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Old 11-24-2012, 08:40 PM   #16
nailit2em OP
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Location: Somewhere....I'll look for a road sign
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Originally Posted by acejones View Post
Brings back some good memories of my visit there. Couldn't read the report much. Too many run on sentences. Need to consider using more paragraphs.
What I could read was pretty good though.

Good pics !
Thanks for the input.
I have thought about cleaning my RRs up in those areas but I just start typing what happened and forget about how it looks or reads on paper sometimes. I'll work on it for the next installments.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:02 AM   #17
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Good ride RR

Thanks for the info.
I'm from the MIssouri Ozarks, hillbilly as they say.
I'm looking for trips to make from Nov thru March when I'm not working so much.
Cooper Canyon here I come!
Or just someplace south / west where its warm.
Maybe I'll see you around sometime.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:28 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Dontlickthatdog View Post
Thanks for the info.
I'm from the MIssouri Ozarks, hillbilly as they say.
I'm looking for trips to make from Nov thru March when I'm not working so much.
Cooper Canyon here I come!
Or just someplace south / west where its warm.
Maybe I'll see you around sometime.
Go for it!

I speak redneck so all is good.

It would be great to meet up sometime.
Just so happened we were in Branson two days after I got home from this trip. Then 3 days in Eureka Springs. I'd like to find some back roads for the GS down your way.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:04 PM   #19
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Another great couple of days

The morning we were going to leave for Hidalgo Del Parral was another cold morning. I still woke up early after getting a good nightís sleep to get things packed on the Harley. Julio was also up early, as normal. As we were loading the bikes we discussed waiting until it warmed up before we got on the road. It was about a 5 hour ride from Creel to Hidalgo Del Parral so there was really no hurry to leave. We could leave a little later and still be there plenty early to site see. Not to mention enjoying the ride a lot more!

As I was packing I noticed a fare amount of oil along the belt guard and swing arm of the Harley. I have had trouble with the transmission drain plug leaking for a while now so that was the first thing I checked. I was a little shocked to find that there was no oil in the transmission! I always carry a quart of oil with me when I take the Harley on a long trip because I usually need to add some to the motor oil. Especially if I ride hard for extended periods of time like I have on this trip. I almost put the entire quart of oil in the tranny to get it back to a respectable level. I left a little in the bottle in case I needed some later. The drain plug was a little loose so I tightened it after I added the oil. What surprised me was I never saw any oil on the ground under the bike anywhere I stopped since I left home. I guess the Harley is almost 10 years old with a few miles on it so a little oil leak here and there is to be expected.
The one thing I did not have to do that morning that Julio had to do was scrape the frost off of my seat. Iím not sure why but his seat had a very thick coat of frost on it but my seat was just wet. The bikes were sitting no more than five feet from each other. It must have been the difference in altitude between the seats that caused thisÖyeah thatís it.

We got loaded up pretty quick but it was still a little cold so Julio and I walked up the street and got some breakfast. Iím sorry Julio I donít remember what the tablecloth looked like exactly but it was red with some black and white stripes on it as I recall. I ordered a cafťí con leche. The cafťí came but the leche never did. Julio ordered a cup of hot tea. I also ordered some juevos rancheros. When I was finished ordering Julio said that my Spanish was improving. I told him I know how to say some of the important things likeÖfood. When the waitress brought out the toast and tortillas Julio made me move the toast and jelly away from him because itís a not allowed according to his doctor. It seems Julioís doctor knew exactly all of the things he liked to eat and told him that he could not have those things anymore!

After we finished eating breakfast Julio insisted that the waitress give him the bill (la cuenta), as did I. The waitress didnít know what to do or who to give la cuenta to. She then went to the kitchen and figured la cuenta. Julio pulled his wallet out and sat it on the table right after she left our table. My cat like reflexes kicked in and I snatched up his wallet from the table and told Julio that he didnít have his wallet now and couldnít pay la cuenta. He just pulled out his secondary wallet and asked where the police where when you needed them. Haha. I was still able to get the waitress to hand me la cuenta before Julio could grab.

After we finished the Mexican standoff over la cuenta we headed back to the hotel and met up with Luisa. While we were checking over the bikes one last time before we left the Jalisco guys came over to talk to us. A couple of them greeted me but they knew I did not speak very good Spanish and went straight to looking over my bike. I had my camera mounted on my handle bars at the time the guys were checking out my bike. They really liked how I had it mounted and thought it was a special type of camera. I didnít know how to tell them it was just a regular waterproof camera. The camera mount also doubles as my GPS mount when Iím just covering ground.

One of the guys did speak good English so we talked while the others looked my bike over. A couple of the guys also talked to Julio and Luisa. The guy I spoke with was very surprised to see a bike like mine in Mexico. He said that it didnít look like a bike that would be good on the Mexican roads. I told him that I had a GS back home but due to some last minute changes I brought the Harley. I told him it handled the roads well but the GS was a better bike for the rough roads and conditions in Mexico. I never really had any problems going anywhere I wanted to go. I just had to be extra cautious to not hit any large topes, rocks or potholes.

After we finished talking to them Luisa worked her charm to get them to take a picture of the three of us before we left. After our group picture it was time to hit the road.

Once we got out of town we went left out of the roundabout. Julio and I went the opposite direction the day before to go to Copper Canyon. The scenery was just as amazing as the day before. The road was very winding and hilly with mountains and pine trees constantly in view. With Julio riding two up I was able to keep up with him pretty well on my bike. I ride with a partner for my job so I had to constantly remind myself not to follow so close to Julio when we were taking the curves and over the hills. Iím used to riding within inches of my partner to my left or right and when we are riding in a group we ride very close together.

I was getting into the groove of taking the corners and looking at the views when Julio pulled over to the shoulder suddenly a few miles out of town. I figured he was going to show me a view of the canyon or something. When he got off his bike he told me his tire warning light had come on. He was already concerned about the rear tire because it was pretty bald. He pulled out a tire pressure gauge from his jacket and checked the air pressure. I also rotated the tire to check for any major issues with the tire. It turned out to just be the tire pressure sensor malfunctioning. That seems to be a common issue with the GS because my bike does the same thing.

