Small Bikes Big Canyons

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by cwc, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. judjonzz

    judjonzz Beastly

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    Charlie, thanks for getting this report up. All of us taking refuge from the snow up here are following closely and looking forward to the February trip. Some of us cling stubbornly to our 650s, but once again it looks like the 350's are the hot set-up for the canyons.
    #21
  2. dre10dancer

    dre10dancer Above the Tree Line

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    Yeah but Charlie is so skinny he only needs a 350. Me? I'm thinking of taking a 1300!
    #22
  3. Mr. B

    Mr. B Slowpoke

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    Keep it coming, Charlie. This report is getting me primed for the Feb trip.
    Bill J.
    #23
  4. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

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    You guys certainly proved that you have more balls than spring chickens.

    Great rr and thanks for taking us along.
    #24
  5. Bonnie & Clyde

    Bonnie & Clyde Wishing I was riding RTW

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    Hey nice ride. I came the same way from the south from Topalombapo off the ferry. I did it on an 1150 GS with the wife on the back. She had to walk some sections and it was a real adventure challenge. Gas was an issue for us too. Gas out of 5 gallon cans and out of one Chevy truck tank. What a blast. Glad to see you made it and had fun.
    #25
  6. dazzle

    dazzle n00b

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    Charlie that sounds very familiar. What you had in Chinipas that you probably didn't have in Tabon was a friend to ask the locals if there might be a lady of the night available in town. (Jokingly, he said.) That would have created some late, late night entertainment. Send lawyers, guns and money. Wait. We had lawyers, too many lawyers. What we needed that night was a gun. We could have quieted the place down in hurry with that.:huh:huh

    Great report. Keep it coming.
    Dick
    #26
  7. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    The Rainy Day

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    IRRC we either skipped breakfast or ate snacks in our room the day we left El Fuerte. It was raining lightly off and on. I was hoping it would clear up because I had never gone from El Fuerte to Tubares directly and I thought the scenery would be good.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Just past Choix the rain became constant and was heavy a lot of the time. The road became unpaved but was a gravel superhighway so we made fairly good time even in the rain. What I could see of the scenery was good and I decided I’d have to come this way again when it was dry.
    <o:p></o:p>
    About 55 miles out we came to a tiendita at a minor summit and stopped for a break. It was really raining now and Dieter and Tury were pretty wet while Dean and I were pretty dry. The people agreed to make some coffee which the wet guys used to warm up. We all ate cookies. That turned out to be lunch. Too soon we were back out in the rain headed for Tubares.
    <o:p></o:p>
    The road was pretty wet, but the traction was OK. There were huge puddles and numerous water crossing that probably were dry when there was no rain. My Combat Touring boots kept my feet quite dry, for which I was thankful. It was my first trip with them and I wasn’t sure how they would work out. My previous boots were water magnets. If I rode within 10 feet of a puddle or even looked at a water crossing my feet got wet.
    <o:p></o:p>
    At Tubares the intermittently open café was in business but for whatever reason we didn’t stop. It was still raining. We crossed the bridge and went up to the first water crossing that has always been 2-3 inches deep. It was turbulent and nasty looking, but after a few minutes of studying it Dean decided to try it and it was only about axle deep. We continued north toward Mesa de Arturo.
    <o:p></o:p>
    It was getting a little late and I was doing mental calculations about our arrival time in Urique, our proposed destination. It became clear to me that our ETA was well after dark. That combined with my personal experience with rain turning to snow on this stretch had us eyeballing a couple of apparently un-occupied shacks along the road. When we came to the intersection where you can go to the gold mine or to Mesa de Arturo we decided to see if there was a place we could crash at the mine. Spending the night on the road in the rain did not seem like a good idea. In fact it sounded like a very bad idea.
    <o:p></o:p>
    It took almost an hour to get to the mine. Along the way we had to cross some water that turned out to be deeper than I thought it would be, but we made it OK. We also saw a truck that had stopped and slid backwards off the roadway with the brakes locked. Some of the hills were pretty steep.
    <o:p></o:p>
    When we arrived at the mine there was a locked gate and armed guards. Tury’s persuasiveness got them to call headquarters and after considerable negotiations they agreed to let us sleep on the floor in one of their buildings. We signed in, surrendered our DL’s and got Visitor passes. Some guards led us to a building used as a fitness center. There was no heat or bathroom, but it was dry and there was room to hang our stuff up to dry.

    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    It was a bit dark in the room, but dry.
    <o:p></o:p>
    We were allowed to eat with the miners and the hot food was a real treat. There was also a toilet near the mess hall, so that was good. When we returned from supper there was a bit of bedding for our use, but only enough mattresses to accommodate those over the age of 62. Dean had do make do with a layer of blankets for a mattress.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Dean went to bed early.
    <o:p></o:p>
    We also found four young guys sharing our space. They were mosquito control guys who worked for the state of Chihuahua. The mine officials had decided that they couldn’t leave because the water we crossed on the way in was too dangerous for them to cross with their truck.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Tury and Dieter with our new friends, the mosquito guys.
    <o:p></o:p>
    We had an interesting and informative conversation with them and then we all retired. It rained most of the night.
    <o:p></o:p>
    We had traveled 100+ miles for the day, most of it in heavy rain.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Tomorrow is a better day.
    #27
  8. Hayduke

    Hayduke ///SAFETY THIRD/// Supporter

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    Wow, Charlie. That was really cool of those miners to set you guys up.... and good thinking on your part. I wonder if a mine in the US would open it's doors to weary travellers?
    #28
  9. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    Actually the credit goes to Tury. It was his idea and his negotiation.

