Mexico 2022 – Heading South!

Ok, that’s it. We’re spending the winter in Mexico! On motorcycles, of course. We decided to make this a slightly different type of motorcycle trip. Instead of blasting through the country we are going to slow down and explore things at a slower pace, get to know the places we visit and work more on my Spanish speaking skills. We’ll see how that goes..

The plan was to leave on the bikes in early November 2021. It’s usually tricky riding from Seattle in that time of year because of rain and the potential for snow. This year was no exception. The day we choose to leave was sunny and relatively warm but the forecast further south was rain, wind and snow at higher elevations. Deby wanted to ride, I opted for some creature comforts so we loaded the bikes on the trailer and started the first part of the ride in the truck.

Not much to say about driving a truck south on I-5, lots of traffic and boring sections. We got as far as Medford, OR for the night and checked into a chain hotel. Day two was more exciting as we crossed the Siskiyou mountains. The forecast was correct, we had cold, rain and snow at times. It would have been no fun on the bikes and slightly dangerous.

By mid day we arrived at our friend’s Airbnb near Ahwahnee, CA. CLICK HERE to see the listing. Kim and her husband are motorcycle riding friends of ours and it’s always a blast to have an evening hanging out together. They graciously let us park the truck at their house. You will hear more about them later in the blog since we will be meeting in Puerto Vallarta for the Christmas holidays.

Wednesday morning was cool but clear with a warming sun. After rearranging our gear from the truck onto the bikes we were soon saying our goodbyes and eager to start the motorcycle riding in earnest. Kris helped us plan a great route to our destination of Kernville, CA for the night.

Ahh, great to be back on the road.

We suddenly hit some fog in the higher elevations which would be gone as we descended into the next valley.

We stopped for a photo op at an overlook. You may notice I’m no longer on the Africa Twin. I finally upgraded to a BMW R1250GSA, wow what a bike.

We rolled into the touristy town of Kernville late afternoon and settled into the Riverview Lodge for the evening.

A quaint little family run hotel, although we never talked to anyone who worked there. Covid protocols dictated a “touchless check-in”, which meant the door was left open when we arrived and just leave the key on the bed when we left. The town seemed pretty quiet so we went for a walkabout before it got dark at 5:00 and then found a restaurant with not very good food. Back in our cozy room we worked on route planning for the next day and got a good nights sleep.

The view from our walk around Kernville, CA

Thursday we rode into the heat…. Our plan was to ride to Palm Springs, CA and meet our friends Michael and Dee Dee for a few days of relaxing around the pool. You may remember Michael from the 2012 trip to South America and again in Patagonia. I’m re-posting what has become famously known as “The Dee Dee Dance.” Deby and I do this dance almost every day in the morning to loosen our bones and get ready for the day’s ride. It’s fun!

We checked into the Indian Wells Resort Hotel in Indian Wells, CA. From their website:

Founded by Hollywood legends Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in 1957, the Indian Wells Resort Hotel is filled with Hollywood history and has a generous touch of old school glamour. You might call it a hotel for the retro set… or perhaps the value seekers. This boutique desert oasis is a labor of love to Palm Spring’s golden age of stars and style while delivering
modern luxuries at a reasonable rate

Of course, pictures of Lucy were everywhere.

But we choose to finally warm up at the pool. Remember, ride slower / take time to get to know the locals / enjoy the sights? Ha!

I felt bad when I got this notice on my phone while at the pool.

We got out of Seattle just in time as a series of “atmospheric rivers” slammed into the area causing flooding, mudslides and general misery for days. All we had to contend with was riding in 95 degree heat…. we managed.

I get slightly stir crazy spending too much time poolside so I talked Deby into letting me use her motorcycle so Michael and I could go for a day ride in the area.

I had a blast riding Deby’s F750GS and Michael was test riding my 1250 as he is thinking about getting one. All in all we rode 183 fantastic miles at elevations from near sea level to over 600 feet.

The first stop was a lookout up highway 74 just out of town. The road climbs to nearly 5,000 feet in the first thirty miles. Certainly one of the best rides in the area. You can see the road in this picture from the lookout.

For lunch we stopped at the Motodoffo winery. Click on the link to learn more.

It’s an awesome place with a very nice collection of over 100 vintage motorcycle on display.

Really a nice place to visit with beautiful views.

