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Old 05-22-2011, 03:59 PM   #1
RuggedExposure OP
wandering the desert
 
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Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Hermanas, NM (on the US/Mex border past BFE)
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Border Road 100

With the weather and schedules and clearing up, Bullitman281 and I decided to it was time to take a trip on the bikes. Since I am fairly new to the offroad motorcycle world, and him being a seasoned rider, we thought a trip along the US/MX border would be an awesome adventure in terrain that I am familiar with. We chose 100 miles of some of the most desolate and dangerous stretches In the United States. Our journey would begin in Columbus, NM and and bring us from the Columbus Port of Entry to Antelope Wells Port of Entry and end in Hatchita, NM.


Bulletman281 drove down from a cold and rainy Colorado on Tuesday, and we spent Wednesday wrenching on the bikes. After tearing apart my carb and backing the pre-load off the suspension of my bike, we were ready to hit the border.

Loading the bikes into Bullitman281's Powerstroke:


Friday morning we began our journey in Columbus, NM, fueling up at the only gas station within 30 miles.

Bullitman281 begins his first battle with riding gear:


taking off from the gas station


From Columbus, we headed East on Highway 9 for several miles until we reached a set of double cattleguards and followed a sandy path south. This brought us to our first windmill and water trough of the trip. Soto Mill:


From here we continued south and caught our first glimpse of the border:


Monument 20 is where we hit the border road. There is a post/rail type of border fence that seems to carry on forever at this point:


From here we will head West for another 100 miles, experiencing all the NM bootheel has to offer us.
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Old 05-22-2011, 04:13 PM   #2
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wandering the desert
 
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Location: Hermanas, NM (on the US/Mex border past BFE)
Oddometer: 1,223
After proceeding a few miles to the West, the fence made an abrupt change from the post/rail to a hybrid pedestrian fence:


Bullitman281 opening a wire gap fence along the road. These things can sneak up on you quickly when travelling at a good speed


Soon after passing the gate, the Columbus Port of Entry came into view


Looking south through the port into Mexico


Looking west from the Port


The fence changed from a hybrid to a bollard style


Bullitman281 standing next to the bollard style fence to give a size reference


After passing the Palomas, MX populated area the bollard style fence fades away into the post/rail fence again


Here we spiked the interest of an ever curious Border Patrol agent
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Old 05-22-2011, 04:27 PM   #3
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Location: Hermanas, NM (on the US/Mex border past BFE)
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Continuing west we passed some Mexicans hauling horses along the road


Here is the small village of Palmas. It mostly looks abandoned other than the livestock wandering through fallen buildings, but a few residents still hang on. You can see the Mexican electrical code leaves a lot to be desired:


Around this point the post/rail fence blends into an odd style of aluminum posts buried into the ground.


A person could simply walk through this area of fence. Its main intention seems to be to deter vehicles from crossing the border. These grey colored posts vanish off into the horizon at Radar Hills.


After passing through the Radar Hills and into the farmlands a Normandy style barrier appears


Out of no where a water crossing hinders our progress. Here is Bullitman281 sizing up the situation


He wanted to find a way around the flooded ditch, but I assured him it couldn't be any deeper than 4ft. After some reluctance, he decided to cross.


Soon after the flooded ditch, the border road disappeared all together and turned into a mud pit. Once again Bullitman281 wanted to find an alternate route, and I assured him the ground was drier than it looked.


Here is a patch job performed on the border fence. Here a Mexican vehicle either loaded with drugs or aliens cut through the fence and attempted to make it through the border illegally.
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Old 05-22-2011, 06:03 PM   #4
Wolfgang55
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I thought that was a Texas bump gate.
Damn, it's hard to drive w/o lights on a KLR.
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Old 05-22-2011, 06:20 PM   #5
RuggedExposure OP
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Location: Hermanas, NM (on the US/Mex border past BFE)
Oddometer: 1,223
To the south of us some Mexican ranchers loaded their horses into the back of a small truck. Common for down there.


The farms on the US side vary greatly in crops... Here is a field of onions


Just past the farms lies the village of Chepas, MX


Chepas is sparsely populated as well, and mainly serves as a staging point for illegals crossing the border


Beyond Chepas you can see the border road no longer follows the line but ends abruptly at the foot of a hill


So far my gear has been holding on pretty good and no problems from the bike


Here the road turns at the base of the hill


And the road winds into the canyon. This road is currently under construction by the National Guard


Just as we entered the canyon, we spotted an abandoned car in a ditch. This vehicle was driven through the border illegally and left in the ditch after it got stuck years ago


I couldn't pass up the photo op
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Old 05-22-2011, 06:30 PM   #6
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Location: Hermanas, NM (on the US/Mex border past BFE)
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Upon entering the canyon there is a large rock the National Guard unearthed and painted their Engineer ensignia on


The road they are building is good quality and encourages you to fly through it. But the corners are incredibly slick


If you build up to much speed on that last downhill curve, you will end up in Mexico after crashing through this barbed wire fence. At this stretch there is no border fence other than this.


