Stooges Eat Baja Surf and Turf
This report describes my last leg of my failed South America trip.
Here's a teaser of eating some turf:
I met up with SheepShagger, BlakeBird, and edeslaur in San Diego for a blast down Baja. As usual, we had an excellent time. You can't beat Baja!
Sheepshagger and I pulled the bikes from Houston. 26 mind-numbing hours.
And here they are, all jammed up in Erics garage the night before we left.
I think Blake had to contend with some snow out of Colorado so I'll stop here for now in an attempt to get all coordinated and stuff. :lol3
From Aguilar, CO over Raton Pass to Santa Fe was the worst.
Once I got south of Socorro, the storm had moved east and was ruining the driving experience on I-40 from Santa Rosa to Tucumcari.
I left the house at 2am and drove straight thru 1100 miles to Yuma. The next day the weather was what we'd see for the next week.
The Ramona hills are beautiful.
While these guys were driving from as far as half the country away from my house, I was at home, enjoying good, clean sunshine.
I was a late add to the party as the original plan(s) were very different. Here's the events leading to Day 0.
Day -14 (no clue I'm going to Baja)
My son and I had just done some offroad riding at one of the ORV parks in San Diego. I'd been working long hours and really wasn't up for a day, but Andrew had been so patient, and [appropriately] insistent, we went. What a great time.
My Husky hadn't been out in about 6 months. Consider what happened, and you'll see why I think taking this trip was extremely fortuitous! All this could have happened in Baja!
Literally 20 minutes into the ride, we're watching some folks give a steep sand uphill a try when I smelled gas. Some poor sod was in trouble.
Hey, wait, it's MY bike! Gas dripped down the rear left-hand petcock and pooled on the ground. It was not a slow leak. 3 drained gallons later (extra gas can and Suburban) and the gas level was below the crack. That left me 2 gallon capacity to enjoy the rest of the day. :clap 1
While we were out there, we practiced our flat-track skills, both taking a few tumbles (Andrew tells me I biffed it 7 times). I keep my SPOT on my water-pack (backpack), and ended up riding on it for a few feet after one particularly good lowside. It looks rugged now, but still works just fine. The offroad helmet I ride with has seen its fair share of crashes, so any new scratches were not evident. LOL
Andrew is pretty new to the 65 (had a CRF 50) and made tremendous progress on his clutching skills. He also enjoyed lofting the front just about every chance he got! LOL
The rear shock has gotten spongy and easy to bottom, so I was taking it pretty easy on stuff I would normally keep the gas wicked on - especially the whoops. It's not terrible, but it's not good, but I haven't had the budget to send it in and is one reason the bike's been sitting so much.
That made it all the more surprising when, later that evening, as I'm manhandling the bike around the garage to move it out of the way and onto my stand to get the tank off, I realize it feels very familiar. Yes, the last time I'd felt this, someone had broken a subframe bolt on their Husky. In Baja.
Here's what both of my subframe bolts looked like. The broken one comes from the right side. The other bit had already vibrated itself out, so I was on Easy Street! :D
I swapped bolts using a handy-dandy-subframe-lifter-upper. It was dark, what do you expect from a flashless iPhone? :deal Anyone from OBH read this? There's my magnet, making my freezer rad! :lol3
Here's what I found when I pulled the tank.
Day -10 (no plans to do Baja)
I called up to IMS, yes they had my tank. Yes, it was under warranty. Yaaay!! I'd be right up!
Work conspired against me, and I was not able to get there.
Day -4 (no plans to do Baja)
I made it up to IMS in Riverside and swapped tanks. Heck yes I rode up there on my K1200S...
Day -3 - the phone calls...
Gang: Hey, Eric, we've changed plans and are going to Baja so you can come!
Eric: Hell yeah! :clap Errrrr, I'm not ready, my rear shock is toast, I'm not packed, I have 2 big presentations at work next week... Crap! I better get hopping!! :D
First up, the exhaust shield has decided it doesn't want to be part of the bike team... This fix lasted about 30 miles before being replaced with hose clamps. D'oh! :lol3 Yep, lack of penetration on the weld.
But this is where Husky should have bolted the thing to begin with.
Some months ago I'd bought an extra set of TE610 wheels. The rear ended up being from a 450 or possibly a 510 (anyone need the bigger disc brake?), but worked fine when I swapped my disc over. So much for having an extra disc (anyone have one they want to get rid of cheap or trade for the other disc?)