    Probably wouldn't happen here, but then it would be hard to be so far from the next place to stay in the US.

    I was sitting there in the rain getting mentally prepared to sleep in the empty shack when they agreed to let us in.

    I'm also thinking that on a bright sunny day they might well have looked at it differently.[​IMG]
    #29
  10. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    A new day dawns

    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <?xml:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" /><v:shapetype id=_x0000_t75 path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" stroked="f" filled="f" o:preferrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600"><v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke><v:formulas><v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f></v:formulas><v:path o:connecttype="rect" gradientshapeok="t" o:extrusionok="f"></v:path><o:lock aspectratio="t" v:ext="edit"></o:lock></v:shapetype><o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    This is what we like to see in the morning<o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    Sometime early in the morning the rain stopped so we felt pretty good about the trip to Urique. We got up had breakfast and started to pack up. We had a small audience as we got ready. I’m thinking that it wasn’t just everyday that bikers spend the night there. One of the guards was with us until we left. He was pretty friendly, but I think his function was probably to see that we didn’t wander off somewhere we shouldn’t be.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Our friendly minder
    <o:p></o:p>
    We actually got an early start this day. We were on the road by 8:30.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    The road was much better looking in bright sunlight.
    <o:p></o:p>
    The road was still a little slick in the shade, but was still faster than in the rain. In about 7 miles we came to the little river and found the crossing occupied.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    This fellow was eventually pulled out by a larger truck and once he drained the water out of the cab , got started and went back toward the mine.

    There was another guy there who was walking toward the mine and asked for a lift. I said OK because I thought he was going to a pickup parked just up the road. It turned out he needed to go almost to the mine. I took him and he was really grateful. While I was gone Dieter and Dean scouted for another crossing but found nothing better. By the time I returned the water was a little lower so we gave it a shot.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    I waited until last so got to be in the picture.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Once past the water we headed up the road toward Mesa de Arturo. I’ve been over this section a few times and this time it was the most eroded that I had seen. Parts of it were fine, but the steep parts were pretty severely eroded. There was also almost no traffic until we got near the mine at Green Rocks. That doesn’t mean that we made good time however. There were the usual stops for scenery and to be sure we were all still here.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    I had seen the road that this sign points to, but the sign was new to me.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Local inquiry revealed that the miners up by Piedras Verdes made the road hoping people would use it instead of driving on the main road which divided their operation. This was not well received by the locals. We didn’t go for it either, choosing to ride through the mining operation. Maybe next time.
    <o:p></o:p>
    We stopped at Piedras Verdes for a lunch of cookies and Gatorade IRRC and then headed out again. Up high the road is a little more level and goes through a wooded area from about Cieneguita to Mesa de Arturo. We made good time here with only a few stops to glimpse scenery through the trees. This area is fairly populated compared to the area below Green Rocks with little settlements sprinkled around the hills and valleys. We were at around 7000 ft. at this point.
    <o:p></o:p>
    We made a brief stop in MDA looking for gasoline but were told “no hay” so we headed down to Urique.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    This is Urique, but we won’t be there for a while.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    This is the Google Earth view of the last 10 miles of the road to Urique. Part of it is curvy.
    <o:p></o:p>
    We wound our way down to town, got a room and had supper. After supper we walked about the town and talked to the locals. We were invited to a local street celebration, but it didn’t start until after our bedtime so we passed on that. We were glad we selected the Motel Estrella instead of the ones on the main street. From a distance we enjoyed the firecrackers and celebratory gunfire through the night. The last gunshots were at about 7 a.m. The price we paid for our choice of motel was a toilet that leaked onto the floor, and it wasn’t the tank that was leaking.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Tomorrow we take the Low Road and other obscure paths to get to Creel.
    #30
  11. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    I need to mention that all these pics aren’t mine. Dieter took a bunch of them. You may just assume that all the really good ones are his and the so-so ones are mine.
    #31
  12. dre10dancer

    dre10dancer Above the Tree Line

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    Were you guys at the silver mine with the m-16 toting gaurds everywhere?

    Andrew
    #32
  13. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    The mine we stayed at was a gold mine, but they may be doing silver too. Military style weapons were prominent.

    I've seen armed guards at the mine on the road up by Green Rocks also, but they weren't as obvious.
    #33
  14. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    Sometimes I am moved to record unusual features of building. Here are the steps to our room at the Estrella in Urique.

