Geezer Goes to the Beach

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by RexBuck, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    [FONT=&quot]Got off to a late start this morning as I was figuring out how to better use my new video camera. My old GoPro has been ok but I have found it quite cumbersome to produce usable video – 6 to 8 hours a day of video is just too much to watch to find something usable. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Rather than go with the newest GoPro version, I decided on a competitor called the Drift Ghost S. The camera has the ability to video in a loop which allows you to save a few minutes of action that you just passed. End up with a few small files which are easy to review. Also has a remote control that works allowing you to record when you want. Even has an Ap for the SmartPhone – pretty spiffy but difficult to use when riding.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Here are a couple more videos. Given the problems I had yesterday with the wrong angle of the camera when mounted on my helmet, today I mounted it on my handlebars on some RamMounts I had around. Get a little bit of windscreen on the side but a much better perspective. I think I like the handlebar mounting better for riding videos anyhow.[/FONT]

    <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/LR3_1OO51Mk" allowfullscreen="" width="560" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe>

    <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/cotE5XFv3iE" allowfullscreen="" width="560" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe>

    Great ride again today – running around the back farm roads in the foothills above Fresno and Bakersfield. Great fun! When the altitude got over 5000 feet, started to see bits of leftover sand from the last snowfall. One section had a pretty good covering (like about an inch thick :yikes ) of sand across the whole road . . . not a lot of fun on pavement.

    Over the mountains, back north a bit and through Death Valley. Going to be nice being there when it isn’t 140F. The view coming down the hill into Death Valley is spectacular.



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    [FONT=&quot]Here are a couple of photos I took with the Drift while riding - much better than the photos I used to get out of the GoPro[/FONT]


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    [/FONT]Heading down into Death Valley, was starting to get dark so was shooting for Panamint Resort. Stopped at Panamint which looks to be pretty rustic and wanted $95 for a room. Even considered camping for $7 but, since it was a nice night with little traffic, decided to carry on to Stovepipe Wells to see what they had to offer.

    Not a bad place – pricy - $105 but a little nicer. Restaurant and Saloon. Saloon plays old John Wayne movies since there is no TV around. Had a decent burger and a couple Dead Guy Ales which they had on tap – one of my all time favorites.


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    #21
  2. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    [​IMG]

    Always a nice read when you write
    #22
  3. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Thank you and great having you along Trice.

    Letting our hair grow a bit are we? :D
    #23
  4. OtterChaos

    OtterChaos Guzzi Sud!

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    In, love the Geezer reports, I plan on heading south when I retire next year and I have Mexico by Geezer and South America by Geezer on my "must review and take notes" list (already read them but need to review). Really think the way you travel would suit me well.
    #24
  5. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Wow, thanks for the kind comments and I am glad you have found my trips of use.

    Glad to have you along and look forward to your ride reports when you get on the road.
    #25
  6. sophijo

    sophijo Been here awhile

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    SE Michigan
    I'm coming along!
    #26
  7. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Welcome sophijo - have fun at the beach.
    #27
  8. PatSmith

    PatSmith Been here awhile

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    Sacramento
    If you get back to Sacramento again, PM or email if you want a riding partner. I'll be glad to play tour guide or follow you to your favorite places. Enjoy the ride.
    #28
  9. going south

    going south hero & Zero...

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    All right... another Geezer report...
    They always keep me entertained...
    Glade to see you back on the road...
    :freaky
    #29
  10. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Thanks for the offer and thanks for having a look here. Things seem to be pretty busy when I hit your area - about the only riding I get in while there is into and out of town. My Dad is in a home out in Fair Oaks so that is the area I base myself in.

    I'll shoot you a line when I get there.
    #30
  11. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Ahhh, another one of the faithful. Thanks for jumping in again.
    #31
  12. borscht zanetti

    borscht zanetti Pura Vida ! ... eh?

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    Ride on RB !

