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Old 02-22-2011, 09:37 PM   #1
Haywood OP
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Location: Chula Vista,CA (spittin' distance from Baja)
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BAJA-Cold weekend ride to Mike's Sky Ranch

SoCalPhil and I had been talking for a few months about taking our first trip to Mike's Sky Ranch. With a three day weekend looming, 2-19 through 2-21, we decided we're going. Now, the previous 2 or 3 weekends have been very nice here. Would the weather hold for us??? Hell no! Well, the plans have been made, the bikes are ready, Mike's has our reservations. Damn the torpedoes, and the rain, and the snow, and the cold, point them south and twist that throttle!


Final preparations. It's Saturday morning, with showers moving through the area.


SoCalPhil. Ready.


Haywood. Ready.

We left Chula Vista and headed for highway 94 to the Tecate border crossing. It was raining off and on on the way out. I had just put a new D606 front tire on. On the XRL in the dirt, the 606 works pretty good, but a BF new knobbie on wet twisty mountain roads, NOT! So, it was slow going. We stopped at the mini mart on the CA side of Tecate to top off the gas. It was there, at the gas pumps, that SCP's bike decided to take a pavement nap, after bouncing off the side of my bike with me on it of course. It seems his side stand is tweaked and dose not allow the bike to lean over to the left as far as it shoud. Broken right mirror and bent the left one. No other damage, and no damage to me or my bike as it was a glancing blow. Sorry, didn't get the foto. A perfect start! I'm glad to say that despite the conditions, there were no other "bike naps" or get offs. Onward.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:05 PM   #2
SoCalPhil
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Damn, Mirrors Broke!

Ed’s a great riding partner, letting he and his bike break the fall of my XRL, what a Pal! My bike must have some road gremlins, I bought it with broken mirrors and just installed some real cheapo’s to be a little safer while riding down in Mex. Well, it was a nice plan at least. We managed to straighten them out somewhat, I really couldn’t see too well behind me afterwards, but it made for a good start to an awesome adventure.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:24 PM   #3
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Hey Haywood,

Where's the next page??? Is that it?? All I see here is a coupla' pics of the garage and your carport.

Betcha you guys just rode up to Borders or Starbucks, had a cup o' Joe then back to the pad and slurped down some of that cheap vino your known for. Throw a bit o' muck on the bikes for good measure, make it look like you went somewhere.

Yup, I went riding too. Put on the heated vest under the Olympia AST, the lined pants, turned on the grip heaters and cold... What cold??? I was toasty as...well, toast. Gotta love that tuetonic engineering.

Hey where'd you guys get those funny lookin' pants??
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yerguy View Post
Hey Haywood,

Where's the next page??? Is that it?? All I see here is a coupla' pics of the garage and your carport.

Betcha you guys just rode up to Borders or Starbucks, had a cup o' Joe then back to the pad and slurped down some of that cheap vino your known for. Throw a bit o' muck on the bikes for good measure, make it look like you went somewhere.

Yup, I went riding too. Put on the heated vest under the Olympia AST, the lined pants, turned on the grip heaters and cold... What cold??? I was toasty as...well, toast. Gotta love that tuetonic engineering.

Hey where'd you guys get those funny lookin' pants??
Hold your water, the rest is coming.
I'm a busy guy, ya know.
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:07 AM   #5
ClearwaterBMW
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this is going to be great
thanks for the thread and sharing
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'11 R1200 GS Adventure with a DMC M72DX Sidecar
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:15 AM   #6
Tin Bender
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STFU???? How dare you!!!

The next time your leading a climb and I got you hanging in belay, I'm gonna hold the braking 'biner with just my itsy, bitsy pinkie finger. That'll learn ya'!!!!!

Ya' big galloot....
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:37 PM   #7
benwiggin2
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Love the Yamaha banners hanging over the Hondas in the garage.
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:38 PM   #8
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After taking care of the gas and the tweaked mirrors, we were ready to cross the border. There was an unusually heavy presence of border patrol and ICE randomly checking cars and slowing things down a bit, but we made it through with no problem. It's always pretty quick at Tecate. It started to rain again, kind of heavy so we just stayed on MX3 and headed for Ensenada. There are some random construction areas just south of Tecate on 3. The closer we got to Ensenada the nicer the weather was getting. When we arrived there it was absolutely beautiful, especially after the soaking we took all morning. Pit stop! Fish tacos!









