SOL Y MAR - The Chain Gang Rides Sonora

 by Marina Ackerson

     It takes a village…to get a girl back to Mexico.

     Mud from last fall’s Mexico adventure power washed off, a new fan motor, and more wrenching, wrenching, wrenching and I was off to Mexico again (thanks to a little [or a lot] of help from my friends)!

     I met the chain gang in Douglas.  Maralan Hutchins put this trip together and led the rides.  She is an accomplished motorcyclist living in Arizona.  Along with her husband, John Stock, and Steve Johnson (founder of the chain gang) an eight day ride was planned.  Each night we received a briefing and a couple pages of info on what the ride would be for the next day.  We followed the Routa Rio Sonora, and Routa de la Sierra from Douglas, to Heromosilla, to Obregon, to Alamos, San Carlos and back to Douglas.

     The trip was dubbed as a “road trip” with an optional 65 mile dirt bike ride from Alamos to El Fuerte.  The “blacktop” road was typical Mexico.  It was full of potholes, free range cows, and other assorted animals crossing the road.  We went through four “vados” (water crossings), lots of great twisties (sweet 16), and small Mexican villages with squares and churches in the center of town and sometimes cobblestone streets.  Food was fresh and delicious.  Accommodations were excellent.  I especially liked the three nights in Alamos at Rancho Acosta.  We had breakfast and dinner there with a cocktail hour serving margaritas, cervesas, chips, salsa and delectable appetizers.  Yum!

     It was from the Acosta’s that three of the eight of us embarked on our 65 mile dirt bike ride from Alamos to ElFuerte.  We encountered a mix of good dirt road, sand, washboard, cobblestone, topes, and herds of cows to ride through.  I thought I was doing great until a smaller dirt bike with a huge cooler strapped on the back that looked bigger than the bike passed me like I was standing still.  I later learned this kid makes runs every day from the coast to ElFuerte with fresh fish.

     Now it’s time to get the F650 back in shape again – ready for a fall dirt bike ride in the Gila National Forest, New Mexico.

     Thanks to all who made my trip possible.


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