Scorched Earth, Escaping Texas Heading South

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by troutshack, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. troutshack

    troutshack Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    Texarkana, TX
    I'm new to adventure riding but I've always enjoyed traveling. Two years ago after a trip through Southern Mexico, Belize and Guatemala my friend Jimmy asked me if a trip like that could be done on motorcycle. Of course I answered "I don't see why not". Jimmy loved to ride and spend all of his free time riding and seeing the United States, we were both excited about a trip South on motorcycles. The last e-mail I got from Jimmy said he had applied for his pasport. Before I even replied to that email and way too soon Jimmy was called home.
    In the weeks and months that followed I discovered this site, other sites and all the great people who contribute so much to help others make their dream trips come true. I've lurked for months reading and trying to soak up as much as i can. I hope that those of you that share you knowledge realize how much it is appreciated by people that have read your thread and took something valuble away from it.
    Now its my turn and I hope some tid bits form this thread help someone else on their journey.
    Hi from Texarkana.
    [​IMG]
    The bike is a lightly farkled 2009 KLR, doo hickey done with drilled through subframe upgrade.
    #1
  2. troutshack

    troutshack Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    Texarkana, TX
    [​IMG]It wasn't long before I was in range of the first wild fire. The first one was near Linden TX.

    [​IMG]

    I saw a few small flames and rode through a fog of smoke for about 40 minutes but was never rerouted.

    After fueling the second time I had a hard time starting the bike. The neutral light would flash and go out. When it finally started I rode until it was time to switch to reserve before refueling. This time it was completely dead. Luckily I wasn't too far from Schizzman and he came over and helped me get it started and to his house. Then he took me out for BBQ and a few cold beers. Thanks Schizzman![​IMG]

    Afterwards we found the problem, a loose/stripped bolt on the positive battery terminal. He just happened to have a bolt that fixed the problem. He gave me a comfortable place to sleep and led me to the kawi shop in the morning to pick up a few things. I should mention that I never met Schizzman before he took his time to come help me. Thats what I love about this community.
    Next stop casa Tricepilot for his intensive tire course. Can't remember exactly what he calls it but it is to get your confidence up in the event you need to change a tire roadside.

    [​IMG]

    After an hour or so, confidence intact and I'm ready for the road. A quick lunch paid for by Raul and I was back on the bike. Thanks to both of you!
    The ride to the border was uneventful with the exception of a few more wildfires and more smoke South of San Antonio. I was only rerouted once for a short period of time.
    Last night I stayed in Eidenberg. This morning I'm getting ready to cross the border. I don't have much of a plan right now I haven't even decided where exactly I'm heading after I cross. Let the coin flipping begin. I have two places i would like to visit and 36 days before I need to be home. Thats what I call a relaxed schedule.
    #2
  3. Animo

    Animo Beastly n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,051
    Location:
    Playa del Carmen
    Safe riding!! :lurk
    #3
  4. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan There, that's it

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8,822
    Location:
    Austin, Tx.
    :lurk

    MikeMike says watch the storm brewing in the Gulf
    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,816
    Location:
    Granbury Texas
    Turn north Hurricane. Texas needs you really bad.
    #5
  6. troutshack

    troutshack Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    Texarkana, TX
    Thanks Supa12, today was an experience but I loved it!

    Schizzman, thanks for the heads up. I wasn't really paying attention. I'm on it now.

    I hear you Fototex, we've had less than an inch since June at home. I prayed for rain all summer, now it meets me in Mexico. lol
    #6
  7. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2001
    Oddometer:
    1,972
    Location:
    in The Cloud
    Awesome beginning to this RR. In!:clap
    #7
  8. troutshack

