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Old 03-22-2010, 12:58 PM   #46
Blakebird
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dang....I go run some errands and we're already at the Sky Rancho

The first evening in Valle de Trinidad we hooked up with a bunch more gringo riders, who kept interfering with my plan to get the perfect picture of a 4x4 post.



The road into VdT is paved for a couple hundred feet, then it's all dirt. This main drag becomes quite the cruise at night.



One of the young guys there serving up cold beer and large shrimp cocktails, had an idea where we could find a place to stay. A few blocks down and one over, we got a place that was nothing to write home about, but was $10 a head and had a shower w/ hot water.

By the time we were ready for dinner, most places were closed except a couple of street vendors and the Chinese place.
I was up for the Chinese - sitting and drinking cold stuff was all I really cared about by now, not tromping around in MX boots...but I couldn't get anyone else on board. We stopped in a c-store and eyeballed the snack chips, then decided to the Chinese was worth a try, if it was still open. It was at the other end of the main drag too....but it was open.
And, I might add - surprisingly good.

The next morning we walked over to the welder's place, and past this church. Pretty quiet town on a Sunday morning.



After Arno got some square barstock pounded into the hollow square section tubing that was designed to bend when more than 4 oz was applied....we headed east on MX3, shortly finding the turnoff to Mike's.
Fun road, and without doubt the warmest weather we'd seen yet.



Everyone else's water crossing pics here are better than the ones I got.



....because they were actually willing to get off their bike and take them.



We passed a couple of trucks headed on their way out....and there was nobody here aside from some staff that peeked at us thru a screen door but nothing else. It was fine, I kinda wanted to see the place, but mostly wanted to ride the surrounding countryside and didn't want to stay very long.

The pool did look kind of inviting, but the water crossing took care of me pretty well too.







Shaun mentioned there were a few different tracks headed out from Mike's, one was a recently graded, rather steep and loose looking road that Eric had to check out. The picture, as usual, shows none of the steepness that really wouldn't have been noticable on either of the dirt bikes - but the F800GS might have been less than fun.



Wasn't really the way we were headed, so we went back out the way we came, looking for a fork in the road that we hoped would take us west towards the coast.
Naturally, we shot right past it thinking it would be down the road a bit, but backtracked and off we went. It would be one of the funner sections, with a few washed out creek crossings and more beautiful mountain scenery.



Well graded and quite fast for the most part....



Hopefully others got pictures of the fun sections.
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:26 PM   #47
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We saw you guys a couple of times on our trip. We were the 2 xr650rs and a 950se.

Did you get a chance to meet the couple in the red pickup at Mike's. We must have listened to them play guitar and sing for an hour or so after dinner, it was pretty cool.

-John
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:19 PM   #48
edeslaur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blakebird
This section was quite a bit of fun, but with the soft FGS suspenision, I had some minor concerns about getting up the hill. Regardless, it wasn't the direction we were going, but it looked like a cool route. Next time.

Hey Shaun, thanks for making me feel better on our walk to the river.
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06 Husqvarna TE610 - IMS 5 gal clear tank, heated grips, Alaska Leather sheepskin, Dirt Bagz, Leo Vince slip on, JD Jetting kit, Utah skid plate, Cycra barkbusters
08 BMW K1200S - It's freakin' awesome

Ride reports:
- 10 Mar Baja
- 08 Feb Baja
- 07 Aug West coast PDX->SAN
- More!
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:22 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azcagiva
We saw you guys a couple of times on our trip. We were the 2 xr650rs and a 950se.

Did you get a chance to meet the couple in the red pickup at Mike's. We must have listened to them play guitar and sing for an hour or so after dinner, it was pretty cool.

-John
Glad to see you guys made it back ok.
Nope, we hung around for at least an hour. I traipsed all over the place looking for someone. We left without seeing a sole.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:25 PM   #50
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You would think that 3 out of 4 of us having a GPS, we'd end up somewhere new. No, we rolled into town thirsty for gas. As we're cruising towards the Pemex sign, we notice that things are looking familiar. Doo doo doo doo, it's the same town we left this morning! Stooges we are.

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Old 03-22-2010, 08:41 PM   #51
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Groundhog Day

Quote:
Originally Posted by drrags
You would think that 3 out of 4 of us having a GPS, we'd end up somewhere new.
We were coming down out of the hills, and following a nice road with a view off in the distance to a beautiful valley.
As we got closer, we hit level ground in some open farmland, and caught this one long ass road that took us into a little village. Sweet, we'll get gas and some cool drinks and be on our way.

