Riding my bike down the Baja had been my dream from the day I bought my bike. Trying to make this dream a reality was always a struggle. Always one thing or another came in the way. Every summer I would plan to do it in the Fall, and by Fall I would always end up postponing it to the Spring. Then Spring would roll around and I would have to wait again til Fall....It became a vicious circle of me never getting to the point where I could actually DO the trip. I wasn't sure either if I should be thinking about such a trip alone. I had some (read: a bit) experience riding dirt and even a few rocky trails....but would that be enough experience to prep me for the Baja? I had read lots of RR's and something about doing this trip solo had me intrigued.
I had a lot of personal.....stuff I was dealing with and thought perhaps the whole solo experience was just the ticket to get my life figured out. Or even just figure how to get it back on track. Or if nothing else, just to get away from the mess I was leaving behind.....
Now was the time....this year was different. I had the time-no job. I had the finances-sold my house. And then.... g/f....well things kinda took a turn for the not-so-good just as I was planning to leave. Shit....
Now, this year, this time, there was nothing stopping me....just kinda bummed not to be meeting my g/f along the way.
But I was going....I had to.
My plan was to ship my bike to Tucson and fly down and begin my adventure from there. My son lives in Newport Beach so I figured I'd ride out and spend some time visiting him before heading south into Baja.
I left Ottawa, and it's four feet of snow, on Dec. 15th. I wasn't scheduled to return until Jan. 20th. Should give me enough time to explore Baja?!?
I'd never spent more then 4 days riding consecutively, so I wasn't even sure how I was going to handle this much time on the bike. I knew (or thought I did) that Baja riding was going to be much different then anything I had ever ridden before. Little did I know how different. And five weeks? Really?
My plan was....well I had no plan. I wasn't sure even how far south I was going to get. I knew there were some places that I really wanted to see....Gonzaga, Bay of LA, Punta San Franciquito, Bay of Turtles and....I have a buddy with a rather nice place (palace) in Cabo, but I wasn't sure I wanted to do the drive from Loreto to La Paz. Too much highway. Although, judging from my maps and research, I thought that from La Paz to Cabo could also be lotsa fun. All I really knew was I wouldn't know until it was time to know...? huh?.
I'd ride til I got tired and if I needed a break, I'd stop and take one. I had driven down Mex 1, several times, but never on my bike. And this trip was more about avoiding Mex 1 - as much as possible. I was looking for dirt. Lotsa dirt! And beaches. Lotsa beaches!
Never really figured the rocks and sand into the equation.....Yeah, I knew Baja - Right!
I had shipped my bike to a fellow Baja adventurer. Frank, from zmw's in Tucson, handled everything for me in getting my bike ready the day I arrived. He helped me pick-up the bike from the shippers warehouse, put new tires on. Gave me some good Baja maps, heck he even picked me up at the airport! Whatta guy!
So there I was, finally on my bike, all geared up and ready to go.....but it was already 4PM, it would be dark soon and I hate riding after dark, especially when I don't know the area. But I had to get a start. I was itchin to go. And so made tracks for California. I got as far as I could that day/nite before finally getting a hotel in bum-fuk-nowhere. I would get an early start in the morning and reach Newport Beach by afternoon. Perfect!
Frank had suggested to take Highway 8 to the coast. Said it was more interesting then the #10 highway. Told me about the dateshakes in Dateland. I set my gps to Dateland and started out the following morning. I finally made it to Dateland and pulled off the highway in search of a dateshake.
Hmmm...did Frank forget to tell me something about 'Dateland'?