Durango to Mazatlan Highway

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by westnash, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. Axel White

    Axel White Lone Rider

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    Hi SR,

    I just rode from the south end of Vallarta to Durango in just under 9 hours, without pushing it. Riding a BMW Adventure so only one fuel stop. Rode the toll road from Tepic to just south of Mazatlan. From PV to the turnoff to Durango took about 4 hrs. I have done this many times in both directions but this last time was easier than ever. They have taken so many kinks out of the Espinazo that it is becoming an easy ride.

    Wonder how long it will take to make the Durango to Mazatlan trip on the new road? Hope that you are buying real estate in Mazatlan. If not already, I am sure that prices will go up since it will open the beaches to a whole new income group.
  2. patched

    patched Adventurer

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    west bend wisconsin
    Hi SR I was planning on Dgo-Mazatlan-San Blas-PV in March 2013.Your route looks very interesting. How much more has been paved in the last three years?

    Google earth shows a lot of dirt yet i'm ok with that .But it does'nt let me do a continuous route from Jesus Maria to Ruiz is that because it follows dry river beds or is it just Google?
  3. RW66

    RW66 Been here awhile

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    SR
    I was on my last leg from Mesa Az home to Fresnillo.....I passed the same cattle truck...they only had one ready for the grill when I went by....
    You probably don t remember me but we rode together a couple of years ago in the hills back of Fresnillo
    We need to ride together again sometime
    RW
  4. RW66

    RW66 Been here awhile

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    SR
    It was a nice ride over the Sierra. I was by myself and of course everyone said I was crazy....so what else is new..
    It was as hard on me...an old man, as it was on the KLR...I lost a sub frame bolt, a cruise peg and had a flat tire...
    Some nice people I passed found the peg, and gave it back when I was stopped with the flat.....and another guy stopped to help me with the flat......don't understand why people think a 62 year old guy is crazy for traveling all over Mexico alone when Mexico is full of people like that, ready to help.....maybe that is why the bad guys leave me alone because they also think I am crazy????? When a got to....I think Ruiz......I was low on fuel and a kid came up beside me on a small motorcycle and started to chat....he said he would take me to the gas station.....it was night and I had no idea where I was .......I followed him.....he took me through some questionable neighborhoods I thought maybe this was going to be the end of my life so I punched in the gas stations into my GPS and it said there was one in the direction we were heading so I continued to follow.....long story short we got gas and this kid was a great help to me that night.....maybe people just like to help crazy old men ridding all over Mexico alone......what do you think????
    I would do it again, but the manager here in the park told my boss what I did and my boss went crazy and asked me to
    not do that kind of ridding anymore.....go figure...make me an offer I can't refuse.......like, ask me to ride it with you and let's see who wins.....my boss or the ride over the mountains????.
    We need to meet up again and share some lies....
    RW
  5. SR

    SR Long timer

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    Here are a few of the Baluarte Bridge from this morning. Today was the first time I've been able to cross the bridge. Before you could explore around it and go on it, but you couldn't get across. They are coming along. >400 m tall makes it the tallest bridge in the world.

    [​IMG]
    Durango on the left and Sinaloa on the right.

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    It is still very isolated there. THis morning I saw a bobcat running across the road around this area but couldn't get a picture. In the past I've seen deer, coatimundi, wild turkeys, and guacamayas (macaws?) in this area too.

    [​IMG]
    I came in from the Durango side and got back to the old highway at El Palmito, Sinaloa. The VSTROM lightly loaded on the Espinazo is so much fun!

    This guy has his tail end stuck in the gutter. He was pulling and jerking the tractor to get it loose. Probably not too concerned about being in the wrong lane at the moment.
  6. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    SR, saw the same thing on the new Xalapa bypass, half in the ditch and major FUBAR! LOL!
    Caught the NAT GEO special you mentioned, the graphic with the whales to illustrate weight was interesting.
  7. SR

    SR Long timer

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    I've been on this road dozens of times and seen semi accidents well over half the time I've been on it. Sometimes 2 or 3 in one day.

    This is actually worse than it looks. There is a bunch of landslide material in the gutter and he cant pull through it.

    Yeah, that special was well done.
  8. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    Is that the bridge they were building in 2010 when we were there, SR?
  9. SR

    SR Long timer

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    Yes I think so, I cant remember exacatly, but they probably started building this bridge in 2009. There are something like 120 bridges and 80 tunnels as part of this road construction project, but this is the big one.

