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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by rickcorwn, Mar 2, 2010.
This is the last part of Day 4.
And the trip to the Rio Oteros.
Catching up with Rick's chronology:
Worthy photo from Chihuahua shops. Green hologram cowboy boots and a cute little display below them. :huh
Charlie claims we were flexible in our schedules. We weren't as flexible as this man in Carichi. It must be the mango juice they have. It will cost you for this guy to show you his mad skills. Diez pesos.
In Creel we checked out the grocery store for cervesas and supplies. Like anywhere convenience stores typically cost more. So buying in larger shops will save a few pesos along the way. This place has a nice indoor heating system.
And they have the mega-super Cheesypoof bags. (See former ride reports from Fugarwe). I think these were marked at 150 pesos (about $12). So tempting.
Despite purchasing the booze John still wanted to show us the cool bar across the way. His tastes never disappoint. Without cream for his preferred beverage, he showed the bartender how to make black russians. Do note the Chuck Norris sticker on the bartender's laptop. We wanted one, but he had it custom made from his friend with a diecut decal machine. Darn.
Our group was quick to learn. Very soon if you asked for help oiling your chain, holding the bike up to check oil etc. a hand came out and you heard "Diez Pesos".
Waking up in Creel, Charlie wasn't rushing us to get out too fast. Bob had messed with his bike and I was thinking maybe I should too. I was having problems with the bike running rich. Late throttle responses and jerky throttle weren't going to be good for running on steep slopes. Despite the warnings from so many knowledgable mentors of my past, I decided to mess with the carb. Carbureator is, after all, French for "don't f*ck with it." If Ian were from the French-Canadian Quebec, he could have warned me. Instead he did his best to help.
Dropping the clip on needle wasn't the problem, it was seating the needle back into the carb while still on the bike. While it was obvious after the fact, 2 of the 4 little tabs that seat an o-ring to retain for the needle and tiny spring assembly were bent and keeping the needle from lining up properly into the carb body. As I applied more force during reassembly, it was obvious that I had clearly broken 2 tabs off.
Calling in for reinforcements. Bob was thrilled that his bike wasn't the only one causing delays. Fortunately he had a camera to document this.
Charlie is one of the most resourceful people one could have along on a ride. I've heard countless stories before even meeting him of things he knew to do to pull it off to get through the rest of the trip. While my mind was stewing and no real good solutions were popping up, he devised a plan after inspecting the carb slide.
Charlie and I put our heads together:
Nearly losing the tiny spring about 200 times, and having to readjust the plan a little for clearances of the diaphragm spring, the fix was pretty ingenious. A piece of safety wire is bent to wrap around the top of the o-ring stalk that no longer had retainers. The wire extends down through two holes molded into the slide's floor. The wires are bent underneath and the tails of the wires end up in the carb's throat. While the wire isn't very thick, I was still uncertain of 2 things: 1. That the carburation would be clean enough to keep the engine happy. 2. That it would last the trip.
Spoiler alert: The fix, all to cwc's credit, got me home. He's the man.
Now that you have published this to the world you'll never be able to sell that bike without a receipt for a new slide.
A nice breakfast and we gas up. Datsuns seem to be the truck of choice. No matter the condition.
The ride into Maguarichi was memorable. Note in this pic the black dot in the next corner up ahead that wraps around the mountain. That's Ian on his KLR250. How's that for scale?
John's shock was leaking oil 20 miles into the trip. Here you can see the early stages of what would become Tigger the KLR. And some beautiful scenery.
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Ian and I raced ahead to Maguarichi. We made good time and it was hard not to spend the rest of the camera's SD card on the scenery on the pass. We pulled in on the main drag to rest and wait for the others to come down the mountains.
We pulled in front of the town's auditorium. Music was echoing out of the building and across the canyon. I was struck by the music. It was a classic mariachi style horn track. It could have been live at the volume that was coming out of the building. Having just ridden the amazing scenery and sinking into the countryside, I instantly fell in love with this rural mountain town. Ian and I paused to enjoy it. There were some locals that noticed our presence and instantly offered up some Tecate. We declined and made our best mimed gestures to show that we still had far to ride.
My curiosity got the best of me. I had to see what was making this music. Kids were entering the building and there didn't seem to be a ticket booth.
As soon as I rounded the corner, the gig was up. Kids were practing dancing, and the music was coming from a CD player (I think, since I didn't hear popping of a 12"). I called Ian in. The kids were obviously entertained by us, but somewhat worried about getting in trouble for not paying attention. We made our visit short as to not cause a problem.