Just a few days before, I'd finally mounted my Michelin dirt tire to the matching front wheel without carefully looking it over beforehand (trusting? Stupid? Both?). I'd done this to save the time of taking off my Pirelli Scorpion from my wheel. Earlier that day I'd ridden the Husky to work for a shakedown run and noticed the bars vibrated back and forth. And the speedo magnet was missing. Looking down at 50 (those radar things on the side of the road)... wow, it was pretty tweaked. Later that night, one of the gang pointed out it was also cracked. :huh
It has been a few months since I'd bought the wheels from an inmate here, but someone's going to get an email later today anyways since they've just been sitting in a box (yes, my bad and I get what I get).
Back on with my original front wheel, adding a mid-thickness tube at the same time. I thought about swapping the regular tube out of the rear and just ran out of time.
So... yep - other than the tank and the subframe, the exhaust shield was the only thing that got fixed. Baja with a marginal rear shock. You know what? I didn't care! :norton
Here's Blake crashed on the guest house couch. :D
Now if only my garage looked like this EVERY day! :wink: (another quality iPhone pic. I promise they get better!)
I was super-jazzed to be going, but as of this pic, I still wasn't fully packed! :eek1
Plus I was only going down for 4 days out of the 10 available as I had work conflicts. But I was super-pleased to be making that as this bunch of pirates are a hoot to hang out with! :freaky
More on the Husky suspension...
Turns out my buddy from AZ who's been staying with us this past week knows a guy who does killer suspension work, and has absconded back to his home with my shock and forks. :clap I can't wait to get 'em back.
He also took our CRF50 and XR80 for his girls, so I'm looking for a very clean CRF230 or equivalent for my youngest daughter now. :D
Barter rocks (yes, I'm getting cash back, duh!)!
He didn't need the '04 TRX90 quad, so it'll be going into the sale/trade pile to fund new bikes and college degrees!
Back to our regularly scheduled trip report!
We rode thru the beautiful green hills headed south to hwy 94 to Tecate, where we'd cross. We stopped briefly for some reason or another - I think Arno wanted to change money here. Last time I was here was on a streetbike ride enjoying hwy 94 out to Jacumba. Great roads in the area around Japatul, Lyons Valley...
We parked in the shade after crossing and got our paperwork done, which meant a long walk up the hill from the bank, The bank was packed with people, we were in there for a while.
From Tecate, we took MX2 libre east to La Rumorosa and had lunch and topped off with gas. There were tracks we'd follow south that would take us through the Parque Nacional Constitucion de 1857.
Just an FYI - most of you now qualify for ALARR III. The only exception would be drrags. He was at ALARR II last year and the organizing committee has not voted yet on whether or not to let him return this year. You guys, having spent some time with him, will understand our dilema. :evil :lol3
Not much to report on the trip to Eric's. I cut out of work early to find Arno moaning & groaning about his damper not arriving in time for the trip. So after a few snide remarks about his lack of manhood and sexual tendency :ymca, he was raring to go. So we loaded up Shamoo and hit the road by about 7pm.
24 hours and ~1500 miles later we got to Eric's. No sign of Eric, but his family are there entertaining Blake. They looked VERY bored, and seemed to be glad of the distraction. Eric's daughters then proceed to inform Arno and I that Blake has been watching Hanna Montana all afternoon and has enjoyed it so much, he even watched one episode twice. They seemed a bit concerned that there Farther was going to be taking a trip with a man of this caliber.
After a great dinner, Eric arrives home and informs us he has not done his packing yet, then proceeds to rush about the house throwing miscellaneous items into his bags and top case, complaining he can't find what he needs. Arno and I just sit back, drink some beer and watch the show.
The Hana Montana excitement during the day must have been a bit too much for Blake, as he heads off to bed early, leaving just Arno and I to make fun of Eric. At about 11pm or so, Eric can't find his $15 wallmart tent he bought for our last Baja trip, so we head to Wallmart to buy another tent. Eric finds a $10 tent this time and can hardly hold his excitement back at this great purchase. (This purchase causes endless fun for me later on in the trip).
Getting ahead of ourselves. Write this down, you will likely never hear me say this again - slow down! :rofl
Gentle (ha!) Readers, you'll see why this might be funny as this trip report progresses.
