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Old 01-27-2007, 02:13 PM   #31
motoged OP
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ADV folks....a note to thank my riding buddy, Darren, for many of the posted pics in this report....I haven't bothered up until now for giving him that credit....


Bahia Concepcion.....some pics taken by Darren...



I won't attempt to name which beach is which, but relax and appreciate that they are all within a 15 km range (mas o menos) of each other and each has its own particular character....all are accessible on a motorcycle and certainly most are accessible by car, truck, or RV....many have camping facilities of one sort or another....

Solo camping on beaches may be dangerous (not a scare tactic, but something to think about in your adventurous spirits)...an elderly gentleman was murdered in October/06 while RV camping solo on Playa Armenta...this could have happened anywhere on this planet, but be careful..
http://forums.bajanomad.com/viewthre...0906#pid185107






















After deciding to pass up on a few more "Mulege Rides" that were potentials, we decided to pull up stakes and head south to Loreto for several days of riding.




By this time it was December 28th and we needed to figure out when we would be where....Loreto area...La Paz area....South Cape area...and Bahia de los Angeles area....all basecamp locales that needed to be ridden by January 17th or thereabouts....

We bypassed B o LA on the way down and were certainly planning 4-8 days in that area on our return north ....


It was hard to leave our home at La Hacienda...




and all of its creature comforts...





But we were ready for a change. Loreto offered great rides west of town to San Xavier Mission, La Purisima, Agua Verde....so we were packed and gone....





And the eye candy of Bahia Concepcion made it a smokin' drive...




As it worked out, however, Loreto was full of tourists and we decided to not spend a hot afternoon looking for accomodations that suited our needs to have the truck and bikes relatively "secure", so we agreed we could make it to Ciudad Constitucion before dark, and then on to La Paz the next day for that section....

"On the road again" (Canned Heat tune)....

and we found a great place that I would recommend in CC....the Oasis Hotel



It is located three blocks west of the highway coming into town from the north....

Parking was good...



the pool was cold...



and there was a promise of a penthouse suite...



We unpacked the truck as was our travelling ritual:
1) worry about security issues;
2) unpack all the stuff from the truck and lug it to the room;
3) cable the bikes and tires to truck;
4) worry about the whole rig being stolen;
5) remember that sometimes you don't need to worry so much;
6) double-check that padlock is clicked;
7) have a beer;
8) walk out to truck and examine bikes with astute mechanical eyes;
9) get another beer and extoll the virtues of what fokkin incredible machines these are;
10) talk about where and what we might want for dinner;
11) get another beer and gaze lovingly at the bikes;
12) start to get ready to go eat something and decide whether to walk or take the truck (depending on where we are);
13) get in the truck and scout the town for the most promising taco stand;
14) eat tacos;
15) look for where else to park....and decide that it is close to the ice cream stand...




An early start the next morning demanded caffeine ... and the Starbucks wannabe served up a moderate cup of coffee ((good coffee in the Baja is difficult to find, it seems)...









The morning was sunny ... and that early in the morning not much was open, so our plans for a taco breakfast were doomed...




But after a few slurps of a triple Americano con leche, the town seemed to wake up a bit....




The drive to La Paz was relatively uneventful, but we were excited for this next stage....La Paz welcomed us in a grand but silent manner...



The malecon welcomed us....
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Old 01-27-2007, 03:03 PM   #32
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Fantastic pics! Your ride report has me marking spots on the map to check out! keep the pics coming!
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Old 01-27-2007, 04:26 PM   #33
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Me Too....
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Old 01-27-2007, 05:04 PM   #34
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keep it coming.
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Old 01-27-2007, 05:10 PM   #35
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I miss Baja so effin much ! This report is making me crazy !
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Old 01-27-2007, 06:51 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokklym
Fantastic pics! Your ride report has me marking spots on the map to check out! keep the pics coming!
The entire purpose of my post really is to provide visual and narrative info that might be helpful to other riders.....any of my opinions and/or editorializing should be taken with a pound of salt.

I am glad some riders find this info helpful for their own trip planning and that others just enjoy the ride vicariously

As a previous viewer has admonished me for my insensitivity, I have agreed with him offline and his perception that I could have been more supportive with San Ignacio Woman....but more on her adventure later as the report unfolds.




Back on the road to Peace....