John soon pulled into town and went to the store down the street, obviously not happy about his shock. Later Bob, Charlie, and Rick would arrive. Rick has described his state at this point. He did not look well. I was glad that he continued simply because that stretch that was just ridden is worth the cost. Unfortunate you weren't able to enjoy it more, Rick.
Some refreshments of Chokies, Mamut bars, Cokes, and peanuts. Fed the parrot at the store and saddled up for more beautiful scenery. John wasn't going to give up just because a shock. He almost seemed infuriated at the thought of cutting the ride short over one component. He's not a girly girl. He's a manly man.
Heading toward Uruachi, the bridge is a nice rest and regroup stop. Obvious that the river gets high at times in the year. It's built for water to flow over the top.
The farther you go, the better it gets. Nice time of day to witness this.
Into Uruachi Ian, John, and I made our way. I felt the pressure of the sun dropping and never cared to look to the GPS for the time, which was my only clock on this trip. We pulled into Carichi and I couldn't wait to get some rest and dinner.
John had a plan. We were going to be riding down to Rio Oteros on the next leg, but there was no guesses as to how high the river crossing was ahead. John agreed to buy rooms (he could communicate better than Ian and me) while we scouted the road at the south edge of town. "About 10 miles out there's a river crossing. Check it out, take some photos. Find out if it's passable."
Ian and I were on a mission. We had a couple water crossings to get out of town (one that I biffed on -- bless Sidi waterproofness) and then climbed the shadowy hill to get onto the other side of the mountain where the sun was still setting. This is the same canyon that Charlie's picture shows with the early civilization's rock wall that was built.
Saguaros were a nice new addition to the landscape. The rocky, sandy, steep, and windy pass was a bit rougher than our travels earlier in the day. We eventually made the river and Ian crossed it to make sure it was a sure deal. I found out then that my tire had a leak and was going flat.
A few options crossed our minds. I could pump it up, I could patch it there, or I could get back before dark. Considering that I knew how far out we were and that the trail wasn't exactly optimal for riding at sunset, I opted to ride the flat back the 11 miles to the hotel.
I pulled out my tools and realized that I didn't pack the fresh Motion Pro spoons I'd purchased. EEEEdeeot! Not to worry, not only did Bob and Ian both have spoons, Ian's attitude lacked the dismay mine had. While my tire repair kit was minimal, and nearly useless aside from rubber cement and a patch, I was a step ahead in having broken the bead. Mi amigo Ian proceeded to teach us all a lesson in quick, efficient, and really effective patching. Charlie laughed and supervised. He's enjoyed plenty of patch jobs and thought us youngins should enjoy the fun.
The corner was busy. Seemed to be a turnaround for anyone that came down the street. Probably not the best place to change a tire, but it had the lamppost for light.
All the while a local bum decided to hang out, beg, and watch us. He left to get some burritos, then returned to smoke a joint. While he wasn't a threat really, John was keen to keeping an eye on him. We needed all the tools we had and we didn't want to find stuff missing.
Bob searched the tire for the flat-inducing culprit. Nothing could be found. We found the lug that was sliced by something, but there was no sign of a rock or debris inside. Our light was minimal, but we were pretty sure some wickedly sharp rock must have punctured through the lug and ripped the tube.
After the patch job, we washed up for dinner and headed across the street for a good Mexican meal. The last 20 miles of scouting ahead really wore on me. I had a bad feeling after getting the flat. After my plate arrived I knew I wasn't set to eat. I took a bite and that was all I could do. I got up and started to get chills. Shaking uncontrollably up the stairs to the room, I knew this was it. The complete Mexican experience was upon me. I was certain dehydration had a role in this. I took four gulps of water and laid down. The water came up about 5 seconds later.
Crap. To top it off, we'd find out later via internet that Ian and I needed to go 500' farther to see the real water crossing that was going to be the issue.
.....should we start a pool to see who the next victim is?
Truck of the Day. It's for sale!! Photo by Roberto.
Creel to Urichi and cockfighting in the streets later today.
Nothing too exotic here. Bob and I returned headed to Marguarichi the way we came then took the gravel road to San Juanito so I'd have a good track of that road to add to my Copper Canyon Map
At San Juanito we took the paved road to Creel.
Being just the two of us we got a little frisky and I came to grief in a hairpin with a trickle of water and one lonely mud covered rock. Bob was right behind me and quickly jumped off to get a pic, but I pointed out that the bike was laying on my leg so he kindly consented to extricating me before the photo.
Photo by Bob
A little later I noticed Bob was out of sight. He often stopped for photos and would catch up soon. Just as I was about to turn around and check on him he came up and 'fessed up.
Photo by Bob
Travel time was 6¾ hours including all stops.
Somebody didn't get the memo
Great report - trials and tribulations are what it's all about
Since Rick is getting ready to go to Urique I'll just jump the gun with the maps.
