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Old 03-27-2014, 09:45 PM   #1
NevBlu OP
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Joined: Feb 2014
Location: Carson City, NV
Oddometer: 56
Baja and motorbikes

Well first time post, so with 61st birthday the celebration really starts tomorrow as we start a MC trip towards Loreto, BCS, and back to the states. Loaded my BMW RTP with gear and looking forward to the trip. No urgent road plan nor schedule to push it south. My traveling fellow rider introduced me to Baja about 20 years ago; I am really glad he did.

Been to Baja for 14 straight years, yet there has been a gap for the last 4 years. This trip will be 9 days with 2 riders, March 28 to April 6th.

No bad days.

NevBlu screwed with this post 04-13-2014 at 02:37 PM Reason: dates and duration
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:58 PM   #2
Roaddawg
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Safe Travels

Quote:
Originally Posted by NevBlu View Post
Been to Baja for 14 straight years, yet there has been a gap for the last 4 years. No bad days.
Well, Happy birthday and I wish you a safe journey! Looking forward to your report. Don't forget the Fotos! So you've been going to Baja for 14 years? On motorcycles or cages??
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Old 03-30-2014, 11:54 AM   #3
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Day 1 Sierra Nevada Mtns. in early spring

Day 1 180 miles, 50+ mpg, speed limits matched, dinner just before closing time

Rolled out and viewed the 180 miles watching Sierra Nevada mountains on our right side. Dusk brought awesome view of winds blowing off peaks near Mammoth Mtn with pink hues from sunset as a snow storm was expected over night. Glad we are 1/2 day ahead of the bad weather and going south, yet a few summits at 8100 ft and near dusk make for quite the wind chill. Pulled into Bishop for a dinner at Jake's and stay at Super 8 Motel. Good start to our trip without any issues.

Photos may be posted later as I learn this process here.
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Old 03-30-2014, 12:11 PM   #4
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Day 2 Out of the cold

Day 2 393 miles to southern Ca, 50 mpg [orange funnel day and almost spa visit]

Well continued the beautiful views of the Mt. Whitney peak and Sierra range with snow still covering upper levels. Manzanar historic site has a nice museum but we skipped it. Dropping into the LA basin, wow what traffic and this lead to a roadside repair strategy when the KTM 950 over heated during miles of stop & go on I-15.

Scouting for a funnel it was thought that a nearby development could help. So off I go to ask and see at the entrance gate 'Au Naturale spa'. The ladies were helpful and we got a custom made and color coordinated orange funnel; the surprise was that this spa was a nudist camp. Guess that explains why the gate and attendants stopped me there. Well a couple of stops and tickering got us to the hotel albeit after dark. Nice Gyros and our favorite beverage ended a moderate length ride. Tomorrow off to the Mexican border crossing. Cheers.
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:16 AM   #5
NevBlu OP
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Clear coffee and electric wires: Is something missing?

Day 3, 320 miles and well into Baja, trip total 821

Even some roadside repairs and trouble shooting is better on vacation than in your garage if you think positively. Yesterday's Southern Ca traffic was normal I suppose for the locals while being stopped on I-15 or crawling along was not what open road riding is about. It lead to the over heating on the Ktoom, so this morning under the hotels shade trees, we tracked down a slight over-sight an electric fan will not work unless plugged in, right? So the multimeter was put away and things reassembled to get to the border crossing in Tecate.

Because our plan was to go to Loreto as our turn-around point, we paid the visa fee (24.50 US), purchased pesos, and headed for the Guadaloupe valley. Usual desayano or comida at Mustafa's restaurant that is really good. Pushing on we rolled right through Ensenada towards San Quintin. Some road construction and military stop points just wave MC through especially going south. Normally we do not like to travel after dusk, yet rode about 1 hour with headlights and truck traffic on the road, not nice. Pulled into Jardin's which appeared to be full, so luckily got the last room.

Travels tips today: when making coffee include the packet to darkened it, electric fans work better when wires connected, ALTO signs means stop, and drifting right of the white line puts a MC on the edge.

Posting this actually after our return; will consider adding photos later. Buenos Diez
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:21 AM   #6
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Day 4 - Arrived at Bahia of LA

230 mile leg, 1051 total

The freshness of each morning is wonderful & with expectation to continue riding it can feel good. The tall ciro cactus around the Catavina area is one of my favorite zones in Baja. There is something appropriate about the patina on the granitic boulders, contrasting with clear blue skies, and sharpness of spines on cactus while trying to keep you eyes on the road and speeds moderately up into the 'fun zone' that makes this area thrilling. We stopped for normal gasoline from barrels, took some photos of the full service attendants, then time for a energy drink and sit down at the La Quinta hotel lobby. As we pulled in there was the support trucks for Malcolm Smith's MC tour down to the tip. Since we were there before the 38 riders in their group the staff was interested in talking with us. Wayne, one of the truck drivers, stated that he had been helping MS with each of the 19 years the ride has taken place, so knew quite a bit about logistics. He also had raced Baja events in years past, no surprise since he continues to come back to the desert just like us.