La Paz is a busy place that has a great history, urban insanity, good connections...and is a good place to use as a transitional stage from the "outback" riding we had been doing and the tourist glut of the south cape region.



We spent several days at my preferred place, Hotel Gardenia...



We did the bondage thing with the bikes...



I was surprised that they were as accommodating as they were about having our bikes inside the courtyard, but a fellow from Wisconsin (sorry I don't recall his name right now) had set the precedent a bit earlier (and they have most likely been as gracious over the years with other riders....any time I had been there previously it was on a GS and I was willing to leave it outside in the parking lot) ...



The pool was "refreshing"...and offered opportunities to be a sun pig...












La Gardenia is east of central downtown and several blocks south of the malecon. It has a restaurant that we only used for coffee or an occasional breakfast for the 2-3 days we stayed there. Darren had some downtime with intestinal issues, the predictable experience for many travellers. It is not a real surprise that when folks from Mexico (and other countries as well) experience similar issues when visiting Canada and the USA....different bacteria than we are used to can plague any traveller...


So, drink lots of water, no alcohol, don't overdose on the Immodium, and don't let it bug you as it usually passes ina few days...




Darren made friends with all sorts of bugs along the way....he has a neice, apparently" that really likes insects so Darren was compiling a range of pics for her...



One afternoon we were looking for a place to have lunch on the waterfront and I noticed a place offering "drinks and snacks" so we asked what they offered...



The young bartender, Oscar, was kind enough to let us know that the "snacks" was really peanuts and chips stuff, and he suggested we go further down the street for real food....and offered to keep an eye on the truck while we had lunch elsewhere. We walked for several blocks and didn't want to eat at Applebee's or other overpriced waterfront locales so we decided to return to Oscar's and have a beer or something to drink before finding lunch....

Well, we decided on a margarita instead of a beer and Oscar promised us THE BEST MARGARITA IN THE BAJA....how could we turn it down???

I watched him carefully prepare what looked like a classic marg and then was horrified to see him top it off with some terrible Tang-like orange juice...we sipped on them, munched on a variety of peanuts and chip stuff.

The marg didn't appeal to my tastebuds, but it somehow appealed to my sense of "Let's drink margaritas!!!"

So we had several (that includes up to 4 doesn't it?)...Darren was inspired to take some pics of the surroundings after a while...



And the sunny afternoon turned into sunset...



....remember this started out as lunch.....so, despite the Tang overriding the taste of lime and tequila, somehow we remained glued to our stools for a period of time here that was somehow altered by the consumption of such a wonderous libation....

Moral of the story...."Tang ain't that bad 1"
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Old 01-28-2007, 05:53 AM   #37
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Jeeeze, Ged - I have patiently read, and re-read your fabulous report, but I have yet to find an instance where you offered to help your tent/travelmate change his third-or-fourth flat of the day! No wonder the two of you got along so well!

Mr Happy.
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Old 01-28-2007, 06:27 AM   #38
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Tire question

Thanks ya'll for the great report and many ideas on where to eat and stay. Three of us are leaving Fri for Baja. Looks like we will be there for 10-11 days of riding. I have been once before in '04 for 3 weeks and the other guys are Baja noobs, but good riders all. Our plan is to stay off the pavement as much as possible. With good tire management (well, as good as can be expected), how many miles before you changed tires? I would rather not mess with shipping tires ahead.
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Old 01-28-2007, 10:46 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa Dulce
Thanks ya'll for the great report and many ideas on where to eat and stay. ...... I would rather not mess with shipping tires ahead.
Papa
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Have a good ride....tubless tires???....Take lotsa plugs and DO NOT run tires under 30 lbs pressure no matter WHAT you may be told ( from other experts like me)...because????...Every GSer/950 KTMer who has a flat or bent rim did so because of low tire pressure...unless, of course, it was caused by a puncture....low tire pressure results frequently in pinch flats or,in the case of one GSer w/ Metzler Tourances, a front tire bulge that severely compromised his 2-week trip after 3 days ....he wasn't sure how safe it would be and when the bulge would blow....

Que via bien, amigo

Ged
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Old 01-28-2007, 10:57 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dochstader
Jeeeze, Ged - I have patiently read, and re-read your fabulous report, but I have yet to find an instance where you offered to help your tent/travelmate change his third-or-fourth flat of the day! No wonder the two of you got along so well!

