Ater spending a few days visting my son I was finally ready to get south. Baja was waiting. And so was I. I decided to drive out to Palm Springs and take the highway south from there to 'see' the Salton Sea. Don't ask why. I just thought it would be interesting to see this sea. I pulled into Palm Springs and decided to take a look around, still had lotsa time before I needed to be in El Centro, so I'd have some lunch and stretch the legs. During lunch I thought about staying in Palm Springs and riding out to Joshua Tree.
Is there really a tree named Joshua?
But I'm anxious to get into Baja. So I decide to get riding. I could always swing by this way after and see this tree named Joshua....So I get to my bike and immediately notice my back tire is flat. Ahhhh crap! A flat this early in my trip? My bike is parked near main st. And it's pretty busy, and i'm all geared up in my Charlie suit looking like I just landed from the moon. I think some smartass even asked me where my spaceship was parked
But anyways, I get to checking my tire loooking for obvious signs of puncture and found none. So I pull out my airpump and start filling the tire. I get it filled to the point that I can now here the air leaking out. Crap again! I figure to fill it reeeeeeal full and dart to a bike shop. And I do. There was one not too far away, but then again, is anything really far away in Palm Springs? So after changing the tube and reinstalling the tire I'm set to go, but dammit, it's already 4PM. Might better just spend the nite in Palm Springs. Palm Springs is nasty expensive. But oh well, it's all part of the fun. I just wish fun wouldn't cost so much.....so early!
Well, one nite turned into two nites, what with all the hot sun and pools and ice cold beers and then the effect it was having on me and my pasty white Canadian...soul. So I stayed two nites. Big Deal I was not on any stinkin schedule. What's another day? I woke up early the next day and by mid afternoon i was ready to start packing for El Centro. I can make it to El Centro in a coupla hours, no sense rushing.
I pull into El Centro and find one of those $40/nite hotels and call it a day. I wake up early the next day and get my bike packed and ride around the corner to get a coffee. When.....what's that I smell? Ahh Crap - coolant. Sure enough, I check the weep hole and it's leaking. And it's Monday. Isn't Monday a universal holiday for bike shops? I did manage to find an open shop in San Diego, so back I go. $400 dollars and 4 1/2 hours later I'm out the door. Except by now it is 'already 4PM....guess I'm staying in San Diego tonite. San Diego is another nasty expensive town. But I check into a room and check the weather report back in Ottawa and suddenly I feel really good about being in San Diego.
Next day I am up and packed and ready to ride.....in the rain? This trip is definitely starting on a weird note. Cold and wet in San Diego? Furtunately it dries up fast and I'm in Tecate by 10 AM and in 'the bank' in line paying for my tourist card after which I pull out some American pesos and try and convert to Mexican dollars. Nope....the teller told me I needed to go to 'the bank'. Huh? I was in 'the bank'???....I left.
Welcome to Mexico - land of the confused gringo!
But alast, finally...here I was in Mexico. Riding the Baja on my bike, c/w new waterpump, and doing so by myself. It felt great. I made tracks for Ensenada, which I really had no plans to see. Ask me why, no wait don't ask please. I'd rather forget that nite!
Except for the detour into san Diego...my plan was to highball it to San Felipe and then let the Baja happen as it might...But now I was riding to Ensenada on wet roads and it was cold. Dam cold...well cold for baja. By the time I hit Ensenada I was having second thoughts about getting to san Felipe. I was cold and the clouds looked threatening. And it was windy. Very windy. But after lunch at some sidestand in which I ate two of something. I had no idea what I was eating...but boy, was it good! Now, I was ready to ride again. So it was off to San Felipe. Did I mention the wind yet? I took the #3 across the mountains to san Felipe and I had stopped to take a picture...my battery recharged itself?...and while stopped, the freakin wind knocked my bike over! It was windy! And my nice clean shiny bike was on it's side...getting all dirty. And scratched!
Dust storm in the valley