Copper Canyon Mexico or Will I come back alive?

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by chabon, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. chabon

    chabon Been here awhile

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    Oddometer:
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    que es mucho mejor!

    SilCOG this month, what's up, you in?

    Colorado this summer? Still pondering this one. Need to talk with Patobravo about it.

    [edit] Just saw your "Where am I riding", Death Valley huh?
    #61
  2. Bgunn

    Bgunn Mucha distancia

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
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    Rockford Wa


    No long faces here :lol3 Don't eat spam often, but that was tasty, thanks Mike.

    Seems 4.20 may come early in El Tanque :bubba


    [​IMG]



    #62
  3. SenorPeligro

    SenorPeligro Proper Naughty

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    Definitely in for the secret mission. I'd like to talk to you both about Oregon. :D

    Got back from DV on Sunday. I'm missing it already.
    #63
  4. KHVol

    KHVol Long timer

    Joined:
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    May have to do it a couple or three times. ..finish w/ a dash of Tabasco...Lovin the RR
    #64
  5. mark883

    mark883 and the mysterians

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    Great report.

    You are now fully qualified to report all incidents of Mexican un-safeness to the Is Mexico Safe thread, and to make all necessary fact-finding trips back to Mexico, to verify said reports.

    :clap
    #65
  6. The Breeze

    The Breeze Been here awhile

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    Hi Chabon,

    Great Ride Report:clap:clap:clap I've been wanting to do the same trip for a couple of years now.

    I'm trying to decide between taking my DR650 or the WR250R. I think the WR would be best, but I'm concerned about fuel (i.e., hard to get 91 octane). How did the WR's do on lower octane...any issues?? If they are having issues (pinging, etc.), I'll take the DR....since it'll run on anything:lol3 But, I'd prefer the WR due to it's weight, etc. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Sorry for the highjack, but your input would really help.

    Great writing/pix by the way!!!
    #66
  7. chabon

    chabon Been here awhile

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    Yes, I believe more research is needed before I come up with a firm conclusion:D
    #67
  8. chabon

    chabon Been here awhile

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    The WR would be more fun on the rougher sections, but then Mike had no problem with his KLR650, and I mainly had problems due to my experience level.

    All Pemex's had 91 octane, maybe the other guys can chime in about fuel, they might have had to go with lower octane one time???
    #68
  9. chabon

    chabon Been here awhile

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    Putting together the ride report is so that I will have a reference to go back to if my memory should fade (likely). Brad sure liked being in sweep. He probably wondered what would be lying in front of him around every corner! Looks like I might have to head up north and treat him to a proper dinner, with drinks. :freaky
    #69
  10. chabon

    chabon Been here awhile

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    This picture cracks me up, especially knowing the circumstances of the situation. :lol3
    #70
  11. chabon

    chabon Been here awhile

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    Stage 8 Navajoa to Santa Ana, 317 miles.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Zm5jiAv38q0?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    This was actually the first time we spoke to another gringo on the whole trip. We only saw one car from New Jersey and one car from California the entire trip! The gringo was looking for a handout as his car had burned up ( in New Mexico) and he wanted to continue to Guatemala. We filled up with gas this morning and I was airing up the tires when I had a sidestand mishap and dropped the bike, this would be the tenth and last time the old girl would end up laying down on the job on this trip. I tried to pick it up and strained my shoulder, this would be the most bothersome injury and am glad we are now on paved road and at the end of the trip. Have to use my right arm to lift my left hand up to the handlebars. Makes pulling the clutch a bit difficult also.
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    IMGP1196 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
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    IMGP1197 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
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    IMGP1198 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr


    Here&#8217;s a tip, it is hard to break a 500 peso note. Best place to break a 500 is at Pemex. Other places won&#8217;t have change. All I had to pay for breakfast was a 500 and they had to go over to Pemex to get change for me.
    [​IMG]
    IMGP1199 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    We are out of the canyon and mountains now. All desert from here on. The best of the scenery is behind us, but the trips not over. Still need to get home!
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    IMGP1200 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    Good day riding, just making our way north. Pass through the edge of Guaymas and head north towards Hermosillo.
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    IMGP1201 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
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    IMGP1203 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
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    IMGP1205 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    Bypass the toll road as we did at the start of the trip and stop in Parquis for some fine goat tacos and grilled whole onions. A school aged girl spoke a little english here. I asked her what was good and she recommended the hamburger. Do they have pink slime in Mexico? I doubt it, but I went for the goat!
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    IMGP1206 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
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    IMGP1207 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    I think they can grow grapes anywhere. Vineyard along the bypass road.
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    grape vinyard by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    Made it to Santa Ana and stay at the same hotel.
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    IMGP0907 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    Walk up the road a ways and have dinner at Elba&#8217;s. I ordered half a milanesa and it covered the entire plate! The toxic chemical I put on my finger seems to be killing the little alien that lives alongside my fingernail off! Pulled shoulder is starting to hurt pretty good.
    [​IMG]
    elbas by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    Now I should mention here, for all you scientifically minded people, that if your boots and feet are wet or damp for more than 4 days something odd starts happening. I'm sure it has something to do with bacteria, fungus and mold, but not having a microscope on hand I'm just guessing. I think I will dub this "Biology Experiment on Steriods Gone Wrong"! You will be pleased to know that there are NO photos.

    Tomorrow we should be back in the states if all goes well


    #71
  12. Bgunn

    Bgunn Mucha distancia

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    Premium (Rojo) gas was available in the larger towns for the most part. I did run several tanks of regular in my WR. I couldn't tell the difference between the two. No pinging or issues.

    Also had a DR650, which is simple, reliable, and a great Mexico bike.

    Between the two I prefer the WR. Better suspension, lighter, and more fun offroad. Can also run 70 down the highway.

    Hope this helps.
    #72
  13. The Breeze

    The Breeze Been here awhile

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    Chabon and Bgunn,

    Thanks for the feedback:thumb I'm taking the WR!!

    Once again, great Ride Report:clap
    #73
  14. chabon

    chabon Been here awhile

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    Jan 2, 2009
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    385
    Location:
    Carpinteria, CA
    Stage 9 Santa Ana, Mexico to Blythe, CA via Lukeville, 393 miles.

    ZERO photos today, sorry. We are backtracking the same route we took south at this point so really nothing new. Shoulder is hurting to much to lift the camera anyways.... Might be some helpful information below for turning in your Temporary Vehicle Import Paper, could save you a return trip to the checkout point.

    Train wakes us up again, just like on our first day in Mexico. Kind of a solemn day for me, I’m not ready to end the trip. Go back to Elba’s for breakfast (kind of the Denny’s of Mexico). A lot of highway miles today, a toll or two, return the Temporary Vehicle Import papers, and a checkpoint. The place to return the Import Papers is about 20 miles south of the border crossing. A very nondescript little building sitting at a southbound checkpoint. I wonder how many people miss this and have to return from the border to get their vehicle checked out? You would think they would put it on the northbound side of the road, or at least some kind of sign. There is some writing on the wall of the shack, hard to see. Simple procedure, they verify your VIN and process the paperwork to refund your credit card the deposit fee ($200 in my case). When I got my permit online I double checked the VIN on the steering head. The VIN was hard to read but possible. Well, at the checkpoint the guy had trouble reading it. He called his supervisor, took 30 photos, had me remove seat and check the VIN sticker, more photos, more phone calls and after 30 minutes I was okay to go. Whew!


    A couple miles up the road was a police checkpoint where they had us pull over to secondary inspection (under a shade tree). Burt was our official spokesperson at the checkpoints, not sure what he said, but seemed to have a good rapport with the authorities. This time they brought out the drug sniffing dog (it was in a little crate under the shade tree). Kind of looked like a stray dog they picked up off the street although I think it was a Belgian that needed grooming. The dog did its thing and when it got to Brad (Brad was standing under the tree) it started licking his hand. Now I don’t know how these things work, but I had visions of Brad breaking and running under a hail of automatic weapons fire or being tackled and handcuffed on the spot and all of us thrown in some jail. Brad slowly turned his hand around and I could see something white in his hand, could this be a small bundle of cocaine what the hell is going on here? Oh wait, now I see, its the lid to his water bottle, I guess the dog was thirsty.