Mr Happy.
El Mur,
I know you will be ripping up the desert by the end of next week....be easy on the newbies and try to limit the days to 300-400 kms

El Mur at outset of 10 day ride in '05...he was That Guy for a bit...first flat at Kiki's in San Felipe the day we were to head out...his response to offers of our help earned him the 'Mr. HAppy" tag (which he normally is when he doesn't have flats ....)



and then at Coco's later that morning...






and the next day at Ricardo's in San Ignacio...no pics....I decided to stand back...

But his practice helped out Mr. Big who had so many flats we lost count...



Both these guys are headed down again in early February, so they can practice 4-minute ISDE efforts ...
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Old 01-28-2007, 12:18 PM   #41
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La Paz: We didn't ride out of La Paz down to do the south cape loop as we initially planned...initial itineray ideas shifted when actually at a time and place....good plans can always be improved, and with Darren's flexibility, we shifted the schedule a bit.

We spent 2-3 sleeps in La Paz before taking the truck and bikes down to San Jose del Cabo on Dec 30th...

A day ride out to Tecolote was the only riding we did there....we seemed to be lost in "Ride Limbo" or something. Darren's guts were rumbling and I was just indecisive (between moments of clear and strong opinion)

A view north from town...



Too many days on the road and some things start to look good...



Oh yeah...margaritas were consumed from time to time...



The gloves I decided to buy at Malcolm Smith's Emporium on the way down were retrieved from their place in the gear bag as I thought the Spider Man motif was appropriate for night riding in town....



We lived on the edge of danger by riding w/out helmets that evening (as you know, tequila and such influences reduce the chance of serious head injury when riding in a new city at night....)...until I noticed one of about 5 police hanging out on the malecon seeing us and pointing to his head indicating helmets were expected....


One day I noticed a BarBQue restaurant just east of the town square and suggested we try it....Darren agreed and, with a hoot, we set off for our last meal in La Paz before heading south again...

I had been jokingly suggesting to Darren from time-to-time that he should get a haircut....not particularly because he needed one, but perhaps to help me feel more comfortable with my "desert ride bob" that I got just before leaving home (at 55 years of age I am starting to like my hair shorter than when younger....I no longer tear up when I get my curls shorn)

We had the bikes and some gear loaded on the truck that evening in prep for an early morning departure so we drove downtown and found a place to park (not easy sometimes)....on the way to the restaurant we passed a "Beauty Salon" and I suggested again he might get a haircut....to my dismay he agreed....some influences were at work...







and in we went....I tried my best to use my fundamental Spanish "sin verbo"
to explain the plan to the lady....Darren sat down and asked me "What did you tell her?" I jokingly responded that I had told her to give him a military haircut and his look of horror was priceless...too bad most of those pics are blurred as I did not want to be rude and use the flash...

I then reassured him that I was joking....but felt equally horrified when I saw her grab the electric clippers and take her first swath. "Holy Fok ", I thought...."he's gonna kill me."
I was already rehearsing the mantra "Hey, it'll grow back" when I saw that she was starting to do a good job...



It didn't look so bad from a distance...






Darren's potential for fratricide diminished as time went on and the final cut looked not bad at all....but he could have had a little more off the top




Feeling uncertain about his new look, we propelled ourselves to the restaurant and, upon entering, saw that it was a relatively upscale joint with a white table-clothed section in the front and an open patio section at the back which housed a large wood-fired barbeque kitchen with several chefs hard at work. The clientelle were mostly tourist groups...we decided to stay.

The waiter that sat us promptly disappeared and no one seemed to give us much notice for about 5 minutes. As seasoned travellers , this seemed not too unusual....a different waiter seemed to take an interest in asking us what we would like to drink and, after going down the usual cerveza list, offered Indio beer (a primo dark beer that was recommended the day before by Oscar the Tangy margarita purveyor)...we ordered two and settled into the menus that I managed to find on a counter nearby....

The beer was a while in coming and the original waiter who had seated us approached and asked if we would like anything to drink...we let him know that we had some Indios on the way...

Looking at the menu (which looked like it would be good food offered), Darren asked what their soup of the day was (he was making a stellar effort at learning the language and applying it when he could).

