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Day17-Cerro de la Muerte – Thu, Jan 13, 2011

Where is this Cerro de la Muerte?  We crossed over one of the most dangerous sections of the PanAmerican Highway and did not know it.  We couldn’t see it because of the thick fog and heavy rain.

Start & Stop:  Liberia, CR to Palmar Norte, CR

Mileage: 328 miles (528 km)

Weather:  Cold, fog, rain, mud



Money Exchange:  $1 USD = 503.8 Costa Rican Colon

Dean: Dang, we actually rode today.  No standing around looking cool.

Cerro de la Muerte .  We came, we drizzled, we rode it in the rain, wind and clouds.  While the 2-lane PanAm snakes its way over a 10K pass, there was nothing to see except the road immediately in front of us and many lines of slow crawling 18-wheelers, trucks, cars, pickups and tourista vans.  Most of the time the wind was blowing the rain and ground fog horizontally which made no possibility of photos.

Lisa was rolling in the mud when her SissyStrom took a mud nap.

Our VStroms took a mud nap today.  We were riding out of a traffic hold for construction on the south side of the pass.  There was a lot of water, red mud across the road.  We were between cars riding 15 MPH when my VStrom just went to sleep.  It has a tendency of doing that lately.  As I went down on my left, Lisa who was 30 feet behind me went sliding by on her right.

Lisa: I admit that I was not trying to help him up, just avoid him and instead I found myself spinning in the mud and we have the photos to prove it. Dean has a minute amount of the red on his gear.  Me?  Entire right side covered, shoulder to boot sole. It’s a good look fo sho.

Dean: If we had an overhead camera, it would have been pure ballet … except for the damn VStrom’s snoring. The

Costa Rican roads were quite nice. The was before the fog, rain, mud and "Road of Death".

roadwork team had us both up and off to the side of the road in a minute. Lisa was thrilled.  She never had so many young men run to her aid, getting her bike upright, making sure she wasn’t injured, asking if she was OK.

Lisa: Yup, there’s nothing quite like shutting down both directions of a fairly major road. We were blocking one lane once the bikes were awakened from their nap but the construction crew wouldn’t let anyone pass us. It was super slick and I think they were worried someone would hit us. Everyone who helped (which doesn’t include the putz who laid on his horn – that was a nice touch) was so nice and so concerned. It must have looked much more spectacular than it felt. Basically it just felt stupid.

Dean: Very minor damage to the Jesse bags.  With the help

Clean and tighten chain. Inspect Scott Oiler. Where is the damn #4 metric allen head.

of big rock I was able to square off the cases so the covers seat and lock normally.  (This is a skill that Alaskan Jack Gustafson taught me.)

Lisa: Actually we just got up, plugged back in and headed down the mountain like nothing happened.  And except for the fact that my bike and I are half covered in red mud, no harm no foul. However, it’s a 4 Advil night for the old gal.

Dean: Check back.  A few photos will be added in a couple days.

24 comments to Day17-Cerro de la Muerte – Thu, Jan 13, 2011

  • eff Gallagher

    Glad to see no one hurt. Great adventure and we look forward to seeing pictures. Get some sleep.

  • H Marc Lewis

    By the standard definition “it isn’t an adventure until something goes wrong”, you’re having quite an adventure already. Enjoy it twice as much ’cause so many of us are enjoying it vicariously back home…

  • Voni`

    At least it was RED mud ; )

  • pete Springer

    Well, it didn’t kill either of you so you guys must be stronger now. I think you both are leading up to your billing, ‘ALL STARS’.
    I like the tag team style of report. Please keep the story coming.

    • dean

      The All-Star never meant to be us. The All-Stars were Kneebone and Higdon. Lisa & I were just the circus clowns. We also are the jugglers, acrobats, lion tamers, and misfits in general.

      The true All-Stars are the people we meet and who help us achieve our adventure.

  • Jeff E

    Keep the entries coming! It’s such an escape to watch your SPOT track at work and think of being elsewhere.

    And that 2005 IBR bonus at the Panama Canal? I just keep laughing harder thinking of that.

  • George Mastovich

    Keep it up guys. You are doing really well. The red mud can’t be any worse than the stuff in Georgia. :) )


  • Ernie Conner

    Dean and Lisa, I am enjoying your running commentary! Good travel journalism. I do though experience sympathy saddle soreness when I contemplate what you are going through and how much territory lays ahead. Just have fun and be safe. You have no idea how much fun it is in following your travels.

  • Steve H.

    The mud on your riding clothes will surely help you blend in better. Get it over now, just go out and roll around in the dirt. :-)

  • John Cheney

    I hope you’ll tell us about all the fun stuff later.

  • chuck hickey

    See what I mean – you take a nice nap on a plane – and accidently slip one of those little silver pills in you gas tank – and BOOM Sleepy time on the Cerro de la Muerte.
    I warned you but Nooooooo – you wouldn’t listen.
    I just hope the anti-karma of the wonderful flight doesn’t come down on you in San Jose or something.
    next thing – you’ll think it is ok to drink the water.

  • Hector Haget

    Hey Lisa,

    I just got to costa rica Looks like I just missed you guys!! Wow what an adventure. Keep up the good ride!

    Hector and Jennifer

  • John H

    Glad y’all are OK. Wait until I tell my sons that all of our off-road riding in the AL and GA red mud was actually great training for a future trip on the PanAm highway! Note that some of our riding gear has a permanent reddish-orange “tint”, that stuff does not wash out.

    Keep up the great reports, looking forward to the photo dumps outnumbering the bike dumps! Hey, no sympathy here…lately every night has been a 4 Advil night for some of us.
    :) :)

  • It’s good to hear neither of you were hurt!

    Keep up the great reports!

  • Bounce

    Glad you’re both ok and that the rain didn’t cause any of the damage to the road like we saw in the pictures I found in my web search.

  • Ed Lynn

    Driving around Liberia was a lo of fun. Did you get to see any of the sights in El Coco

  • Carroll

    There’s gotta be a good story connected with all that back-tracking in and around Santo Domingo….?

  • Colin Tanji

    Hey Lisa, next time just flop over and muddy up your otherside. It’s all about, “ahem”, balance, my dear. Because I know how much you value my input…

  • Bob K

    Glad you’re having fun!

  • Diane Z

    Hi Lisa, Spoke to MB today, she told me of your travels, you never cease to amaze me. It’s been over 10 years since I rode with you to Medicine Hat, 3 Flags. I learned so much on that trip, thanks for your patience (ha-ha). Truth to be told, I thought you were crazy an hour ago and after reading all the posts, WOW-how exciting and another trip of a lifetime. I am living vicariously, thanks, Diane

  • Kirsten T-S

    Glad the naps didn’t lead to a hangover. Great stories. Thanks for making the time to sharethem.

  • Kevin (AKbeemer)

    Lisa, How do you get a V Strom to eat an Advil? I assume that is who you were referring to as the “Old Gal.”

  • Don Lindfors

    Hmmm, Dean’s bike keeps taking a “Nap”. Seems a little unusual, even for Dean.
    Dean, maybe Costa Rica was a problem because they heard you know John Lipton!
    Keep the stories coming, always enertaining and getting me more excited about a ride to Alaska summer 2012. Don & Cath

  • lisa

    hi everyone – thanks a million for following along. Diane – that 3 flags is forever etched in my mind. woohoo but that was fun! Hector- such a bummer – wish i’d known your plans and we could have coordinated. all of the rest of you laughing at my mud bath, believe me, I’m laughing too!!

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