Out for a hike in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, USA. Photo taken April 19, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Osgoode, Ontario, Canada. Just south of Ottawa.

And where are they going next? We leave November 1st for a six week trip to Romania and Moldova.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Shake, rattle, and roll!

We were a little late hitting the road yesterday morning because they locked the gate at the western movie set parking lot. Of course it's a good thing that they locked it...only problem was that we had to wait for the guy to unlock it!

Still...we were on the road before 10:00am. With a bit of a long drive ahead us...

We weren't sure exactly where we planned to spend the night last night. There are no "RV parks" in this area, so if we couldn't find somewhere suitable along the way, then we figured a worse case scenario would have us reaching the city of Parral, about 400 kms (245 miles) to the north.

The highway as we set out north.

Check out the guy having a snooze!

We were on a nice brand new section of highway for a few miles.

But it soon turned to a simple two lane road.

A huge monolith off in the distance.

But we did have some passes to get through. I had thought that this route would be fairly flat and straight, and some of it is. But there are also some areas that are slow going, with lots of twists and curves. And scenery!

View from the highway.

This looks like it should have been taken from an airplane, not out the motorhome window!

The road ahead.

The valley had some trees with fall colors!

Just before the town of Rodeo, we hit some road construction. Man, it was slow going. It lasted for about 10 kms (6 miles) and I bet it took us close to an hour to get through it. Shake, rattle, and roll! Well, we didn't quite roll, but we sure did shake and rattle!

The detour section is a lot rougher than it looks!

New bridge.

Another detour.

New equipment.

Most of the heavy equipment we saw looked brand new! Maybe the company got paid in advance. Who knows. It was funny though, that while all of the big equipment was brand new, we still saw one guy building concrete forms and using a hand saw to cut the wood!

We finally made it to the town of Rodeo where we pulled in for gas. I asked the attendant if I could pay with my Visa card, and he said sure...no problem. So I asked him to fill it up! I had quite the conversation with him and the couple of guys selling bootleg CD's and DVD's. We even got to talking about maple syrup, and the next thing you know I'm pouring from our maple syrup jug onto a spoon so that they could see what it tastes like. At the gas pumps! Ha! Only in Mexico!

We had been at about 1/4 tank and it took 2,400 pesos ($195 CDN) and 177 litres to fill it up. Yikes. It wasn't that long ago that gasoline was quite a bit cheaper than Canada or the U.S., but now it's the other way around.

The town of Rodeo. So is this Rodeo Drive?

As we drove through this town in the middle of nowhere, we thought what a nice little place it was. We should have stopped and had a wander around, but with the road construction we were a little behind schedule.

Besides, it was about to get worse!

As we left Rodeo, we were on a brand new section of highway. But it only lasted half a mile or so!

And then we were back into construction. It was really slow going!

And we saw one sign that said they were constructing 28 kms (17 miles) of new highway! We did another 15 kms of terrible detours and rutted dirt road. We figure the 28 kms included the section that we had previously done before Rodeo. It was rough going. Sure will be nice when they're done, but it'll probably be another year.

Then it was over, and this was the road for the last part of drive. Nice surface, and straight as an arrow. I actually sat back and put the cruise control on at 80 km/h (50 mph) and relaxed!

Beautiful scenery.

We pulled in to Pancho Villa's hacienda in the town of Canutillo at 4:00pm.

This is the last home that was occupied by Francisco (Pancho) Villa before he was murdered in the city of Parral in 1923. He lived here for 3 years. It's now a museum with lots of photos and relics. We asked the caretaker if we could stay overnight, and he said no problem.

This mask was made from a cast that was done on Pancho Villa's face the day that he died!

A photo of the revolutionaries.

We had Pancho himself watching over us last night!

And a peaceful night that it was in the little farming town of Canutillo. Today, we head north to the city of Parral, about 80 kms (50 miles) away. Should be an easy drive compared to yesterday. 

Yesterday's drive was a bit of a long one by our standards! 335 kms (208 miles).


  1. Lovely scenery. Here's to no construction on today's journey!

    1. We are loving the scenery too! We find it so much more interesting than just being by the beach. Unfortunately we had more construction on today's drive. :-(

  2. Some of those roads remind me of parts of New Brunswick when we went through there the last time in the motorhome. Man those roads were rough, and the Ford F-53 chassis has just about the worst suspension I think I've ever encountered. It was as if there were no springs at all. Hopefully your next drive will be smoother.

    1. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia! They were some of the worst roads we have ever been on and they weren't even doing road construction!

      Today was more construction, just not for such a length!

  3. Sorry about the slow traffic and bumpy roads. But I appreciate the great photos and detailed descriptions. I don't think we will ever travel those roads but after your post I almost feel like I did!

    1. Have to say that despite the construction the scenery was beautiful. This road should be in great condition in another couple of years. So glad that you enjoyed the ride without having to deal with the bumpy conditions.

  4. Mexican construction zones and detours give new meaning to the words!

    That death mask of Pancho Villa looks like it shows a bullet hole in his forehead!

    1. Yep, you would know it as well as we do, definitely a little different than road construction in the States or Canada.

      It probably was a bullet hole. He apparently got shot nine times and four of those shots were to the head!

  5. Wow thats is a long drive for you, but enjoying new countryside.

    1. Yep, definitely a long drive for us and one that we don't want to make too often.

  6. That mask of Pancho Villa's face is scary looking. The revolutionaries photo was the exact photo in the museum.

    How interesting to see his last home and us being where he invaded the US. What a crazy man he was.

    1. I'm not sure I would say it was scary but we do think it is weird that they would make a mask of his face just after his death.

      He certainly had a colourful life but I don't think many Mexicans would think of him as crazy. He did do many things to improve their lives and surprisingly enough he thought that education was the way to improve their lives and he did much to help in that respect. Many Mexicans look to him as a hero but he certainly had his faults.

    2. You are correct Ruth, Pancho Villa did much to help his people in their fight for land reform. He got on the wrong side of the law at the age of 16 by killing the landowner who had raped his very young sister. It is unfortunate he was not allowed to live out his life. His museum in the city of Chihuahua is very interesting and displays the Dodge he was ambushed in, complete with bullet holes.

      He was not killed by the law (he had since made peace with the government) but by assassins hired by either 1) the family of a general he had killed in battle or, 2) political rivals who feared he would run for President of Mexico. There is no question that Mexico is a better place because of Villa.

    3. We saw his car at the muesum in Chihuahua back in the spring of 2013, we found that much of the display there was very similar to the one at his last home in Canutillo. Thye also have another museum in Parral in the building where he was shot. We didn't have time to stop by there as we only had the afternoon in Parral, maybe next time,

  7. Excellent pics you guys! Lots of construction but it definitely says that Mexico is growing and on the move. Burgeoning middle class is increasing tax revenues and more money to spend on infrastructure. I love this part of Mexico and as you said, few rvers make their way through Durango and Chihuahua. Two great states. Are you exiting through Ciudad Juarez? It would be interesting to check out the Mormon community where the Romneys live.

    1. Thanks Chris, we are really loving the area and it will sure be nice to see the road finished and how it will help the economy in the area. Durango especially is working hard to make tourism a big thing. I think one of the reasons that they are improving the road is that they are billing the road as "The Royal Road of the Heartland". It has become a UNESCO sight with 19 different sights in the Durango area. There is definitely lots to see in the area.

      No we won't be exiting through Ciudad Juarez, maybe another time.


We love hearing from you! Please take the time to leave a comment...