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Old 04-19-2013, 02:48 PM   #16
MufflerBearings OP
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Originally Posted by Johnny Drunkard View Post
What's up with the green & pink paint?
Those obnoxious colors were high style in the BMX/freestyle world circa 1986. right? But at the time, I thought I was the coolest cat in suburbia on my pink bike.

I dig the Dead Milkmen avatar, by the way!
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:18 PM   #17
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March 17, 2013


We didn't accomplish much today. Aside from Greg almost colliding head-on with a military Humvee on a trail north of town, there was not much in the way of adventure. We mostly loafed about and soaked in the atmosphere of San Felipe. I know a lot of Baja travelers discount San Felipe as 'not the real Baja,' but I like the place. It's sad that San Felipe doesn't see more visitors from the United States. I guess a lot of folks are convinced that all of Mexico is a murderous narco-trafficante free-for-all. Well, I'm happy to report that we weren't beheaded or even kidnapped in charming San Felipe. Not once. In fact, we had a grand time riding aimless circles around town and inhaling tacos.


Killer sunrise (not such a killer photo, but you get the idea):



It's been said that you can't find better sunrises and sunsets than in Baja, and it's true. We found that they became more impressive the further south we ventured.

The ever-present Baja dogs:



I like to look around old or unfamiliar cemetaries. Here, Greg and Scott whisper about what a morbid freak I am while I have a look around the cemetary in town:



Part of a small shrine built in the caves we explored in the hills outside of San Felipe:



San Felipe is overflowing with sweeeeet old VW's. A sampling:







After spending the better part of the afternoon chasing down the source of a nasty rattle on the KLR (loose front engine mount - again ), we dodged jellyfish while having a dip in the Sea of Cortez. All in all, a pretty good day.


Next up: Big ol' cacti, lotsa sand and Gonzaga Bay
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:48 PM   #18
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I have the same jacket and got it on sale. Nice report!
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:42 AM   #19
Johnny Drunkard
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Originally Posted by MufflerBearings View Post
Those obnoxious colors were high style in the BMX/freestyle world circa 1986. right? But at the time, I thought I was the coolest cat in suburbia on my pink bike.
That explains the evolution to the Barbie livery on dualsports in the early 90's.

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Old 04-20-2013, 07:55 AM   #20
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subscribed! Baja rocks; we were down there farting around in mid-February---http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=870197
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:45 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by burque magoo View Post
subscribed! Baja rocks; we were down there farting around in mid-February---http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=870197

+1 - Me tooooooo.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:30 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by burque magoo View Post
subscribed! Baja rocks; we were down there farting around in mid-February---http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=870197
Loved your trip report. You guys did it right - small bikes/more dirt. I think I'll do it your way next time. I guess that means I'll have to acquire some trials skills.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:32 PM   #23
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March 18, 2013

We got rolling at the crack of noon and headed south on Mex 5 towards Gonzaga Bay. We stopped at Valle de los Gigantes about twenty miles south of San Felipe to gape at the giant cacti. The cactus garden is on privately-owned land, and the owner charges $10 - that's $10 US, not 10 pesos - per vehicle to enter. We paid it, but next time we'll park two bikes on the highway and find a way to all ride in one one bike. Not only will it be less costly, but there will be two less bikes to dig out of the axle-deep sand.















After losing track of one another in the maze of sand roads through the cactus garden and finally reconnecting, we again hit the road south. I was surprised at how severe the vados are along Mex 5. If I had been riding a sportbike at my typical sportbike pace, I would be typing this report from the intensive care unit. But since we were riding dirt bikes (of a sort), the massive dips were a welcome diversion along the pavement slog. We stopped at the iconic Cowpatty for some hydration, and were entertained by the snowbirds stopping in to get a few for the road as they drove south to their beachfront homes.









We encountered Baja's laziest dog at the Cowpatty:



We saw maybe ten other vehicles on the highway between San Felipe and Puertecitos, and even fewer between Puertecitos and Gonzaga Bay. The coastline south of Puertecitos is quite striking. Mex 5 is now paved to within a few miles of Gonzaga Bay.





We checked out the camping accomodations at Papa Fernandez, but there was no shelter available from the strong winds. It looks like a great and secluded place to camp when the wind is not a factor. We did stick around just long enough to get the KLR buried in the sand again.



We ended up camping in one of the palapas at Gonzaga Bay (across from Rancho Grande Market). The palapas each have a wall built on the west side to provide much-needed shelter from the wind, and have plenty of room to pitch two tents and park three bikes.





Does it even need to be said that the sunset was spectacular?





Dinner at Alphonsina's was delicious and consisted of shrimp that were bigger than our hands.




After dinner, we browsed Rancho Grande Market's impressive selection of craft beers and settled on tallboys of Tecate to aid in our sleep on the concrete slab of the palapa. Another excellent day.

