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kamloops riders in the Copper Canyon

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  • kamloops riders in the Copper Canyon

    Departed the Loops Mar 1 with 3 Kamloopsians and
    1 from Edmonton on a 5 week trip and hopefully pics. will follow on our return.
    We've trucked to Victorville CA. with truckloads of big orange bikes. Crossed into Mex. just out of Yuma heading south down the Baja to La Paz crossed via ferry to Topolobampo but not before having an Al adventure in bay of la.
    After a night in the noisy truck stop of Villa Union and fabulous tacos we headed north. At the present time we've twised around thousands of switchbacks on the way to and thru Barranca de Cobre where we are now. Today is zip line day over the canyon on one of the longest in the world just out of Creel.

    Have been having a fantastic time, steeper than the Andes and much more challenging!
    More to follow hope you'll follow along.

    a smart man only believes half of what he hears, a wise man knows which half.

  • #2


    • #3
      ------------------- +1


      • #4
        Of course!
        The road to hell is paved ..


        • #5
          Always enjoy the stories and the photos!
          Knowledge is Power, Prevention is Everything! Early Detection is the Key!


          • #6
            living vicariously through your adventures till i'm old enough to have my own


            • #7
              On my to do list waiting for your report


              • #8
                back home wed. eve. after 7.5 weeks, 3 countries, 7 states, 3 rear tires, thousands of switchbacks and endless scenery, all in just under 14 thou kms. and a measly 3100 pics. which will be shared after some heavy deleting and editing. And in those pics. you're likely to see lot of,

                On the right, Floyd who most awesomely put together great tracks for us to follow in Mexico, going left his brother Bob, then Mark (whom I've now traveled as far north and south by road as you can go), and myself (Wayne) on the left.

                Click image for larger version  Name:	P1190960.JPG Views:	1 Size:	912.1 KB ID:	349894
                Last edited by 04klr; 05-25-2018, 09:35 PM.
                a smart man only believes half of what he hears, a wise man knows which half.


                • #9
                  The trip pics have been whittled down to a svelte 1400 with the lions share from Mexico, so get a chair.

                  As mentioned, we abandoned the trucks in Victorville then headed off in the direction of Yuma to do final prep before crossing into Mexico. Two 1190's, two 990's, heaped with mounds of gear, and all orange. One of those 990's is a new to me low mileage 2009. Though I have many hours of prep into it, I have not ridden it more than a total of two kms. Not that long into the two month long ride, stopped at the side of the road I put a foot down and all 600 pounds followed. wham, got that first drop out of the way. Lesson #1- do not let a 990 get much off of a vertical plane. In a world according to Garp my trip is predisastered, so everything ahead will be fine. Avoiding the interstates we at times rode along the "historic" route 66 which is historic due to the fact that a mega freeway tossed it aside and now for the most part lays there unused. Later in the day we came up on road closed signs due to constuction which forced us onto bigger roads. At a point where the two roads came close we decided to ride past the sign and check out how "closed" they really were. Which was not very and we spend the next hour and a half riding past the signs on the completely vacant pieces of route 66. This practice would serve us well in Mexico as most all road signs are just suggestions or to be ignored completely most all the time.

                  Along the way there were the all too familiar signs of the times in the states.

                  but there was some some beautiful backroad scenery.

                  If there was a Newberry Springs, there isn't one now, it's history.

                  We stopped the day not far from needles in a schnazzy Motel 6 and were back on the road not long after 9 in the morning. Less than 4 hrs into the ride on our actual day 1, I to start a small collection of used building supplies. Unfortunately the collection started in my back tire!! the 3" screw and nail utterly destroyed the tube and the cheesy foam rim "tape". Awhile later we were again headed to Yuma

                  After a night of great food and hot tubs at Marks brothers place we headed off for the San Luis de Colorado border crossing into Mexico. All our bikes looked much like this one seen here wedged in along with the more usual methods of Yuma snowbird transportation.

                  ​A short ride and an hour of border crossing later we were in mexico. And headed west towards days end in Ensenada.

                  The welcoming commitee. "Bienvenidos a mexico"

                  Hwy 20 from the Mexicali towards La Rumorosa is in general flat, there is however quite a spectacular section that traverses from the desert floor to the high mesa. Fully divided, most with the opposing lanes not even in sight, very scenic twisty good pavement that climbs up to the plateau above.