For reference the stop at Diviadero was at 28 miles, Bahuichivo at 58 miles, the overlook into Urique Canyon 81 mile and downtown Urique 89 miles.
For those that have been there, on your next trip you will be surprised by an all new canyon overlook and in Urique a gas station with an actual pump. You may also find the road from Creel paved all the way to Bahuichivo. We took the low road to aviod the pavement.
Travel time was 6 hours including all stops.
The drop from the overlook looks fairly straight in the above chart. Here's what it looks like from the air.
Great report. Don't know for sure, but this:
is probably a volcanic dike, where lava was forced up through a crack, then the surrounding softer rock eroded.
Hey, I've got at least 6 guys and maybe many more conviced it's a pre-Columbian structure. Don't rain on my parade.
Truck of the day. Photo by Roberto.
When I wake up the next morning I'm hungry again, oh the small pleasures in life. Typically here in Creel it's cold, not Minnesota cold but there is frost on the bikes this morning. The kick start boys roll theirs out into the sunlight and we're off to breakfast.
As Cristobal (sideshow) has documented he tried to fix his bike and nearly f'd it up good but when in Mexico do as the Mexicans do and fix it up with what ever is a t hand. We head out of Creel for Diviadero it's paved all the way but a real twisty and fun ride none the less. Diviadero is a really touristy spot with at train stop and tour buses but the hey we're tourists too. The views there are spectacular and all the shops in the market and the Tarahumara selling their wares at the overlook make this a worthy stop even for Adventure Riders. There's also some great looking food to be had here, of all the mornings to get a big breakfast, next time I show up hungry.
fugarwe and side show looking studly at Diviadero.
The overlook at Diviadero.
side show getting some good pics. You can see the Tarahumara sell their trinkets.
fugarwe and Ian shopp'n.
Man the food here smelled great! Daggy did you get some of this action?
Once we clear the pavement we head for the low road. There's still a fair amount of traffic for a road like this and I manage to avoid a couple of trucks and a shorty bus. It's a pretty entertaining road running along the river banks that is until - I SAW GOD IN THE GRILL OF AN F150. I think that line was used somewhere on ADV years ago but this really happen to me. I'm about to round a blind left hand corner when an F150 comes around from the other way. Now it's a newer model and a company truck of some sort and it's being driven by a young guy. He's doing what any other young guy in a truck he doesn't own does, he's driving too fast. The road is narrow but there's still plenty of room for a bike and a truck to get past each other that is until he panics and locks up the brakes. This sends him sliding right at me and I've got no where to go but a 10 foot drop to the river. I get as close to the edge as possible and grab a handful of brakes myself. I see the truck sliding right towards me and the front bumper stops less than a foot from my front tire. HOOOO-LEE SHEET!! He backs up and pulls along side me and I assume apologizes in Spanish which I don't understand. I fake wiping the sweat from my brow and tell him in English "that was too close" which I'm sure he doesn't understand and after a little chuckle we head our respective ways. Later in Bahuichivo I relate my near death experience to the rest of the group and the CC vets say unless some part of your bike is under the truck it isn't really close. Well THAT was close enough for this Gringo.
Classic CC the low road.
Getting close to the Urique overlook.
After Bahuichivo the road gets wider and faster as it's headed for some mine the bad news is the trucks are wider and faster too, but there's no drama. We get to the overlook above Urique and there's some construction going on to improve the overlook and maybe even a tourist info center of some sort. This is a classic CC view but WOW what view. You can see the road wind down along the mountain to Urique and can even see that the air strip in Urique is getting paved. It's still about a 10% grade but it'll be paved soon, progress is really making it's way into CC. The road becomes narrow and winding as we switchback our way to the bottom. The drop offs are substantial and I try to avoid looking down for too long at a time, I don't want that target fixation thing backfiring on me. On the way down I try to figure out which would be worse going over the edge up near the top or closer to the bottom. I conclude the near the top would be better, you'd have plenty of time to repent on the way to the bottom.
Looking down on Urique.
An air strip right through town??
The new Pemex just outside of Urique.
We tool through town to the Motel Los Barancos right on the river and wait for Charlie to do his thing with the room rate. Charlie is the master negotiator here in Mexico and we score another $25 a night room for two people, cha-ching. Once we unpack and change out of our gear we head out for a walk around town. We check out the stores and the new air strip right through the middle of town. Who thought THAT was as good idea?? We head back to the hotel via the road/back ally along the river this gives us a chance to peek in the backyards of the locals. Then we come across a cock fight, not an organized deal that the PETA people would protest against but a real territorial dispute between two roosters. As a couple of non farm boys this is pretty entertaining.
