At this point things took a decided turn to “much more difficult”. Heavy rains or hurricanes in the near past had washed out the road ahead for an unknown distance, presenting us with an unknown number and difficulty of obstacles.
The biggest challenge was that what used to be a road there was now only a narrow path about 12 inches wide that veered dangerously close to the edge of the cliff in multiple places.
We had 2 choices – a) turn back or b) work as a team to overcome each obstacle until we got to one we couldn’t get by or we made it all the way through. After a bit of discussion, we elected to press ahead.
The first obstacle was the easiest. It involved navigating around some larger boulders while crossing a small washout.
Obstacle #2 was much more serious than the first. A short, steep, boulder filled hill was setting in the middle of the “road” and the trail around it skirted the edge of a 100 foot drop-off. One little error while trying to negotiate the trail would result in a long fall and either serious injury or death. We decided to push the bikes across the trail but then decided that it might be possible to ride over the hill.
Group discussion at the 2nd obstacle
RacerJohn conquering the 2nd obstacle
Stingray goes up and over
After Milton rounded the corner in the above video, the trail narrowed, clinging to the edge of the cliff for a short distance. As Milton attempted to negotiate that section something knocked him off tracked and he and the bike toppled over the edge of the cliff.
Milton landed in a conveniently placed tree and was able to scramble up the cliff, safe and sound. Several of the fellows managed to upright his DRZ.
Too close for comfort.
The next section was more of the same – a rocky narrow trail at cliff’s edge, where one mistake could be extremely costly.
Scott walking along the edge of disaster
JT gives it a go. He is both a better rider and braver than me.
More scenes from the edge
Shortly after rescuing Milton’s bike, bees showed up and started stinging us. Scott got hit in the neck, I took a shot in the temple, Chuck got nailed on the scalp, and Milton got stung in several locations. We quickly made a bee-line for safer surroundings.
It would be extremely difficult for just 1-2 average riders to get through this section by themselves – it was very tough. With all 6 of us working together we made it through, but, candidly, it was quite taxing. After clearing the last obstacle, we were soaked in sweat and highly fatigued.
Luckily, the remainder of the road was in good shape and no other serious obstacles presented themselves.
The views after Buena Vista were beautiful.
Milton and Scott happy to have overcome some bad road.
A meeting of 2 worlds
Scott says we are all loco
Nearing Agua Blanca
We reached pavement at San Juanita de Solis. RacerJohn and I headed north for Galeana while Milton, JT, Scott, and Chuck headed south for Aramberri. They planned to ride east across the mountains to Camerones the next day, while RacerJohn and I were planning on riding a northern route with Brian and Steve.
The end of the road
The Gang of Six