    When I was up there on Sunday they were working on the electrical instalations in some of the tunnels. Most of the tunnels are all "smart". They have sensors to turn on lights and ventilation only when needed.
  10. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    It looks like they made a lot of progress with all that dynamiting. :lol3
  11. SR

    SR Long timer

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    I'm sure they've used hundreds of tons of explosives on this project. When I went through on Sunday they had me wait about 10 minutes. They had blasted high up on the mountain and were still scaling down big boulders of broken rock. Some parts of the road were completed over two years ago and they are still working on stabilizing hillside.
  12. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Hey SR, you guys over on the left coast have it too good! You get all the high tech tunnels, the world record bridges, the decent tequila, banda, corridas, bikinis, etc... Over here we only get cheap rum, marimbas, vacationing Chilangos, and this recipe.

    First, start with a sierra, any one will do, the deeper the better (and now imagine Arte and Andres riding this at night, around 11pm or so).

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    Next, put in a good measure of rusted barbed wire for the guardrails and retention barriers and notice the lack of ground control on the right of the post. It looks like a smudge on the lens, but it's a smudge alright, but on the mountain side and not the lens.

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    And finally, ponder the ancient Mexican mystery/riddle of..."Why did the boulder cross the road?"

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    That's one that didn't make it all the way across and down the side to the next level of the road.
    The Zen moment of realization that the ambivalence of Jarocho highway ground control, like the universe, is infinite.

    I'll try to get a pic some time of the part of the road that was washed out during Hurricane Karl and it is located in the middle of two blind corners. Real thrill ride, you usually hit it around 70 kmh or so and have about 50 feet of warning that is written on an old pie plate hung on a tree branch. Well, you usually hit it only once like that, you learn your lesson really quick!:eek1 I was lucky enough to do it during the day, but I recall hearing that Arte did it at night.
    Though it is really a thrill, the effect on those following you is interesting because they only see you disappear before their eyes. The pie plate I think is used as a comparative measuring device for two things. Number one, your eyes after you hit the section and number two, the section of seat which disappears between your cheeks.
  13. Advdave

    Advdave jubilado

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    Steve,

    Great photos.....we'll be on the old road this trip for sure..

    sent you email.
  14. SocalXMinn

    SocalXMinn Adventurer

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    My friend and I drove from Minneapolis Minnesota to Mazatlan in 3 days, stayed 3 days and drove back in 3 with my 1970 Chevy Camaro. Going there from Laredo Texas to Mazatlan from 7AM till 2AM. My friend had one year of high school Spanish.
  15. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Pictures, please??:clap
  16. BobLoblaw

    BobLoblaw Comfortably Numb

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    That's similar to the ditch I visited a couple of years ago. Same problem getting out.

    The civil engineer part of me can't wait to ride the new highway.
  17. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Ain't life a ditch, Bob.
  18. SR

    SR Long timer

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    My Grandparents loved traveling in Mexico and for their honeymoon in 1938, they drove from Albuquerque to Acapulco in a 1936 Buick. They drove from Albuquerque to Mazatlan down the DGO-Maz highway in 1958, right after the road was built.

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    1936 Buick

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    I knew lady here in Durango who said when she was a kid, back in 1920s, her family would ride burros from Durango to Mazatlan. It took six days and could only be done in the dry season when the rivers were low! :huh That lady is not her. She was a little thinner?
  19. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    SR, you ever see the Chrysler Corp. promotional documentary where the guys take a Chrysler through Mexico long before the Pan Am highway was built?
    I have the movie, the first part about Mexico, and a portion of the second part where they kept on rolling through Central and South America. It was filmed after WW2.
    Great old flick. I'll keep a copy for you and remind Schizz to do the Pony Express thing again and get it over to you when he breezes through here.
    Schizz never "passes through" nor does he "go through" he always "breezes" through, like the Jamaicans say, "Irie mon" LOL!
    He should get a laugh out of that.

    Speaking of laughs, take a look at the road and the rock formation on the IMS thread in the YouTube vid I am going to post up.
    Give me a few minutes to get the link. I've been in this area but I have yet to do this particular road in the video for obvious reasons.
    First, you really need to know the bus schedule.
    Second, there is no bus schedule. LOL!
  20. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan There, that's it

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    Dang! Caught the vid on IMS. Don't think I'll be breezin' through that mountain region. Can we ride it in June? Can we?? Huh??