We continued on a few more miles on a road that I thought couldnít get any better. I was very wrong! The road continued to be a constant serpentine. The improvements came with the introductions of the steep canyon walls above and below us. I was having a real hard time keeping my eyes on the road due to all of the amazing vistas. I was give little, well not so little, reminders every now and then that I needed to stay focused on the road. There were large rocks littering the road around every corner. There was also a spot with some large chunks of wood on a corner. Not to mention the livestock roaming freely along and in the road. I was really wishing that I had a better video camera while riding this amazing road so that I could sit in my living room and relive it in high def! We stopped a couple more times before we reached Guachochi to absorb the majesty of the canyon and the twisted road that covered over 70 miles!

We stopped in Guachochi for lunch at Los Pinos restaurant. Julio and Luisa had stopped there on the way north almost 6 months prior. This is the restaurant that Julio posted a picture on his RR with Luisa posing next to a picture of an older lady smoking a cigarette. We had originally planned to stop here for breakfast but since we delayed our start it was a good stop for lunch. I really wasnít hungry when we stopped but it was about noon.

When the waitress came to our table she was in a cheerful mood. She dropped off the menus and made a few comments to Julio then walked back to the kitchen. We waited a few minutes for her to return to take our drink order but she was busy in the kitchen. Julio tried to get her attention by speaking loudly but not yelling. When she came back to the table they were bantering back and forth a little. She was definitely in a good mood and felt frisky. When I attempted to order a Coke I made the mistake of only saying Coca. I often make this mistake when I say something in Spanish. I say the words in the order I would say them in English or in this case shorten it. I order a ďCokeĒ at home so I just said ďCocaĒ in Spanish to order my drink. Iím sure the literal translation for what I said meant I wanted some drugs! She looked at me a little funny and turned to Julio with a smile and said something in Spanish to the affect ďHe doesnít speak Spanish very well does heĒ. I could understand part of what she said so I told her in Spanish that I only spoke a little bit of Spanish. I added a smile to hopefully help me out a little. Her spunky personality definitely added to the experience of our lunch.

While looking over the menu I was undecided on what to get. Julio pointed to the menu and asked me if I knew what cabra was? I had no clue what it was. He told me it was goat. I then asked him if it was any good. He said ďI have no idea Iíve never had itĒ I laughed a little and then decided what the heck Iíll try the cabra! When the waitress came back I attempted to order the goat tacos. Instead I had ordered the goat soup. The soup was one line above the tacos on the menu. Julio knew what I was going to get and told me I had just ordered the goat soup. That went over well again with the waitress and we had another good laugh. It wouldnít have been the first time I had ordered the wrong thing or something that I had no idea what it was until it was brought to the table. When the food came out I was not disappointed. Iíd compare cabra with pulled pork in texture with just a little different taste. Iíll have it again now that I know what it is. While we were letting or lunch digest Luisa reenacted her pose with the picture with the older woman hanging on the wall. Julio and Luisa were also reminiscing about the last 6 months they have spent on the road and all of the great memories they have.

Iím sorry Julio but I do not remember what color the tablecloth was or even if there was one. The tables and chairs were a light pine color and there were only two other people in the restaurant while we ate. One of the other patrons was a man in his 40ís wearing a blue shirt and jeans. When he walked in the door near our table he looked us over pretty good before he joined a female on the other side of the restaurant. There was also a truck that drove by while we were eating that I made a comment about sounding like my Harley. Very loud and in need of a muffler! (if those last few lines seemed a little strange itís an inside joke. Iíll fill in the gap later on)

When our meal was finished we backtracked a little ways to catch Highway 23 again towards Hidalgo Del Parral. We stopped on the edge of town for a quick gas stop before we got back on the road. I needed some gas but Julio was still good. At this point we were half way to our destination. The road out of Guachochi was still lined with pine trees as well as other trees with their leaves changing colors much like back home this time of year. I hadnít realized that we were almost 10,000 feet up in elevation until Julio told me at the restaurant. As we continued the straight but rolling roads gave way to more curves and mountain views. I had taken so many videos and pictures while we were riding the battery in my camera mounted on my handlebars went dead. I went about twenty minutes before I couldnít take it anymore. I had to stop and change the battery because I was missing too many great picture opportunities. The road was a two lane road with very narrow, if any, shoulder. When I saw a good spot to stop I honked my horn at Julio and then motioned for him to pull over. After I changed the battery I snapped a few pictures while we were stopped. I also got my Iphone out and took a panoramic picture of the curve we were on. When I looked at the picture later it quickly became one of my favorite pictures on this trip.

About an hour after lunch we came across a military checkpoint at a T intersection. As we rolled towards the soldiers it appeared to me that they were motioning for us to continue through without having to stop. Julio thought the same thing and continued through. As Julio was passing the soldiers I heard a loud Alto! Evidently they did want us to stop! The man that yelled alto spoke with Julio in a stern manner about not stopping. I heard Julio telling him that his hand gestures meant to proceed through and not stop where he is from. I stopped about a car length behind Julio and I spoke with two younger guys. I greeted them with hearty Hola. They then said something to me. I was not sure what they said so I asked Passaporte Y papeles? They said Si. This is one of the ways I get by with my limited Spanish skills in Mexico. I have a good idea what they want but not always how they ask for it. I then ask them about what I think they want or at least give them something to hold and look at, passport and aduana paperwork. The two soldiers then looked at each other and laughed at me. I can only assume they were amused with my lack of lingual skills. They didnít even ask me to open my bags or look into anything. I really donít think they cared what was in my bags. They were having too much fun laughing at me. A few seconds later I was done and free to go. At another military checkpoint last year in southern Mexico I told the soldiers I was a hotel receptionist when they asked me what I did for a living. That got a good laugh as well. Itís all about the distraction techniques sometimes. I still had to wait for Julio to finish with his inspection and then we were free to go. Later Julio asked me why they asked me for my passport and I told him I had no idea what they said and just gave them something to hold and look at.