There was even a Norton! Although, it was not restored and relegated to the outdoor display. Still, it was fun to see.

Reluctantly, Michael and I both skipped the wine tasting. On the way back we stopped in the touristy town of Idyllwild for a break and a beverage. This must have been on the Harley tourbook because the town was full of Harleys on what must have been a weekend club ride. No worries, we parked next to the cruisers and followed them into the best spot in town, this time we each had a well deserved brew.

Here’s a helmet cam shot of me on Deby’s bike.

Michael and I returned to the hotel with our fill of riding for the day. What a great ride through twisty roads with some fantastic stops. As we parked the bikes I looked down at my right boot and it was spotted with oil…. that is never a good sign.

It was Saturday evening and it looked like an engine oil leak on Deby’s relatively new 2020 BMW. How could that be? Sure enough, oil was covering the upper engine. Valve cover gasket? Head gasket? Hmmm, no way to know without having a shop look at it.

We had one more day in Indian Wells and then we would ride to Tucson, AZ for a day. There is a BMW dealer there and I hoped they could sneak us in and give the bike a look over. Hopefully this wouldn’t derail our trip but it would be better to have it checked out in the US than in Mexico.

I tried to put the oil leak out of my mind when we spent the last night with our friends where we celebrated milestone decade birthdays they were both having (no more details there…)

So — yahoo, the first post in a long while and the start of a new adventure south. Thanks to everyone who has been encouraging me to continue with this blog. It means a lot to me. Thanks for comments and well wishes even though I can’t always respond due to time and bandwidth issues. I hope everyone enjoys the ride!

Donn and Deby

15 thoughts on “Mexico 2022 – Heading South!

  1. So enjoying hear about your adventures. Good luck with the oil leak on deby’s bike. Keep us posted.

  2. So looking forward to experiencing this with you, albeit by blog.
    You two are perfect for getting to know the locals and giving them what we all desire and need. To be loved and accepted!!

  3. Wet time in Seattle trees and poles down all over. You missed it enjoy the adventure
    Tom Torleif and Anastasia .

  4. On the road again!! Will you be in the Yucatan? We will be there in March. It would be great to see you two!

  5. It was so much fun spending time with you two in Palm Desert! The warm sunshine felt wonderful and we are now home where its 21 degrees! YEAH…keep doing the Dee Dee Dance…its a happy dance! Travel safe and enjoy Mexico! Big Hugs! Dee Dee

  6. Another Donn & Deby adventure! You do a great job with this blog Donn – well written, great pics. Love the Dee Dee dance! Travel safe, I’ll be following along wishing you well behind the scenes.

  7. Great to see you both on your way to Mexico! Thanks so much for mentioning our airbnb! Quatra & Smokey are keeping an eye on your truck I love the Dee dance! Nos vemos pronto en México! Buen viaje amigos!

    Kris aka Torm & Kim

  8. So great to see you guys on your way to Mexico! Thanks for sharing our Yosemite airbnb info. Quatra & Smokey will keep a close eye on your truck
    Love the Dee Dee dance❤

    Can’t wait to celebrate Christmas & New Year’s in México with you guys, Nos vemos pronto, buen viaje amigos!

    Kris aka Torm & Kim

  9. Thanks for all the comments! We love hearing from all our friends and travelling pals. We are leaving Bisbee today and I should have time for a full report on this “interesting” city. Hasta pronto!

  10. Lee and I look forward every year to take these trips with you. We have only your blogs to mentally feel the adventure and friendships you have experienced. Age sucks. You lose friends faster than you make them. I would give anything to be able to hop on a bike, with your experience, and ride into the sun. looking forward to the rest of this trip and I hope there will be many more.

  11. It’s good to see you both out for another adventure. Dance the Dee Dee was really cool. I hope the oil leak is a quick fix.
    I’ve become a full time RVer. I’m spending the winter at the KOA Resort in Laughlin, NV.
    Stop by if you find yourself in the area.

  12. So cool that you decided to be tough enough to ride with the Deb-ster for another moto adventure! I hope she doesn’t have to slow down too much for you to keep up with her. Hey Deb, how does that extra 150 pounds feel or is your XCountry too far of a distant memory to remember? (btw I parted mine out for almost what I paid for it originally). Envious of you guys, ride for me and Enjoy Life! -snooker

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