We noted a non-working Pemex, a c-store with lots of young folks hanging around....but since that Pemex wasn't open we took a left, and OMG we're back in Valle de Trinidad.
So we looked for the guy that wrangled us the room the night before, and we got it again. We rolled up to the Pemex at the town entrance, then pulled into a restaurant we'd almost stopped at the evening before, and had dinner.
We had come into town at such a different angle nothing looked familiar until we got to the main drag...

And then Arno noticed his SPOT was no longer attached to his pack. A call to Eric's wife, and a few minutes later she was giving him the lat/long of it's current position - some 11 miles out of town.
No problem, that's the way we have to backtrack to find the turn we missed that got us back to Valle de Trinidad.

Apparently we're destined to stay in this town until we get it right
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:10 AM   #52
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Sorry to be behind, I just woke up from a killer migraine and am feeling nearly human now. Glad I didn't get one like this in MX.

We're taking the way-back machine to before we made it to Mike's Sky Ranch.

Our first night in Valle de Trinidad, it was snowing.


That's actually dust. I took 3 shots, cleaning the lens every time until I figured out the dust was in the air.

Our accomodations were one twin, one queen, and one king, shower, kitchen. I continually marveled at the quality of the sidewalk pour (and took no pictures).


Sometime late at night, I reached around the corner and 'flashed' Shaun and Blake.


Notice the manly barrier between the two. In our various trips, I've shared a bed with both of them, and they keep to themselves. It always beats sleeping on the floor!

While I may be more comfortable sharing with those of the female persuasion, something tells me I get more points from SWMBO to be sharing with one of the guys!

Here was mine and Arno's room that first night. I had the twin.


It was frosty in the morning, but you couldn't tell from our rooms. Another night the tents didn't come out. I'd say "WTF did we pack them for again?!? " except it was darn nice to take a shower. And have a clean bed. And be warm!
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06 Husqvarna TE610 - IMS 5 gal clear tank, heated grips, Alaska Leather sheepskin, Dirt Bagz, Leo Vince slip on, JD Jetting kit, Utah skid plate, Cycra barkbusters
08 BMW K1200S - It's freakin' awesome

Ride reports:
- 10 Mar Baja
- 08 Feb Baja
- 07 Aug West coast PDX->SAN
- More!
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:17 AM   #53
edeslaur
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I'm always a little slow to warm to any bike as I learn it. My K1200S took me a couple of days until I was comfortable on it (I really abused BMW's demo policy, but could not be happier with my purchase. Rock on BMW. Hey, Yamaha, that might have been an FJR1300 if anyone would have let me ride one - pay attention!!!).

Things like clutch engagement point, shifting (buttery smooth - was this really a BMW?), powerband, when to blip the gas to get the front up, how hard to hit the rear brake to get it to actuate (firm!), etc.

It's pretty much like that for all bikes for me - slow to get to know them, but then I warm up to them or really decide what I do or don't like. Or not! You won't catch me trying to drag a knee on a bike I haven't ridden for a while. The first day or so, getting on the F800GS required me thinking it through. I hopped on it Sunday to check the new bars and it was second nature. I'd bonded. Ruhroh.

The trip out to Mike's showed a road abused by the recent inclement (rainy) weather. On a dualsport, that spells F.U.N.!!

I was still on the F800 and really starting to dig the bike. OTOH, we hadn't seen much sand. Yet.
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06 Husqvarna TE610 - IMS 5 gal clear tank, heated grips, Alaska Leather sheepskin, Dirt Bagz, Leo Vince slip on, JD Jetting kit, Utah skid plate, Cycra barkbusters
08 BMW K1200S - It's freakin' awesome

Ride reports:
- 10 Mar Baja
- 08 Feb Baja
- 07 Aug West coast PDX->SAN
- More!
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:25 AM   #54
edeslaur
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The snow-capped mountains in the distance were awesome. Again, the camera (and operator) failing to do justice to the reality.


Here's a couple shots of the river from mine and Shaun's 'romantic' walk. I guess Arno was jealous?

You can see from the debris line that folks were stuck here for a while. I grew up in the SW, and a big flood is awesome to watch. 1983 in Tucson was something else as it wiped out bridges, miles and miles of roads, etc.




Blake and Arno lounging by the pool in the motorcycle parking area. I found it interesting you rode up there to park the bikes. And wondered how many bikes have ended up in the pool over time?



