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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ScotsFire, Mar 12, 2021.
Are you coming thru Durango?
Excellent update @ScotsFire - damn envious to see those blue skies, the desert, and fantastic scenery you're riding through/experiencing. Had a good laugh about the screaming child being smothered at 10, not that I condone that sort of behavior (though having 2 boys of my own, there were times...)
Doesn't look like you encountered much traffic? At least judging from the pictures where the road could be seen in the distance. One of the first geology pics you posted of that rock - appears to be in a wash, but almost looks like something you'd find from eons ago when that was under oceanic water (maybe?). Or maybe it was just eroded from water rushing by.
Great job with the pics man, covering 240 miles while stopping to take lots of pics is a good day in the saddle. Saw the last post that you're in Creel, good to read that things have been ok on covid front thus far. And yowza - waking up to 24 degrees...that's colder than it was here this morning and it was 28...lol.
Knobby side down!
I'm glad you brought this up. I usually will at least post a map of where I've been going. Ish anyway. Will start putting them in to the report. Here's the first two days.
March 13: Nogales to Banamichi
March 14: Banamichi to Yecora with side route through the mine company town La Igesia. Go because of the road, not the town.
I don't know much past tomorrow where I expect to go (and not infrequently don't stay on target). I would like to get to Durango, but suspect it won't happen on the way south. I'm already mentally feeling strapped for time getting to Cancun by the 25th (ELEVEN DAYS! YIKES!!) Very likely I'll look to go north near Durango way though.
T-minus 11 days!!
March 15, 2021: Basaseachi twisties
I woke up often overnight due to being cold. There was a portable propane heater in the room, but of course the propane tank was empty. Therefore the 24 degree temps at daybreak didn't get much resistance in cooling down the habitacion. Tried to take a shower to warm up. But no hot water. Let's just say that Hotel King in Yecora is not worth the 25 bucks. Shoulda pulled my Economical Hotels book by Sjoerd Bakker out of my tank bag and found another place when I didn't get good vibes pulling in last night.
The sunshine warmed me up pretty quickly, despite the crisp air when I left. Temperatures rose quickly too, though the highest I saw all day was 68. Nigh perfect weather if you ask me.
Yecora is right on the transition from the Sonoran Desert to the northern mountains. The scenery changed pretty quickly, but took a while to be hugely different.
Sorry this is a little washed out. This is the first photo I've tried editing, and obviously need some practice. The rock faces were a lot darker in the untouched one.
Mostly rolling hills at first, carrying the basalt outcropping motif along.
One of the few straight sections of road I had all day.
This was more the norm.
Please note I am not complaining about this.
It kept getting more and more rugged.
People eking out a living on these little ranchos throughout the area, though less of them as some other areas I've been through in the last couple days.
It would seem best to not leave the roadway.
This little rancho's owner must breed dogs. About a dozen puppies accosted me as I took this shot.
Did I mention there were some curves?
Quite a few even tighter than these, but you wouldn't expect me to quit riding to snap a picture would you?
The elevation differentials began to increase.
The shiny streak is a creek in the valley.
One of the objectives for the day was to check out Cascada Basaseachi. This waterfall is the second highest in Mexico. After a lunch of pollo asado in the town of Basaseachi, I went to the visitor center for the National Park. As I was prepping for the short hike, Josecinto (sp?) offered to watch my bike for twenty pesos. It's unlikely that anything would happen during the short walk, but this is one of the ways some struggling folks get by. It was worth the buck to have a little peace of mind, and to help a brother out. (In Mexican cities, this sort of situation occurs at grocery stores. The people bagging groceries only get paid by the tips from the customers.)
It wasn't a real strenuous walk to the overlook. It was actually sort of wheelchair accessible, though you'd want some knobbies on the chair. It's not exactly smooth.
There's even a bridge across the creek bed.
Usually I'd like to see some sort of engineering report posted before utilizing this kind of structure, but both DYR and MYM heart the bridge, so it must be ok.
