So...on Tuesday I decided to ride to Mexico from Kansas City...I left on Saturday

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by nailit2em, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. nailit2em

    nailit2em Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    461
    Location:
    Somewhere....I'll look for a road sign
    This is my disclaimer for this RR. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    If you read my good friends RR it will help you to understand why I took this trip. There are also many references in this RR that may not make sense without reading Guaterider&#8217;s RR. I was not going to do a RR for this trip but Guaterider (Julio) said he would give me a hard time on his RR until I did it:D:D

    I'm glad he peer pressured me into it! <o:p></o:p>
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    The link to his RR is <o:p></o:p>
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=765375<o:p></o:p>
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    I am also very long winded! So read and sort through the narrative or just look at the pictures:D<?xml:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" /><v:shapetype id=_x0000_t75 stroked="f" filled="f" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" o:preferrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600"> <v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke><v:formulas><v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f></v:formulas><v:path o:connecttype="rect" gradientshapeok="t" o:extrusionok="f"></v:path><o:lock aspectratio="t" v:ext="edit"></o:lock></v:shapetype><v:shape id=Picture_x0020_1 style="VISIBILITY: visible; WIDTH: 11.25pt; HEIGHT: 11.25pt; mso-wrap-style: square" alt="Description: 0" type="#_x0000_t75" o:spid="_x0000_i1026"><v:imagedata o:title="0" src="file:///C:\DOCUME~1\shamre\LOCALS~1\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image001.gif"></v:imagedata></v:shape><v:shape id=Picture_x0020_2 style="VISIBILITY: visible; WIDTH: 11.25pt; HEIGHT: 11.25pt; mso-wrap-style: square" alt="Description: 0" type="#_x0000_t75" o:spid="_x0000_i1025"><v:imagedata o:title="0" src="file:///C:\DOCUME~1\shamre\LOCALS~1\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image001.gif"></v:imagedata></v:shape><o:p></o:p>
    #1
  2. nailit2em

    nailit2em Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    461
    Location:
    Somewhere....I'll look for a road sign
    This trip started as many do, a year in advance with plenty of thought put into it. In this case, as many trip plans, things get all screwed up for one reason or another and in the end it is almost nothing like the original plan. This grand plan all started when I visited my friend Julio, aka Guaterider, in Guatemala last summer on my most recent Central American motorcycle trip. While I was visiting Julio he was planning his own trip that would take him and his wife Luisa to Alaska and back. A trip that I was very envious of! The fact that he was going to take nearly a year to complete it was what made me so envious. I can only dream of a trip like that at this point in my life. While I was visiting he was considering many aspects of this trip. One of the things he was pondering was pulling a trailer behind his GS to take all the things he thought he would need for the trip. After he told me how much a trailer was going to cost I told him I could build a trailer for him and meet him somewhere in Arizona with it. The idea for a trip to meet Julio on his great adventure was hatched! We discussed many other things about his trip while I was there and all the while he treated me much like many of the other riders he had hosted while they visited Central America. With the hospitality a King would appreciate!
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    Over the months after my visit we stayed in contact. Like I mentioned earlier about planning a trip like this many of the plans you make change. Julio&#8217;s plans were no different! The trailer was no longer in the picture. Julio had found a larger top box to meet his needs. I still had this idea in my head for the trailer so I built it anyway but tailored it to my personality and with materials I had laying around in my garage. I&#8217;ll revisit that topic later. I still wanted to meet Julio on his great trip at some point. We initially arranged to meet I Arizona even though I was no longer going to deliver a trailer. I followed along on his ride report and picked April to meet him in Arizona. Well with my work schedule and Julio and Luisa&#8217;s travel pace, leisurely, Arizona was no longer going to work. We then talked about Colorado. He said that he was going to visit an inmate in Bolder and that I could possibly ride out with another friend of his, Dave, that had recently moved to Kansas City. I thought that would be great! Bolder is only 10 hours from Kansas City and an easy day of riding. Well again due to work I couldn&#8217;t get more than two days off in a row when they were in Colorado and neither could Dave. So now I was looking at when they would be coming south again. I was going to be in Seattle for a conference in August on my Harley with the trailer that I had designed for Julio but changed it a little to work behind my Harley so I thought that may be an option if timing worked out. We would also be hosting Julio&#8217;s daughter Isa at that time while she did an internship with my wife. As it turned out timing did not work out for meeting in Seattle when I was there either.

    So while I was in Seattle I was planning a return trip to Oregon a few weeks later with the possibility of riding out with Isa so she could see him as well. Since I have two motorcycles and Isa is a very good motorcycle rider herself it would not have been real difficult to make that work. But in the end it was cheaper and quicker for Isa to fly out. This was at that same time Luisa had to fly home for her job so it worked out for Julio and Isa to spend time together and they only needed one motorcycle to site see. I was still trying to figure out how to make my plan to meet up with Julio and Luisa work. It was getting to be late in the year and looking at my work schedule I was now looking at November being the next available time to take a trip. Living in Kansas City you never know what the weather is going to do that time of year. Julio and Luisa were also on the west coast. No matter how I went I would have to cross the mountains and face the possibility of snow and bad riding conditions. As time continued to tick away we talked more and I was now shooting to meet them in San Diego. I had the time scheduled off from work and set aside the concerns of crossing mountains and cold weather. That would just add to the adventure&#8230;right.

    Since I was not going to be doing any back roads riding and the fact I wanted to show Julio the trailer that I built I prepared my Harley for the trip and not the GS. As time got closer, less than a week away from leaving, I let Julio know for sure that I was going to be able to make it this time! He was happy that I was going to be able to meet him. I asked him when they were going to be crossing into Mexico. He told me &#8220;Thursday&#8221;. I then told him I was going to leave on Saturday to be there, San Diego, on Monday. But since they were going to be crossing into Mexico three days before I was even going to leave that plan was not going to work either. We originally discussed Durango as a meeting place when I told Julio my NEW plans. Now I had to figure out where Durango was, get Mexican Insurance; figure out what border to cross, if I had enough time to make the trip and if there were any safety issues in Mexico along the way. Then convince my wife to let me take another trip to Mexico plus see if I had time to get the GS ready. The GS needed two new tires put on. They were in the garage so a couple of hours I could have that done. Plus it needed to be serviced. I have not taken the time to learn how to do all of this yet so that meant a trip to the dealer.

    This conversation took place on October 27<SUP>th</SUP>. On October 30 we had another conversation after I had time to do some research on Durango. Zacatecas was now in the picture not Durango. With a quick search on my phone I found it and it was only 1350 miles from KC. That&#8217;s doable I thought. I continued to get things arranged for the trip. We even discussed my wife and I flying to Oaxaca Mexico when they got there but with kids and work that was not looking good either.

    This was it! If I didn&#8217;t do it now it would not happen! So I made my mind up that I was going! This was on a Tuesday and I was leaving on Saturday for Mexico! I did research on the route to Zacatecas and emailed some friends about border crossings and all that stuff. Many of the things I do over a period of 6 months I was now doing in 5 days! Since I made up my mind to go the destination was just a formality at this point so Julio and I discussed some more places to meet and I told him I could wait to see where he was on Friday and just go from there.

    On the 31<SUP>st</SUP> Julio asked if Creel, Copper Canyon, would work. I had no idea where Creel was and asked Julio if the roads were good for the Harley since it was Copper Canyon. I knew about where Copper Canyon was and that it was on my bucket list but that was it. He said the roads were fine for the Harley. I tried to do a search for Creel on my phone while we were texting back and forth but I couldn&#8217;t find it. The Iphone gave me two different locations for some reason, surely not operator error. Just so happened that I was at work and had access to a computer. A few clicks later I found it. It was about 1400 miles from Kansas City. That was a doable distance for the time I had to make this trip and still spend a couple of days with Julio and Luisa. I spent the rest of the night at work on the computer researching Creel, Presidio Texas border crossing and making reservations for hotels going down and coming back and many other things! Julio was going to make the arrangements in Creel so all I had to do was find them when I got there. Julio and I text me later and said to just go to the Best Western when I got there and he would check for me every hour if they stayed somewhere else. Now I just had to get through my crazy work schedule on Thursday and Friday so I could leave early on Saturday.
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    Finally it was Friday! I had worked a rough schedule through the week. I got home from work at around 4am on Friday morning and got up at 8am and started loading the Harley and getting it ready for the trip. One of the things I had to change on the Harley was my foot pegs. Not because they were uncomfortable, just the opposite, not because they were broken or old. I had to take them off because they are custom made with real, spent, .38 special shell casings in the end of them. They are designed to look like a revolver cylinder. I really didn&#8217;t want to explain that to the Mexican Policia or military. I really didn&#8217;t want to ride all the way there just to have them tell me I could not enter the country or even worse get thrown in a Mexican jail. So I bought a new set of front pegs and just took the passenger ones off. The trailer that I wanted to show Julio was also not an option any longer. It is not registered due to being a homemade trailer so I also took off the trailer hitch I had on the bike. After only four hours of sleep and working to get ready most of the day I had to go back into work at 3pm. I got home late Friday night. I was exhausted but I had planned it that way so that I would sleep well that night. I set my alarm for 5am so that I could be on the road early.

    My first day was going to start in Kansas City and end in Midland Texas, 800 miles away. When the alarm went off I was still exhausted from my work schedule so I slept another half hour and then got up. I was on the road by 6am. The temperature when I left was a balmy 36 degrees F! (2 C) It was still dark with daylight an hour and a half away. I put my insulated riding gear on. I was wearing a half so helmet a balaclava was a must with no windshield on the Harley. I was also going to miss my heated grips on the BMW. I may have to invest in some for my Harley. I took off and soon realized it was going to be a cold long day! My first stop was just south of Emporia Kansas on the Turnpike. I was just barely able to get my leg up and over my seat when I got off to put gas in because I was so cold. It hurt to even get my wallet out. After putting gas in I went in and warmed up but I only stopped long enough to use the restroom and log my gas and mileage in my phone.

    By the time I got to my second gas stop in Gutherie Oklahoma it had warmed up some but I was still cold. Two more gas stops and a conversation with a Texas Trooper about my speed just outside of Wichita Falls I was in Midland for the night. I got there just before 7pm, almost a 13 hour day. I found a local place for dinner next to the hotel. While having a couple of beers I continued my research on my route to Creel. For some reason the phone was now able to find Creel.