                  Hwy 3 peels off of 20 past Rumorosa then rolls thru the wine region towards the coastal town of Ensenada where we spent the night. Today we"re headed to Bay of LA but that would be well after a lunch at Mama Espinozas.

                  and after taking an out an back route from Chapala to Coco's Corner to say Hi. The winds seem to have removed a great many of the cans that have been a part of the decor for years.

                  This is a picture of a picture of Coco in his Kamloops HD hat ,taken on his 80th and before he renovated his place.

                  The "decor" here is a mish mash of things from a circle of biffy's watching TV, halves of trucks with campers (for rent?) used t-shirts and more than is required pairs of, panties. There is also a collection of prosthetic's used by Coco over the years though past them now he gets around on his padded stumps. Due to the creeping affects of diabetes he has been losing more of himself as time goes on. Thankfully his spirit and drive is much like that of the piece by piece diminishing Black knight in a Monty Python skit.

                  The walls,, windows, and door! are new to Coco's place, so is the questionable bud light beverage, look forward to next time and his usual pacifico's. Soon the new hwy. will effectively bypass his place and depending on the day he seems either happy of that, or not.
                  You are always welcome here at Coco's place.

                  Back to the Hwy. we took an exit stage left to bay of l.a. Arriving just before dark we mowed thru some awesome street taco's before heading to Al's place for the night. After an "Al adventure" we'll head for San Ignacio and to the lagoon to see some and perhaps a little too much of the Pacific Grey whales there.

                  last pic of the day, the view from Al's porch. beautiful.

                  thx fer lookin.
                  Last edited by 04klr; 05-25-2018, 08:53 PM.
                  a smart man only believes half of what he hears, a wise man knows which half.


                  • #10
                    On the 7th day of the trip we had a beach day in bay of LA which would be a good time to perform some sea trials in Al's new to him boat which he picked up in San Diego. After a little putt about warm-up he let er rip across the bay headed to the sea of cortez side of the bay.

                    given enough time the local birds have "painted" this rocky island white.

                    It's always cool to watch the pelicans effortlessly float by using the wind as propellant.

                    On to the Al adventure part of the visit. As we rounded the corner at speed into the sea of cortez (and now out of sight of bay of LA), the impeller let go in the inboard outboard leg causing the engine to way overheat. Those that know Al will know how calm he remains in times where most would be anything but. As we floated with the strong wind towards the rocks and the radio not being able to reach over the mtn. back to the bay, he fortunately had a hand held vhf that got thru to help. An hour and a half of floating towards shore later we were headed back into the bay. Don't worry be happy, Al's boat is now predisastered.

                    Al and Floyd

                    In the morning after a terrific breaky with Al at Alejandrina's we were headed to San Ignacio.

                    Passing thru Guerro Negro it was time for some tacos at this truck on the right side of the road mid-town shown to me by MotoGed last winter, good stuff, thx!

                    Hello Bob. Shown here is one way to travel on a heavily loaded large displacement Austrian made very powerful V-twin. Vary capable and quite comfortable. Yup, thumbs up.

                    Then there's this fella. One cylinder, moderate speed, crazy overloaded, with a surfboard strapped to the side, and most likely also with a huge grin on his face. Proving again that it's not what you ride, just that you do ride.

                    the road maintenance dept. went all out on this safety tree branch warning of a missing chunk of road, by painting it red. Items laying on the road here at home like rocks and tree branches are at the least a nuisance and at times quite dangerous. In mexico they are simple warnings not to be ignored. In the copper canyon area there was a good picture that did not get taken of two large rocks in the middle of the lane that served as safety cones for a newly concrete patched pothole. It's best to heed these simple warnings of rocks and sticks on the road.

                    the Nang Fong motel in san ignacio. Hand built over a period of four years by Manual the 83 yr old owner. An inexpensive and kind of cool place to stay.

                    the classier joints always have the sheets match the color of the biffy.

                    all the hot water you want straight out of the piece of pipe that is the shower head.

                    Mission San Ignacio, a stitched together pic. that curves a flat faced wall.

