Border Road Rally Raid

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by RuggedExposure, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. RuggedExposure

    RuggedExposure Now with more rugged

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    With the weather warming up, and a my new Terra 650 screaming to be used, Bullitman281 and I set forth on our newest trip. Two years ago we did the Border Road 100 and traversed 100+ miles of the border along New Mexico's southern edge.

    This year we decided to push the limits and see how far we could go. Setting our starting point as El Paso, TX and seeing how far west we could go using the US/Mexico border as a road, we had our sites set on San Diego, CA:
    [​IMG]

    Many people don't realize that the US/MX is actually public property set in place by President Roosevelt in 1907, commonly referred to as the 'Roosevelt Reservation'. This 60' strip is declared to be open to the public for transportation and 'no other purpose'. We'll see about that.

    With our camping gear, extra fuel, food, his DR650 and my Terra 650 and not much more than some print outs from Google maps, we set out.

    From starting out the first night like this:
    [​IMG]

    To sparse open country like this:
    [​IMG]


    It turned out to be one hell of a trip.
    #1
  2. RuggedExposure

    RuggedExposure Now with more rugged

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    We started out our first day taking off from my place and heading east along the border towards El Paso, TX.
    We didn't need to take many supplies this first day since we would be heading back past my house by the end of the afternoon, and pack our crap for the rest of the trip.

    Here are the bikes on top of the hill at Int'l Boundary marker #14, looking east towards Santa Teresa, NM:
    [​IMG]

    As we got past Santa Teresa Port of Entry, the terrain got pretty steep:
    [​IMG]

    Steep enough to the point we didn't want to ride down the near vertical inclines and had to see alternate routes:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Added helmet cam video : Columbus, NM to El Paso, TX
    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Nice pics :thumb

    :lurk
    #3
  4. FakeName

    FakeName Wile E Coyote SuperGenius

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    Subscribed

    :lurk
    #4
  5. RuggedExposure

    RuggedExposure Now with more rugged

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    As we got closer to our first destination of El Paso, we ended up having to climb some pretty steep and rocky atv trails used by the border patrol. After climbing through several of these, Bullitman281 noticed some fluid leaking from the bike once we got back to a flatter portion of the trail:
    [​IMG]

    Looks like we weren't going to get to climb Mount Christo Rey, since Bullitman's DR650 was acting like a typical Suzuki and giving us hell. At this point we had to high tail it into town and see what we could do there.

    Luckily I did bring my tool kit for this first stretch of the journey. And we decided on a gas station parking lot to take a closer look:
    [​IMG]

    Here Bullitman sees what the problem is, points at the bike and says "Ah ha! Its a Suzuki!"
    [​IMG]

    Turns out in typical Suzuki fashion (I have a zuki too, and it also gives me fits), the side cover ate the gasket after a few stretches of winding the motor out in deep sand. Oil was pouring out like crazy and it was getting late in the day. We should have been home already. Should we start this journey if we can't even get to the first destination?
    #5
  6. RuggedExposure

    RuggedExposure Now with more rugged

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    So with one bike taken apart in downtown nasty El Paso, and leaking oil too bad to even consider riding the several hour trip back home, we had to do something. I also had forgotten my wallet at home and didn't bring a jacket either :doh.
    Luckily Bullitman had some cash with him and sent me off with a $20 to find the nearest auto parts store.

    I'm not too familiar with El Paso, and try to stay out of it as much as possible. If you've never been there, its a big, filthy city with awful drivers who are incredibly unfriendly.

    So I took off and found an Autozone several miles down the road and picked up some red RTV. Hauling ass back to the gas station, and trying not to get pulled over since I didn't have my wallet, I made it back by dark.

    Bullitman made a temporary gasket with the RTV and we waited for it to cure a bit before we limped his bike back to the parts store:
    [​IMG]

    Sure enough the RTV held, and we picked up a gallon of oil and some gasket paper in order to make a new gasket when we got back to my place. If we were planning on getting up and hitting the road early, it was sure to be a long night riding a few hours back in the cold (with no jacket on my end) and repairing his bike for the 1000 miles trip that laid ahead.

    After picking up some fast food and filling up the bikes, we took off back home, hoping for no more problems.
    But riding through El Paso, I found out that the city police don't like people standing on the pegs and riding in traffic.
    We didn't get pulled over, but the idiots pulled their unit up next to me and shined the spotlight at me. :asshat
    #6
  7. barko1

    barko1 barko1

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    Hey RE met you at HF before your trip! Subscribing :clap. But stop trashing the Suzi, a fine and durable machine, never heard of one, or any other bike :lol3, where a side cover ate a gasket. Must be a damned hungry bike, must be from using HF gasket sealer :deal.
    #7
  8. Idahosam

    Idahosam Set Adrift

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    I'm in for this.