After passing through the checkpoint we were not far from Hidalgo Del Parral. When we reached the edge of the city I realize real quick it was a pretty large city. It was like many cities in Mexico and in the U. S. On the edge of the city it was very commercial. The buildings were larger industry style buildings mixed in with auto dealers. The road also turned from a narrow two lane road into a four lane road. There was another similarity to other Mexican cites I did not like. Those damn topes and how well they sneak up on you! I was following about three car lengths behind Julio when the only warning I had about the looming eye teeth jarring impact was seeing Julio hit the tope at almost highway speeds! I had just enough time for my ass to slam shut, grab a handful of front brake and apply a size 12 boot to the rear brake but still manage to not lock either one of them up! I still hit the tope well over 35 mph! I was pleasantly surprised that the Harley absorbed it very well and the frame did not split in two!
We stopped for some gas again. This time Julio needed gas but I took the opportunity to fill up as well. We also checked a map and got our bearings on how to get to the hotel. Julio said it was a little difficult navigating in this city and finding the Centro because the streets were a little confusing. He also had mentioned that the hotel we were going to stay at had indoor parking as long as I could get my Harley up and over a curb. I told him even if it was a few steps I would get my bike up them one way or another.

We only had to make one U-turn on our way to the Centro. It was also much nicer navigating traffic in the larger city with a very narrow moto and not having to worry about my panniers sticking out and catching a mirror or fender of another car. I did have to eat a little humble pie when I got passed by a 125 cc through some of the topes. There were a few differences between the guy on the 125 and myself. He was not too concerned about how fast he hit the topes, going airborne or if he bottomed out going over them.

It only took about 15 minutes to find the hotel where we were staying. The Hotel Acosta was just a block off the central plaza on Calle Barbachano. There were several una via streets downtown and the street our hotel was on was a very narrow one. We pulled over and Luisa got off and went in to check on the rooms. As she was walking in the woman behind the desk was already on her way out to open the door so we could get our bikes into the main lobby. The curb Julio told me about was not even a challenge even for the Harley. What was kind of a challenge was getting both of the bikes in the small lobby. Once we got the bikes situated we got checked in. If my memory serves me well it was 275 peso for one person and 365 for two.

The Hotel Acosta was an older hotel with a switchboard type phone system from 70 years ago behind the front desk. The furniture in the lobby was also very trendy for the 1970ís. There was a computer in the lobby with a very strong wifi signal so that was good. They only turned on the wifi when we asked and about as soon as we were out of sight they turned it off. I guess they thought it cost too much to leave it on. Another ďmodernĒ item in the lobby was the elevator. It was probably last updated 30 years ago but it did keep us from lugging our stuff up to the top floor where are rooms were. I may sound like Iím being a little critical about the hotel but just trying to paint a picture of it. Donít get me wrong the hotel was very clean and had a very nice feel to it. The woman working the desk when we arrived was very friendly as were the other people working there. There was also a very nice garden area on the top of the hotel that had a great view of the city. This was the type of hotel I was accustomed to staying at in Mexico and I felt very comfortable staying there.

We got our stuff to our room and I took time to change my shoes and pants before we took off site seeing. It was about 3pm and the silver mine, Mina La Prieta, we wanted to visit closed at 5pm. This city has a lot of history and things to see. Julio and Luisa stayed at this same hotel on the way north and visited some of the sites. There is a museum for Poncho Villa since he was killed in the city. The large silver mine we wanted to go see was not too far from the hotel. The only issue was that it was all uphill to get to the mine. To save some time and energy we walked a block down the street and got a taxi to take us up the hill to the mine. It was a short 10 minute ride but traffic was very thick as we made our way up the hill to the mine.

When we got to the mine the men at the front gate said that there were no more tours for the day. This was not good! Our main focus on getting to the city early was to see this mine. The men said we could walk up to the office and look around if we wanted. When we got to the main office Julio was able to talk the people into taking us on a tour of the mine. It helped that there was another man wanting to see the mine as well. While Julio was working his magic to get us into the mine Luisa and I were taking some pictures outside of the sculptures. I showed her some of the videos I had taken on our way to the city. Luisa also talked to the other guy waiting for the tour and found out that he was a federal agent in charge of dignitary security in Mexico. He did not seem to be the type who would do that kind of work but maybe thatís why he does it.

We had a short walk uphill to the elevator shaft that would take us 85 meters below ground into the mine. There was not much room in the elevator after the four of us plus our guide got in it. The ride down into the mine was a very dark one! I think we were all holding our breath that the elevator would get us down safely. Once we were at the bottom of elevator shaft the guide started explaining the history of the mine to us. Julio and Luisa helped translate many of the high points for me. The mine is over 400 years old and the life expectancy of a miner working the mine was very short. There were also displays depicting what a miner looked like and the tools they used over the long life of the mine. The early miners carried candles in their toes up single pole ladders. They carried a large bag on their backs to carry the rocks out of the mine. The bag was not a typical bag that I am use to seeing. It had a strap that went across their forehead with the bag hanging near their waist. Many of the early miners would carry almost 200 lbs of rock in these bags each trip out! She said that seven year old children were also used because they were small enough to get into tight places. Single mothers were employed because they would not take any chances due to not having anyone to take care of their children. When a miner got older and was unable to carry the heavy loads they could carry a lighter load out and only work a few hours a day for the same pay. There was a catch! Instead of carrying rocks and silver out of the mine they carried the piss and shit buckets from the makeshift bathrooms. I enjoyed the history lesson about the mine even if I did not understand most of what was said. The feeling I had being so far underground and experiencing the working environment of a miner was worth the trip!
When the tour of the mine shaft was over we took the same elevator back to the surface. The tour itself was not over though. We took another short walk to an area that overlooked the city near a large statue of ďSr. San JoseĒ. The tour guide gave us our last history lesson and then allowed us to continue walking around. We took a short walk up to the top of the hill where the stature was to get a better look at the city. The sun was just starting to set while we were there. The colors of the city were very vivid with the sun shining over the city as it set!