                    On a day off we headed out to the Lagoon to go whale whale watching. Though they were supposedly not being as friendly as usual there were some close encounters. The grey whales are here to make whoopie before the long swim back north and the large bulls were duke-ing it out to see who gets to the female.

                    this is the more pg13 of the pics. I shot and posted this one as the fellas in the boat looked quite stunned by the show. From my journal "lots of grey whales and groups of horny young bulls with massive pink penises wrestling around in the water". there is a swordfight pic. not posted.

                    after the show and the terrific included lunch we were off to Mulege for the night passing thru Santa Rosalia along the way .

                    Last pic. of the day of our beach front camp at Playa Requesan on the sea of cortez south of Mulege. We were treated to a spectacular sunset and great sleep

                    Next post is thru to La Paz then on to the mainland and finally head toward the Devils Backbone Hwy. out of Durango headed north towards Barranca de Cobre, the Copper Canyon.

                    thx fer lookin.
                    Last edited by 04klr; 06-12-2018, 01:18 AM.
                    a smart man only believes half of what he hears, a wise man knows which half.


                    • #11
                      After a night on the beach we were off for La Paz. The road along the coast south of Mulege is a scenic winding road with many vistas of Bahia Concepcion and the ridge of mountains running down the spine of the Baja.

                      While Mark refused to partake, the rest of us ate our Cabeza (head meat) tacos and while not the best, you have to try it. He walked 100 feet down the road and found terrific shrimp tacos.

                      A quite common site in Mexico are the roadside shrines. In each case there is a remembrance of some sort included here the manequin is in a uniform as was likely the person who passed away. The shrines would also appear to be located in the spot where the person being remembered actually passed.

                      While the riding so far has been for the most part two lane blacktop, the roads are thankfully not all straight as an arrow.

                      what's more fun than a barrel of monkeys, a truckload of piggies. Who are perhaps wee wee weeing themselves all the way to the market.

                      We arrived in La Paz with plenty of time left in the day to get settled in. Plenty of time for swing in my hammock.

                      This mural is painted on the wall at the end of the pool and made for a very cool effect with the bright colors reflecting in the water. (unlike the water splotch on my lens)

                      Lots of delicious food options a short walk away.

                      the ferry terminal is approx 10k from town and we did our paperwerk the day before we floated away to the mainland and to Topolobompo. The ferry certainly looks up to the task.

                      after a very long process of trucks zooming in and out retrieving then loading semi trailers finally it was our turn.

                      Next, after a night in Topolobompo we head for Villa Union and on to Espinazo del Diablo, the Devils Backbone Hwy.
                      Last shot for today as we descended several decks down to where we lashed the bikes to immovable railings for the voyage.

                      thx fer lookin.
                      Last edited by 04klr; 06-01-2018, 12:50 PM.
                      a smart man only believes half of what he hears, a wise man knows which half.


                      • #12
                        The 7 hour boat ride to Topolobompo was actually quite pleasant and fortunately, almost but didn't miss the included meal which was muy bueno. The ship had a main salon/lounge/bar with loud music and TV's playing the whole time so the best ticket was to hunker down in the theatre room and chill for awhile. Arriving late in the eve. we stayed at the Marina hotel a short ride from the ferry terminal.
                        Next day we were off towards Villa Union and a classy hotel.

                        Lunch of Pollo asado along the road.


                        later in the day we stopped to buy some fresh fruit from this stand and try as Floyd might his spanish would not work as we are now in the part of Mexico that is more Indian than Mexican. Though the girls made calls and giggled heaps we left empty handed.

                        In Villa Union the night stands in each of our 2 rooms were covered in burn marks, clearly not the classy joint I suggested. The place we stayed in was located along a noisy busy closed off(ish) frontage road with several places to eat while watching heaps of traffic on the main hwy. After wandering around eating tacos here and there we were done for the night. Manana es la Espinoza del diablo!

                        Yahoo! we're here. The devils backbone. Not far out of Villa Union the "old" road begins. It has since been replaced by a new fangled hwy that is in itself supposedly awesome to see with huge high bridges spanning the canyon gaps and long tunnels thru the mtns. it is by all standards an engineering marvel, perhaps next time,,, today we want the notorious one. Named the Devils backbone as the switchback laden paved roadway traverses along a ridge on the peak between two canyons.