    I will be putting a couple of your hotel reviews to the test when I visit Chacala and Guanajuato this April. Unfortunately not on a bike. But, your reports were influential enough to have us take a slightly different take on our usual Mexico holiday and seek out the less traveled towns around Guadalajara.
    #32
  13. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Hey Borscht glad you found some useful stuff there and glad you are venturing out from the usual tourist destinations. The interior cities are really beautiful and interesting.

    Thanks for joining in and enjoy your trip.
    #33
  14. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Short ride today down the full length of Death Valley. I’m guessing this would not be such a leisurely ride in the summer time but this time of year it was struggling to get over 20C (70F). I had expected that anyplace that regularly hits 120 – 140F would be quite barren but Death Valley has a surprising amount of plant life. I’m guessing they had some pretty good rains here recently as there were many backroad warnings of flooding.

    First stopped at Furnace Creek for breakfast and gas. I guess there is a bit of a premium on remote location gas prices. Holy Crap - that is more than we pay for our massivly taxed gas in BC. The that Regular price works out to about C$1.49/litre. Glad I don't need much.

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    I took the road along Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the US at -282 ft. We were close to that level most of the time traveling on that road. Here is a very brief view - mountains are pretty close in

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/YUX5Z0kCvm8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    A small spring produces enough spring water for the summer heat to evaporate most of the water and leave a good dose of salt behind and some pretty nasty looking mud.

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    A little snow on the peaks lining the valley

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    The only wildlife I saw were coyotes . . . standing in the road. I’m not a huge fan of these little buggers and ones we see around home tend to be very skittish but very bold when hunting. These guys would just stand in the middle of the road – not worried about anything. I’m guessing they are looking for handouts.

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    Stayed in Needles at the Best Western.
    #34
  15. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Geezer,

    I am enjoying your RR and pix. I just returned from Death Valley a couple of days ago. Very cool place! When visiting DV, I stay in Beatty at the Exchange Club motel. Clean, comfy, and inexpensive….

    Cheers,
    Steve
    #35
  16. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Thanks for joining in Steve and welcome. Glad you are enjoying
    #36
  17. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Another short ride today to Ajo, just above the Mexican border.

    I try to follow the practice when I cross most borders of staying close the night before I cross. Then I can cross first thing in the morning to beat the crowds at the border officials and get a ways from the border for my first night. The theory is that a lot of the bad stuff happens close to the border so, put some distance between the border and your first hotel. Don’t know how valid this is but seems to make sense to me. However, I’ve have stayed as close as Caborca and Santa Ana coming back – about 100 miles from the border with no problems.

    Arriving at the La Siesta Motel, my usual stop here. You will notice I forgot to take a pic of the motel so, cleverly stole one off of Google Maps . . . what a great tool.

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    I have a bit of time today and since I need to do some bike maintenance anyhow – mainly replacing my rear tire, now might be a good opportunity. The tire probably has at least another 1000 km on it but I have the time today so, decide to go ahead and change it out.

    Took me a couple of hours as I tried a new method of removing the tire (always a bitch) . . . didn’t work so had to partially remount the old one in order to get it all the way off the old fashioned way. Was trying all sorts of new stuff: Dish soap instead of WD40 as a lubricant – WD40 can apparently harm the rubber – soap worked well and; Some new bead breakers which are very simple and worked really well.

    [​IMG]

    Of course, it was getting dark by the time I finished and I was rushing and sure enough . . . pinched the damn tube. :becca Didn’t feel like fixing it in the dark so, I’ll be doing a tuberectomy first thing in the morning. Hopefully will still get out at a decent hour in the morning as I have a big day tomorrow.
    #37
  18. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Up early and ripping into my bike before sunrise to get the tire fixed and get on the road. Got it all done and repacked in just under an hour. Since many brag about being able to switch out a tube in 20 minutes, I guess nobody is going to hire me for their pit crew. :nah My rushing to get the wheel mounted last night and this morning will come back to haunt me later.