Ready for Day 1 to Tecate, gents? :deal
Day 1 - Tecate and parts unknown
I had resolved myself to take more pictures this trip. I even brought a not-crappy camera which didn't post dates onto the images (metadata, Kodak, metadata!!!).
In retrospect, I'll call it way better than in the past. I thought I took an huge number of pictures, but the final count disagrees with my perception. Reality is tough, but I have a helmet, so I'm cool with it!
Since I had just installed my tank in the last couple of days and been prepping, of course I needed gas.
Everyone else followed suit, except Blake as he'd already filled up the day before while I was slaving over a hot laptop at work. :D
The requisite border-crossing paperwork mambo
You know you're getting older when the hill down to the bank looks imposing on your way back up it. And you start breathing hard! :lol3
"Blake has been watching Hanna Montana all afternoon" :ear :wave :lurk
Hiya, Dean :wave
hey, it's a Netflix house full of teenagers. What's a guy to do?
Then Eric made me sit thru half of Howard the Duck the day I got back, as if I hadn't had a rough enough day already :poser
The paperwork mambo in Tecate was typical 'hurry up and wait', with a long uphill hike in MX boots thrown in to add to the pleasure.
So, my next pictures are when we were waiting for Arno (aka "I've fallen and can't pick up my bike") well south of La Rumorosa....so I'm waiting for y'all to catch up.
From Tecate, we took MX2 libre east to La Rumorosa for lunch and to top off the tanks before heading south.
Wish I'd gotten a picture of all the crap flying out of Eric's top box once we got on the dirt. I stopped and picked up some stuff that flew out, and he wondered where I was, so he turned around. He saw me motoring and figured all was ok - so he turns back around, flies off a berm and more stuff came flying out.
I stopped again to pick it up, thought we'd be doing this until he had nothing left to fall out of his topbox and I was carrying it all.:D
So, Day 1 of the actual ride started with us getting up at the crack of dawn with the intentions of getting an early start, one thing led to another and we were still fartarsing around at 9 or so.
Eric announced his wife had made Biscuits and Gravy for brecky. Not being a great fan of the pancake style breakfast you get in the states, I generally steer clear of anything other than Bacon & Eggs since all that stoge just make me feel sick for the day. So I was a little dubious, but since I had never had it before and it was made just for us, I couldn't refuse. Dam it was good. :dg
I had no idea there was sausage in the gravy, I had always thought it was just lumpy crap when I had seen it before, not at all what I expected.
So after brecky, we set off to the Tecate border crossing, great roads and an empty and uneventful border crossing. From here we had decided to follow the border east to Rumorosa and start our drop south into Baja on dirt following some tracks I had that headed through a park. (I can't remember the name)
The road ride was normal and uneventful. But the dirt tracks south turned out to be a great ride, few wrong turns and dead ends into washed out rivers and such had to be navigated, but know-one seemed to mind the constant backtracking they were doing by following my crappy lead. Well if they did, they stayed quiet which is very strange from this crowd.
The road sweeped through the normal Baja style open plane sand, but then all of a sudden climed a hill and you were into a great pine forest, very different from the normal Baja trails.
The road was red mud or sand with a few rocks here and there. We had a few stops on the way to regroup and had the normal BS making fun of each other. When we got to the top of one hill to re-group, there was no Arno behind us.
Blake Eric & I waited for 5 or 10 mins and still no Arno, so Eric set off backtracking to find Arno, while Blake and I stayed put.
Man that rear shock was soft!
Before we headed into the dirt, we did some pavement. And we ate.
Blake - my feet still thank you for picking up my socks!! :lol3
We stopped somewhere for lunch after Tecate.
Shaun was on his 950SE, turning him into instant-Superman. Look, he even looks like it sitting there for our meal!
Where in the US can you watch them make your tortillas, by hand!, right in the dining room? :D
And self-responsibility is important, as Arno was taller than the exhaust, and the stove was hot, hot, hot. I love Baja!
Just before this great meal, we worked on my throttle.
Apparently some of those lowsides from our flat-track practice **eventually** caused the throttle to stick. One washer from Arno's Guatemalan stash and I was ready to rock again!
After that, we headed for some dirt!
Oops... wrong turn?
Before the mud section in Shaun's post, here comes Blake!
We waited for Arno for a while. And a while longer. After counting 3 minutes, it was time to head back, so I loaded up and hauled tushy!
Hey, Arno - what'd I find? :eek1
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