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Old 04-29-2011, 07:52 PM   #271
bigalsmith101 OP
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Jim, we'll likely head out on Sunday morning

Heading South, or maybe East to the Devil's backbone, south to Guadalajara. Not sure yet.

It was good to meet you as well. Turns out there were 2 Canadians as well that had read my blog as well. Gotta love ADVrider!

--Alex
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Old 04-30-2011, 05:42 AM   #272
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Hey Al, glad to hear you're all doing well mate.

Charlie's mum can't get hold of him and needs to urgently before she leaves on a holiday of her own. Can you please ask him to call her ASAP?

Everything is ok so not a need for him to worry at all, she just needs to deliver him some insurance information he requested earlier plus another important bit of info.

Hope this gets to you before you part ways and safe riding.

Cheers,

Andy
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:45 AM   #273
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Thumb Four Week Re-Cap

(Andy, I'll tell Charlie ASAP)


Hello everyone!

April 29th marks the end of our 4th week on the road. Having covered nearly 3500 miles, staying nearly within our budget, escaping near adventure ending accidents, all while having a great time; we feel great about our adventure so far. A recap of the last 4 weeks follows below; for those of you just now joining the adventure, or lost in the events thus far, I hope this serves as a welcome addition to the ride report. Enjoy at will


Week One:

We left the Seattle area on Tom’s 24th birthday, April 2nd, 2011 riding our 2007 and 2008 Dr650’s and made it to Eugene, Oregon on Day 1 where we stayed with Tom’s dad’s friend, Tom. Day 2 brought us to Northern California where we camped just north of Big Sur on Highway 101. Highway 101 brought us south on Day three to San Francisco to meet up with Tom’s college friend Brady. On Day 4 we made it to L.A where we were introduced to Charlie the Australian, riding a 2010 Yamaha Tenere. Day 5 landed us in San Diego, couch surfing at our mutual high school friend, Chad’s apartment. Day 6 marked an uneventful crossing of the Mexican border, stopping in Ensenada where we met Sarah, the Colorado native riding a 2005 Yamaha XT225. The end of the week was spent resting in the same place.


Week Two:

Day 8 was the beach in Ensenada. Day 9 brought out the big guns and landed me on my ass sliding through the mud on our way south to Rosario. Day 10 was worse, and I survived a serious crash. My motorcycle was bent out of shape but fixable, wheels bent, spokes broken, forks bent, luggage case broken. I was bruised but well and truly alive, and not bent or broken. Tom, Charlie and Sarah forged ahead while I fixed my bike. Day 11, 12, 13 and 14 were spent in San Quintin, north of where I crashed, where Tato the motorcycle mechanic fixed my motorcycle to the tune of $900. Cheap by comparable standards, and the bike was nearly back up to par. End of week 2, but back on the road.


Week Three:

Day 15 turned me back on the road headed south again where I camped on the side of the road north of Guerrero Negro. Day 16 brought me back in the group when I found Tom and Charlie on the side of the road in Loreto. Sarah had been lost but was found that night. Once again we were a group of 4. Day 17 was spent in Loreto again, enjoying an easy day. Day 18 took the 4 of us south to La Paz at the beginning of Mexico’s holy week, Semana Santa. We stayed through Day 19 and had a good time at the Pension California where we changed our oil having covered 2800+ miles thus far. We also met Eric, a bicyclist from San Fran who is riding to Argentina over the course of a year. Day 20 took all 5 (Eric on Charlie’s bike) of us an hour south to La Ventana, a world renown hotspot for Kite borders and wind surfers, where the wind wasn’t blowing to Tom’s disgust. We stayed through Day 23, and met many wonderful people. Chaz, an American traveler, Dan the owner of Playa Central where we stayed top the list and many others as well. This carries us part way into week 4.


Week 4:

After our days in La ventana, Day 24 took us back north to La Paz in preparation for taking the ferry from La Paz, Baja California to Topolobambo, on the Mainland of Mexico. On this day we also met Eddy and Lizzy, two Australian backpackers travelling around the world for a year. Day 25 had 6 of us (Eddy, Lizzy, Tom, Sarah, Charlie and I) on the ferry across the Sea of Cortez where we spent the night in Topolobampo, mainland Mexico had been realized. Day 26 landed us in Mazatlan. After a slight mishap, where Sarah was lost again, we reunited and found ourselves smack dab in the middle of Semana de los Motos; or Motorcycle Week. A festival of 10-15,000 motorcycles from all over the world. Day 27 was spent finding Eddy and Lizzy who bussed down from Topolobampo, and was finalized with a fiesta at Joes Oyster bar. Day 28, today April 29th, marks the end of Week 4 on the road.