There is an alternate route if one did not trust the "main" bridge, but I'm not sure it would be worth the climb down and back up to the trail.
This sort of creek canyon through the basalt is VERY like some areas in eastern Washington.
"Take care of your children"
Seems reasonable, especially when you're visiting...
Not to be found in eastern Washington.
The mirador, or lookout, is where the cascada goes over the side.
So while the views are stunning, it's actually hard to see the waterfall.
This is it. The mist is from the wind catching the water as it falls.
But not really seeing the actual waterfall. Stand by. I have a plan.
Not that it sucked. By any stretch.
I think this means, "Watch that first step."
Deep Creek, near Spokane?
Back across the bridge of safety.
So not wanting to go to all this work to NOT see a waterfall, I remounted the GS (after thanking Josecinto for watching it) and rode the fifteen clicks around to the other side of the canyon. There was a fifty peso entry fee to this side.
But I'd say this at least a two fiddy view.
This shows the scale of things.
The cascada is really only about half as high as the peaks around the canyon.
It was a pretty amazing view.
You can see the town of Basaseachi upstream from the falls.
OK, one more shot.
It was hard to leave, as I could have soaked in that view for hours. But I really wanted to be in Creel before dark, so off I rode.
The roads in this area generally run along the ridge lines, occasionally dropping down to cross a drainage.
Token shot of one of the few straight parts.
This particular piece of asphalt was near perfect. But as nearly always in MX, quality varies significantly. The worst on this stretch were some repairs using a quasi-chip seal method, except they used sand instead of gravel. Previous patches using this technique kind of ball up making a very uneven surface. These are of course almost always on corners. My third rule of riding in Mexico is: If you can't see the road surface in front of you, slow down. So with all the blind corners combined with road repairs, fallen rocks, and livestock on the roads, I didn't hit it too hard. Despite this I made good time to Creel, beating Google's estimated travel time significantly.
Once in Creel, I took advantage of the increased tourism quotient.
First un-masculine European coffee I've had since crossing the border.
The streets and sidewalks were bustling when I got to town, but an hour later when I was walking around it had died down significantly.
On the COVID observances, still no closures of note. There were some restaurantes and storefronts closed in Creel, but it's impossible to know exactly why. The coffee stand where I got the mocha at was closed last year, but open this. Most businesses were open, and there were many more people around than when I was in Creel last year. It is apparently a Mexico holiday weekend, so that may be why. Mask use is inconsistent.
I didn't see very many people wearing masks around Yecora. One boy working the taquiera where I had supper, but not many more. There were also quite a few people gathered in the centro, but not nearly as many as I saw on a weekend on prior trips. There were also quite a few people gathered in the centro, but not nearly as many as I would normally see in a centro on a weekend (or even weeknight) on prior trips. Basaseachi and Creel have more people wearing masks, but it's not widespread. Very few of the tourists are doing so. The Tarahumira seem to be mostly wearing them, certainly a higher proportion than the general populous. I have been and will continue to wear a mask when around people, though it did suck doing this when on the hiking path today.
While I'm not sure today's ride ends up on my favorite routes and/or days list, I cannot remember ever having so many miles of twisties to enjoy. Coupled with the incredible scenery, it really made for a spectacular day.
The falls can run almost dry into spring and early summer but get cranking from late summer into the fall with the rainy season. It still looked pretty good in your fotos.
The Hotel King has seen better days
Fantastic RR and really enjoying your adventure. Excellent photography as well.
Need more pics of the food you are getting.
Only for you Imu.
Desayuno in Banamichi
Lunch in Moctezuma
Supper in Yecora
First time having horchata. Not bad and I agree with some others; could use some rum.
Lunch in Banamichi
Supper in Creel
I went a little fancier so I could use my card.
Food has been pretty good other than the Chinese fast food, which was the only place I found open. I try to go where there are some locals eating.
Dang I am hungry and its only 0930AM Locally.
Thank you for the food pics.
One of those food pics is curiously close to EPL!
Third Monday of March is observed as Benito Juarez' birthday.