    I think the operator wised up a bit on how to use it. I was a little concerned about getting through Chihuahua and making it to Creel before it got dark. I was also concerned about how long the border crossing was going to take. I also had to find an ATM to get Pesos. I only had 400 Pesos on me from an earlier trip. I got back to the room and made the mistake of telling my wife that I was concerned about the roads and making it through Chihuahua and to Creel before dark. I could sense a change in her tone when I mentioned that. Some things wives just shouldn&#8217;t be told. One of those things is that you concerned about your route in Mexico! I had my SPOT tracker so that helped with her not getting too stressed out&#8230; I think. I then called the front desk and requested a 3:30am wakeup call so that I could be on the road by 4. I also set my phone alarm as a backup. When I finally got to bed I don&#8217;t think I even remembered my head hitting the pillow!
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    My second day started an hour sooner than I wanted. I was awakened by the wakeup call from the hotel. The only problem was that daylight savings time change had taken place at 2am. The hotel did not change the time in their wake up system. My wakeup call was received at 2:30am not 3:30am! Being in the dazed and confused state of getting up that early I looked at my watch, that I hadn&#8217;t changed, I looked at the time on my phone that had changed and then called the front desk and asked, without yelling, what time it was. He told me 2:30. I then told him that I had requested a 3:30 wakeup call and to call me back in an hour. I do remember lying down but I swear the phone rang two minutes later! I got up and got around this time.

    When I got downstairs the desk clerk found some breakfast for me. I was at a Courtyard by Marriott. They do not have free breakfast but he found me some food for free. That made up for the early call I guess. It was almost warm outside and I was hot with all of my riding gear on while I was loading my bike and standing outside. I almost took some of my gear off but decided it was on and I needed to get on the road. After about an hour on the road I was very glad I had left all of my gear on. It was almost 3 hours before the sun came up and even in Texas it was in the low 40&#8217;s. I reached Presidio around 8am. I wanted to fuel up before I crossed because of the lack of Pesos I had. I figured there would be a station before I reached the border. I was wrong. I had to back track a little ways to find one. I filled up and grabbed some breakfast.

    While I was eating an older Hispanic man greeted me and asked how my day was. He was a very spry young man of 87. He asked me where I was from and he then told me that he had spent time at Fort Riley Kansas while he was in the military. He had served in Korea. He was a very friendly man and I enjoyed talking to him. I sent a txt to my wife after the young man went about his day and I then headed to the border.

    On the U.S. side they just waved me through. The line coming into the U.S. was pretty long. When I got into Mexico there were only three vehicles in the inspection area including me. The inspection took all of two minutes and then off to Migration. That took another 5 minutes. The longest process was aduana. That took maybe 10 minutes. All I had to do was give them my paperwork and they completed all the forms. I had to pay 10 pesos for copies and then I was on my way.

    The border was one of the things I was worried about and it was all for nothing. It was less than a 20 minute process. I continued into Ojinaga and looked for a Banamex or any other bank that had an ATM with no luck. I had enough gas to get to Chihuahua and even enough money to get to Creel so finding an ATM was not a high priority. I made my way west on Mx 16 libre towards Chihuahua. The road was much more fun to ride than what I had been riding on the last thousand miles. I was almost immediately in the small mountains just outside of the city.

    As normal I had to stop at the aduana check 20 miles in and then a military check a few miles later. No problems at either one of those checks. I got the normal questions about my bike, how fast will it go, how much was it. My Spanish really sucks but I can pick up on some of what is said and reply with a 4 year old, ok maybe a 2 year old level of Spanish.

    I got into Chihuahua with no problems and it was a good thing I had studied the maps well and wrote down the names of the streets I had to take to get through town. The first turn I had to make was just before I got into the downtown area. I had the normal hand written notes that I could read from my tank bag. They read &#8220;Cross river in Chihuahua take rt on Av Presa Techomatlan R Blv PAntonio Ortiz Mena L Anillo Perifenico De La Juv L Av Silveitre Terrazan&#8221; That&#8217;s all I needed as it turned out. I also found out that if I programmed my route on the map app on my Iphone before I lost service the little blue dot would always follow me and I would know the way and if I was off track I could get back on track relatively easy.

    As I was making my way through Chihuahua I looked for a Banamex again. I even stopped at a Pemex gas station to ask where one was. The kid at the Pemex gave me directions to a bank a few blocks away. As I was driving towards the bank I saw a small blue sign on the front of a grocery store that said Banamex Cajero (ATM). This was strange to me because I had not seen many ATMs that were not in an actual bank in Mexico. I walked in and asked the man at the door where the Cajero was and he pointed me in the right direction. 3,000 peso later I was back on the road. I was able to make all of my turns getting through the city without having to make any U-turns. A first for me! My navigation skills were another reason I wanted to start early that day, so far so good!

    I stopped on the other side of Chihuahua for gas. It had warmed up nicely and I was soaking in the sun. While talking to the gas station attendant he asked me where I was from and then asked if it was cold there. I told him it was. He then asked me where I was going. When I told him Creel he said it was cold there too. Not what I wanted to hear! He could see that on my face I guess and we had a good laugh over that.

    My next challenge was going to be Ciudad Cuauhtemoc. It looked like an easy drive through the city on the map and it pretty much was. I did come across a Can Am Spyder in that town that had all the extras on it. It was a nice ride. I had to laugh though because the couple riding it was wearing all Harley Davidson gear from the boots to the helmets! The woman on the back was also wearing high heal boots, Harley Davidson, high heal boots!

    Another pleasant surprise of the day was that there were road signs for Creel almost the entire way there from Ojinaga. They were also in Cauahtemoc which helped navigate the through the city. The only time I had to make a U-turn on my way to Creel was a few miles later. The highway went straight and turned into a small narrow road. I quickly realized the change and consulted my phone. Sure enough my blue dot was no longer on my route. An easy U-turn and I was back on my route. Just after I got back on the highway I had to exit onto another road that led to Creel. A short time later I was on a winding road with pine trees lining the road. This was a very different type of scenery than I had been riding in most of the day. I had really enjoyed the ride since crossing into Mexico and it was only getting better!

    I reached Creel around 3pm with plenty of daylight left. I stayed on the main road through town and looked for the Best Western. I had seen signs for it for several miles leading to Creel When I reached the round a bout on the other side of town I figured I had gone too far so I turned around and took a side street that ran along the main road. I saw a small sign for the Best Western on a pole so I knew I was on the right track. I then saw the hotel and pulled into the parking lot. I knew I was in the right place when I saw Luisa talking on the phone in the parking lot and Julio&#8217;s GS parked near her. I had arrived! Luisa stopped talking and said &#8220;Shawn?&#8221; with a smile. I said &#8220;Hi Luisa&#8221; and then parked.

    Somehow Julio knew I had arrived. Maybe it was the distinct sound of my bike rolling into the lot. I was greeted by Julio with a hug and a handshake. They had arrived at the hotel a couple of hours earlier and had time to get checked in and settled. We talked a few minutes and caught up. Julio gave me my room key so that I could put my stuff in the room.

    When I tried it the key did not work. There was nothing special about the key. It was a normal magnetic strip plastic key like many of the hotels back home. I tried again and nothing. Julio then realized he had given me the wrong key when his did not work on his door. I got my stuff put away and we then went and grabbed a late lunch. It was nice to catch up with Julio and to finally meet Luisa. The two times that I had been in Guatemala I was not able to met her. It didn&#8217;t take long to see that Luisa was a very kind and caring person. Julio made a suggestion for the meal because they had eaten there before. Luisa thought that the meal Julio had suggested was too much food so she got some tacos. When our food was brought out our meal was half the size of what Julio remembered it to be and twice the size of Luisa&#8217;s! No worries though we helped her finish her meal after we finished ours. We then made our way back to the hotel. I finished unpacking and got connected with the internet so I could talk to my wife and kids. Another great feature of an Iphone, Facetime! I was pretty tired and laid on the bed with the TV on. When Julio came knocking for dinner it took me a few seconds to realize what the noise was. I may or may not have fallen asleep in my relaxing room with a gas fireplace. Luisa stayed in the room and we went for dinner to different restaurant. It was another great meal and conversation with Julio. Not as good as the meals he prepared for me in Guatemala but still good. We made plans to see copper canyon and other sites in the area the next day. It was another long day but I had finally met up with Julio and Luisa on their great journey! <o:p></o:p>
    #2
  3. nailit2em

