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Old 01-02-2014, 11:00 AM   #91
canadian chris OP
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26 December

The sound of rain wakes us up at 1am and we drift back to sleep hoping it’ll clear by morning, but when the alarm goes off at 0530, the rain is still steady but at least the roads have had plenty of time to wash free of oil deposits.

Our destination is Laredo, Texas and like yesterday, we want to get a jump on the day by leaving before the sun comes up. We load the bike and suit up raingear in the comfort of our heated garage. I pull my Icon Patrol gloves out of the top box. They leave me feeling a little Disney-fingered, but they are warm, dry and waterproof-ish.


It isn’t more than five minutes into the drive that I realize I’ve made a mistake: the rain is coming down hard, sunrise is nowhere in sight and all the usual Mexican road hazards are now masked in wind, rain and standing water. I’m doing about 60kph on the highway, slowing to 20 on curves and trying to see shreds of truck tires or potholes as I’m blinded by oncoming headlights. Seeing a Pemex up ahead, I decide to do the sensible thing and pull in there until it’s at least light enough to see the road. As luck would have it, this station has a little restaurant area and we’re both happy to get inside and warm up over coffee.


It takes another 30 minutes for the sky to lighten enough to see the road and we’re both glad we made the stop to wait. The rain is still steady but at least we can now see where we are going. Unfortunately, there aren’t any pictures today but frankly, there also wasn’t much to see because of the low cloud and constant rain.


As we crest the summit and drop down into El Chorro, visibility narrows down to about 50 feet and the temperature drops to 3C (37F). Now we really start to feel the morning’s accumulated rainsoak begin to chill. Outside of Monterrey the fog breaks and we scoot into a Pemex to pee, have a hot drink and stamp some of the cold from our bones. From Monterrey it’s a straight shot along the toll road to Laredo and we’re both looking forward to calling it a day.


The Christmas traffic is surprisingly light as we enter Nuevo Laredo and the signs directing us to where we turn in our TVIP is well marked…for Mexico. We join the line of cars and the whole TVIP process is over quick. I can see that I should have followed the ADVrider advice and not put the sticker on my windscreen. Scratching the residue off won’t be a fun job.


We hand in our TVIP, exchange our pesos for dollars and get in line to cross the International Bridge. It takes us about 90 minutes to get to the US side – and that’s with a little Mexican-style lane-splitting. Mr Customs Man wants to know where we’ve been, where we’re going and what’s in the saddlebags. Other than some trinkets, we’ve nothing to declare.


The sun is going down and I’m aiming for the strip of hotels and motels near the Walmart. We decide on Room 107 of the Motel 6 and get the heat cranked up to start drying gloves and jackets. The Laredo weather is overcast and chilly and the forecast is calling for more of the same tomorrow.


We walk on over to the Walmart to pick up long underwear for Chanda and a long-sleeved thermal shirt for me to wear under the Impact Rig. As it turns out, we won’t see double-digit temperatures again until just outside of Phoenix, so picking up the warmer underduds was a good choice.






We load up on grub and settle into our room for the night, happy to be off the bike and a little sad to have left Mexico behind.

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circling through the Canadian Rockies
2up thru Mexico
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:12 AM   #92
MrGoldfish
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You guys sure do make time on that bike scooting down the toll ways. Keep it coming.

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Old 01-02-2014, 11:35 AM   #93
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You wear me out with this 5:30 regimen....when do you sleep? Why ride in the dark anytime pm or am its dangerous either way..you have encouraged me to once again to try Mexico...All the killings have me thinking twice..How does your special lady deal with your insomnia?
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:56 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGoldfish View Post
You guys sure do make time on that bike scooting down the toll ways. Keep it coming.
thanks man! at 140kph with 2up, the ST is barely pulling 4500 rpm. She's a chubby girl to be banging around the secondary twisties but on the interstate, she's a queen

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You wear me out with this 5:30 regimen....when do you sleep? Why ride in the dark anytime pm or am its dangerous either way..you have encouraged me to once again to try Mexico...All the killings have me thinking twice..How does your special lady deal with your insomnia?
I've always been an early-to-bed/early-to-rise guy, although I'm neither healthy, wealthy nor wise because of it

As the vets in the 'Mexico Safe' thread can attest, this trip has turned out to be very ambitious considering the timeframe and mileage we'd set out to cover. For me, this trip has really driven home the point that Mexico is big and its size, coupled with its character, means that every daylight moment counts when you have serious miles to make. We were 7 days getting to Oaxaca and 8 would have been better. We're 5 days getting back to Phoenix.

We haven't encountered one sketchy Mexican this whole trip, although we've made sure to remove quick-pick temptation by keeping the bike covered each night and setting the alarm.
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2up thru Mexico
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:10 PM   #95
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27 December

The day breaks with rain and cold and we walk over to the adjacent Pancake House for breakfast. It fees a little odd to brush our teeth with tap water again.





We could have shot straight up to El Paso while staying in Mexico, but having only ever been to the eastern part of the state before, I really want to see more of west Texas. Our destination for the night is Van Horn, Texas, by way of Eagle Pass and Langtry. Although most folks don’t think of west Texas when they think about the American Civil War, Van Horn was seized by the Confederates in 1861.


There isn’t too much superslab to ride before we peel off onto Route 83. The country is wide open and the cloud over stretches away on all points of the compass. The pavement is good and traffic is light but my mind is still on tope-watch. It’ll be a few more hours before I lose the habit. North of Eagle Pass we lose most of the heavy truck traffic and see few vehicles other than motor homes.


