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Old 11-23-2010, 06:01 PM   #31
yamafitter OP
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Day 3 - San Isidro to Lake Huites Lodge

In the morning there was enough light to see some of the mural work that the local artists had put into our cabin. My roomie Pat took this photo...



The first stop was in San Pedro, the scene of the previous night's adventure to get fuel for all the bikes...



Scott had done some work on the 530 KTM but we didn't have enough oil to get all the water out so Scott had to put the 530 back on the truck for the day. It was then back into the mountains for some more switchbacks, climbs and decents on the dirt roads of Mexico. We stopped at an overlook to check out the vistas and gather the group back together...






Chris' 990 KTM rear brake pedal was going soft the previous day and now the rear brake was completely gone. My suspicions were that the rear brake got boiled from trying to haul down such a big bike on the long decents we were doing...




Here's Paolo smiling for the camera...



One of the switchbacks with a great view of the valley below...





It was time to stop for lunch and for our mascot, Dolly the Wonder Pup to take a bio-break...



The last of the group rolling into lunch...



It was mid-afternoon when we reached the end of the road and waited for the ferry to take the bikes and support truck over to the far shore of Lake Huites...



We managed to load all the bikes, the support truck and a truck load of goats in one go...



Barak took the above photo and this photo of your truly enjoying the cruise across the lake...



Once over the the other side there was a great view of the lake from the road...



As we rolled into the Lake Huites Lodge, the staff greeted us with a tray of margaritas to wash the trail dust down...



Lake Huites is well known for its Black Bass fishing and dinner that night featured a great fish feed. We finished the night off with margaritas on the patio watching the sunset...



Here are the stats on the day...



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Old 11-23-2010, 08:52 PM   #32
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This is great! Good to see Don taking that beemer for a swim!
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:50 PM   #33
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Copper Canyon Crazies

Most excellent, loving the excellent pics. I also like that your taking pics of every day people you encounter on your trip. Your ride report is very inspiring to me, and I hope others, who worry about conditions down there. Thanks for sharing with us!

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DocAxeYarYar screwed with this post 11-26-2010 at 09:17 PM
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:20 AM   #34
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Day 3 addition

I don't know how I forgot this but I believe it was just before lunch I was following Chris on his 990 KTM on a narrow mountain road around a blind sharp bend when I saw Chris shoot to the outside of the turn. I then saw the pickup coming towards us. I took to the inside and flatten myself & the WR against the side of the mountain. The pickup was not going that fast but he didn't stop either and clipped the back of the luggage rack on Chris' KTM knocking him over. The driver looked back, laughed and drove off. Thank you!!
Given that Chris was having problems with the rear brake, been put on the ground by the military the night before and now this, he was not in the best of moods. Chris was all set to chase the clown down and open an economy sized can of whoop ass on the boy but we manged to calm Chris down. After all the bike was fine, Chris was not hurt and Ivan had promised that there would be margaritas waiting for us at the end of the day.
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Old 11-24-2010, 07:51 AM   #35
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Livin' life to the fullest... and enjoying your ride vicariously

Thanks for the detailed updates and pics
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Old 11-24-2010, 08:44 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yamafitter
I don't know how I forgot this but I believe it was just before lunch I was following Chris on his 990 KTM on a narrow mountain road around a blind sharp bend when I saw Chris shoot to the outside of the turn. I then saw the pickup coming towards us. I took to the inside and flatten myself & the WR against the side of the mountain. The pickup was not going that fast but he didn't stop either and clipped the back of the luggage rack on Chris' KTM knocking him over. The driver looked back, laughed and drove off. Thank you!!
Given that Chris was having problems with the rear brake, been put on the ground by the military the night before and now this, he was not in the best of moods. Chris was all set to chase the clown down and open an economy sized can of whoop ass on the boy but we manged to calm Chris down. After all the bike was fine, Chris was not hurt and Ivan had promised that there would be margaritas waiting for us at the end of the day.
I feel your pain close calls can be many and much closer than that. See my reference to "I saw God in the grill of an F150" in this post http://www.advrider.com/forums/showp...7&postcount=56

If your bike didn't wind up under the truck it wasn't really all that close
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Old 11-24-2010, 10:54 AM   #37
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Ah, man... This is good stuff!
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Old 11-24-2010, 11:04 AM   #38
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Great ride. We rode down to Batopilas from Samachique 3 years ago. I've always wanted to go back on smaller bikes and ride the tougher roads out the other side and if I was lucky, over to Baja copying Paochow's route. Loving this report. Great job!!!!
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Old 11-24-2010, 11:46 AM   #39
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Day 4 - Rest Day

We were awake early enough to catch the sunrise over the mountain behind the lodge lighting up the mountains on the other side of the lake...



