ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-13-2012, 11:41 AM   #16
Hewby OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Hewby's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
Oddometer: 314
Going south through the USA

The trip through the USA became a tour of the national parks, free camping, and exploring the amazing landscapes of this incredible country. From Seattle back to Montana, over Mt Rainer, Lolo pass and down to the Gravely Range.


Camping at Ruby Dam at the base of the Gravelly Range, Montana by hewby2, on Flickr

The View from the Tent at Sunrise, Ruby Dam, Montana by hewby2, on Flickr

The Gravelly Range, Montana by hewby2, on Flickr


'Down she goes', Gravelly Range, Montana by hewby2, on Flickr
Yellowstone and through the Grand Tetons.


Stuck in a Bison Jam, just before they charged! by hewby2, on Flickr

With a detour up to the best motorcycle road ever- Beartooth Pass


The Beartooth pass, Wyoming by hewby2, on Flickr

Then meeting up with friends in Moab and Aches national park.


Mesa Arch Sunrise, Utah by hewby2, on Flickr

Untitled by hewby2, on Flickr

Taking some more spills after following Dan into some off roads above my skill level the bike took some cosmetic beating.


Fixing the broken chain guard/mudflap. by hewby2, on Flickr
Playing in the dirt, Canyonlands National Park by hewby2, on Flickr

We ended up touring together for a week as I headed south through Capitol reef, Bryce canyon, the beautiful Zion national Park and and Grand Canyon as my USA visa was coming to an end.


Zion National Park by hewby2, on Flickr

Zion National Park by hewby2, on Flickr

Hwy 287, near Moab Utah by hewby2, on Flickr

North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona by hewby2, on Flickr

I said gooodbye to my friends and headed down to Tucson towards the border
__________________
Alaska to Patagonia ..... http://www.letterstocurlyflat.blogspot.com
Hewby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2012, 11:46 AM   #17
Hewby OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Hewby's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
Oddometer: 314
Onwards to Mexico!

Mexico is where the adventure seems real. I had stopped travelling with friends and I was alone. But I found that I was stalling again. The stories told to me of Mexico being unsafe started to play in my head. People saying ‘just make sure you cross the border in the morning and ride straight through. Get as far away from the north as possible’. My visa for the USA was expiring and I no longer felt the option of bombing back to Seattle to Marcin. I arrived at the border town of Douglas Arizona, late and in the rain. My bike had just had a major service at Ironhorse BMW, Tucson after limping in over 500miles from the north rim of the Grand Canyon through the mountains with an electrical issue that had knocked out my break lights, indicators, speedo, and odometer. The back tire was getting thin, and the bike was well due for some love. I hoped that this would be almost the last of my bike problems (we can all dream).

I pulled into my first hotel alone for the trip. I was cold and feeling a little vulnerable. I was not sure on my route through Mexico and was changing my plans hourly. Packing up my gear for an early morning get out, I checked my passport and visa. Almost choking I discovered that I had to leave the USA, not on the 9th September, three months after my entry to Alaska, but instead 9/7/12, 90 days after my last entry. I looked up the penalty for overstaying a day on the US visa. My visa waiver rights revoked, and having to return to my home country before ever getting a US visa again, then interviews and ongoing visa hassles. Panic boiled up and started to overflow. I told myself there was no way I could cross to Mexico at 11.30pm at night in the rain. I struggle riding at night at the best of times. And into a Mexican border town where stories of drug wars and murders were rampant. All of my nonchalance about Mexico faded. All of the hype and the fear that others had cast my way- seeped into the cracks and I felt I was going to hyperventilate. My last Skype with Marcin as I packed my bike up, was in tears. I needed to enter the US again. I wanted nothing to jeopardize my entry back into the country to see the man I love. But to risk death?!! Ok, maybe I was totally over the top. But at that point, I couldn’t think straight. He sent me directions for a hotel in Agua Prieta. The ride to the border was one of the worst in my life. As I hit the gates I searched for a US guard. I pulled to the side in tears and begged them to not make me have to cross. After a few minutes choking on my words the guards took my passport and came back stating I should be ok to go back to my hotel, and cross in the morning. That ‘one day over was not a big deal’. I turned around and went back to the hotel. I felt like I had been through an emotional industrial washing machine, my body tired, beaten and wrung out. I fell into bed exhausted.