    One more stop at a gas station for some cheaper gas and to use up the last of the pesos. Now it's a straight shot to the US border at Lukeville, glide right through the Mexican side. For some reason Google maps will not route across the border at Lukeville. Don't be fooled, you can cross here and it is low traffic and easy. And since you are on a bike, if there is a backup of traffic, its okay to shoot to the front of the line. Only one car in front of us at the US side. I considered jumping in front of the one car, but felt it unnecessary at this point :rolleyes:. Five minutes and we are all on US soil. We survived Mexico. We now cruise through Organ Cactus National Reserve to Gila Bend where we grab lunch at a Subway and fill up with gas. We will part ways here, the guys to Yuma and my goal is Blythe.

    All freeway miles to Blythe. We had been cruising between 60 and 65 as a group. Where the F650 had shortcomings in the dirt, it shined on the freeway and I cranked it up to 80-85 to stay ahead of the trucks. Any of you guys ever feel discriminated against when you check in at a motel? First motel eye-balled me and said they had no rooms, all booked up, even though the parking lot was almost empty. Guess they thought all my biker friends would show up and throw a party or maybe I just looked like s&*t??? They said to go across the street, “that motel will probably take you”. Second motel acted like they were doing me a favor, in Mexico they made you feel appreciated and welcome everywhere. The only good thing that happened at the first motel was that my airbox puked a shitload of oil all over the driveway right in front of their door (Karma)! This is something I hadn't seen before, guess I will add the rest of my red racing oil I bought in Mexico and hopefully nothing bad will happen to the engine.

    TV finally works, not worth the extra $65 it costs to stay at motel stateside. Get a bag of ice and put it on my shoulder. Watch TV a few minutes, news about multi-millionaire hollywood couples not getting along, politicians plying their wares, gossip, commercials, really just a bunch of stuff that doesn’t matter. Turned it off after realizing I hadn’t missed anything by being out of touch south of the border.


    Should make it home tomorrow. Plan to get off interstate ASAP and go up and around Joshua Tree National Monument.

    EDIT:

    Just checked my post and seems boring without photos. So here are some stock shots I found on the internet just to jazz it up a little.

    Here's my Motel. It was nice and clean, had hot water, ice machine, the standard fair for a USA motel.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the motel that 'disallowed' me. I won't mention names. I really wanted the hot tub and big breakfast they have. Some of these particular motels have cool little pancake makers and you can make your own pancake. It was not meant to be.

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    My motel was behind this diner. I walked over to have dinner, but it was pretty dirty and disgusting. Some other people showed up at the same time and we all kind of moaned and did an about face - Went to SIZZLER.
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    Price of gas is going to go up. This is why....
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    Here was my exit. This might help you recognize the proper exit for the motel district, please file this in your photographic memories.
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    This guy lives in Blythe, I didn't see him as I didn't go over and visit the prison. He some famous graffiti person, wonder if he does his own ink?

    [​IMG]

    Well, that's it for tonight. See you tomorrow.
    #74
  15. Idahosam

    Idahosam Set Adrift

    Joined:
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    Well, Glad you made it back in one piece. I do believe once the soreness subsides and the Doctor fixes you right up (probably rotor cuff) You want to do it again only maybe just stick to Mx 200 and head to PV. (easier on the body)

    Thanks for sharing the adventure, I have traveled many of the same miles. While reading your tale of mishaps I started whimpering like a Lab around water..... wanting to jump-in. I so need to go back.

    Thanks,


    OH! weren't you scared? :D Black SUV's in nocturnal stealth mode, military SOG's repelling in, in the wee hours... sure it wasn't a movie set.

    Kidding..
    #75
  16. chabon

    chabon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
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    385
    Location:
    Carpinteria, CA
    Post Stage Blythe to Carpinteria, 365 miles.

    Going home today.

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Ez5UyjoHqlw?rel=0" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"></iframe>

    Sleep in until 0800, get breakfast in the motel lobby. Pastry, hard boiled egg, and some juice. The Ball State basketball team was staying here and they had pretty much devoured the food, those boys had big appetites. The coach saw me struggling with my arm and asked about it. He said ice, rest, and strengthening was the way to go.

    Get mounted up and notice big puddle of oil coming out of airbox drain so I add the last of the Mexican racing oil I had on hand and prepare to leave. Got off the Interstate as soon as I could at Highway 177, Desert Center. GPS said I could get gas here, no way. Someone needs to call the POI guy and update him.

