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Old 04-16-2011, 06:10 PM   #136
Z_HARSH OP
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TemeculaRider – Thanks man! I’d love to…..but……unfortunately my Baja clip is about empty at the moment.

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Well I guess I’ve drug this out for long enough. It’s time for the last little bit.
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:29 PM   #137
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El Oasis, y La Misión de Santa María

We had made it through the dry lakebeds and back to the road pretty quickly and didn’t really get slowed down at all. We got back early, took off our helmets and just then the owner of the camp came over. He asked how our ride was and then said if we wanted there was a little old mission maybe veinticinco kilometers abajo, muy bonito, mas rocas, mas rocas, hasta el arroyo, mas rocs!

My Spanish isn’t that good and I’ve been slacking on my studies but were thinking a mission? About 12 miles away? Lots of rocks? It’s only 3:00? Hmmmmm…… We still had water and food left over, maybe 40 miles worth in the tanks, and not enough riding in yet….easy decision.

So we headed out, but that didn’t look right so we looped back, that didn’t look right either, so we checked over there. Finally we went back to the camp and talked to an American lady that was loading up her car, I had a feeling she knew about it. I asked her if it was just up the arroyo?

She said you haven’t been able to get there for many years now since the rockslide. “It is impossible now” and said we had to get there from the other side. (This is very interesting now that I sit here and think about it, but more on that in a bit.)

Needless to say, it was pretty obvious what way we needed to go.

Up the arroyo we headed…

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Big, wide and fast it was.

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There were a decent amount of tracks in it but still plenty of un-cut on the sides if you looked for it. I saw a few tracks cutting off to the left but I kind of wanted to keep riding the sand so we went a little further.

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It cliffed out just up a little bit so we turned around and took the turnoff.

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We saw two fresh motorcycle tracks and followed them through several corners on some good 2-track.
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Climbed up a little rise, through a saddle and saw our last view of the Cortez.

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Then dropped into the rocks, nothing but bowling ball to softball sized to pick your way over. We were a little tired and knew that it was the time when it’s easy to get hurt, but decided to go a bit further and came down into a gorgeous canyon.

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Then I got a glimpse of the oasis; a big group of palm trees sprouting out of the rocky desolation. Knowing that they built the missions near constant water sources, we had to be close.

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We came to the top of a particularly nasty, rocky hill. I stopped, looked over to BABs, he nodded and I went for it.

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Then we came to this:

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The track went straight through. This type of thing is not something to take lightly out here, the last thing we wanted to do was get stuck an hour of so before dark. So we parked the bikes and set off on foot to investigate.

It is pretty amazing finding such a lush oasis in the middle of the desert; it almost felt like we were all the sudden exploring in the deep jungle for a lost temple. We walked almost to the end of the main clump of trees and didn’t see anything on the other side. The track went through the water for a hundred yards or more and neither of us really wanted to wade in.

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The two fresh motorcycle tracks led right into the water however. I looked at it for a little bit but it just wasn’t worth trying. It was a good thing too as we would later find.

We walked back to the bikes and headed for camp.

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The rocky hill out of the valley was a good one. I flopped it like a fish a couple times and dabbed my feet a couple times, but at least I didn’t kill the bike (BABs;). You had to be careful and watch the traction because one spot didn’t have it and another did. Wheeling over backwards is only good if you are catching it on camera, and neither of us had ours out...well, let me take that back, BABs had his helmet cam now that I think about it (not to try and throw anybody under the bus or anything). We made it up without a problem and kept moving.

After pulling into camp, happy with a good 125-mile day, we started to change out of our riding gear.

Just then the friendly local came over again (he had stopped by that morning as we were headed out) to talk for a while. The first thing he asked is how far we got. We told him about the water and the two tracks we were following and how we hiked around a bit but decided to turn around. He just started laughing. Said that we were only about a mile and a half from the old mission and it was a good thing that we didn’t try out the water. He said that the Godfather himself was there the day before and swamped out his bike trying to make it through. Apparently it is doable but extra deep at that time.

He also asked about the hill. Apparently when he takes people down there they tie ropes on the front of the bikes to make sure no one wheelies over backwards. According to him, he has rescued more than one person from the road back there; it’s deffinatley a nasty one, I’d have to agree.

He said there are rumors of a way out to the Cortez through there but he didn’t believe it. According to him the only way would to be to lower your bike down by ropes, mentioning he has hiked it several times. (Looking back, it is interesting that the lady we talked to earlier said you had to come in from the other way)

We also learned about a little swimming hole with magical bright green water just below, the owner of Santa Inez (who also owns the pink hotel, you can tell by the bathrooms) even has a picture of it on his business cards. Either way, more investigation is needed as far as I’m concerned.