    nailit2em Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    461
    Location:
    Somewhere....I'll look for a road sign
    The next morning I got up around 7. It was nice to sleep in after the last two early days on this trip. I stepped out to see frost on our bikes. I was hoping to not have any more cold mornings on this trip. I was in Mexico after all and everybody knows it’s hot in Mexico. I looked over towards Julio and Luisa’s room and did not see any lights on so I made my way up the street towards the Centro where the restaurants were that we had eaten at the day before. It was a crisp morning and all of the school kids were walking the opposite direction as me to school. They were all dressed in their matching uniforms, maroon pants and white polo shirts. Just like back home some looked happy about going to school and others didn’t. I also got a little different feeling from the people in this town while I was walking around. They were not rude at all but they were not as friendly as many of the other towns and cities I had visited in Mexico. They rarely made eye contact with me or smiled. I also noticed this with many of the store owners and clerks during my visit. I continued up the street and took a few pictures and then made my way to the restaurant we had eaten lunch at the day before. I had checked the other restaurant but I did not see Julio there. I thought Julio said that if he was not in his room he would be eating where we had lunch but I wanted to check both places before I went in. A few minutes after I sat down Julio joined me for breakfast and said he had looked for me at the other restaurant. I guess great minds think alike. He said that he liked the other place better for breakfast but this place was good too. We talked about many more things and discussed the plans for the day. Julio is a very generous man and would not let me pay for any of my meals the first day. This is a common theme with Julio so when he got up to use the restroom I quickly got up and went into the kitchen to find the waitress so I could pay the bill. I almost had it paid by the time he came back. He tried to pay for it but it was too late! I had already given her the money! We walked back to the hotel after breakfast and took our time getting around too let it warm up a little before we left. Luisa stayed behind for the day to get some things done and relax. Our first stop was at the Pemex just outside of town. At least once on all of my motorcycle trips I will overfill or splash fuel all over my tank. This was that time! After gassing up Julio told me to lead the way and if I wanted to stop and take some pictures he would just pull in behind me since he had spent a lot of time in this area and had already taken several pictures. We were now ready to head off towards Barrancas Del Cobre! The road out of town was just as scenic and fun to ride as the road I took into town. I now had an unloaded bike that I could really enjoy taking corners on. The road was good but I quickly realized that the GS handles the Mexican roads much better. It wasn’t that the Harley was any less fun but it did not absorb the “small” flaws in the road as well as the GS. On one of the corners I even laid the bike over far enough to scrape the pipes on the pavement. I made it a few miles out of town before I stopped to take my first pictures. The view of the canyon was amazing! Julio told me that he was going to take me to the “small” canyon first so that I would enjoy it and not be spoiled after seeing the big one. I thought what I was looking at was the big one! Man was I wrong! I also told Julio that I forgot to warn him about following me. It’s kind of loud behind my Harley. In his RR he mentioned that there was something different about this visit to Copper Canyon but he couldn’t figure out. I think I figured it out. It was probably him following me and listening to my loud f’ing pipes that changed it. Haha. After taking a few picture at this stop we continued on down the road a short distance. I had to pull over again as we started to go down into a small canyon to take some more pictures. I also removed my GPS from the Ram mount on my handle bars and replaced it with my digital camera so that I could take pictures on the fly as well as video of the road. Once we were back on the road it wasn’t far before Julio took a side road that led to the “small” canyon. He warned me ahead of time that it was not paved. He even asked me if I would have to wash my bike right after since it was a Harley. He likes giving me a hard time about riding a Harley when I have a perfectly good GS in my garage! I told him I am not a typical Harley rider. My bike gets dirty and it goes off road. Come to think of it I’ve been home now for over two weeks and it still hasn’t been washed! Now that we were off the pavement now I did have to pay a little more attention to the rocks on the road leading to the canyon. I was also following Julio at this point and he kicked up a good amount of dust. I really didn’t pay much attention to the surroundings only what was directly in front of me. Once we got to the edge of the canyon I was immediately blown away by how large it was! I thought to myself, this is the small one! We parked a little ways from the edge and as we walked closer it just kept getting bigger and even more amazing. I took several pictures but none of them came close to truly depicting the depth and size of this canyon. While we were there Julio said that the road we rode in on was actually an illegal air strip used by the cartels at one time. The military came in and put large rocks all along the runway to prevent planes from landing anymore. He also said this area was known for strange rock formations. I remembered this in his ride report and asked him about a few pictures that I remembered. He said our next stop was going to be at one of those strange formations near the railroad. On the way back out to the highway I paid a little more attention to the road/airstrip and the surroundings. It would have been one hell of a landing or takeoff even without the big rocks in the way! Once we were back on the main highway we continued a short distance and stopped near a train crossing. We had crossed the tracks several times so far but this one in particular had a very large distinctive looking rock formation. Let’s just say Viagra could use it in their commercials. At the rail crossing there were several native Indians selling their wares. The train stops here a couple of times a day so that people on the train can take pictures of the rock formations. The Indians try to sell their stuff to those people when the train stops. I believe Julio said they were the Tarahumara Indians. They are nomadic and move throughout the canyons depending on the time of year to avoid the heat. They are also known as very fast long distance runners. I did a little research when I got home and found one documentary that said the Tarahumara routinely run over 100 miles at a time and the longest recorded run was 435 miles in just over 48 hours! They also do this without shoes or makeshift sandals! It always amazes me how much Julio knows about the cultures and history of the places he visits. After our short stop along the train tracks I continued to lead the way through the twisting mountainous road. As I was riding along I took some more pictures and videos of the route. I was really wishing I had a GoPro at this point because it was an amazing ride! I came around a corner and saw some buildings and a train depot off to my left and thought that it looked like a place we would stop but Julio never passed me so I kept going. After I made it around the corner where the turn off was to the train depot I checked in my mirror and Julio was not behind me. My first thought was something had happened to him. I made a quick U-turn and saw him waiting for me at the turn to go to where the buildings and train depot was. As it turned out this was our main destination for the day, Barrancas Del Cobre! We went a short distance to a toll booth to get into the park. We then continued on a little ways further and turned onto another gravel road that led further into the park. We rode past several places along this gravel/sand road that looked amazing and thought we would be stopping. When we stopped at another small checkpoint to show another guy our passes Julio said we would stop at some of the places we rode past on the way back. We then followed a single lane paved trail a little further. When we reached the end of the paved trail I saw several huts with more of the native Indians selling more stuff. There were not many people around when we got off our bikes but a short walk later I realized that this was “the place”. Julio was right about the “small” canyon we stopped at earlier. It had nothing on what I was now looking at! The view of this enormous canyon was like nothing I had ever seen before. I have seen the Grand Canyon and was/ still very impressed with it but this was on a whole other scale! It was almost hard to gauge how large the canyon was by just standing there. No amount of pictures could come close to portraying the view and beauty of this canyon! We were the only tourist there at that time. We did see a few more people later but no more than ten other people total. Julio asked me how this compared to the Grand Canyon. I told him I was much more impressed not only with the view but the fact we could simply enjoy it without all the people around. As we walked further along the railing in the “tourist” area looking over the sheer cliffs we made our way towards a brand new looking gondola or teleferico. Julio said that this new gondola cost millions to build. It was very impressive but there was no one around to use it. It may have been the slow season or just the fact it was a week day I don’t know but I saw nothing to indicate that the tourism in this area could support such a massive cable system in this area. I had the feeling that it was like a classic movie filmed in Iowa…If you build it they will come. According to a quick search about this project it cost 29.4 million USD to complete. This gondola is the highest areal ropeway system in the world. The cabins on the cable are 1475 feet (450 meters) above the ground at the highest point! We did not ride the gondola but maybe on a return visit I’ll have to do it. We also saw a zip line that led along the canyon rim. Again it looked like fun but we did not do it. After walking around I also soon realized that I was over dressed! The temperature had risen to the mid to upper 60’s F and it was turning out to be a very nice day. Julio said that there were several more places to stop on the way out so we rode back a little ways and stopped at a hiking trail that was barricaded so we could not take the bikes past the trail entrance. We took a short hike and ended up back on the canyon edge. The edge had no rails or sidewalks giving it a natural feel of how it has been viewed for thousands of years! This view was just as impressive and unique as the last! We could see an Indian home down in the canyon with a goat and a small corn field next to it. There was also an area not too far from the home with thick green trees and vegetation. It was clear there was much more water in that are because the other areas were brown and dry looking. It made sense that the Indians would build near water. Much like many parts of the US last year this area was in bad need of rain. Many of the native Indians died because of the drought. We enjoyed the view for a while and I tried to absorb as much of the beauty as I could. It was very tranquil and surreal! We then made our way back to the bikes. We kind of got a little disoriented going through the pine trees but we were able to find our way back to the bikes. We then made another stop where Julio had to show the second man our tickets. At this stop there was a platform that went out over the edge about 20-30 feet with mesh steel on the floor so you could look down to the bottom of the canyon. Julio and I had no problems with going out onto it and looking at the views but while we were there an older couple arrived and the woman DID NOT want to go out onto the platform. She was finally convinced to go out on it by her husband. They tried to take a picture of themselves with the canyon in the background when Julio offered to take their picture. Julio and the gentleman had a good conversation and he also noticed my license plate and asked me where I was from. A few minutes later a young couple in their early 20’s walked to the platform. Again the young lady wanted nothing to do with the platform. This time she was just pushed and forced out onto the platform in a playful manner by her boyfriend. Once she was out there she had a good time and was laughing about it and taking pictures. We then made our way back out to the main gravel road. Well at least I thought it was a road. We drove to the end and took some more pictures of the canyon and Julio told me that the gravel road was the airport! Yeah the runway ended at the canyon drop off! I’m not sure that I would want to fly into that airport. Our last stop was at the hotel that Julio and Luisa stayed at on their way north. It had an amazing view of the canyon and was very nice. Very expensive as well! At this point Julio and I were both getting a little hungry and it was about 30 miles back to Creel so we decided to head back and grab some lunch. Julio led the way back this time. I think he was tired of listening to my loud ass pipes! Haha. It did give me a chance to get some pictures and video of Julio riding on the twisting mountain road though. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    Once we were back at the Hotel we saw several bikes parked outside the main office of the Best Western with Jalisco, Mexico license plates on them. There were three GS’s like the ones Julio and I have, a couple of new 800 GS bikes and a Honda ST. They were all much cleaner than our bikes and had all of the expensive gear on them! After we gave the bikes the once over we went to our rooms but our keys would not work so we went to the office to get the keys fixed. When we got to the office we saw Luisa there talking with the guys on the bikes. Her key quit working as well. Julio had a good conversation with the guys and asked them about getting tires for his bike. The tires he had on his bike were ones that I had suggested to him but did not work out as well on his trip as they did on my trip last year. I really hate it when I try to help friends by giving them my opinion/advice on something and it does not work out. This was definitely one of those times! He had put some Heidenau K-76’s on after I recommended them to him. He had only put about 5,000 miles on them and they were looking pretty worn out. I used the same model of tire the year before and got almost 9,000 miles out of them before I took them off. The tires I had used looked better than the ones on his bike after putting 9,000 miles on them. Makes you wonder about tire companies and the materials they use when making their tires. The guys from Jilasco could only suggest a Honda place in Chihuahua for tires but that was in the wrong direction for Julio. After we got our keys fixed we then headed back to the same place we had lunch at the day before. This time I ordered something different and Julio and Luisa ordered what we had the day before. This time it worked out a little better for all of our appetites. It was another great meal and conversation with Julio and Luisa. It’s hard to really put my finger on what I enjoyed the most about talking with Julio and Luisa. They are both very generous people and love sharing their experiences with others. They are very knowledgeable about life in general and have a unique perspective on how to approach this game we call life. One of the big things that made talking with them enjoyable was our different backgrounds and where we have been in our lives. You can’t get much more different than an Iowa farm boy who now lives in the “big city” of Kansas City and an Austrian/Guatemalan couple who live in Central America. This unique combination gives a different perspective on things that I take for granted every day. Luisa also has a thirst for knowledge that is very refreshing. She had questions about everything from the minor details of an English sentence structure, like I’m the one who should be giving lessons on that but anyway, to asking questions about my job as a police officer and comparing it to what she has seen on TV. We even talked Politics since Election Day was the next day. I’m not one to talk politics but talking with Julio and Luisa also gave me some insight to how our political agenda in the U.S. affects people outside of our country. After we ate we walked around and did some shopping along the main street our hotel was on. We stopped into an art studio/tourist information/moped rental shop that had some pictures of the area hanging on the wall. Julio showed me a picture of the road he had ridden down to the bottom of Copper Canyon the first time they were here. I really wanted to ride that road but one I’m not sure how long it would have taken on the Harley. The Harley would have made it…I’m just crazy enough to have done it! But the road was closed because they were paving it. This was a disappointment because it is one of the more challenging roads to ride in this region. So I’ve been told. I asked Julio to compare it to riding the White Rim road in Moab since we had both ridden that road. I did the White Rim road in 2010 two up my wife on the GS. He said the road in Copper Canyon was much more difficult. We had a nice talk with a guy at the studio, well I listened anyway. Again that 2 year old Spanish level kind of hinders my communication abilities. We then went back to the room. Julio caught up on his ride report and pictures. I gave him the pictures and videos that I had taken that day to add to his collection. I then walked back to one of the shops I had stopped at earlier and got a few souvenirs for the family while Julio was getting the computer stuff done. It was then time for a little afternoon siesta. A few hours later the three of us walked back up to the other restaurant we had eaten at the night before for dinner. Another great meal and I think we were just a few minute away from being asked to leave because we had sat there so long talking. After a short walk back to the room it was time to pack things up for the next day. We were heading to Hidalgo Del Parral then next morning. <o:p></o:p>
    #3
  4. nailit2em

