Ves ATW

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Veselko, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. Veselko

    Veselko Been here awhile Supporter

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    Crossed the border into Texas at Matamoros. That was a Chinese fire drill. Note, as you're leaving Mexico, there's really no Mexico border control. But I did see the Mexico entry side, so kind of veered over that way. Guard in the parking lot tells me I have to go around, so I did. You get to a toll both and you're over the bridge and at the US border control... ok... guessing that wasn't right... which was a problem because I needed to cancel my Temporary Import. But, they have me open some of my bags, etc.. I explained my situation and the guy says I have to go back to the Mexico entry side and do it there. So, I do that, pay another toll, but I miss the building, and end up in the same parking lot I was in before... anyway, to make a long story short, finally got the word that right before the first toll, you basically have to hang a U (there's some barriers with an open section, stick to the left, and there's the Banjercito (for entry into Mexico) and that's where you get it all taken care of. Would of saved me some headache if there was just a sign while going North... Banjercito / Migration this way.

    Anyway, got it done, then stuck to the left to get back to the Mexico exit side, and proceeded to the US border again. By now there was a line of cars, it's hot as heck, but to the left there's a lane, with no one in it, and an American flag over the lane... Must be for American citizens only... lol... not... The guy asks me if I'm blah blah blah... some kind of security clearance... I'm like no, I was just through here, had to go around... explaining my situation... take off your helmet... what's in your pockets... follow me... so I get ushered to the area with guards... bunch of security guys come out... I explain my situation... weren't you just through here... yeah he was just through here... open all my bags anyway, again... what do you do... and so on with a hundred questions... Yes sir no sir... don't arrest me sir, because I went in the wrong line (that's what I wanted to say, but figured I'd keep my mouth shut...)

    So, Texas... Yeah, it's a lot cleaner and more organized than Mexico, and there's border patrol everywhere. What is this, a war? I even came to a checkpoint on the highway (where am I Mexico?)... They ask, are you a citizen, I say yeah, and he says drive safely... I'm guessing that's Trump's doing...

    As I rode to my motel, it wasn't getting any cooler...
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    Few hours later made it to a cold shower and some AC... whew...

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  2. Veselko

    Veselko Been here awhile Supporter

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    So, this is how it looks...
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    Just a couple hundred miles shy of 9000 miles for this leg of the journey. Texas was flat and straight so didn't see much point to dragging it out. I was going about 300 miles a day, and the last day was 400+ miles. Took a break every hour so as not to tire myself out. Been in CO since 9/1. Going to close this chapter out with some random photos from the last week.

    This was still back in Mexico. GPS took me off the main highway for 15 minutes under the pretense that this was a faster route... Didn't seem like it, but it was a nice break from days of four lane highway.
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    Never seen anything like this. Side of the highway...
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    One of the motels I stayed at for the night was infested with crickets... guess the roaches aren't allowed to cross the border...
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    It was an interesting room... bed... three closets... a clothes closet with no hangers... a shower closet... and a toilet/sink closet... Lady at the counter says, you want to look at the room before you sign in? I said nope, cause I'm not going anywhere else... After 300+ miles and another hot day, I was done.

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    Last day on the road... somewhere in Northern Texas or Oklahoma on 287. Just miles of lonely roads...
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    That oil leak I had on the bike was getting worse as I went along. By the time I got to CO I had oil flying back onto my center stand, swingarm, rear wheel... Took it apart and verified it was the rubber seal on the stator. Also found that the lead wires that are in the oil bath were very brittle. When I moved the seal I could hear the wire insulation crack. Sent a message to Racetek Electric, and though the stator is warrantied for a year, I opted not to get another one and just put in the stock one. If they're not using wire insulation that can take the heat, and probably the same with the rubber seal, then I doubt a replacement unit would solve the problem. I don't need another leak another few thousand miles down the road. So, guess I just stay with the stock or pony up a lot more money for one of the other high output stators on the market. I've got until November to think about it...

    Honey is doing better. We went hiking in the CO mountains the other day... Cool temperatures and low humidity... nice break from the 100+ degrees and 90%+ humidity in Mexico and Texas.
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    Been discussing the next part of the journey, starting early December. We're agreed that we're headed back down toward South America. Probably going to make a big loop of it. Go Southwest, down the West coast, come back up the East coast. Figuring we'll take our time, so maybe a year and a half? At this point looks like car and bike (I'm thinking Subaru Outback with a couple inches of lift and some bigger all terrain tires, just in case...). Going to get a carrier so the bike can go on the back of the car. For the long and boring stretches of road it goes on the carrier, and we'll take turns driving the car . When the roads get nice, and when we're in a location, I or we use the bike. She's not comfortable riding a bike, and I'm not ready to give it up. Though honestly, the thought has occurred to me. The last three months have definitely taken their toll on my body. My weak spots are creeking and complaining. That stomach issue I had when I started out is still with me too. Slowly getting better, but still here. Watching what I eat is a fact of life going forward. The reduced stress of just driving on occasion should help.

