he sends us to the end of town, to a second square. The ornate benches are painted, the street lights are globes with dragons and they are painted as well. The place is across from Restaurant Caroline in the square and is called Casa Dona Mica, there are yellow steps leading to it. Trust me this is where you want to eat. Our meal is huge, and cooked to order. While we are there the sun sets, we watch it crawl up the opposite mountain and the street lights come on.

Our dinner arrives, and we have the place to ourselves. While relax and read the business cards under the glass, a group of 4 Americans gathers at the bottom of the steps. We find out tomorrow they are on some hiking trip. They are debating eating there, I tel them this is where they want to be. We pay our check and leave. We stop by the ice parlor across from out hotel. It taste homemade and its also great. All around us, kids run and play. Mike B notes there are no fat kids here, and its not a lack of food, it’s a lot of exercise. We go back to the main square and watch the kids play soccer. After a while we retire to the courtyard and simply soak it all in until we hit the sack. This is what you think of when you think of Mexico.

I sleep better than I have the whole trip. We are up early to get a good start home. Our goal is Creel, but if we make good time, we are going to push the 200+ miles to Buenoventura, and then the next day we are back at the boarder by the early afternoon. Despite that, we are in no hurry to leave Batopilas. I love this town. We head back to Casa Dona Mica for coffee and these delicious sweet pastries. We notice she is preparing a box of them. A guy wearing hiking attire and carrying those folding poles leaves with them. Ah, contracted breakfast for the hiking tourist.

We load up and are riding out by 08:00. We pass the hiking group and their loaded support van on the way out. Mike B and I stop at the guys who has fuel advertised, but he isn’t in yet, so we press out. Again we space out for dust and safety. I am feeling this trip more than any other time. I am watching the sun crawl across the valley. Its striking. I pass a group of ATV riders and their support van. I start feeling pretty hardcore. I stop for pictures several times and just to take it all in. Then I pass a coupe in their late 50s on bicycles. Not mountain bikes, actual streetbikes. They have no support vehicle, just saddle bags. I feel like a wuss.

The ride out is even easier. Just over 2 hours and we are back at the turn off the main highway. The construction is a little lighter on the way out. Then we hit the twisties again. Its great. Right before it gets hardcore we stop by a roadside shack and get our obligatory souvenirs from Indians selling them there. As I am shopping, I can see the daughter behind the shed making more items. I am loving this road, but I start to get a little fuel starvation in the corners. I dial it back a bit. Oops, there goes reserve. I pass Mike B and Bryan taking pictures. I tell them I am on reserve. 20 miles from town that’s all she has and I am out. They catch up. Bryan misunderstands me when I say “She’s done.” He hears “I’m good” and leaves. He has the spare 2-gallon tank. As Mike B is rigging his petcock to siphon into my tank, Brayn returns.

Even with that we are back in Creel by 10:30. We gas up, the PeMex guy speaks perfect engllish. He smiles and tells us to come back next year. We head into town and grab a quick bite.

But a cold front has moved through, and it is quite windy and cold. After lunch we layer up and hit the road. In San Juanito we pickup Mex 25 to La Juanta, to get Mex 16. Its moutnian roads, but its still cold and windy. La Juanta to Guerraro on Mex 16 is actually a 4 lane divided highway that literally terminates right into a small 2 lane through town. Bryan leads us and we see the sign for Madera. Madera is straight, flat and cold. 25 miles before we get there, we cross over the mountains again and following Mex 16 after it splits fro Mex 11. It’s a quick set of tight curves climbing up, then a high flatland across an back down the other side. I am really getting cold and losing the good vibe I had before.

In Gomez Farias, t is lower elevation and a bit warmer, but still a headwind. Then I gas up in Babicora at eh base. I am getting horrible mileage riding flat out into a headwind. This is not what The DR was made to do. Onward to Buenovetura. We have about 60 miles to go. $0 miles into it we hit the curves as the road climbs out of the valley. The climb side is tree covered, but the descending side in more of a high prairie style vegetation. The road is great , good rhythmic curves. The wind has died a bit and the afternoon sun is warming me. It desends to a high plain and I am watching the sun set into the hills I just road though as I hit the city limits of Buenovetura.