    nailit2em Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    461
    Location:
    Somewhere....I'll look for a road sign
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    The route!
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    What I woke up to the first day!
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    The trailer I was going to show to Julio. Hence my tag line.
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    Dinner spot in Midland Texas. Clear Springs Cafe
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    The lodging choice of Julio in Creel!!:clap:clap
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    Very nice!! The gas stove was very nice for the cold nights in Creel. Julio said something about a sauna in his room:D
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    Odd couple!
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    Main street in Creel
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    Lunch, breakfast, lunch place
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    The view of first time I pulled over for a picture on the way to the main canyon
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    The "small' canyon. If you look on the right side of the picture at the bottom of the canyon the white line is a full sized bridge going over the river!
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    There are some buildings in the clearing across the canyon
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    It took three pictures to get the whole canyon!
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    or a panoramic
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    The Harley was a little out of it's element but that's alright :D
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    Stop at train tracks. Another thing the Harley did not like...Topes!!!!
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    Julio getting his camera for some pictures
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    The local indians selling their crafts
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    The "Big" canyon:clap:clap
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    The shiny thing on the far ridge is the end of the gondola line!
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    Again too big for just one picture!!
    #4
  5. GuateRider

    GuateRider Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,422
    Location:
    Antigua , Guatemala
    Seems like you are getting old , you start missing out on the details like the color of the tablecloth and the exact temperature of the few beers we had :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D


    Good to see that you came through with your RR
    #5
  6. nailit2em

    nailit2em Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    461
    Location:
    Somewhere....I'll look for a road sign

    I knew I would forget something! :D
    I should have taken those notes after all:rofl
    #6
  7. BruceI

    BruceI Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    121
    Location:
    Hibbing, MN
    Too long didn't read. Nice pics of the canyon. Maybe after I retire I'll read the report and find out just where that canyon is!
    #7
  8. nailit2em

    nailit2em Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    461
    Location:
    Somewhere....I'll look for a road sign
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    Julio taking in the view near the gondola
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    A view of the gondola from the start to finish. You just can not see where it ends very well...to far away
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    You can see the gondola on its way out and almost see the return point
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    A metaphor for Mexico? A 29 million dollar gondola overlooking an indian hut.
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    If you build it they....might....come
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    Zip line Copper Canyon! Something is not right here....the second safety line is missing...and two people going at the same time.
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    Our hike to the undisturbed view of the canyon with no rails or sidewalks
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    The amazing view! Below is the oasis in a drought striken area. We walked to the the rock point in the distance
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    Amazing view!
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    The cliff wall on the left is was our first of this part of the canyon
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    Another indian home in the canyon.
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    This is at the end of the runway for the airport. Great view but I dont think I would want to see this as I was taking off or landing
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    The platform view
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    To the left you can...almost.... see the hotel Julio and Luisa stayed at on their way north to Alaska
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    She REALLY didnt want to go out there! Julio was enjoying the view
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    A closer view of the hotel
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    An odd pairing of motos in Mexico...ok anywhere
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    Near the hotel and train depot. The locals waiting for the train so they could sell their crafts
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    The hotel on the cliff
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    Heading back for lunch in Creel
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    The Jilasco group of bikes.
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    ATVs were very popular in Creel. Another one of my favorite activities
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    Luisa used her outgoing personality to get some people to take pictures of us.
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    This is inside the tourist/tour guide/scooter rental place
    #8
  9. rgiroux

    rgiroux Invisible Man

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,431
    Location:
    Socal near the great 33
    :clap
    #9
  10. nailit2em

    nailit2em Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    461
    Location:
    Somewhere....I'll look for a road sign
    Thanks!! Glad you have enjoyed it so far!
    #10
  11. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,150
    I'm in, because reading a Nailit ride report is as much fun as riding with him!
    I was wondering how you're trip went, now I feel like I am along with you guys.:freaky:clap
    We all know something is cooking when things get quiet in KC ha,ha!
    #11
  12. nailit2em

    nailit2em Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    461
    Location:
    Somewhere....I'll look for a road sign

    Thanks MIke!
    you know me too well:rofl
    I still want to do the Mexican Iron butt! That will be a heck of a RR I'm sure!!:D
    #12
  13. DestinationUnknown

    DestinationUnknown Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    102
    Location:
    West TN
    Nice pics. I read some, will read some more later on. Nice trailer set up at the beginning. Nice place to make it when its so cold at home.
    #13
  14. acejones

    acejones Long timer

    Joined:
    May 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,378
    Location:
    MS. Gulf Coast
    Brings back some good memories of my visit there. Couldn't read the report much. Too many run on sentences. Need to consider using more paragraphs.
    What I could read was pretty good though.

    Good pics !
    #14
  15. nailit2em

    nailit2em Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    461
    Location:
    Somewhere....I'll look for a road sign
    Thanks!
    This is my second keg trailer. The first one had two kegs on it.
    It was nice to get away but the weather was almost identical to back home at that time. Not now though!
    #15
  16. nailit2em

    nailit2em Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    461
    Location:
    Somewhere....I'll look for a road sign
    Thanks for the input.
    I have thought about cleaning my RRs up in those areas but I just start typing what happened and forget about how it looks or reads on paper sometimes. I'll work on it for the next installments.
    #16
  17. motoOzarks

    motoOzarks motoMonstor

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    90
    Location:
    "The Ozarks" Southwest Missouri
    Thanks for the info.
    I'm from the MIssouri Ozarks, hillbilly as they say.
    I'm looking for trips to make from Nov thru March when I'm not working so much.
    Cooper Canyon here I come!
    Or just someplace south / west where its warm.
    Maybe I'll see you around sometime.
    #17
  18. nailit2em

    nailit2em Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    461
    Location:
    Somewhere....I'll look for a road sign
    Go for it!

    I speak redneck so all is good. :rofl

    It would be great to meet up sometime.
    Just so happened we were in Branson two days after I got home from this trip. Then 3 days in Eureka Springs. I'd like to find some back roads for the GS down your way.
    #18
  19. nailit2em

    nailit2em Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    461
    Location:
    Somewhere....I'll look for a road sign
    The morning we were going to leave for Hidalgo Del Parral was another cold morning. I still woke up early after getting a good night’s sleep to get things packed on the Harley. Julio was also up early, as normal. As we were loading the bikes we discussed waiting until it warmed up before we got on the road. It was about a 5 hour ride from Creel to Hidalgo Del Parral so there was really no hurry to leave. We could leave a little later and still be there plenty early to site see. Not to mention enjoying the ride a lot more!

    As I was packing I noticed a fare amount of oil along the belt guard and swing arm of the Harley. I have had trouble with the transmission drain plug leaking for a while now so that was the first thing I checked. I was a little shocked to find that there was no oil in the transmission! I always carry a quart of oil with me when I take the Harley on a long trip because I usually need to add some to the motor oil. Especially if I ride hard for extended periods of time like I have on this trip. I almost put the entire quart of oil in the tranny to get it back to a respectable level. I left a little in the bottle in case I needed some later. The drain plug was a little loose so I tightened it after I added the oil. What surprised me was I never saw any oil on the ground under the bike anywhere I stopped since I left home. I guess the Harley is almost 10 years old with a few miles on it so a little oil leak here and there is to be expected.
    The one thing I did not have to do that morning that Julio had to do was scrape the frost off of my seat. I’m not sure why but his seat had a very thick coat of frost on it but my seat was just wet. The bikes were sitting no more than five feet from each other. It must have been the difference in altitude between the seats that caused this…yeah that’s it.

    We got loaded up pretty quick but it was still a little cold so Julio and I walked up the street and got some breakfast. I’m sorry Julio I don’t remember what the tablecloth looked like exactly but it was red with some black and white stripes on it as I recall. I ordered a café’ con leche. The café’ came but the leche never did. Julio ordered a cup of hot tea. I also ordered some juevos rancheros. When I was finished ordering Julio said that my Spanish was improving. I told him I know how to say some of the important things like…food. When the waitress brought out the toast and tortillas Julio made me move the toast and jelly away from him because it’s a not allowed according to his doctor. It seems Julio’s doctor knew exactly all of the things he liked to eat and told him that he could not have those things anymore!

