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Old 01-17-2011, 08:07 PM   #151
Grow'd Up Mini Trail
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Location: Fort Collins, Colorado and Cheyenne, Wyoming
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Great, great photos CT, as always. Love the choices you make of what to shoot and, even better, how to shoot it. You've got an eye for it my man. And now somebody to ride with... that's gotta be fun. I'm enjoying it very much. Me he divertido mucho. Adelante!
2002 R1150GS - It's not about the knockdown, it's about the recovery.
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:07 PM   #152
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Loving ittt.. Make sure to try and find me when you get further south in Mexico. I'm sitting on a hammock in Puerto Angel in Oaxaca sipping a cold beer next to the ocean, and we need to swap Chicago stories.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:21 AM   #153
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After coffee we set out heading south, ready for what the day was to bring.

Fresh juice at a roadside cart was just the perfect way to start the ride. The vendor, like many Baja residents you see, had such a large smile and positive energy around him.
After all he was the giver of life with the delicious juice.

We had passed many half-built mega-developments, like huge hollow monuments to the Greed Gods involved with the American real estate collapse and subsequent economy woes.

The road going south out of San Felipe had almost no traffic on it.... soon the pavement would end, but for the time being we're just cruising along and a nice pace enjoying everything.

Now and then a small sandstorm would appear for our entertainment, though it made tough to keep Roadster going straight.

Oh Praise the Lord!

We had to stop at Cow Patty for a beer and a hot dog, which turned out to be delicious. Nothing like random stuff in the middle of nowhere. Made a couple of singe serving friends, the cool rocker surfer dude from north cali who likes to drink and drive his dune buggy around, and the friendly retired folks from Arizona.

Then the guy slingin' the dogs.... showed us the map of his 6 month bicycle ride around Mexico. I can't imagine riding a bike in the summer around mexico.... so hot.

It takes a slightly higher level of concentration riding in Baja, have to watch those blind corners....

Lucky me!

Hmmm..... a taste of things to come while wandering off the tarmac.

The moment of reckoning is upon us.
Time to man up, air down, tighten the straps, and get a little dusty.
Nancy has rode with me on dirt before and was a great passenger, but always on the GS with plush suspension, and not on very rough roads. She was in for a surprise...

Mostly my concern was for the plastic panniers that already had cracks and plenty of wear on them. Would they make it?
One crash and they're done...

I took the tire pressure down to 23 in front and 30 in back with hopes of getting a touch more traction and a little less harshness with my telelever suspension.

Awesome scenery greeted us, daring us to move forward. No more vacation homes, no more RV's, no more nothing.
Both of us were happy to get a little more off the grid, and really looked forward to camping tonight.

Miles and miles of desert.

The road changed often, sometimes giving me a choice.

A. endless large washboards


B. sand that was deceivingly deep - hard some places, deep others, looks the same.

But then half the time it was no choice, just rocks on hard dirt.

Throw in some random baja desert sights and we had a great time.
Some sections were so rough we practiced tandem standing up and riding... there was lots of laughing as we forged on, and went over hill after hill only to see miles of tore up road laid out before us. WooHoo!
We talked about how it would be best to crash in sand since it shouldn't hurt as much, and what it must be like to see/hear/feel the 800hp trophy trucks screaming at 100 mph on this road.

No crashing took place, it was not to be on this day!

Actually we made it the 25 miles of dirt in an hour and a half with quite a few stops. All my miles on my GS on dirt have really made things easier for me now. It's been some time since I took the R in the dirt, but she's very familiar to me....
I tried to keep my speed as high as possible to stay on top of stuff, and stayed on the throttle, both of us riding the big bucking black beast in perfect sync. Nancy kicked ass on the back, standing, crouching, leaning to help catch the bike and get her straight during some sketchy moments.
It all just worked.

Nothing broke, the trusty Roadster and Ohlins' just took the relentless punishment and slamming. I hated to do it to her, but is it what it is.... Someone's got to pick up the slack for the GS.

We made it to Gonzaga Bay, and searched for a private place to camp, after some wandering we found this what looked to be abandoned resort....

