Spontaneously southbound, or 'Wanna ride Baja?"

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by flying.moto, May 2, 2019.

  1. Moto Vaquero

    Moto Vaquero Trail less traveled

    Joined:
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    Good stuff!
    Thanks for doing this RR.
    #21
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  2. flying.moto

    flying.moto Earthbound Misfit, I Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    534
    Location:
    South of Gorman
    Lets see if this works... :pynd

    Good morning!

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    Then randomly, at totally random time from the upper deck... (I hope the video works, youtube seems a bit low in quality, smugmug is not supported, and vimeo wont load on this glitchy connection :scratch)



    All the digital troubles today.... but Mazatlan almost in sight! :rayof

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    Maybe? haha

    Back her in slow! :happay

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    Can't wait to braaaaap! :ricky:ricky

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    Quick gas/food up and off to the hills! Some said there is a road with my name on it there >:)

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    The old road, surprisingly empty of traffic, even more surprisingly full of closed down, and abandoned businesses... there must have been dozens of hotels, restaurants, tire shops on it. None of them open, ever since the new bigger toll road was built. Stop on some corners, look around and you will catch a glimpse of a small ranch or a household with a plot of land on the hillside... amazingly beautiful sights!

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    Nonetheless the pavement is still in great shape and riding was bliss! It holds a tie for the best paved road in Mexico for me so far! :ricky:ricky

    Around many corners the toll road can be seen, and somewhere there, i hear, there is the tallest bridge in the world? That is for the next visit to find!

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    Climbing higher and higher, the elevation gain and temperature drop is surprisingly quick!

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    Then suddenly out of nowhere! (...or, where did you go, @Burro driver ?!) :smile6

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    The somewhat famous sign has been located! :happay

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    More crazy finds soon! (when the photos finally load :photog)
    #22
  3. flying.moto

    flying.moto Earthbound Misfit, I Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    South of Gorman
    The higher the road climbed the colder it became... suddenly, maybe... find.... internet and some chow?

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    ...hey look a nice hotel! with a fireplace!

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    The guess was spot on. It got a bit chilly in the night.. :vardy

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    Chilly still! :vardy

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    But the road calls! :ricky:ricky

    Quick stop for gas and provisions and off in search of a shortcut to the more fun roads! :smile6

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    Does it really go this way?! :confused looks good to me! :norton

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    But the bridge was out...

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    So back to the new fancy one...

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    One more look back...

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    Yep. its still out... :lol3

    Meanwhile, elevation is dropping, temps are going up... time to shed layers!

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    It's this way, John! :pynd

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    Looks promising!

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    Where am I again? Habla Ingles? :augie

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    :rofl

    The rest of this day was highspeed backtrack to El Salto and then a bunch of freeway and not so free way riding to catch up with where we actually should have been :lol3

    Go ride the toll roads in Mexico... and observe some wild passing practices.... it was fun in its own thrilling way :hair

    So... more awesome shots of the next day, up next! But for now, its Taco Time!

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    #23
  4. flying.moto

    flying.moto Earthbound Misfit, I Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    South of Gorman
    Next stretch would give us a a taste for road construction Mexican style for a bit :rofl

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    Some of these sections reminded me bits of Baja racing videos... and an occasional flashback to Federal Road in Siberia videos when we had to pass a few semi-trucks in a row :rofl

    But, road got smaller, entered and exited many little towns. We had a friend to meet so, with the cow pasture adventures of yesterday, time was to make up some miles... which meant not too many stops sadly...

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    Except one! I told John a few days ago, I will stop at the first neat location with a Chihuahua sign... he asked why, i said, no particular reason, just a funny sounding name and a silly dog breed :imaposer

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    But when i asked him to take a photo, he said, now you're being a silly dog breed with a funny sounding name, lets go! (or something along those lines, my helmet has selective hearing :lol3) :ricky

    And then suddenly... Are we there yet?! :norton

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    Every knob in my tires wished for dirt... but... i gotta say, the pavement was bliss as well! We even compared the size of our chicken strips... on the rear tires, there were none :loco

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    Strangely, the little towns we passed, and scouted the bigger ones, no cafes, or taquerias were obviously found... maybe the remote of the mainland is just not too used to travelers and locals generally don't go out to eat much... so the market for that kinda thing is nonexistent? Who knows... we found no taco stands here...