    After we finished eating breakfast Julio insisted that the waitress give him the bill (la cuenta), as did I. The waitress didn’t know what to do or who to give la cuenta to. She then went to the kitchen and figured la cuenta. Julio pulled his wallet out and sat it on the table right after she left our table. My cat like reflexes kicked in and I snatched up his wallet from the table and told Julio that he didn’t have his wallet now and couldn’t pay la cuenta. He just pulled out his secondary wallet and asked where the police where when you needed them. Haha. I was still able to get the waitress to hand me la cuenta before Julio could grab.

    After we finished the Mexican standoff over la cuenta we headed back to the hotel and met up with Luisa. While we were checking over the bikes one last time before we left the Jalisco guys came over to talk to us. A couple of them greeted me but they knew I did not speak very good Spanish and went straight to looking over my bike. I had my camera mounted on my handle bars at the time the guys were checking out my bike. They really liked how I had it mounted and thought it was a special type of camera. I didn’t know how to tell them it was just a regular waterproof camera. The camera mount also doubles as my GPS mount when I’m just covering ground.

    One of the guys did speak good English so we talked while the others looked my bike over. A couple of the guys also talked to Julio and Luisa. The guy I spoke with was very surprised to see a bike like mine in Mexico. He said that it didn’t look like a bike that would be good on the Mexican roads. I told him that I had a GS back home but due to some last minute changes I brought the Harley. I told him it handled the roads well but the GS was a better bike for the rough roads and conditions in Mexico. I never really had any problems going anywhere I wanted to go. I just had to be extra cautious to not hit any large topes, rocks or potholes.

    After we finished talking to them Luisa worked her charm to get them to take a picture of the three of us before we left. After our group picture it was time to hit the road.

    Once we got out of town we went left out of the roundabout. Julio and I went the opposite direction the day before to go to Copper Canyon. The scenery was just as amazing as the day before. The road was very winding and hilly with mountains and pine trees constantly in view. With Julio riding two up I was able to keep up with him pretty well on my bike. I ride with a partner for my job so I had to constantly remind myself not to follow so close to Julio when we were taking the curves and over the hills. I’m used to riding within inches of my partner to my left or right and when we are riding in a group we ride very close together.

    I was getting into the groove of taking the corners and looking at the views when Julio pulled over to the shoulder suddenly a few miles out of town. I figured he was going to show me a view of the canyon or something. When he got off his bike he told me his tire warning light had come on. He was already concerned about the rear tire because it was pretty bald. He pulled out a tire pressure gauge from his jacket and checked the air pressure. I also rotated the tire to check for any major issues with the tire. It turned out to just be the tire pressure sensor malfunctioning. That seems to be a common issue with the GS because my bike does the same thing.

    We continued on a few more miles on a road that I thought couldn’t get any better. I was very wrong! The road continued to be a constant serpentine. The improvements came with the introductions of the steep canyon walls above and below us. I was having a real hard time keeping my eyes on the road due to all of the amazing vistas. I was give little, well not so little, reminders every now and then that I needed to stay focused on the road. There were large rocks littering the road around every corner. There was also a spot with some large chunks of wood on a corner. Not to mention the livestock roaming freely along and in the road. I was really wishing that I had a better video camera while riding this amazing road so that I could sit in my living room and relive it in high def! We stopped a couple more times before we reached Guachochi to absorb the majesty of the canyon and the twisted road that covered over 70 miles!

    We stopped in Guachochi for lunch at Los Pinos restaurant. Julio and Luisa had stopped there on the way north almost 6 months prior. This is the restaurant that Julio posted a picture on his RR with Luisa posing next to a picture of an older lady smoking a cigarette. We had originally planned to stop here for breakfast but since we delayed our start it was a good stop for lunch. I really wasn’t hungry when we stopped but it was about noon.

    When the waitress came to our table she was in a cheerful mood. She dropped off the menus and made a few comments to Julio then walked back to the kitchen. We waited a few minutes for her to return to take our drink order but she was busy in the kitchen. Julio tried to get her attention by speaking loudly but not yelling. When she came back to the table they were bantering back and forth a little. She was definitely in a good mood and felt frisky. When I attempted to order a Coke I made the mistake of only saying Coca. I often make this mistake when I say something in Spanish. I say the words in the order I would say them in English or in this case shorten it. I order a “Coke” at home so I just said “Coca” in Spanish to order my drink. I’m sure the literal translation for what I said meant I wanted some drugs! She looked at me a little funny and turned to Julio with a smile and said something in Spanish to the affect “He doesn’t speak Spanish very well does he”. I could understand part of what she said so I told her in Spanish that I only spoke a little bit of Spanish. I added a smile to hopefully help me out a little. Her spunky personality definitely added to the experience of our lunch.

    While looking over the menu I was undecided on what to get. Julio pointed to the menu and asked me if I knew what cabra was? I had no clue what it was. He told me it was goat. I then asked him if it was any good. He said “I have no idea I’ve never had it” I laughed a little and then decided what the heck I’ll try the cabra! When the waitress came back I attempted to order the goat tacos. Instead I had ordered the goat soup. The soup was one line above the tacos on the menu. Julio knew what I was going to get and told me I had just ordered the goat soup. That went over well again with the waitress and we had another good laugh. It wouldn’t have been the first time I had ordered the wrong thing or something that I had no idea what it was until it was brought to the table. When the food came out I was not disappointed. I’d compare cabra with pulled pork in texture with just a little different taste. I’ll have it again now that I know what it is. While we were letting or lunch digest Luisa reenacted her pose with the picture with the older woman hanging on the wall. Julio and Luisa were also reminiscing about the last 6 months they have spent on the road and all of the great memories they have.

    I’m sorry Julio but I do not remember what color the tablecloth was or even if there was one. The tables and chairs were a light pine color and there were only two other people in the restaurant while we ate. One of the other patrons was a man in his 40’s wearing a blue shirt and jeans. When he walked in the door near our table he looked us over pretty good before he joined a female on the other side of the restaurant. There was also a truck that drove by while we were eating that I made a comment about sounding like my Harley. Very loud and in need of a muffler! (if those last few lines seemed a little strange it’s an inside joke. I’ll fill in the gap later on)

    When our meal was finished we backtracked a little ways to catch Highway 23 again towards Hidalgo Del Parral. We stopped on the edge of town for a quick gas stop before we got back on the road. I needed some gas but Julio was still good. At this point we were half way to our destination. The road out of Guachochi was still lined with pine trees as well as other trees with their leaves changing colors much like back home this time of year. I hadn’t realized that we were almost 10,000 feet up in elevation until Julio told me at the restaurant. As we continued the straight but rolling roads gave way to more curves and mountain views. I had taken so many videos and pictures while we were riding the battery in my camera mounted on my handlebars went dead. I went about twenty minutes before I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to stop and change the battery because I was missing too many great picture opportunities. The road was a two lane road with very narrow, if any, shoulder. When I saw a good spot to stop I honked my horn at Julio and then motioned for him to pull over. After I changed the battery I snapped a few pictures while we were stopped. I also got my Iphone out and took a panoramic picture of the curve we were on. When I looked at the picture later it quickly became one of my favorite pictures on this trip.

    About an hour after lunch we came across a military checkpoint at a T intersection. As we rolled towards the soldiers it appeared to me that they were motioning for us to continue through without having to stop. Julio thought the same thing and continued through. As Julio was passing the soldiers I heard a loud Alto! Evidently they did want us to stop! The man that yelled alto spoke with Julio in a stern manner about not stopping. I heard Julio telling him that his hand gestures meant to proceed through and not stop where he is from. I stopped about a car length behind Julio and I spoke with two younger guys. I greeted them with hearty Hola. They then said something to me. I was not sure what they said so I asked Passaporte Y papeles? They said Si. This is one of the ways I get by with my limited Spanish skills in Mexico. I have a good idea what they want but not always how they ask for it. I then ask them about what I think they want or at least give them something to hold and look at, passport and aduana paperwork. The two soldiers then looked at each other and laughed at me. I can only assume they were amused with my lack of lingual skills. They didn’t even ask me to open my bags or look into anything. I really don’t think they cared what was in my bags. They were having too much fun laughing at me. A few seconds later I was done and free to go. At another military checkpoint last year in southern Mexico I told the soldiers I was a hotel receptionist when they asked me what I did for a living. That got a good laugh as well. It’s all about the distraction techniques sometimes. I still had to wait for Julio to finish with his inspection and then we were free to go. Later Julio asked me why they asked me for my passport and I told him I had no idea what they said and just gave them something to hold and look at.

    After passing through the checkpoint we were not far from Hidalgo Del Parral. When we reached the edge of the city I realize real quick it was a pretty large city. It was like many cities in Mexico and in the U. S. On the edge of the city it was very commercial. The buildings were larger industry style buildings mixed in with auto dealers. The road also turned from a narrow two lane road into a four lane road. There was another similarity to other Mexican cites I did not like. Those damn topes and how well they sneak up on you! I was following about three car lengths behind Julio when the only warning I had about the looming eye teeth jarring impact was seeing Julio hit the tope at almost highway speeds! I had just enough time for my ass to slam shut, grab a handful of front brake and apply a size 12 boot to the rear brake but still manage to not lock either one of them up! I still hit the tope well over 35 mph! I was pleasantly surprised that the Harley absorbed it very well and the frame did not split in two!
    We stopped for some gas again. This time Julio needed gas but I took the opportunity to fill up as well. We also checked a map and got our bearings on how to get to the hotel. Julio said it was a little difficult navigating in this city and finding the Centro because the streets were a little confusing. He also had mentioned that the hotel we were going to stay at had indoor parking as long as I could get my Harley up and over a curb. I told him even if it was a few steps I would get my bike up them one way or another.

    We only had to make one U-turn on our way to the Centro. It was also much nicer navigating traffic in the larger city with a very narrow moto and not having to worry about my panniers sticking out and catching a mirror or fender of another car. I did have to eat a little humble pie when I got passed by a 125 cc through some of the topes. There were a few differences between the guy on the 125 and myself. He was not too concerned about how fast he hit the topes, going airborne or if he bottomed out going over them.

    It only took about 15 minutes to find the hotel where we were staying. The Hotel Acosta was just a block off the central plaza on Calle Barbachano. There were several una via streets downtown and the street our hotel was on was a very narrow one. We pulled over and Luisa got off and went in to check on the rooms. As she was walking in the woman behind the desk was already on her way out to open the door so we could get our bikes into the main lobby. The curb Julio told me about was not even a challenge even for the Harley. What was kind of a challenge was getting both of the bikes in the small lobby. Once we got the bikes situated we got checked in. If my memory serves me well it was 275 peso for one person and 365 for two.