But all we can do now is dream about the deep sand, fast arroyos, endless rocks, dry lakebeds, and barren wastelands.

It was sad to stare at our last Baja sunset.

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We loaded up the bikes that night and got as much packed for the trip north as we could. I’m not quite sure what time we actually hit the road the next morning, all I know is that we were in the outskirts of San Quintin by the time the sun actually came up. I have to say it was pretty sweet driving in the wee hours of the morning like that. The traffic was next to nothing that early but I still managed to drop the trailer tire off the side of the road moving over for a truck with its mirrors hanging over into my lane. Luckily it didn’t cause any damage and we were eating our last fist tacos in Ensenada around 10:30. After a bit of shopping and making sure to top off the truck with gas before heading into CA we were sadly saying goodbye. We decided to go through TJ this time and sat in line for about two hours after having to loop back around because we accidentally got in the wrong lane that led to the police officer checking for medical cards to allow you to skip up in line. Down Town TJ really didn’t seem too bad…or we just got lucky…who knows?

We crossed over with no problems even though I actually forgot my passport. All I did was have my better half scan and email a copy of it to me. I printed it out and showed it to the guard with my driver’s license and after a thourough check of the truck we were allowed back in. We traded off driving and sleeping in the back seat, stopped at In-N-Out for the first time (honestly I don’t know what all the hype is about), pulled off the highway and crused The Vegas Strip (too bad BABs was a month shy), and pulled into Denver at about 8:30 the next morning. Not a bad 27-28 straight through.

And that’s that, the end of another well served set of tires.

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The Santa Maria mission was the last mission built by the Jesuits before they were expelled from Mexico for political intrigues. The area, which includes freshwater springs in a valley named "Cabujacaamang" by the Indians, was first seen by Father Fernando Consag in 1746, when he discovered Bahia San Luis Gonzaga on the Sea of Cortez. The mission itself was built in 1767 by Father Arnes and Diez as the third in a string of remote missions. It was designed to replace Mision Calamajue which was built in the previous year, but was found to have water that was too highly mineralized to sustain crops.

Although built in a wide canyon surrounded by volcanic rock and granite, Mision Santa Maria was the only mission built by the Jesuits mainly of adobe bricks rather than stone. After the Jesuits reluctantly departed from Baja Sur, the Franciscans occupied the site for a few months in 1768, but abandoned it as a principle mission when they began construction of the new Mission San Fernando de Velicata, forty miles to the northwest, in 1769. At that time, the Santa Maria mission became an outpost of Mission San Francisco Borja until 1818 when it was permanently abandoned.
Beginning in 1961, attempts were made to bulldoze a trail from Rancho Santa Ines, past the Santa Maria mission to Bahia Gonzaga on the Sea of Cortez. Constructed with great amounts of effort, the road reached a point about a half mile east of the mission on the Camino Real, but was abandoned because of impassable terrain. Today that trail has eroded and is obliterated in many areas, but is still the most common route for Santa Maria's infrequent visitors.


-Norm Christie, http://www.bajalife.com/v3pg40.htm

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Now you can’t say I never gave you anything.


Well……that’s all I’ve got, for these coordinates atleast.

Thanks! Cheers!
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:42 AM   #138
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Thanks Z for taking the time to include us on your adv. Great pics and writing.

I know what you mean, 'sad to watch your last Baja sunset'. Although it may not be your 'last'...it is still a sad moment knowing your adventure has come to an end....until next time.
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:29 PM   #139
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Old mission

On the old mission and the nasty bit of road. I recall a very sleepless night next to that mission worrying about riding out the next day. I drank about a pint of burbon fretting about that. Would have been unfounded had I not been recruited to pilot all four bikes out. Seems the old men (my old man and two buddies) felt I'd be best suited. Ha ride one Baja race and now your an expert. So, four times I wheeled, bounced, and fell. Sure was glad to get out of there. Funny, I got sweaty palm just seeing that thing again.
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:55 PM   #140
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WOW, Awesome RR, but especially that last post. Just epic

If you went to In-N-Out and wasn't too impressed, you didn't do it right

There is a secret code to get the good stuff: when you order just say "animal Style" and that lame cheapo burger is magically transformed

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Baja trip to the tip
6:10 to Yuma
trials and tribulations in the Mojave
Baja Blitz Yard sale
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:25 PM   #141
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looks like another great Baja RR.

another 952 well used.

thanks for sharing!
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:20 PM   #142
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Great report and picks, thanks for posting.
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:31 PM   #143
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Thanks for joining!

gsstampeder – I greatly appreciate it and you are most welcome! Thanks for coming along, until next time!

jbrownmxr – That would be an awesome camp spot but yea, I can only imagine. It’s not a long one but it is goooooood and rough, four times up is asking for it….with camping gear?!?!?! Glad to bring it back!

xymotic – Thanks man, I really appreciate it! As for the burgers, I said yes to the extras and there is no denying it, they are excellent and especially for the price. I think it's just their fan base, they’re just so fanatical.