I was taking pictures with my point and shoot camera as well as my Iphone. I used the Iphone to take some panoramic photos of the city and the sun set. When I showed them to Luisa she asked how I did it. I showed her where to find the panoramic function on her phone because she was unaware that it even had that feature. A short two minute crash course on how to do it and she was taking some of her own.

Since it was getting dark we started our walk back to the hotel before it got too late. Iím not real big on being out after dark walking on side streets in an unfamiliar city in Mexico or anywhere for that matter. We walked back with our new friend who was the federal agent. While walking back he invited us to his home for a drink. We accepted his invitation but by the time we got to his home the sun had set and was completely dark outside. I was feeling a little uncomfortable about the surroundings as we walked to his house. He lived on a side street with very little lighting. I guess I was kicking into work mode being suspicious of everything.

When we got to his home it was heavily secured with steel doors that had key only locks on both sides of the door. Once we got through the first door we had to walk down several flights of stairs to get to his apartment. His apartment was nothing special but he did have beer. I sat down at his table with my back to the wall so that I had a clear view of the door and the rest of the apartment. I continued to survey the apartment much like I do when I am working, at a restaurant or anywhere for that fact. I was looking for weapons, escape routes etc. My paranoia kicked up in high gear when I saw that the door we had to go out was also a key only lock with no door handle.

The conversation Julio and Luisa had with him went very smoothly with laughter and no indication of any concerns from Julio or Luisa. I could understand some of the things they were saying but not very much. Julio and Luisa translated some of the conversation for me so that I could answer questions and join in the conversation. As the conversation went on I started to relax. This may have been because of the beer or just that the work mode was giving way to the motorcycle vacation mode again.
We were all starting to relax as we finished our first round of beers. We had been talking for about 15 minutes when our new friend offered us another round. It was getting late so we decided that we should probably head back before relaxation turned into exhausted. We thanked him for the hospitality and started back to the hotel.

As we were walking back to the hotel Julio painted a much better scenario and opinion of our new friend. I did not take away near as much from our visit as Julio and Luisa did due to my incredible Spanish speaking skills. Julio said that he was stationed in the city and was simply bored and wanted someone to talk to. He works for the federal government and travels often. He has a place in Cancun as well. The wheels were turning in Julioís head on how to talk him into using the place in Cancun when he was not there.

Iím glad Julio was leading the way back because I got a little turned around on the way to the hotel. The streets did not seem to have any pattern and just snaked through the city. Once we got close to the hotel they were a little better. The city reminded me a little of New York City. Not because of the large buildings or yellow cabs buzzing by us. It was the amount of people walking the streets shopping. The sidewalks were very narrow, typical of many Mexican cities Iíve been to. The narrow sidewalks made it a challenge not only because of the people but also the holes, chunks of concrete and light poles in our path.

The shops along the street were selling just about everything you could imagine wanted or needed. I noticed that cowboy boots were very popular and sold everywhere. They came in all shapes, sizes and colors. Julioís favorites were the ones with the narrow point that curled up almost like court jesterís boots. If you believe that one I have some ocean front property in Arizona to sell you. Hidaldo Del Parral is very well known for making boots. If I had a little more packing space on the bike I may have bought a couple of pairs.

We stopped at a couple of shops to do some window shopping along the way. The only store we actually stopped at to look for something was a book store. Julio wanted a new map of Mexico that was detailed but still small enough to pack on the bike. They did not have one that he liked. It was now time for the most important stop of the night. Dinner!

The restaurant we went to eat at was only a block away from our hotel on the same street we had ridden into the central plaza on. La Fuente restaurant was on the northwest corner of Calle 20 De Noviembre and Calle Colegio.

The door into the restaurant was a split glass door with a white frame. The door was on the corner of the building facing diagonal across the intersection of the two streets. There were four steps leading from the sidewalk up into the restaurant. The front of the restaurant had two large windows that were approximately six foot by six foot. There was a narrower window near the door that was approximately six foot tall and three feet wide. The windows allowed for a very good view of the street that we had ridden in on from inside the restaurant. The other side of the building had two large windows, similar in size to the large windows on the front of the restaurant that had a view of a Banorte. The building was made of dark brown bricks that were about 6-8 inches square.

When we walked into the restaurant there were about 10 other people eating in the restaurant. As we walked in there was a large glass display case to the right that was counter high but ran almost half the way along the wall. The display case had little knickknacks in it with the cash register sitting on top of it with the owner; Iím assuming it was the owner, sitting behind the register.

We sat at a table in the center of the restaurant but on the back side of the seating area farthest away from the windows. The chairs were chrome frame chairs with white plastic covered cushions on the seat and back. They were from the 1970ís era I believe. I sat with my back to the front windows. Luisa sat to my left and Julio directly across from me. Our waiter was a pretty big man by Mexican standards. He was about my size. I had a great view of the large red cooler that was behind Julio to see what kind of beer they had for dinner. The cooler was similar to one you would see in a convenience store with large glass doors and several shelves in it. We all had the same beer, Victoria. Julio asked for Indio first but I they not have any.

The waiter brought us our beer, basket of bread, chips, salsa and butter a few minutes after we ordered our drinks. The beer was a couple of degrees warmer than I would have liked but it was still very good. Julio again had to avoid the bread but I didnít! I was pretty hungry at this point. Luisa even noticed and commented after I finished my second or third large piece of bread and butter. The table we were sitting at was pretty small. With the three of us sitting there we did not have much room once our food arrived. The green and white striped tablecloth was almost completely covered.

