The 50-mile Dead End Road

Dec 06, 2012 View Comments by

You can never fully trust the GPS. In this case it was a blessing. Had I known I was embarking down a 50-mile dead end road I never would have had the following experience.

The year was 2009 and I was traveling south in the Yucatan of Mexico heading for Belize. My GPS showed a scenic route hugging the coastline. It was a little out of the way, but I had time and was okay with taking an extra day to get to the border. I casually cruised down the dirt road passing little vacation homes that were becoming further and further apart until I reached the last town before the bridge that connected the peninsula to the mainland. The funny thing was, I didn’t see any sign of the bridge.

It was dinnertime, so I figured I’d just find a place to eat and see what a hotel would cost in the town. I’d cross in the morning as it was starting to get dark. Only one restaurant was open right next to a hotel, and I got some wonderful shrimp tacos. I asked the waiter where the bridge was and he said there was none. I would have to back track 50 miles to where the road split earlier. Next I asked about a hotel. It was $40, which was well above my meager budget. The server was cool though, and when I asked him if I could just sleep there on the sandy ground outside of the restaurant by the beach he said yes. He warned me that sometimes the Mexican government patrolled the beach at night so I didn’t need to be alarmed. They wouldn’t bother me. More prying revealed that this dead end peninsula was a main highway for Columbians to bring drugs into Mexico at night. This just excited me and I pulled out my sleeping bag and pad to sleep out under the stars. I was so thankful for the friendly people of Mexico. Nowhere in America could I have just slept on the beach like that. Sure enough, I was awoken during the night by the sound of a truck. I stayed as still as possible and held my breath as a Jeep with armed guards in its bed slowly crept past me on the sand.

Morning came and I drove my Husky down to the marina and walked straight to the docks. I found a man fiddling with his boat. It looked to be around 20 feet long, 5-6 feet wide with a 20 hp outboard. This will do I thought to myself. I explained that I had a motorcycle and would like to get to the other side. I told him that my GPS had showed a road back to the mainland, which was part of my highlighted route. What my GPS had not let me know about was the ½ mile of water in the way. We struck up a deal for only five dollars. It was pretty easy to roll the bike off the dock and into the boat after I took off all of the luggage. Getting the bike off the boat on the other side was more of a challenge as there was no dock, but we did it nonetheless and once again I was thankful for my motorcycle choice of a light, off-road thumper. I was also glad that my GPS had given me that route. It was much more fun than hitting the highway and a roadside hotel.


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About the author

Commercial fisherman to pay the bills. Adventure Rider for the smile on my face. Documenting it all as proof that anyone can live this dream.