    troutshack Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    Texarkana, TX
    This morning I was nervous and apprenhensive about crossing the border. I don't know why, maybe because I've never done it on a motorcycle before? I had butterflies in my stomach. I had verbal directions from the hotel clerk but my gps wouldn't help me out. The directions got me there. It was the typical border crossing but with a twist. Four stations in one room, go to station one then to station two then back to one then to three then get copies then back to two then to four. They charged me a buck for making copies that I already had in my hand, made at home. I wasn't going to argue over a buck. Station Four the cashier is where it got interesting. It seems that as of June 11 Mexico now charges up to $400USD to bring in a vehicle from the USA. It is supposed to be a deposit that will be returned to you if you export your vehicle within six months. The amount is based on the year model of you vehicle, mine was $400. Along with the deposit is a form stipulating who can claim your deposit if you die in country. Then they give you that awful sticker they want you to put on your windshield. In my case the man followed me out to the bike to watch me put it on. He watched....I procrastinated...he watched....I walked around looking at my bike...He moved into the shade.. and watched...I fiddled around in my panniers....He went back into the a/c and I left. I won!
    A few miles down the road I ran into an abandon toll booth. Both sides were abandon and so were the surrounding buildings. I was the only person on the road, with a red and white bar blocking my progress, no one in sight anywhere and gps showing me heading South in the middle of nothing. I thought I was lost but I rode around the toll compex anyway because I was not retreating. Now I wish I would have taken a pic but at the time I was just wondering where I was and where I was going.
    Several miles later my gps decided it knew I was actually on a road and that it could find my route.

    This place was hard to pass up but I had a few more hundred miles of slab.

    [​IMG]

    I couldn't pass up this river stop. In Arkansas they have low water bridges they call car washes. This river reminds me of Arkansas and the people behind me are washing theit car in it.

    [​IMG]

    Breaks aside I still made over 350 miles today and it was a great day of riding. I made it to Cd Mante and had some great comida.
    [​IMG]


    Once again I don't know whats next. Tricepilot gave me some great places to go but at this point it depends on this storm in the gulf. Looks like an inland route at least.
    Thanks for following along!
    #8
  9. troutshack

    troutshack Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    Texarkana, TX
    Don't know why the pics are so small? The first one is a mescal factory and museum. I'll try to fix the pics next time.
    #9
  10. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan There, that's it

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8,822
    Location:
    Austin, Tx.
    Alright!!

    On with the adventure!!

    PM sent.
    #10
  11. troutshack

    troutshack Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    Texarkana, TX
    I´m currently stuck in Xilitla, with little internet access. We will see what tomorrow brings. I´ll update when I have good internet access.
    #11
  12. troutshack

    troutshack Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    Texarkana, TX
    Adventureposer, Thanks for following along.

    First let me start by saying I would not recommend anyone attempt this kind of trip if they can't speak and understand Spanish fairly well. I always think of my friend Nick who went from Panama to Michigan and never even tried to learn the language. He did it. I spend a-lot of time trying to learn Spanish but come terribly short , I will make it in spite of myself.
    Saturday before leaving Cd Mante I did a pre trip inspection which I hadn't done since Casa Tricepilot two days before. My oil wasnt even in the sight glass. Luckily I had not checked out of the hotel yet so I got on the internet and translated to word oil. Walked to the nearest PMEX and showed the attendant my scrap of paper that was supposed to say I need oil for my motorcycle. She handed me a tiny bottle that made me think of two cycle oil. It had no SAE rating either. The only car oil they had was straight 40 weight but I bought one for $5/quart. I wasn't satisfied since that wasn't a recommended weight for my bike so I found a Honda shop. They had 10w-40 for $12. I bought one and poured the whole thing in my bike to get it close to the top of the sight glass. Then I rode to the Honda shop to get a second $12 bottle of oil for the road. The guy didn't belive that my bike took the whole first quart and came out to check my sight glass for himself. I just told him "no es Honda, es Kawisaki", lol.
    This is where I stayed at Cd Mante and the taco stand on the corner is where I ate been two days now so I think its safe .

    [​IMG]

    Back on the road, off to a late start. I guess I was in a bad neighborhood because I crossed three military checkpoints in the first 85 miles. You know, I don't mind the check points except that I have to stop, put the bike in neutral, turn it off, take my gloves off, take me helmet off clear the checkpoint and reverse the process. I had a late start and was trying to make up time. The third check point I asked the Fed to take my pic after he cleard me to procede. Why not.
    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. troutshack

    troutshack Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    Texarkana, TX
    I am doning my updated in small pices because I keep loosing my post before I complete them for various reasons.