I had the chicken tacos. Julio and Luisa had fried chicken with vegetables. The food was very good and filling. So was the conversation. The second round of beer was delivered shortly after we started eating our main course. The combination of the long day a full stomach and a couple of beers started to take affect before we left the restaurant. The relaxation was turning into exhaustion for me.

It was during this meal that Julio brought up my ride reports. Julio told Luisa that I put a lot of detail in my reports and that I would even put in that the tablecloth was green with white stripes in my report. Now that I have rambled on about the fine details of our dinner, building and what we ate in you know why. Julio made me do it!
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:18 PM   #20
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Location: Somewhere....I'll look for a road sign
Oddometer: 353
The fun continues...so does the stress!

While we were walking back from the mine and during dinner Julio and Luisa were talking about the ice cream they had eaten in Hidaldo on their first visit. When we were finished with dinner we walked a block down the street towards the central plaza and stopped at an ice cream place.

The ice cream looked almost like art in a freezer! There were so many colors and flavors to choose from. I don’t think I have ever seen such a display of ice cream before. Usually it’s in a round tub just sitting in rows in a freezer. Not here! It took me a few minutes to decide what I wanted. I finally decided to have the Platano con Nuez. It tasted as good as it’s name sounds!

I was also finally able to pay for something! I rushed to the end of the counter and told the cashier I wanted to pay for all three of our cups of ice cream in my best Spanish possible. Todos por favor! It was a whopping 52 peso for all three cups of ice cream! You can’t walk into an ice cream place back home and buy one thing of ice cream for that!

We enjoyed our ice cream in the central plaza area across the street from the ice cream store. Julio and I parked ourselves on a bench and relaxed a few minutes. We discussed the last couple of days and how much I had enjoyed it. When we finished our desert we went back to the hotel.

Back at the hotel Julio started to upload the pictures and videos I had taken throughout the day. Since the wifi was real strong I was able to face time my wife and girls back home. We talked for a few minutes then I turned the phone so that Julio and Luisa could talk to my youngest daughter and my wife. They had a nice chat. Luisa was finally able to meet my wife.

We had talked earlier at dinner that if my wife and Luisa ever got together at the same time Julio and I would be in big trouble! They are both very much alike and would have no problem outsmarting the both of us! I’m sure that one day we would be on a motorcycle trip and the next we would be in Hawaii before Julio and I even knew what hit us!

Julio had to figure out a password on his computer with the help of Luisa so I turned the phone around so I could see them again.

I told Nikki about the mine and the other things we had seen that day. I then told her that Julio wanted me to keep riding with them for a few more days in Mexico. I knew this would get a reaction out of my wife. Julio was still sitting very close to me when she said that Julio might find himself at the bottom of another mine if that happened! We all got a good laugh out of that. Well I think my wife was laughing.

My wife is truly amazing! She very rarely says no to me when I decide to go on crazy trips on my motorcycle. There may be some new some new rules or plans made when I get back but it’s all good! She is a little upset that she missed out on Copper Canyon with me but I’m sure we will be back again soon!

This was also November 6th, A semi important day to many people in the United States. Yeah that was a joke.

My wife gave me a few updates on the election but the elections were still in the early stages when I spoke to her. When I got off the phone with her I studied the map to make my way back to Ojinaga the next day. When I got tired of that I logged on to a few of the local news channels back home on my phone to follow the election results. It was still early and the presidential race was still very close. Many of the local races were not so close. I continued to watch the coverage in the lobby but Julio had retreated to his room to finish with the pictures. When Luisa was finished with what she was doing on the computer in the lobby I took the elevator up with her to call it a night.

When I got to our floor I met Julio in the hall just outside of our rooms. He gave me my memory card back and asked if I wanted to head up to the balcony overlooking the city. We went up and checked it out.

It was a nice view overlooking the city and the statue of Sr. San Jose on the hill we had visited earlier. We did not spend much time up there but it was a nice end to a great day! It was getting to be late or at least it felt late, so we decided to turn in for the night. I was leaving in the morning to head back home. I had not really decided what time I was leaving in the morning but Julio assured me that I would be able to say good bye to Luisa before I left since she had already gone to bed.

When I went back to the room to get ready for bed I finished packing. When I got done I realized I had not locked my bike. I really shouldn’t have had to worry about it since it was in the lobby but I was. I took the stairs down from the third floor to the lobby instead of the elevator. They were very noisy and I don’t think any of them were the same height or width all the way down. When I reached the lobby the man working the desk had the TV on watching news coverage of the U.S. presidential election. It kind of took me by surprise to see it on the TV and that he was so interested in our election. I guess I really shouldn’t have been surprised about it. Julio, Luisa and I had been talking about it over the past couple of days. I asked him who the new president of the United States was. When he told me I said….. I’ll leave out my political opinion and views just so that I don’t turn this RR into a political debate. I watched the coverage a little bit more and tried to understand what the reporters were saying about the race and how the media in Mexico portrayed the election.

I’m sure that it was just as biased in Mexico as it is back in the states! Yes I will share my opinion on the media. They all suck and couldn’t get a story or their facts straight if they had to. You can also pretty much pick what you want to hear by choosing certain news channels. Fox News…CNN etc. Ok enough on that topic.

When I got back to my room the same paranoia I had about my routes and the time I needed to get to my destination on the way down returned. I got the maps out again and started looking them over. The most confusing part of the whole day was going to be getting out of Hidalgo Del Parral. The rest of the day route was pretty straight forward with only a few turns. There are some things a map will not tell you about your route though! I will definitely spend some time telling that story later.

I tried to figure out what time I needed to leave in the morning so that it would not be too cold, yet make it to Abilene, Texas at a decent time. It was going to be over a 12 hour day of riding and almost 700 miles. There was no way I was going to avoid riding in the dark but I would much rather ride in the dark in Texas than Mexico. I finally just called it a day and climbed into bed. The bed was just right for someone about six inches shorter than me.