Buenovetura opens with a green tree filled park at the entrance, and while I am sure it it can be charming, its starts to feel like a boarder town, and quite a contrast from last night. But they do have a big grocery store. We find a decent room and walk to Pizzarea Cassina, the local Pizza place. Mike A is getting tired of Mexican food (I am married to a Mexican, I have no such issues) The pizza isn’t bad, but it is Mexico. The main drag through town is also cruised. We are in bed early. The wind had pulled a lot out of us.

The next morning we are 175 miles from Douglas. At 8 AM we head to the grocery, because nothing else is open. Believe me, we looked. We grab some pasties there and hit the road. 10 minutes later we all pull over to layer up. It is cold. The headwind persist. It is staright flat and windy to Casa Nuevas, but just outside we pick up a fresh 4 lane blacktop, but it has no markings, so people are just kinda guessing. I ride to the far right. For ans hour it is straight into an easy 20 MPH to 40 MPH headwind. Its hard to pass the many semis, because I simply have no throttle left. We get to Junos around 10, everyone is just beat, we grab some coffee, but you can tell Junos is definitely a boarder town. A lot of the charm of the previous places is gone. I am so cold it is hard to write in my notebook I am keeping tabs of the trip in.

We have 100 miles left. The road out of Junos is terrible, patches on top pf patches. Straight flat cold and windy again. 45 miles into it we come to a military checkpoint. There is a young lady collecting for a charity. We all drop some coins in and the rest of the inspection consists of the soldiers being more interested in talking about our bikes and gear. We talk for a bit and we’re off to cross the continental divide one more time. It is very tight twisties with less elevation changes, but there are dozens of big two trailer semis and they need the whole road to make the switchbacks. I almost get squished by a 2nd trailer in the opposite lane. We come out on another high flat plateau, mike B stops to get action photos.

After 4 cold windy miles, we descend again, 15 miles of tight twisties, but they are also littered with truck and tourist buses. During a brief contruction zone, I get passed on a blind left hand sweeper by a buss overtaking the semi in front of me.

Then its flat again, as soon as we come out of the hills we hit another military checkpoint, they wave us through without stopping us. % miles from that, a large tanker coming in the opposite direction takes two wheels off the pavement, over corrects and jackknives across the road about a car length in front of me. That DR has never stopped so fast in its life. I stop to make sure the driver is OK, and his partner in the Semi behind him gets out and checks as well. His back seems hurt but he is moving and they are on a cell phone, so there is little I can do. I pull my seat back out of my ass where it crawled up and press on.

It finally starts to warm a bit, but is still windy, and the road breaks up a bit as we approach Agua Prieta and Douglas. We make out way back to the bank. I initially changed $300 and got 4200 pesos. I still have 1500 pesos to change back. At the Mexican vehicle inspection station, I unzip my bag to get the paperwork to leave and find the empty Viagra pack those guys put in it.


All clear we head to the boarder where Mike B gets selected for a random inspection. After a quick Denny’s lunch, we bid adieu to Bryan and head to the RV park to get Mike As truck. 5 miles I run out of gas again (but that makes it easier to swap the tank back).

Even with the last day and ½, it was an amazing trip, and if I could do it over again, I’d leave tomorrow. It was cheap too. Once in Mexico, I spent only 2800 Pesos, and the others weren’t far off. We got home Saturday afternoon after spending the night in Sante Fe. This morning as I got ready to head to work it started snowing.


geomiata Reader
3/31/09 1:59 a.m.

Beautiful story, thanks for sharing.

geomiata Reader
3/31/09 2:00 a.m.

This should go in the magazine. "a grassroots vacation"

Luke Dork
3/31/09 2:47 a.m.

Great story, I really enjoyed reading that.

ManofFewWords Reader
3/31/09 8:27 a.m.


geowit Reader
3/31/09 11:46 a.m.

Thx. Great story and boy, am I envious.

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