Finale:

Nothing negative can be found in this trip. Everything has been wonderful. Many learning experiences, ample eventful nights, wonderful, generous people, excellent travelling companions, and mile churning days were in abundance. It has been fantastic through and through and I am very happy to be on the road, traveling via motorcycle, living a dream and experiencing life first hand.

Thanks to all who have been following along on Advrider and the Hubb, and to those of you at home supporting me along the way. My Dad and Mom, Gary and Louise couldn’t have done a better job, my Girlfriend Kristi is top notch and kicking ass in school while I travel, my prego on round two Sister Lorraine always has my back, and all my friends at home are awesome.

Month number one has come and gone, 2-9 are yet to come.

ONWARD!

--Alex
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:57 AM   #274
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Thanks for the Executive Summary -- saved me a lot of reading, but tickled my appetite for more. You're livin' The Dream, Big Al!
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:19 PM   #275
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Round Two, “The Month of May in Mainland Mexico.”

Today will be the last day in Mazatlan for the four of us. Charlie, Sarah, Tom and I will be leaving tomorrow morning to head deeper into Mainland Mexico. It’s been nearly a month of traveling together thus far, and new plans are on the horizon. Charlie and Sarah are heading off on a path of their own, most likely headed to Durango to ride the famous Dragon’s Tail. Tom and I will probably be headed the same direction, but with different plans in mind. Cheap accommodation, camping at will, tasty tacos, and days/nights spent in the wilderness should all come into play. We’re about to turn this party into a major fiesta.



Having started this trip together, Tom and I share a loyalty to each other. We enjoy spending time with Charlie and Sarah, but that is where our connection ends. We are all traveling together, yet separate, with different agendas, budgets, and goals. Charlie is keen to see the mountains as is Sarah, Tom and I will travel to Tom’s college stomping grounds in Cuernavaca, and everyone will get a taste of what they set off to do originally.

Our current traveling partners, the backpackers Eddy and Lizzy, are heading off on bus tonight, destination Guadalajara with Mexico City in the days following. They’ll be found again no doubt, as they travel the same parallel routes as we do. Facebook is the standard means of communication, and we all stay connected somehow, someway.


Both Tom’s and my Dr650’s are still kicking ass and taking names. It’s quite the experience, considering when we bought these particular motorcycles, both were bought from out of state, one off Craigslist and one off Advrider’s flea market, we’d never ridden a Dr650 before, didn’t see the bikes in person pre-purchase as they were delivered to us, and didn’t know much else about them except for their wide acceptance as a great dual sport touring bike. We’re more than happy with our decision, and are pleased to announce that their rugged construction, durability, reliable motors, and cheap maintenance have helped us keep strong, and moving over the past month and 3500+ miles. Of course the true test of time will be the next 8 months and 20,000+ miles to come.



As a side note, since my crash, my Trail Tech Vapor computer has not been functioning as planned. The speedometer is no longer working, nor is the odometer keeping track of miles. This is due to a misplaced magnet that I later found on my busted rim. I’ve yet to take off the front wheel to replace the magnet as the tachometer works well, and a constant speed of 60’ish mph reads 4500rpm’s in 5th gear. I’ll put it back in place sooner than later, as knowing my miles driven since last fuel up can be essential at times, and keeping track of oil changes is made easier.



All in all, Mazatlan has proven to be a nice rest stop before the beginning of what Tom and I feel will be the real adventure. Mainland Mexico, varying terrain, local food stands, wild camping, and everything else in between will be on our menus, and we plan to feast from every item in turn until we are stuffed to the gills. Adventure calls out our names and we feel the urge to escape the cities, meet new people, and find the hotspots and hidden gems. We can’t wait for Round Two, “The Month of May in Mainland Mexico.”

--Alex
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:12 PM   #276
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MOTORCYLE WEEK!
Way too many motorcycles (is there such a thing?), many, many, many people drinking and riding, lots of crazy music, shitty traffic, lane splitting, illegal U-turns galore, cheap food and beer, crazy men and women cat calling each other and riding with sandals, shorts, and a t-shirt ruled the weekend.
There is too much to say, so I’ll let the photos tell the story. 15k+ motorcycles in miles long parade. Stunt riders, choppers, trikes, sidecars, ONE Yamaha Tenere 660, and numerous sport bikes were the name of the game.
Here we go!
A couple of awesome Choppers


#1






#2






A VW powered trike.





Custom Paint Job







Lunch break for Tom and Charlie





While this guy flew around checking it out from the sky.



Parade time!




We saw Jim on his R1200GSA




The crowds gathered to cheer us on




And watched from their balconies






And this guy brought his dog!






