Mexin’ & Sexin’: a 2up honeymoon thru Mexico

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by canadian chris, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. canadian chris

    canadian chris Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    285
    Location:
    Victoria, British Columbia

    It's 2200 miles to Oaxaca, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of gum, it's dark...and we're wearing sunglasses.

    [​IMG]







    The Backstory:

    When you’re a kid, you tend to see your future life as a linear chain of predictable events. It’s only after you’ve spent years as an adult that you begin to appreciate how small choices can lead to big changes. For the two of us, this trip is the culmination of those choices.


    We’ve been together for 3 years now, but “together” isn’t entirely accurate because we live in two different countries (Canada and the US) and are separated by 1500 miles of geography. Despite that obstacle, we’ve made it work and this ride report celebrates the next step to bringing us together permanently.



    Who’s He?
    Profiled here, he’s a left-handed, 50 year old Canadian. A former soldier, park ranger and competitive bodybuilder, he’s now entering his 4<sup>th</sup> decade of motorcycling.



    [​IMG]



    Who’s She?
    Born in Texas and raised in New Mexico, she’s a newly graduated nurse with a passion for travel and a fondness for snugglin’. Eight years younger than him, she’s just completed her MSF basic.


    [​IMG]




    The Bike:
    Acquired from Inmate AC Elite in 2012, she’s a 2006 Honda ST1300 who’s already been the star of a 2008 European Ride Report. For this trip, she has the following set-up:


    Michelin Pilot Road 3 (front & rear)
    90<sup>o</sup> valve stems from Motomummy
    15A Powerlet socket
    2A lighter socket
    MCL Ramball clutch fluid cover



    Other than that she’s fully stock, with about 45000 miles on the odometer



    [​IMG]

    I’m gonna roll back the clock on this RR and start when the rubber hit the road: on the October run down from British Columbia to Arizona. Then there’s going to be some pre-Mexico posts leading up to the run for the border.

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    #1
  2. timmie415

    timmie415 n00b poster but not rider

    Joined:
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    Location:
    in a Fog above SF
    Quality start! Can't wait to see how this ride :evil shakes out...
    #2
  3. CaspianTiger

    CaspianTiger Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Arizona Mountains, yes there are Mountains
    we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of gum, it's dark...and we're wearing sunglasses.

    Keroac would be proud.
    #3
  4. EltonAvenue

    EltonAvenue Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    544
    Location:
    NW Arkansas
    Good luck guys & keep smilin'!........:wink:
    #4
  5. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,465
    First, huge congrats on the relationship! Wow, you kept it together across 1500 miles! There's probably a how-to book in that! Looking forward to the report. Always like to see a report from the seat of an ST! Roll on!
    #5
  6. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
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    Fort Collins, Colorado
    that would be Elwood Blues
    #6
  7. canadian chris

    canadian chris Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    285
    Location:
    Victoria, British Columbia
    thanks Tim!

    eakins nailed it down below :wink:

    but I've always liked this line by Kerouac:


    "What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? - it's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies"

    thanks Elton!

    glad you'll be coming along :) We'll go into more detail on our courtship and evolution as the RR progresses

    our Lady of Blessed Acceleration, don't fail us now :brow




    Stage One: British Columbia to Arizona
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    October 21


    It’s a grey day in Victoria BC and I’m waiting for the 10am ferry to The Evergreen State. I’m the only motorcycle in the line and that makes me one of the first on and first off.



    [​IMG]


    The harbour is quiet and the Rainbow Warrior III is tied up at the opposite quay. I remember when Greenpeace was fledgling organization run by longhair volunteers. When did it become a Corporation with an annual budget of $336 million dollars?


    [​IMG]
    (Victoria’s Harbour)


    The ferry arrives and, as always, I’m impressed at the way the semis handle the tight turns as they disembark. I drive on, secure the bike and head up to the cafeteria for coffee and a sammich. The crossing is uneventful and 90 minutes later we are docking in Port Angeles. Once through customs, I stop to plug in my music and fire up the gps. I know the way well enough but I’m using this trip to familiarize myself with the unit that we’ll be using in Mexico. My past experience with satnav wasn’t a positive one, but that was almost 20 years ago. I’ve loaded in some waypoints and put in our route to AZ and I’m curious to see how helpful this doodad will be.


    During my time fiddle-farting around, every motorhome & trailer that was aboard the ferry has now passed me, so I join the end of the conga line and begin working my way to the front of the line.

    20 klicks later and I’m 3 cars away from an empty highway, but the one immediately before me is a cop who ends up not turning off Route 101 for another 40 flippin’ miles.



    [​IMG]
    (don’t you have crimes to solve?)



    After what feels like an eternity, the cop pulls off and I make up some lost time. Before too long I’m at the Kamilche Trading Post for a pee break and refuel. I took advantage of gas.org to locate the ethanol-free stations along the route and this is one of them.

    After Kamilche, it’s a short run to I-5 which is my beeline south to Portland. My sweetheart is arriving at PDX tomorrow morning, where she’ll be joining me for the rest of the ride to Phoenix.

