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Old 07-04-2013, 02:03 PM   #46
Guero con moto
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Joined: Jan 2003
Location: West Texas
Oddometer: 2,825
Very nice; great first trip to Mexico.
Guero from Texas
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:36 PM   #47
Blind Warrior
Lost in the Ozone
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Joined: Oct 2009
Location: San Clemente, CA
Oddometer: 417
Nice pictures! Glad the Montezuma's Revenge was short lived.
2009 R1200GS, 2007 DRZ400, 1996 XL1200

"The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced." - Frank Zappa
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Old 07-04-2013, 03:47 PM   #48
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Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Baja Sur Mexico, Newport Beach
Oddometer: 89
Nice Ride Report ...I was in the same areas on my last two rides in Mexico... You have me thinking of another ride again south in Mainland Mexico .... JL
Don't let Fear or Common Sense Stand In Your way...
2009 KLR 650
2007 BMW 1200 GS
Back on the Ferry Riding Mexico 2012
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:54 AM   #49
charlieS OP
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: San Francisco
Oddometer: 35
Days 13-End: wrapping up

Regarding Montezuma's Revenge - it did continue through the rest of the trip, but was fairly mild (no fever). It finally subsided 6 days after arriving home, lasting nearly two weeks, which means it was either dysentery, or I was repeatedly exposed to e.coli or norwalk. *shrug*

Anyway, I did the final trip from Creel to the US border in one day, taking small remote roads all the way up.

That reminds me, you can see the exact route I took, here:

And download the gpx file: here.

Here is a preview :)

As you can see, I didn't take the most direct route home, when I entered the US. But I'm getting way ahead of myself.

What I wanted to start off saying, was, "I'm sure going to miss these signs:"

I re-entered via Douglas, AZ after negotiating the confusing roads to the US border. It was damn hot, 106˚ in that area. Apparently, I didn't get enough heat though. I buzzed up to Tuscon and stayed the night at a hotel.

It was there, I opened my top case and found an empty water bottle next to my laptop bag. I thought "WTF, I thought this was full... ohshit." The thin walled recycled plastic water bottle had cracked on the bottom, emptying the contents of the bottle into my case. At first, I thought I was safe, and that a paperback book soaked up all the water, sparing my laptop. Sure enough, the laptop felt dry. I turned it on, and it worked! For 15 minutes, anyway. Then was a faint "pop" and the smell of burning electronics, as it turned itself off. I called the SF Apple store and made an appointment for Sunday, as I'd be home by Saturday. (fast-forward: they replaced the motherboard and I/O board, and it's back to normal now :)

Anyway, having acclimated myself thoroughly to desert conditions, I decided I may as well take the scenic route home. I headed North to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon the next day.

At the main visitor center, there was a tasty looking cow elk grazing near the parking lot. I was apparently the only person to notice, as everyone else was just driving by focused on getting to the canyon.

I saw the canyon:

My bike seemed apathetic about the whole experience:

So we headed East and North, around the canyon, heading toward Utah:

It was warm:

But, pretty!

With abundant twisties and endless skies:

I made it to Fredonia, AZ and stopped for the night, at a family-run hotel, right at the turnoff to head West on HWY 389. It was tended by an old couple, and the office was their living room. They had 100+ cats running around, and the unmistakable odor of cat piss/spray was present even before entering the building. Gladly, the smell was limited to their space, and the cabin was actually quite clean and nice.

Side note: did you know the US was originally referred to as Fredonia? We were Fredonians, before we were Americans.

I ended up going North into Utah, before heading West through the middle of Nevada on routes 375/6. If you want a desolate ride.. there were signs indicating "no services, next 150 miles," and they weren't joking. The Extraterrestrial Highway, bordering a large greyed out area on the map (government access only), and area 51 among others, is the least populated area I think I've ever seen. I did see some fighter jets having fun in the sky, though.

I made it to a town called Lee Vining and stayed for the night, because I'd already ridden nearly 500 miles, and a thunderstorm was brewing. The road approaching Yosemite (and Lee Vining) from the East, however, is amazing. HWY 120. It's full of twisties and one 5+ mile stretch with huge dips in the road. Don't underestimate the fun level of large dips.

Around 6:30am I headed into Yosemite, stopped for many pictures, and finally made my way home around 3pm.


And here, I stopped to add oil (first time I've seen the oil level warning light come on!). I used 2/3 of a quart topping off, on the entire 4900 mile trip. At nearly 18K miles on this bike, I think it should stop using so much oil.. any time now..

A lot more pictures are here:*

My final parting thoughts are simply: I must do this again. Great country, great people, great food.. but two weeks is not nearly enough to scratch the surface of Mexico. Next time, I'm thinking I'll head down Baja and catch the ferry over to Mazatlan, heading South from there.

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Old 07-05-2013, 04:44 PM   #50
Dan Diego
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: San Diego, CA
Oddometer: 1,025
I enjoyed the RR and photos, Charlie.

One thing I wondered about--maybe I missed it--what caused the grief that started this ride in the first place and has it been resolved?

Nice job.
I have no interest in living a balanced life. I want a life of adventure.
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:44 PM   #51
charlieS OP
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: San Francisco
Oddometer: 35
Originally Posted by Dan Diego View Post
I enjoyed the RR and photos, Charlie.

One thing I wondered about--maybe I missed it--what caused the grief that started this ride in the first place and has it been resolved?

Nice job.

Oh, I may have overstated the instigating angst. Just a stressful few months at work with a new product launch and a long time since my last break. It's all good - I returned to work and everyone was very glad I was back :)

And in reality, the timing was just "right." The g/f is doing a family thing this summer, and we weren't planning a vacation at all. So I said "hmm, I'll go away for a few weeks too!"

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