As soon as we got done eating, yep, more rain. Time to go. Find our way back to 3 and get to Mike's. It rained off and on the rest of the way. We finally found the turnoff for the 20 miles of dirt to the ranch. Where there was no runoff the road was loose and sandy. In the wet areas, muddy and slippery. It was slow going all the way. It took us almost an hour and a half to do that 20 miles. The new D606 I had up front saved my bacon more than once.


One of the better sections of that road. Check out that sky. Due to our slow pace, it was getting near dark, and the clouds were getting darker and thicker too.

We didn't take many more pics on the way in as we were running out of day light, and this being our first time through there, we didn't feel like trying to find it in the dark.
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:40 PM   #9
Haywood OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benwiggin2 View Post
Love the Yamaha banners hanging over the Hondas in the garage.
Thanks! Not sure if you can see it, but there is a YZ250 2 smoke in there, all the way forward.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:05 PM   #10
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What Sign? Oh, That Sign.

Something we didn’t expect was the lack of any sign for Mike’s turn off heading east on Hwy 3. We knew there were a few routes to Mike’s off of Hwy 3, one being through the small town of Valley la Trinidad (this was the route on my Garmin), but we blew past there seeking the more direct shot to Mike’s. After the “Gut Feeling” we had gone too far, we pulled over to asked the locals about which way to go. I attempted asking a young maybe 10 year boy about directions. He only responded with “Gasolina, Gasolina”?. I thought my Spanish was pretty good, hell it sounded like Spanish to me at least. Haywood had much better luck walking into a bar I think it was, and was told we had just past the turn off. So we turned around and headed back, and sure enough there was a sign. Thank God! (or whomever you wish to thank). At that very point, my feet were starting to feel like they hand just come from the dentist.
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SoCalPhil screwed with this post 02-23-2011 at 04:21 PM
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:30 PM   #11
Haywood OP
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We finally made it there, just about dark. The water crossing was not too bad, I would say only about a foot and a half deep, but moving pretty good. Cold too. When we rolled up and parked we were greeted by security.



Very cool dog, and friendly too, thankfully.
There were a lot of lights on at Mike's, and we knocked on some doors and looked in some windows. Nada. WTF! No other bikes there either. After walking around a bit and finding the kitchen, we encountered life. We went inside and introduced ourselves. Alex, who I believe is part of the family that owns Mike's talked to us, while the ladies in the kitchen started to prepare our dinners. Alex told us he had reservations for 30 people for that night. And how many did show up? Uh-huh, just two. I couldn't understand why.


The thermometer outside the kitchen. Surely, 30 degrees and rain and snow in the mountains wouldn't keep all those gnarly adventureres away, would it ???

OK, get the stuff to the room and get back for dinner. Blanca cooked us up one fine steak dinner.

Yes, we're happy campers now. We mowed through that a lot faster than we did that road. A couple of Pacificos to wash it down and all is well. They even opened the bar for us. To celebrate our first time there, a couple shots of tequila were in order of course!





I think the shots and beers got to SoCalPhil. Corn fed white boy goin' all gangsta on us.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:39 PM   #12
Haywood OP
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The bar at Mike's, and the room just outside of it are just amazing. I don't know how many people have been through the place, but it has to be in the thousands, judging from all the business cards, stickers, race team T-shirts, and women's under wear! Alex told us the place was built in 1967, I think, first as a hunting lodge. Then, when the Baja races started up, well, the rest is history. Visit this place sometime.
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:03 PM   #13
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And all of a sudden we see a light down the road.

Gangsta? I was still freezing my ass off! Mike’s is way cool. The staff were great and the gals in the kitchen don’t mess around and produce some great chow. We had the place to ourselves, hanging out in the kitchen chit chatting with the crew there. Real Nice. Mike’s has quite a history actually, and Alex enjoyed telling us about the place. I was happy the place was empty just waiting for us.
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:22 PM   #14
Haywood OP
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Sunday morning, after listening to it rain all night, we were wondering how much worse the road could get. As it turns out, the road out of there was actually better than when we came in Saturday. It just felt firmer with not so many muddy spots and no snow. Go figure. After a few cups of coffee and a great breakfast, time to roll.


I never did get this guy's name. He was trying to warm up in the morning sun and taking a well deserved break after keeping an eye on things all night.



A few more pics from the way out:

























The original plan was to head back to Tecate by way of the compadre trail toward Santa Veronica, butt, after a late start and seeing how long it took us just to ride the 20 miles into Mike's, we figured we would not have enough daylight to go that route, so we just slabbed it back on MX3. Overall, it was a good ride though. We're going back in a month or two, and it will be more dirt. Thanks for reading.
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:57 PM   #15
motowest
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Baja Report

Nice report. Thanks for sharing!
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