And we hit sand. Deep sand. By now, I was getting the hang of it. Shaun and I looked at each other and sighed. WTH, you only live once!

This is one of my first attempts at uploading video, and it's unedited, so roll with it.

By now I'm getting pretty good in sand with the F800GS. The camera is on the bars, and watch the view as I get up to speed. As they say, in sand, let the bike move.

I had to stop in what I thought was the middle of the section (couldn't see around the corner) as I was rapidly catching one of our other riders.

Getting the 800 on plane in that sand is in the low 40s. Watching the video, I remember really enjoying the challenge sand posed by then.


The video from my early sand attempts was corrupted, or I would have posted that. Darn that aftermarket power supply. We shifted to batteries after that since losing cool video sucks.

Sand road leaving Mike's - in the direction we chose to the fun road!

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Eric D
06 Husqvarna TE610 - IMS 5 gal clear tank, heated grips, Alaska Leather sheepskin, Dirt Bagz, Leo Vince slip on, JD Jetting kit, Utah skid plate, Cycra barkbusters
08 BMW K1200S - It's freakin' awesome

Ride reports:
- 10 Mar Baja
- 08 Feb Baja
- 07 Aug West coast PDX->SAN
- More!

edeslaur screwed with this post 03-23-2010 at 04:09 AM
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:44 AM   #55
edeslaur
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The Second Day in Valle de Trinidad

As the guys have mentioned, we're stooges and ended up in the same town again, but from the southeast and down a high-speed farm road.

We were headed for the Pemex, which turned out to be under construction. So we headed deeper into town. I was cruising along and noticed the parts store and thought "Hey, the town we left this morning had the same store!" and then "And the same car wash! Who'd think that in Baja, Mex...." and then we hit the main drag and I realized we were in the same town.

So we crashed in the same place, but played musical beds as we all decided who had to share with whom that evening.

We called the owner and when he showed up, Arno and I had an in-depth conversation with him, in Spanish, about the town, some of his history, dentists, his houses, etc. Pretty impressive guy, really. And no way he was 50, he looked better than me and I'm barely 40!!

The next morning, we did some basic maintenance on the bikes.

Here's Shaun doing what most of us would recognize as pretty standard maintenance when on the road, while Blake stands by ready to add rider-weight and make sure the funky KTM setup isn't too tight.


Here's the extent of the maintenance the BMW needed.


By now, as Blake had mentioned, we'd found that Arno's SPOT had decided to run away. What was it with our equipment this trip?!?!

I think I spoke with SWMBO every day. I didn't FEEL like I was in Mexico, disconnected from the world. OTOH, it wasn't on my cell phone - mine was eerily silent and nonresponsive to the web and email. It felt really weird not to be able to google things and having to rely on what is actually stored in my noggin. I was a little afraid.

We got the Lat/Lon from 11 minutes before, then went to get breakfast. More chorizo con huevos, por favor! Gots to have priorities in life, man!

Then it was off to see if we could spot the SPOT. Apparently, if I could have easily turned the 800 around, I could have run up and run back too. I was actually trying to get ahead as I wanted to get video (denied!) or pics, just like this, of the guys running the roads. And all this with mushy suspension. Imagine how fast that bike will be after that gets redone?!



I wasn't very far ahead at all, but the pics sure make it seem I was.


Since I was now on a bike with a GPS, and had figured out how to use it (must. get. 550. Garmin. Must.), I tooled ahead. We passed through the same town near where the cow had gotten our attention, and I was sure we'd be knocking on someone's door.

Can you imagine your reaction to finding something funny looking, then the next morning having someone knock on your door and ask for said artifact?

Fortunately, the signal led out of town. I drove right by it the first time as I was looking to the left and it was on the right. Another oddity, all lost items were on the right on this trip!

Here's where it was (Colonia Lazaro Cardenas is the alternate name for Valle de Trinidad. Why VdT in this ride report instead? Because that's the name on all the signs in town!)


You can tell Arno is happy from way up here!


After yet another successful mission (need your stuff found in Baja? Call 1-800-find-stf and bring your checkbook!), it was time to get out of VdT.

