Motorcycle Travel 48
Across Central Mexico
I said goodbye to Mazatlan.
Down to Mazatlan, Finally!
I knew I’d love Mazatlan, and finally it was the next stop. I still needed to rest and recover a bit, and would rather do it in Mazatlan than up where I was. The few hundred miles to get there was difficult with only a couple fingers to work with.
The hospital stuff isn’t much of a story. The ambulance dropped me at a small hospital in town where where I got some x-rays and was attended to by a couple doctors who didn’t seem to have much experience or training. I left with a cast on my left hand and a splint on my right and hobbled out to the street and caught a taxi. He brought me to the nearest hotel where I crashed for the night.
The next morning was fairly rough. I was incredibly sore and swollen all over. My knee, ankle, hands, and in particular my ribs were troublesome. I’ve had bruised/cracked ribs in the past so I’m used to the feeling, but that doesn’t make it any more comfortable!
I was more or less tracing the main road and hopped off sporadically when I spotted a fun dirt road. I didn’t have a map which was somewhat of an issue, but my limited fuel range was more of a concern than proper directions. I had planned on heading into Creel but the nighttime temperatures were dipping to 40 and below so I knew I’d freeze since I didn’t have any cold weather gear. Instead I hugged the ocean and continued south.
The temperature variance was huge. Scorching hot in the sun during the days, and cold as soon as it got dark. So when the sun disappears I pull off the road and make sure I’m geared up with everything I have.
I’ve heard many people recite the “Don’t drive at night in Mexico” mantra many times. I never paid much heed, partially because of my own stupidity, and if I need to be honest, my bravado as well. On this particular night I had a rude reality check.
Northern Mexico – Putting
I had an oversize Clarke gas tank overnighted to meet me at the border so I’d have more than a 90 mile range. I was thrilled when it arrived, but wasn’t sure how I was going to take it anywhere.
So I promptly got to installing it on the road outside the UPS station.
Wouldn’t you know it. The tank didn’t fit.
Heading South – Again
Before I left the US I spent a few days cruising around the deserts north of the Mexican border exploring aimlessly and pitching the tent. Most nights I set up late, it’s always dark, and I’m gone by daybreak.
Putzing Around the Mexicali Border
I got stuck on wifi for much of the day today. I was however told that Spring Mountain was worth checking out. I’ll generally have a look at anything anyone suggests. I looked at a map, spotted it, and rolled out to explore.
The only track I could put together with my map brought me through here:
Yes, that’s a tank in the background. This can’t be the only way to Spring Mountain. (more…)
Heading South – All the Way
Well, the time has come. I’m headed south again. This time, Argentina.
The bike isn’t quite ready, but I’m off anyway!
I had to squeeze in a few more minutes of home town love before I left. Leaving is always the hardest part.
Another Month on the Road, Glacier National Park
I just got home from a month on the lamb. Running up the west coast to Glacier national park in northern Montana, then back across Idaho and Nevada. Just another month living off a bike – same old same old! 😛
Bike is locked, loaded, and ready to rippp! I’m riding a 1978 Yamaha XS1100 that I picked up out in Arizona a few weeks prior to departure. My 3rd or 4th XS11 – I forget.
Crossing the Mojave Desert and Death Valley
I just made a run from LA to Vegas going out through the Mojave and Death Valley.
I planned to leave before sunrise. I was hoping to be gone at 4am, but didn’t get out until around 6:30. The extra couple hours would prove to be useful.
I mapped out a 440 mile route, almost all off road except the first 30 miles. On paper I estimated it to be around a 16 hour ride.
I hit the dirt as the sun came up.