This is where I left off if you were originally following my blog. I apologize for being unable to keep you posted real time. I am now filling in everything "after the fact"!
Our Day 3 destination was near Saltillo, Mexico. Today was my first great surprise of the trip. It may sound stupid to you as you read this, much of what I say and do might for that matter, but I had not done any research into the geography of where we were going. I had this expectation of driving a 1000 miles across the desert floor through Mexico. That misconception was put to rest on Day 3!
My memory tells me that about 100 miles into Mexico we started climbing in altitude. By the time we reached Saltillo we were at about 6,000 feet above sea level. I'm not sure of how many miles it really was but I'm pretty sure for the next 1,000-1,500 miles we stayed between 5,500-9,500 feet above sea level. What a beautiful gift from God to me. This literally proved to be the best motorcycle riding of my life. It is going to be very difficult to top!
Our "true" destination for the day was Rancho La Paloma (Dove Ranch) in Huachichil, Mexico. I am certain I will screw up some of the following "facts" but will do my best from memory. Rancho La Paloma is run by Mike and Christie Starling. The ranch was started by Mike's parents more than 40 years ago. They were missionaries to Mexico. The ranch is utilized mainly (I think) by church groups throughout Mexico. They come to camp and stay in the cabins for about a week at a time.
Mike actually grew up at the camp. This is where he and Christie met as teenagers. Well, the camp had fallen into disrepair in recent times. Mike and Christie felt called to come back and to revitalize it for Christian outreach. They have already made some nice upgrades but it has a long way to go. They are working right now to raise funds for many basic things - like roofs that don't leak. They are missionaries too so money is always a challenge. You can contact me if you would like to reach Mike and Christie and help their cause.
(Hover over or click on the pictures to see captions. I didn't caption all but many.)
We had heard it was about a 2-4 hour process to cross from Texas into Mexico. The lady at the motel said it would only take 10 minutes. We were all more than a little surprised when it turned out that she was right. Thankfully Brian Weed pulled over shortly after we entered Nuevo Laredo because he knew we would need paperwork to get all the way through Mexico and into Guatamala. It took us a thrilling 20 minute ride through the narrow streets of Nuevo Laredo to get back to this building - where we spent 3 hours jumping through hoops to get all of the correct paperwork: -)
What an awesome day! Drove through the hill country of Texas today making our way down to the Mexican border at Laredo, Texas. This is a very popular area for motorcycle riding which also makes it a great place for a motorcycle museum. Kind of small compared to many I've been to but high quality bikes. Probably 100 of them. I took many pics but I would be back from the whole trip before 25 of them uploaded from here :-)
This was a great place for lunch. it is near the bottom of the twistiest portion of the 3 twisted sisters highways. We all made it down without incident. It was a blast to ride. We weren't able to ride 75% of all 3 of the twisted sisters. I really hope to come back with my Harley (and my wife Debby) to the hill country of Texas someday. It was beautiful!
I credit these two guys for asking me to join them in paving the way for Ride Extreme for Youth Extreme. The guy on the right is Brian Weed - our missionary friend in Nicaragua. The guy on the left is Bruce Walker from Pilot Point, Texas. Bruce is an adventure rider and has a heart the size of Texas for the youth of Nicaragua!
Let's see if this text actually stay's when I publish. these pictures are from the final day of travel to where the ride teams all joined up on Thursday afternoon/evening. I am not going to type much more until I'm sure it will publish.
In precisely 7 days 11 men from Wisconsin, Missouri, and Texas will throw their legs over their motorcycle seats and set out on an epic journey! The mission? To deliver an overwhelming dose of love and hope to the youth of Nicaragua! Our 2,500 mile motorcycle ride will take us from Pilot Point, Texas to Managua, Nicaragua. Upon arrival each of us will donate our motorcycles for ministry use.
Why are we doing this (beside the fact I can think of no cooler trip for an avid motorcycle rider)? Each of us has been called to support Jovenes Extreme. English translation=Youth Extreme. Youth Extreme is a youth sports ministry dedicated to getting at risk kids off the streets and involved in positive experiences.
This is why we are called Ride Extreme for Youth Extreme. Each "state team" is dedicated to raising the $70,000 required to build a youth sports complex in their chosen community. Of course we can't do this by ourselves. We are counting on you to join us in any way you can, first by your prayers, and second by your donations.
This is my first blog attempt on our website. If this works you will be hearing from me regularly on our travels. God bless you all!