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Old 02-15-2009, 12:53 PM   #6
motoged OP
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Kamloops, BC
Oddometer: 904
My riding partners drove down to Kamloops from their homes in Edmonton on December 4/08. We had not yet had any strong indications that winter was going to give us the cold shoulder....but the Friday morning we woke up to start to load the truck and trailer we were greeted with a dusting of the white stuff...



Mark was pumped as he had never been to Mexico before, never mind the luxury of a month riding Baja. He is relatively new to riding, but over the past few years he has developed strong riding skills...



He loves his Yamaha 450 and it treated him very well over the 5 weeks away..

Darren and I have been riding together since 2000 when I bought my first dirt bike, a sweet 350 Husqvarna...



But I digress...

Darren's mistress is his Husaberg 550, a most capable beast that has been to Baja three times now in it's youth...





The plan was to load the bike, edit our gear, and stuff the truck on Friday so we could get out of Kamloops by dark o'thirty Saturday morning. The snow was both an irritant of sorts but also a reminder of what we would be leaving behind.

We got right to the job of loading and packing:



The trailer had been prepped with new rims and tires, bearings and bearing greaser units....and while the trailer was a heavy one, Mark felt assured it was up to the task

My skepticism (a contaminant for group activities) was expressed mildly at that time, but I figured we would deal with tire issues as they developed



Darren and Mark got right at it while I documented the process...


We amazed ourselves with our brilliant loading suggestions, abilities to materialize tie-downs from the depths of the MATRIX, and the speed with which we did all of that...



Stuffing the boot, as it were, was a smooth move...



We each took an extra set of tires for the bikes as we needed to be over-prepared....although we were confident that our tire choices were the correct ones, based on previous rides: Maxxis Desert IT's for the rear on all bikes with Bridgestone Ultra Heavy duty tubes fore and aft (no slime as a slimed tube cannot be patched). Darren and Mark had Maxxis Desert IT's on the front, whereas I stuck with a Kenda Parker DT front (later a moderate regret only because the Maxxis wore better...I used the "same" Kenda two years earlier and had preferred it over the Pirelli MT18 HD I had used before that....the Parker DT this time appeared to have a slightly different tread pattern than the previous one....I like it still as it is rated 6-ply...but would use the Maxxis next time....and let the shop mount these stiff shoes).

Once the truck was loaded, the spare tires cabled under the bikes, and sundry items stowed here and there, we congratulated ourselves and retreated inside.

Early Saturday morning we departed Kamloops by 7:00 am....pretty good, we figured.

First stop was just south of the 49th parallel to pick up some pre-ordered bike stuff and then down the I-5 to Seattle...



The trip south was a blur...



Our pace was good and we made a pit stop in Eugene Oregon by 7:00 pm...


We took turns driving along the way down. I took over the wheel after about 10:00 pm or thereabouts.

Everything was smooth as could be. Our plan was to drive straight through to San Diego...we had rooms reserved at Motel 6 in El Cajon for Sunday night....so we could make a quick getaway to Tecate Monday morning.

Somewhere south of Sacramento I fell asleep at the wheel at about 2:45 am.

The rumble strips didn't really wake me up....the sound of the gravel on the shoulder and in the ditch spitting off the wheel wells is what seemed to wake me up...

Whipping the truck and trailer back onto the highway was a....might I say...."exhilirating" wake-up call....that also woke my passengers up from their slumber rather quickly.

I must thank them both for their subdued response to my negligence... :t opes:mrsk basa:non o


No need to really describe how badly I felt for nearly killing us all ...I couldn't hide

I was feeling guilty and ashamed of my performance...



and all I could really do was to let Mark have his truck back...





I was wearing it...:non o


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Ged Schwartz
Kamloops , BC


Baja '05 , Baja 06/07 , Baja 08/09 , BC Alpine Single Track




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