My last day in Baja dawned cold and foggy, with a marine layer sweeping well inland. As I rode north toward Ensenada, I closed the vents in my jacket and turned on the heated grips for the first time since I left Ashland a week ago.
From San Quintin north Highway 1 is pretty much one long string of dog patch settlements punctuated by Pemex stations. I think of it as the New Jersey of Baja (no offense to you Jerseyites). So I didn't stop for anything but gas before veering back east on Highway 3 toward Ojos Negros.
And inmate here had clued me in to this dirt road that goes from there to El Hongo, near Tecate. And since I found myself well ahead of my original schedule, I figured it was worth a look. It didn't disappoint.
The road rises quickly from a few hundred feet above sea level to just above 4,500 ft., and the air temperature drops as you climb.
It has obviously seen a grader during my lifetime, and I made pretty good speed over the summit.
There were isolated groves of oak and pine up on top.
And even fields of wildflowers. A much different scene from what I had ridden through just a few days before.
There was the odd sand patch, a few ruts, and some mud holes. But none of the obstacles were difficult to overcome. A real pleasant ride.
The border crossing at Tecate took all of ten minutes, and I made it as far as Norwalk before LA traffic made me call it a day.
The next day I rode from there, 700 miles all the way home up I-5.
I stopped here, exactly one hour from my house for the final picture of this report. I hope you enjoyed it. I sure enjoyed riding it, and can't wait to get down there again.