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Old 11-09-2012, 04:30 PM   #1
booger1 OP
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Location: Arizona
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Eating goat with the Cartel

I've got 19 days to do an epic ride. I chose Mexico this year. I attempted Baja 2 years ago, but blew my engine up 4 days into the ride.

As soon as I got back I started the rebuild, now with electric start. Fresh motor, I'm ready to go again.
I purchased Lizard Lady maps, E32 GPS maps, and spent a whole lot of time on google earth trying to find some great spots to go for.
8 months of mapping, planning and coordinating with 2 other people, I think I've got a solid plan.
Just a couple of months before the adventure begins, both riding partners fell thru, my Spanish isn't going very well either, but I push on with my plans.
I change bikes, since this will be a solo trip, lets be more comfortable.

A few course changes, Baja peninsula, ferry to Mazatlan, Espinoza Del diablo, Copper Canyon, and lot of historical places, gear is decided on, now I'm set.

Starting mileage

Day starts off like any other big trip does, late start, got the butterflies in my stomach, but not too long I pass up a border patrol agent who gives me the thumbs up, mp3 player to ear bleed, Hurricane Paul has died down to a tropical storm. I'm heading south of the border.

Immigration takes an hour and half, Go in this door, hand over passport, take this paper work over to the Aduana, they want my passport, go back over, collect passport and other paper work, head back over to the Aduana. They don't think my registration is good, they walk over to another building, then they go look at the bike. Money is exchanged, TVIP is secured, permit is in my pocket and I head south out of Mexicali and then west towards Laguna Salada.
Laguna Salada is a dry lake bed almost 33 feet below sea level, 37 miles long, and at its widest area 11 miles.
Which makes this a great place to start my Mexican adventure.

Seems like a bad place to lose your shoes and what might be a pair of underwear, I didn't go any closer for inspection.

Being from the Phoenix area I thought I was comfortable with heat, but just standing here breathing, is causing a waterfall effect from my forehead.

I'm soon off the Salada and making my way to my first nights planned camp (the only planned night), Canon de Guadalupe.

The oasis is in the horizon

This is a great place. Motorcycle parking only.

I stroll around until I find someone, he leads me to a nice campsite with a private hot spring tub.

The water is very hot, way too hot after crossing the Salada, so I'm told of a waterfall on this well marked hiking trail, with Cairns, evidently, others have felt that it wasn't marked well enough as there where Cairns all over the place, but after a few turn arounds and sliding down big boulders, I dip into the cold water and cool my overheated body down.

The hike back above the campground.

Like any other Gringo, you see a donkey, you take a picture, but these guys really like their pictures taken as they started to follow me around.

I duck behind some trees and when they weren't looking, I made a fast break back to camp.

The evening brings on an awesome sunset and the water has cooled off enough to try out the hot tub.

The man boob shot

I don't bother putting up my tent, it's still pretty warm so I lay my sleeping bag on the table, I'm way too excited and have a hard time falling to sleep, because I'M RIDING MY MOTORCYCLE THROUGH MEXICO!!!!
Eating_goat_with_the_Cartel , Never_ventured_never_gained
oncostaricantime , boundlessbooger , 1998xr400buildwithe-start
Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment - Mark_Twain

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Old 11-09-2012, 04:38 PM   #2
out riding...
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liking it already...
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:06 PM   #3
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Gualalupe hot spring yeah........
Have fun and be safe
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:26 PM   #4
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Joined: Jun 2007
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Nice start on the ride report. I'm in.

I really enjoyed the pictures. Makes the 12" of snow that's forecasted for this weekend a little more bearable!

Ride safe and thanks for posting.

Formerly known as: Routt County Rob
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:34 PM   #5
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The next morning the alarm goes off, my friends have found me.

Take a look at the GPS maps. As the bird flies I'll have about 30 miles until I hit pavement, so I opt out of breakfast thinking when I reach a store I'll get something. Fill up the camelback and I set off.
I set off along a sandy track that seems to go on for miles, the sand takes the front wheel one direction and the rear the other and it's not long before the sand really confuses the bike and I'm down.

I take a bush with me.

Several more attempts at trying to stay on the road, I decide to try cutting a new trail that will hopefully have more solid ground, but these are false hopes and I retreat back to the road.

What seems like 35 miles and 3 hours, the GPS leads me off the sandy bottom into the mountains on harder ground. I think this is good, anything to be away from that sand.

It's still blazing hot and the trail seems to be getting rougher.

