Trip Start Jan 21, 2006
2Trip End Jan 22, 2006
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My good friend Victor "El Pato Loco" Avalos rang my doorbell a bit before five am and we loaded up my gear and bike and hit the international bridge about 5:15 with a slight mist. We got a red light at Mexican Customs and had to stop for secondary inspection. After showing our documents for the bikes and ourselves we were back on our way. Turning left and onto Avenida Donaldo Colosio, we made our way to MEX 85, the autopista to Monterrey. The misting stopped about this time and we got to the viente seis or checkpoint at 5:50.
It was about 8:30 when we reached Monterrey and turned toward Saltillo on MEX 40. Near the town of Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila we turned onto the road to Carbonara, passing through a park near Arteaga
This trip, I would look for good places to take a breather when I could. There were no gates, sections, tape or judges here and survival was the name of the game. Still, it felt great when I would pass through difficult areas without dabbing. I believe I rode a lot better on this ride than my previous excursion in Mexico.
The only bad incident happened on about half way up the mountain when I got off line and lost control
After a short break, we continued upwards and reached the summit and took another rest and photo stop. The view from the top looking down on La Viga and the apple orchards was beautiful. It had taken about two hours to reach the summit.
The ride down the backside of the mountain was a real blast. We rode down with the motors off the entire distance, working the brakes and almost coming to a stop at times, then getting up a bit of momentum again only to slow down again for the next right spot. On the way down, we encountered a young man, Jesus Mendoza and stopped to talk awhile before resuming our descent.
As the terrain leveled out it became necessary to start our engines and before long we came to the home of Dona Lupe and Don Chuy
The kitchen was a small log cabin blackened inside by the smoke from the wood fired simple stove of iron plate over hot coals.
Dona Lupe and Pato talked while I listened and she boiled water on the stove for our coffee and offered us homemade sweet unleavened bread (semita). While we enjoyed our coffee and semita, roosters and hens came by the door to look in on us and probably would have entered had there not been a gate made of sticks. At one point a large turkey looked in on us and then a gray cat.
After we gave our thanks and said our goodbyes, we set off alongside a rocky arroyo for a couple of miles. This part was not near as challenging, but a lot of fun and I was really enjoying a ride that wasn't totally intense all of the time. Then we began ascending the mountain again from the backside. This area was fairly devoid of trees, but had plenty of rocks and cactus to keep you on you toes. This trail was less difficult than our earlier ascent and I needed that because it was after two pm now and I was getting pretty tired
After having done that, I took another breather and rode the short distance to the top of the mountain, this one called Pando Grande. There I met up with Pato. I had stopped with cramps in my arms and hands a couple of times and was ready to descend the mountain. It seemed that Pato had told Dona Lupe that we would return to her home for lunch, but when I told him the time, he said that we were going to run out of daylight and he would ride back to tell her of our change in plans. He then told me to take off down the trail on the othe side of the mountain in the direction of La Viga.
Big mistake! I soon lost the trail and instead of stopping or going back, I continued down the side of the mountain thinking I would surely cross the trail at some point. It didn't happen and things got worse until there was no going forward or back
It took an hour and a half for me the hike down the mountain, stopping only once when I slipped and fell on my back. When we finally reached the road to La Viga, Pato took off to get the truck and I chose to keep on walking to keep from getting stiff. It was pitch black by now in this valley and I just pressed on. There wasn't really any place to sit anyway. It was after 7pm when Pato arrived in his truck and I pulled my sore and tired body up into the cab
When we arrived at La Viga, I learned that Pato had made arrangements for us to stay with at the home of La Familia Santos Valdez. Senora Valdez had a warm supper ready for us as soon as we unloaded our gear and changed out of our riding gear. It was beans, eggs and chiles and hot corn tortillas cooked on a wood stove. We were also served tea brewed from laurel leaves picked on the mountain. I had never tasted it before and immediately took a liking to it. Senora Valdez could see that and kept my cup filled.
Pato was talking ninety miles an hour and would continue into the night, but I was hurting and our hosts could see it. When they asked if I wanted to lay down, I told them I was ready. I was shown to small adobe room containing a couple of beds piled with hand-woven blankets, a dresser, various ranch supplies and a dirt floor. Soon after laying down, I heard great gusts of wind blowing a plastic tarp on the roof. Small matter, I could have slept on a clothesline at this point. At different times during the night, I would awaken to hear the sound of a burro braying just outside, but I would not be awake for long.