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Old 04-01-2008, 11:18 PM   #31
offroute OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiway4rider
Tried to register as "El Jefe" but someone beat me to it. So, I'll be Hiway4rider aka El Jefe.
Hey, there's only one El Jefe to us, but we'll call you by hiway4rider from here on out...
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If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going.
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Old 04-02-2008, 07:56 PM   #32
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Day Eleven - Batopilas to Creel - 177 Miles

Day Ten was going to be hard to top, but Day Eleven is right up there for me. It's precursor was a great's night sleep. Nice rooms and a great lobby for me and my sleeping bag. I even had my own toilet and shower accessible from the lobby itself! As with many of our hotels, the bike also had a secure place to sleep.



Our hotel from the street. I look forward to staying there again someday soon.


This shot of the street near our hotel is pretty representative of the town's visual character. Quite clean and picturesque.


The town is layed out along the Rio Batopilas. Hiway4Rider (formerly known in this thread as El Jefe) admires the river as we work our way along the town's main drag and on toward the steep climb out of the canyon.



Shortly after leaving town we use a bridge to cross the river and the climbing soon begins. The climb is quite steep with many hairpins. The road is also narrow in places. I find it pretty impressive that my 70 year old father had made this ride out without mishap on his trip here just a couple years previous. Hiway4Rider had also made the haul up this route previously with his wife on back. No minor accomplishment!

Even though it's the dry season the area seems much more lush than what I had expected. And unlike the night before, when we made our steep descent into the canyon, we now have daylight to enjoy the sights that surround us.


I took the time to ride this at my own pace so I could really soak it all in. Incredible.




The light doesn't do this shot justice, but it does give you and idea of the scale. The Copper Canyon area isn't just beautiful, it's huge.


Once out of the canyon the road remains interesting as it winds it's way though the pine forests toward Yoquivo. The big open pine forests of the region are seeing their share of logging activity.

Our previous day had only been a little more than 90 miles. Because of that most of us had decided to skip fueling up in Batopilas. This was definately a mistake for me. The big 990 is a thirsty beast and it soon became obvious I wasn't going to make it to the next gas. I stopped in a small village to ask around for gasolina. While walking around a gust of wind caught my bike and put it down hard. This was a bit of a bummer as I had thus far managed to make this trip without any drops. Spsjustride and Hiway4Rider had just arrived and we decided the prudent thing to do as siphon gas before I ran out.


Spsjustride did the honors. His fuel level was also low and we had to lean his bike over to get our short siphon hose deep enough into his tank.

From this point the terrain gradually gave way to high speed dirt roads that eventually led into Guachochic. Guachochic was a sizeable town, but not particularly attractive. We all topped off at a Pemex and aired our tires back up to pressures suitable for the paved ride into Creel. During lunch Loco Moto and I decide to rush our take-off. It's getting pretty late and we both think if we jump ahead we may move quickly enough to make the ride out to Divisadero for a sunset view of the canyon. We take off as our friends are finishing lunch and push it hard. The road toward Creel is paved, carries very little traffic, and end's up being a highlight ride. Twisty, big sweepers and gorgeous high mountain terrain all around. I do my best but just can't stick with Loco Moto. That guy is fast and I just don't trust my Dunlop knobbies at the speeds we're riding. Finally, I decide the prudent thing to do is just let him fly ahead. The downside is that I won't make Divisadero, the upside is that I won't end up doing something stupid. With my pace slowed I enjoy the evening light the rest of the way into Creel. Doug, Hiway4Rider and spsjustride arrive soon after. Loco Moto is the last in an hour or more later having made the cold side trip to Divisadero only to arrive out there in the dark. No worries, he's smiling as usual having enjoyed another great day in Mexico.

Tomorrow: Basaseachi Falls and more great riding to Sahuaripa.
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2007 KTM 990 Adventure
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If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going.

offroute screwed with this post 04-02-2008 at 10:10 PM
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Old 04-05-2008, 04:59 PM   #33
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more, please.....
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Old 04-05-2008, 09:21 PM   #34
Loco Moto
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Dodging bullets - Mexican jumping bean

When I was waiting for sjsjustride and Doug to get back with the black gold I got this picture of Offroute dodging bullets. I'm not sure if he was getting shot at because he was in the guys drug territory or if the guy wanted Offroute's ride or maybe he was not too happy because Offroute was on top of his ride. Anyway, good job jumping those bullets.

