The Pan American Trail

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by stoltzfii, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. stoltzfii

    stoltzfii Been here awhile

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    I have two pairs of socks and one pair of pants. Let's just say that alpine climbing requires a lot of gear...
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  2. stoltzfii

    stoltzfii Been here awhile

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    And wrapping up the throwback section, here are a few digital shots from Nevada, compliments of James. This thread is often out of order and rarely close to being updated live, but it at least offers a snapshot of our trip :-)

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    Here's a nice little sequence of what it's like riding a heavily load DR in sand. Yea, not too fun, haha.

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  3. stoltzfii

    stoltzfii Been here awhile

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    Everyone already knows it, but Yosemite is just so beautiful. A can't miss stop on the West Coast.

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  4. bbanker

    bbanker Been here awhile

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    Great photos guys!
  5. stoltzfii

    stoltzfii Been here awhile

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    Initially, I didn’t really feel like going to Death Valley. From Yosemite it isn’t that far if Tioga Pass is open, but since it was the end of November, the pass was closed. So we had to drive way out around to get there. But I can say now that it was one of my favorite places we have been to. Death Valley is just awesome. The rugged desert, endless trails, warm winter weather, and extreme elevation change. It has it all.

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    We arrived at the West side of the park and camped a few miles back a dirt trail. The actual boundary of the park wasn’t super clear, but I think it was BLM land. Either way, there was no one around so we were good to camp almost wherever. There was a dry lake bed right beside us so while Jeremy went on a run, James and I dropped our bags and ripped as the sun was setting.

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    I had been growing my beard for a while, but I was getting tired of it so I hacked it off.

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    We set up camp and, after we settled into our sleeping bags, we saw a few kit foxes trying to make a run at our food. So I put the food in a heavy duty dry bag and stacked the pots and pans beside the bag. Then I moved my sleeping bag right beside the food to deter the foxes. The plan seemed to work ok as the foxes didn’t bother the food very much all night. The next morning, as James was cooking breakfast, he couldn’t find the spatula or the knife. The only explanation was that the kit foxes had stolen both the knife and the spatula. Unbelievable. We used a plastic coffee lid as a spatula until the plastic melted and got all over the pan and the pancakes. I still ate them...


    I had about three days roughly planned for Death Valley. We got a few recommendations from other people we met in Stovepipe Wells. One guy recommended Titus Canyon Road which was close to where we were, so we set out that afternoon. The road ended up being one-way which I had somehow missed when the guy was explaining the road to us. So after a slight detour we took the proper road east to the park boundary where the road started back into the park. We planned to drive a few miles of the 30 or so total miles and camp. But, after finding a hot spring only 10 miles away, we headed there for the night instead. It turned out to be a nice hot spring and for only $5 each we got in.

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    We camped there for the night for free and hit Titus Canyon road late in the morning. It turned out to be a beautiful ride. 30 miles of twisting roads that descended into a canyon as the walls got progressively close. At the end it was only about 15 feet across. I highly recommend it to anyone going through the area.

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    After the canyon, we drove to Aquereberry Point which offers an awesome view of the park. At 6,433 feet, you can see down to Badwater, the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere. Jeremy and I cruised a scenic spot of the road while James snagged a few shots. The view was great.

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    From Aquereberry point we drove to the Charcoal Kilns where we planned to camp out. The kilns were cool, but there wasn’t a great place to camp. The gravel road continued up the mountain and a few miles later we came to a nice campground. I didn’t know the camping regulations, but I read later that it is a free first come first serve campground. Not bad! But it was empty, so it didn’t really matter. The temperature dropped below freezing that night since we were sitting around 7,000 feet. That morning we drove back down to sea level and it was soon sunny and warm again. This was our third day in the park, and we were about ready to head to Joshua Tree. Personally, I could have stayed for another week checking out the endless trails and interesting landscape features. But Jeremy and James were itching to get to Joshua Tree and climb so we headed south. We took Badwater Road and stopped at Artist’s Palette. The rock colors were awesome, and it looked a bit like space…

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    A mandatory stop in Death Valley is Badwater Basin. Sitting at 282 feet below sea level, it is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere. We stopped, stood by the sign, and continued on our way. Death Valley did not disappoint. We only scratched the surface of what’s there and sometime I hope to get back and hit more of the trails.

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  6. stoltzfii

    stoltzfii Been here awhile

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    I have been at home for the last 10 days enjoying Christmas with my family. We are getting back on the road in a few days and immediately heading to Mexico! In my free time I made a video of our Mt Robson climb from all the video footage I had. Its nothing special and it's all shot on a cell phone, but I hope to get better at making videos as the trip progresses. Enjoy.

  7. vtcyclist

    vtcyclist Been here awhile

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    Great Video. Thanks. I've "thinking" about Robson for 30 years. Much respect for you guys just "adding it on" to your bike trip.
  8. IdahoGaucho

    IdahoGaucho Adventurer

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    Thank you for including the video in your ride report. It adds depth to your experiences and is very interesting
  9. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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    Let me add my respect too. You guys knocked off McKinley like there was nothing to it. Any body that's been there knows that's not the case. And Robson's no piece of cake either. Lots more climbing opportunities before you get where your going. Really looking forward to following along. Thanks.

