At this point I started making quick time north. My plan was to be home by turkey-day. I didn't make it.
The road north was long and mostly eventless. This bridge crossing was fun:
The best thing about that breakfast was this bowl of fresh chili peppers. I'd not yet seen this particular type of pepper in my travels, but suddenly there were people lined up along the highway selling bags of them. They were hot, crunchy, and delicious! Recommended dosage: 1 pepper per bite of food.
I rode with a large pack of bikes for about 20 minutes. They were from Monterrey, heading for Real de Catorce for the weekend.
Saltillo is a desert city in the state of Coahuila, about 30 miles west of Monterrey.
I saw Rosalba and her new boyfriend, a dentist and former professional baseball player (!):
There is a huge desert museum in Saltillo:
...and some, uh, "interactive" exhibits:
Freshly hatched desert tortoises are cute:
Unfortunately, this is where my motorcycle trip ended. About 15 minutes after leaving Saltillo, I felt a sudden loss of power. I pulled in the clutch and the engine stalled. On the side of the road, a large amount of friction and clanking prevented the engine from turning over with either the electric or kick-starter. CRAP.
I didn't know it at the time, but it appears that Motoaltavista didn't fill the bike properly when they changed the oil. Services on the KTM LC4 are tricky; if you don't prime it correctly, you will get full oil pan and an empty frame - about half normal capacity. I'd been running the engine hard on a single quart of oil, and the big end bearing finally gave up. But all I knew at this point was that I was fucked