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    But, at the famous intersection to Creel, where there is now a brand new Pemex mind you, we ran into this cheery rider! Emmanuel is more or less local, enjoying his country in the same way we do! Rock on! :super

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    Little did we know, we'd run into him again down the road, the next day :ricky

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    We decided to ride a little bit into the night, and found this little gem of a hotel, with super friendly staff, walking distance from everywhere needed, and as the temps were getting lower... we thought we made a sound choice staying at Hotel Palmas in Guachochi, Chihuahua. Go check them out.

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    Good place for dinner? Local recommended? Restaurant Los Pinos! Bar none, aside of owner(maybe? or just a manager) having a bad day and not wanting to deal with two dirty bikers, the kitchen staff cooked us up an amazing meal each! :dukegirl:beer

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    Yum!
    #24
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  5. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    Hell yeah, so glad I found this thread @flying.moto :thumb :ricky

    Did Baja for the first time last November and cannot wait to go back. Only made it as far south as Loreto, recognized many spots from your photos.

    Good on you for getting out there to ride and super cool that you crossed over to the mainland. Can't wait to keep following along, Baja is bike nirvana - looks like mainland is the same (though with fewer places to stop for tacos y cerveza...lol).

    Great job man :nod :nod
    #25
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  6. flying.moto

    flying.moto Earthbound Misfit, I Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    534
    Location:
    South of Gorman
    Thank you!

    Yes, Baja pleasantly surprised me to no end! Everything was awesome! The food, the people and more over the riding and abundance of amazing open tracks of any difficulty! :ricky

    I am already scheming up my next outing and will mainly focus on Baja for now as there is just too much bliss riding to be had there and too little time on hand... that's why this ride felt like a rally more so than a joyride, but hey, for the first time riding in Mexico it was a quick preview of as much of what is out there as possible in time we had. Many thanks to @Burro driver for making it happen. Mainland is not as used to travelers outside of the main towns but still not hard to get around and 99% of all we met were very friendly and accommodating. I am not sure why, other than my love for the tall mountains and the great north that it took me so long to ride the south... but then if i ride long enough south, there will be even greater mountains! Next goal? :pynd

    In a little bit... i will post the next installment. The place where im at now, has internet connection that hates my PC... i found a workaround, but it is still slow and ditchy enough to make dialup look good! :lol3
    #26
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  7. flying.moto

    flying.moto Earthbound Misfit, I Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    South of Gorman
    The following day, the little watchman kept an eye on our departure from the hotel :D

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    A little bit of bliss riding leads us across valleys, hills and more little settlements...

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    And then suddenly, on yet another curve, the third Amigo appears! :clap

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    I think there will be some group photo somewhere later haha... but Nikos rode from Colorado to meet up, been rained on, hailed on, frozen to the bone....then blasted by plains winds... trooper! :ricky

    Our paths slit yet again, as he was just coming back from where we headed... so we decided to join up a little later and headed down the road to find some Tacos for lunch...

    What road? :super

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    How many of you have ridden this little gem? Remember, I said that the Devil's Backbone had a tie for the best of the roads in Mexico (at least in my experience so far)?

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    This is the other one! :ricky:ricky

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    Take that, Europe! Can anyone spot @Burro driver ? :super

    More bliss ahead!

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    Hey look, a bike! :lol3

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    Sometimes clean, sometimes rocky...

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    Speed up and keep your wits about you on this track. Or slow down, and soak it all in...other than the ride itself >:) overall it was well taken care of and very passable for any bike. Somewhere here we would see our new V-strom riding buddy going the other way! :clap

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    The cliffs... the sheer rock towering above you so high and close that no photo can capture it all in one shot, not wide enough, and then suddenly you see a goat trail on the side of it all... and women and kids and other locals... goats too :rofl going somewhere...

