Retired and Riding (Temporarily on pause in Northern New York)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by danisOTR, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. RidewithAB

    RidewithAB Just Ride! Supporter

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    For what its worth, I too am retired and travel(ed) 3 out of 4 weeks a month. I am in Dallas and feel trapped, almost 5 weeks with no where to go. I say enjoy the Mexican hospitality and I can assure you that the cabin fever is being felt everywhere.

    Again, thanks for the ride report. Cheers and do stock up on the beer and tequila, you never know...AB
    dano619 likes this.
  2. Grynch

    Grynch Long timer

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    Maybe I missed something in your report, but I believe the toll roads are open all the way to the border. We drove out from Acapulco to Nuevo Laredo without a problem 3 weeks ago. Have things changed that much? I was under the impression just the hotels in the tourist areas are closed. The 57D has to remain open for commerce going north. Pelenque to Cordoba is 8 -9hours after Mexico city it is a straight shot to the border.
  3. PVMotos

    PVMotos Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Puerto Vallarta
    After riding and traveling mexico17+ yrs ago. It was some 15 yrs ago we settled in vallarta.
    Love it. Bought home etc.
    Have my private shop "bikes only" if you are in the area. Love to help.
    Have various companies here realestate and ins company.
    If we can be of any assistance let me know
    Cheers
    Be safe
    Jonas
  4. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    4/15/2020 Wednesday

    Palenque

    Today we were furloughed for a few hours.

    We started the day having a conversation with Zhenia and Felipe. We wanted to get some advice on a few things.

    Although we have plenty of pesos I want to get another $1000 worth. I’d been going to the ATM at the Chedauwei but we are not going to the store. Felipe said he would go with me to the bank ATM at 5 or 6 AM. Check.

    We have prescruptions that will need to be refilled in the next few weeks. We had plenty when we left the US but we expected to be back in the US by April. Zhenia will call the pharmacy for us. Check.

    I asked if it would be possible to hire someone with a truck to bring us and the bikes to the border. Maybe. No check yet.

    Can we “hide the bikes” in between the buildings. Yes when we want or feel we need to. Check.

    Zhenia now has all the staff wearing masks around us. Should we be doing the same. Yes. So, we bought a couple of cloth masks from one of the staff people who has been making them. Check.

    At the end of the conversation we are still thinking that riding it our here is our best option. My overriding concern is that 6 weeks from now when, hopefully the US is back to the “new” normal that it won’t be safe for us to get to the US border. Yes we can fly, but that is assuming there will still be flights. We know we can leave the bikes here and come back later. In fact, either way we want to come back when we can see and appreciate everything around us.

    When we were done covering my list of concerns Felipe asked if we wanted to go with him to his bamboo plantation. As those of you who have been here know he had a bamboo museum and production area just below the hotel. But surprise, he has another business. That’s, I think, 6 that we know about.

    He said that he had to get a trailer from the palm plantations to bring to the bamboo plantation to bring, as it turned out, firewood back. He said he would call Zhenia when he was on his way back to pick us up.

    Around 11:45 Zhenia let us know the Felipe would pick us up in 10 minutes at the hotel entrance. We were ready to go and grabbed some water and walked down the driveway. Both he and Zhenia were waiting for us in his truck. We headed towards the ruins on the basically deserted road. Although Patti and I had been turned around when we walked that way Felipe was let through without being challenged.
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    A short way down the road directly across from the entrance to the ruins we left the paved road and headed up a gravel road. We were to be on the road for only 6 KM but that 6 KM took over 20 minutes due the road and towing the trailer.
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    This was almost all ranch land. It is very hilly and there were numerous homes surrounded by barbed wire. We could see cattle and horses in the grassland that surrounded us. There were vistas with the surrounding hills. The road weaved back and forth as we mostly climbed. There was almost no traffic and we saw very few people. Some ranchers on horseback and people on the ubiquitous small displacement bike. We saw a couple of collectivos that service the remote workers.

    We reached the workers that Felipe had made arrangements with to meet. They had chopped down a decent amount of log length wood. They proceeded to load the trailer and eventually the back of the pickup.
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    That done we headed up the road a bit further to the bamboo plantation. But we had a few hitchhikers along for the ride.
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    Felipe told us he had a couple of families that live on the plantation. They tend to the property and do the harvesting. They have a couple of structures and some turkeys running around. The later I’m pretty sure will make a nice feast. They have spring water which constantly runs out of a pipe. I believe this is there only water source. I ended up filling up my Hydro Flask from in. No ill effects!
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    He told us it was 80 hectares which is just less than 200 acres. We followed him and what I believe is the foreman up into the planting area. Again, like all the land around the area is very hilly. In fact towards the back it seems to go straight up to a ridge. We were told that the ridge overlooks the archeological area.
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    Felipe told us he raises 4 different types of bamboo. He said that they have to plant them around 30 feet apart. We could make out the rows that, although were not as close together as the palm trees were definitely planted with purpose.
    9DB7DD66-DC86-4AA8-A817-28C5581EDC25.jpeg B5041644-55DF-45CE-AFE7-82445F824461.jpeg

    The reason for the spacing is that they, in my words, become pretty invasive and grow further and further out from where the original planting was. They need to be trimmed back with some shoots being sacrificed for the overall health. When they are cut down new shoots will grow up.

    Different species are used for different purposes. We were told that some were used for things like clothing and architectural items such as floors. The large ones are used structurally as see in the below picture. That is the roof above where I am sitting as I write this.
    A95D6D92-027B-4FFE-B20F-8D1163153C3A.jpeg
    The tour, although short was very interesting and informative.