    The Hotel Acosta was an older hotel with a switchboard type phone system from 70 years ago behind the front desk. The furniture in the lobby was also very trendy for the 1970’s. There was a computer in the lobby with a very strong wifi signal so that was good. They only turned on the wifi when we asked and about as soon as we were out of sight they turned it off. I guess they thought it cost too much to leave it on. Another “modern” item in the lobby was the elevator. It was probably last updated 30 years ago but it did keep us from lugging our stuff up to the top floor where are rooms were. I may sound like I’m being a little critical about the hotel but just trying to paint a picture of it. Don’t get me wrong the hotel was very clean and had a very nice feel to it. The woman working the desk when we arrived was very friendly as were the other people working there. There was also a very nice garden area on the top of the hotel that had a great view of the city. This was the type of hotel I was accustomed to staying at in Mexico and I felt very comfortable staying there.

    We got our stuff to our room and I took time to change my shoes and pants before we took off site seeing. It was about 3pm and the silver mine, Mina La Prieta, we wanted to visit closed at 5pm. This city has a lot of history and things to see. Julio and Luisa stayed at this same hotel on the way north and visited some of the sites. There is a museum for Poncho Villa since he was killed in the city. The large silver mine we wanted to go see was not too far from the hotel. The only issue was that it was all uphill to get to the mine. To save some time and energy we walked a block down the street and got a taxi to take us up the hill to the mine. It was a short 10 minute ride but traffic was very thick as we made our way up the hill to the mine.

    When we got to the mine the men at the front gate said that there were no more tours for the day. This was not good! Our main focus on getting to the city early was to see this mine. The men said we could walk up to the office and look around if we wanted. When we got to the main office Julio was able to talk the people into taking us on a tour of the mine. It helped that there was another man wanting to see the mine as well. While Julio was working his magic to get us into the mine Luisa and I were taking some pictures outside of the sculptures. I showed her some of the videos I had taken on our way to the city. Luisa also talked to the other guy waiting for the tour and found out that he was a federal agent in charge of dignitary security in Mexico. He did not seem to be the type who would do that kind of work but maybe that’s why he does it.

    We had a short walk uphill to the elevator shaft that would take us 85 meters below ground into the mine. There was not much room in the elevator after the four of us plus our guide got in it. The ride down into the mine was a very dark one! I think we were all holding our breath that the elevator would get us down safely. Once we were at the bottom of elevator shaft the guide started explaining the history of the mine to us. Julio and Luisa helped translate many of the high points for me. The mine is over 400 years old and the life expectancy of a miner working the mine was very short. There were also displays depicting what a miner looked like and the tools they used over the long life of the mine. The early miners carried candles in their toes up single pole ladders. They carried a large bag on their backs to carry the rocks out of the mine. The bag was not a typical bag that I am use to seeing. It had a strap that went across their forehead with the bag hanging near their waist. Many of the early miners would carry almost 200 lbs of rock in these bags each trip out! She said that seven year old children were also used because they were small enough to get into tight places. Single mothers were employed because they would not take any chances due to not having anyone to take care of their children. When a miner got older and was unable to carry the heavy loads they could carry a lighter load out and only work a few hours a day for the same pay. There was a catch! Instead of carrying rocks and silver out of the mine they carried the piss and shit buckets from the makeshift bathrooms. I enjoyed the history lesson about the mine even if I did not understand most of what was said. The feeling I had being so far underground and experiencing the working environment of a miner was worth the trip!
    When the tour of the mine shaft was over we took the same elevator back to the surface. The tour itself was not over though. We took another short walk to an area that overlooked the city near a large statue of “Sr. San Jose”. The tour guide gave us our last history lesson and then allowed us to continue walking around. We took a short walk up to the top of the hill where the stature was to get a better look at the city. The sun was just starting to set while we were there. The colors of the city were very vivid with the sun shining over the city as it set!

    I was taking pictures with my point and shoot camera as well as my Iphone. I used the Iphone to take some panoramic photos of the city and the sun set. When I showed them to Luisa she asked how I did it. I showed her where to find the panoramic function on her phone because she was unaware that it even had that feature. A short two minute crash course on how to do it and she was taking some of her own.

    Since it was getting dark we started our walk back to the hotel before it got too late. I’m not real big on being out after dark walking on side streets in an unfamiliar city in Mexico or anywhere for that matter. We walked back with our new friend who was the federal agent. While walking back he invited us to his home for a drink. We accepted his invitation but by the time we got to his home the sun had set and was completely dark outside. I was feeling a little uncomfortable about the surroundings as we walked to his house. He lived on a side street with very little lighting. I guess I was kicking into work mode being suspicious of everything.

    When we got to his home it was heavily secured with steel doors that had key only locks on both sides of the door. Once we got through the first door we had to walk down several flights of stairs to get to his apartment. His apartment was nothing special but he did have beer. I sat down at his table with my back to the wall so that I had a clear view of the door and the rest of the apartment. I continued to survey the apartment much like I do when I am working, at a restaurant or anywhere for that fact. I was looking for weapons, escape routes etc. My paranoia kicked up in high gear when I saw that the door we had to go out was also a key only lock with no door handle.

    The conversation Julio and Luisa had with him went very smoothly with laughter and no indication of any concerns from Julio or Luisa. I could understand some of the things they were saying but not very much. Julio and Luisa translated some of the conversation for me so that I could answer questions and join in the conversation. As the conversation went on I started to relax. This may have been because of the beer or just that the work mode was giving way to the motorcycle vacation mode again.
    We were all starting to relax as we finished our first round of beers. We had been talking for about 15 minutes when our new friend offered us another round. It was getting late so we decided that we should probably head back before relaxation turned into exhausted. We thanked him for the hospitality and started back to the hotel.

    As we were walking back to the hotel Julio painted a much better scenario and opinion of our new friend. I did not take away near as much from our visit as Julio and Luisa did due to my incredible Spanish speaking skills. Julio said that he was stationed in the city and was simply bored and wanted someone to talk to. He works for the federal government and travels often. He has a place in Cancun as well. The wheels were turning in Julio’s head on how to talk him into using the place in Cancun when he was not there.

    I’m glad Julio was leading the way back because I got a little turned around on the way to the hotel. The streets did not seem to have any pattern and just snaked through the city. Once we got close to the hotel they were a little better. The city reminded me a little of New York City. Not because of the large buildings or yellow cabs buzzing by us. It was the amount of people walking the streets shopping. The sidewalks were very narrow, typical of many Mexican cities I’ve been to. The narrow sidewalks made it a challenge not only because of the people but also the holes, chunks of concrete and light poles in our path.

    The shops along the street were selling just about everything you could imagine wanted or needed. I noticed that cowboy boots were very popular and sold everywhere. They came in all shapes, sizes and colors. Julio’s favorites were the ones with the narrow point that curled up almost like court jester’s boots. If you believe that one I have some ocean front property in Arizona to sell you. Hidaldo Del Parral is very well known for making boots. If I had a little more packing space on the bike I may have bought a couple of pairs.

    We stopped at a couple of shops to do some window shopping along the way. The only store we actually stopped at to look for something was a book store. Julio wanted a new map of Mexico that was detailed but still small enough to pack on the bike. They did not have one that he liked. It was now time for the most important stop of the night. Dinner!

    The restaurant we went to eat at was only a block away from our hotel on the same street we had ridden into the central plaza on. La Fuente restaurant was on the northwest corner of Calle 20 De Noviembre and Calle Colegio.

    The door into the restaurant was a split glass door with a white frame. The door was on the corner of the building facing diagonal across the intersection of the two streets. There were four steps leading from the sidewalk up into the restaurant. The front of the restaurant had two large windows that were approximately six foot by six foot. There was a narrower window near the door that was approximately six foot tall and three feet wide. The windows allowed for a very good view of the street that we had ridden in on from inside the restaurant. The other side of the building had two large windows, similar in size to the large windows on the front of the restaurant that had a view of a Banorte. The building was made of dark brown bricks that were about 6-8 inches square.

    When we walked into the restaurant there were about 10 other people eating in the restaurant. As we walked in there was a large glass display case to the right that was counter high but ran almost half the way along the wall. The display case had little knickknacks in it with the cash register sitting on top of it with the owner; I’m assuming it was the owner, sitting behind the register.

    We sat at a table in the center of the restaurant but on the back side of the seating area farthest away from the windows. The chairs were chrome frame chairs with white plastic covered cushions on the seat and back. They were from the 1970’s era I believe. I sat with my back to the front windows. Luisa sat to my left and Julio directly across from me. Our waiter was a pretty big man by Mexican standards. He was about my size. I had a great view of the large red cooler that was behind Julio to see what kind of beer they had for dinner. The cooler was similar to one you would see in a convenience store with large glass doors and several shelves in it. We all had the same beer, Victoria. Julio asked for Indio first but I they not have any.

    The waiter brought us our beer, basket of bread, chips, salsa and butter a few minutes after we ordered our drinks. The beer was a couple of degrees warmer than I would have liked but it was still very good. Julio again had to avoid the bread but I didn’t! I was pretty hungry at this point. Luisa even noticed and commented after I finished my second or third large piece of bread and butter. The table we were sitting at was pretty small. With the three of us sitting there we did not have much room once our food arrived. The green and white striped tablecloth was almost completely covered.

    I had the chicken tacos. Julio and Luisa had fried chicken with vegetables. The food was very good and filling. So was the conversation. The second round of beer was delivered shortly after we started eating our main course. The combination of the long day a full stomach and a couple of beers started to take affect before we left the restaurant. The relaxation was turning into exhaustion for me.

    It was during this meal that Julio brought up my ride reports. Julio told Luisa that I put a lot of detail in my reports and that I would even put in that the tablecloth was green with white stripes in my report. Now that I have rambled on about the fine details of our dinner, building and what we ate in you know why. Julio made me do it! :rofl:rofl:rofl
    #19
  20. nailit2em

    nailit2em Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    461
    Location:
    Somewhere....I'll look for a road sign
    While we were walking back from the mine and during dinner Julio and Luisa were talking about the ice cream they had eaten in Hidaldo on their first visit. When we were finished with dinner we walked a block down the street towards the central plaza and stopped at an ice cream place.