    Don't wait!
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  3. Veselko

    Veselko Been here awhile Supporter

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    And happy Thanksgiving one and all! How time flies... less than a month until we're on the road again. The plan is to loop the Americas; go down to Argentina via the West coast and back up the East. Once we get back to the US in maybe a year or year and a half, then Europe or Africa.

    We, is me and my honey. If you know me then you know her. She's not into social media and likes to live a private life, so, I'll respect her wishes and keep her the mystery woman in my logs.

    There's been a lot of good debate regarding the mode of transportation, probably just as much between me and myself as between her and I. Questions like, what's the goal, see the world or ride the motorcycle; or, after three months and 9000 miles of riding Mexico and Guatemala do I still want to do this, am I up to it physically; or, how much stuff do we need to take and how much space do we need? Of course, she had a lot more questions to work through than I did (been there done that). In the end, the plan is to take two vehicles, my DR650 and an older Subaru Outback. I've also got a towing attachment (not a trailer, more on this later) so the car can tow the bike as needed, which will most likely be most of the way to and through Mexico. As we go further South, to areas I haven't ridden through yet, and the roads get nicer, I'll be riding. For the car, other than putting some spring assist spacers on the rear and setting up and bringing a normal size spare, we'll probably leave it stock. Still debating bringing one of those enclosed rooftop containers, but hey, it's an Outback, not a two ton pickup, so, just as well, we can't take that much stuff.

    As when I took off in May, there's mixed feelings and apprehension, though less about borders and do I know enough Spanish to get by!? The bigger question is will be opt out of some countries? We may need to go around some or get through relatively quickly at least. Venezuela comes to mind on the return trip, but who knows, maybe things will be a bit more stable in a year or however long it takes us to get there. About 4 million people have left that country last I heard. We took a look at the government travel site and there's a whole lot of places in this world that are not recommended. Yeah, what else is new? Maybe if the US and other world powers stopped meddling and sucking out their natural resources, they'd be way better off... so much more could be said... Anyway, we'll play it by ear, and as before, only plan a few days in advance.

    And here's how things are looking right now.

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    Using honey's place for a staging area (no... we're not taking the ottoman). She's been selling off stuff, giving it away, and figuring out what she wants to pack and keep. Fire Sale!

    In the mean time,
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    we just got about 18" of snow here in the Boulder area. Eeeeeeeehah! The car is buried and the bike is sitting in my daughters garage. As you can see, we can now make carmen instead of snowmen and just use the wiper for the nose!
  4. Pete Pilot

    Pete Pilot Been here awhile

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    Just finished reading this and a good read it is. I sold my DR few years ago. But expect to acquire another DR during 2020. In my moto garage are DRZ(440), WR250R, Yamaha TTR230. So took it lotta bikes and some years to learn that sometimes smaller is better. Few years ago when shopping for an suv the Suburu Outback was one of the models I considered, but when I found out its rear suspension was a bit weak to haul a bike mounted on a bike hitch carrier I got a Jeep Cherokee which has a rear suspension rated at a heavier weight. So, you might want to reconsider on the Suburu. I’m just saying. Much enjoyed the RR and will continue to follow along. Sir your living big and you must continue to do so. Take Care Merlin
  5. Veselko

    Veselko Been here awhile Supporter

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    Hey Merlin. Thanks for the input. I'm with you on the smaller is better approach. Yeah, as you say, the Subaru doesn't have enough tongue weight to use one of those hitch carriers. Also, i didn't like how much of the bike would be hanging out on either side of the vehicle. I opted for a Motow. It isn't cheap, but it reduces the tongue weight on the car, and when we're not towing just throw it in the back. Once we get rolling I'll post more pics of the setup. E21CD5DB-0670-47CC-9985-95D3F2D660B4.jpeg
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  6. Pete Pilot

    Pete Pilot Been here awhile

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    Do believe that’s one of those deals where front wheel mounted of ground and rear wheel rolls on the road. Likely not the way I would go. But then the width on a rack is not something I would even consider being a Petepilot (rtf). Of course having the Suburu a few tires could be loaded. A ratio of 2 rear to 1 front be a good idea. Looking forward to updates. Merlin
  7. Veselko

    Veselko Been here awhile Supporter

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    Close, actually the front is on the ground with this design. Which made more sense to me; no wear and tear on the chain, sprockets, and rear tire, which usually wears faster anyway. Also, I'm not really planning on doing much, if any, towing beyond Mexico. So, I may wear out my front sooner, once. It's built like a tank too, out of 1/8" stainless steel plate and channel, and more importantly it goes down to ground level with a jack screw and ratchet.