    [​IMG]

    Note the rise of the various steps. I don't know if this is a test or ???????
    #34
  15. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    Actually, the doors opening and banging closed all night in Chinipas made me think maybe some ladies were doing business there already.:D

    No such problem at the Hotel Jenny.
    #35
  16. Tury

    Tury Been here awhile

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    :clap Just before arriving EL TABLON, I stopped to signal a passing truck to ask the driver, how far in hours was to the next post ( if you ask in distance Kilometros, that is an IMPOSIBLE question to be answered ), they inmediately calculate the bikes speed and the reply is : 2 hours at the most ! The correct way to ask !, but in your TROCA ,, the answer is OH!! 4 Ó 5 horas.

    Just as I was to ask them I moved my right foot to get a better feel of the ground and a small hole, and being the bike seat tall to me I dropped the bike and an unevenness of the ground sent me against a boulder and the CRACK sound and pain , my diagnosis in mid forest= broken rib, don´t have to be a Doctor to get to it !
    To be honest it didn´t hurt much , just certain movements made it hurt.:norton
    #36
  17. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    To Creel

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    It was another early start today. We were riding back up the road by 10:20.
    <o:p></o:p>
    We had a little conference and decided we needed to change our plans for various reasons.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Our new proposed route
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Our first stop was at the Cerocahui overlook.
    <o:p></o:p>
    We tried to get second breakfast in Cerocahui, but everything was closed, so we went on to Bahuichivo. It was after noon when we got there so we had first lunch instead. After lunch we got on the Low Road and went to Divisadero where we stopped for the obligatory view of the canyon. At that point we got on the paved road and shot into Creel where we took rooms at Margaritas. They weren’t busy so offered double rooms with breakfast and supper for 200 pesos /person.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    We were serenaded at supper. If you’ve been to Creel you have probably seen these two guys.
    <o:p></o:p>
    It was a little cool and Creel wasn’t exactly jumpin’, so we got to bed early so we would be ready for the trip to Chihuahua.
    <o:p></o:p>
    To Chihuahua and Home
    <o:p></o:p>
    We got an early start (before 10) and it was cold, but we only went about 10 miles on the pavement. Unpaved roads are much warmer to ride. After a bit the road from Bocoyna to Carichi climbs to almost 9000 ft. There was some snow so we stopped for a snack and to take a picture of the snow.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Later there was more snow.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Some ice, some mud
    <o:p></o:p>
    Soon enough we went to a lower elevation and hit the pavement to Chihuahua where we stayed the night and then rode up to Texas and back to Minnesota.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Unless you want to hear about driving in the ice/snow storm through Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri or the deep snow in my driveway this is the end.
    <o:p></o:p>
    In early February we will return to ride what we didn’t get to on this trip and see where else we can go.

    Thanks for reading this. Now go try it yourself.
    #37
  18. enduro-ince

    enduro-ince dirtslave

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    Excellent report> I enjoyed it very much!!!

    Now a quick question if I may. I'm working on new to me routes down in the canyons and I'm interested in a couple rds you talk about. If I was to start in Bato, I could go to Tubares, then take a rd from there through Morelos to somewhere near Baborigame, then head to Agua Blanca. From there you mention another rd to Batopilas via Yoquivo. This is a loop I'm interested in. I guess I'm just double checking that this is indeed a possible route?

    Thanks for the help!!!!
    #38
  19. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    My experience on the road from Tubares to the general area of Morelos consists of a comment from a local at an intersection between Pandura/Mesa Larga and Tablon that the road went to Tubares. I have a map that shows a road going generally north to San Ignacio. There you have to cross a river to get to the road that goes between Batopilas and Tubares. It would be interesting to go that way, but there is no assurance that my map is correct. I have a waypoint for the above mentioned intersection and the river crossing to San Ignacio is easy to find. I probably could come up with a waypoint for it also.

    If you refer to the map earlier in the thread you will see that this route will not take you through Morelos unless you take a side trip.

    There is a bus that goes from Guachochi to Morelos through Yoquivo but I haven't done that yet. Maybe I will in Feb. The driver told me it took 9 hours IRRC. 3-5 miles past Yoquivo (you can ask directions locally) go down into the canyon and arrive on the the road to Batopilas near La Junta.

    You can also go from Yoquivo to La Bufa. I've not done that either, but I read a report here about a couple that did it on F650s. You know that if it is on the web it has to be absolutely true.

    Another option is to continue on to Mineral Polanco (a big silver mine IRRC) where the little stand sells GREAT burritos. From there you can go south to Morelos or north through Jesus Maria and Satevo to Batopilas.

    This link will take you to some pictures of the loop from Batopilas-Near Yoquivo-Polanco-Batopilas. http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=212671

    It is a short but fun day trip. I did it the first time with no map whatsoever.

    I'm guessing this is way more than you wanted to know.

    Email or PM me if you want the waypoints.
    #39
  20. judjonzz

    judjonzz Beastly

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    It's fun, all right. Short enough if all goes well, I suppose. If you have to extract a bike from a crevasse and herd ten riders through lunch, figure to take all day.
    #40