Since this would be a rest day some of us took the opportunity to rinse some of the Mexican dust off our riding gear while our mascot, Dolly the Wonder Pup looked on...



After breakfast it was time to do a little maintenance on the bikes. First we had to rinse off all the dust to find the bike...



Then it was time to change air filters and clean, adjust and lube the chain. Scott had more work to do on the 530 KTM. He wirked on making a more permenent repair to the gas tank and do a few more oil changes to get all the water out of the crankcase of his thumper...



Chris worked on the other KTM in the group trying to bleed the rear brake and put some back end stopping power back into the big KTM.
A group of us having completed our chores took the opportunity to go with Ivan into the town of Choix. Barak, Paolo and Pat rode their bikes but I had just finished washing my riding gear and didn't have a thing to wear. Plus I wanted to ride in the truck and listen to Ivan tell us about the area. Don, Joe, Phil & Ken also piled into the truck and off to town we went to gather supplies, more oil for Scott and brake fluid for Chris.
On the way into town we passed by a cemetary. Since the Day of the Dead had just past most of the headstone were still decorated by families honouring the dead...





The roads as we got closer to Choix were improving over those we had ridden the day before...



The photo was taken through the windshield of the truck and is a little washed out but hopefully you get the idea.
First stop was to pick up some cervesas and since it was getting close to noon, Ivan took us to a hot springs he knew for a relaxing soak before heading into town...



Barak has underwater footage of Don's beer belly. Very distrubing stuff not rated for general audiences...



I took a short hike down towards the river to check out one of the longest train trestles in Mexico...



We also spotted one of the locals' home near the river...



While walking back up towards the hot springs the local cattle were making their way down to the river...



The donkies on the other hand were making whoopie ...



I gave the donkies a wide birth since I had no desire to get any closer.

As Paolo left the hot springs heading to town he had to negotiate under the volleyball net. This reminded me of an earlier time when we used to play road hockey and had to move the nets off the road to let the cars by...





Here is another home in the village...



As we drove towards the dam, we past a field of blue agave used in the making of tequila...



When riding or driving the roads of Mexico, one must be always aware of all the animals that wander the roads...



We then came to the reason that Lake Huites exists, a fairly new hydro electric dam just outside of the town of Choix...



In Ontario, Canada we refer to the distribution power lines coming from the dam as "hydro lines". Russ the hillbilly in the group (he is from Arkansas) couldn't understand this since he didn't think there was any water flowing in the lines. What a Goober.

We parked the truck in the main square in town since this would make it easy for everyone to find the truck later...



I found the town's ATM machine and used my card to get some more pesos. Others in the group were carrying US cash and went into the bank to change it into pesos. Unfortunately the bank would not accept US cash due to the rampant money laundering issues. Some of the smaller shops were willing to accept US dollars but as a rule the exchange rate was poor and the larger institutions would only change very small amounts if they did it at all.
The lesson in this is carry minimal cash, have an ATM card on hand and you will be OK. I spent at most 100 pesos on gas a day and less than 100 pesos on lunch. The bar tab was also pretty cheap by Toronto standards.
Since this is supposed to be a ride report I thought I should take a few photos of two wheeled transport in town...





We were looking for a pharmacy to pick up a few pills for some of the boys that were feeling slightly off and I snapped a photo of some locals...



Ivan took us to a local restaurant in town for lunch. We walked by the town clocktower on the way...



Barak climbed the tower to get some photos and while at the top dropped his polerizing filter for his Canon DSLR. It landed in the flowerbed and survived without a scratch. Canon makes good gear but I still like my Nikon D300 DSLR.

Lunch was slow due to a tiny kitchen but I'm retired so I have the time and was in no rush. The food was worth the wait. It was getting time to head back to the lodge and as we passed out of town a few of the locals were at the local car wash...



When we turned off the main highway we came around a turn on the dirt road and was confronted with a burned out hulk of a pickup that had not been there when we came into town. I will post photos of it the next morning in my next post. It's too bad I don't have a before and after shot.
As soon as you leave the larger towns the proverty of the area is very apparent...



Though sometimes you will see a sattilite dish hanging from the side of a home like this.

When we got back Chris had the brakes working again on the 990 Adventure and after flushing the crankcase with diesel fuel and a few oil changes, Scott had the 530 ready to go. Maybe the "K" in KTM doesn't stand for "Krap" afterall.

Next Post - We head for the coast.
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Old 11-24-2010, 04:36 PM   #40
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Day 5 - Lake Huites to Huatabampito

For some reason that escapes me I woke up in the middle of the night. Since I was up I thought it would be good to try and capture the night sky at Lake Huites...



The star gazing was amazing...