In the AM leaving Creel, SJSjustride, El Jeffe and Doug took off from the hotel before Offroute and I were ready. We really had no idea which direction they went so I went off exploring a little before Offroute. After about ten minutes or so I ran into the rest of the group. Shortly after that Offroute comes limping in with a flat. We had been saying all along that the inevitable flat needed to happen. Who would get it? This shot is of Offroute changing the flat while SJSjustride and el Jeffe look on. El Jeffe looks a little puzzeled. Do you think he has ever had a flat?
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Old 04-05-2008, 09:22 PM   #35
Loco Moto
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Offroute's flat

Offroute's flat
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Old 04-05-2008, 09:46 PM   #36
Loco Moto
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Thoughts of the trip

This photo is off a spot where I took a nap on the Urique river. We got to Urique early so I had a rare opportunity to relax with a stunning view. At this spot on the river I thought I was a long ways from anywhere or anyone. After a short bit I woke to see a Tarahumara indian woman kneeling down in the water right near me. She was filling a bottle for drinking water. As quietly as she came she left. I fell back asleep and was woken a short while later by a curious cow wondering why I was in his space. This cow got VERY friendly.

We did a lot of riding and really did not stop much to take in the vistas, people and lifestyles. This is one thing I wish we did more of. However, everyone was very into riding so there really is no complaint there.

Prior to this trip, I spent some time on different web sites fantasizing about a trip like this. I probably would not have ventured off on my own to do it but with the enthusiasm of Offroute I said "gotta go". The next hurdle was the wifey. I am sure this is a common issue with many people. With the calm sensibility (yeah right) of Offroute and his ever handy Spotme she gave the OK. Running out of room, more in next post....
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Old 04-05-2008, 09:53 PM   #37
Loco Moto
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More thoughts

Once we returned from the trip it really was no big deal for "wifey". However, in the short time we where gone, I relaxed completly, had a great time riding, met some new friends and experienced some new things. DO IT NOW.

This shot of the swinging bridge is on the Urique river. I was tring to explore a rough dirt route to Batopilas. Everyone I spoke to said it was not possible on the motorcycle - only a walking trail. The swinging bridge does not get you there apparently. Has anyone ever done this.
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Old 04-06-2008, 04:27 PM   #38
offroute OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loco Moto
We did a lot of riding and really did not stop much to take in the vistas, people and lifestyles. This is one thing I wish we did more of. However, everyone was very into riding so there really is no complaint there.
I agree. Better tell the wifey that next time it's gonna take three weeks instead of two... That means she's gonna have to make a triple batch of those brownies before we leave.
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If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going.
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:28 PM   #39
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Day Twelve - Creek to Sahuaripa - 263 Miles

Can't correct header above. Should be Creel to Sahuaripa...

Our late arrival in Creel the night before didn't really allow time for getting familiar with the town. My impression is really limited to our short walks for dinner and then breakfast. A busy place, full of tourists - many, many americans and euros. I can't say I was sorry to get on the road early.

I discovered my front flat soon after I began to roll from the motel. This was our only flat of the trip.



It's nice to have help and with the bead already broken we had the tire off quickly. The culprit - a thorn. Slapped in a new tube and we were on the road without too much delay.


We rode north and were back in the dirt somewhere around San Juanito. There was a bit of construction going on during the first part of the ride. It seems pavement will soon come to that stretch. I imagine this section could get quite cool as the elevation reaches nearly 9000 feet before starting the gradual descent toward Basaseachi Falls.


I'd love to come back to this area, set up a camp, and do some out and back exploring. Next time...


Basaseachi Falls in the dry season. From here our route was nearly all paved. We fueled up and got a great lunch in the town of Basaseachi. The road after that was OUTSTANDING. Great mountain twisties with little traffic. I got out in front and despite my best efforts couldn't come close to shaking Spsjustride. This was nothing but fun, but I was pushing it a little too hard. Finally, after overshooting a corner, I came to my senses and headed toward the back of the pack. I look forward to seeing the section of Hwy 16 again.

Some distance after Yecora we made our turn north on 117. This route followed a broad river valley with the higher peaks just to our east. The sun was getting lower and the light was beautiful. Another great road.


We made a short stop in Arivechi. This town had a great little plaza - lots of trees, benches, and a great little gazebo-type structure with a dome of stained glass.


From Arivechi we pushed on to Sahuaripa and got ourselves rooms for the night. Hiway4Rider and Spsjustride had been here before and knew of a restaurant with real character - log cabin style building, dirt floor, sans front door. Dinner for five, seconds, thirds and fourths - 130 pesos total!