I go back through my maps and my notes to see if there is another option. There's no detail on the paper maps and the GPS is telling me that I've gone too far to turn back now, meaning I'll most likely run out of fuel before hitting any sign of a decent road. I check to see if this is one of Lizard Lady's routes, nope this is one I concocted on my own using the wonderful tool we're all able to use, Goggle Earth.

The trail is getting more and more gnarly the farther I go, I keep pressing on, guzzling my water whenever I get stopped by an obstacle. I leave my jacket unbuttoned as to let more air flow through whenever I'm moving, it doesn't seem like enough.
I see a vehicle ahead and feel somewhat relieved, but as I make the approach, it's a burned out suburban, this can't be good. It's either got something to do with drug trafficking, insurance fraud, or it got so thirsty and hot it just burst into flames. I don't bother to stop and investigate.
I start up a steep incline of loose rock and dirt, round the corner, find my line, make the approach, the front wheel gets on top, but the rear chooses it's own path and down I go.
I try to pull the rear of the bike up on the high part of the trail, but can't, so I let the front come down into the groove. Pick the bike up, start it and try pushing along side it, tire just spins, and then it starts to move, then the rear comes around and the bike falls flat. I try this attempt several more times with no further progress, I'm stuck good, and the worse thing is I'm out of water. I study the maps and can see some kind of ranch about 5 miles from me. I start to take off on the hike to find some help, but my now dehydrated body is no match for the steepness of the hill. I walk back to the bike and hit the SPOT help button. I lay down in the groove my tire has dug with the bike over me to protect me from the sun.

I lay there thinking about this trip and what I'm doing out here in Mexico about as far away from human contact as possible and if I should get out of this, do I continue this trip, for an hour and half. I suppose the cool dirt that I'm laying on and being protected from the sun by the bike over the trench I decide that I'm not going to spend the night here. I make the decision to try one more time before hitting the SOS button.
In my sandals, I stand the bike up, rev the crap out of her while pushing and the bike comes out, I jump on and ride it the 40 feet to the curve and fall over again, I don't bother picking it back up, I walk back to get my boots on, pack the jacket into the top bag and carry everything back up to the bike and remount. Pick the bike up, start it and take off around the corner into the next switch back until I'm stopped by some more boulders that I crashed into, but I made it over the tuff stuff. After 4 hours, the hill that held me captive, I've now escaped. However, I keep the help button going on SPOT, knowing that I'm not really out of it until I can get some water.
I'm starting to fell better as I ride, the road, just like that got alot easier, I come up to the ranch house that was 5 miles away to find it abandoned, but I still go in to see if there is anything useful to help my situation.

Unbelievable, a coke bottle with water in it, stuff is swimming around in it, so out comes the steripen, but the stuff is still swimming, the only sure fire way to kill the bad stuff is to burn it.

This is torture, it's hot, I'm thirsty, and now I have water that's too hot to drink, but it is safe. I pour the contents into my camelback while I boil the remaining water.
I take a sip, it's still to hot, but I feel some relief. I let the water cool down and start looking around for any other sources of water, but find none, I go back to drink some more of the very warm water and start to feel alot better, I lick my lips to make sure none of the water goes to waste, but something doesn't feel right.

My lips had started bleeding, maybe the dehydration, or maybe the hot water.

I take in all the water that I can and set off, I still need more.
The trail turns into a slightly wider trail or road and run into a couple walking hand in hand away from a house, my mouth still dry I blurted out "necesario agua, no agua cuatro horas".
And the response surprised me so much, I could have cried.
The lady says "Oh, do you need water?"
I just didn't expect that, but she led me up to the house that had blankets for windows and a door where the family was cooking chilies on a 55 gallon drum and making tortillas on a make shift bench with tiles. She points to the water spicket and I charge at it.
After a short while I was able to tell the lady the whole story as she translated it back to the rest of the family. They offered to have me stay for dinner and to let me make camp there.

I think back and think I should have taken them up on that offer, but why start doing things that make sense now? (the water was all I really needed).
I thanked them and tried to give them some money, but they refused and wished me luck on my Grande Moto Aventura.
They tell me I must be crazy for doing this solo and give me the nickname Adventure Man and laughed.

I leave feeling overwhelmed by their generosity and make it out to the highway.
It's now 4pm and I find breakfast, a Monster and a pack of something that looks like ding dongs, it's not much but the store didn't have much.

The bike comes to a halt a little further down the road, out of fuel, I use the 2 one liter jugs and make it to a road side barrel gas station in Heroes de la Independencia. I must still be feeling the effects of the earlier days mishap, as I gave the lady way too much money, she corrected me.