    Oh, and this doesn't have to be the only time you get to do this kind of thing. Just be open to any opportunity that comes along. It will help if you open your own business when you get back...or as soon as you can. That's what I did. When I was a kid my dad told me something that I never forgot. "I never met anyone in a nursing home that wished that they had worked more." Never pass on a chance for adventure. :thumb
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  10. stoltzfii

    stoltzfii Been here awhile

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    Thanks everyone for the video feedback
    We are staying with a cousin in San Diego tonight then headed into Mexico tomorrow. It's pretty basic getting into Mexico, but after spending the last few days researching the Darien Gap, border crossings in South America, and the endless climbing options along the way, my head is starting to spin. It's definitely not as easy as North America but wayyy more interesting! It will be a little more hectic going forward but I'll try to keep this thread updated

    The next post will hopefully be from Mexico!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
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  11. The Breeze

    The Breeze Been here awhile

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    You guys probably already have this wired....But just wanted to make sure that you are aware.... Make sure to get your Mexican insurance (I use Baja Bound on-line) before you cross, then get tour FMM for you and your TVIP for your bike at the border. They won't stop you going into their country...so some people think it's cope to just continue on...and that's no bueno! Your Mexican insurance is not valid without your FMM and they will not let you on the ferry in LaPaz without your TVIP..... Just an FYI.

    Enjoying your RR and look forward to reading about your adventures!!

    Take it easy
  12. Tex83

    Tex83 Motersykle Advntyers

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    Jesus man; the adventures, the experiences, the photos!!! This has me hooked, can't wait to see what y'all get into next. Incredible trip!

    I took a year and a half off working when I hit 30 and traveled all over the US, next trip will be similar to yours. Best thing I've ever done. You're doing it right. Take great photos, choose the hardest paths, and laugh the whole way. Buena suerte!
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  13. stoltzfii

    stoltzfii Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the info. I think I have that stuff figured out, but it never hurts to check! I did read somewhere that you can now get you TVIP at LaPaz before getting on the ferry but Im going to get it right away at the border to be safe.
  14. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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    Sure you guys know this.... If you are going down the main land there is Popo and Ixta near Mex City and Orizaba northwest of Veracruz. And of course Aconcagua farther down. Probably better climbing in lesser known places. Can't wait to see more.
  15. stoltzfii

    stoltzfii Been here awhile

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    Yea, we're planning on climbing Pico de Orizaba. After that we might climb a few smaller mountains in Central America but there isn't anything locked in as of now. There are some cool mountains in Columbia that we want to do. Peru and Bolivia are absolutely loaded with world-class alpine routes so we'll be spending a lot of time there. After that, we have Aconcagua and hopefully some mountains down in Patagonia. There's just so many options!
  16. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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    We did Orizaba in "83. I have a little guide book somewhere but it was out dated even then. All the dirt roads had changed. There is/was a stone hut at 14K ft (~ 1k ft from there to the snow/ice) but watch out for the rattus. Sounded like a heard of buffalo running across us and the plywood bunk shelves after the sun went down. :lol3

    Veracruz is a very interesting place to visit. Get a tour of the old Spanish prison if you can. You'll find out very quickly what the Mexicans thought of Cortes. We just walked up to it and an old Totonacan Indian named Manuel Gonzalez gave us a great tour for just a few bucks. He said when he was 4yo he walked with his grandfather from Orizaba to Veracruz and later caught a boat to Boston where he learned English selling news papers on the street. Then got a job on a merchant marine ship and sailed the world. He was an old man at the time but he said if he could find Cortes's grave he'd like to piss on it. He said Cortes made slaves of the local Indian population. It was a fantastic day that I'll never forget.
  17. poppawheelie

    poppawheelie Been here awhile

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    Can't wait to see your pictures of Aconcagua. Guess that'll be awhile. I saw it from a distance when motoring about South America.
  18. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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    Just a little south of Veracruz is the little "town" of Mandinga... http://www.johntoddjr.com/103 Mandinga/mandinga.htm ... Great place to spend an afternoon. A big covered patio with a Mariachi band on each end playing different songs as loud as they can :lol3 and all the food, fresh shrimp and homemade breads and pastries you can eat. Fantastic !!!
  19. stoltzfii

    stoltzfii Been here awhile

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    We made it to Mexico. The border crossing was smooth but still a little confusing as I new we needed a TVIP but after finding someone that spoke a little English it all worked out :)

    We enjoyed tacos of course
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    We drove Down to Ensenada and camped out on a point along the coast a little south of town. We drove down a sketchy dirt rode where we camped.

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    This morning we all almost wrecked coming back up but we made it. I went fully airborne going up a steep hill which I think is fairly impressive haha
  20. stoltzfii

    stoltzfii Been here awhile

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    I took a video of Jame's going up the hill.