When I got up the next morning I opened the solid door leading into my room. There was also a screen door for the room. Julio came over and saw that I was awake. The first thing he did was give me his condolences on the election results. I told him I already knew who had won because I went back downstairs after he turned in. We had a nice chat about the results and then started down to load the bike.

I was able to get all of my stuff down to the bike in one load and was getting things strapped on the bike when Julio and Luisa came down with their things. Julio did not know if they would be up in time to leave when I did but it looked like they were getting ready to leave with me. It was pretty early yet and the sun was just rising. It was a balmy 52 degrees outside so it wasn’t too bad for riding. Julio said that they were going to head to Durango that day. The road out of town for Durango was also the same road I needed to take; it split just outside of town. I would go northeast and they would go south. Once again my concerns of getting out of town were all for nothing. I had told Julio that I was a little confused about getting out of town the night before but thought I had it figured out. He made sure that I was taken care of one last time on this trip by getting up early to lead me out of town.

I was also glad that I was able to say good bye to Luisa and give her a hug before I left. She told me to give a big hug to the girls and Nikki from her when I got home. I have said it many times already but Luisa is a terrific woman. The two of them together make a great pair! I gave Julio a handshake and thanked him for a great time! I felt very grateful to have been able to share just a little bit of time on their amazing journey.

With our formal goodbyes out of the way we started to roll the bikes out of the lobby. Julio asked me if I was going to start up the Harley inside the hotel lobby in a joking manner. I really didn’t think the other guests would have appreciated that! They probably didn’t appreciate me firing it up just outside the front door either. When Luisa got on with Julio we took off.

When we left the hotel we took a right and then another right to go around the block. We rode past the apartment of our amigo we had a beer with the night before and then came back out at the Central Plaza. I was feeling pretty good that I knew where we were going until we got to the central plaza. When we got there I would have gone right, back out the way we came in. Julio took a left. Julio has never misled me before so I followed. We passed some older buildings that looked like they would have been nice to see, next time! You always have to have a reason to come back to places like this! We then rode across a bridge that was over a main highway and through a roundabout. Just past the roundabout Julio pulled into a gas station and asked the attendant for directions for both of us.

He told Julio that I needed to go back to the roundabout and take a right and go past the Wal-Mart then get on the highway. It was the only highway out of town and would take me to Jose’ Mariano Jimenez. Julio and Luisa stayed on the street we were on to catch the highway to Durango. One last wave goodbye and we were now on separate paths again.

The road to Jose’ Mariano Jimenez was well marked with road signs. It was also very smooth and flat! I did not waste any time on this road. I may have mistaken the 100kph signs for 100mph signs a few times. Before I knew it I was in Jimenez. It was only 50 miles down the road.

I had to cut south a little ways to get across a river and then take the highway on the east side of the river instead of taking the quota north towards Chihuahua. It was another 200 miles to go to the boarder so I decided to wait to get gas to ensure I would make it. This was a good idea and a bad idea all wrapped into one.

I continued north until I had to turn right onto highway 18. As I rode north I passed through several small towns but there were no gas stations in any of them. There were plenty of those damn topes though. At of the topes there was a man in a wheelchair holding a cup out. The man’s legs were both missing. The truck in front of me paused a few seconds and then tossed a few coins in his cup. A few miles later I reached the final turn that would put me on the road to Ojinaga.

I had gone a 100 miles on the tank of gas at this point. I continued to look for a gas station but there were none. I still had about 75 miles left on this tank. I figured that there would be one within the next 75 miles so I wasn’t too concerned. I knew now that when I found a gas station I would make it to the border without having to stop again.

This road was straight and pretty much flat. I rode about 80 mph for the most part and was still not too concerned about not seeing a gas station yet. When I got to the 140 mile mark on my tank there was still absolutely nothing in sight, not even a house! I started to get a little worried about my gas situation at this ponit. The stress was starting to kick in a little. I kept going because at this point it was too far back to the last gas station I had seen.

I then vaguely remembered reading about a road in an ADV RR leading out of Ojinaga. I didn’t pay much attention to it when I read about it because it was not a road I was going to be taking according to my original plan. Remember how I started this ride report talking about plans? Yeah they changed…again!

The RR warned that if your bike cannot go more than 150 miles on a tank of gas don’t take that road! Well, it looked like I was on that very road!

When I reached the 150 mile mark on my tank of gas I passed a sign that said Ojinaga was 135 K away. I knew at that point I was screwed! I started to think of ways I could get my bike to gas or get some gas to my bike. The only problem was that I was out in the middle of nowhere! I had seen a few cars and trucks on this road but they were few and far between.
I noticed that the ditches were shallow so I could have easily loaded my bike into a truck if one stopped when I ran out of gas. There were a few ranches that I had passed on this road that may have had gas. I also thought about maybe siphoning gas out of a car. All kinds of crap went through my mind trying to figure out how I was going to get myself out of this one.

At about the 160 mile mark on my tank of gas I passed by a cluster of small houses on the left side of the road. In front of one of a small building there was an old, faded sign wired to a chain link fence that read “Gasolina Aceite Refescos Agua” Next to that sign was a smaller one that said Abierto. I was still moving right along at about 80 mph when I passed the sign. I had just enough time to look at the buildings to see if there were any signs of a gas station and decide if I wanted to stop or if the sign was just being used as part of the fence.

A few seconds later I got a definite response from my bike that I needed to go back and check it out. At the 162 mile mark on my tank the bike died and I had to switch over to reserve! I made a U-turn, no need to wait for traffic because there was none! I stopped in front of the sign but there was nothing in the small buuilding where the sign was. I then saw a man carrying a cooler towards the small building I was parked in front of. I thought to myself this is a good sign that he is bringing a cooler out since the sign said Refescos.

When he got closer I said “Hola tiene Gasolina” he then pointed me down a dirt road towards a couple of houses. I rode a little ways and pulled into the drive way of the first house I came to. I got off and yelled Hola a few times but no one came out. I then saw a small sign on an old tin shed on back behind the first house that said “Gasolina agui” I got a little bit excited that I had actually stumbled across a place selling gas in the middle of nowhere!