The turn off to Mikes Sky Ranch

The dinner that was served was just what I needed.

As I was finishing up, a group had pulled in with 2 couples. They were down on vacation as well, and preparing for the big Baja race. They were able to give some route advice as I have now decided to scale back my adventure a bit. It didn't take long for me to find sleep.
Today's total milage was 135. Doesn't seem right with all that had happened.
Eating_goat_with_the_Cartel , Never_ventured_never_gained
oncostaricantime , boundlessbooger , 1998xr400buildwithe-start
Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment - Mark_Twain


booger1 screwed with this post 11-09-2012 at 08:03 PM
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:27 PM   #6
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Tight spot there, glad you got out okay. I bet you were wishing for the smaller bike for a mile or two.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:36 PM   #7
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Location: Valencia, ca
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What a bad ass report!! you are a true bad ass gringo!

man, that was like reading a short adventure book, glad you are ok and was able to pull through, and must be a tough bike to take all those falls and still keep going, awesome thread.
Just some dude...
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:44 PM   #8
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A Baja ride is always a good matter what happens

Welcome aboard Baja

Ged Schwartz
Kamloops , BC

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

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Old 11-10-2012, 12:15 AM   #9
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Great pics man. Hang in there.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:50 AM   #10
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Well? were is the rest? its a good stuff...
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:39 AM   #11
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Thanks for all your replies so far and well wishes.
Yes, at this point I was really wondering why I didn't bring the smaller bike, or why I didn't go back through my mapping to see if this was doable on a big bike, but sometimes you have to through caution to the wind and let the trip happen.
My worst fears where the friends and family at home watching the SPOT signal and seeing the help go up, being so far away from them and knowing that they can't do anything but sit tight and let the powers be.
Like I said, after 1 and half hours I still didn't see anybody, but I was able to get out of the trouble I was in.
I did cancel the SPOT help after finding water with the OK button and tracking continued.
Eating_goat_with_the_Cartel , Never_ventured_never_gained
oncostaricantime , boundlessbooger , 1998xr400buildwithe-start
Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment - Mark_Twain

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Old 11-10-2012, 06:07 AM   #12
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The next morning I'm sore, I've polished off the 2 liters of water that I bought early throughout the night.
I have breakfast with the Baja crew that came in last night and discuss route options and share a few more stories.

The man the runs Mike's comes up to me as I'm packing up and asks which direction I'm heading in. I tell him down the backside of the mountain.
He informs me that the trail is in bad shape and suggest a different way that would be better.
I figure he knows what he's talking about and since yesterday's mishap I take his advice and head back out the way I came, just changing the route enough to avoid blacktop.
I find the road out of town that will take me to El Costeno by going through farm roads.
The road starts off with desert scenery and then turns into lush farm land.

Before long I'm pulling into Colonia Camalu to see one of my way points.

Makes me wonder if it's the bird crap or the salt water eating this thing up.

I ride the coast for several miles before I make the turn off to head towards San Quintin. I spot four BMW riders on the side of the road after they'd filled up there bikes.
They tell me that they've just done the back road out of Mike's and I'm disappointed that I didn't.
They asked why not and I told them it wasn't advised for me to go that way.
One takes the first jab at the rivalry of which bike is better KTM or BMW with "you could have made it, after all your on the 2nd best bike ever made". And so it went on.
It was just good fun and we're all laughing at the comments we're making to each other. They give me a name of a hotel in El Rosario and we part our ways as they're north bound.

I guess I get the last jab here. We can see what bike they're standing around. KTM magnetismo.

I make it to the recommended hotel "Baja Cactus" and am greeted by a retired couple from New York who own land in La Paz, with a beer.

Before long we're in their van heading to a local taco shop for dinner.

One happy Gringo.

Eating_goat_with_the_Cartel , Never_ventured_never_gained
oncostaricantime , boundlessbooger , 1998xr400buildwithe-start
Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment - Mark_Twain


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Old 11-10-2012, 06:38 AM   #13
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I'm in!!!! Great start to your RR!!!

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Old 11-10-2012, 06:58 AM   #14
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Great RR and photos! I'm glad to see you made it through the first day.
Looking forward to the rest of the adventure.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:36 AM   #15
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WOW!!! You lucky bastard, awesome roller coaster of an adventure your on!!! I liked your youtube video. Looks like you got a hell of a work out in that deep sand! Between that and getting stuck on that killer mountain trail I think you burned a calorie or 2! Can’t wait to read the rest.
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