                        Here in the pic. it is a sheer (almost) drop on either side of the road.

                        there are many spots along the way where the new road can be seen, here a tunnel is seen in the distance near Marks mirror.

                        You never know what to expect (and should ALWAYS expect anything) when rounding corners in Mexico on anything smaller than a mega hwy. The only "rule of the road" that matters south of the U.S. border is that, might is right . If whatever is approaching is bigger than you then get out of the way! Anyone coming the other way will understand this and move as much as possible, if possible. It is a simple rule and seems to work well, when it does!
                        Later in the trip there is a pic. that did not get taken (as I was a little busy at the time). As we crested over then headed down a hill there was a semi truck lumbering up towards us being passed by TWO semis that were 100 percent in our lane, no-one batted an eye (well maybe a little) as we just mooved over onto the shoulder and let the trucks pass by, everyday stuff down here.
                        My Daughter voiced her concerns over the dangerous sounding Devils Backbone rd., I smiled to myself as it's not any road in particular that is dangerous in Mexico but that ALL roads in Mexico are dangerous. Not a place for daydreaming behind the bars.

                        The lead end of this truck is well over and going farther over the centerline

                        A shot of the rear set of duals freshly launched off (which had to cross the oncoming lane to get to the right shoulder!) of a transport truck which is now sitting in the middle of the road not in our lane and just sitting around a corner...

                        Floyd stopped to see if the driver needed anything, all he needed was water and a ride back to town 60k away. He got the water. What must have been a heck of a ride didn't seem to bother him as he in this pic. has a big grin on his face.

                        scenery like this along the very twisty road for hours.

                        One of the reasons for the new hwy. as many people have passed (away) along the old route.

                        The big Katooms spent those awesome hours way out on the edge of their tires as seen here, doing something my klR could only dream of.

                        the new road is way off in the distance following that ridge along the top.

                        several pics. of the boys rounding one of the great many, better than 180 degree corners.

                        We ended the day appox 40k short of Durango and had a terrific meal at this place run by a nice older couple, very welcoming into their restraunt, kitchen and yard.

                        This is the next morning where we are being shown the agave cactus's that the owner gets juice from, the distilled juice would become Mescal.
                        Here he is reaching in to get the pot that is collecting juice from this 7 year old Agave.

                        last shot of the day of our camp not far off the road, as in not far enough! Very noisy night with trucks hard on the pedal climbing out of the canyon and just as hard on the jakes headed down, and all included in the rip-off price we paid. But all is well with a cold Tecate and the anticipation of a yummy breaky in the morn across the street.

                        once again thx fer lookin.

                        Next from here to past Durango and on to Santa Maria. Hasta luego!
                        Last edited by 04klr; 05-26-2018, 09:44 AM.
                        a smart man only believes half of what he hears, a wise man knows which half.


                        • #13
                          The roads up until yesterday have been for the most part just two laned blacktop, that has all changed. From early in the day the roads have been back to back switchbacks linked by short sections of straights the roads are fantastic for large very powerful motorcycles. Over the next two weeks the numbers of switchbacks of either paved or dirt are uncountable it would be easier to count the ones that exceeded 180 degrees but that also would be a very large number. As always around any corner the unexpected is absolutely to be expected as here it likely will be from trucks missing important things like rear wheels to vehicles broken and abandoned or portions of the road, just missing. And oncoming traffic is always to be watched as most every vehicle is running on bald tires.
                          The Katooms have been having as much fun as our group, with everyone getting along easily with lots of humor, good tracks (thx Floyd) and competent riders, we're having just plain good fun!
                          I would by now make some comparisons of this KTM 990 to the 4 klr's that have served me well for nearly 400 thou kms., but as Mark quickly reminds me "Wayne, there are no comparisons" and true enough there are precious few and the few that there are, are monetary alone, there are utterly no comparisons mechanically or ride wise. None.
                          (1 really has things like power, suspension, brakes, handling, the other not so much).

                          Here's Floyd and Mark on their luxury drink holder equipped cruisers ready to ride off after a delicious Huevo Ranchero daysayunas. and a night of noisy truck traffic.