The next morning I was once again slow off the mark. I double checked my paperwork. I double checked border crossing details. This was nothing like I had done before. Walking over borders is easy, but importing a vehicle. On my previous trip to Morocco, I had minded the bike, and had no clue about the import paperwork. This time it was all up to me.
I had been warned to bring pesos into Mexico and not to get money on the Mexican side of border from an ATM, as I might open myself up to being taken out 5km down the road. But after an hour and a half of following leads that led nowhere, I decided to cross without Pesos. I could get them further down the road.

I followed the road to the border again stopping to speak to the US guards, reiterating in more fluent English, my predicament of the night before. They nodded in sympathy and took my green expired visa for processing and told me not to worry about it. I moved onto the Mexican side. My poor Spanish skills resulted in a 30 day transit visa. On discovery of this I went back and managed after much cajoling to talk my way into a 6 month visa for both me and the bike. The whole process was relatively painless, though taking over two hours.

Leaving the border the craziness of the roads hit me. My mind was overloaded with info. Looking down at the potholes. Looking up at the signs and the cars coming from every direction. Cursing my broken Ram mount and my iphone gps stuck inside my tank bag. The streets seemed to be one way, though I must have missed the signs. Cars took up all the lanes and turned haphazardly. I joined in the confusion. Looking for highway 17, one of the smaller road south, I pulled people over to ask directions. I went round in circles. I hit dead ends, and roads that faded into goat tracks. So much for bombing straight through the border town to get out of here! After an hour, and more than 4 stilted but lovely conversations with locals I finally found road 17 to head out of town. My fear of this town from the night before seemed to dissipate.

Then I started to smile. The compounded tension of the last 24 hours started to release itself, and excitement set in. I was no longer on a backyard trip in a western country. I was in Mexico! The trip that I had dreamed of had actually begun.
__________________
Alaska to Patagonia ..... http://www.letterstocurlyflat.blogspot.com
Hewby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2012, 12:28 PM   #18
Hewby OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Hewby's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
Oddometer: 314
Sonora

Traveling down through Sonora was beautiful. Small roads wound through the valley with the hills on each side. At times the road was almost washed away, sand and rocks showed evidence of dry riverbeds making their home in dips in the highway. Huge birds circled the skies. The desert was green. The people smiled. The small towns I stopped at were friendly. Preparing for the Independence Day Fiesta, banners were being hung, cakes being made and streets fairs set up. I stopped to get myself a Mexican sim and some Pesos, struggling with my still poor Spanish. Different people sent me to different stores until I could find what I wanted. People stopped me in the street to comment on the bike. To see if I had found what I was looking for. To offer help. It was an amazing sense of community. When I told them of my plans they almost fell over. “Muy valiente…” they repeated. But I don’t feel brave. At times I don’t feel the need to feel brave, as there seems nothing to feel brave about. The people seem amazing, and I feel welcomed and respected, much more so than my time in Morocco. Yes, I appreciate my freedom, and feel so lucky for my heritage. But as a Gringo here I feel safe. If I was Mexican and living in a border town, this might be different. But traveling here in Senora, listening to the people, I think everything is going to be ok. The police blocks seem friendly; they see my papers and wave me through with a smile. I feel I could stop and stay in many of the towns, but I continue on to Montezuma before the setting sun.
__________________
Alaska to Patagonia ..... http://www.letterstocurlyflat.blogspot.com
Hewby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2012, 01:36 PM   #19
huzar
Pastor of Muppets
 
huzar's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Bellevue, WA
Oddometer: 1,835
Muy valiente
huzar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2012, 03:39 PM   #20
skibum69
slave to gravity
 
skibum69's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2006
Location: New Melbourne, Newfoundland
Oddometer: 4,852
Ditto
__________________
Beerthief
skibumsoirée2009 skibumsoiré2010
Riff Raff 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009
RIP ITsteve, ride in peace my friend
save $5 on a new smugmug account, use this coupon7frrnSRiTt9Fk
skibum69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2012, 11:27 PM   #21
Hewby OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Hewby's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
Oddometer: 314
Broken down