    One small drawback is that since the DR is a mechanical speedometer I'll have to disconnect it when towing, or it will roll back... Meh... It's gonna be interesting, but at this point it looks like a good compromise.
  8. Pete Pilot

    Pete Pilot Been here awhile

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    That should work great. A few days dragging the dr south and it be all sorted. Do take care where you park. As someone backing up would not have experience with a bike being attached in this manner to the back of a vehicle. I would attach a red flag at both ends of the bar. This would get the attention of traffic closing from the rear on highways and also rolling up behind you when your stopped in city’s or elsewhere. I am jealous, do wish my wife and I where doing what you 2 are. If there’s anything I can do from my corner of Canada. Just ask. Merlin
  9. SOLOKLR

    SOLOKLR Back to work

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    Congrats on getting back to the trip. I was reading the thread today, and kept thinking I've seen this before, turns out I had been following before when it went south, or more like north, but you get the point. Anyway, good luck On the continuation! I'd like to see the bike hooked up to the hitch, sounds different.
  10. Veselko

    Veselko Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thanks man, we appreciate that. And yes, it actually comes with flags, but I'm doing one better. I have a wiring harness and plan to put lights on it too..
  11. Veselko

    Veselko Been here awhile Supporter

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    ... went South by going north... :lol3 Thanks. Yup, will do, and looking forward to it myself.
  12. Pete Pilot

    Pete Pilot Been here awhile

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    Lights are a good idea. Place them as high or few inches higher than the Suburu s tail lights. High better than low,better visibility . Have you picked a blast of day?
  13. Veselko

    Veselko Been here awhile Supporter

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    Yup, 20th. Should be back in Mexico starting around New Year! :rayof
  14. TaZ9

    TaZ9 Been here awhile

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    I've been living and riding out of Loveland Colorado for 30 yrs. I'm on my 3rd DR650 along with about 2 dozen other bikes over the years. Looking foward to your Mexico ride report. Been planning to get down to Baja, but after riding the Southwest for many years, planning to do the Idaho BDR in the spring.
    Colorado is the perfect base for riding out of. So much to see, so little time.

    Enjoy your trip and ride safe,

    TaZ9

    Attached Files:

  15. Veselko

    Veselko Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thanks man.

    And as the Frenchmen said... time time time... yes, but if we do not make time how can we have time... or something like that...
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  16. Veselko

    Veselko Been here awhile Supporter

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    Alright, and we are off again!

    Morning of the 20th, got of out Dodge. Made our way south toward Colorado Springs, stopped for a short hike up to the Castle Rock in ahhh... Castle Rock... then took a walk at Garden of the Gods and continued on to our digs for the night in Alamosa CO.

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    With the stops and the hiking we got to Alamosa after dark. Where apparently they had temps in the negative double digits last week... as in -40??? Guess it's one of the coldest places in the country. All of a sudden, towing the bike to warmer climates didn't seem like a bad idea!
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    In the morning it was in the negative single digits. Loaded the car back up, took off the bike cover, and cable locking it to the receiver and took off for Aztec NM.

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    So far the towing arrangement is working well. Read more in my MOTOW thread. The handlebar and the mirror visible in my side mirror was my indication at all was well with the bike. Some beautiful scenery along the way.
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    Stopped for gas in a little town called Pagosa Springs. Local guy came over to check out the towing arrangement and we got to talking bikes. He told us about the hotsprings just down the road... so... Pagosa Hotsprings it is! Situated right next to the San Juan River in Pagosa. They have pools from 86 degrees F to 110 degrees F. So we bounced around for a couple hours among the pools. I also took a wade into the river. Not very deep this time of year, but cold has heck. After about 20 seconds I couldn't feel my legs any more... So, back into the 106 degree pool! If you're in the area, it's a must do. Apparently Pagosa means Healing Waters in native American... High sulfur content, along with other minerals. At $26-30 per person (bring your own towel or pay +$4) it aint cheap, but you can stay there all day. They also sell drinks and food right in the pool area.