    The ice cream looked almost like art in a freezer! There were so many colors and flavors to choose from. I don&#8217;t think I have ever seen such a display of ice cream before. Usually it&#8217;s in a round tub just sitting in rows in a freezer. Not here! It took me a few minutes to decide what I wanted. I finally decided to have the Platano con Nuez. It tasted as good as it&#8217;s name sounds!

    I was also finally able to pay for something! I rushed to the end of the counter and told the cashier I wanted to pay for all three of our cups of ice cream in my best Spanish possible. Todos por favor! It was a whopping 52 peso for all three cups of ice cream! You can&#8217;t walk into an ice cream place back home and buy one thing of ice cream for that!

    We enjoyed our ice cream in the central plaza area across the street from the ice cream store. Julio and I parked ourselves on a bench and relaxed a few minutes. We discussed the last couple of days and how much I had enjoyed it. When we finished our desert we went back to the hotel.

    Back at the hotel Julio started to upload the pictures and videos I had taken throughout the day. Since the wifi was real strong I was able to face time my wife and girls back home. We talked for a few minutes then I turned the phone so that Julio and Luisa could talk to my youngest daughter and my wife. They had a nice chat. Luisa was finally able to meet my wife.

    We had talked earlier at dinner that if my wife and Luisa ever got together at the same time Julio and I would be in big trouble! They are both very much alike and would have no problem outsmarting the both of us! I&#8217;m sure that one day we would be on a motorcycle trip and the next we would be in Hawaii before Julio and I even knew what hit us!

    Julio had to figure out a password on his computer with the help of Luisa so I turned the phone around so I could see them again.

    I told Nikki about the mine and the other things we had seen that day. I then told her that Julio wanted me to keep riding with them for a few more days in Mexico. I knew this would get a reaction out of my wife. Julio was still sitting very close to me when she said that Julio might find himself at the bottom of another mine if that happened! We all got a good laugh out of that. Well I think my wife was laughing.

    My wife is truly amazing! She very rarely says no to me when I decide to go on crazy trips on my motorcycle. There may be some new some new rules or plans made when I get back but it&#8217;s all good! She is a little upset that she missed out on Copper Canyon with me but I&#8217;m sure we will be back again soon!

    This was also November 6<SUP>th</SUP>, A semi important day to many people in the United States. Yeah that was a joke.

    My wife gave me a few updates on the election but the elections were still in the early stages when I spoke to her. When I got off the phone with her I studied the map to make my way back to Ojinaga the next day. When I got tired of that I logged on to a few of the local news channels back home on my phone to follow the election results. It was still early and the presidential race was still very close. Many of the local races were not so close. I continued to watch the coverage in the lobby but Julio had retreated to his room to finish with the pictures. When Luisa was finished with what she was doing on the computer in the lobby I took the elevator up with her to call it a night.

    When I got to our floor I met Julio in the hall just outside of our rooms. He gave me my memory card back and asked if I wanted to head up to the balcony overlooking the city. We went up and checked it out.

    It was a nice view overlooking the city and the statue of Sr. San Jose on the hill we had visited earlier. We did not spend much time up there but it was a nice end to a great day! It was getting to be late or at least it felt late, so we decided to turn in for the night. I was leaving in the morning to head back home. I had not really decided what time I was leaving in the morning but Julio assured me that I would be able to say good bye to Luisa before I left since she had already gone to bed.

    When I went back to the room to get ready for bed I finished packing. When I got done I realized I had not locked my bike. I really shouldn&#8217;t have had to worry about it since it was in the lobby but I was. I took the stairs down from the third floor to the lobby instead of the elevator. They were very noisy and I don&#8217;t think any of them were the same height or width all the way down. When I reached the lobby the man working the desk had the TV on watching news coverage of the U.S. presidential election. It kind of took me by surprise to see it on the TV and that he was so interested in our election. I guess I really shouldn&#8217;t have been surprised about it. Julio, Luisa and I had been talking about it over the past couple of days. I asked him who the new president of the United States was. When he told me I said&#8230;.. I&#8217;ll leave out my political opinion and views just so that I don&#8217;t turn this RR into a political debate. I watched the coverage a little bit more and tried to understand what the reporters were saying about the race and how the media in Mexico portrayed the election.

    I&#8217;m sure that it was just as biased in Mexico as it is back in the states! Yes I will share my opinion on the media. They all suck and couldn&#8217;t get a story or their facts straight if they had to. You can also pretty much pick what you want to hear by choosing certain news channels. Fox News&#8230;CNN etc. Ok enough on that topic.

    When I got back to my room the same paranoia I had about my routes and the time I needed to get to my destination on the way down returned. I got the maps out again and started looking them over. The most confusing part of the whole day was going to be getting out of Hidalgo Del Parral. The rest of the day route was pretty straight forward with only a few turns. There are some things a map will not tell you about your route though! I will definitely spend some time telling that story later.
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    I tried to figure out what time I needed to leave in the morning so that it would not be too cold, yet make it to Abilene, Texas at a decent time. It was going to be over a 12 hour day of riding and almost 700 miles. There was no way I was going to avoid riding in the dark but I would much rather ride in the dark in Texas than Mexico. I finally just called it a day and climbed into bed. The bed was just right for someone about six inches shorter than me.
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    When I got up the next morning I opened the solid door leading into my room. There was also a screen door for the room. Julio came over and saw that I was awake. The first thing he did was give me his condolences on the election results. I told him I already knew who had won because I went back downstairs after he turned in. We had a nice chat about the results and then started down to load the bike.
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    I was able to get all of my stuff down to the bike in one load and was getting things strapped on the bike when Julio and Luisa came down with their things. Julio did not know if they would be up in time to leave when I did but it looked like they were getting ready to leave with me. It was pretty early yet and the sun was just rising. It was a balmy 52 degrees outside so it wasn&#8217;t too bad for riding. Julio said that they were going to head to Durango that day. The road out of town for Durango was also the same road I needed to take; it split just outside of town. I would go northeast and they would go south. Once again my concerns of getting out of town were all for nothing. I had told Julio that I was a little confused about getting out of town the night before but thought I had it figured out. He made sure that I was taken care of one last time on this trip by getting up early to lead me out of town.
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    I was also glad that I was able to say good bye to Luisa and give her a hug before I left. She told me to give a big hug to the girls and Nikki from her when I got home. I have said it many times already but Luisa is a terrific woman. The two of them together make a great pair! I gave Julio a handshake and thanked him for a great time! I felt very grateful to have been able to share just a little bit of time on their amazing journey.
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    With our formal goodbyes out of the way we started to roll the bikes out of the lobby. Julio asked me if I was going to start up the Harley inside the hotel lobby in a joking manner. I really didn&#8217;t think the other guests would have appreciated that! They probably didn&#8217;t appreciate me firing it up just outside the front door either. When Luisa got on with Julio we took off.
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    When we left the hotel we took a right and then another right to go around the block. We rode past the apartment of our amigo we had a beer with the night before and then came back out at the Central Plaza. I was feeling pretty good that I knew where we were going until we got to the central plaza. When we got there I would have gone right, back out the way we came in. Julio took a left. Julio has never misled me before so I followed. We passed some older buildings that looked like they would have been nice to see, next time! You always have to have a reason to come back to places like this! We then rode across a bridge that was over a main highway and through a roundabout. Just past the roundabout Julio pulled into a gas station and asked the attendant for directions for both of us.

    He told Julio that I needed to go back to the roundabout and take a right and go past the Wal-Mart then get on the highway. It was the only highway out of town and would take me to Jose&#8217; Mariano Jimenez. Julio and Luisa stayed on the street we were on to catch the highway to Durango. One last wave goodbye and we were now on separate paths again.
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    The road to Jose&#8217; Mariano Jimenez was well marked with road signs. It was also very smooth and flat! I did not waste any time on this road. I may have mistaken the 100kph signs for 100mph signs a few times. Before I knew it I was in Jimenez. It was only 50 miles down the road.

    I had to cut south a little ways to get across a river and then take the highway on the east side of the river instead of taking the quota north towards Chihuahua. It was another 200 miles to go to the boarder so I decided to wait to get gas to ensure I would make it. This was a good idea and a bad idea all wrapped into one.
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    I continued north until I had to turn right onto highway 18. As I rode north I passed through several small towns but there were no gas stations in any of them. There were plenty of those damn topes though. At of the topes there was a man in a wheelchair holding a cup out. The man&#8217;s legs were both missing. The truck in front of me paused a few seconds and then tossed a few coins in his cup. A few miles later I reached the final turn that would put me on the road to Ojinaga.
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    I had gone a 100 miles on the tank of gas at this point. I continued to look for a gas station but there were none. I still had about 75 miles left on this tank. I figured that there would be one within the next 75 miles so I wasn&#8217;t too concerned. I knew now that when I found a gas station I would make it to the border without having to stop again.
    <o:p></o:p>
    This road was straight and pretty much flat. I rode about 80 mph for the most part and was still not too concerned about not seeing a gas station yet. When I got to the 140 mile mark on my tank there was still absolutely nothing in sight, not even a house! I started to get a little worried about my gas situation at this ponit. The stress was starting to kick in a little. I kept going because at this point it was too far back to the last gas station I had seen.
    <o:p></o:p>
    I then vaguely remembered reading about a road in an ADV RR leading out of Ojinaga. I didn&#8217;t pay much attention to it when I read about it because it was not a road I was going to be taking according to my original plan. Remember how I started this ride report talking about plans? Yeah they changed&#8230;again!