We climbed through the canyon to the top of the pass. Here you can see a pitcuresque view of the borderland. In the distance of this pic you can spot the border road running as a tan stripe across the desert floor.


After riding down the West side of the canyon we spotted an old rock structure that served as a mining house from the 1800's


Looking to the West


At this point we came across a newer style of Normandy barrier that deters vehicles from crossing the border but does not phase people from crossing. The Big Hachet Mnt in the background beckons us to carry on.


A sign on the Mexican side of the border warns people not to cross due to the area being so remote and desolate
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:54 AM   #7
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Location: Hermanas, NM (on the US/Mex border past BFE)
Oddometer: 1,223
Passing several more border monuments we came across a recently replaced gate. The old one was thrown on the border fence, mangled from a vehicle that drove through the border and tried to make it back to Mexico after being chased.



Approaching the bootheel there is an old mining camp. The landscape is completely filled with mine shafts



Its hard to imagine living in a one room rock house this small




Just passing the mining area, the border road transitions from a nice all-weather road with a sturdy barrier to a rough 4x4 trail with a barbed wire fence.


Bullitman281 finds this an opportune area to fight with his gear. Again.


The Sierra Rica hills surrounded the area and are covered with sharp unforgiving rocks.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:59 AM   #8
lakota
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looking forward to the rest
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:56 AM   #9
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wandering the desert
 
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Location: Hermanas, NM (on the US/Mex border past BFE)
Oddometer: 1,223
Looking back to the east- this would be our last glimpse at anything remotely resembling a well maintained road or fence along the border. It all went to $hit from here, and the adventure began.


I followed Bulltiman281 up a steep and rocky trail to the top of a hill


After the top of the hill the trail got ridiculously steep progressively worse with rocks. Being that this is my first offroad trip on a motorcycle it was a good idea for me to pick an alternate route around the hill.


I found a tamer arroyo to follow to meet up on the other side


After meeting back up with Bullitman281 he had to try and turn his bike around in the narrow arroyo. And the bike got tired.


After getting the bike back up, and crossing some pretty rough country, we finally arrived at the corner of the bootheel, monument 40.




Here you can see two previous locations for the monument back in the day. They were only 20-30 yards away... Obviously surveying equipment got better at some point during the 1800's.

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Border Road 100 Border Road Rally Raid
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:05 AM   #10
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Love it. Looks like a great ride!
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:51 PM   #11
RuggedExposure OP
wandering the desert
 
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Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Hermanas, NM (on the US/Mex border past BFE)
Oddometer: 1,223
Monument 40 was the turning point of our journey. From here the border would turn left and head north/south. This stopping point allowed Bullitman281 yet another opportunity to fight with his riding gear.


Looking south from the corner


Here I spotted some buried rations from illegals


The border road to monument 41 was full of hills and loose rock, but provided a picturesque area.


Looking back north to monument 40


A yucca plant comes into view while looking south. Our destination seems to vanish into the horizon


Soon after coming down from all the hills we reached the desert floor. The road turned to hell with sand, gravel and silt beds. Here is a section of the border that is cut and frequently driven through enough to make a road appear out of no where


Looking back north to the hills


A hitchhiker from crashing through the brush
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The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth

Border Road 100 Border Road Rally Raid
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RuggedExposure screwed with this post 06-05-2011 at 04:29 PM
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Old 05-28-2011, 10:16 AM   #12
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Location: Hermanas, NM (on the US/Mex border past BFE)
Oddometer: 1,223
At this point the road changed from a fairly straight and tangible path to a zig zag that raced through thick brush, mesquite thorns and silt beds.


Here Bullitman281 tries his hand at the silt




In the bottom of the arroyos the terrain changed to badlands


Pretty much in the middle of no where an unusual monument appears. We had found the beginning of the continental divide trail.



There was a pathway in the fence that looked well used. Obviously the Mexicans are into hiking the Continental Divide trail as well?


As we stood around checking out the area a fire arose on the other side of the border. It appeared to be a controlled burn on one of the farms.


A hundred yards to the south a random block of concrete emerges on the road


Its a headstone for Frank Evans, a member of a crew building the border fence in 1907. Frank smarted off to the crew chief (Crazy Cook) one morning and ended up getting an ax buried in his head. Here lies Frank Evans.
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Border Road 100 Border Road Rally Raid
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:42 AM   #13
colin
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fascinating look into the border area....keep it coming
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Old 05-29-2011, 07:21 AM   #14
scarysharkface
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Please please please get a smugmug account so we can see your pictures. John
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Old 05-29-2011, 02:17 PM   #15
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Location: Hermanas, NM (on the US/Mex border past BFE)
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Sorry about that guys, I upgraded the account. I should have more pics up this evening.
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Border Road 100 Border Road Rally Raid
'13 Husky Terra 650, '08 Kawasaki Meanstreak 1600, '95 DR350S
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