Meet Gary and Marilynn Smith. Riding a custom made Ural 750 sidecar unit, two wheel drive, 4 speed with Reverse. He’s been from Dead Horse to Ushuaia and back.







This girl paused the show for a quick bump and grind on her busted up bike. The Polaris vehicle behind her was bumping the tunes.





And finally, this guy brought the whole family!




Tom ran out of gas mid parade and nearly had heat exhaustion. Only he, I and maybe 3 other people of the entire 15k wore helmets. We may have been the only ones wearing pants, and we were sure as hell the only ones wearing boots. Did I mention the gloves? Or that it was 90 degrees? Hahah.
It was a goodtime for all!




Onward!
--Alex
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:13 PM   #277
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Meeting Jim and Cindy!

Saturday night, April 30th marked a turning point for Tom, Charlie, Sarah and I. We’d be parting ways the next morning. Tom and I had nothing planned. Charlie and Sarah were heading west. The Devil’s backbone was on their horizon. Where we’d all end up was uncertain. We just knew we we’re all prepared to take care of ourselves, and it was time to meet new people.


So, that night, the other Aussies hit the road south, headed for Guadalajara and Mexico, City. They are moving pretty fast. Not quite sure we’ll catch up with them until maybe South America.



And the next morning, Sunday May 1st, Charlie, Tom, Sarah and I had a pleasant if not slightly nostalgic group photo to signify 3 weeks together.



That, my friends, is where things go awry!
Jim, (Going South) met us first in the event area for Moto Week, and then again the next day during the Parade. I rode the entire parade route with him, and afterwards before parting ways he told us it was a shame that we were moving on so early, and that if we needed any help in Mazatlan to give him a shout. Well Tom and I liked Jim’s easy going nature, the relative calmness after the storm that was Moto Week, and the idea of taking care of random business over the next two or three days. So, we used our local shout out, and presto! Jim arrived at our doorstep the next morning!


Meet Jim and his wonderful wife Cindy!




Jim and Cindy offered us a place to stay, and Jim offered to show us around town. We accepted, as any place is a good place for us, made even better with good company. And good company we had! Jim is a veteran Alaska fisherman, while Cindy is a restaurant manager. Both are Ballard, Washington residents (part of the year) and took care of business early with 5 kids. When Tom and I rolled into town, they had 2 more!


Here is a view from the beach front condo Tom and I stayed in for the last two days. We’d be staying longer, but we have plans to move south west to Cuernavaca. More people call our names.



Tom apologizes to all of the ladies for shaving his ‘stache, but it was time!

Here in Mazatlan, especially in a beach front condo, there is little need to wear much else then board shorts and sandals. That was our basic attire for the past 48 hours. We never left the compound, as we had bought food in the first 120 minutes. Steak, tortillas, apples, bread, corn, beans, ‘yoghurt’, beer, tequila, and limes all came into play.
The sun was hot, the water was warm, the beer was cold, the people were good, and the past 48 hours have been some of the best that we’ve had all trip long. Meeting Jim was a boon for Tom and I, and are grateful as can be for the opportunity to have met such great people and to have had the opportunity to spend time with them as well!


As soon as we had seen the beach, ogled the scenery, body surfed the waves, and met the local expats, Jim took us up to the 7th floor to show us his place for 10 minutes. Ha. HAHAH! 10 minutes turned into 3 hours, and the fiesta began!


Tom had much to talk about, and his suave manner really pulled in the attention. You tell it how it is Tom.





Only Tom sat on that couch all night. He really liked that couch.





Yea Tom, I see you over there.





Oh, no… Where did that come from!




The bottle was full. The other bottle was not. Cindy didn’t help up. Jim, Tom and I make up 19’, and over 700lbs of man. But…. The Tequila (pronounced Tu-kill-yah) won.

Cindy made us some delicious cheese, tomato, and jalapeno tortilla wraps.





But Tom mistook the habanero picante sauce for the jalapeno picante sauce. It looked like gravy on his plate.





Oh my god. OH MY GOOD! My mouth! I need Water! I need WATER! Please. Please! Please!!!Give me water!




And hence forth, Tom drank much water, and showered his face with the help of a cup, thoroughly washing his entire head.





That’s when we heard that Osama Bin Laden had been brought to justice. Tom is very patriotic, and most definitely drunk. As was I. Tom demanded high-fives from Jim and I. He damned shots. He was obliged dutifully. And then, with much ado we began our migration from the 7th floor to the 2nd, and Tom proceeded to tell me that he most definitely was not going on a ride tomorrow. He couldn’t possibly. How could he? It would be impossible. Not possible. “Alex. No puedo montar manana. Esta imposible.” Yes Tom, you speak wonderful Spanish when you are drunk. Yes Tom, I realize we can’t go for a ride tomorrow. Ok Tom, here is your water.