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    And all you can do is just... stop again and again, trying to memorize it all, or at least take a decent photo :lol2

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    Then, long behold!

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    Where are we?!

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    Fantastic little gem among the tall mountains! Batopilas was by far the cleanest, and most unique towns we have ridden through on this journey! :clap Very unique experience has been had by us here... but that's a whole another story! :norton You will just have to join us and you may hear it over a cerveza or two! Very good memories! Onward to the town square now! :ricky:ricky

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    Apparently, there just have been a festival or celebration of sorts here, and the town was in the cleanup mode...

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    I took a little stroll around town while John was fiddling with his gear...

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    Few locals and tourists alike were poking around, but we had no trouble getting a table at a small restaurant and having a bit to eat. Fantastic food and a gallon of freshly made cold lemonade set us back in the saddle energized and ready for more adventures!

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    Good Bye Batopilas! It was an awesome visit. We will be back! :wave

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    It seems like any road in the area is meant for motorbikes! :ricky:ricky

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    This night will see us in Creel. Taramuri Hotel would be the join-up point, and Tres Amigos would kill one a few cervezas that evening :beer

    The next day or two deserve their own posting! Stay tuned! :rayof
    #27
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  8. GF-kam

    GF-kam Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Great Falls, Virginia

    Amazingly beautiful pics and ride report.. I am in.

    The deep sand in Baja banged me up good about 7 weeks ago. Busted ankle and one bad rib. Give me your thoughts on riding deep sand.

    Great post.
    #28
  9. GF-kam

    GF-kam Been here awhile

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    Great Falls, Virginia

    Looks like the beaches south of Mulege. Nice.
    #29
  10. GF-kam

    GF-kam Been here awhile

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    Great Falls, Virginia

    Your pics capture the beauty of Mexico. Awesome!
    #30
  11. flying.moto

    flying.moto Earthbound Misfit, I Supporter

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    Thanks! Coming from you, as i just quick-read your report... since i must to study it for my next outing to Baja, means a lot! :bow

    My take on deep sand? Air down, it actually helps quite a bit. Then go faster than you think you should. It gets easier once you go faster than 20-25 mph or so... shift weight back... so kinda lean back with your arse and stretch out hands to handlebars to keep front wheel from digging in... starts are hardest, roost, pin it, whatever it takes to get to the higher speed the fastest then steer it like a boat :smile6 suggest the bike where you want to go... small corrections... she will do it with a delay :ricky but keep on the gas as much as you can. the minute the front digs in, you will have to work 3x harder to keep her upright. A few day-posts ahead, i hit some sand that (because i was lazy and did not want to air down) was so deep i wished for rocks... well.. i got rocks that made me wish to be back in the deep sand shortly after that wish was made :lol3

    Thank you!! :D
    #31
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  12. flying.moto

    flying.moto Earthbound Misfit, I Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
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    534
    Location:
    South of Gorman
    Day number... who's counting! Lets Ride! :ricky:ricky:ricky three of us now, right?

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    Taramuri, great breakfast, cervezas to go the night before, awesome little rooms! go stay there! :thumb but before all that... we got the most far back room, super secure bike parking... then the only exit was blocked off by layers of other guests' vehicles :lol3 there was no way the bikes were gonna get stolen... but... there was a worry of no gas stations open in the morning so...

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    You can guess why my bike is pointing backwards at that little passage right?! :augie:fpalm:rofl:ricky

    Previous night i was the only one who rode out for gas :pynd yeah yeah... some shoving was involved but i rode it through most of the way on the first try! few more scratches here, a scrape there, who's counting :lol3

    And then, with the other two bikes blocked in... we still had to wait... here is the "told you so" look by Nikos :imaposer

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    Then suddenly... rush hour! wow! :rofl

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    It seems out D606's are getting a little worn by now... too much pavement!

    Wait what? more pavement?!