    Since I’m already south of SeaTac, traffic is relatively light and I make good time to Kelso, WA where I’m spending the night. I opted for the Motel 6, which is where my honey & I stayed during our 2012 motorcycle trip through WA.



    [​IMG]
    (no charge for the yappy dog in the adjoining room)


    #7
  8. voyagerrider

    voyagerrider Been here awhile

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    Burleson, Texas
    I am in, for future updates. Looking forward to them.
    #8
  9. GSAragazzi

    GSAragazzi Long timer

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    The Purgatory of Suburbia
    :lurk
    #9
  10. MrGoldfish

    MrGoldfish Been here awhile

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    Sep 6, 2011
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    Chandler, AZ
    :lurk
    #10
  11. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
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    Fort Collins, Colorado
    our Lady of Blessed Acceleration, don't fail us now :rofl

    :evil - the new Oldsmobiles are in early this year - :evil
    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/bJ_uqlNgSU8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #11
  12. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

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    I think the site you used to find ethanol-free gas was
    www.pure-gas.org

    Looks like a keeper! Thanks for the tip!
    #12
  13. canadian chris

    canadian chris Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    285
    Location:
    Victoria, British Columbia
    thanks Voyagerrider!

    welcome aboard!

    *lol* such a classic movie - thanks for the youtube!

    yep, that's the site, sorry for the misprint earlier.




    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--> 22 October




    After a huge breakfast at the local Shari’s, I load up the bike and check out. In addition to my usual assortment of clothes & tools, I’m also carrying everything for Mexico plus my baby’s helmet & jacket. I wouldn’t say that the bike is overloaded, but it’s inching in that direction.



    Here’s the load out:
    Top box: tools; impact rig & raingear
    Saddlebags: clothes & shaving kit; Mexico roadmaps, reference books & spare documents; air compressor & gopro kit
    Tank bag: first aid kit; blackberry playbook; shitkit; glass cleaner & handtowel; state roadmaps & route directions
    I have her jacket & helmet in a drybag, strapped across the pillion.



    It’s a short jaunt to PDX and I get there with a half-hour to spare before her flight arrives. PDX has free parking for motorcycles – which in my opinion should be a standardized benchmark for determining how civilized a place is.
    [​IMG]
    (free parking under cover = win)




    She gets off the plane and we’re all smoochy-face. Then she pees, I pee and we go out to the bike to get on the road. I figure we’ll grab lunch after we get south of Portland and in the meantime, we’re Chatty McChattertons on the scala as I drive through Portland traffic. She hasn’t been on a motorcycle since June of 2012 – and that was her first time ever on one - but she settles in nicely. The ST is much more plush than the VFR750 we did our last road trip on and the stock seat padding gets no complaints from either of us.


    [​IMG]


    Our roadhouse lunch stop can best be described as ‘brown’. The building is brown, the food is brown and the staff are all a little weathered as well. After finding out the hard way that the side dishes of coleslaw had soured, we decide to skip dessert and make tracks. We are headed to Klamath Falls for the night, via Oakridge and Route 58. It’s in Oakridge that I notice something odd with her visor...


    [​IMG]
    (she swears she never noticed it)



    We enjoy a coke & a smile and both think Oakridge is a pretty little town. She grew up in a small town and I’ve spent much of my working life in tiny places and neither of us are inclined to be cityfolk.


    Next up is Willamette Pass, which gets us up over the last of the coastal ranges and into drier country. Other than the occasional semi, the road is empty and we make good time. I’m playing with the gps from time to time and decide that I prefer the display from the “highway” page. I can see this thing’s potential to be a driving distraction and wonder how many MVAs there have been because people were too busy watching their progress on the screen instead of through the windshield.


    The turnoffs for Crater Lake come and go and I promise her another trip there. There’s snow on the rimroad and we have miles to make before dark.


    For a town of only 20 thousand people, Klamath Falls is surprisingly spread out but we get to the Cimarron Inn and check in. Chanda’s anxious to get her helmet off as it feels like it’s been grinding the bridge of her nose off.


    We unload the bike, stretch, snug and then snug some more. Supper is the house special at Elmer’s which gets us both fed and ready for bed :evil


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    #13
  14. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Feb 28, 2009
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    4,150
    Looking forward to this one.:deal
    #14
  15. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,613
    Location:
    San Antonio
    Bought me a ticket to this ride report.

    Comments on how the bike handles Mexico topes :ear
    #15
  16. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    PS the thread title alone will earn you 10,000+ views :deal
    #16
  17. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    There are a few thousand motels here to match the title, too.
    No maps required.
    #17
  18. RevyRider

    RevyRider Intrepid Traveler

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    130
    Location:
    Revelstoke, BC
    Looks like an interesting RR, I will be checking in daily for your updates and wishing I was along for the ride. It is minus 17 degrees celcius here this morning, ..bbbbbrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Wish I was someplace south and riding in the warmth!