Oh, you need to sit up? Ok. Do it here Tom.



Oh, you’re tired Tom. Ok. Oh. Yes. That’ll do for now.





What you have just witnessed. Was a giant success!!!

That was yesterday. Today we spent the day lounging, planning our next few days en route to Cuernavaca to find Tom’s long lost friend “Cyntia”, and swimming in the ocean while eating the rest of the food we had bought. We’re heading out tomorrow. It should be great!

Thanks to Jim and Cindy for their gracious hospitality, welcome companionship, and excellent tequila! It’s been a highlight of our trip!

--Alex
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:19 PM   #278
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LMAO!
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:46 AM   #279
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Looks like you guys had a good time. Thats what its all about!!!
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:50 AM   #280
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hehe , Looks like ye had a good time lads
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:54 PM   #281
bigalsmith101 OP
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We definitely had a good Tim

Mazatlan was made THAT much better when we met up with Jim and Cindy.

Currently Tom and I are in Durango. We found Charlie and Sarah, still here, and are continuing South tomorrow while they head up into the mountains for an over night excursion.

All is well!!

--Alex
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Old 05-03-2011, 10:36 PM   #282
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yes Culican sucks to the point you want nothing to do with the place.
It's ground zero for the Sinaloa/Guzman drug cartel.
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Old 05-03-2011, 10:47 PM   #283
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DR650

i'll be heading down to Sayulita (& then Guanajuato... PlasticSun is there now http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...617998&page=11 look them up ) in a month with mine.
perfect bike to have in mexico!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigalsmith101 View Post
Today will be the last day in Mazatlan for the four of us. Charlie, Sarah, Tom and I will be leaving tomorrow morning to head deeper into Mainland Mexico. It’s been nearly a month of traveling together thus far, and new plans are on the horizon. Charlie and Sarah are heading off on a path of their own, most likely headed to Durango to ride the famous Dragon’s Tail. Tom and I will probably be headed the same direction, but with different plans in mind. Cheap accommodation, camping at will, tasty tacos, and days/nights spent in the wilderness should all come into play. We’re about to turn this party into a major fiesta.



Having started this trip together, Tom and I share a loyalty to each other. We enjoy spending time with Charlie and Sarah, but that is where our connection ends. We are all traveling together, yet separate, with different agendas, budgets, and goals. Charlie is keen to see the mountains as is Sarah, Tom and I will travel to Tom’s college stomping grounds in Cuernavaca, and everyone will get a taste of what they set off to do originally.

Our current traveling partners, the backpackers Eddy and Lizzy, are heading off on bus tonight, destination Guadalajara with Mexico City in the days following. They’ll be found again no doubt, as they travel the same parallel routes as we do. Facebook is the standard means of communication, and we all stay connected somehow, someway.


Both Tom’s and my Dr650’s are still kicking ass and taking names. It’s quite the experience, considering when we bought these particular motorcycles, both were bought from out of state, one off Craigslist and one off Advrider’s flea market, we’d never ridden a Dr650 before, didn’t see the bikes in person pre-purchase as they were delivered to us, and didn’t know much else about them except for their wide acceptance as a great dual sport touring bike. We’re more than happy with our decision, and are pleased to announce that their rugged construction, durability, reliable motors, and cheap maintenance have helped us keep strong, and moving over the past month and 3500+ miles. Of course the true test of time will be the next 8 months and 20,000+ miles to come.



As a side note, since my crash, my Trail Tech Vapor computer has not been functioning as planned. The speedometer is no longer working, nor is the odometer keeping track of miles. This is due to a misplaced magnet that I later found on my busted rim. I’ve yet to take off the front wheel to replace the magnet as the tachometer works well, and a constant speed of 60’ish mph reads 4500rpm’s in 5th gear. I’ll put it back in place sooner than later, as knowing my miles driven since last fuel up can be essential at times, and keeping track of oil changes is made easier.



All in all, Mazatlan has proven to be a nice rest stop before the beginning of what Tom and I feel will be the real adventure. Mainland Mexico, varying terrain, local food stands, wild camping, and everything else in between will be on our menus, and we plan to feast from every item in turn until we are stuffed to the gills. Adventure calls out our names and we feel the urge to escape the cities, meet new people, and find the hotspots and hidden gems. We can’t wait for Round Two, “The Month of May in Mainland Mexico.”

--Alex
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Alaska
AZ map COBDR AZBDR IDBDR South East map
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=598717
Butler Maps website:
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Old 05-04-2011, 12:27 PM   #284
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Count me in. This is so much better than work!
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Old 05-04-2011, 05:56 PM   #285
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