Tomorrow: Back to the Ruta de la Misiones and the run for the border.
__________________
2007 KTM 990 Adventure
2008 KTM 450 EXC-R
2005 Honda Elite (just because)

If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going.

offroute screwed with this post 04-07-2008 at 09:42 PM
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:12 PM   #40
Loco Moto
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El Sinko Cinco

Well, as I said in my previous post, I probably would not have done a trip like this solo. So, I must say thanks to Offroute for getting me motivated.
Everyone had an important part in this trip. Hiway4rider, AKA El Jeffe, was our Mexican connection with all his previous Mexi experience and his ability to navigate directly to food and hotels. Also, can't forget his silver tongue spanish. Sjsjustride was my fellow GS rider and general guy to keep up with. He also had the optional (don't ever make it optional) GS tools needed for the fix after the el sinko. He also donated his best pair of undies for the airbox clean out. Doug was the master mechanic on the trip. Without him diagnosing the problem in the river as a hydolock there could have been 5 heart attacks trying to jump start the GS that never would have fired. He also diagnosed the secondary problem - oil blow back and a clogged air filter. I would still be there trying to figure that one out! And then there is Offroute who was always the one at the end of the day with the least dust on his face. Why? He was the one with all the routing info on his GPS so the rest of us were just trusting followers. "You either make dust or you eat dust." I also have to say thanks to Offroute for putting together such a great thread here and letting us all re-live a great trip. I only hope we get to do many more. Hasta manana
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:04 AM   #41
offroute OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loco Moto
I only hope we get to do many more. Hasta manana
I opened the garage door this morning to find both the 990 and 610 facing eastward in anticipation...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loco Moto
And then there is Offroute who was always the one at the end of the day with the least dust on his face. Why? He was the one with all the routing info on his GPS so the rest of us were just trusting followers. "You either make dust or you eat dust."
He with tracks eats less dust, but the problem is you feel like you've gotta push it when you're out in front - leaving you less time to take pics and enjoy the scenery. Trail boss is ready to pass the torch next time around.
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2008 KTM 450 EXC-R
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If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going.
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:47 AM   #42
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Day Thirteen - Sahuaripa to Green Valley, AZ - 326 Miles

Today it started to hit me. We're going home. As usual, I went into my normal "going home" mode - getting in the back of the pack and doing my best to absorb the countryside as if I was out there alone. Not a lot of pictures on this day.

We started the day with another typical breakfast. This time just down the street from our motel in what appeared to be a woman's house. Hiway4rider had it all scoped out as usual. We then saddled up and headed north out of town, passing through a military checkpoint just on the outskirts.

Pavement soon turned to dirt in spots and I couldn't help stopping to get a picture of this road sign.



Trailing behind, it was at this point that I lost track of my posse. Oh well, miles to ride in beautiful country. Perfect weather. Absolutely no traffic. Mexico at its best. I knew I'd catch up with them in the next town.

And I did. But somehow I had managed to get ahead of them at some bridge construction. I waited in Tepache knowing that our plan was to always meet in a town plaza if we got separated. I made a circuit of the plaza but no joy. So I headed back out to the town entrance and waited, still melancholy about the trip ending. They were there in minutes.



Loco Moto runs on enthusiasm and goo. Goo is a packet of paste - sort of a candy bar - that masquerades as some kind of athletic power bar alternative. Loco Moto's favorite - Chocolate Outrage. This pic above shows what happens when Loco Moto runs out of goo. No problem, I had extras. Gave him a hit and we were soon on our way.

Our route continued up 117 until we reached Moctezuma. From there we made a jog westward to catch the Ruta de La Misiones which runs north toward Cananea. One more military checkpoint and we were soon in Baviacora hungry. Hiway4rider had it all worked out. Yep, the hot dog lady would get our business this time.

All I can say is yum.

We were now at a bit of a crossroads. It was early in the day and not may miles to the last desirable place to stay. We were either gonna sit around in a place where we'd already been, or work to find some interesting riding to consume the day. Loco Moto and I came up with another plan and presented it:

"We don't know what you're doing, but we're doing this"

And so we made the decision to proceed north and then depart from our original route and see new ground - riding west on 54 to Magdalena. From there we'd head to Nogales, cross the border and be in Green Valley by nightfall. This was a great decision as the riding to Magdalena was superb. Paved, and I think we only saw one truck along the entire route.

From Magdalena we made our dash to the border. Loco Moto had it in his head to buy some tequila before crossing, but this turned out to be a bit of a bust as the prices were really no better than what we could find at Costco back home. The biggest downside is that the traffic in Nogales was crazy and I felt very vunerable. With great care we made it to the crossing, waited in line, waited in line, waited in line, and then finally made it across. When I finally made it to the customs agent, he said simply "Next time go around all of these cars and head to the front of the line. Otherwise, you will likely get creamed."

Green Valley was less than 45 minutes away. Another night in Bill and Irene's great little casita.

Tomorrow: the ride through Sedona to Williams.
__________________
2007 KTM 990 Adventure
2008 KTM 450 EXC-R
2005 Honda Elite (just because)

If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going.

offroute screwed with this post 04-21-2008 at 11:25 AM
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:20 AM   #43
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Day Fourteen - Green Valley, AZ to Williams AZ - 325 Miles

Back in the USA. Freeways, Tucson traffic, Phoenix traffic. Pretty darn boring.