    Despite the setbacks it was a beautiful day for a ride. I had my earbuds in cranking some tunes. I was taking it easy and enjoying all life had to offer when I noticed a pickup with a large object in the bed covered in a red and white blanket. It was De Ja vu, I had passed the same truck over an hour before. Soon I recognized the area in front of me. I pulled into a supermercado, removed the earbuds scoured over my map and scolded my gps. Turns out I had missed a construction detour and the gps just rerouted me around the entire city. I'm convinced it would have done it again had I not caught on. I almost made this trip without a gps but ordered this one last minute. It's been a love hate relationship on my part but I'm convinced the gps doesn't give a shit. Over all I'm glad to have it, it has led me very astray as you will see in a future update but I don't think I could do without it.

    The road was great

    [​IMG]

    Tricepilot had told me about a huge sinkhole along this route, like the one in the movie "Sanctum", where people base jump into it. I saw signs and even asked for directions to no avail. The thing about my Spanish is I'm pretty good at asking but I can't always understand the response. I get bits and pieces. So I never found the hole ut I did find this great road.
    [​IMG]



    Sorry for the small pics again. At this point I think the camera settings are getting changed in the tankbag. I have lost probably half the pictures I've taken. I think I'm just not paying enough attention to the camera.

    Anyway here is a waterfall welcoming me to Xilitla.

    [​IMG]
    #13
  14. troutshack

    troutshack Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    Texarkana, TX
    Once in Xilitla I found myself going the wrong way on a oneway street. At the end of that street was a police officer who was nice enough to ask me what I was doing. I told her looking for a motle and she quicky pointed one out. The receptionist said I could park my bike in the lobby but I wouldn't be allowed to leave in the morning. I didn't understand why but I sure wanted to find out so I told her I would like to stay for two nights. I needed to wait out the storm anyway.

    My bikes first night in a motel lobby.

    [​IMG]

    and the view from my room.

    [​IMG]

    and looking out the lobby door Sunday morning

    [​IMG]
    More to come. It's all about the journey!
    #14
  15. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan There, that's it

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8,822
    Location:
    Austin, Tx.
    Looks like a tianguis (street market) going on outside.
    #15
  16. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,925
    Location:
    West Texas
    Troutshack,
    You are probably dancing through the corners South of Tamazunchale as I write this. Have fun; just remember the two most important words/phrases in Spanish: Por favor and Gracias. A smile and good demeanor will get you through whatever you encounter.
    Jim
    #16
  17. bigdon

    bigdon Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,701
    When riding a KLR always check your oil every time you get gas!
    Keep on keeping on. We got your back!:D
    #17
  18. troutshack

    troutshack Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    Texarkana, TX
    Jimmex, I missed tamazunchale but came close and yes, Por Favor and Gracias always!

    Bigdon, I'm checking it every fillup now.
    #18
  19. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan There, that's it

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8,822
    Location:
    Austin, Tx.
    When I was down there last spring my '08 was using up to 1 qt/500 mi. when sustaining 70-80 mph. Use dropped off considerably at more moderate speeds. Was running 15t counter-drive sprocket.
    #19
  20. troutshack

    troutshack Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    Texarkana, TX
    Yes, it was a market, a market that consumed the city like a virus while I slept. Here's what it looked like outside the hotel.

    [​IMG]

    It had all the typical trappings of a Mexican market, fruits vegetables, clothing, music and strips of beef and whole chickens hanging proudly unrefregirated, but never together. It seems either a vendor sells beef of chicken but not both. Right in front of the hotel were a couple of older ladies who stood barley above my elbow dicing cactus with precision. Their knife skills made me jealous. I walked the market a time or two, read a book and studied Spanish a little. The rains came in the afternoon but it didn't slow the market a bit, no one left but the umbrella vendor hit the jackpot. About four or five in the afternoon the vendors started packing up and by 8pm the streets were clean and swept with no trace of the market day left.
    #20