I then went back to bed to rest up for the longest ride of the trip.
After breakfast and the usual riders' briefing the first challange was to get out of the driveway. The driveway was steep with deep ruts and some loose sandy spots. Chris didn't have quite enough momentum and toppled the 990 KTM. It was pretty funny.
I made it without any issues and then waited... and waited ... finally some of the others finally made it up and onto the road. Scott of course had no issues and started off down the road without the others. I should mention that Scott was our ADD poster child on this trip.
Near the end of the dirt road we came upon the burnt out pickup that we had seen the afternoon before. The locals had also found it and were in the process of helping themselves to the good bits. Scott thought he should supervise...





We then continued onto the town of Choix to gas up and then headed down the pavement to El Fuerte. We stopped at the old fort and when exploring while Sheely went to exchange some money and Ivan went to buy some box lunches for later on...



When we stopped I could smell something burning and then I saw smoke coming from under the seat of my Yamaha. At first I thought I had an electrical short and was in a panic to get the seat off but then I realized I could smell antifreeze and after a closer look I found that the overflow line from the rad to the coolent tank had touched the exhaust and had burnt through and antifreeze was leaking onto the exhaust. Not a big deal. A little tape and a zip-ty fixed the problem and we went to explore the fort...



The view of the town from the top of the walls of the fort...



The fort also had a commanding view of the river...



The gardens in the fort were nicely maintained...



There were also some displays as part of the fort...



Don & Ken had found a shady spot and were resting up...



In the meantime this hard working Mexican was hauling sand up to the fort for some work that was going on...



Scott being ever so unrestful took a few loads up to help out.
It was time to get back on the bikes and head back onto the gravel / dirt roads heading towards the coast. About halfway across we found a nice shady tree and stopped for lunch...



Shelly took the opportunity to teach Dolly the Wonder Pup to drink out of a bottle...



Next step - cervesa!!!
Note the trials tire on Shelly's bike.
Soon we were back on pavement and shortly there after we pulled into the bar at Huatabampito. MotoDiscovery had booked a couple of beach houses and while the staff was getting those squared away a couple of us took the bikes out on the beach and played. Here is a link to a video of Scott mucking about...



The shrimp that night at dinner were huge...




The entire meal was excellent. After the meal the rest of the group retired back to the beach houses to drink MY cervesa. Ivan and I stayed at the bar and watched the Manny Pacquiao / "Tijuana Tornado" Antonio Margarito title fight on TV from the Jerry Jones Palace in Dallas TX.
At first TV reception was not good so the owner climbed up on the roof and using his cellphone called down to Ivan on his cellphone and manually turned the antenna until we got a better signal. Remember - This is Mexico afterall.
After the fight (Pacquiao dominated the fight with tremendous hand speed) it was after mid-night and when I went to get into the house and found myself locked out. Not only did they drink my cervesa, they also locked me out. Not a very friendly group!!! After banging on the door and then climbing through a barb wire fence to get onto the beach I was able to get into the back entrance and climb into bed.

Here are the stats on the day...





Next Post - Alamos
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Old 11-24-2010, 06:32 PM   #41
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Not riding the switchbacks down into Urique at night was a good decision. We should have been so wise. I suggested camping at the Urique river that night, after we had similiarily drowned out a couple of the bikes in the river and it was starting to get dark by the time we got going. We took a wrong turn trying to get into Urique and it was 1:30 in the morning by the time we got there. Luckily one of the local policia helped us out by waking up one of the motel proprietors and getting us a room.

We should have been happy just to get a room but what do we do? It just so happened that the proprietor also owned the store next door which had cerveza. We bought a case of cerveza and partied for a couple of more hours before turning in. Those young guys, almost killed this old man. sorry didn't mean to hijack your thread but you just brought back a lot of memories. That ferry was quite a hoot too.
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Old 11-25-2010, 04:02 AM   #42
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Great report. Thanks for taking the time to do it up.










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Old 11-25-2010, 04:16 AM   #43
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Old 11-25-2010, 05:20 AM   #44
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Great ride report, yamafitter.

Reading your report makes me want to go back and sooner rather than later.

Question:

What map set are you using to document your ride? It has a lot better road coverage than the set I had in '06.
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Old 11-25-2010, 06:01 AM   #45
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Mexico Garmin Topo Mapset

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teeds
Question:

What map set are you using to document your ride? It has a lot better road coverage than the set I had in '06.
I have the 2010 Edition of the E32 Cartografica Topo mapset.
Please be aware that the mapping did not match a number of the backroads we took on this ride. I believe this was due to the vectoring used to develop these maps but having said that I believe the latest edition of E32 is the most accurate mapset available for the Copper Canyon area.
The government and the mines are constantly building new roads in this area so everything is in flux. For example in a few years the road from Creel to Batopilas will be all paved. As an ADV Rider I feel this is almost criminal.
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