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    Where exactly are you two taking me?! :norton

    I don't think they know either :rofl

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    But only one thing is certain! Must! Have! Tacos! First! :dukegirl

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    Fantastic grub at this little joint in El Largo, then gas up, load up on cookies and other strange camp food choices, talk the guys against the bypass (it looked too easy, although plenty cool might i add) we found out from local truckers, and set off for the real gem of Chihuahua! :happay But first... rattled Johns' memory a bit, and great success! The correct cow pasture has been found, huh @chokozip

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    There it is! The grand gem of mainland! One i've been waiting fror the longest time for since Riel showed me the Bulldog tunnel in BC... oh crap, i just gave it away!

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    Brrrrraaaaaaaapp!! :ricky

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    Keep at it!



    Uh oh... a bit gravelly now..

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    This track has been taking huge toll on the big Tenere, enough to have us modify plans for the next section which was going to get much more grueling.

    A bit of backtracking, and full steam ahead! I had to catch up now! but wait.... photos! :smile6

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    This shot totally looked like im in the fog.. crazy fog... but its a cheater shot.... weathr is good :lol3

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    I just wanted to take a few shots of the aspens :-) i guess call it Colorado fever.... :ricky

    Then suddenly! First real bridge?! :happay

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    John probably is saying now, where in the hell is that guy... its a railroad track, how can he get lost?! :lol3

    And when i caught up to him, the statement was: "It is around the corner... camp here or pop the first one today"

    "Is that a trick question I asked?!" Braaaaaaaap! :ricky:ricky

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    So farkin' awesome!! :happay

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    So much that we kept on riding, a few more tunnels we passed! What a bliss track this is!! :ricky:ricky

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    Poser shots abundant! But, still no decent campsite grounds in sight! :hmmmmm

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    But the sun had other plans for us... and eventually the Chihuahua landscape smiled upon us with a bliss campsite! Score :super

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    Yes! that is the crazy Baja Tom Jones T-shirt drying up on my tent :lol3

    More epic shots and even more epic li... i mean "tall tales" tomorrow! Stay tuned! :lol3
    #32
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  13. Burro driver

    Burro driver dba John

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Montrose, Colorado.
    Another view of camp

    Attached Files:

    #33
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  14. Moto Vaquero

    Moto Vaquero Trail less traveled

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    San Diego & Stanley, ID
    You guys put together a great route!
    #34
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  15. Burro driver

    Burro driver dba John

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    Montrose, Colorado.
    Thank you sir
    #35
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  16. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    F*cking love it man, how epic to ride along an old rail track like that, and then throw camp up in the middle of nowhere. What happened to the Tenere rider - head back and meet up later?

    Although it was asphalt riding, the shots going through the mountains a couple posts back - stunning. That windy snake of black down to the bottom is something I'd like to do someday, but it'll probably wait until I've explored a much larger portion of Baja :-) :-)

    Great updates @flying.moto, one hell of an experience :thumb :thumb
    #36
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  17. flying.moto

    flying.moto Earthbound Misfit, I Supporter

    Joined:
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    South of Gorman
    John! I was saving that shot for the next installment! :rofl

    Mostly John, all i did was added some stubbornness in the process looking for lost track, got us lost a few times in a cow pasture, and... well...whatever else I do :ricky

    One hell of an experience and eye opener, invitation to the South... all of the above! Nikos was just not having as much fun as we when the R/R gravel got really deep. We met up with him after this section. :ricky
    #37
  18. flying.moto

    flying.moto Earthbound Misfit, I Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    534
    Location:
    South of Gorman
    Time to break camp!

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    John has an awesome little contraption he picked up somewhere in CO, that made the waking up part easy! :happay

    I seriously need to find one of these!

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    Notice my only "luxury item" as been presented by HU haha... a porcelain tea cup!