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    After getting thoroughly steamed, we finished off the days drive. Yup, definitely have had worse days!

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  17. Veselko

    Veselko Been here awhile Supporter

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    Aztec NM to Lake Powell area. About 260 miles.

    Before taking off for the morning we took a couple mile walk from where we were staying to the Aztec ruins.
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    All the doors were less than 5ft tall...
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    Pretty complex layout. Multi level condos made of stona and wood on the outside and then a large central meeting area in the middle of the city.
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    One of the main corridors, half under ground. Very cool in there. As you enter each section there are additional passages to the left; living quarters. Took decades to build.
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    Then you gots to grind the corn to make your corn flour so you can make your tortillas...

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    Got ourselves back on the road. Some pretty nice scenery along 64 and 160 headed West.

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    Planted for a couple nights. We'll see what we can see around here tomorrow.
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  18. Veselko

    Veselko Been here awhile Supporter

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    So, near Page AZ apparently are a few slot canyons. After doing some research, picked Waterholes to go see, which is about 2 miles long. Compare that to Antelope which is more expensive, more crowded and only about 200 meters long, and Waterholes is a clear winner. Now, none of this is cheap... About $58/person for a 1.5 hour tour. They drive you to the start of the Canyon, and you hike back to where you took off from. It's private land owned by a Navajo family. Our guide was 20 years old kid. He knew his stuff and answered all our questions. Pretty straight forward. There are definitely some tight areas, and you have to shimmy down some ladders.

    Honestly, I was a bit ticked that I couldn't just go hiking on my own. Felt like I was getting shafted. But I considered it a donation to the Navajos, for chasing them off their land. I also learned about the Long Walk... where the US basically made the Navajos migrate across three desert states back in the 1800's.

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    This was at the end of the slot, and goes to join the Colorado River.

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    And the Colorado River right after the dam.
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    The dam.

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    Overlook onto Lake Powell; Glenn Canyon Rec. area.
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  19. Veselko

    Veselko Been here awhile Supporter

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    Merry Christmas Eve!

    The day started out a little foggy and got worst from there, but there were definitely some bright spots! Holed up for a couple days in Williams AZ, on historic route 66.

    This was 89 headed south out of Page AZ... snow on the ground, fog in the air... winter wonderland!
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    Stopped at this place called Cameron. Selling all sorts of Native wares. Check this out, a manual loom (is that what they call them? :hmmmmm). A little old native lady was working on it, says it will take her about a year to finish... The smaller rugs on the wall sold for thousands, so I'm guessing this will be about $15-$20G's
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    There was a basket there that took a year to weave, price... a cool $15,000...
    They had sand art and pottery... butt-load of jewelry. Good thing we don't have the money or the space in the car!

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    They also had a post office there, so mailed off a couple post cards to the grand-kids, and conversed with the nice lady working the counter. She had hair down past her butt, said she was thinking of cutting it cause it's heavy... Me being a near cueball, have no clue how that would feel. Does your neck get tired?

    Also had a restaurant there, so we shared a vegan Navajo taco for lunch (you can have it with Muton I think). MMMMmmmm... Beans, veggies, on fry-bread (yeah, bread that's fried instead of baked). First Navajo taco ever. If you haven't had one... find one. There was a restaurant in Page (Steer89) that was suppose to have them, but they were closed, so this was a nice surprise...
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    So, after our taco, we proceeded on toward the Grand Canyon... Yeah... things didn't look so good.

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    We got to the gate and they told us only part of the road was open, and we couldn't get to Williams that way, so had to turn back around. Got out of the snow, but as we got closer to Williams, more of the same.

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    Made it safely to our Motel, motorcycle still attached! Though definitely in need of a wash when the weather clears up in a few days and we head further South.

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    And why is the Subaru sagging in the rear, cause we didn't bring the kitchen sink, but we brought the stove and kitchen! Making Christmas Eve dinner... Rice, salad, some home made sauerkraut... Honey, pass the Soy sauce, would you? Where's the granola?

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  20. Veselko

    Veselko Been here awhile Supporter

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    Two nights in Williams was a good idea. Got another snow storm the second night and clearer skies in the morning.

    Took a walk down mainstreet (Route 66) during the day.
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    And this was the state of affairs this morning.

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    In Phoenix for the night, where it's a balmy 61 degrees... and NO snow. Head for the border tomorrow!
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