    On both sides of the border are a lot of Saguaro cactus with their well known shape

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    Border was uneventful. I was pulled aside at the border gate and my documents examined. First time I’ve seen anyone at the border other than to open the gate.

    Needed to get some pesos as I’d left my stash at home – another one of those things skipped when packing in haste combines with the slowly atrophying Geezer brain. :gerg Tried a couple of ATMs in Sonoyta and they wouldn’t give me any loot. They were acting like it was Sunday and they were out of cash. Used my Visa to buy gas and carried on.

    Arrived at the Migración/Aduana about 25 km down the road and it was eerily quiet. Nobody there. Didn’t look like the Bañarcito was even open. Again, thought maybe it was Sunday – starting to actually believe it’s Sunday.

    Just had US$ to pay for my Tourist Visa and of course, the Migración Officer had no change. Grrr – my bad for not having my pesos! Got my Tourist Visa AND receipt and was on my way. Some of you may remember I was burned last year leaving Mexico for Guatemala when I didn’t have my Tourist Visa receipt . . . had to pay the Visa fee again before they would stamp me out of Mexico. So, I’m pretty conscious of having said receipt in my position and at least the guy stapled them together without me asking.

    Stopped in the fairly good sized town of Caborca to see if I can round up some cash. After trying ATMs at three banks (all of which were open so it wasn’t Sunday) with the same lack of response, I was about to leave when I spotted a ScotiaBank. I don’t deal with them but maybe another Canadian bank’s ATM will have pity on me and I gave it a try. Like winning the jackpot at a casino. :happay Got a second wad of cash just in case I continue to run into this problem down the road. Will have to try the other banks tomorrow – sometimes the network connection between Canadian and Mexican banks goes down for awhile . . . I just don’t have the patience to wait for it to resume.

    There is a very large Aduana down the road from Caborca where everyone has to stop. I’m assuming this is where you would get your TVIP for your vehicle if you needed it. I have typically done mine online. Very slick system. Fill out some online forms with vehicle and personal information, give them your credit card number for the $400 deposit and the sticker is couriered to you arriving in a couple of days. Then email copies of your documents after receipt of the sticker.

    I wanted to find an alternative to going through Hermosillo and had heard about a nice hotel in a little town called Banamichi located on a secondary road located south east of Santa Ana. Pick up the road in Magdalena - not the best maintained but no traffic and the desert is getting a bit more hilly here. Get to dodge:

    Lot's of potholes:

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    The odd donkey:

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    And these pavement ruts that were really a lot of fun avoiding . . . particularly in corners:

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    Upon the recommendation of a couple of ADV inmates, found a great hotel called Hotel Los Arcos de Sonora in Banamichi. They even give an ADV discount. Great parking in a locked compound and very friendly owners originally from Colorado. Tom rides also and is active on ADV as TurkeyCreek.

    Fairly new hotel built as an extension of an old adobe house. Very large rooms, beautiful courtyard and quite relaxing. Front of the hotel on the left and Tom and Lyn's new house on the right

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    The interior of the hotel:

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    The local natives have had a system in place for hundreds of years that establishes each farmers priority to water from the river. They have a communal system to move the water. The face of this Petroglyph (now mounted as a statue in a park) found nearby is thought to have had something to do with this water distribution system.

    [​IMG]

    Was supposed to just stay one night but woke up on the 15th feeling like crap and didn’t feel like riding so, stayed another day. Glad I did. Had a very relaxing day wandering around town, yakking with the many people who drop in on Tom and Lyn. Wonderful people who have built a very nice stopover for those just entering or leaving Mexico. I’d go out of my way to stay here again.
    #38
  19. VFR

    VFR Been here awhile

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    Nampa, Idaho for Good!!!
    All Right!! Another Geezer report. I have read them all and that one to Oaxaca was the best. I was ready to hit the road down there right away. The detail about the country is amazing.

    Thank You!!
    #39
  20. PatSmith

    PatSmith Been here awhile

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    Sacramento
    I completely understand. Family comes first.
    #40