You don't suppose that the streets of Creel emptied because word of your arrival had gotten out?
My reputation does precede me at times.
Got to Urique today. Batopilas for an easy day tomorrow that will have to count as a rest day. Will actually meet a guy I’ve ridden with in Moab there. Small world.
Not sure the WiFi will be better tomorrow, but will catch up ASAP.
To cut to the chase though, it ended up being a fantastic day’s ride.
Despite my best efforts.
But for now, I’m satisfied sitting on the porch with an Indio as the temps cool off slightly from the 78 degrees it was upon arrival.
And wondering why the f’in roosters are crowing.
They know a gringo is in town
Damn loud poultry, should be on a spit over a fire.
Nice pic of the beer cooler. They seem to have plenty of Tecate
Ok, made it to Batopilas around lunch time. No WiFi at my hotel, so no updates today either. The road from Urique was rougher than last year, but still a blast. Drinking Tecates (desperate times call for desperate measures) in the centro with a bunch of other riders (two separate groups!).
I’ll get an update out as soon as I can, but it may not be tomorrow. Need to be in Cancun in eight days, and no idea where I’m going through.
T-minus 8 days!
That's the best plan of all..no idea where you're going through!
Safe travels as you make your way there @ScotsFire, look forward to seeing pics from the rip to Batopilas when you get into good WiFi.
March 16, 2021: Mirador make-up
131 miles (map not actually showing correct route - read on)
When I had gotten into Creel on the 15th, one of the first things I did was try to get some more cash at the ATM. It was not working. For anyone, as I stuck around and saw a half dozen others have the same result. This wasn't a very good situation for me as I had used up most of my cash to this point, and certainly didn't have two days worth on me. There would not be a way to get more in towns like Urique and Batopilas.
First thing on the 16th, like just before 7, I tried again with the same result. After cleaning up and starting to pack, I walked around at 8, but still no workie. Bank opens at 9, so I figure I'd try the lobby then. After walking around some more (I'm not sure how a coffee place doesn't ever open in the morning...) I finished loading up and returned to the bank just after 9. By this time, there were around thirty people in line. WTF? I waited for around fifteen minutes, and took one step forward. I'd googled ATM's already, and the next closest one that comes up on Google Maps is around 90 minutes away, in totally the wrong direction of course.
I did try the Oxxo. They have taken on a lot of banking functions as there's almost always an Oxxo on any town on any sort of a highway. But one needed an Oxxo account to make that work. FINE. North I go.
Around 30 km north of Creel is the small city of San Juanito. It's more of a working class town than touristy, but big enough I couldn't imagine it didn't have an ATM. I stopped to ask a policia officer at the Pemex on the highway.
*BREAK* There were actually a plethora of authorities to ask at this particular gasoline station. There were the Policia Municipal, whom I asked mostly as they were closest to the highway, as well as Policia Estatil, National Guard (DUDES! The camo with the white background is NOT helping hide you!), Army, and Policia Federales. Probably fifty personnel staged there. I'm not sure what was up, but it was definitely a show of force. *END BREAK*
The officer said of course there's an ATM, and that I should go something something something then turn left and something something right. My Spanish is getting better, but directions are hard. Riding around a little didn't help, so it occurred to me that ATM's are at banks, so maybe I should google bank locations. CHING CHING! WINNAH! Lesson learned.
Turning around, it was just after 11 getting back into Creel. Damn coffee shop is still not open, and none of the restaurants are open for breakfast anymore. I needed to top off the fuel, so decided to really risk my stomach and get some convenience store food. Two burritos, chips, a coffee, and water.
The whole having food thing attracted some interest.
She was pretty calm about it, and didn't get too close, but absolutely wanted a bite. So I split the second burrito with her and another younger male (maybe her pup?).
It now being around noon, I figured I could go ahead and start the day for real.
Yeah, that'll do. It gets rugged and deep quickly heading south from Creel towards Bahuichivo. But it's strangely not that obvious. The roads run on top of the ridges, which as you can see are often kinda flat. With the forest, it's actually pretty hard to actually see the canyons from the road. There are a couple of spots where it opens up, like the above shot.