The waiter took a step back and, looking down his nose a bit, scolded us mildly saying...."Oh, we don't have soup here".

Not having soup is understandable...the condescending attitude was the first we had encountered any where since leaving the USA...and was less understandable...

Darren and I looked at one another...and decided an appetizer would clearly need to come in a different form than Sopa del Dia...

The waiter offered the daily special as Cowboy Steak and something else...

Darren ordered the special and I had my preferred steak....a Rib steak....

Our beer came after we asked for them again and it was beginning to feel like something was mildly awry.

Now, Darren and I are not high maintenance type guys (well, okay ....I am when it comes to some things ) ....but a tone seemed to have been set....

We were enjoying our second beer when our steaks arrived. Everything looked good and we started....I thought the seasoning on my steak was the best I had ever had so I was a happy camper....Darren's steak looked good although I could not identify the cut (it was the size of my large rib steak ....and had a thin "vertical" bone in the middle...later suggested by others that it may have been a blade steak....a rather inexpensive cut of beef that is tough unless seriously marinated).... I was stacking up the inedible gristle and fat as I ate (as an omnivore, I decided years ago to not swallow flesh that was not readily broken down by simple mastication)....Darren saw this pile of stuff builing on my plate and, not being sure how to respond to my unusual eating habit, joked...."would you like my gristle, too?"

I was raving about the flavour of my steak, but Darren did not think his was anything "Special".....the air was a little thick with tension it seemed, but I wrote it off to my imagining things....

We asked por la cuenta and were confused and shocked when it arrived...WTF ?????????????

I recognized the $210 MX for my rib steak, but we were both confused by the $400 MX for Darren's ....

Darren and I discussed our sense of this briefly.....Darren called the "We-don't make-soup-here" waiter to the table and DArren set to trying to solve this financial-culinary mystery....the waiter reassured us that, indeed, the Cowboy Special was forty US dollars...

Darren pursued his concern that a steak of that nauture certainly could not cost twice that of mine....but the waiter's demeanour was neither helpful nor reassuring....

We decided that we would pay the bill without further ado and accept the fact that the tip was certainly built in to the asking price.

Before leaving, I walked over to the main chef at the fire grill aand thanked him for the steak that I had enjoyed and, as a feigned aside, asked him what the price was for the Cowboy Special. He looked over my shoulder to our waiter and stumbled around a bit, and offered the info that it was "$400-something....he wasn't exactly sure".

I relayed this to Darren hoping it might offer some consolation....but it didn't....

He was understandably feeling taken advantage of with this experience...we sauntered quietly back past the zocalo towards the truck...
on the way we saw an ice-cream place and looked around....I was full and was not going to have any...Darren asked for some and, on his own negotiated two flavours....he got two separate cups with two separate flavours....this confusion only added to his sense of frustration and anger....he was NOT a very happy guy at that point....

We returned to La Gardenia and, were reminded in hindsight that it is a good thing to ask the price of something first in such situations....

When he processed the whole thing over the next day or so, he smilingly rationalized that HE, indeed, was "The Cowboy" in that situation...
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Old 01-28-2007, 01:20 PM   #42
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December 30th....we gladly got out of La Paz....

Arrangements that I had made over the kindness of the Baja Nomads Forum
http://forums.bajanomad.com

for parking the truck in La Paz for our planned week-long loop of the Cape Region were changed. Carol, an ex-pat building her third home in La Paz had been kind enough to offer parking....and the only thing she expected in return was a small trash bag for her new VW so her gum wrappers would not add to la basura floating around the desert.

The day before we left, I drove west of town to where she was living and met her face-to-face for the first time. We had a brief but pleasant visit during which she shared her plans for the house she is building and some of the intricasies of such a project. I don't doubt she will have a well constructed home by the time she is finished as it is evident she is capable of manoeuvering the bureaucratic merry-go-round in Mexico...

Thanks again Carol...y bueno suerte con su casa....


On the road south...

We were looking forward to using San Jose del Cabo as a base for 4-5 days of riding....and we headed towards Los Barrilles...

A pit stop was in order just past the junction of #1 and # 19 ...



as was some prep for the military checkpoints...



Somewhere along the winding and shoulderless road Darrens asked...

