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Old 03-13-2014, 03:25 PM   #21811
rockymountainoyster
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Location: Back in the San Juan Mountains
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This is not about traveling but it is about a simple twist of fate that has in many ways shaped my life. Thanks for indulging me on this day of remembrance.

Primal Man Plane Crash

On the night of March 13, 1974, 40 years ago, Sierra Pacific Airlines Charter Flight 802 slammed into a mountainside shortly after take off from the Bishop, CA airport. The aircraft was a Convair 440. Aboard it were 31 members of the David L. Wolper Productions, “Primal Man” Mini-Series film crew and four Sierra Pacific Airlines crewmembers. In the violent impact and subsequent intense fire, the lives and careers of 31 of my friends and colleagues were lost. These were vital and energetic young people, some with families, who had promising futures. They were working on a project that was both a challenge and a joy. They had just completed filming on the last episode of the series.

At the time, I was on Staff at Wolper productions and had worked with this crew in the Summer/Autumn of 1973. I looked forward to working with them again. On the night of the crash, I was nearing the end of a three-week stay at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, recovering from a back injury. That evening my girlfriend Martha had just left my room. I was hooked up to a spinal traction contraption. Just after I closed my eyes to drift off to sleep a shaft of light, fell across my face. I opened my eyes to see Martha silhouetted in the hospital room doorway. She quietly said, “The plane crashed”. I groggily said, “what plane?”. She replied, “The Wolper crew plane.” I knew that the crew was shooting up at Mammoth Mountain but had no idea that a plane had been chartered to bring them back. Martha had walked past a television in the lobby and seen the news. I began to make calls to other staffers at their homes. Ultimately, a group of people gathered at the Wolper Productions office to begin the grim task of finding out just who was actually on the plane and beginning to notify next of kin. I had a couple of good friends on the plane and the task fell to me to call their spouses to tell them that their husbands and fathers of their children would not be coming home. It was a tearful night.

The cause of the crash was never determined. A couple of years later, after a day of sailing, I was sitting in a bar in Marina del Rey and overheard a conversation. Three women were discussing a plane crash and the details were familiar. They got my attention. One of the women had known the pilot of flight 802. At the time of the accident, he was having some financial difficulty and going through a nasty divorce. I sat listening, stunned and then quietly left the bar without approaching them. Perhaps this competent pilot, who had flown this route many times before, was briefly distracted by his life situation and made a fatal error. We will never know.

Hold those you love and cherish close, and be careful out there.

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Old 03-13-2014, 03:42 PM   #21812
SR
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Location: Western, Mexico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizzMan View Post
I only drown my bikes. Keep my phone in a water-proof container.

But my new GSA already has water in the engine so I'm good, right??
Yeah, you are fine Schizzman. It is just more water in the engine!
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Old 03-13-2014, 03:50 PM   #21813
ChicagoEd
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Long-time lurker, finally signed up as a precursor to my first TRUE adv ride, and I wanted to see if any one of the many insightful posters in the Mexico thread could give me any pointers on my route ideas, or at least my pacing. Honestly, I would love to crowdsource a better route from anyone willing to help.

I'll do a full post in the next couple days, but figured I'd start here as the bulk of the trip, at least the first portion, goes through Mexico. The general overview is-
- Solo riding on my F800 GS (I welcome anyone looking for a short jaunt or the long haul)
- Leave Chicago 3/27-28, plan to be ready for crossing on morning of Day 4(JamminJay-style booking it from Chitown)
- Looking to meet friends getting into San Juan del Sur, Nica on Apr 9, wouldn't be concerned getting there a day late

I know I'm pushing it, but my departure date is fairly set and Nica date is set. My return trip should also allow for an extra week or two vs the 2 wk trip down. I figured it could be a good way for me to also assess how I feel on the trip surrounding safety, as it's my first long multi-country solo ride. I haven't planned the return because it's definitely fluid, and I'm going to stationed in San Juan for 5 days, giving me some time plan after interpreting the first part.

Below is(was) my first pass map, but I'd be quite happy if it ended up looking nothing like the final based on input from the valuable posters of this thread. I've already realized I'm going to do a Veracruz stop, I just figured you guys knew better than I how to make it happen! Your advice and knowledge has already been invaluable in just absorbing some of all the great info here. The actual "stops" are more of a guide on pacing, as I don't plan on any rigid rules other than arrival date in Nica.

Thanks for any and all insight and help, I look forward to being an active participant and helping out when/if I have anything valuable to contribute. I'm willing to go for a ride or anywhere along the way!