But there was an old guy down by the beach living in a tiny shack. We ended up renting a palapa for 50 pesos.
Nancy stayed at the beach after we unloaded, and I went back a few miles to get some beer and water at the one little store up the road.

We planned on going to Alfonsina's for dinner, and were very happy with camping on our own beach. Not a soul, except for old dude a mile a way.


This box I carry has all my little stuff for coooking, headlamp, some spare batteries, can opener, etc.... Plus a little bottle of soap..... that I didn't double check the torque on the cap.

So a little time washing soup out of everything, watching the sunset, drinking beer, and playing in the cold water.

I wouldn't be keeping it real without mentioning these snazzy, shiny, translucent shorts I picked up for a few pesos in San Felipe.... See I managed to forget my shorts, so now, I get to wear some super fabulous Mexican shorts to go with my Chicago pasty ass white legs.

We set out to go have dinner right after sunset, it was about 4 miles to Alfonsina's and still warm.

The road was pretty shitty, with the old option A or B routine.

Huge washboards or deep sand, sometimes both.

I remembered how good the food was there, and was hungry, so a little sand isn't going to stop us!

We were the only gringos there, only a group of fisherman were hanging out, no tourists, no hotel guests...

very few lights on.... seemed strange.

But dinner was delicious as always and we sat out on the patio in near darkness and ate.

Ah, the ride back in the dark after a few cervezas went slowly, but again no crashing.

I will say with certainty that the BMW R1200R is not the best bike to ride in deep sand two up at night.... but great adventure times we shall not forget soon.

Upon our return to camp the wind started to really pick up as we wandered around and picked up shells

The wind continued to build into a full on sustained gale. I'd say it was 30-40 mph. An empty beer can just flew right out of my hand and poof! was gone, it was that windy.

Now with all this wind, the sand had joined in making this into kind of a sandstorm. I moved the bike to help block the wind on the tent, after tightening everything up and setting out the guy-lines very tight. I've been in similar or worse winds before in my trusty Big Agnes tent, so I wasn't too concerned. What did concern me was the relentless sandblasting my bike was now getting, I eventually covered the tank with a towel as to protect my beloved hand painted pinstripes on the Roadster.

It was howling loudly, and the strong sand filled wind made it sound like a heavy rainstorm hitting the tent. Sleep was slightly strained with the sandstorm a blowing, and the mid night piss hurt with stinging sand on my skin....

The next morning the wind was still in full force, as you can see from a sleeping bag blowing at 90 from nancy....

We had some delicious coffee, made in the tent vestibule.

It takes longer to pack in this kind of weather, any empty bag could just disappear if not watched closely, a very methodical, slow paced procedure.

After finally getting moving, we were greeted with our old friend Mr. A, B, or C road to go with our new friend Mr Windy.

Today was going to have some work cut out for me.
Bring it.

More random Baja things greeted us now and then.

About 5 miles from Coco's we came up to a Honda CRV that was broken down.
The young guy had been out there 2 days waiting for his friends to come back with a tow truck... He said he was cool, but was low on water, which we had none to give him.
He insisted he was fine, and expected his friends back any time, so we pushed on.

Coco was not there, he was at a hospital and wouldn't be back soon we were told.

We had a quick beer, and decided to buy some water and a few beers and bring it back to the stranded guy.... I mean, if I had been stuck there, I would really really like a few cold beers, right?...

The Super Cool, California backpacker, serial killer, young lad was quite pleased to have a beer... and was also quite a character

so we chilled for a half hour and swapped stories.

They had snapped a shock in half, so the car wasn't going anywhere...

We left him happy and set out..

After miles and miles of relentless pounding the road became slightly smoother, speed increased.... we came out the other side...
We had a bunch of fun taking "That Road" as people say with wonder, and the camping adventure was worth the effort. With that said, we were both ready for some lovely pavement so we could relax and get some miles going south on the clock.

I think this says it all....

Battery dead, will continue
Photography for me is not about recreating what I saw through
the viewfinder but to show people the way I want to see the world.

Lost Rider screwed with this post 01-19-2011 at 12:36 PM
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:31 AM   #154
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Just found this youtube video. Its call:


A few pics of Chitown are in it; you may want to check it out.