    [​IMG]

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    Oh, well, still have enough gas to get to 29 Palms and should have 50 miles in reserve. I got on the deserted 2 lane highway to 29 Palms. Big headwind, in fact, big enough (along with puking fuel problem) to cause me to run out of gas 15 miles outside of town! Coasted to a stop in an asphalt turnout and considered my options.
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    IMGP1210 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
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    IMGP1209 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    Hadn’t seen a car in 40 minutes. I could call AAA and get gas from them, might take an hour or more. Well no more than 45 seconds after I pulled over a truck pulling a boat was coming up behind me. I stuck out my arm, the guy pulled over on the sand shoulder and jumped out with a gas can in his hand. I was started up and rolling again in 4 minutes. I looked in my mirror to make sure the truck was moving and all I saw was a rooster tail of sand. This can’t be good! Turn around to go help dig out the truck and trailer, but as I approach he gets traction is moving. A quick wave and I’ on the way.

    Fill up in 29 Palms and it’s the home stretch. Girl at gas station had pink hair, lots of tattoos and piercings. Her friends were hanging out with and they all had a similar look.


    [​IMG]

    I guess if you live in 29 Palms this is what you do.


    Now its a straight shot home. Music ON, autopilot ON, just focused on getting home and reflecting on the whole experience. Asta la vista Mexico.........Hello Carpinteria

    [​IMG]
    Carpinteria Beach by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    And the answer to my original question in my ride report title, “Will I come back alive?”.


    I came back MORE ALIVE !!!
    #76
  17. mtncrawler

    mtncrawler Long timer

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    1,361
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    Fort Collins, CO
    Excellent trip report guys! :clap:clap

    I just returned from my first trip to Mexico doing the CC/Baja loop (solo) in just around 3 weeks. Wasn't as successful as you all on the Urique river crossing, but I made it out alive! :lol3

    Keep it coming:D
    #77
  18. Bgunn

    Bgunn Mucha distancia

    Joined:
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    1,550
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    Enjoyed the trip, and the trip report. Great sense of humor, even during the not so fun parts. Tough Hombre !

    We'll have to do it again.

    I'll hit the lights on the way out....:eyes
    #78
  19. chabon

    chabon Been here awhile

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    Thanks Brad, not so sure about Tough Hombre, more like 'Survival Mode!' :evil

    Still thinking about the trip, one of my best experiences in a long time! Little back country trip next weekend in the Santa Ynez Mountains here in Santa Barbara County. I'm definitely game for another trip south of the border.
    #79
  20. chabon

    chabon Been here awhile

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    Epilogue:

    A listing of the aftermath/carnage:

    Puking fuel syndrome, followed by puking oil (bike, not me)
    Bent pannier racks
    Broken buckle on Wolfman bags
    Slightly melted and deformed side panel
    Mashed finger and sore shoulder
    Some new patina and scratches


    Would I do anything different? Maybe smaller bike if going on the less traveled roads. What would I take that I didn’t: extra pair of shoes for water crossings, motorcycle cover ( which I unpacked at the last minute). Get international roaming or a phone card that WORKS. What would I leave behind: some clothes, only take one tube (front, which will fit rear), tactical wallet.

    Pretty small list, the puking fuel was fixed with new o-rings at the needle valve seats. Unfortunately the puking oil means splitting the case (counter balance shaft seal)

    [​IMG]

    Got a big pipe (the plumbing kind, not the smoking kind) and pried the pannier racks back into position. New buckle to fix the Wolfman bag. A heat gun and some bending got the side panel fixed. The finger and shoulder are healing, thank you. I had physical therapy lined up for my shoulder before the trip as it was giving me problems for awhile.


    The scratches, they might buff out, but I think I will leave them as a reminder of a great trip. Cheaper than a sticker and they have a real story behind them.

    Here is a link to my Spot track at Spotwalla
    http://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=41654f497c9b47203

    (you can adjust the number of dots by changing the ‘fill’ at left side of screen)

    GPS Tracks for the copper canyon area (Creel to Navajoa) can be downloaded here:
    ?
    Dualsportmaps.com
    http://www.dualsportmaps.com/?link=103666


    <IFRAME SRC="http://www.dualsportmaps.com/embedMap.html?id=103667" TITLE="Copper Canyon" width="800" height="600"></IFRAME>

    (
    Total trip mileage 2605)

    The biggest danger to me in Mexico was myself!

    [​IMG]

    #80