That takes me back to what I said earlier about not stopping when I had only 50 miles on my tank being a good thing and a bad thing. It was a bad thing because there were no more gas stations between there and Ojinaga. It was a good thing I had not stopped because my bike would not have ran out of gas just after I passed that sign and I probably would have kept on going.

I rode on back to the shed with the sign on it. It wasn’t like I could sneak up on anyone riding the Harley. I had only taken a few steps towards the house when an older woman came out. I greeted her and told her I needed gasoline, in my limited Spanish of course. She took me to the shed where I saw several five gallon plastic cans filled with gas just inside the door.

I was really feeling good about my situation now. I tried to tell her how much I needed with very little success. I wasn’t even worried about how much it was going to cost me either. Finally I pointed on the side of the gas can and moved my finger along the can about half way down indicating how much I needed. The next thing she did erased every good feeling I had about finding this gas!

She picked up the gas can then picked up a dirty five gallon bucket that was sitting just inside the door. She turned the bucket upside down and banged on it to knock some of the dirt out of it. She then started pouring gas into the bucket that still had dirt and rocks in it. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! The gas was now ruined as far as I was concerned. I told her to stop a couple of times, Alto Alto, I said. She stopped and then started to pick up the five gallon bucket. I quickly grabbed the gas can. I then motioned to her that I would take the gas can out. She then grabbed an old metal funnel and we walked out to the bike. The funnel she grabbed was not going to work. It was way too big and had a funny bend in it that would not fit in my tank opening. She went back and grabbed a smaller funnel and handed it to me. It was full of dust and cob webs. I wiped it out the best I could and started to pour the gas in.

I had a good idea about how far it was to Ojinaga. If that was the next place to get gas I would need about 2.5 gallons to make it there. I poured until I thought I had put about that much in but I still wanted to leave a plenty of gas in the bottom of the plastic gas can in case there was dirt and crap that had settled to the bottom. When I finished the woman took the gas can back to the shed and dumped the gas she had poured into the dirty bucket back into the gas can I had just used. That really made me concerned about the gas I just put in my Harley!

Now it was time to find out how much this gas was going to cost me. She told me in Spanish 120 peso and I asked her to confirm what she said using a calculator because I thought I had heard her wrong. Nope! I heard her correctly. She charged me almost $6 a gallon for the gas. When you need it you need it! It was a classic example of supply and demand. I thanked her and hopped back on the Harley and took off down the road again.

Everything was going well now. The stress was almost gone and my concerns of running out of gas were almost diminished.

I continued down the road at a steady pace of about 75 mph. The road was still straight and very uneventful. I was going along just fine and reached the 217 mile mark on my tank. I didn’t change the odometer when I filled up like I normally do. The Harley gave me another warning that shit was about to get bad again! It died! I had to switch over to reserve again.

I guess I hadn’t put as much gas in as I thought. I was about 30 miles from Ojinaga when this happened. To the best of my knowledge I could go about 20 miles after switching over to reserve. I had never truly tested this but that was my best educated guess.

I slowed my speeds down to around 60 mph and when I had a downhill stretch I would coast as far as I could. I passed the 20 mile point since switching over from reserve and I was still going. That was a good sign! I could also see Ojinaga in the distance, another good sign! I had just crossed a long flat spot and was starting up a hill when the Harley died again! This time I had no reserve to change over to. To add insult to injury I was at the bottom of a hill. My journey for gas was going to start with me having to push the bike UPHILL!

I slowly pulled the bike over to the shoulder so that I could get off safely to push it. The traffic on the highway had picked up considerably since I was close to Ojinaga but it was still a two lane road. My best guess was that I was about 3-4 miles from town.

I don’t think my bike even stopped rolling when a yellow bobtailed semi pulled in behind me. A guy stuck his head and half of his upper body out the passenger window and said “You neeeed a leeeft” sorry that’s the best I can do to explain his accent. No exaggeration at all! I told him “Mi moto no tiene gasoline” They pulled around to the front of me and three guys got out of the semi. I originally asked them if they had a rope to pull me into town. They didn’t have one. Our conversation was not going real well due to the language barrier so I asked them if they spoke English since the guy spoke some when he stuck his head out the window. He spoke about as much English as I did Spanish but that helped. I asked them if they could go get me some gas. They said sure.

I went to reach for my wallet that I always keep in my left breast pocket on the inside of my jacket. (If you have read my RR from last year this will sound familiar) My wallet was not there! I franticly checked my right breast pocket! Not there either! I walked over to my bike to check my tank bag. Maybe I put it there after I paid the woman for the gas. Not there! The guy could see the look on my face was not good. All I could picture was my wallet with all but one of my credit cards, my cash and license on the ground outside the woman’s house. Then I checked the last place I ever put my wallet when I’m riding, my back pocket of my jeans. It was there! I think Holy shit actually came out of my mouth at that time with a big smile! The guy got a good laugh out of that little panicked episode in my life.

I gave him 50 peso and he said he would be right back with a gallon of gas. He then jumped in the yellow semi with his friends and took off. I really didn’t know If I was ever going to see him again or any gas but If I didn’t take a chance I’d never know.

I then started to push my bike up the hill. It really wasn’t too hard of a push. I then hopped on it and coasted down the hill on the other side. When the road flattened out I just walked along the side of the bike until there was another slight slope downhill. I did this for about 10-15 minutes. I think I covered about ĺ of a mile or so when another truck stopped to help me.

This truck was a regular farm truck with some hay in the back. They guy driving the truck was about my age. It looked like the other two people in the truck were his parents. I told him that my bike ran out of gas. He did not speak English so our conversation was not going real well. I then made a pulling motion with my hands to see if he had a rope so he could pull me into town. He grabbed a lariat out of his truck and tied it to his bumper and then gave me the loop end of the lariat. He thought I was going to put the loop around my handle bars like a bulls horns. I motioned to him that I was just going to hold it. He said manos, with a “are you crazy” look on his face. I didn’t hold it with the loop around my hand. I knew better than that from growing up on a farm. know it wasn’t the smartest thing to do but what the hell it wasn’t too far to town and it was flat.