Our continuing goal was to get to the west coast as we'd done the east coast last time. And we'd seen the pictures of the pavement near Puertocitas and wanted nothing to do with it!
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Eric D
06 Husqvarna TE610 - IMS 5 gal clear tank, heated grips, Alaska Leather sheepskin, Dirt Bagz, Leo Vince slip on, JD Jetting kit, Utah skid plate, Cycra barkbusters
08 BMW K1200S - It's freakin' awesome

Ride reports:
- 10 Mar Baja
- 08 Feb Baja
- 07 Aug West coast PDX->SAN
- More!

edeslaur screwed with this post 03-23-2010 at 07:44 AM
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:15 AM   #56
edeslaur
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This is the Fun Road called out in Blake's last post.

Shaun has some great pics of some of the road washouts we had to cross.






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Eric D
06 Husqvarna TE610 - IMS 5 gal clear tank, heated grips, Alaska Leather sheepskin, Dirt Bagz, Leo Vince slip on, JD Jetting kit, Utah skid plate, Cycra barkbusters
08 BMW K1200S - It's freakin' awesome

Ride reports:
- 10 Mar Baja
- 08 Feb Baja
- 07 Aug West coast PDX->SAN
- More!

edeslaur screwed with this post 03-23-2010 at 04:15 AM
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:22 AM   #57
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Great stuff, fun roads! And thanks for not editing music into the videos.
Lion

Quote:
Originally Posted by edeslaur
This is the Fun Road called out in Blake's last post.

Shaun has some great pics of some of the road washouts we had to cross.

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Old 03-23-2010, 07:26 AM   #58
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The XR sails thru sand pretty well and doesn't need much speed to keep it planing....so when Eric went by me at 45mph it surprised the hell outta me, and I did a full body flinch. Holy crap he was moving.
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:38 AM   #59
edeslaur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drrags
So much for trying to be cool by doing something silly. I filled both pants legs with water, making them the wettest of the trip. They dried out shortly as the weather wasn't bad, but it was a good lesson of what not to do.
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06 Husqvarna TE610 - IMS 5 gal clear tank, heated grips, Alaska Leather sheepskin, Dirt Bagz, Leo Vince slip on, JD Jetting kit, Utah skid plate, Cycra barkbusters
08 BMW K1200S - It's freakin' awesome

Ride reports:
- 10 Mar Baja
- 08 Feb Baja
- 07 Aug West coast PDX->SAN
- More!
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:12 PM   #60
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ok I'm a day late

Day 3.
Today's plan was to get to Mikes Sky Ranch, and take it from there. It was a great ride out to the ranch, not many pic's though, as we were having too much lot of fun.



There were a few water crossings on the way, the best of which was just before the ranch.



We waited around at the ranch for an hour or so, deciding what to do. Arno was done riding dirt and wanted to drink, I'm always up for drinking, but also wanted to ride, Eric was set on riding, can't remember what Blake wanted to do, but we never listed to him anyway. So after looking over the map & GPS I picked a route that would have us backtracking for a few miles, then cut onto an unknown track, that would eventually put us onto what "looked" like a nice graded dirt road and headed towards the east coast of Baja. This seemed like a compromise that all were happy with, so we all set off, back across the water crossing.


Blake


Arno


.
Once we found the start of the cut off road (Eric's first video, post 56), Eric and I looked at each other and said "Oh Shit". Deep soft sand, but at least the road was nice and wide with no banks. So nothing more to do, I hit it across the sand. I had been talking with Eric the night before, and decided to try something different, since normal sand riding style was not working for shit in the deep stuff on the big bikes with my current suspension setup. Anyway, this changed seemed to work well.

This track did in fact take us to the road we were trying to get to. But rather than being a nice graded road the map has depicted, it was full of washouts and hadn't been touched by a grader in years, so it was a lot of fun, even Arno was having fun on Eric's bike now and no more was heard about the graded or tarmac roads he was lusting for. I only took two pic's on this road, probably shows the fun we were having.




The map and GPS tracks I had, showed this road running out all the way to MX1 and the coast, so nothing more to do that follow it, enjoy the scenery, watch out for the washouts and ignore the GPS, (since you are on the right road).

After a climb into a mountain and down the other side, the road flattened out and was just a 10mile stretch of flat dirt road that you could see from one end to the other. At the end of the straight we saw a Pemex sing, and all thought it's worth getting gas, I remember thinking to myself, we have hit MX1 a lot sooner than I originally thought, but oh well. Making out way to the Pemex, I think we all realized we are back in the same dam town we started from. So nothing more to do, than get something to eat.

After going over the map and GPS found my mistake. We only need to backtrack that 10mile straight (that's not on the GPS or map), and we should be able to find the road we wanted to be on. But we all decided that would be left for tomorrow's ride.
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