    The RR warned that if your bike cannot go more than 150 miles on a tank of gas don&#8217;t take that road! Well, it looked like I was on that very road!
    <o:p></o:p>
    When I reached the 150 mile mark on my tank of gas I passed a sign that said Ojinaga was 135 K away. I knew at that point I was screwed! I started to think of ways I could get my bike to gas or get some gas to my bike. The only problem was that I was out in the middle of nowhere! I had seen a few cars and trucks on this road but they were few and far between.<o:p></o:p>
    I noticed that the ditches were shallow so I could have easily loaded my bike into a truck if one stopped when I ran out of gas. There were a few ranches that I had passed on this road that may have had gas. I also thought about maybe siphoning gas out of a car. All kinds of crap went through my mind trying to figure out how I was going to get myself out of this one.
    <o:p></o:p>
    At about the 160 mile mark on my tank of gas I passed by a cluster of small houses on the left side of the road. In front of one of a small building there was an old, faded sign wired to a chain link fence that read &#8220;Gasolina Aceite Refescos Agua&#8221; Next to that sign was a smaller one that said Abierto. I was still moving right along at about 80 mph when I passed the sign. I had just enough time to look at the buildings to see if there were any signs of a gas station and decide if I wanted to stop or if the sign was just being used as part of the fence.

    A few seconds later I got a definite response from my bike that I needed to go back and check it out. At the 162 mile mark on my tank the bike died and I had to switch over to reserve! I made a U-turn, no need to wait for traffic because there was none! I stopped in front of the sign but there was nothing in the small buuilding where the sign was. I then saw a man carrying a cooler towards the small building I was parked in front of. I thought to myself this is a good sign that he is bringing a cooler out since the sign said Refescos.
    <o:p></o:p>
    When he got closer I said &#8220;Hola tiene Gasolina&#8221; he then pointed me down a dirt road towards a couple of houses. I rode a little ways and pulled into the drive way of the first house I came to. I got off and yelled Hola a few times but no one came out. I then saw a small sign on an old tin shed on back behind the first house that said &#8220;Gasolina agui&#8221; I got a little bit excited that I had actually stumbled across a place selling gas in the middle of nowhere!
    <o:p></o:p>
    That takes me back to what I said earlier about not stopping when I had only 50 miles on my tank being a good thing and a bad thing. It was a bad thing because there were no more gas stations between there and Ojinaga. It was a good thing I had not stopped because my bike would not have ran out of gas just after I passed that sign and I probably would have kept on going.
    <o:p></o:p>
    I rode on back to the shed with the sign on it. It wasn&#8217;t like I could sneak up on anyone riding the Harley. I had only taken a few steps towards the house when an older woman came out. I greeted her and told her I needed gasoline, in my limited Spanish of course. She took me to the shed where I saw several five gallon plastic cans filled with gas just inside the door.

    I was really feeling good about my situation now. I tried to tell her how much I needed with very little success. I wasn&#8217;t even worried about how much it was going to cost me either. Finally I pointed on the side of the gas can and moved my finger along the can about half way down indicating how much I needed. The next thing she did erased every good feeling I had about finding this gas!
    <o:p></o:p>
    She picked up the gas can then picked up a dirty five gallon bucket that was sitting just inside the door. She turned the bucket upside down and banged on it to knock some of the dirt out of it. She then started pouring gas into the bucket that still had dirt and rocks in it. I couldn&#8217;t believe what I was seeing! The gas was now ruined as far as I was concerned. I told her to stop a couple of times, Alto Alto, I said. She stopped and then started to pick up the five gallon bucket. I quickly grabbed the gas can. I then motioned to her that I would take the gas can out. She then grabbed an old metal funnel and we walked out to the bike. The funnel she grabbed was not going to work. It was way too big and had a funny bend in it that would not fit in my tank opening. She went back and grabbed a smaller funnel and handed it to me. It was full of dust and cob webs. I wiped it out the best I could and started to pour the gas in.
    <o:p></o:p>
    I had a good idea about how far it was to Ojinaga. If that was the next place to get gas I would need about 2.5 gallons to make it there. I poured until I thought I had put about that much in but I still wanted to leave a plenty of gas in the bottom of the plastic gas can in case there was dirt and crap that had settled to the bottom. When I finished the woman took the gas can back to the shed and dumped the gas she had poured into the dirty bucket back into the gas can I had just used. That really made me concerned about the gas I just put in my Harley!
    <o:p></o:p>
    Now it was time to find out how much this gas was going to cost me. She told me in Spanish 120 peso and I asked her to confirm what she said using a calculator because I thought I had heard her wrong. Nope! I heard her correctly. She charged me almost $6 a gallon for the gas. When you need it you need it! It was a classic example of supply and demand. I thanked her and hopped back on the Harley and took off down the road again.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Everything was going well now. The stress was almost gone and my concerns of running out of gas were almost diminished.

    I continued down the road at a steady pace of about 75 mph. The road was still straight and very uneventful. I was going along just fine and reached the 217 mile mark on my tank. I didn&#8217;t change the odometer when I filled up like I normally do. The Harley gave me another warning that shit was about to get bad again! It died! I had to switch over to reserve again.

    I guess I hadn&#8217;t put as much gas in as I thought. I was about 30 miles from Ojinaga when this happened. To the best of my knowledge I could go about 20 miles after switching over to reserve. I had never truly tested this but that was my best educated guess.
    <o:p></o:p>
    I slowed my speeds down to around 60 mph and when I had a downhill stretch I would coast as far as I could. I passed the 20 mile point since switching over from reserve and I was still going. That was a good sign! I could also see Ojinaga in the distance, another good sign! I had just crossed a long flat spot and was starting up a hill when the Harley died again! This time I had no reserve to change over to. To add insult to injury I was at the bottom of a hill. My journey for gas was going to start with me having to push the bike UPHILL!
    <o:p></o:p>
    I slowly pulled the bike over to the shoulder so that I could get off safely to push it. The traffic on the highway had picked up considerably since I was close to Ojinaga but it was still a two lane road. My best guess was that I was about 3-4 miles from town.
    <o:p></o:p>
    I don&#8217;t think my bike even stopped rolling when a yellow bobtailed semi pulled in behind me. A guy stuck his head and half of his upper body out the passenger window and said &#8220;You neeeed a leeeft&#8221; sorry that&#8217;s the best I can do to explain his accent. No exaggeration at all! I told him &#8220;Mi moto no tiene gasoline&#8221; They pulled around to the front of me and three guys got out of the semi. I originally asked them if they had a rope to pull me into town. They didn&#8217;t have one. Our conversation was not going real well due to the language barrier so I asked them if they spoke English since the guy spoke some when he stuck his head out the window. He spoke about as much English as I did Spanish but that helped. I asked them if they could go get me some gas. They said sure.
    <o:p></o:p>
    I went to reach for my wallet that I always keep in my left breast pocket on the inside of my jacket. (If you have read my RR from last year this will sound familiar) My wallet was not there! I franticly checked my right breast pocket! Not there either! I walked over to my bike to check my tank bag. Maybe I put it there after I paid the woman for the gas. Not there! The guy could see the look on my face was not good. All I could picture was my wallet with all but one of my credit cards, my cash and license on the ground outside the woman&#8217;s house. Then I checked the last place I ever put my wallet when I&#8217;m riding, my back pocket of my jeans. It was there! I think Holy shit actually came out of my mouth at that time with a big smile! The guy got a good laugh out of that little panicked episode in my life.
    <o:p></o:p>
    I gave him 50 peso and he said he would be right back with a gallon of gas. He then jumped in the yellow semi with his friends and took off. I really didn&#8217;t know If I was ever going to see him again or any gas but If I didn&#8217;t take a chance I&#8217;d never know.
    <o:p></o:p>
    I then started to push my bike up the hill. It really wasn&#8217;t too hard of a push. I then hopped on it and coasted down the hill on the other side. When the road flattened out I just walked along the side of the bike until there was another slight slope downhill. I did this for about 10-15 minutes. I think I covered about ¾ of a mile or so when another truck stopped to help me.
    <o:p></o:p>
    This truck was a regular farm truck with some hay in the back. They guy driving the truck was about my age. It looked like the other two people in the truck were his parents. I told him that my bike ran out of gas. He did not speak English so our conversation was not going real well. I then made a pulling motion with my hands to see if he had a rope so he could pull me into town. He grabbed a lariat out of his truck and tied it to his bumper and then gave me the loop end of the lariat. He thought I was going to put the loop around my handle bars like a bulls horns. I motioned to him that I was just going to hold it. He said manos, with a &#8220;are you crazy&#8221; look on his face. I didn&#8217;t hold it with the loop around my hand. I knew better than that from growing up on a farm. know it wasn&#8217;t the smartest thing to do but what the hell it wasn&#8217;t too far to town and it was flat.
    <o:p></o:p>
    I backed the bike up so that the rope was taunt. The three of them then got back into the truck. Just as he was getting ready to take off I saw this giant gorgeous yellow bobtail semi drive past me with my three best amigos ever in it! I yelled at the guy in the truck to stop &#8220;Senor alto alto&#8221; I then told him my friends had returned with gas. He took the lariat off of his bumper and rolled it back up. I thanked him for his help and he was on his way again.
    <o:p></o:p>
    By this time the best looking semi I had ever seen before in my life had made a u-turn. My new amigos got out carrying a silver Preston gallon antifreeze jug. I was so excited that when he gave me the jug and my change I didn&#8217;t have the presence of mind to tell him to keep the change. I started to pour it into my bike with a huge smile on my face. I was just about done when I tilted the jug to fast and dumped some down the side of my tank. I let out a grunt and maybe a curse word or five which got a laugh out of them. When I was done putting the gas in I thanked them and shook each of their hands.
    <o:p></o:p>
    I rode three miles to next gas station where I filled up! The odometer read 248.6 miles. So it was almost 200 miles between legitimate gas stations. That was one thing the map I was using did not tell me! Not only do I know now so do you.
    <o:p></o:p>
    This is another one of those stories I like to tell people when they tell me I&#8217;m crazy for riding in Mexico. I will add this story to my list that includes breaking a chain in Tampico. Camping on a beach on the gulf coast in narco territory and last but far from least my two good friends Mike and Julio that have helped me more than they will ever know!
    <o:p></o:p>
    This particular story took place in one of the &#8220;most dangerous places on earth&#8221;! At least that&#8217;s what the media would like you to believe! A Mexican border town. A place where the majority of what people hear about are the murders and drug wars between the cartels. These things do happen but there are more good people in this world than bad!
    <o:p></o:p>
    I hopped back on my bike and headed for the border. It took me all of 10 minutes to get my passport stamped and my TVP canceled. A quick chat with the border agent on the U.S side and I was back in the United States. <o:p></o:p>
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