I backed the bike up so that the rope was taunt. The three of them then got back into the truck. Just as he was getting ready to take off I saw this giant gorgeous yellow bobtail semi drive past me with my three best amigos ever in it! I yelled at the guy in the truck to stop “Senor alto alto” I then told him my friends had returned with gas. He took the lariat off of his bumper and rolled it back up. I thanked him for his help and he was on his way again.

By this time the best looking semi I had ever seen before in my life had made a u-turn. My new amigos got out carrying a silver Preston gallon antifreeze jug. I was so excited that when he gave me the jug and my change I didn’t have the presence of mind to tell him to keep the change. I started to pour it into my bike with a huge smile on my face. I was just about done when I tilted the jug to fast and dumped some down the side of my tank. I let out a grunt and maybe a curse word or five which got a laugh out of them. When I was done putting the gas in I thanked them and shook each of their hands.

I rode three miles to next gas station where I filled up! The odometer read 248.6 miles. So it was almost 200 miles between legitimate gas stations. That was one thing the map I was using did not tell me! Not only do I know now so do you.

This is another one of those stories I like to tell people when they tell me I’m crazy for riding in Mexico. I will add this story to my list that includes breaking a chain in Tampico. Camping on a beach on the gulf coast in narco territory and last but far from least my two good friends Mike and Julio that have helped me more than they will ever know!

This particular story took place in one of the “most dangerous places on earth”! At least that’s what the media would like you to believe! A Mexican border town. A place where the majority of what people hear about are the murders and drug wars between the cartels. These things do happen but there are more good people in this world than bad!

I hopped back on my bike and headed for the border. It took me all of 10 minutes to get my passport stamped and my TVP canceled. A quick chat with the border agent on the U.S side and I was back in the United States.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:53 PM   #21
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Now that I have rambled on about the fine details of our dinner, building and what we ate in you know why. Julio made me do it!


Yeah right , blame always the small guy
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:49 AM   #22
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Now for some pics




The beginning of our journey to Hidalgo Del Parral



The roundabout just out of Creel









Our quick stop to check the tires

Where we had been

Where we were going after our tire check



Did I mention that the road had a few curves?

Then a few canyons to look at too



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Old 11-28-2012, 09:27 AM   #23
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Very Good !!
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:52 PM   #24
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Thanks

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Very Good !!
Thank You!!
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:17 PM   #25
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More curves








This stop was pretty early in the day not far from Creel






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Old 11-28-2012, 11:23 PM   #26
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More Curves and Vistas










The last three pictures are all within a half a mile of each other. You can see why I was having a hard time keeping my eyes on the road!





Another stop to take it all in!

Where we came from...









The way we were going





I thought to myself...why is Julio on the wrong side of the road? Then I got closer

What lurks in the shadows in Mexico...

Then there is what lurks around corners in Mexico



Just some signs for reference. All of these pictures have been in order since leaving Creel.



Another sign on the left for reference to our location

Lunch!!!! Home of the "spunky" waitress
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:06 AM   #27
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Guachochi to Hidaldo Del Parral




Changing a flat tire on the trailer





Even on Motorcycles it took awhile to be able to pass this truck because the road had so many curves

My camera took care of a bug for me just before lunch. That is the spot at the top of these pictures



Of all the styles and sizes of topes I hate this kind the most! I was always afraid I was going to catch my rim on one

Not a great picture but there were a few areas that were flat but then....





Another reference sign

Mas topes!!!!! This kind of tope is not too bad. Even on the Harley









Where we stopped so I could change the battery in my camera





The last two shots now in panaramic. I really like this picture





This was some of the smoothest road we had seen in a long time!



I'm really glad we did not have to pass this guy on some of those curves!! I'm not too sure I like how high that is stacked



In the big city now! This is when the Harley had an advantage over the GS. Much skinnier!!



Inside parking!!



Yes the Harley is on the other side
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:21 AM   #28
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The Mine and...



This was while we were waiting for a cab. Our hotel is down the street on the other side of the green Ford the same direction the delivery motorcycle is going about a block



Julio going to work his magic to get us in the mine









The large wooden tower with the white box on top is the elevator shaft rigging that lowered us into the mine





Making our way to the elevator



The man in the blue shirt was our host after our visit at the mine









Five of us fit it that thing!!

Just off the elevator





A depiction of one of the early miners

Another model of a more modern miner



The short day shitty work job





A short tunnel to an overlook of the city




The Cental Plaza (Centro). Our hotel is to the right of the centro with the smaller pink sectoin on top




Back on top overlooking the city









Between the three of us we have taken one or two pictures


Back down in the city. Julio and Luisa are looking into the icecream store




We sat on one of those park benches to eat our ice cream. Very comfortable night temperature wise


The TV next to my Harley was where the guy was watching the election when I came back down.

Looking back up where we were earlier

nothing fancy but clean
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:50 AM   #29
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Bluhduh Day of stress!!!


Hauling the mail!!!!!!

Yep...still hauling the mail!! Four lane road with the 100mph speed limit

Now on two lane just past Jimenez

Mas Topes!!

You would think with topes there would be gas!!



At least he has some orange on his seat and the bag while he's sitting in the middle of the road

This place is about 100k PAST BFE!!!

The sign I saw while doing about 80mph for gas



Gas in the middle of nowhere!!


The dirty funnel and the can with who knows what in the bottom of it

This was about it for the traffic on this road


My saviors!!!

Blue dot me...Ojinaga gas!

This was after I pushed and coasted the Harley a little ways. I could see Ojinaga

What my amigos brought me gas in!

I thought about filling it up and taking it with me just in case but I didn't
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:31 AM   #30
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Good pics Lots of good memories !!!
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