But for the really good views, you need to find one of the overlooks.
This one is at the end of a narrow road off the highway. It's hard to miss as the lower half is a concrete pavement so it doesn't wash away.
You can see some small communities, Raramuri I would guess.
Running into town looks like you'd better really want that ice cream.
There are some small cottages right at this overlook, and apparently Tuesday is laundry day.
But wait, there's more!
This highway is a pretty sweet ride in and of itself. Even without the constant views, there are lots of elevation changes and twisties.
The pavement is in pretty good shape. One always needs to keep an eye out for bad pot holes or rocks in the road in Mexico (as is true elsewhere too).
I didn't stop at the "adventure park" this time. Still not sure that zip line is a great idea. And I was behind remember?
So what does one do when feeling behind schedule, and having wasted the entire morning with likely several hours of hard riding till reaching the destination?
Take a side trip of course!
I had noticed on google maps that there seemed to be a road that runs near the rail tracks for the Chepe Express, a tourist train that goes through the Copper Canyon. This was supposed to take me down to it.
There was quite a bit of traffic. As I stopped to take a leak, fifty feet away in the middle of the forest, a Raramuri girl walked by. Several times I saw them when I didn't expect anyone to be around.
The ride down the hill was actually pretty challenging. Steep and several places of loose baby head rocks. But before too long...
The tracks showed up.
The road dropped down to the canyon floor, generally running along side the creek.
The road at the bottom was in pretty good shape really.
Different kind of scenic than on the top of the ridges.
The tracks took a straighter path.
Google shows the road ending at this community, called Urique Municipality. This is confusing as a municipality is similar to a county in most of the United States, and this was actually the Urique Municipality (county).
The more time I spend in Mexico, this sort of thing is less surprising if no more understandable.
On the map above, this village is at the end of the "tail" coming off the main road. The dirt road actually continues into Bahuachivo and I followed it there.
Other ways the train cuts corners.
I didn't get to see a train, and this didn't make up for that.
I'm trying to paint a realistic portrait of what I find in Mexico, and part of that is the not as pretty parts.
Dump site for garbage.
Fun little side loop, despite the trash.
Topped of fuel again in Bahuichivo even though I'd only ridden fifty or so miles. I thought I might be taking a back route west from Batopilas and didn't think I could readily get fuel in Urique or BP.
Heading south from Bahuichivo.
The road to Urique turns left at Cerocahui.
Back on dirt!
Cerocahui from above.
I had toyed with the idea of taking this road south out of Caracahui looping around and coming into Batopilas from the south, but I really didn't have enough light to get that far.
Reason to come back I suppose.
Again, the views are pretty nice but not quite what you came for.
Pretty nice spot for a little rancho.
Some of the best views are here.
This overlook is a big reason I wanted badly to come back into this area. I stupidly rode right through this and didn't stop last year.
I still kick myself.
The town of Urique on the valley floor.
Still almost an hours ride away.
There's a bridge that goes out over the abyss.
I didn't notice the little shrine till I was uploading these pictures.
The bridge is actually really stable. More so than the one at Cascada Basaseachi.
Still probably good advice.
The road down to Urique.
And the road I'd take up out of the canyon the next day.
A little down the road is the twin shrine.
It wasn't the only one that was doubled up.
Stories I don't know, but would like to.
This rock was there last year.
No one can push it out of the road or something?
Once in town (and after making the teen girls on the side of the road giggle by asking where the hotels were) I checked into Hotel Paraiso Escondido Urique. It was pretty, and promised hot water. Unfortunately, there wasn't very useful WiFi. My pictures would crash when trying to upload them. However, all was good at Mama Tita's restaurant.
Mama Tita looks just like this, if a bit older. She was quite a character!
After supper and a walk to the super mercado, a couple of Indio's went down pretty smooth on the patio of the hotel. The air slowly and relaxingly cooled for the night.
Plan to quote more later, but I needed this tonight @ScotsFire. Long damn day.