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Old 01-26-2007, 11:23 PM   #31
Gustavo OP
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Zacatecas - Chihuahua - Las Cruces

Given the long night I had just had, I decided a very light breakfast was the right thing to do. Again, I was up too early. The only thing that was open near the hotel was the Oxxo. I'm sure it's not on the short list of Gourmet Magazine, OTOH, I never had food poisoning eating there...

I decided to fill up before leaving Zacatecas, so I rode to the gas station on the outskirts of town without all the cold weather gear on, thinking
it’s a short distance, I’ll tough it out. It quickly became clear that was a mistake, and that this was going to be a cold day to ride. I left the gas station a little after 9:30, and it was still cold. Around Fresnillo, the wind picked up and it was only getting colder. Great. I decided that if I am going to be cold, I might as well keep it as short as possible and put the hammer down. That worked well for about an hour. I reached the Cuencame toll plaza and looking north it was getting darker and darker.

Is that storm all the way to Chihuahua? That’s a long way to ride in a desert rain storm. I figured that if it was going to be raining, I might as well take the highway, as it will be slow going on the libre. It started to rain almost as soon as I got past the toll booth and it rained hard, like it often does in the desert- big drops that hit you like it was hail (it was cold enough to be hail, but I didn’t see any) and it didn’t stop for about 2 hours. It wouldn’t have been that bad had the ‘Stitch not leaked . It was less than 40F most of the day, even after I crossed into Chihuahua and the rains stopped. It wasn’t warm enough to get dry, so it was wet and cold all the way home. Didn’t I come to Mexico to escape this kind of weather? Where do I claim my refund?


It took a hot shower and lots of hot fluids to get me to defrost from this ride. Now, there was one more ride to take, to get the bike back to NM, where it will stay for now. I was just hoping the weather will be a little nicer for the weekend, I have a plane to catch, postponing the ride is not an option.


Saturday dawned with clear blue skies. That was good. But it was also pretty chilly, not much above freezing . I had a date with a SouthWest flight, so waiting for the day to warm up was not a real option. Off I went. It was indeed a chilly ride, the Heat-Troller again cranked to the max. Using the same logic that got me to Chihuahua in record time earlier in the week, I figured if it was going to be cold, might as well keep it short and I put the hammer down.



Like the deserts miss the rains...




I got pulled over by the army checkpoint near Samalayuca. I was chatting with the soldier that inspected my luggage he mentioned that he had heard it was snowing in El Paso. Great.


As I was nearing the border, it started to drizzle. Soon the drizzle turned to wet, fluffy, snow, that luckily was not sticking.


Waiting, and waiting and waiting...




It took me longer to get across the US border than it took to get the tourist and temporary import permit to go into Mexico three weeks earlier. In the process I learned from the Immigration Officer that riding a motorcycle from Portland around Mexico is very dangerous . After a long and almost unbelievable exchange which I can not repeat here (I can hear the black helicopters already ) was over, I was finally on my way to Las Cruces.



What a fantastic four weeks . I rode through what seemed like four different seasons, countless different landscapes (not to mention roads ) and had a great New Year’s celebration with friends I don’t get to see very often. What more can you ask for?




Gustavo

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Old 01-27-2007, 12:13 AM   #32
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Great report! Our old J-24 sailboat is still in Valle. A beautiful place.

I am curious, but not surprised about your border exchange. A sad state of affairs.
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Old 01-27-2007, 12:23 AM   #33
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Awesome report. I am full of envy. It looks like you found everything but the girl.
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Old 01-27-2007, 09:18 PM   #34
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excellent report. I've been on a few of those roads. Few people know just how much fun the paved roads of that part of Mexico can be.
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Old 01-27-2007, 11:11 PM   #35
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Absolutely brilliant. Thanks!
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Old 01-28-2007, 01:18 PM   #36
rokklym
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Excellent report! Sure sounds like a great trip, I had the Guia Roji out, making mental notes of places. Thanks for sharing your story!
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:39 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokklym
Excellent report! Sure sounds like a great trip, I had the Guia Roji out, making mental notes of places. Thanks for sharing your story!
Thanks.

Those who read Outer Darkness for tips on Mexico (and destinations further south) have probably seen me recommend against this type of ride. I had a very ambitious schedule that led to very long days in the saddle with few opportunities to stop and see things. Since I was riding by myself I made much better time than if I was riding with a group. I had a limited amount of time (work, family, etc. Yeah, I know, I'm not the only one that has other commitments), but even though I had been through many of those places before, there were plenty of places I would have liked to be able to stop and explore more.

I think a trip like Lone Rider is doing now or the one we did last year is a much better way to see a country. If I only had more time...


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Old 01-30-2007, 02:41 PM   #38
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Thanks for a great report and pics!! It almost felt we were there along with you!!
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:01 PM   #39
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An absolutely superb ride report and the pictures are awesome. You really captured the essence of the places that you visited. I felt like I was riding along with you. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-25-2007, 12:04 AM   #40
Gustavo OP
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Maps

I got a few questions about the details of the route. Unfortunately, this is the best MS Streets and Trips can do since they often do not have enough detail of minor roads in Mexico to follow the actual route.

Portland - Las Cruces:



Northern section:



Southern section:



Hope this helps some people with their planning.

Gustavo
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Old 02-25-2007, 05:09 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustavo
...
It's all fun and games until you run into one of these guys at the worng moment:
Running the twisties one handed, while taking pictures of lane-sharing big-rigs coming at you.
Bravery or CRAZY?!?

Thanks for the pictures & report Gustavo. Hey, did Tony make it home with his new toy? Tell him to post some pictures around here!

Catfish ...
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Old 02-25-2007, 10:52 PM   #42
Johnny Drunkard
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Great report Gustavo!



Now I need to go find your others...
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Old 02-26-2007, 06:56 AM   #43
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Outstanding

Excellent report.
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Old 02-26-2007, 09:54 PM   #44
Gustavo OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catfish
Running the twisties one handed, while taking pictures of lane-sharing big-rigs coming at you.
Bravery or CRAZY?!?
I've never been brave, so must be...

Interesting looking at that picture, how I am moving the bike to the right edge of the road at the same time I am shooting the picture (I was surprised when I noticed that, I wasn't consciously thinking about it when I shot the picture). I guess I am not that .

Quote:
Originally Posted by catfish
Thanks for the pictures & report Gustavo. Hey, did Tony make it home with his new toy? Tell him to post some pictures around here!
Catfish ...
He did make it home with the orange beast. Even had pretty good weather all the way back to PDX. Of course, now he is out getting soaked (they don't call it the PNWet for nothing... ) trying to put some more miles on it so he can have it serviced before the trip to Mexico...

It'll just make him appreciate the nice Mexican weather more.

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Old 02-27-2007, 03:23 AM   #45
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Great report! Thanks!
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