(all roads lead to rain)




(Lake Amistad)





(everything but the kitchen sink)


We refuel in Del Rio and Sanderson and keep pushing our way out from under the raincloud. We finally break free of it in Fort Stockton and celebrate with lunch at McDonalds. The bike is filthy with west Texas dust.



(dirty girl)




(omg a tree!)


From Fort Stockton to Van horn we are back on the interstate, with it’s great pavement and unrelenting monotony. One of the very first travel books I ever read was ‘Blue Highways’, by William Least Heat Moon ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Highways ) and his distaste for interstates left an impression on me. With the ST merrily riding at 80mph, it isn’t too long before we arrive in Van Horn by 3 in the afternoon. We settle into the Econo Lodge, which has the most comfortable hotel bed either of us has ever experienced. I wash the worst of the crud off the bike, we dry gear in the Texas sunshine and after the sun sets, we enjoy a hearty dinner at the Van Horn Cattle Company Restaurant






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day trip to Bamfield
circling through the Canadian Rockies
2up thru Mexico
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:03 PM   #96
yatman
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sweet report

....the ride report is great CanadianChris....we all want more...Chanda, we're looking forward to meeting you before too long

y@&Marlene
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Old 01-02-2014, 06:35 PM   #97
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Nice trip !
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:41 PM   #98
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damn that was one hell of a loop.
i'm sure next time you'll give yourself atleast 1 to 3 more weeks...and don't miss stopping in Chacala & Sayulita!
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:55 AM   #99
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Excellent

Excellent RR

You sure covered a lot of ground in a short time. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this as I wait to fly from the Great White North, on Sunday, to pick up my bike, which I left in Texas in November, and ride into Mexico.

All the best in the New Year!

Kedgi
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:12 AM   #100
canadian chris OP
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....the ride report is great CanadianChris....we all want more...Chanda, we're looking forward to meeting you before too long
thanks guys - I'll be flying back to BC on Sunday, so we should plan something for the following weekend!

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Nice trip !
thanks Ace - we couldn't have made it as successful as it's been without the wisdom in the 'Mexico Safe' thread!
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day trip to Bamfield
circling through the Canadian Rockies
2up thru Mexico
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:16 AM   #101
canadian chris OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eakins View Post
damn that was one hell of a loop.
i'm sure next time you'll give yourself at least 1 to 3 more weeks...and don't miss stopping in Chacala & Sayulita!
absolutely! only 4 more years til retirement and then I can say goodbye to timetables and deadlines

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Originally Posted by Kedgi View Post
Excellent RR

You sure covered a lot of ground in a short time. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this as I wait to fly from the Great White North, on Sunday, to pick up my bike, which I left in Texas in November, and ride into Mexico.

All the best in the New Year!

Kedgi
thanks Kedgi - I'm glad you've been enjoying it! I'm leaving the ST here in AZ for the winter, with the plan to do more SW riding before I bring it on back to Canada.

All the best on your upcoming trip!
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day trip to Bamfield
circling through the Canadian Rockies
2up thru Mexico
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:22 AM   #102
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28 December

We’ve less than 250 miles to go today and enjoy taking our time getting ready. It’s just a few degrees above freezing outside and we linger in Van Horn until 8am to allow the sun to warm up the air.



(frost on the windscreen)



“Don’t fence me in” plays through my head as the west Texas plains trail behind us.



After so many days and hours of open road, we are anxious to pass through the smoggy conglomeration of El Paso as quick as we can, with a brunch stop in Anthony, just south of the New Mexico border.





(la Migra)


There is one last Border Patrol checkpoint for us, just after we enter New Mexico, and then it’s empty road all the way to Truth or Consequences.


Wiki:


Originally named Hot Springs, the city changed its name to Truth or Consequences, the title of a popular NBC radio program. In 1950, Ralph Edwards, the host of the radio quiz showTruth or Consequences, announced that he would air the program from the first town that renamed itself after the show. Hot Springs won the honor. Edwards visited the town during the first weekend of May for the next fifty years. This event was called "Fiesta" and included a beauty contest, a parade, and a stage show. The city still celebrates Fiesta each year on the first weekend of May.


(now with 2 Museums!)


T or C is where Chanda’s folks live and paying them a visit is an important part of this celebration. We can only stay for the one night because of prior commitments, but they are happy to have us and we all enjoy a good family reunion.



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day trip to Bamfield
circling through the Canadian Rockies
2up thru Mexico
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:40 AM   #103
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29 December




After a big family breakfast with her folks, it’s time for the final segment: the day’s ride back to Phoenix. The air is cool and dry and the ST purrs as we pass through the town of Hatch and its Muffler Man ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muffler_Men )






(distant rain)


Deming, Lordsville and Benson come and go, as do the odd assortment of highway roadsters.





(but not today)



(traveling light)



We push on through Tucson and Pichaco and before we know it…



…we’re home




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my trip reports:
day trip to Bamfield
circling through the Canadian Rockies
2up thru Mexico
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:28 AM   #104
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dirty

"dirty girl"

ah ... but she'll never let you down

that ST1300 just goes and goes, like the Duracell bunny ..... nice fast trip !
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:42 AM   #105
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Enjoyed following along on your trip and all the best to both of you in the New Year.
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