After 60 days, almost 12000 miles, 15 border crossings, visiting 8 countries, numerous police and military checkpoints, only one ticket (!), 1 flat tire, one broken spoke, 2 oil changes, 1 set of tires, 1 change of brake pads, 400 gallons of Super Unleaded, just as much water raining down on me, zero injuries, zero violence, laid Big Bertha gently on her side 5 times, 1x camping, the rest in hotels and Love Motels, and crossing path with a bunch of people, who were super friendly and helped me along the way...I finally arrived back where my journey began... in the Bay Area.
The last week of riding was rather uneventful. Well, except, I rode through a road block in Mexico caused by protesters who didn't want to let anybody pass, but didn't realize, I was an adventure rider kind of guy, and not a sissy on a 125 cc Honda. They had laid rocks and sticks across a well traveled stretch of road. Trucks and busses had lined up for about a mile on both sides. I rode to the front of the line and inquired about the reason for the hold-up. Some political thing. Ok, I support your cause. I am a tourist. Can I pass? No! How long? 1 hour, at least. Yeah, ok...whatever.
I got on my bike, started the engine and rode (safely) through the barrier without attracting too much attention. Well, a little bit of attention. My bike was able to handle that, after all the speed bumps and adventure riding, I had done. Nobody was harmed in this maneuver. I just hate waiting. By the time they'd realized what had happened, I was long gone. That's all.
The ride up the Gulf Coast of Mexico was done quickly, nothing special. I overnighted in an ocean town Boca del Rio, Veracruz and a small dusty town, Soto la Marina. A pavement pounding trip, really. The weather was actually holding up nicely. Ever since I crossed from Guatemala in to Mexico, no rain. It was awesome to stay dry for a change. That was the best part. NO RAIN!
Finally, time to cross the US border at Matamoros/Brownsville, TX. Easy. No problems. In Brownsville, I decided an oil change was due before riding the last 3k to California. I found a motorcycle shop, Borderline Customs, a small outfit right off the freeway. Perfect. Shouldn't take too long. They're only changing my oil. I supplied the filter. How bad can it be?
They did my oil change alright, but in the process bent my kickstand to a point, where it wouldn't support my bike any longer. No idea, what technique they used to bend a steel kickstand, but when I returned to the shop to get Big B., I found the stand disfigured and the bike on its center stand. The boss didn't admit any wrongdoing. After some welding work, I was back on the road. 4 hours later. The sun soon set, and I had to look for a place to sleep.
That was a nice warm welcome, I hadn't expected. Another country, another adventure...
Four days later, I reached Las Vegas. Couple of days chillin' in the desert heat with a cold drink by the pool and unwinding from 2 month of adventure riding. Yeah, my kind of relaxing...
My wife flew in to join me and then, after a few days of Vegas fun, we headed home...on Big B. No problem. It was tight, but that turned out to be somewhat of a good thing.
I had planned a route which would take us through Death Valley, Hwy 395 to 120 crossing the Sierras over the Tioga Pass. Because, it had snowed the night before, ALL mountain passes through Yosemite were closed. The tighter, the warmer.
In fact, we got so cold at 8000 ft elevation once the sun had set, we stayed at a lodge in Lee Vining, before heading north the next morning and crossing over taking Hwy 88. The freezing cold was bone chilling. 25 F when we left the lodge, and it didn't warm up much until reaching Hwy 88. Hands and feet frozen, we crossed the sierras, snow to both sides of us with blue skies above. Picturesque. Then, reaching lower elevation with warmer temps at Jackson, felt....ahhhhh, sooo nice.
Great feeling being back home sleeping in my own bed! The next few days will be busy. Cleaning bike, washing clothes, and getting my taste buds used to my kind of food again.
Oh yes, and re-fueling my bike for the second chapter of Crazyridesouth...to Tierra del Fuego!
Thank you for reading and supporting me throughout the first part of this journey.
See you again on the road! Very soon...,