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Old 03-13-2014, 03:56 PM   #21814
ChicagoEd
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Forgot to add, I really need help on actual routes along on top of the cities to stop in, even if they're in the exact opposite direction(have to get home too!). I figure this group knows more than I'll ever know on the land south of the border and if anyone is willing to share their wealth of knowledge, I'm willing to surrender to the flow and trust the inmates.
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Old 03-13-2014, 03:57 PM   #21815
MikeMike
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See that part between Puebla and Tehuacan?
There are routes through there, paved, lightly traveled, that could convince you to move there and ride there for the next few decades.
In fact if you draw a 200km hemisphere to the east/southeast of Puebla, there are some very, very good roads through there.
Most people never see them, they literally pass right by the magic.
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Old 03-13-2014, 04:22 PM   #21816
Jick Magger
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Originally Posted by SchizzMan View Post
Lemme guess, you keep it with your tire spoon??
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Old 03-13-2014, 04:29 PM   #21817
MikeMike
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One for the RMO

RMO, here is one for you.
The table might be empty, but everyone is remembered.

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Old 03-13-2014, 04:51 PM   #21818
NZLADY650
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San Antonio en route to Mexico

Visiting family in Helotes, San Antonio. Able to relax and repack with a clearer head.
Motorcycles will be loaded on Saturday and ready to go on Sunday morning heading towards Eagle Pass, on the Mexican border.
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:38 PM   #21819
RW66
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Location: Central Mexico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NZLADY650 View Post
Visiting family in Helotes, San Antonio. Able to relax and repack with a clearer head.
Motorcycles will be loaded on Saturday and ready to go on Sunday morning heading towards Eagle Pass, on the Mexican border.
Where else are you going after Eagle Pass?
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:40 PM   #21820
RW66
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Location: Central Mexico
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Loading the bike, headed for Mazatlan this weekend....Coming back home on Mon....
Anyone in Mazatlan this weekend?
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:42 PM   #21821
acejones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeMike View Post
RMO, here is one for you.
The table might be empty, but everyone is remembered.

MikeMike,
That's a great picture !
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Old 03-13-2014, 07:08 PM   #21822
AndyT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoEd View Post
Long-time lurker, finally signed up as a precursor to my first TRUE adv ride, and I wanted to see if any one of the many insightful posters in the Mexico thread could give me any pointers on my route ideas, or at least my pacing. Honestly, I would love to crowdsource a better route from anyone willing to help.


Looks like a reasonable route. I'm curious about the border crossing you show between Mexico and Guatemala. There was a thread here about that awhile back, and no one posted who had actually used that one. How did you decide on that? Do you know if there is aduana there for your vehicle permit? Looks like you plan to go through Coban? From there to your border with Honduras would be slow going on twisty mountain roads, which is great unless you have to make time. The "normal" route, if you wanted to stay on the beaten track would be to cross at Cuatehmoc/La Mesilla, and bypass Huehuetenango, and Quetzaltenango (Xela) on the Interamericana, then Guatemala City and east to the Honduran border.

The route from Oaxaca to San Cristobal is a long days ride, especially if you take the free road form Tuxtla to SCdlC, which I recommend. Beautiful mountain road. Very doable, just be ready for a long day.

The only other comment I would have is that the area between the Texas border and Ciudad Victoria, and south from there, has been fairly hot with cartel activity lately. I would give some thought to crossing at Laredo and going through Saltillo and south to San Luis Potosi. It's a very fluid situation, and Saltillo was hotter a year or two ago. Just read up what you can and make your own decision. Odds are excellent either way would be fine. I'm sure other people will post up their opinions.

If you have some time, some highlights near your route would be:
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, arguably the prettiest small city anywhere.
Teotihuacan pyramids, spectacular ruins
Lake Atitlan Guatemala, Ridiculously gorgeous lake ringed by volcanoes
Antigua Guatemala, kind of a mini San Miguel
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:07 PM   #21823
tricepilot
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I'm curious about the border crossing you show between Mexico and Guatemala.
That's Nuevo Orizaba - Ingenieros (El Quiché Department)



I have not used that one, but if I were entering Guatemala and passing through, I'd verify it had a functional Aduana or I would skip it and cross elsewhere.
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:08 PM   #21824
MikeMike
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Originally Posted by acejones View Post
MikeMike,
That's a great picture !
Thanks, I've started always carrying some sort of camera, other than the cel phone, with me at all times. That was low tide on the walk to work.
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:42 PM   #21825
GuateRider
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Originally Posted by tricepilot View Post
That's Nuevo Orizaba - Ingenieros (El Quiché Department)



I have not used that one, but if I were entering Guatemala and passing through, I'd verify it had a functional Aduana or I would skip it and cross elsewhere.

No Aduana on the Guatemala side of the border , I don't know about the Mexican side . But I doubt it , because even bigger borders like Gracias a Dios don't have Aduana on either side .
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