                          sweeping turns most all day long

                          the frequently seen white posts are constructed of re-bar filled concrete and from the number that are bent cracked and leaning but not knocked down, must be very sturdy and best avoided.
                          From my journal "More hours of fun twisty road and approx. 60k of paved racetrack, (I mean hwy.))​

                          while some of today traverses up down and thru canyons the rest is on the alto plana at approx 7000 ft. as we head north into the Copper Canyon area.

                          time to introduce some large pricks we met along the way, if travelling in Mexico they are best avoided.


                          The farther north we go away from main centres the stores get smaller but usually have a little of lots of things and most all selling some sort of home made food, some best to be scarfed down in large quantity, and some best not be touched. The language barrier is increasingly widening as the Tarahumara language becomes more prevalent, our broken Spanish is looking pretty bad sometimes, though as always there is a genuine "want" to be understood by both sides.

                          Arriving in Santa Maria well before dusk with plenty of time to wander about and check out the very old town and it's mostly brick laid streets. We are the only pale faces here and have been for days with no other tourists to be seen.
                          likely no horn working on the car as it visually sends it's message. Mooo-ve.

                          talk about a variety store, hmm I see an snow shovel, alternator, hedge trimmer, bullhorn, chain break and one right foot.

                          the clock and loudspeaker have clearly been added well after initial construction but the cracked bell may well be original.

                          Our favorite places to stay are the ones where we get to ride right on inside, as we did here.

                          happy to have a very secure place for the bikes tonite.

                          Last pic. of the day ending here on the wall of the hotel in Santa Maria. Next day we're off to Marriano Belliza and some VERY scary cattleguards.

                          You can ride with Pancho Villa and if you're good either digging, shooting or blowing things up and get paid in gold for your efforts.

                          Last edited by 04klr; 05-26-2018, 10:07 AM.
                          a smart man only believes half of what he hears, a wise man knows which half.


                          • #14
                            Mas Despacio senor Mark, headed out to the street after a safe night indoors. After a skinny breakfast we're headed to Mariano Balleza on mostly gravel roads. Again we are greeted with friendly faces throughout the day and great twisty roads.

                            There are ruins of all shapes and sizes scattered throughout the area leaving a very visual sign of how long the people have lived here.

                            Abarrotes, groceries. As close to Sbucks or 7-11 you'll find here in Durango and Chihuahua states.

                            While the riding every single day has been amazing there was today some adventure that we could've done without! A slight mistake here would certainly change the trip in a split second. At the least a taco'd wheel, or bent forks, or,,, and a very sudden stop. Really wish this shot was taken just after crossing not before as now there was time to, overthink it, a VERY tentative crossing. Some had a small leading lip that was best used to loft the front wheel to the safety of the other side then try and keep that fat back tire planted on one of the deteriorating concrete ribs. There was one guard placed hidden on the top of a little rise, not funny at all.

                            most of the day long. and all under seriously blue skies, fantastic weather.

                            Yippee! no more cattle guards.​ In the great many pic's that were shot, rarely is there not a big assed grin on any of the faces of our group, great time being had by all, day after day.

                            a group of boys showing off their canada pencils and Kamloops Moto Riding Fools decals.

                            got a kick out of the animals drawn on the wall just over Floyds windshield.

                            After another great day we ended up in the Sylvia hotel in Mariano Balleza where we discussed to not yet seen but very real dangers in the area. Dangers with guns.

                            next day headed for Bobergame and our first big canyon.

                            There is clearly a concerted effort being put into tourism by the Government as these large colorful signs are scattered all over in Mexico. We were very touristy here and between us shot a silly number of pics.

                            this track is traversing along the knife edge of the mountain. Very fun looking left or right down into the canyons below.

                            hard to show steep without a prop. Here the ribbon laid road zigs and zags back and forth at least 5 times with tight 180 bends on each end just right there and that's before it drops into the canyon. awesome.

                            after a warm up of sinuous road we crossed over to our first real big canyon Barranca de Botopillas, 1800 meters deep and looked every inch of it. Here near the top and not losing much elevation. Two bikes on the upper road .

                            this is nearing the bottom, waay down there.

                            the upper mid section, and steepest. One of the boys is in sight down there.

                            so steep. this is the shot looking down from the white road marker in the last pic. layers and layers of road.

                            at the bottom. getting ready to go back up the other side.

