Hi Carl & Lorena
I had planned to send you my Mexican Traffic Cop stories, but Curly was very insistent that I pass on information about the road conditions from Creel to Batopilas. This is as of 02/14/08...
The pavement from Creel to Samachique is in great shape, though drivers should keep an eye out for rocks in the road. We let down our guard, and hit a boulder and had it not been for the rock guard Curly added, we'd have lost our oil pan. In several areas, the state has put up a sort of netting that looks like it would hold most rocks. Other places, they've used spray-on concrete. The purists may say it screws up the aethetics, but they probably aren't driving their own vehicles. I think it's a small price to pay to avoid having a rock come thru your windshield.
The two lane rock/dirt road is another story. There is major construction underway. There are several bridges being installed, so there are lots of detours around those. According the the bus driver, who has been driving the Creel/Bato route for 17 yrs., the road is being paved (two-lane) to Quirare. In the proper vehicle, there should be no problems. SUV's and trucks with good road clearance are a must.
I'm working on the story of our latest trip to Batopilas, and will send you some of the highlights soon. Just as a teaser, here is the first line... "In hindsight, it was a bad idea to drive the Mercedes to Batopilas." And, so you won't think we're total idiots, we have driven there in a car five times before. But, those cars were set up for off-road conditions and the Mercedes, well, it isn't. But, we did make it and we had lots of laughs and met some great folks on the way. Can't wait to tell you about it. Also, want to give our impression of the risk factor concerning the drug problem there. It's no more serious than it is right here, but, there are places here that I would advise people to avoid. Same goes for there.