Towards Zacatecas on an Airhead

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ricard, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
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    Leaving Los Angeles in the morning for a three week ride in the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains of Mexico.

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    Fresh fluids, filters and tires at Valdi's Motozone in Torrance
    #1
  2. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Los Angeles
    582 miles through the desert north of the border wall. 105 degree heat. Gas stations in Arizona offer cool-down areas.

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    In Tuscson darkening skies turned into a dust storm which turned ino a thunder storm.

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    On the map something like this, in yellow.
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    #2
  3. MufflerBearings

    MufflerBearings Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2012
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    183
    Location:
    Ciudad Catedral
    :clap. I'm really looking forward to this. I thoroughly enjoyed your last Mexico ride report. Your reports encourage me to venture out far from home on my elderly K75.
    #3
  4. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    Oct 14, 2008
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    Korea Town, Los Angeles,
    cool. ride on!
    #4
  5. GSAragazzi

    GSAragazzi Long timer

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    The Purgatory of Suburbia
    :lurk
    #5
  6. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    I crossed the border in Naco Arizona. An extremely laid-back experience. I was the only vehicle, chatted with the customs guy and was able to watch part of a Power Rangers episode while sitting in the office where my tourist visa was typed up. I didn't even have to fill out the forms or move from my comfortable air-conditioned spot. The road winds through the hills on the way to Banamichi. The occasional light rain shower kept me cool and released good smells from the dusty landscape.

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    Adios Arizona

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    Hello Mexico

    Arrived at the beautiful Los Arcos hotel in Banamichi. Had a great time relaxing in the courtyard, listening to the light rain, drinking Bacanora, and talking with Lynn and Tom "Turkey Creek" and Roy "RW66"

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    On the map something like this, in green
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    #6
  7. ficoszac

    ficoszac y...ahora???

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    170
    Location:
    Zacatecas,Zacatecas, Mexico
    hi amigo i am federico, i am in Alaska now, hope to see in Zacatecas soon........
    #7
  8. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    Hey Federico, Roy "RW66" and I were just talking about you and Jose. I'll probably be in Zacatecas on Sunday. Sorry I'll miss you. Hope to see you again. - Watch out for the brown bears.
    #8
  9. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Monday, July 7th.

    After a delicious breakfast at Los Arcos, Tom drove me out to see his friend Stevan De La Rosa. Stevan has a small farm just outside of Banamichi, on which he has hand built an incredible little adobe house. Completely sustainable and "off the grid". He gets his water from a small canal, everything else is supplied by the sun or the earth. He has become an expert in traditional construction.

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    Back at Los Arcos Tom showed me the famous Vespa Totem and El Dragon.

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    The road from Banamichi to Sahuaripa is dramatic, twisty, has lots of potholes, a few minor rock slides and water crossings. Highly enjoyable.

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    Sahuaripa is small and quiet. I wasn't planning to stay, but while looking for the Pemex I passed Hotel Casa Grande. I guess I'll sit and watch the lizards a wait for the rain to start.

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    Short ride along some of these roads, in yellow
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    #9
  10. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    Tuesday July 8th - The road to Yecora and one bent spoke.

    Maybe the ranchers I asked directed me along the shortcut to Yecora through the mountains. The California Auto Club Map, I've trusted as a friend, showed a thin but deep black line, promissing pavement. The pavement thus far had been pretty sketchy, but after a shallow river crossing south of Sahuaripa it turned to dirt. The road was graded and the scenery spectacular and I was hoping the rain would wait for a while.

    Past Yecora the road returned to smooth black pavement. Which quickly deteriorated. I missed 99.9% of the pot holes but hit one hard. At Basaseachic the sky was turning black and the Pemex was out of gas. I pulled into "Hotel Cabanas Y Restaurant de la Sierra" (Thanks Sjoerd) for a room and an early diner just as the sky opened up with torrential rain.

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    Shallow water crossing

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    The road to Yecora

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    South of Yecora, back on pavement.

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    Cabanas Y Restaurante de la Sierra, Basaseachic

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    Along this green line, but not really
    #10
  11. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    Wednesday, July 9th

    In the morning the pine forests of Basaseachic were shrouded in mist as the silver miners raced to work, creating new pot holes. I climbed higher on the twisty road dodging rocks washed off the hills by yesterdays rain. Avoiding damp cows with their calves guarded by big bulls threatening to charge.