                            a look back at what we just came down. If this picture doesn't say to you, "oh man I've got to go there!", then perhaps you shouldn't go to the Copper Canyon.

                            two blended pics. taken several minutes from each other putting Floyd and Mark in the same place, which they were not.

                            Smiling faces of the younger Bobergame welcoming committee.

                            If infastructure is an indicator of the condition of a town, then Bobergame is in trouble. Which it appeared to be, as almost the first adult we saw was seriously whacking himself in the head with something not soft lookin. Keep riding.

                            Leaving the head whacker behind we turned right and found the Hotel Sierra our place for the night in this one street town. In our tailwind we had already picked a small group of kids on bikes along the way in and the moment we stopped it was like flies to 4 bug zappers. For the most part it was good fun at least with the kids, but some of the friendly old boys missing teeth, but with lots of booze that was a little trying.
                            After the frenzy of arrival! Here having a darn good laugh about it while waiting for the garden party in the courtyard to end so we can put the bikes away for the day.

                            taking a look at Mark's pesky sometimes leaking back tire

                            Cena was muy bueno. Very tasty large plate-o prawns that was preceded by, coctel de camarones which itself was a large prawn cocktail. Lucky there"s no cholesterol in prawns while in Mexico. Or calories in cerveza. ​

                            Today the riding was (and has been most every day previously) simply fantastic! The early part was nice twisty pavement that morphed into amazing deep canyons with serpentine switchbacks on our first day in the Barranca de Cobre area. And every inch with great scenery.
                            And the very best part is we get to do it all again tomorrow. Through new canyons and ancient towns on the way to Moreles.

                            Last pic. for the day. I lucked out and got the dinosaur sheets.

                            bonus messed up blooper pic. and it's all Mark Mark Mark Mark in this hairpin corner.

                            thx fer lookin.
                            Last edited by 04klr; 06-01-2018, 10:32 AM.
                            a smart man only believes half of what he hears, a wise man knows which half.


                            • #15
                              Day 18 Bobergame to Moreles. ,,,"another amazing day on the bike passing thru one small peubla after another, up one canyon and down another then repeat. Stunning scenery". More twisty scenic roads under stunning impossible blue skies.

                              And at the Abbarotes, most any kind of fish is canned for your convenience.

                              For the past several days we've seen lots of logging operations though these boys are likely legit, there is a lot of illegal logging that takes place.

                              Bobs Go Pro camera, performed an,"exit, stage right!" (though may have been a left as I wasn't there to see it)

                              Now reinstalled and aimed perfectly, for things that are low and right of the track.

                              as we passed thru a small town a gang of bikes started chasing behind the big Ktm's. great fun. glad I was running sweep as the lead guys weren't aware of the parade.

                              all smiles. we lost them at a small river crossing at the edge of town. Likely 5 minutes (cinco minutos) that they and I will never forget.

                              from the journal "today was steep, rough, scenic, warm, hot, cold, amazing! shot almost 100 pics. today".
                              It took us at least 7 hrs to go 120 kms.

                              fresh tracks in the hallway of the Hotel Moreles where we were the only guests.

                              Yummy dinner, not so much. thinking everything was closed we missed out on a pot luck style feast in town that night DOH!

                              not your regular five star place.

                              and while in the very small town of Moreles why not get some dental work done. It would appear that you pay by the day or portion of.

                              should've written down the reason for the town celebration, google says it may have been Benito Juarez's birthday. (perhaps one of the boys will chime in with the info) there were several pic. none of which turned out very well. Everyone was having a blast cruising into town in and on very brightly decorated vehicles.

                              Bob held court for awhile showing the kids their pics. on his camera, lots of miscommunication and laughs, great fun. Given a chance most all the boys flash "gang" hand gestures.

                              next morning we topped up with gasolina at the Pemex station, through a plastic hose from a container which itself was filled from a drum. Big container to smaller container and perhaps again is the typical way to filter the fuel in Mexico. Kind of the same principle as a gold sluice box.

                              Last pic. for the day, of the Pemex "Station".
                              next post Moreles to Batopillas.

                              Last edited by 04klr; 06-01-2018, 10:29 AM.
                              a smart man only believes half of what he hears, a wise man knows which half.