So my bike is broken. My new friends in Moctuzuma have helped me locate a mechanic. He is young, inexperienced and loaded up to the eyeballs with work. He says he will come ‘mañana’ which almost turns into never. Using the collected knowledge of ADV I have diagnosed the problem, and with the encouragement of the forum, pulled apart the water tank and found that my pinion gears are sheared. Together we diagnosis the parts to be ordered, and offers of assistance flow in to help. Bisbioian aka Adam offers to pick up the parts from Tucson as his is heading to Mexico in a few days. The amazing Tom, aka Turkeycreek, offers to drive over and pick me up in his trailer and take me back to his beautiful hotel in the town where Bisbioan was heading. Marcin is on the phone constantly supporting me and others I have met along my route chime in with advice on what to order and how to check for the symptoms. My Mexican friends are astounded, as am I at the support network of people that rally to get me back on the road.
The next day Tom, Aka TurkeyCreek arrives with his covered motorcycle trailer, and takes me back to the quaint town of Banamichi in northern Sonora. We wind up to the town through the beautiful lush winding roads of the Sierra… wildflowers intermixed with cactus. I longed to be riding these roads.


My delivery van! by hewby2, on Flickr


IMG_1930 by hewby2, on Flickr

At the hotel los Arcos I am treated to spotless rooms and tranquil luxury. The internet that actually worked (most of the time). I delighted in Skype with enough bandwidth for video since entering Mexico. Lush greenery surrounded the courtyard, and the water features to seemed somehow to cut the heat of the day. It was amazing what Lyn and Tom have done- building up the hotel from a run down house. Everything is tastefully thought out to the last detail, and done well. Perfectly matched colors. Murals, and greenery bringing the place together into a beautiful sanctuary. And still they work hard to expand the small ten-bed hotel, Tom putting together plans for another beautiful straw bale building across the street.


Hotel mural by hewby2, on Flickr


IMG_1929 by hewby2, on Flickr


IMG_1928 by hewby2, on Flickr


We put the bike in the huge back shed awaiting its repair, and away from prying eyes. My hosts Lyn and Tom delighted me with stories of ride tales and misadventures. He talks of his business running motorcycle tours through the beautiful Sonora, and also through the USA and Colorado. Both him and Lyn have a wealth of knowledge on the area and they assist bikers plan their adventures to take in the beauty, and history of the area. Working hard to create the perfect self guided tour, or a guided one depending on the persons taste.

Their friends would wander in delightfully, and share further stories, and show of new second hand purchases; A bicycle with wire panniers, a golf cart that we had a tour of the town on. Their enthusiasm was enjoyable. This town too was building up for the Independence Day Fiesta. Tom put up flags above the hotel. Marching bands practiced for the event. Plans were made to go to Hermosillo to buy for fireworks for the celebrations. A simply lovely place to await the delivery of the parts, and getting my bike back on the road again.


IMG_1932 by hewby2, on Flickr
__________________
Alaska to Patagonia ..... http://www.letterstocurlyflat.blogspot.com
Hewby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2012, 08:25 AM   #22
Hewby OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Hewby's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
Oddometer: 314
Bisoboinan aka Adam, arrives and delivers the parts on a beautiful red moto guzzi. He pulls in straight from the border to let us know he has arrived, goes home to change before coming straight back up to the hotel to start work on getting the bike back in working order. We piece together knowledge from the chain gang, the Haines manual, and emails and phone calls to Frank from ‘Z’s motorcycle werks and ZMW adventures’, a lovely knowledgeable and caring man who I had met on my way through Tucson. The pionion gears are sheared, and the waterpump a little damaged. We work late into the night, the frustrations of the assembly at times doing our head in. We have to cut the oil pipe and replace it with a tube pipe in order to pull out the clutch cover. Placing the lot back we break the clutch arm, and there is a moment of panic when we think we have really broken the clutch, and will need further parts. Thankfully, some thought patience then banging with a hammer we finally seem to sort the pieces back in order.

Tiredness and hunger overcome us and we call it a night. The bike is still in bits on the garage floor. But we sleep.
The next morning Adam does a stellar job at getting the bike together while I trade a little time in his overgrown garden helping his lovely wife. We do a shake down ride for 5 hours to get fireworks for independence day, arriving back just after dark. A few further tweaks made on the road and I feel almost ready to hit the road in the morning. Much indebted to my delivery driver and mechanic Adam, and hosts Tom and Lyn, for their support to put me back on the road south.
__________________
Alaska to Patagonia ..... http://www.letterstocurlyflat.blogspot.com
Hewby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2012, 08:53 AM   #23
CourtRand
Gnarly Adventurer
 
CourtRand's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Quito, Ecuador
Oddometer: 159
Sounds like you are in great company - Tom and Lyn sound like amazing people. It will be hard for you to move on maybe! Great stories so far - keep em coming!
__________________
Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental
Motorcycle Rentals, Guided and Self-Guided GPS Tours of Ecuador
Quito, Pichincha - Ecuador