We set our sites on Sedona and a ride through Oak Creek Canyon. Hadn't been there in years and I must say Sedona has grown for the worse. Oak Creek Canyon was pretty, but being back in a line of cars was something we had not experienced (other than Nogales) in the past couple of weeks.


A rare moment for Loco Moto in Oak Creek Canyon where he is not 20 feet behind an RV...


The canyon is beautiful. This shot is looking down canyon from the uphill Flagstaff end.

We called it a night in Williams, just west of Flagstaff. Here we enjoyed a prime rib dinner then walked downtown for adult beverages. Allejandro was our bartender. He kept us entertained with stories of crossing the border using coyotes and such. A great guy. He also put forth a sampling of tequila. Our goal, to determine the best. Eighty some dollars later we were out of there. My favorite - Don Julio Anejo. I think...


Loco Moto finds it interesting he has somehow escaped the custody of a Police Department named after me.


And luckily, after a half dozen shots, he is unable to get my bike off the centerstand to show me his stunt riding prowess. If his wife could only see him now....

Tomorrow: Grand Canyon, Vermillion Cliffs, and maybe Zion...
__________________
2007 KTM 990 Adventure
2008 KTM 450 EXC-R
2005 Honda Elite (just because)

If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going.

offroute screwed with this post 04-21-2008 at 11:26 AM
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Old 04-21-2008, 01:43 PM   #44
offroute OP
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Day Fifteen - Williams, AZ to Caliente, NV - 445 Miles

Surprisingly, last nights tequila tasting didn't really affect me this morning. So after a good breakfast it was back on the road to see another big canyon - The Grand Canyon. The other good thing was that other than a very short stint on freeway near St George, the rest of our trip would be on lonelier two-lane highway.


Heading north from Williams we quickly came across Fred Flintstone. Since my firstname is Fred, it seemed a picture was in order. From there it was a short blast to the south rim.








We didn't spend a bunch of time at the Grand Canyon. We were on our way home. A shame since I had only been there once before and had enjoyed it all immensely. A couple days would have been nice - strolling along the rim and taking in the colors of a sunrise and sunset. Oh well, next time.

Rather than backtrack down toward Williams and blast towards Vegas, we decided to take the more scenic route. We headed east along the edges of the Little Colorado and then made our northwesterly turn on to Hwy 89. This would take us to Lee's Ferry, the put-in used by rafters who are lucky enough to make the entire float through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River.



The Vermilion Cliffs come into view as you approach Lee's Ferry. These pics just don't do the colors justice. Soon you're at the Navajo Bridge with rafters floating by below.




Not sure how Loco Moto missed the sign...



The road then climbs along the base of the cliffs as it winds it's way toward the North Rim cut-off and then continues toward Zion. Our weather made a dramatic change for the worse here and we soon found ourselves being blown all over the road. As we began to let down toward Fredonia it became obvious that our intended route through Zion wouldn't be pleasant. Seeing nothing be mixed rain and snow ahead, plus ominous lightning, we decided to detour through the polygamous town of Colorado City and then St George. This allowed us to successfully skirt the weather which seemed to be pounding away in the mountains to our north. With not much to do but ride we continued on - crossing into Nevada and eventually stopping for the night in Caliente.

One more day and we'd be back to where we'd started.
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2008 KTM 450 EXC-R
2005 Honda Elite (just because)

If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going.
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Old 04-21-2008, 02:24 PM   #45
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Day Sixteen - Caliente, NV to San Andreas, CA - 516 Miles

The blast home.

We knew we'd have a long stretch without fuel. The word was that we'd find no gas in Rachel, NV and would have to make it all the way to Tonopah. Knowing how thirsty the 990 can be, and knowing we'd likely ride this section fast, I decided to carry an extra gallon on the back. This was a very good move as both Loco Moto and I had our low fuel lights on miles and miles before Tonopah. I poured in the extra gallon, but knowing it was going to be tight we decided that Loco Moto would draft for the last 50 miles or so. I'm hoping he can describe the sensation, but at 65-70 mph he had to put his front wheel within about a foot of my rear to feel the "suction" of the draft. It worked. When we arrived in Tonopah, Loco Moto had less than a tenth left and I had only slightly more.

From Tonopah it was north to Hawthorne, Yerington, Minden and then over Carson Pass and down to San Andreas. Fast and beautiful in parts, but sorry no pictures except for these:





This is what a pair of Dunlop knobbies look like after doing some 3000 miles - from Tucson through Mexico and Copper Canyon, and then back all the way to San Andreas.

The trip to Copper Canyon is one I'll never forget. The scenery, riding and companionship were all stellar. My thanks to my four friends for sharing this journey with me.
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2007 KTM 990 Adventure
2008 KTM 450 EXC-R
2005 Honda Elite (just because)

If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going.
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