SP's Dad – You are exactly correct, another well used 952. Thanks a million and my pleasure!

Baja Ho – Thank you, thank you, thank you…and you’re very welcome!


Now I just need to install my new cam chain……
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:48 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by xymotic View Post
If you went to In-N-Out and wasn't too impressed, you didn't do it right
In-N-Out has to be the most over-rated food in the history of food.
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you are safer in 99% of Northern Mexico than you are in 99% of Jacksonville, FL.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:33 PM   #145
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In-N-Out has to be the most over-rated food in the history of food.

Yeah!? try a Dicks burger up in Seattle. Locals love em, it's bill Gate
s fave, they get compared to In-N-Out all the time. I guess they are the same except not fresh, half as busy but twice the wait, No seating... or parking... not as clean or as friendly... And they suck.

I can see in_n_Out being 'overrated' but I've never heard anyone say they were 'bad' They are REALLY consistant, and always pretty damned good, and cheap. When I hit SoCal I gotta get me at least one.
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Baja trip to the tip
6:10 to Yuma
trials and tribulations in the Mojave
Baja Blitz Yard sale
View Current Location via Spot Tracker
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:03 PM   #146
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Yeah!? try a Dicks burger up in Seattle. Locals love em, it's bill Gate
s fave, they get compared to In-N-Out all the time. I guess they are the same except not fresh, half as busy but twice the wait, No seating... or parking... not as clean or as friendly... And they suck.

I can see in_n_Out being 'overrated' but I've never heard anyone say they were 'bad' They are REALLY consistant, and always pretty damned good, and cheap. When I hit SoCal I gotta get me at least one.
Oh not, not bad at all. But the hysteria baffles me. There's one about half a mile from my house and there will be a dozen cars in the drive thru at 11:45pm. And I'll be on the East Coast and tell someone where I live and get "California? OMG, you can get an In-N-Out whenever you want?!" And try telling someone that it's over-rated and they'll look at you like you're worse than a child molester. I don't know what they sprinkle on those things, but it's damned good marketing job.
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you are safer in 99% of Northern Mexico than you are in 99% of Jacksonville, FL.
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Old 01-11-2012, 01:35 PM   #147
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I was thinking maybe it would be best to just let this little report get buried and forgotten, these trails don’t really need the publicity. But BABs put this little video together and maybe I am going against my better judgment but here it is…I just can’t help but dream of rocks, sand, and stickers. Here is a little tip for the first-timers:

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OHV AREAS ARE DISAPPEARING& WE NEED YOUR HELP
Go to COHVCO.ORG to purchase an SOS sticker and become a FRIEND OF COHVCO
Then post a picture of the sticker on your OHV and post it on COHVCO's Facebook page to show your support,
SPREAD THE WORD, SAVE OUR SPORT!!
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:20 PM   #148
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The Dry Lakebeds Video

OK, who cares about a little sticker poke...this one is a bit cooler I think. It was shot at the end of the day on post #129, and references the previous year, post #5, when George, Mark and I played hell trying to circumnavigate around the same, not-so-dry lakebeds and death-mud. One more example of why Baja is not a place you can just go to and expect to follow some little dotted line on some electronic gizmo and expect for everything to go as planned.

Thanks BAB's!


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OHV AREAS ARE DISAPPEARING& WE NEED YOUR HELP
Go to COHVCO.ORG to purchase an SOS sticker and become a FRIEND OF COHVCO
Then post a picture of the sticker on your OHV and post it on COHVCO's Facebook page to show your support,
SPREAD THE WORD, SAVE OUR SPORT!!
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:34 AM   #149
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A hero has passed



This story is dedicated in loving memory of George Gangler who passed on from this world on 12/2/12.



You have done more for land access and promoting and protecting Colorado trail riding than any other.

You have touched more lives than you could ever imagine.

Our loss is immense, please help inspire us from above to keep fighting the good fight to keep our trails open.

I know some didn't think I should write this, but for me it was important to try and preserve just a few of your uncountable stories.

You will be missed always and forever.



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OHV AREAS ARE DISAPPEARING& WE NEED YOUR HELP
Go to COHVCO.ORG to purchase an SOS sticker and become a FRIEND OF COHVCO
Then post a picture of the sticker on your OHV and post it on COHVCO's Facebook page to show your support,
SPREAD THE WORD, SAVE OUR SPORT!!
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:49 AM   #150
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Well said Z. George has given me more than I could ever ask for. May he rest in peace.
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