our morning ride left from the village of Villa de Jesus Maria, following a pleasant double tack of mostly packed dirt or sand. We drove thru, litereally, the middle of nowhere….thru forests of cacti, desolate mtns and desert wildlife. Lucky for Del, being in the front of the pack, was able to spot a roadrunner, large jack rabbits, and even a rattle snake, poised and ready to strike. I, on the other hand, tootled in the back, trying desperately to keep my rubber side on the ground, and wasn't paying so much attention to such things. However, it was some beautiful riding, and we arrived safetly in L'Arco without any mishaps.
I can't say the same for the afternoon.
We exited the town along a great packed trail thru more cactus forests. After 20 miles or so of this, we came upon a quaint little oasis….with no way out. Glen had gone in one direction and said he didn't think that went anyway. So I, not really believing this, went over to a shack of a house to ask the local man. "which way is the number 1 highway please?" "it's not here" "how can we get to the number 1 then?" "no, this is the end, finito, no mas. Only the mission is here. You have to go back". Not really believing him, and went back and told Del what he said. "oh….this is the mission?....then we did go the wrong way". Sure enough, we had gone 22 miles east, instead of south. At this point, it was 330pm and we were all aware of the rapidly dimishing time of day light. And of course, I am always the slowest, but pushed myself to what I thought was my limits to get back to l'arco as fast as possible. From here we were able to get directions for the correct camino and drove into some of the worst soft sand yet….it was two ruts of deep, soft sand that throws your bike into whatever direction it wants to. And for a beginner like me…..it’s horrible! I was doing my best to stay standing and keep my tire pointing forward and the rubber in the sand, but after I don’t even know how long, it started to wear me down, and I started to fall…..and fall……and fall. I must of bailed in the sand at least half a dozen times….each time getting just that much harder to get back up and get started again. Several times, in an attempt at keeping the bike upright, I cracked the throttle open (which is what they keep telling me to do) and I’d go barreling into the cactus brushes on either side. I even ended up with a little one in my leg. Eventually, we got out of sand, and it turned into large, loose rocks. (sweet…even better…this way when I fall, I’ll REALLY hurt myself). Thankfully, I managed to not do that, but we headed farther and farther down this straight and narrow path to what we thought would eventually be the number 1 highway. As the sun set, and light began to fade, so did our hope and certainty. It wasn’t until glen spotted city lights to our right, that we finally got a real sense of where we were. But this meant backtracking back up some of the rocky path, and down a nicer path, only to find a locked gate. Not willing to believe it, glen searched the fence until he found a ‘soft spot’, and del’s story tells the rest. However, since this is my point of view, I sighed a huge sigh of relief when my tires hit tarmac!!! Finally back to a world I know!