+593(0)98-176-2340 http://FreedomBikeRental.com
court@freedombikerental.com
CourtRand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2012, 08:56 AM   #24
Cal
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Calgary
Oddometer: 737
Thanks for the up date re the pinion gears. Don't you wish the parts guy at the dealer where you bought the water pump kit would have said.... hey maybe you should take these 2 pinion gears also?
Looks like a lovely hotel Los Arcos,hope to check it out in the future.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2012, 09:22 AM   #25
jbcaddy
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Oroville & Placerville, California U.S.ofA.
Oddometer: 1,152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal View Post
Looks like a lovely hotel Los Arcos,hope to check it out in the future.
http://www.losarcossonora.com/
jbcaddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2012, 02:55 PM   #26
Paddygfw
Adventurer
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Newfoundland
Oddometer: 75
WOW!!!!!!!!
On the edge of my seat waiting for the next installment
Paddygfw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2012, 10:10 PM   #27
Hewby OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Hewby's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
Oddometer: 314
The road without bears

Sent off by Tom to find the road without bears. The signage 'camino sinuoso' at one point had been doctored to say ' camino sin oso'. A small winding road through the mountains that locals I met along the way warned me dropped of into cliffs and were very steep!
P1110522
Untitled


The Sierra Mardas is beautiful. Recent rain bringing the desert alive with color, flowers line the road, butterflies line my windscreen, and a variety of birds flit past the bike. But the roads are in a poor state. Lots of to huge rocks potholes, tarantulas, donkeys, turkey vultures, horses, cattle and dogs to keep you on your toes. Often running in front of the bike for a few hundred meters before veering off to the side.
GOPR5652

GOPR5657

GOPR5720

GOPR5699
Plus a water crossing or two (which I also use to cool off in). And really bike breaking sever speedbumps! The bottom of my bike is getting a beating.

GOPR5645

The amazing curves of hwy 16 with significantly better roads has left the sides of my footplates and toes being scrapped at least 10 times in 80km. One bank after another as I wound my way through the mountains. For a change this road had only the occasional truck coming round the corner on the wrong side, or half the hillside and trees siting my side of the roads. So it was defiantly an easier road to navigate. Though getting over 60 km per hour felt like you were flying.
GOPR5722


The locals seem to have amazing patience. Seemingly unperturbed to wander down the road at 30km an hour, or down the main street at an excruciating 5 km an hour. Maybe enjoying watching the gringo on the bike try and keep from stalling behind them! But they kindly turn on their left indicator to let you know it's safe to pass. Or at times also to turn left! Not a fantastic combination!
__________________
Alaska to Patagonia ..... http://www.letterstocurlyflat.blogspot.com

Hewby screwed with this post 09-30-2012 at 04:27 PM
Hewby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2012, 09:35 AM   #28
skibum69
slave to gravity
 
skibum69's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2006
Location: New Melbourne, Newfoundland
Oddometer: 4,852
I remember those fun driving habits and topes from driving a van to Guatemala back in '93 keep your eyes peeled
__________________
Beerthief
skibumsoirée2009 skibumsoiré2010
Riff Raff 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009
RIP ITsteve, ride in peace my friend
save $5 on a new smugmug account, use this coupon7frrnSRiTt9Fk
skibum69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2012, 10:47 AM   #29
Turkeycreek
Gringo Viejo
 
Turkeycreek's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico
Oddometer: 717
Hewby,
Try taking the topes at an shallow angle.

Glad you liked 'Sweet 16." Hwy 20 has apparently deteriorated a bit during the rainy season. Keep the RRs coming.
__________________
Mexico - Dream, Discover, Ride
Hotel Los Arcos, Northern Sonora's Motorcycle Haven
http://www.losarcossonora.com
Turkeycreek is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2012, 01:12 PM   #30
bisbonian
Studly Adventurer
 
bisbonian's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Bisbee, AZ & Banamichi, Sonora
Oddometer: 957
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hewby View Post
The road without bears

And really bike breaking sever speedbumps! The bottom of my bike is getting a beating.
Topes.

I hate Topes.

Cruising along at 40mph (or 50 or 60) and all of a sudden there's a speedbump in the middle of the road? I've been surprised on a few occasions and it's not been pretty.
__________________
My 2009 Alaska Adventure

bisbonian is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 06:48 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014