I hadn't even fallen asleep that night when WoodsChick texted me back; I was half-joking when I'd asked if she could find me a Robby Gordon type but dang it, less than an hour later she HAD! In large part because of the great people here on advrider.
I called Kay Awaad--kay
here on advrider--right away and he agreed to extract our bikes.
The next morning we were picked up at our hotel by Kay and his racing partner Mickey who own bajaraceteam.com
--they race their F150 and a smaller Ranger in the SCORE Baja races. Kay has also raced motorcycles in Baja and has a repair shop a few miles north of San Felipe in the gringo settlement of Playa de Oro. We drove the 65 miles back north in their 4-door 4 wheel drive F350 chase truck towing a Rhino and a utility trailer. As we passed by the place we'd hiked out of the day before Kay shook his head and uttered the words that became our motto the rest of the trip: "That's not a road------that's a track!" They knew right away they'd never be able to get in that way without getting stuck as well.
As it turned out this has been a very wet winter in Baja. Remember the damp sand we'd had fun in leaving Canon de Guadalupe? As Kay put it, it only rains in Baja once or twice a year, and--it had rained here pretty hard just 2 days earlier, while we were living like kings in El Centro.
They drove a mile or two past our mud track, found a REAL dirt road that skirted the small hills to the north, and using my gps we drove the truck to within about a mile from where I'd marked the bike's location before they'd been abandoned. If
they were still there....
We unloaded the Rhino,
hitched up the trailer, and set out over a sandy track.
We intersected our track from yesterday about a half mile from where we'd left them and slowly approached through the slimy mud--the four big wide soft tires on the Rhino were much better at floating over that glop...whew, bikes are still there!
Kay was convinced he could ride the DR out------I'm pretty sure he figured we were just Baja noobs (uhhh, yeah, we were)-----and we had just panicked at the first sign of trouble. We got it started and he promptly got it stuck in the mud trying to turn it around, and pronounced in his Egyptian accent: "There is something wrong with this bike..."
We muscled the DR into the trailer and got back to the truck,
loaded up and dropped everything back at his shop.
The clutch had not just fried, it had exploded--the plates were broken into pieces, bits were floating around the inside cover, and the basket was burned black.
Our choices were to call home, send for my truck and end our trip, or find a way to fix it. Yep, we weren't ready to bail, no way.
It took us 8 days in San Felipe to get it done, but we got a basket, plates and springs, 3 oil filters and 2 gallons of oil to flush out the crankcase (which included an all day ride to El Centro and back for parts from Imperial Valley Cycle--I did manage to swing by In-N-Out on the way back, got a double-meat-animal-style burger for my son--the checkpoint guards got a kick out of the cold hamburguesa
in my saddlebag).
We got to know the town of San Felipe pretty well. Went on lots of hikes.
Got to ride along in the race truck during some test runs.
Explored the unique style of building.
Tried the tallest swingset in Baja.
Watched lots of futbol and CNN on the 2 channels in our room.
Saw some NFL playoffs at the bar.
Became regulars at the panederia
down the street.
Played massive games of cribbage--you don't need a cribbage board either.
Tried not to kill each other.
In general, we lived like kings.
Finally the parts were in and our last night in San Felipe we celebrated by going out to a great taco place.
We were ready to get back on the road.