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Old 01-19-2011, 11:33 AM   #155
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You are about 10,000 kinds of awesome.

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Old 01-19-2011, 12:07 PM   #156
Fading off.........
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"Battery dead, will continue"

I hope that means with the computer, and not the bike.

Skyline Drive 11/2010 , Catskills 2010 trip, Catskills 2011 , Southern TNJT, 2011
DougZ's MTB thread , DZ Moto Photo Bloggin' , (my) Learning photography thread, DougZ vids
- Ryder Joseph Z. , Born 11/26/12-- the next Adventure: Grayson Hunter Z., born 5/3/14
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:13 PM   #157
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Most excellent

You sent me looking back through the older pix. For a second I thought Nancy had brought 2 Revitt jackets along on the trip.... I was gonna say "Run Chi Run!!!!" But obviously I was just fooled by the B&W pix.

Carry on then
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:53 PM   #158
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So happy for you both. More so that you managed to keep the R up on two wheels!
Keep up coming!
AMA, NRA, AFL-CIO Getting Old ain't for pussies....................Lorazapam
Even when you do something right people will think you didn't do anything at all.
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Old 01-20-2011, 05:04 AM   #159
Iron Dingo
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Wow post #153 is making me want to pack up and tear out of this office here in the -11 degree weather in canada, Pick up my girl in Boston and see if we can catch up to you..

looks like a fantastic trip.

keep those great photos coming.
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:03 PM   #160
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Making it back to pavement I raised the air pressure back up to normal road bike levels, marveling at the pounding the bike had just taken in stride.

Both of us working up an appetite riding this morning, we were disappointed to see the Tamale Lady's hut closed. They are the tastiest tamale's around, and a stop I've made every time riding Baja.
We ended up eating across the parking lot at different shop, and had more tasty taco's instead...

It election time in Mexico. Local and State elections.

Apparently they love big signs with their photos on them for campaigning, so everywhere we're being greeted by smiling Mexican politicians.

We blew through San Ignacio, it was too early in the day to stop riding south.
Finally we stopped a found a hotel in Mulege', shortly followed by dinner and cocktails...

Watched a little night time soccer.

Then for another drink, having our own fireplace with this painting above it.
It was becoming more and more apparent how few of tourists there were here.

Once again, most places were empty, the streets somewhat quiet.
I'm no expert, but from what I gather those stupid government warnings about not traveling to Mexico really was effecting peoples travels.

Fear Fear Fear.
It's too bad our government lies and says all of mexico is not safe, instead of telling the truth.
A person could easily take any major american city's evening news and spin it into a campaign against going there.

OOHHHH there was 2 murders in Chicago yesterday, we better NOT EVER go there because it dangerous!..... Or LA.... or NYC..... or DC.....
People afraid to travel here are really missing out on a wonderful place with the kindest of people made from the most colorful fabric of life.
Life has dangers. There's plenty to be afraid of at home, going to a shopping mall, let alone in any major city, or even in another country. But to me, not living life to its fullest in the time we have is a waist.

Wait, what am I bitching about, it good for ME there's not too many waddling americans milling about.... but I just hate to see local people suffer from the loss of tourist money due to american politics.

OK, rant over.

The ended somewhat early and abrupt.... turns out that little dirt ride had taken more out of us than we first realized.

Sleep came easy.

The next morning we had some coffee and set out moving South once again.

We rode for all of 15 minutes and came upon this beach... pulled in, looked at the perfect beach, palapas, and even a little restaurant.

80 Pesos to camp.


We're not riding any more further south this day.

Shortly after arriving I went back into town to get a few groceries, water, and beer. On the way back I saw a bunch of fallen wood, so once again my R gets loaded up with fire wood... cruising down the road like this in Mexico gets no strange looks - I finally fit in!

Once back we met this kid Chris who's from Idaho, but here with his dad who's born local. He didn't want to go back.
Anyways, he started collecting these shellfish, asked for a tool, and started hacking away.

INSIDE the shell were a couple of baby lobsters.

I was slightly apprehensive, but the shellfish turned out to be delicious. Fresh, raw, and tasty! (with a little hot sauce)

We also met Helen and Claussen, a couple of backpackers who'd been traveling for quite some time. She was from the UK, he was from Canada - they had met in Guatemala.

