Spending Christmas in Death Valley and the New Year in Urique, Mexico

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by jfman, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. jfman

    jfman Long timer

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    Thanks!


    I used these to clean the parts before I applied the JB weld. :D
    #61
  2. jfman

    jfman Long timer

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    DAY 12 (Still on the new/high road from Batopilas to Urique)

    I spent the whole night leaning against the hill, dozing off at times but never really falling asleep. At one point the cows were eating right at the curve where I was camping. Usualy a background noise like this doesnt bother me but given the circumstances, it kept me on edge. The temps were not too bad but at around 3 am it got cold enough that I lit a little sterno cup that I always carry and it created some warmth. The only upside to this night up leaning on the hill was that I got to see the sunrise slowly peak over the Canyon from the east and saw the colors and the dew come alive in the Canyon. As soon as daylight was completely there, I decided it was time to keep going towards Urique. At this time nobody will be up yet.

    After a night of nearly zero sleep I was ready to hit the road again.

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    Exactly 5 feet later...

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    This is going to be a long day.

    I was now riding through the area where the flare gun had gone off the night before. I did not stop for a single picture. I did not see anyone either which was a relief. The only thing I saw that was a little out of the ordinary was a white pouch of produce placed on the edge of the road. One of those big tough bags that grain usually comes in. It was about 1/3 full and was tied. I rode normally by it, not even slowing down and not tilting my head. I acted like it was not there. More than likely there was nothing of interest in there but I took no chance given the spot I was in.
    After I was done passing through the area where I had seen the flare gun go off, I started to relax a little bit.

    I also gradually started to take a picture here and there again.

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    When I got to this point I was extremeley relieved.

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    The reason I was relieved is that I had been told about this fork in the road. So it was the first time since 5 pm the day before that I knew for sure I was on the right track to Urique. One thing I was told about this fork is to never, ever, ever make a left to El Manzano. El Manzano is a dead end and a spot you are almost certain to run into trouble.
    You must go right to get to Urique.

    You have been warned:

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    I had also been told about the cattle gates so I knew it was no big deal to got through them.

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    Riding too slow in this spot so down the bike went. She's a heavy sleeper let me tell you. You do not wake her from her naps easily.

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    Damage from yet another drop. No sleep, no breakfast and at this point no water to drink. The result of poor planning and stupid decisions.

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    Another gate

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    In this spot I had to stop and assess the situation:

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    There is no way I can ride my loaded Versys across this water break without messing up somehow.

    I spent 10 minutes filling this one spot with tree branches and rocks. I tried to stack it weel but all of the added material is loose.

    The whole time I am thinking: "this will never work... Garanteed crash"

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    Pre crash:

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    I did not crash! I took off quickly to catch enough momentum before the gap and I made it across without a hitch.

    Right after this I met a farmer and his son in their truck. The first person I see all day. They seemed friendly. In my best spanish I pointed to the water break and I told him "la calle no es bueno" He smiled the told me that I am speaking nonsense because it's in good conditon. His son wanted some "cheeklay" but for some reason I cannot find my pack. I could see the little kid was a little dissapointed. Their 4WD truck slowly rolled through the break without much wheelspin.

    When I got to the next gate, I fumbling through my top case I found my gum so I hooked it to the wire hoping the kid ould find it on his way back home.

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    Then I rode by a farm where there was some kids standing around the side of the road. They were waving at me and after slowing down I estimated they were asking me for candy. These kids live so far away from civilization and really live on nest to nothing so I recommend that if ride thru there, see if you can bring some candy with you. You will make their day.

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    Well that was a first for me: A wooden Texas gate.

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    Very Sturdy.

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    Here are a few more cell phone shots from the high area.

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    I finally reached the area where I could see the switchbacks that would take me down to Urique.

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    Very tired at this point.

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    I admired the view for a bit then took a mini power nap before tackling the switchbacks.

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    Ruins of a home up top.

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    Yes this is the stuff I traveled here for.

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    Starting to descend

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    Here I made a LEFT to go down to Urique. I have no idea where the road on the right goes.

