Today is day three and the riders arrived in the small town of Batopilas for the next two days to recover from a fantastic ride, so incredible in fact that you wonder how anyone ever came down that canyon before the road was paved. Batopilas was so wealthy from silver in its heyday that it became the second city in all of Mexico to receive electricity.
Today we saw things on the road you normally don’t encounter on roads like for example boulders the size of semi trucks, hillsides that fell onto the road erasing it for ever and ever from road history; donkeys that love sunbathing right in the middle of the asphalt and goats working the errant occasional grass that sprouts around the roads barrier protection.
This ride is truly the most epic ride of my entire motorcycle riding life. Nothing to date can compare. There’s hairpin turns on this road that are not of USA or European standards but, they work here, and are way more fun to tackle than say any famous ride like tail of the dragon or the Otega Highway in Southern California.
In this instance, pictures are truly worth a thousand words. Remember that scene in Forrest Gump, where a group of runners followed Gump across America? Gump is now on am empty vast road towards Monument Valley when he suddenly stops.
Today when following GPSKEVIN on the twisties leading towards the Canyon I felt like those runners; searching for some form of motorcycle spiritual riding guidance.
And then like Gump, Gpskevin stops at what he refers to as a donut junction. To the right (blue road) of us was now a 99% chance that the road will go full dirt. Kevingps took that road and Roberto followed.
Three of us, Sean, Gregg and yours truly looked at each other; we said our adios and proceeded to the road I just described above. It turned out that gpskevin and company only rode a few miles of the blue road before turning around. Another group of riders with big bikes like KTMS and Husqvarnas, a Triumph Tiger and a BMW 1200 opted to take that same road.
Our Joda (gpskevin) last night worked the “force “ to a near exhausting “worrying “ capacity. Thankfully, the lost tribe began to trickle in something after 8:30 p.m. That’s about a twelve hour riding day with endless switchbacks where you don’t go from first to second gear before having to gear down again.
Tim claims he lost count after five as to the amount of drops of his motorcycle. Another two riders arrived with near heat exhaustion earlier. Soon though, a badge of honor for riding the blue route begins to show. Their mind, body and soul is now glad that they did it and didn’t die.
The four of us that arrived earlier (Joey, Chris, Sean and I) on were treated to a flurry of the brightest of colors. The Tamahara Indian’s were all in town at the Zocalo getting signed up for some type of government aid. The outfits both men and women wear have withstood the test of time.
Continuing on the main road into the canyon yielded hundreds of twisties in a magical setting that can simply be described as the Grand Canyon with trees and a road running through it with indigenous people called Tarahumara and corn fields scattered throughout.
Copper Canyon is almost right at 1,000 miles from my home but, it took us until day three to finally experience its roads. The Sierra Tarahumara Occidental region contains some twenty-three different species of pine and two hundred different species of oak trees. The alpine climate of the mountainous regions of Copper Canyon has moderate temperatures from October to November and March to April. The bottom of the canyons is humid and warm and remains that way throughout the year. During the warmest months, April through June, drought is a chronic problem with little rainfall until July when the rainy season begins.