    Bud you sure live off the grid........ Columbus has some cool history to it.
    #8
  9. RuggedExposure

    RuggedExposure Now with more rugged

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    I know, they are good bikes. I'm just rattling his cage. We actually got my DR running properly again.

    I actually live between Columbus and Hachita. Way off the grid.
    #9
  10. Idahosam

    Idahosam Set Adrift

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    I rode along Hy 9 last year on my way back from my Mexico trip and kept thinking how cool it would be to skirt the border, but I kind of figured the BP would take exception to that, they were everywhere.

    I think I filled up just outside Hachita the lady sold home made burritos, is that it, no come to think of it it was Animas. Regardless you are indeed of the grid.

    I think I am going to enjoy this one.
    #10
  11. RuggedExposure

    RuggedExposure Now with more rugged

    Joined:
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    We ended up getting home pretty late, and we were both exhausted and freezing. Bullitman's bike didn't leak anymore oil so we decided to let sleeping dogs lie, and call it a night. The next morning we packed our crap and got a bit of a late start:
    [​IMG]

    We left from highway 81 at San Luis Pass rd since there isn't much of a border road in this area due to terrain:
    [​IMG]

    The adventure begins.

    Following San Luis Pass rd, we took a left at 'Been Tank' and headed south to a really remote location in order to stay as close to the border as possible. This route was rockier than hell and had some unexpected climbs up nasty hillsides. Bullitman has much more technical bike riding experience than me, and I don't know how I didn't lay the bike over several times. I credit my knobby motocross tire :clap
    [​IMG]

    Looking back at the valley we climbed up out of:
    [​IMG]

    And looking forward towards the open Animas Valley with AZ in the distance:
    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. emerson.biguns

    emerson.biguns All idiot, no savant

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    I fly the Nogales/Lukeville section a lot. Looking forward to seeing how that went for you.




    .
    #12
  13. jmcg

    jmcg Turpinated..

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    Great report so far!

    Thanks,

    JM.
    #13
  14. #1Fan

    #1Fan Been here awhile

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    More!:freaky
    #14
  15. davesupreme

    davesupreme grand poobah

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    yeah, this is sounding good!..... bring it!....
    #15
  16. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    Sweeeeet.....RE. It's on!

    HF :lurk
    #16
  17. RuggedExposure

    RuggedExposure Now with more rugged

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    A better view of the valley looking towards Cloverdale, NM, the mountains in the distance are the Peloncillos and the state line of AZ/NM runs through the middle of them:
    [​IMG]

    In the middle of the valley is a stout cable fence, looks like they get tired of illegals driving through their fences in this area:
    [​IMG]

    From there we headed north a few miles and found the beginning of the Geronimo Trail Road (GTR) which rambles through the Coronado Nat'l Forest. Upon entering the trail we had multiple Border Patrol agents hauling ass. Everywhere.
    [​IMG]

    This one actually stopped to talk to us. Turns out he likes motorcycles too (dirt, trials, etc) and actually grew up in the same town in CO that me and Bullitman did. Small world! He even took a picture for us (the sign in the background says 'Welcome to the Coronado Nat'l Forest').
    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. RuggedExposure

    RuggedExposure Now with more rugged

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    Backtracking a little bit-
    Back on San Luis Pass rd, this area is common for seeing buffalo wandering around. When you think of the US/MX border buffalo don't really cross your mind, but they're out here. Bullitman finds this an opportune spot to mess with his gear:
    [​IMG]

    And here at the turn by 'Been Tank' we both messed with the maps and geo coords to figure out if this was our first waypoint or not. Turns out it was, the taller mountains in the background are Mexico. Bullitman chose to struggle with his Garmin gps, I preferred my smart phone. Both have their ups and downs.
    [​IMG]

    Back to the GTR-
    I had never been through the GTR, and it turned out to be an awesome stretch of twisty dirt road with some creek crossings. Beautiful country in those mountains.

    At the top of the GTR is a sign commemorating the Mormon Battalion:
    [​IMG]

    Pretty interesting history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormon_Battalion

    At this tall point they had to lower wagons down the incline by rope and you can read in the previous pic what happened.

    We had finally reached Arizona! Looking to the west and the valley we would have to descend:
    [​IMG]

    Here is an overview of the GTR, it spits you out into the desert east of Douglas, AZ:
    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. saddlsor

    saddlsor my butt hurts

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    I did this same trip a couple of years ago in my pickup truck with a camper shell. just try to imagine how many times I got hassled by the border patrol. it was a very interesting trip and really enjoyed it. looking forward to the rest of your story.
    #19
  20. Idahosam

    Idahosam Set Adrift

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    This is a great RR. Interesting how the history is interlocking. I just learned something new; Charbonneau on the sign is the child of Sacajawea From the L&C Expedition. He's now buried in a off the Grid location in SE Oregon.

    [​IMG]

    Just thought it interesting how this tie's in with PNW history.
    #20