Nancy out playing with the birds....

The four of us...

We had purchased a kilo of fresh scallops in the afternoon from a fisherman coming in.... as the sun set, we got ready for the feast.

We joined the backpackers, and a few other people to cook and drink....

Mike, the driver who had picked up the two hitchhicker/packpackers, plus Fernando who was hitchhiking with zero $ to Laredo for a job he had scored.

Mucho eating and drinking... we couldn't eat any more scallops...

Enter Hank. ( and drunk Christian)

Hank was camping next door to these guys... him and his wife had been here since November.
Hank wasn't really his name, but that's what we called him since he talked a lot about his love of music, specifically Hank Williams SR, JR and Johnny Cash. Hank liked to explore on his 4 wheeler ATV, even took overnight trips with just the essentials he said. Gas, whiskey, and a blanket.

I liked Hank.

Once we were done eating it was time to get the cooking fire up to a proper, drunken beach fire.... so we set out to scavenge wood.... and ended up tieing a whole tree to the back of the 1200R, and piling palms and more wood on top of it.... then I dragged it back to camp!

From here it's a blur, but from the photos it appears we had one hell of a fire and a great time!

A few hours later the sun came up... way way too early but we got up to savor the moment none the less - then went back to sleep!

Finally the heat from the sun got us out of our tent, a couple cups of delicious coffee and we were ready to go!

We decided there was no reason to leave this paradise and rented a kayak for the day to go explore the islands in the bay.

being slightly adventurous I did a little cave exploring on one of the islands

Hmmmmmm..... yummy or gross depending on how you look at it.

We made another run into town (15 miles) to once again stock up for the nights festivities.... putting my pannier to good use!

We had purchased a big bag of large fresh shrimp on the beach from the fisherman, and needed supplies...
Helen and Christian decided to hang with us and ditch their ride with Mike... Why leave here?...

Upon our return the worst thing happened.

There was a massive RV caravan that has descended on the beach, and one of them had setup right NEXT to my tent, blocking half our view of the water and mountains.
I was pissed.
Real pissed.

There was hundreds of yards of open beach land, yet this super douchebag had to park right next to us!

Now, if one must generalize, I like Canadians as a whole, but this group of assholes with BC plates really pissed me off.
These caravans are a menace, and changed the whole vibe of the whole beach.
Nobody was friendly, many dogs running everywhere, generators running, views blocked.... etc. etc.

The first guy I saw near this rig I asked if it was his.... it wasn't.... where's the owner?.... don't know.... don't cha think it's a little rude to park right next to us I asked? the guy didn't even look me in the face.

20 minutes later a women came up to the RV... Nancy sprung into action, and went and politely introduced herself..., then told the women how rude it was to park this rig right next to our tent.... the women said, oh, we didn't even realize....


Nancy was still very polite, and told the lady they should move the RV....

The lady said, oh... welll.... I don't know about that... I'll ask my husband if he can move it forward....

I never did see the man who owned it... they all just hid in the big group down the way like spineless cowards.

Not to spend too much time on this negative subject, we did what any good FF's should do in this situation (besides actually slash his tires, poison his dog, or beat his ass with a log)... - Have a great time anyways, we looked the other way, and didn't worry too much about how loud we were most of the night, keeping them up.... Fuck em'.

Here's the R preparing for tribal war.

It's almost a full moon.... no flashlights needed.

Ah.... The Shrimps!

I got a little workflow going and cooked for all of us with my little cooking setup, garlic, onion, and butter for the shrimp - veggies sauteed in the pot. It worked out great because there was no huge feast, I cranked out 2 taco's about every 10 minutes so we just sat and drank and ate slowly for hours... perfect.

cooking the most delicious shrimp on a nice bed of mesquite coals.

The finest cheapest tequila around!

A little late night aquatic adventure... funny how things seem like such a great idea at the time - yeah! drunken swimming at night!

The night finally ended quite late... and loudly.

Morning came very fast, but we were determined to just get up, have coffee, and then leave since the beach had gone to shite with the group of DoucheBags from BC.

Battery dead...
Photography for me is not about recreating what I saw through
the viewfinder but to show people the way I want to see the world.