    Have a safe and fun adventure!
    #18
  19. TheRoss

    TheRoss IBA# 522

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
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    364
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    I'm in! :lurk
    #19
  20. canadian chris

    canadian chris Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    285
    Location:
    Victoria, British Columbia
    thanks Mike - the "Mexico Safe" thread has been a terrific planning resource for this trip! :thumb

    thanks! I must have read your Oaxaca RR 4 times before we pulled the trigger on this ride. Speaking of which, I think I've got an extra inch of ground clearance over a 'busa :rofl

    thanks Revy, - 17C just makes for good skiing, doesn't it? :evil

    welcome aboard, Chris!






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    By the time dawn breaks over Klamath Falls, we are up, dressed, fed and rarin’ to go. The bike is warming up and the air temperature is 1<sup>o</sup>C. Having lived her life in the American Southwest, freezing temperatures are something Chanda’s only experienced in trips to British Columbia and she’s looking a little skeptical at the idea of riding in this temperature. I let her know that I’ll be blocking most of the wind and that she’ll be cozy & warm behind me.


    [​IMG]


    It’s 7am and traffic is non-existent as we head out of Klamath. The temperature drops to 0 and then down to -3<sup>o</sup>C (27<sup>o</sup>F). Although my earbuds drown out the sound of chattery teeth from the pillion, I can feel her shivering. We stop at the California border and she makes sure all her jacket vents are zipped up tight.


    [​IMG]
    (swimmin’ pools, movie stars…)


    Chanda skootches closer and we carry on down Route 139. Other than the frosty air, it’s a gorgeous day and brunch is waiting for us in Susanville CA. The air temperature slowly increases but the road dips though lots of shadowy areas where cold air still lingers. I’m on the lookout for pavement frost but I guess the ambient air is too dry because there’s not even a glazing on the roadside grass.


    Boyhood home of The World’s Most Dangerous Man, we find downtown Susanville looking a little rundown. We refuel and head to for the Black Bear Diner. We’re both looking for coffee, carbs and bacon. Unlike yesterday’s lunch, the food at the Black Bear is fresh, filling and generous in quantity. Chanda finally feels like she’s warming up. Today’s destination is Tonopah, Nevada via Reno & Fallon. It’s another 320 miles and although the driving is easy, it still represents another 5+ hours in the saddle.

    With breakfast done and the air temperature now a comfortable 70<sup>o</sup>F, we strip off some layers and settle in for the run down to Reno.


    There doesn’t appear to be much in the way of scenery between Susanville and Reno and we watch the roadside grass get browner with each southerly mile. I’d last driven this stretch in 2006, in a pickup truck, and headed in the opposite direction. None of it looks familiar and I wonder if that’s part of the difference between looking at the land from 4 wheels versus 2.


    We merge into the Reno traffic and carry through to I-80 and Fernley. After another quick stop to shed more layers, we make the turn towards Fallon for fuel and some rehydrating. Fallon looks exactly like it does on Google street-view and soon we are leaving town and southbound to Hawthorne NV. Gas in Hawthorne is $3.41 a gallon, which is still cheaper than I’m used to in British Columbia.


    Between Hawthorne and Tonopah is a whole lot of nothing. I imagine the original settlers having to stare at one distant mountain (which must have never seemed to get any closer) while the kids fussed in the back of the wagon and the breeze was scented by the steady plop of the cattle pulling the Conestoga…


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Eventually we come to a left turn and start the last 40 miles to Tonopah. About 20 miles out I can see what looks like an airport control tower in the distance. It turns out to be the 540’ high tower of the Crescent Dunes solar energy project – the first of its kind in North America.


    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/J3DylmjBPvo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


    We have our sights set on Tonopah’s famous Clown Motel, but the last room is rented just as we pull in. We motor through town and every place we pass also has a no vacancy sign – WTH? When did Tonopah become so popular? The last place on the way out of town does not and although it looks pretty grim, we stop to inquire. They have one room left and we take it. The inside of the room matches the exterior but I’ve stayed in worse and Chanda’s attitude is ”this is what memories are made of”, so we offer up a quick prayer to the God of Bedbug Control and take the room.


    [​IMG]

    It’s getting dark and we decide to gas up and grab some food. There’s a Chevron at the south end of town and it has a Subway attached to it. While paying for the gas I ask for a recommendation on other places to eat and the girl at the counter swears by Cisco’s Taco & Pizza just up the road. With that sterling recommendation, we head on over to Cisco’s.


    The two dudes running Cisco’s are friendly and we order up a meat lover’s pizza to eat there. Ten, fifteen, twenty minutes slowly go by and there’s no sign of the grub. Chanda moseys up the counter to check on progress and they haven’t started it yet. By this time we are both so hungry we could weep but it’s late and everything else is probably already closed for the night. The dudes console us with free cokes and we wait out another 20 minutes until the pizza is ready. By now we’ve decided to take it back to the motel and eat it there, which resulted in my first time ever slowly driving though a town while my pillion holds a large pizza and two cokes in her hands.

    No crackheads have invaded our room and everything is right were we left it. I set the alarm on the bike and we watch a little HBO while we eat The Saltiest Pizza In The World.


    Memories are made of this :D


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    #20