Road Notes–Nayarit/Sinaloa

Rich stares longingly at painted bottle of Pacifico.

The libre from Tepic to Mazatlan is unusually good. Driving through Culiacan was as awful as I remembered. Next time we will bite the bullet and take the cuota bypass. For some reason the “libre” from Culiacan to Los Mochis charges occasional 20 peso tolls. After our night at the Bel Mar in Mazatlan, we hit the road, hoping to make it to Alamos in time to camp for the night. However, the sun started to drop over Los Mochis. […]

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Copper Canyon Correspondent

Rio Batopilas bridge 2013

What’s up Down There The paved highway from the junction at Samachique to Batopilas is progressing relentlessly. It has reached the roadside capilla where the 5am bus used to stop to allow folks to give thanks coming up, or where you could climb on top of the school bus for fabulous views of siete pisos going down. That popular capilla is now in the bottom of a ravine. Rubble from the road widening project is being pushed downhill, creating talus […]

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Crossing the Sierras

Spitting and Sputtering Our Way Across the Dusty Sierra Madre Carl Lumholtz’s description of crossing the Sierra Madre Occidental in 1890 leaves one quaking with fear of the unknown. Not much has changed in 120 years, but the opportunity to try to retrace his route left us shaking with anticipation. Near the beginning of his journey in Sonora, he describes leaving Granados for Bacadehuachi, and Nacori Chico. This extant route is for four-legged foot traffic and vaqueros only. We checked […]

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Roasted Hearts and Winding Roads: Adventures in Oaxaca's Mezcal Country

A cask of mezcal marked with agave picture.

The wooden cask reads “Reserva de los Dioses”, or “Reserve of the Gods”. Indeed. At a mezcal distillery in the highlands of Oaxaca, an erudite, well-dressed man is pouring generous shots of liquor into real glasses. He looks to be in his mid thirties and says he has been in the mezcal business for 12 years. He learned from his father, who has been in the business for 40 years. The father sits in the shade of their roadside shack. […]

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In Search of the Oaxaca Trailer Park

Downtown Oaxaca, Mexico

“I think go left here,” Churpa said, so I quickly pulled Miss Louisiane into the left lane in front of a little blue Vocho that honked as it then changed lanes and zipped past us on the right. In Mexico, you have to make your moves without hesitation or you’ll never make them at all. “I can’t go left. It’s one way.” I said as we approached the intersection. “Then go right,” she replied, as the right lane filled with […]

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How to Get to Ex Hacienda Los Remedios

1. Take Highway 49 (libre) from Ciudad Jimenez, Chihuahua toward Gomez Palacio. 2. After about 70 kilometers, you’ll see a cemetery on your left. Just before the cemetery is a dirt road and a battered sign that reads Ex Hacienda Los Remedios. Turn left onto the dirt road. (If you come to the town of Escalon, you’ve gone a k or two too far.) 3. Follow the dirt road toward two buttes in the distance. You will cross an overpass […]

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Steve's Worst Nightmare

Semi in rearview mirror.

We clear the border at Agua Prieta in time for lunch. We’re feeling pretty good about our progress. “If we book it, I think we can still hit Chihuhua before it gets too dark,” I say optimistically, slurping on a pork and salsa verde taco. Actually I know Chihuahua is a stretch, but my elation at returning to Mexico is as good as a pair of rose colored glasses: even the potholes and the smell of sewage make me feel […]

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Road Food: Burrito Round-Up

Desert ridge in Chihuahua Desert.

As I’ve mentioned, burritos are not exactly synonymous with Mexican food in my world. That said, Chihuahua is burrito country and I’ve resolved to eat as many as possible as we cross the state’s vast and thorny expanse. Burrito #1-“RR” Restaurant and Hotel, Jamas, Chihuahua The classic Chihauhau burrito is long, narrow, loosely rolled, open at both ends, and served without a fork. This fifteen peso ($1.20) chicken burrito filled the bill and was especially satisfying because we were cold […]

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Road Notes: Janos, Gomez Palacio Bypass, and Chihuahua Libre Highways

Driving from Ciudad Jimenez.

If, on the off chance, you are looking for a hotel room in Janos, Chihuahua, the “RR” hotel is clean and friendly, though extremely funky and rudimentary. For 180 pesos a night for two (14.60 USD) a night, you can’t complain… I concede defeat…El Codo is correct…The coffee at the OXXO mini marts is not bad…I think his exact word was “good”. I’m sticking with “not bad”, but it’s definitely better than gas station coffee in the U.S. I try […]

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