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Old 03-30-2012, 06:11 PM   #21
chabon OP
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Carpinteria, CA
Oddometer: 292
Stage 2, Santa Ana to Sahuaripa

Stage 2 Santa Ana to Sahuaripa. 244 miles.
Dead Bodies-0, Kidnapping attempts-0
Google Map of todays route

We arose early to the blast of a train horn, apparently trying to get the traffic off the crossing. Our usual time seems like its going to be to get up around 0600 and be packed by 0700 or 0730.

Fresh bandaid on finger. Had a cup of coffee and some mango in the parking lot and ready to go. Note: There are no Starbucks in the areas we’ve been. Seems to be mostly instant coffee, however the OXXO stores do have brewed coffee, or at least coffee syrup derived coffee. The unspoken word is sometimes the loudest. In our case, I was starting to understand the unspoken language of my fellow travellers. For example, whenever Burt started donning his Stars and Stripes dorag that was the signal to get prepared and mount up.

I had left the petcock on last night and bike seems to be flooded, small puddle of gas from airbox drain hose. I drained the float bowl (thanks for the screwdriver Mike) and cranked for a while and it starts up.

Traffic does not follow the same rules as stateside, although I would venture to say they are good or better drivers than at home and more patient. People will use their left turn signal to indicate that it is okay to pass, slower traffic stays in the slow lane - novel idea! Nice wide paved shoulders make the two lane highways four lanes. Slow traffic (60mph) drives on the shoulder and faster traffic in the lanes. Not sure what you do if you need to pull off for emergency, you really don’t want to stop on the hard shoulder as it would be just like stopping in the highway! Fortunately there are few cars.

These first three days are mainly just to get to Creel, our jumping off point to Copper Canyon. Today we traveled south on Highway 15 and do a little bypass of the Toll Road by turning and going through Pesqueria and then south skirting along the edge of Hermosillo.

IMGP0922 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

IMGP0923 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

We stop at the OXXO in Pesqueria for a snack. Meet a group of drunk guys, think they must have some moonshine or been huffing paint. Brad meets his new BFF.

IMG_0675 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

No restroom here so someone tell’s Mike the pissing place is over by the palm tree (hehehe). When Brad makes a move towards the Palm the lady in the OXXO gave him a stare that just kind of froze him in his footprints, at this point he realized that this was NOT the pissing place and that if he proceeded something very bad would happen to him!

IMGP0924 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

In Hermosillo we pass by a big coffee roasting factory, smells pretty good as I like to roast my own coffee at home. Stop at a Pemex and fill up both the bikes and our stomachs. More of Kay’s burritos (with nice hot sauce) and a Fanta. I don’t think we need refrigeration for the Burritos, they seem to be holding up rather well. We then turn east on Highway 20. The highway starts to climb and becomes pretty twistie with some sweepers. Cooler temps at elevation and just enjoying the ride.

Every town has a beer store at the edge of town. We stop here for a snack and a cold one. Kind of tired from all the twisties. I would again forget to turn off the petcock and have a hard time getting started. Hmmmm, I didn’t notice the advertising posters until I looked at this photo, guess my mind was elsewhere.

IMG_0677 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

Get in the groove while listening to tunes, you know the feeling when you're at one with the road, just kind of floating or flying along. This was another great day of riding. Seeing some pines trees and rivers. Did I mention the lack of traffic? The roads are ours!

I noticed something about Mike’s riding the last couple days. Every once in awhile he starts swerving violently, jumping up and down, and shaking his bike while slowing down. Turns out he has a fuel problem and the shaking seems to get it going again. Going to have to fix this before hitting the dirt. Now Burt, he is a riding machine. He just mounts up and goes! Don’t see him stand, squirm, stretch his legs, just ride ride ride. His hind end must be made of some kind of elephant skin or bizarre high strength leather. Some other words of wisdom from Burt “300 miles is a good day in Mexico”. He’s right about this. With the stops, checkpoints, towns you pass through you just don’t make the big miles.

Just some scenery shots. Of course the really neat areas you don’t get photos because it is too hard to stop and you're too busy riding.

IMG_0678 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

Somebody stopped at the beer store before crossing this bridge.

IMGP0926 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

IMGP0927 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

IMGP0929 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

IMGP0931 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

Not many photos as I usually keep my camera on a lanyard and shoot while riding, but I had forgot my lanyard. Fever and finger were a bit bothersome but those problems seem to disappear while riding. Arrive Sahuaripa in late afternoon, get checked in to the El Molina Motel. Part of the motel was actually build over an old grain mill (molino) from the 1800’s. Not really a tourist town, seems to be agricultural area. Population about 5000, nice airstrip at edge of town.

IMGP0941 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

IMGP0937 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

IMGP0936 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

IMGP0933 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

Nicely appointed room (before we messed it up), again about $12.

IMGP0932 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

I go to rest while Mike strips his bike down. He is now thinking electrical problem. Earlier today we flooded his ignition switch with WD-40, seemed to help some. So now he is taking all the connectors apart and soaking them with WT-400, the Mexican equivalent of WD-40 only 10 times better! And I bet it killed any weeds growing under the KLR.

IMG_0679 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

Being a Friday night the kids are out cruising up and down the main street with radios blaring. At 2100 the radios went silent. Must be some strict sheriff in town with a noise curfew. I am not used to going to bed so early (2000 California time). Still have not seen any bullet ridden bodies or been the victim of a kidnapping. Seems like all the people that warned me of the dangers of Mexico had never been to Mexico, but had seen the atrocities on CNN or FOX and that I would certainly be targeted as soon as I crossed the border. Sorry to disappoint, but I feel safer here than I do in Santa Barbara! No graffiti, no gangs, no goofing baggy pants, people friendly, curious, polite, and helpful. I’m sure it’s different along the border and in the bigger cities. Not to downplay the tragedy of the drug war here, but we really saw no signs of it.

This is BEFORE the kids came out.

IMGP0939 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

IMGP0940 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

We walk around trying to find a place to eat. Getting directions from people seems to be a challenge. They don’t know, they don’t understand us, their perception of time and space is totally different than ours, there must be some explanation, this is will the norm when asking directions. See an open door and some tables inside, no signs, must be a restaurant. Burt speaks the best spanish of the group and we get some food ordered. No menus in these small restaurants. I am feeling the effects of the fever and don’t really eat, only down a couple Fanta’s.

This is the night the devil left by body.

Fall asleep at 2100 and wake in the middle of the night soaked in sweat. YES! The fever finally broke. Go outside at 0300 to cool off and work on ride report. Beautiful clear sky with tons of stars, an owl hooting back and forth with another owl, this is the real beginning of the trip for me!

Finger is starting to look a little funny, getting infected and red and there is this weird little piece of meat, looks like raw chicken or oyster, sticking out of the edge of my fingernail. Must have herniated or pulled the cuticle out, not sure. Finger hasn’t had a chance to dry out either, always with gloves and bandaid. I didn’t take a picture of it so I searched on Google for an image of an infected finger. My advise is DON’T look at those pictures. I was going to post one here, but decided against it to spare those with weak stomachs. I found this picture to post instead.

I think this is better, don’t you? Well, okay, maybe not as good as the weather girl.
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chabon screwed with this post 01-18-2013 at 07:10 PM
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