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Old 04-07-2012, 05:17 PM   #74
chabon OP
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Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Carpinteria, CA
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Stage 9 Santa Ana, Mexico to Blythe, CA

Stage 9 Santa Ana, Mexico to Blythe, CA via Lukeville, 393 miles.

ZERO photos today, sorry. We are backtracking the same route we took south at this point so really nothing new. Shoulder is hurting to much to lift the camera anyways.... Might be some helpful information below for turning in your Temporary Vehicle Import Paper, could save you a return trip to the checkout point.

Train wakes us up again, just like on our first day in Mexico. Kind of a solemn day for me, I’m not ready to end the trip. Go back to Elba’s for breakfast (kind of the Denny’s of Mexico). A lot of highway miles today, a toll or two, return the Temporary Vehicle Import papers, and a checkpoint. The place to return the Import Papers is about 20 miles south of the border crossing. A very nondescript little building sitting at a southbound checkpoint. I wonder how many people miss this and have to return from the border to get their vehicle checked out? You would think they would put it on the northbound side of the road, or at least some kind of sign. There is some writing on the wall of the shack, hard to see. Simple procedure, they verify your VIN and process the paperwork to refund your credit card the deposit fee ($200 in my case). When I got my permit online I double checked the VIN on the steering head. The VIN was hard to read but possible. Well, at the checkpoint the guy had trouble reading it. He called his supervisor, took 30 photos, had me remove seat and check the VIN sticker, more photos, more phone calls and after 30 minutes I was okay to go. Whew!


A couple miles up the road was a police checkpoint where they had us pull over to secondary inspection (under a shade tree). Burt was our official spokesperson at the checkpoints, not sure what he said, but seemed to have a good rapport with the authorities. This time they brought out the drug sniffing dog (it was in a little crate under the shade tree). Kind of looked like a stray dog they picked up off the street although I think it was a Belgian that needed grooming. The dog did its thing and when it got to Brad (Brad was standing under the tree) it started licking his hand. Now I don’t know how these things work, but I had visions of Brad breaking and running under a hail of automatic weapons fire or being tackled and handcuffed on the spot and all of us thrown in some jail. Brad slowly turned his hand around and I could see something white in his hand, could this be a small bundle of cocaine what the hell is going on here? Oh wait, now I see, its the lid to his water bottle, I guess the dog was thirsty.

One more stop at a gas station for some cheaper gas and to use up the last of the pesos. Now it's a straight shot to the US border at Lukeville, glide right through the Mexican side. For some reason Google maps will not route across the border at Lukeville. Don't be fooled, you can cross here and it is low traffic and easy. And since you are on a bike, if there is a backup of traffic, its okay to shoot to the front of the line. Only one car in front of us at the US side. I considered jumping in front of the one car, but felt it unnecessary at this point :. Five minutes and we are all on US soil. We survived Mexico. We now cruise through Organ Cactus National Reserve to Gila Bend where we grab lunch at a Subway and fill up with gas. We will part ways here, the guys to Yuma and my goal is Blythe.

All freeway miles to Blythe. We had been cruising between 60 and 65 as a group. Where the F650 had shortcomings in the dirt, it shined on the freeway and I cranked it up to 80-85 to stay ahead of the trucks. Any of you guys ever feel discriminated against when you check in at a motel? First motel eye-balled me and said they had no rooms, all booked up, even though the parking lot was almost empty. Guess they thought all my biker friends would show up and throw a party or maybe I just looked like s&*t??? They said to go across the street, “that motel will probably take you”. Second motel acted like they were doing me a favor, in Mexico they made you feel appreciated and welcome everywhere. The only good thing that happened at the first motel was that my airbox puked a shitload of oil all over the driveway right in front of their door (Karma)! This is something I hadn't seen before, guess I will add the rest of my red racing oil I bought in Mexico and hopefully nothing bad will happen to the engine.

TV finally works, not worth the extra $65 it costs to stay at motel stateside. Get a bag of ice and put it on my shoulder. Watch TV a few minutes, news about multi-millionaire hollywood couples not getting along, politicians plying their wares, gossip, commercials, really just a bunch of stuff that doesn’t matter. Turned it off after realizing I hadn’t missed anything by being out of touch south of the border.


Should make it home tomorrow. Plan to get off interstate ASAP and go up and around Joshua Tree National Monument.

EDIT:

Just checked my post and seems boring without photos. So here are some stock shots I found on the internet just to jazz it up a little.

Here's my Motel. It was nice and clean, had hot water, ice machine, the standard fair for a USA motel.



Here is the motel that 'disallowed' me. I won't mention names. I really wanted the hot tub and big breakfast they have. Some of these particular motels have cool little pancake makers and you can make your own pancake. It was not meant to be.



My motel was behind this diner. I walked over to have dinner, but it was pretty dirty and disgusting. Some other people showed up at the same time and we all kind of moaned and did an about face - Went to SIZZLER.


Price of gas is going to go up. This is why....




Here was my exit. This might help you recognize the proper exit for the motel district, please file this in your photographic memories.



This guy lives in Blythe, I didn't see him as I didn't go over and visit the prison. He some famous graffiti person, wonder if he does his own ink?



Well, that's it for tonight. See you tomorrow.
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