Eureka, since Bob had a list of single track trails for discovering and a nice chat took place. I wanted to learn where some of these known trails were, e.g. Campershell trails, Jim's trail, 22 day trail, Rock trail, Green door trail, etc. We started on the XR trail several years ago going into Coco's from the west side, yet with most of the riders experiencing Mexican, stomach flu; it was voted to stop the discovery.

Nice desert views are to be enjoyed and appreciated the toughness of wild horses surviving and even with young folds. Hope to post the horse pictures later.

Arrived at BoLA and hardly stepped off the MC in front of El Sol when our room was booked right from the sidewalk. Drove around and parked, so owner's staff handed each of us a Pacificos almost immediately. Now that's a pit stop and fine treatment. Nice dinner down near the Sea of Cortez coastline at Guillermo's with again excellent service and special request for something from the bar. Yes, they had it a simple pleasure, a good night cap. From a night sky in Baja the stars are bright, so it is nice to out of the city and work mode.
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:29 AM   #7
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Ah, yes. Bay of LA...........when the wind isn't blowing!
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:33 AM   #8
NevBlu OP
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Day 5 - Bahia de LA to Santa Rosalio

337 miles, about 1387 Total

Bright sunshine and short walk along sidewalks before our long riding day covering 337 miles. Skipped breakfast for plan to have MC riding miles before eating. I talked with a local boatman while having coffee and Guillermo stated he was born in San Borja and has now spent his life in BoLA. We discovered that we are near the same age yet his character has been shaped by the weather more than my paler, office life. Nice guy. I had brought balloons to give away to 'ninos' to put a smile on their faces, so asked the maid if she had children and handed her a orange/pink balloon; a big smile from her too and gracias.

Gas at Pemex and go. About 13 miles west of town is the dirt road towards San Borja that will be riden on another trip, but with the ex-police street MC not now. Off to the Hwy 1 junction and stop to talk a little with truckers; many times these guys give good information on conditions and eateries for a trip. They are interested in others adventures too. Checked rear gear bag and adjusted clothes to match the weather, its warming a little more.

Turned right to the Bahia Santa Rosalillita to sea the Pacific Ocean. Very little traffic on this road that leads to an abalone farm at the coast. Neat group of sea lions were sunning themselves here. Well, here is where a surprise too place. After traveling about 10 miles while only seeing 1-2 cars, the Pacific Ocean was reached. Slowing to stop for photos, there was a grinding sound! Well the top seat, gear bag apparently had been worn through 5 or 7 compartments, so 95% of my clothes and extras were dropped onto the road. Remaining was the SPOT (borrowed) and my one man tent. Back tracking we found a book 'Jupiter's Travels' by Ted Simmons (borrowed) and the label from a Frie Brothers, Ca Merlot. It is uncanny that little else was found of tall, orange socks, Klim ballistic liners, 24 photos of my riding friends, travel shorts, bathroom stuff, cock screw, mustache scissors, flash light, Tums, extra balloons for the ninos, etc.! Guess these are a donation to the locals. What I really miss were the photos of MC friends who have traveled in Baja with me; I had planned to give many of these to my friend on this trip to stir some good memories.

We met a couple riding down from Haines, Alaska when we stopped for lunch, so the photo is of Jenn and Mike. Hope I got the names right.
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Old 04-13-2014, 02:33 PM   #9
NevBlu OP
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Day 6 - Santa Rosalia to Loreto, BCS

133 miles, 1520 total miles

Santa Rosalio photo was taken near the old foundry; daily mileage is slowing so it feels better than longer pushes. Our lunch stop in Mulege was nice and the palms are better now than when 2010 hurricane hit the river/coast line. New power poles are installed leading to El Patron and Racing Bar & Grill restaurants. The 'friendship and love' sticker to honor my son is there at the counter; always will wish you were riding with me, Eric. Many homes in repair and looking better but several For Sale signs too.

We got to El Dorado Hotel early enough to look over the MCs. Previously the BMW needed some oil, now the lock nut for the hydraulic clutch was needed for the KTM950. Off to the 'ferreteria' and presto, the correct nut and a spare for 5 pesos. We are now 714 miles south of Tecate.

