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Old 03-29-2012, 07:26 PM   #13
chabon OP
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Carpinteria, CA
Oddometer: 287
Stage 1, The point of no return.

Stage 1 - Yuma, Arizona to Santa Ana, Mexico. 307 miles.
Dead Bodies-0, Kidnapping attempts-0 Link to google map of todays route.

Oh boy, this is it.

What’s this? An earthquake! This can’t be happening. Oh wait, it’s just Burt shaking the sh*& out of the trailer. Look at my watch and its 0600. Then realize I am in different time zone, 0700, time to get going. Burt had whipped up some scrambled eggs, toast, and coffee. First thing I notice is the eggs have a different taste. Figure Burt must have some secret recipe. Turns out he accidentally used the French vanilla flavored cream instead of milk in the eggs. Didn’t matter, we ate them all. The rest of the gang assembled around 0900.

The Team:
Burt (Mi Vale Madre on advrider) Yamaha WR250
Mike (Shortcutsmc on advrider) ‘93 KLR650
Myself (Chabon on advrider and f650) ‘97 BMW F650
Brad (BGunn on advrider and f650, Burt’s son) Yamaha WR250

IMGP0894 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

IMGP0898 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

Ages ranged from 51 to 80, yes 80! The cumulative age is 259 years, that's 1813 dog years! (Did you know that in the year 1813 Captain John Lawrence utters the Navy motto "Don't give up the ship". I think this a sign or an omen, this will be my mantra for the trip.....”Don’t give up the ship!”). The above roster would turn out to be our riding order for most of the trip. We have an uneventful ride to the border crossing at San Luis Rio Colorado. Went past a big prison on the way to the border, and no, I didn’t pick up any hitchhikers.

Everybody else has all their papers, I just need my tourist paper, takes 15 minutes and $22. Go to the Bank and get some pesos ($30 bank fee, thanks B of A) and we’re off and headed east along the border on Mex Highway 2. We have entered the land of pointy boots! Not sure how to pack a pair if I find some my size, but I got to at least try a pair on.

Interesting to see the border, border patrol, lookout towers, barriers and fences, helicopters, your tax dollars at work. There’s miles and miles of barrier like this to prevent people from just driving off Highway to directly into Arizona. I think a dualsport would be the way to go!

There is a line of truck of trucks waiting to go north through a checkpoint. The line was miles long, I suspect it might take a couple days to get to the front of the line. (The people they be partyin' they tradin' wives n' Cadillacs n' diamonds they drinkin' booze n' havin' all sorts of party fun - these lyrics were playin’ on the headset as we cruised along - Jamie Brockett and the Titanic song). Vendors were selling food (and what ever) to the drivers.

Looked something like this...

The other guys have a range of about 150 miles, I can make 300 so only need to fill up every other stop. I get my first Mexican gas (Magna at Pemex).

About $3/gallon and without all the California additives. As I am passing the nozzle back to the attendant it rotates and pinches my finger right at the edge of the fingernail, ouch, this will become a nuisance in the days to come.

You get the idea.

They don’t put warning signs on things in Mexico. Your responsible for your own safety!!

Stop to eat in Sonoyta. Mikes wife Kay had made some great burritos! The hot sauce really put the finishing touch on them. Thanks Mike and Kay. Brads not in the photo because he is inside Subway, having his last vegetables(?) or so he says (think he had ham and bacon, but in Spain and Argentina those are considered vegetables). We ponder whether or not this will be our exit point on the way home. Smaller border crossing and a little different route.

IMGP0905 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

Mike and Burt brought new tires with them. Figured their old knobbies would be due for a change in Creel.

IMGP0899 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

Nice new highway.

IMGP0900 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

Don’t recall anything to memorable about this part of the drive, nice roads (better condition than California highways), nice desert scenery,a checkpoint or two, no problems, maybe a toll road and time to reflect on things to come.

Made Santa Ana by late afternoon and get our hotel room. I think it cost about $12 each as we shared rooms. This is the Hotel Villa Santana. A little construction along the sidewalk, putting in new fiber optic inter-duct. I don’t think they have anything like OSHA here, remember, you are responsible!

IMGP0907 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

A little adult beverage for the boys and story telling.

IMGP0912 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

The place filled up later this evening.

IMGP0910 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

The bartender at the ‘vintage’ lavatory or shall we say 'laboratory'? At least he used DIET coke so it was more healthy

IMGP0915 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

Mike has a tip for packing light, bring a bottle of grain alcohol, it has a high alcohol to volume ratio, packs a punch, can be used medicinally, strips paint, and I suspect you could use it s starting fluid if you needed to! I was thinking about sticking my sore finger in it, but figured Mike might notice.

Took me a couple minutes to figure this out, there was a small red rubber mat over the floor drains in the bathroom.

IMGP1208 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
Once I removed them to take a shower I realized that they were there to keep the sewer gas at bay. I guess this is a substitute for a ‘P’ trap. Hmm, looked cleaner in person, I guess the flash shows thing a little better, no problema. And they use SLICK tile for the floors, again, your responsible for your own safety. I know it looks like flagstone shower floor, but its tiles.

Walked up to the corner and had our first meal in Mexico, pollo asado. This is before they cook it, I think the refrigerator was plugged in, not sure though.

IMGP0916 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

IMGP0918 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

Hotel was fine, desk clerk turned on the hot water heater for us and gave us remote for the TV. Our TV didn’t work, no problem. Burt and Brad’s worked, Brad said he was watching FOX news, I think he was probably watching spanish soap operas. Title of show is a bit omanious, don't you think???

Oh, I plan to keep a tally of dead bodies and kidnap attempts. Hoping the numbers stay low, but we will see. So far so good. Day one and I am stoked! Can't wait for tomorrow to come. Still have the pesky fever, I wrap my finger in a bandaid and need to get to bed... it's only 8:30.
Copper Canyon Mexico or Will I Come Back Alive?
Baja Team 6
Barracas Del Cobre
Chabón - F650 Funduro - WR250X

chabon screwed with this post 08-17-2013 at 08:14 PM
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