    All packed up, caffeinated and ready to braaaaap! :ricky:ricky

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    The pace was fun, deep gravel section was over, and it was onto pure bliss now! :ricky:ricky



    Then suddenly! :eekers

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    But, for every washed out bridge there was a detour sometimes with a bonus water crossing! :ricky:ricky

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    In some spots we saw evidence of parallel tracks, i suppose this is where two oncoming trains could get around each other... I wonder how did they ever time it well...or one that got there first would have a hell of a wait :hmmmmm

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    Sometimes, if we paid enough attention and rode a bit slower, we could spot old remnants of... ranches or rather... encampments along the tracks where once someone lived. Only one of them looked like someone has been there recently, but others have been allotted to pastures.

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    Then suddenly, a train station! Estacion Chico! :eekers or so the map said :D

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    It was surreal to explore, as it definitely looked like it wasn't as ancient as one might think. The walls were painted and we even found fairly modern stamped electrical hardware on a few walls... i wonder when exactly this station was abandoned.

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    A lot of it has been constructed with more of an olden traditional ways of making brick... or... Adobe?

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    I bet this station has seen numerous "modernizations" in it's life

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    Just imagine living here, waking up to these sights...

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    Then stepping out to the back, getting a few dozen apples off the tree and waiting for an occasional rancher to catch a ride to town. Sell him a ticket, wave the train by and go back about your ways...

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    I think it's an apple tree :lol3

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    Then, maybe next day, you catch the train yourself, because you need to get to town and grab some Tacos! :jack

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    Train has left... down the tracks, then got stopped in the middle of a tunnel and... robbed of silver bars it was carrying, then set on fire! Look up some historical notes about Pancho Villa and his exploits in this region... but... this _is_ the tunnel! :eek2

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    The railroad company back in the day tried to save the tunnel but the fire damage was too severe and it started to cave in here and there.. This is about halfway through. Lots and lots of bats in there now.

    I said: I'm hiking in, what's the worst that can happen?
    John: You can get rabies.
    Ok... rabies... nice... lets check it our anyway! :rofl

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    Out we go before... well...the bats really started swarming :roflnothing but hoof-tracks here too...

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    After a while and a few tries, the tunnel was abandoned and a bypass was drilled nearby. It was reinforced even more, with concrete at some point ans stands proud today.:ricky:ricky

    Where was it again? John: I'm going right... Me: I'm going swimming :rofl

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    Not bad, right? :lol3 the right track of the "swim" was a lot more muddy but i made it :ricky

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    The entrance to bypass tunnel was just around the corner. I wonder, even in 1963 and at least years after this line was ran by steamers? look at all the soot on and how high the ceiling is!

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    Time was to catch up on insider photos! A little more gravelly here of all the places, more like the beginning of the trail... I

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    Following the tracks, or rather where tracks have been :rofl there would be many shorter tunnels to be enjoyed!

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    The exit of the torched tunnel was blocked off from this side. It has seen no traffic at all for a long time.

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    We bid it farewell, and kept on keeping on! more cool sights ahead! :ricky:ricky

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    The track wound its way through the canyon higher and higher, climbed like a snake keeping the grade shallow for the steamers to not struggle too much, opening up sights alike none! Back in the day, to see it, i bet only way was to either take the train or walk it... the mountains were quite rugged that even a horse probably would get you only down the river...

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    Imagine looking out of the window of a train car steaming along these tracks... breathtaking!

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    Then suddenly, first awesome shaky bridge!

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    Hang tight! In the next installment! Bridges bridges bridges and tasting my VITIM BRIDGE DREAM even thought on a smaller scale but still :happay:pynd:ricky:ricky!

    The next installment might be delayed a day or day in the half, as this one took nearly 4 hours to compile due to glitchy internet where I am now... that won't load the super-awesome video John shot not matter what i tried... so hang tight and drool! :super

    It won't be long :rayof
    #38
  19. Burro driver

    Burro driver dba John

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Montrose, Colorado.
    FWIW this railroad section went for 82 miles. We saw one vaquero at the beginning and some ranchers towards the end but absolutely no one for the rest of it. So cool!
    #39
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  20. advrockrider

    advrockrider Been here awhile

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    Jan 17, 2009
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    960
    Location:
    Norcal
    A true cliff hanger!!!
    #40
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