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    The road to Creel

    I arrived in Creel after only a few hours ride. While lost, in this tiny town, I stopped at "La Troje de adobe" cafe and hostal to ask directions. They suggested I stay, so I did. Angelico an Memo are the owners and builders of the beautiful adobe building.

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    "La Troje de adobe"

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    Watching the World Cup with Angelico and Memo

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    The train arriving in Creel, from my window

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    Memo playing in the cafe

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    A short ride along this yellow line
    #11
  12. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

    Joined:
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    Location:
    BanĂ¡michi, Sonora, Mexico
    Nice fotos. Sorry about the spoke. It looks like maybe you too the fork to the left at Guisanopa. It looks like the dirt is better than the pavement in places.
    #12
  13. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    The scenery was spectacular and I didn't crash crossing the river near Yecora, that road was a fortuitous mistake. The wheel still seems true, so I'm not worrying about the spoke.

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    #13
  14. RW66

    RW66 Been here awhile

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    Jan 25, 2012
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    605
    Location:
    Central Mexico
    Way to go Richard!!!!
    I got to the dirt road and turned around and took one that was mostly paved. The dirt was wet and I did not want drop the bike and be there by myself and not able to get it up again. You did a great job.
    I believe I made it to the same cabins you stayed at by the falls, but I was there Mon night...
    I'll have to say that I got so tired of dodging rocks and stuff in the highway that I changed my GPS to home and I was home Tues night. However I have the advantage of taking the copper canyon rout just about anytime.....
    You are doing a great job.
    Ride safe
    #14
  15. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    Thursday July 10th

    Woke up at the hostal La Troje de Adobe as the sun was breaking through the mist. Angelico and Memo made a delicious breakfast. Awake and fortified I headed out into the countryside.

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    The ancient Jesuit church of San Ignacio. Beautifully severe standing for hundreds of years between the sky and earth.

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    Passing the farms and log houses of the indigenous Tarahumara, I headed up into the mountains towards "Baronca Cobre", Copper Canyon. I had a brief impromptu celebration on the side of the road as the bike turned over 100,000 miles.

    Notice the GPS insisting that I am off the map, no roads at all.
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    Keep On Truckin'
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    It rolled to all zeros as I arrived at Copper Canyon, accompanied by great claps of thunder applauding, I dove for cover under a tin roof.

    Copper Canyon in the rain
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    Returning to Creel, Memo the hostal owner, helped me find an electrical shop to solder a brake light wire that had come loose on "the road to Yecora".
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    Downtown Creel
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    #15
  16. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    Friday, July 11

    What were your dreams? Memo asks, explaining that it is the traditional Tarahumara greeting.

    The road from Creel climbs up into the canyons. Occasional log houses, small fields of maze tilled by horse drawn plows, women and girls in long bright skirts and shawls. Pine trees scenting the cool air.

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    Nearing Parral the road drops down between arid mesas.

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    I find the Acosta Hotel, just off the plaza.

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    A view of the plaza from the hotel roof.
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    The rain stops in time for a Friday night party. Lots of Chuauha bikers in town.
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    The Army
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    With the "Negritas"
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    And Pancho Villa
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    Who gets killed
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    The green line today
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    #16
  17. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    BanĂ¡michi, Sonora, Mexico
    #17
  18. RW66

    RW66 Been here awhile

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    Central Mexico
    I am glad you were able to find a hotel room. Maybe because you got there on Fri.
    The anniversary of the death of Pancho Villa is a big thing in Parral because that is where it happened.
    A couple of years ago i came through on Sat and i could not find any rooms after stopping at 6 or 7 places so i had to keep on ridding.
    Ride safe
    #18
  19. Tagman

    Tagman JCunningham San Carlos, Mexico

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
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    Location:
    San Carlos , Sonora Mexico
    Tonight is a Large Moto rally in Parrall, follow the bikes or ask someone where. I was there last year and It is a great experience. You will see a tall gringo with a big nose named Pelicano there. Be sure and say hello for me.
    #19
  20. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    Saturday July 12th

    The road to Durango

    I left Parral early and rode south towards Durango on the broad read line I saw on my map. The sky threatened rain and the highway turned to a dirt construction site, then some pavement. It started to rain hard. The next highway improvement was 10km of slick mud. I dumped the bike three times in the first kilometer. Each time, a guy in the truck behind me got out to help me pick it up. For a while he was walking behind me holding the rack as we both tried to walk the bike forward. Cars and trucks began to get stuck. Everyone turned around and headed back north. I cut over to Gomez Palacio on a great narrow road through the desert.

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    The yellow line
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    #20