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    I started to come down the switchbacks and everything was going well. I was concentrating on the road and was not really wanting to stop for pictures. The dirt is pretty loose in this area, you can never trust the surface.

    I arrived that this curve where I saw a pack of burros.

    [[​IMG]

    I passed the donkeys and a few hundred feet later I started hearing a really weird noise. My bike was making a faint diesel like noise. I had never heard this before from my trusty Versys, or any bike for that matter. I stared to coast and find a favorable spot to park the bike and look things over. Before I could come to a complete stop. The bike was knocking and clattering very loudly. Naturally, I quickly shut the bike off.

    The last time I had heard a noise similar to this was when I had blown a rod bearing on my first car.

    I get off the bike. Smoke is emanating from the catalytic converter area.

    This does not look good... At all!!!

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    I lean the bike over to see where the oil was coming from.

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    I am pretty sure I have just blown my engine up, in the middle of Copper Canyon, less than 10 kilometers away from where I ran into a scary situation the night before.

    I know it was the paranoia but I could have sworn seeing these donkeys laughing at my misfortune.

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    A minute or so later, I decided I was going to pick the bike back up. As if putting it upright again was going to make everything ok, like it was not broken down in the middle of a cartel infested canyon. Like everything was going to be allright once I put my steed back on its kickstand.

    The bike seemed even heavier than usual and I was just so drained. I tried to lift the bike but all the cells in my body had given up. It barely came off the ground then I gave up and let it sit down again.

    I sat in the dirt next to the downed bike and I just gave up. I had to admit it to myslef:

    I had bitten off more than I could chew here.

    [​IMG]
    #62
  3. Hosebag

    Hosebag Difficult but Useful

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    Wow!!

    What next??
    #63
  4. Vato Jinete

    Vato Jinete Feo del Norte Supporter

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    ¬°DIOS MIO! Another Cliff Hanger.

    Please have mercy on us. :eek1
    #64
  5. steved57

    steved57 Long timer Supporter

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    Holy shit that doesnt look good !!!!!!
    #65
  6. Sunday Rider

    Sunday Rider Adventurer Wanabe

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    Man o man, this is terrible. But still beautiful pictures. Can't wait for the next installment.
    #66
  7. Merlin III

    Merlin III Long timer

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    JFman must be a mystery story writer in his real life.:eek1
    #67
  8. gremor

    gremor RS'er

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    :lurk






    :eek1
    #68
  9. ct-ktm

    ct-ktm Long timer

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    Dammm :lurk
    #69
  10. Max Wedge

    Max Wedge ADVenture mowing

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    Holy crap. :huh:ear
    #70
  11. bluestar

    bluestar sheep shagger

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    :eek2 More JB Weld? :dunno
    #71
  12. Sleddog

    Sleddog Ridin, again:)

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    It was probably the same kids.....

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    Great! Now we get to ride the "Slickrock" :fpalm




    .
    #72
    jfman likes this.
  13. Johnnydarock

    Johnnydarock Been here awhile

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    Holy crap...I have to see where this one goes.
    #73
  14. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    This is quite the tale :deal :freaky
    #74
  15. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

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    Of all the ride reports I follow, this is the first one I look for :clap

    Armchair and popcorn material (maybe a cerveza too) :freaky
    #75
  16. kwakbiker

    kwakbiker Been here awhile

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    I hope you smashed the culprit rock with a bigger rock in a rage:eek1
    #76
  17. #1Fan

    #1Fan Long timer

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    #77
  18. jfman

    jfman Long timer

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    #78
  19. #1Fan

    #1Fan Long timer

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    The flare was likely to alert the courrier to come pick up the package. All of the people in the area know not to touch it, yourself included. Anyway, anxiously awaiting your next post. :evil:evil:evil
    #79
  20. fugarwe

    fugarwe Usual Suspect

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    I met the man you had supper with in Batopilas last spring. He was wearing a BMW shirt. We spoke for awhile and he was an interesting guy.

    The first time we went on the Bato-Urique road I explored the side road you were warned to avoid. I found a little rancho with a bunch of kids. I gave them candy. The adult there called me Santa Claus. Seemed like nice people. I didn't hang around.
    #80
    jfman likes this.