So it's time to have dinner (Pescado Veracruz and Pescado Emeraldo) with a few Margaritas. The El Palapa restaurant was just down the street (Miguel Hildago) and made for a short walk back after closing the bar. :freaky
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Old 04-13-2014, 03:35 PM   #10
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Day 7 - Loreto to Guerrero Negro

278 miles leg, 1798 total by end of day

Well this is our end of the first half and need to make more miles per day for the return trip, blah. Walked the Loreto sidewalk along coastline and it appears to have new break water (rip rap) and must have been improved after the last hurricane. Originally thought I would buy replacement shorts here, but saved time by skipping it; gas and go.

During our 2 man ride, we had other friends traveling to Cabo and back, however they were 5 day after us to leave and we did not have accurate meeting point to cross paths. While having lunch in San Ignacio (Tooties, recommended), we got a text that they where expected to arrive a 4pm. This was right after finishing lunch, sent them a message but missed seeing them. Mr. Sparky though blazed down the highway and caught up to us at a check point to say hello and good luck. Sparky always hates it when we are in front of him.

For those new to Baja, G. Negro is the dividing line (28th parallel, latitude) between Norte and Sur Baja. It used to be that some different traveling rules applied to south of G. Negro. We were not asked for our tourist card at military check points going north. South of G. Negro is the Viscaino desert, a really vast desert maybe 300 miles length, cactus, and cross winds. Tough country but allows much helmet time and endurance to push through.

Made it to Guerrero Negro just at dusk with the motel full, so next door got room at Malarrimo. Lots of other MC riders here and many Jeep-types heading to whale watching and other water activities. Nice hotel and not overly hungry, so shrimp cocktail and favorite beverages finished the day.
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Old 04-13-2014, 03:58 PM   #11
NevBlu OP
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Day 8 - G. Negro to San Quintin

272 miles, 2070 Total miles

Pushing on with stop at Lobera, northwest of EL Rosario, to see seals napping in a protected rock sea cave. This was one of our small gravel road side trips and the RTP did fine.

After a soda break at Catavina, classic road side gas, and a photo of doors; it was back to the Jardin Restaurant / Hotel for a nice meal and rest. Easy to park MC under covered porch and birds signing were the next days alarm clock.

Watched TV for the first time, blah.
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Old 04-13-2014, 04:18 PM   #12
NevBlu OP
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Day 9 - San Quintin to Adelanto, CA

352 leg miles, 2422 Total miles

Checked out of Mexico with passport stamped and tourist card returned; first time out of 16 trips that I had the tourist card returned. We just wanted to do it right and allows for walk around that is good for leg circulation. The photo is or us going in rather than out; note the Corbin bags that was shredded along the highway, even with Rok-Straps and the built in bungee straps. Generally I do not like to follow but this trip I was supposed to 'behave', so next time I will lead so that debris can at least be seen by my riding buddy. Right John?

Turned in pesos for US dollars, then like before, gas and go. Pushed through the Mojave desert with cross winds and at dusk got a place in California Inn. Walking to a Thai restaurant and feeling pretty tired, so ordered pad thai, Singha beer & plum wine. Whoopee, way different than south of border food.
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Old 04-13-2014, 04:44 PM   #13
NevBlu OP
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Day 10 - Adelanto to Carson City

Total miles 2874

Heading home for the last day of our MC trip; it has been a good one and we where prepared for flat tires and more, so thankful for simple, fixes we could handle. I am glad my birthday present to myself was a BMW GS jacket that had many nice features over my previous $50 thrift store one. This now means the RTP need a new Michelin Pilot 4GT rear tire and the KTM 950 needs chain and sprockets. Oh and I need a new gear bag!

Being creatures of habit, a lunch stop at Schatt's in Bishop allowed us food and a stretch while the spring sun warmed us. Note in the photo, this shirt was scheduled to be thrown away, yet it came back with me. Murphy's law is always lurking and giving us surprises.

Travel tips: 1) Along this trip we each experienced our routines that include checking and forgetting some simple sequencing of steps; helmet on but is it buckled, glasses on seat but kicking these off while swinging leg into saddle, passport in pocket yes but zipper not engaged, etc. It happens to everyone, at least we may not be the only ones. 2) Travel with a friend that is prepared. 3) Bring something to give away to make others smile. 4) Start planning your next trip right away, you'll need it soon.

Buenos Tardez
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:45 PM   #14
NVGeezer
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Happy Birthday

Glad to see (read) that you had a great time. One day we shall ride.
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