Next up: Coco's, Calamajue Wash, Bay of L.A.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:39 PM   #24
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:48 AM   #25
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Cool trip. Me likey mucho!
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:13 PM   #26
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alrighty, then----get on with yur story, I ain't got forever....
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:27 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by MufflerBearings View Post
Ged, I actually thought about your harrowing experience with the silt north of San Juanico when we hit the awful stuff!
MB,
Yeah...killer silt

Thanks for keeping me in mind

And for the three people left on the planet that have not seen the wreckage caused by silt:









Read all about it: .... http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=666961

You guys are doing it right....no race attitude....smell the cactus, as it were...
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:44 PM   #28
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March 19, 2013

Morning brought another killer sunrise and a glassy Gonzaga Bay with no wind. If I worked in a field in which telecommuting was a viable option, I would be shopping for a little house along the airstrip right now. We all would have liked to spend more time at Gonzaga Bay, but we were also excited to get further south and hopefully catch the President of Baja at home. We fueled up at the Pemex, and headed south again on Mex 5.



'Nother Baja dog:


We were in luck; Coco was at his corner! I’d heard that he is often away for medical treatments these days, so we felt fortunate to find the man here today. Coco is a pretty amazing character: feisty and bubbling over with profanity, yet very warm and welcoming at the same time.





We didn’t have much of a route in mind from here on out, so over a few breakfast Pacificos, Coco suggested some potential routes. The rough maps he drew for us on blank pages of his log book made it clear that Coco has a thorough knowledge of his corner of the desert. He was clearly unimpressed, however, with my Baja Almanac and threw a good bit of verbal abuse my way when I asked him to show me routes on it instead of trying to decipher his hand-drawn maps. I don’t speak much Spanish, but I did pick out lots of “puto” “pinche” and “chinga” from his opinion of me and my nifty Almanac.


























From Coco’s, we decided to follow the Calamajue Wash south to Mex 1 and try to find the mission ruins along the way. Several miles after leaving Coco’s, we stopped to fix a rear flat caused by a nail on the XR350. One inner tube, two gallons of sweat, and 1,000 curse words later, we were back on the trail. Truthfully, the IRC Vulcanduro rear tire on the 350 is one of the easier motorcycle tires I have worked with. And I got to test out my $10 Slime pump I picked up just before the trip; plugged it into the SAE adapter on the KLR battery and it saved me the 500 strokes it would take using my bicycle tire hand pump that I normally carry for these situations.







I don’t know if we ever really found the mission ruins, but I did snap this photo of this lovely pile of rocks that is formed in the vague shape of a structure’s foundation:



The ride through the wash was a hoot! Calling it a “wash” doesn’t do it justice. It’s a small canyon with vividly-colored rock walls, lush vegetation, and plenty of deep sand, sandy whoops, and even mud! I was surprised at how much water we found there.



We emerged from the wash into a densely-vegetated swath of desert. Boojum trees, giant Yuccas, and several types of cacti all crowding each other out in competition for the same patch of sand made for a scenic ride down to the highway.













After a quick lunch at the loncheria (pretty sure that’s not a real Spanish word) at the intersection of Mex 1 and the road to Bahia de Los Angeles, we banged out the 45 miles of pavement into town.







We rode some circles around town in BOLA, and eventually found our way to some of the camps just north of town. When I spotted the VW race buggy parked on the front porch of the main house at Daggett’s Camp, I proclaimed, “This is The Place. These are My People.”



We set up camp in a bayside palapa and watched the sky change colors as the sun sank into the mountains behind us. Once again, we were the only campers at the place. Where was everyone? I’m not complaining, but it seems like a place so beautiful within such an easy drive of Southern California would be packed every weekend. We were glad to have the place to ourselves, but I feel bad for the folks that are trying to make a living here.













Remnants of a dolphin BBQ. Mmmmm.... dolphin burgers!


I relaxed by the bay while Greg and Scott rode to town to find wi-fi and beer. They returned with more tallboys of Tecate and a bottle of mezcal.



I’ve experienced (enjoyed?) mezcal before, but this stuff was… different. Imagine a burnt lawn chair that’s been steeped in formaldehyde; that’s the best description for the taste of this shit. But that didn’t stop us from finishing the bottle. I somehow found my way to the tent and slept like the dead.

Next up: San Francisquito, and Pancho saves the day!
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:46 PM   #29
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Subscribed! I love the XR350!
Greg and I agreed at the end of this trip that the XR350 must never leave this family.
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:36 PM   #30
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Subscribed! I love the XR350!
Definitely...We named the 350 "Rocinante" just before the trip. Rocinante = name for Don Quijote's horse. This bike has proved to be a real trooper and a joy to ride, and as Dave stated, will never leave our family. I did my maiden voyage through Mexico to Mike's Sky Ranch on it with a bunch of BMW GS 1200's and smoked them in the dirt. The highway was another story...
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