The Motel Los Barancos
The view from our room!
The Urique sports bar.
Doggy hang'n in the sun
As long as we're in Mexico and there's beer I'm happy
Check'n out the town.
Downtown Urique, see that sheer rock wall in the upper left of the pic, that's where to overlook is. A long time to repent :eek1
Back alley cock fight.
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The hotel has it's own restaurant with a view of the river, I guess this is the "sports bar" in town as they have "a" TV. The menu is brief but the food is great and the cervezas are cold. After dinner we check out what going on in Urique on a Saturday night. It looks like everyone is hang'n out on the streets. A few have little fires going in the street and some are doing some cooking on 55 gallon drum cooktops and the young dudes and dudetts are doing what young kids do everywhere they're cruzin around town. We pull up chairs curb side at the gate of the hotel and watch the action with a couple of cervezas.
Charlie and sideshow engage a local.
A little campfire in the street action.
You need to update faster, I'm suffering withdrawals...
Some visual enhancements of the Low Road. The high road is now paved, and with luck will preserve the state of the low road. There was a combo bulldozer and scoop bucket CAT that was down in the water along this road. Hopefully for maintenance of only the gravel. This stretch was a blast, moving along the river in the valley, one could kick it up in a few spots, but the scenery was a good reason to just sit back and enjoy the ride.
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On the way to Urique we travelled along wooded mountain paths, with some stretches with safe runouts. Watch as the fields disappear on the sides. As the road turns to the left, you find yourself on the side of the mountain. With a steep wall on your left, and death to your right, it's hard not to look into the vast open space. Truly breath-taking.
If you look at this map from Charlie's post (post #53), this video starts at the top left corner of the map and ends near the 'k' in 'overlook' here. Some points to note are the memorial to a guy that took a truck off over a year ago at 0:52 (commemorated with a soccer jersey over a mannequin bust) and the vulture overhead at about 2:20 waiting for one of us to make a mistake.
While the video loses much of the experience and perspective, if you have a fear of heights I would avoid this road. Or just bring a second roll of underpants.
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This does not include the fact that the window in the bathroom, which is left open by default for ventilation, was to someone's backyard which was full of the prerequisite roosters. The position of the window was not designed to secure the privacy of the hotel guests. Look for me in an upcoming mexican film "Caliente Gordo Americanos."
Most any hotel worth staying at in Mexico will have roosters nearby to wake you up in the morning or before then.
To my fortune, the sickness I felt in Uruachi the first night paled in comparison to Rick's. Charlie and Bob offered concern, assistance and advice. It was all appreciated, which I want to make clear. I slept a heck of a long time, and woke up to the early-morning squeaky tortilla-making machine. It's a good alarm clock for those staying at the only hotel in Uruachi. I can still hear that rhythmic machine in my head. Was able to get some Corn Flakes with Platanos (bananas) at the restaurant across the street.
We had a day to spend. Bob and Charlie went to scout the main river crossing that Ian and I had missed the afternoon before. I got some exercise walking the streets and my stomach acted up again in the afternoon. I Took a nap and woke to John excited, yelling up to my hotel room from the street.
John was just across the street, right where Ian had patched my tire. The business building was actually a "desponchado." Translation -- tire repair shop. Ironic, no? The owner, Jesus, told John how he watched us fix the flat (probably laughing to himself) the night before. Odd that he didn't approach us, but maybe he didn't want to deal with American pendejos. With better vocabularies than me, both John and Ian were good about introducing theirselves to strangers. This often paid off for the quality of the experience.
Jesus noticed our sticker fetish and produced some rocking decals to put on the bike. We asked what "Correcaminos" was. I knew 'camino' meant 'road.r It made simple sense afterwards, but Jesus's pantomime was funny. Correcaminos = RoadRunners. So after his flapping arms and fingers-do-the-running gestures, I confirmed with an easier international translation: "Meep! Meep!"
(photo from Ian)
John pulled out his sticker collection and gave one in trade. Jesus promptly added it to his door. Ian scored this nice shot. It's nice to see that the standard decor among car-repair shops is universal.
While I missed the goat stew dinner entirely in trade for more rest, it proved perhaps wise. Next morning I was feeling good again. Still, some Immodium AD was taken for insurance. For those planning to travel to Mex, I highly recommend bringing along some of this just in case. Keeps trail stops to a minimum.
The roads to Bauchivo and Urique were extremely memorable and I was glad to be in good shape to enjoy it. The scenery on this stretch cannot be described. Bob repeatedly asked if I was able to capture some good video with the helmetcam, and all I could reply is "I hope so!" While John probably didn't enjoy his rear shock starting to bounce and bounce and bounce, it was nice to be able to keep up with him.