Thur Feb 5
It's easy to get up early when you have something like this to look at...
Broke camp reluctantly and headed N on HI 1. I had in mind to turn off at Chapala and head for Bahía S.L. Gonzaga, but was a little aprehensive of doing that somewhat isolated stretch solo. Then I would make my way N on the east coast and enter the US at Mexicali.
Just a few miles N of where I camped I ran across this...
The day before the Canadian couple told me about the accident. I had seen a huge plume of thick, black smoke before stopping at Playa Escondida, not knowing what it was. They told me the fuel tanker had tipped over followed by a huge explosion. They were heading S from Mulegé back to the camp area and were barely able to make it through. Sadly, they were quite sure the driver died in the accident.
It was cooler this morning, more so than what I thought would be usual. But I was riding along the coast towards Santa Rosalía and expected it to warm up once I turned inland towards Guerrero Negro.
The temps were most decidedly not rising and a strong, chilly head wind was developing. Stopped on the outskirts of Guerrero Negro around 1:30 and the sun felt warm as I ate, but the chill was still in the air. Started adding more layers of clothing, stowed my fingerless gloves that I had been given and broke out my winter ones. Seemed strange to feel so cold in the middle of Baja. Filled the tank, checking mpg and it was only 37 if my calculations were right, normally the KLR gets around 50. The wind and weight were having their effect. I knew the gas options were limited and I wanted to fill again before Chapala. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that Villa Jesús María came so soon after Guerrero Negro. Since I had just filled, I wasn't even thinking about gas as I passed through J. María.
At Punta Prieta I had read that they have barril gas, and I asked at 4 different locales. No hay, no hay, no hay, no hay! At the last place I asked I pulled my key out and it dropped from my hands and....? Where did it go?
Somewhere between the gas tank and the dash. Couldn't see it. It wasn't on the ground. I shook the bike, leaning it back and forth as best I could, but it was loaded down with the luggage and I couldn't lean it too far for fear of dropping it. No key dropped out. I had a spare, but I didn't want to leav a key "down in there".
I pull off all the luggage, remove the side covers, the seat, disconnect the petcock tube, remove the tank, and there sits my key, underneath where the tank had been.
I look across the street and about 1/4 mile away a pick-up truck is selling gas to some folks at a house!!
I quickly slap the tank on, seat and side covers, ask a boy to "watch my things" as I go after gas! As soon as I pull out, the gas truck does so too, and I'm waving at the guys sitting in the back, trying to get their attention and pointing to my tank. They knock on the window and talk to the driver as we're starting to speed up leaving town, and I give them a pull over, thumbs up sign, but they signal back thumbs down! Arg! I follow another 1/2 mile hoping but now they're ignoring me!
All my luggage is with the little boy back where I stopped, so I head back, with my tank still at 1/2 full, maybe more or less. I look at my watch and it was past 4:00 now. Got loaded up again, checked the miles to ride to Gonzaga, and while I might have been able to make it, I didn't like the idea of trying the Chapala road solo, with diminishing daylight, noticeably colder still, and maybe not having enough gas. I decide to head for Cataviña where I'm told there will be gas and a hotel. Thankfully, there was both. 40 pesos per gallon. Two hotels, one nice looking, the other not so, but a $40 difference between the two, so I opt for the cheaper one. Looks like rain was heading in my direction and that put a damper on my mood simply because I wasn't expecting any. Maybe N California, definetly Oregon, but here? What is, is. Dinner sandwiched around two hot showers helped considerably and I decided to let the weather speak to me the following morning about which direction to take: N on HI 1 through Ensenada, or, if the cold, windy (rainy?) conditions lessened, I'd return S to Chapala and over to the east side like I planned.
332 miles; 8 hours riding