Lost Rider screwed with this post 01-20-2011 at 02:30 PM
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:57 PM   #161
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awesome, what a great time!

Seems like you smile a lot more when Nancy's around... just sayin'.
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:41 PM   #162
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That little Leica is the shit isn't it? Your'e making me want to buy one.

Good times, great report, subscribed
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Old 01-20-2011, 03:09 PM   #163
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[COLOR="Yellow"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"]We said our goodbyes and departed from the beach we had enjoyed our time on very much so.
Helen and Claussen were very cool, and fun to hang out with, we had a great time with them...
Too bad we felt like we had to leave.

It was 60 miles to Laredo, the
Photography for me is not about recreating what I saw through
the viewfinder but to show people the way I want to see the world.
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Old 01-20-2011, 03:52 PM   #164
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Originally Posted by ChiTown View Post
It was 60 miles to Laredo, the
Ruh roh!

Nancy has the most incredible collection of glasses. It seemed to me that you must have about five pairs between you, but reviewing backwards through the thread, it seems to be only four. I was fooled by your initial greatest hits photo introduction.

There is something thumbs-uppish in there to be said that should include commitment to style, sacrificing limited packing space to bring specs for every fashion occasion, and being able to see properly, but I'm not sure how to say it. But it's cool.

I can relate. On solo trips I bring four pairs for various style and seeing purposes.

As every country has its asshats, I feel no particular need to apologize for my countrymen, but it sucks that your beach experience got ruined. I am sure you will locate another awesome beach soon enough. This has turned into a great 2-up ride!
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Old 01-20-2011, 06:13 PM   #165
Lost Rider OP
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NOt sure what happened to the post...

We said our goodbyes and departed from the beach we had enjoyed our time on very much so.
Helen and Claussen were very cool, and fun to hang out with, we had a great time with them...
Too bad we felt like we had to leave.
At least the view and road was amazing....

It was 60 miles to Laredo, then another 220 or so miles to La Paz. We were ready for a change of pace anyways, plus a shower and doing some laundry would be nice too...

Stopping on the way for what else?

A beer and a few taco's....

The ride was a mixture of nice twisty mountain roads and long straightaways.
Throw in a little Baja sights, 80 temps and it was just fine with me.

Getting into La Paz in the early afternoon was great, giving us time to get unpacked and showered... we've been staying at our gracious host and city guides house, sir Kevin. Thanks Kevin!

So for the last few days we've been enjoying the wonderful city of La Paz, making new friends, and relaxing. Mornings at the coffee shop on the Malecon posting here, and food food food.
A few taco's, a little wine, some seafood, some hot dogs, some pasta in there somewhere... mmmm

Nancy made friends with The General, a man with many pearls, gold, a silk purple shirt, and the fanciest hat I've ever seen. His wife had these amazing eyes.
We sat and talked with him and his wife for a while, turns out he was some famous general who was getting a medal next month, a ceremony he invited us to.
We heard stories about war, and making movies in 1962 when he was a captain among many other things...
It's encounters like this that help make traveling so rewarding and enjoyable.

I think we are leaving La Paz tomorrow, though it still hasn't been decided which way we are going... a leisurely ride back up Baja, or an ambitious ride into Copper Canyon....
Nancy needs to be back next week.

Thank you for the replies!
Yes, I'm lucky to have such a great girl to travel with... and no she doesn't have two jackets!
Actually I think the pack is respectable for 2up camping, she's made a lot of sacrifices to keep our stuff to a minimum....
There is plenty of smiling going on between us.

Yes, I'm very happy with this little Leica, it's the shit!
Actually I'm getting far more shots of people with it being so small and unobtrusive, it's neat (and new) for me.

I've been limiting my posts to the capacity of this MacBook Air 11" battery, which is about 3.5 hours for normal internet traffic, or 2 hours if I'm processing photos while posting. I could take the charger with to the coffee shop but why?... I'd love to be more descriptive, and maybe I'll add some stuff later, but I need a balance to enjoy the moment while still writing about the journey live.

Until next time, Cheers!
Photography for me is not about recreating what I saw through
the viewfinder but to show people the way I want to see the world.
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