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Old 04-29-2013, 07:44 PM   #7
KTMayhem OP
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Joined: May 2011
Location: God's Country-Southern Lancaster County, PA
Oddometer: 7
Crossing into Mexico and Catching Up On This Ride Report

So I lied last post when I said I was going to bring it up to date. It took three attempts to get posted what I did by that time I was fed up and it was late, BUT
I think I finally figured out what needs to be done to get this blog updated. There is quite the learning curve to this ADV stuff. I'm about a week or so behind on this blog still so let's get on with it. A lot of this is cut and paste from my blogspot so I will try to edit it accordingly and add what needs to be added. Thanks for your patience.*

We woke up early in anticipation of our border crossing into Mexico. We went next door to the Oasis restaurant for a delicious breakfast burrito and coffee. While there, we interrogated the waitress about the whole process. She was very informative and really put us at ease about the ordeal as well as giving us sound directions to Chihuahua,Mexico where we were welcomed intothe home of Cesar Villa and his beautiful wife Violeta and their three month new son Cesar Gabriel Villa Jr. I contacted them through ADVrider tentspace. They have been wonderful, gracious hosts offering us the world. Violetas home cooked meals were better than any Mexican restaurant we have eaten at along the way Cesar went over the map with us and showed us the few spots to avoid, but other than that the country is safer than the US media will have you believe. *Cesar rides a VStrom 1000 and Violeta rides the VStrom 650 they had while dating. They also toured all over Mexico for their honeymoon on the motorcycle. We are resting up here before we go to the Copper Canyon.*

After a wonderful visit with our new friends Cesar and Violeta we moved on towards the Copper Canyon. After the crush of close to a million people in Chihuahua we were glad to get away from the traffic. The scenery has been pretty much the same since we left the hill country of Texas, dry scrubby brush in a brutal desert environment. On the road to Creel it finally started to rise in elevation and I think they're Juniper trees, started to cover the landscape. We arrived in Creel, the largest town in the Copper Canyon area, population 6000. I'm including a few pictures we took today that include what I call a "dust devil" along the road when we stopped to rest as well as a huge dust devil over the mountain as seen from the street in Creel. You can see the change in scenery and a smilin' horse although he doesn't have much to smile about. Just horsin' around!

We woke up at 7000+ feet above sea level and you could see your breath in the air, A perfect morning for a ride. After breakfast we headed out to ride around the Copper Canyon. It's not just one canyon but six. We stopped and took a gondola out over one of the canyons and had an excellent operator, Guadalupe, that was very knowledgable about the history, geology, flora and fauna. They are in the process of installing the worlds largest zip-line right next to the tram, expected speeds of 70 miles an hour out over this canyon *you can also cliff climb and ride the existing zip-line After the ride we rode towards Urique until we ran out of asphalt. I wanted to keep going but needed to turn around anyway, the road was one way in one way out, at least for a Harley. *Oh yeah, when we arrived at the tram the police had the road blocked off and wouldn't let us return to Creel. It turns out there was a car race, The Chihuahua Express, that was due to finish at this point and they had the road closed to all traffic. We met a lady from California, Rita who was waiting for her husband Doug, who was one of the drivers in the race. *The last photo is of 400 year old burial caves used by the Tarahumara Indians.*

We left Creel and headed toward Batopolis, another day of twists and turns through amazing canyons and vistas. We turned around when the asphalt ended since we would have to return this way anyway. We stopped in a dusty little town called Guachochi for the night and walked around the center of town listening to a mariachi band playing for some sort of candidate campaign. We left in the morning for Durango and stopped at the first hotel that we found. For $8.00, we got what we paid for. It was kind of sketchy, think flophouse, but we were beat and Ipulled the bike into the lobby for the night. Everything was still there in the morning and we didn't get gnawed on by bedbugs or see any cockroaches so it was worth the $8.00. Driving in Mexico has it's own hazards, such as dogs, horses, cows, burros and all sorts of other things roaming around freely. We have seen several smilin' horses and other assorted animals. The road from Durango to Mazatlan, is known as the Devil's Backbone. This is on my list as one of the most scenic twisty fantastic motorcycle riding roads that I have been on. Thanks Cesar, for telling us about it. Comparable to The Tail of the Dragon on the NC/Tenn border, the Dragon is more technical for riding skills, but Runnin' the Devils Backbone is probably fifty miles longer and 1000 times more scenic. This road is tie with the road in Glacier NP on up through the Canadian Rockies to Jasper NP. As for Cancer, that's just a reference to us crossing the Tropic of Cancer on this same road to Mazatlan. We were sitting in the shade trying to figure out our next move, when a pickup truck pulls up with Washington plates on it. After some discussion, George tells us to follow him. He takes us through the mango groves and we pull into this town called Chametla. This was his mothers home town and he and his sisters inherited her hacienda. He winters down here every year and was happy to be able to have a conversation in English for a change. Anyway he sets us up in the local hotel and proceeds to rollout the red carpet and give us the grand tour. We go to a couple of places to eat, first it was oysters on the riverbank where they were dugout of the beds, I had mine grilled as well as some raw. We saved a little room for the next place, fresh ceviche that was made with either fish, squid, crab or shrimp. Judy had the shrimp I had the crab as we always eat half and switch no matter what we get. We also sampled the fish ceviche. George had the squid. This topped off the belly so he takes us for a ride out the back of town through mango groves and in a matter of five or ten minutes we're dippin' our toes in the Pacific. Life's a Beach ain't it?!! George is wearing the white shirt/black shorts.*

* * *The Devils Backbone Photos Start Here

* * * * * Our time in Chametla starts here

There's an old saying that guests are like fish, *after three days they begin to stink. *Besides not wanting to wear out our welcome, *we were ready to hit the road. *So with a tear in our eye we pried ourselves away from our new friends. *George and his cousins as well as all of the people in Chametla treated us like family and welcomed us back any time. Just as Cesar and Violeta did in Chihuahua. Maybe our country should rethink their portrayal of the Mexican people. I think the media has it all wrong. * The bike turned south and then east toward Guadalahara. I managed to get us into the city center at rush hour in 90*+ heat with full leathers and helmet on. An hour and a half later we squirted out the other side *and found the next closest town spelled Zapotanlejo. *Seemed like a trendy place with a lot of friendly people. *We ate some tacos from the street vendor right outside our hotel and we both agree they were the best so far. *We moved on to a town I had read about called Guanajuato. *This place looks Spanish on the outside but with all of the tunnels interconnecting under the ground it looks like a medieval city out of Europe down there, *we just haven't been able to place it. We took a funicular ride up the hill and took a bunch of photos and rode around the city panoramic road and also blasted through a bunch of tunnels so we could give you a feel for what the subterranean network of interconnecting tunnels looks like

We left Guanajuato behind and made our way to the Gulf coast to a town called *Tecolutla where we are now taking a three day break and I finally have this blog caught up to date. Monday,April 29,2013 I did a some more posin' on the way at some lake in the mountains, northwest of VeraCruz. *Call me a poser, that's what Harley Riders do isn't it!?

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