"Is that San Ignacio Woman ahead???" when he spied someone ahead on the highway. Sure enough, we saw her riding along on a downhill section but couldn't pull over to reconnect with her ...




We just looked at each other and both agreed that we were:
1) Glad she was alive;
2) Sorry that we couldn't pull over at the time to reconnect;
3) Wondering how she managed to get this far...by her own peddle power and/or by accepting rides from more sympathetic souls than us??? ...not that that mattered;
4) Glad she was alive;
5) Respectful of her determination and hardiness;
6) Sorry that we didn't have a picture of her to immortalize her own adventurous spirit in this tale;
7) appreciative of her ability to get that far without serious physical injury as riding bicycles on the highways of Baja may be something some of us have considered at times, but few have done...as some travelling represents foolhardy choices more than well-thought-out adventuring...
8) Glad that she was alive...

Our hats were off to San Ignacio Woman

She was living her dream, riding her adventure, and doing it her way....and so far, was surviving it..

Some folks think that motorcycling is too dangerous...so who am I to judge.

It is experiencing folks like her on the trail that sometimes humbles me and reframes my perspectives.

We continued and approached El Triunfo and stopped for some pics...
















some remnants of the old mining and smelting days...



and some old buildings....if I had previous lives....some of them were certainly spent in adobe and brick ...














Back in the truck and MAchaca burritos at San Bartolo...a canyon area with sandy arroyos that beg to be ridden....next trip





We motored on south and made it to San Jose del Cabo about mid-afternoon and, after driving in circles for a hour or so due to the road changes east of town where they are building a new marina, we found another piece of paradise...a place i have always wanted to call home for at least a day or two...




And it was great...






That's it for now....I'm going to have some chicken burritos for lunch
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Old 01-28-2007, 05:03 PM   #43
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Ged,
Fantastico!
Izzat aword? I think so in my spanglish sense....
Great report so far...
I'm going down first time in March, and already contemplating another trip in June/July as the first won't have time for enough exploring

If you're inclined to keep other adventurers on your ride list, put me down for some other trip....
I ride summers up your way as there is some fine riding to do right there in your neighborhood......

Keep the story comin'!
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Old 01-29-2007, 11:49 AM   #44
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Pissed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer
Ged,
Fantastico!
Izzat aword? I think so in my spanglish sense....
Great report so far...
I'm going down first time in March, and already contemplating another trip in June/July as the first won't have time for enough exploring

If you're inclined to keep other adventurers on your ride list, put me down for some other trip....
I ride summers up your way as there is some fine riding to do right there in your neighborhood......

Keep the story comin'!
Hammer,
I thought I had had an adequate taste of Baja again with that much time puttin' around down there this trip....it took nearly three days before I began to research my next Baja ride...probably sooner than the "2 years from now" thinking I was lost in at the end of this trip....so going down twice a year makes good sense to me...


And the BC riding will be keeping me busy this summer....I will be organizing a ride Labour Day Weekend (first weekend in Sept/07) for some GS friends from your neck of the woods....you may be interested....reply off-line if interested..

Some BC rides in that area...



Yech....slow connection here at work ....will post those pics when I get home later...
Ged
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Old 01-29-2007, 12:36 PM   #45
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These pics are in response to Hammer's post at bottom of Page 3....a bit of a side track to this Baja story...

Like Yogi Berra said, "If you come to a fork in the road....take it"...

I took Hammer's fork ...





The Coastal mountain range at south end of Criboo Plateau above...


and ranchland by Big Bar Ranch...


Fraser River Canyon ....on way to Big Bar Ferry...




Big Fokkin HD by Lytton....the guy that rides this has an inseam issue with ride gear ...






Big Bar ferry...on way to China Head Pass...



Cap'n.....




4X4 road on way to China Head....



East side approach to China Head Mountain....




Trails outside Kamloops...



West side of Fraser River north of Lillooet...




East side of Thompson River past Wallachin backroute....



Thompson River valley cactus....yep...cactus in BC





Carpenter Lake on way to Goldbridge...


Glad it's dry....



Mike Paull's eleven-fiddy on east side of Fraser canyon on High Bar Rd...




High Bar Rd. south of Big Bar ferry...




Just past a water crossing west of China Head....



Camping at Tyax....



Early spring in the muck...



Enough of that for now....Back to Baja....and the South Cape area....
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