It’s funny the stories people have and unfortunate that more of them don’t get shared. I know I have been trying to tell fewer stories, or one ups, and get more out of the people we share with because people are just interesting. Mike for example, has been riding a long time and with no shortage of adventurous spirit had set out with two buddies. One of the fellows was a tough troop in his 80’s and the other was a physical education (PE) teacher, about the fittest of them all. Of course, the three lads were apart of some tour in the outback of Mexico, when they decided to set off on their own little excursion for the day, the adventure got very interesting. They headed off into the mountains taking various turns, Mike knew exactly where they were, and as they got deeper and deeper into the woods of Mexico they got stuck in a bad section. Unable to pull the bikes out they abandoned them and set off on foot, still with plenty of daylight left to get assistance. Of course they found some Tarahumara natives who expertly scratched their heads and pointed off into the hills to where they needed to go. Though the Tarahumara Indians didn’t like outsiders, Mexicans or others, they were not pointing with their middle fingers so the directions must have been good? Three days later, Mike had confidently led the trio in every logical direction possible, having been shoed out of some small native villages, where the local language is older that the hills, with only a tortilla between them, they were lost.
At this point the senior of the three was having a shut down, explaining that the colostomy bag on his hip was full and organ failure was probably forthcoming. Colostomy bag! Having known the fellow for a long time only added to the surprise but by now it didn’t matter, the river they were following to civilization was leading them no where. Toenails where starting to depart from the feet, severe fatigue and hunger where setting in from the relentless hill and trail climbing and the water from the local streams probably wasn’t helping much. The two remaining firm fellows dragged their senior into a hut despite the dismay of the local natives and it nearly became a physical conflict, with language being a total barrier. The situation was desperate, the local directions they had and Mike’s sense of direction where certainly in question, of course Mike couldn’t figure out why his buds, knowing him well, would follow him through the woods until they were nearly dead.
It didn’t matter now, the dude on the floor of some native hut, pale and full of shit, was saying his final peace and the PE instructor was stealing the socks off his feet. A decision was made to make an attempt for the PE teacher to get back to the bikes and hope for a rescue. Mike stayed to care for his friend but little could be done to alleviate the toxic shock that was probably taking its toll. After some time he went out side and wandered down the river a ways. There he saw a monster of man wearing all black, he yelled and approached, in broken English the Army rescue agent told him to come with him, Mike refused trying to explain they had a medical issue and needed to recover their friend. He ended up convincing the fellow to follow him to the native village. They got their buddy out of there and back to the bikes, a jeep was there and the search team had just retrieved the bikes. What they learned is that the team was just about to leave, after three days of searching it had been called off, fortunately the PE teacher had made his way back and found help at the bikes.
As the story goes all three guys are still friends and riders and as tragic as it all might sound the tale is told with such gusto and humour that it makes for great entertainment. The antics these mature adults would get up to cannot even get mentioned here but can be the envy of many young fellows like myself. We had a great time. Before we left one of the other stragglers, Carl, helped us out with some routing ideas and put us in contact with a friend of his, Beemer Chef ( http://theoasisofmysoul.com ). We would end up meeting the Chef at a gallery event in Bisbee, Texas later on.
Deya looked scared, I wanted a picture of a tornado but better sense came to me and the folks that warned us offered us to stay at their place East of Cloudcroft. Now fully enveloped in darkness the twisty mountain pass we enjoyed turned into a difficult fast paced race to avoid the storm that was approaching. Lightning was pounding down around us and the rain was already starting, there was a sense of haste in the air and with the other drivers around us with a feeling of needing to batten down the hatches. We winded our way into their home in the mountain and found shelter there; with bikes parked we enjoyed a stormy but safe evening with our hosts Judy and Scott. Again impressed at the hospitality and concern people have for us, Deya and I were grateful for meeting them that night.
|Midnight Moon Shine|
Despite that, we arranged our things, said goodbye to Sean and met the crew at a nearby coffee shop. When we arrived there was an awesome display of bikes and riders which included: Ricardo, Robert, Antonio & Barbara, Tony (host), Ray and Carlos. We had coffee with the team and it was immediately easy and enjoyable. What a great way to spend the morning in a cool town with a good group of riders.
When we departed Bisbee Ricardo and Carlos were going to take some dirt roads back to Tucson, I really wanted to join them but Deya and I already set a rule that we would not separate paths when we were both riding so we headed back with the rest of the group. Tony set a pace that was nearly perfect, respecting our 55 mph rule and Antonio brought up the rear, blocking aggressive traffic, like a champ. It’s not often that you can ride with a group and it’s comfortable, most riders relate to this, but this group was mature and predictable and it made group riding enjoyable. Antonio and Barbara broke off and headed home when we turned in to check out the famous city of Tombstone.
|Sean, (Me), Ara|
|Antonio, Deya, Barbara|
|Three tough guys in Tombstone (Tony, Ray, Me)|
That evening was very enjoyable as we drank Don Julio and chatted with Ray and Tony about a wide variety of topics over a lovely dinner. We would spend several more nights with Tony and a short trip North to visit Rich, who we met in Whitehorse. Our 3 night rule was broken at Tony’s, we have to be vigilant to appreciate his hospitality and patience for us but I think it’ll be fine; Tony is a fantastic character with an outstanding sense of humour.