    We continued to head up the road with our hitchhikers back on the trailer. As were about to turn right our passengers whistled and Felipe stopped so they could jump off.

    The road continued to twist and turn gaining and losing elevation. More ranches, more houses some very modest, some not so modest.

    Since getting on the road Patti had been saying that it would be a good road for her to practice riding in gravel. Felipe amplified the sentiment. Well Pattis’ tune changed. We got to a “bridge” over a stream. The bridge was made from large pipes that came from the oil industry. There were around 8” in diameter and ran the same direction as the road. With car tires not a problem. MC tires would have to ride in the groove between the pipes. Felipe said he had done it but kept his feet down. I’m pretty sure this would be an exercise where you look up to the other side of the bridge standing up as if you were trying to ride on a 4”x4” plank. Sorry, no picture so you’ll have to use your imagination. This is not the bridge but it gives you an idea.

    Screen Shot 2020-04-15 at 10.46.30 AM.png

    The road kept going and I thought we were going to end up on the other side of Palenque. But after another 30 minutes we found ourselves back almost at the entrance of the hotel. We had done a 20 or so KM loop all the up into the hills and back around. We were probably always within a few miles of the hotel as the crow flies.

    Amazing day and the most interesting one in a few weeks.
  5. Davidprej

    Davidprej Davidprej Supporter

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    Thanks for the update. Interesting to hear of your adventures even though not on two wheels.
  6. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

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    You guys and @Ohio_Danimal know how to get the most "adventure" out of a little trip :lol3

    You're not missing anything here by any stretch and at least you're in a good place... Folks here in Dallas are getting antsy now that we've all rearranged our underwear drawers several hundred times. The rumblings of the peak having passed are making people even more antsy - hang tight you two.
  7. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    Thanks Lone Star.
    LoneStar and Golden955 like this.
  8. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    Yes, very interesting. It's rare to get this sort of detail on a ride, you need to hang out somewhere for a while. Having grown up on a farm, I'm always interested in what goes on in the local countryside.
    Cheers.
  9. edstoll

    edstoll OPD-2019 Supporter

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    I agree with @DavidM1 very interesting. On my first ride to Mexico I met a farmer/rancher near Vincent Guerrero that spoke great English. I also grew up on a farm and he took me to his ranch and showed me around explaining his methods and various crops. It was the highlight of my trip.
    Shin1ichi2002 and DavidM1 like this.
  10. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams Supporter

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    Don't know where you live in Vermont, but it's about the same here. We're pretty locked down. Gov Scott just announced May 16th before opening up. I'm new here, but he seems to really be taking charge. At least we can get out and wander...

    Great report!
  11. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    We used to live in Underhill and then in Williston last year

    Our kids are all still in Chittenden County They have all been impacted in one way or another. We keep in touch with them and other friends pretty regularly. They all seem to think we are as well off here as we would be there.

    We are able to go outside and hang out by the pool or anywhere else. We have also been taking walks. It is also 100 degrees and humid a big change for us.
    ROAD DAMAGE and levain like this.
  12. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams Supporter

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    First couple loaves of bread are on me when you get home!

    backdoorbread.com
  13. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    Thanks. I had already checked out your website. Nice job. I was raised in Fall River so was close to where you were in Providence.
    levain likes this.
  14. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    4/16/2020 Thursday

    Palenque

    Last evening, we received and unexpected surprise phone call. We were sitting on the patio watching Netflix on our computer when my phone began to ring. I looked down at the display to see a friend of ours from VT was calling. This was totally out of the blue. I was unable to pick up the call where we were sitting as the signal was not strong enough. I went back up to the dining area and called back.

    Our friend, Ignis on ADVrider, was calling to see how we were. He had been following along but due to his own family crisis was not up to date on what had been going on with us. His heartfelt concern warmed our hearts knowing that he cared enough to call.

    Thanks Shelby! Our best to you, Jen and the family.

    Also, thanks to all you friend, family and inmates that are still following along. I know this has turned into more of a journal than a ride report. Thank you for hanging in and your positive posts.
    bigjohnsd, Smidty and Davidprej like this.
  15. Davidprej

    Davidprej Davidprej Supporter

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    Two thumbs up on the new photo. You're not a bad looking guy, but the addition of the Mrs. can only improve the photo, right?
    LoneStar likes this.
  16. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    You have that right.
  17. cycleman2

    cycleman2 Long timer

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    Glad to hear your still hanging in. I think you are as safe there as anywhere else when it comes to Covid 19. Just follow the medical advice as much as possible. Up here we've been in some form of lock down for a month and it looks like another month before much is going to change. I get out for the odd local ride when the weather is good, still freezing at night up here. Stay safe and all the best.
  18. Motoman66

    Motoman66 Green Rider

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    Keep Safe and Cheers Up. Chiapas and Palenque have plenty to explore once quarantine is over. You are in a good place and Chiapanecos are wonderful people (My wife is from there :-)). Although now leaving in the US alway like to go back. It has changed a lot over the last 30 years. Palenque or Agua Azul back then were quite wild ! Cheers Up !:clap
  19. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Working my way through every page of this report, and really enjoying it. :thumb

    BTW, I'm getting kind of shaggy during this quarantine here in San Antonio, so I'm wanting to copy your haircut.
  20. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    I don’t have a patent on the haircut. You’re welcome to it. There is a special razor that I use called “head blade”. Beats a regular razor. Shave every second or third day does it.