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Old 01-01-2012, 08:42 AM   #16
donnh OP
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Spot Link

Hi - for those interested here is the link to my SPOT
http://share.findmespot.com/shared/f...RYlhoQJs1t17s6
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ADVenture On Two Wheels
KTM 1190R, F800GS, WR250R ,ZERO Electric Bike (dead), 73 Norton Commando, 1969 Yamaha Trailmaster. Wife rides (dirtbikegirlrider): G650GS, G650XC(sold), DR200
2010 Sasquatch Ride 2011 Utah Ride 2012 Baja Ride Report 2012 Rocky Mt Ride 2012 Sasquatch Pictures 2013 Seattle to Buenos Aries BLOG Follow Me
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Old 01-01-2012, 03:21 PM   #17
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Awesome pics, looks like you are making major progress! Thanks for the Spot link...

Heated gear? you will laugh at that later!
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:19 PM   #18
Bgunn
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Had a little nite ride up to Mike's Star ranch eh? Thanks for the spot....looks like smooth sailing now.

Keep it coming....
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:38 AM   #19
busdriver803
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Great report so far... riding Baja is something I've wanted to do for sometime and it just hasn't happened. Your first time adventure gives me more ammunition to convince the wife that we can do this. May need a different bike than the VStrom, hhmmmm what better excuse for a new bike than a ride to a new and different adventure.
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:37 PM   #20
donnh OP
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Day 4 and 5 Gonzaga Bay to San Ignacio

Day 4 – A day of rest
Not much to report on day 4. We hung out at the beach in Gonzaga Bay, talked with other riders, ate great food, went for long walks on the beach. About 1:00 in the afternoon Mark from Vancouver Canada showed up on a KLR 650, unlike us he rode his bike all the way south across the United States. He was heading our general direction so we agreed to ride together for the next few days. We met some new Amigos including Bret, Lennie, Bob, Dave and Bud. If you’re reading this it was fun hanging out.


Day 5 – Gonzaga Bay to San Ignacio
Despite our somewhat best attempts to leave earlier we departed Alfonsino’s about 9:30 after a hearty meal of Huevos Rancheros and plenty of coffee. When it came time to settle our tab for the room, drinks and meals the senorita asked me what meals I had and how many drinks including water for the last two days….hmmmm, I never thought to actually keep track, I thought they would. As I recited what I could from memory she wrote it down and gave me a total. I’m pretty sure it was not exactly right but close and that is all that seemed to matter.

South from Gonzaga Bay it’s a gravel/sand road back to highway 1 with long sections of washboard and some medium deep sandy sections. The weather was perfect with enough of a crosswind to keep the dust off the riders bringing up the rear. Mark took the lead and we settled into a leisurely pace. There were some miles of dead straight road and other sections of uphill semi-twisty trail.

Road south of Gonzaga Bay


Nice having someone riding with us to take a picture



After about 20 miles we came around a corner into some unexpected deep sand, I was to the left where it wasn’t too bad but Deby took the corner wide and caught her front wheel in the deep stuff, overcorrectiing she ran off the road and her bike decided to have a little nap. Mark and I valiantly turned around for the rescue. By the time she fell over she was going pretty slow so there was no damage to Deby or the bike. We picked up the bike and got it back to the road and decided it was time for a water break and for Deby to recollect her wits a little. The bikes had been taking quite a beating on the washboard road and after the tip over I decided to give Deby’s bike a good look-over to make sure everything was still hanging on. I’m glad I did – wow, I found a bolt that holds the rear part of the frame to the front part of the frame about half way unscrewed. I couldn’t believe it. This was Deby’s only crash which was really good since we had been riding on some pretty tough roads and if she hadn’t crashed this time I wouldn’t have noticed this major bolt holding her frame together coming loose. If that bolt would have come out I’m guessing the frame would have twisted and could have easily caused a major crash. Like I said – wow, I’m glad I caught it and actually glad she crashed.

Loose frame bolt



After about 10 more miles we came upon Coco’s corner and pulled in to meet in person, the famous and I’m not joking here, the famous Coco. What an honor that he was there to welcome us. A Mexican family in a minivan was just leaving when we arrived and no one else was there. We parked and hung out with Coco for about an hour, drinking Cokes and swapping stories. Coco is truly an inspiration living in the desert making a living catering to people passing by his remote crossroads. For those who don’t know the Coco story (probably my friends and relatives reading this who otherwise wouldn’t be following ADVrider) Coco lost on leg below the knee some years ago due to Diabetes and recently lost the other. No worries for Coco, or at least his attitude doesn’t show it. He welcomed us with open arms and especially welcomed Deby, evidently he is quite the smooth talking ladies’ man. He told us it was a good thing we got there when we did because at 3:00 he was closing up and driving (yes he drives using a stick to work the gas pedal) up to Gonzaga Bay, where we just came from, to celebrate New Year’s Eve with his friend Malcolm Smith. We asked if he would be at Alponsina’s and he said no because he didn’t like the crowds. Before we left he told us to watch for washed out sections of the road and look out for where he marked them with old tires. Really? Yes, he drove to these sections and with no legs and got out of his truck and marked them with tires so people like us wouldn’t crash when we got there. Riding south looking at those tires in the road it really helped to put life in perspective for me.

Deby and Coco


Deby and Mark lounging with Coco


Outdoor seating


Lodging at Coco's $10.00 per night


Getting ready to leave



After another 10 miles or so we came to highway 1, the main north south route through Baja. We were glad for the break from the sand and washboard and eagerly turned left to head south on nice blacktop. When we came to the turnoff to Bahia de la los Angeles (or Bay of LA as the gringos call it) we stopped to get gasolinia from a truck on the side of the road. Deby’s small tank on the G650XC was getting low and we didn’t want to take a chance getting to the next fuel stop in Guerrero Negro.



Roadside fillup


From there the road get’s closer to the Pacific Ocean side of the peninsula a strong cross wind picked up and the temperature dropped from a the 80’s down into the low 60s, burrrrr. We planned on getting lunch in Guerrera Negro but as we approached the turn off to town Mark, who was in the lead, was having the same thoughts as me…. Turn right and stop in a freezing cold town that reminds me of the Pacific Northwest or continue on this road that curves west where we will climb into the warmer hills with the wind at our back. He caught onto the thoughts I was channeling to him from the bike behind and turned left. Ha, I like riding with this guy. Since we were still hungary after not eating since early morning we slowed at every group of buildings looking for a roadside stand with something to eat, nothing, so we continued to Vizcaino where we stopped at the first stand with smoke we found. Good call. As the three gringo amigos dismounted a kid and his mother stopped to watch. The boy who looked about 10 said in perfect English “where are you from?”. I said Seattle to which he replied “oh, Washington”. We chatted for a while and asked how he spoke such perfect English, I mean, there was no trace of an accent at all. He said he grew up in South Carolina and moved to Mexico a couple of years ago. I didn’t press the subject but I could imagine that maybe he was raised in the US, probably attended school there like any other kid and then his family was deported. I wish him the best; it didn’t look like Vizcaino was the type of place that offered much opportunity to its residents.


We grabbed a couple of cokes and taco specials from the stand and continued southeast, next stop Rice and Beans in San Ignacio. I wasn’t sure what to expect since it was New Year’s Eve and I hoped they had some rooms. As usual we arrived as the sun was setting so I was really hopping they had room. No problem. We arrived and Ricardo was at the outside grill steaming oysters over an open fire. He called us over and welcomed us to “the best place in Baja” and handed us each a beer and prepared us an oyster. I think I like Ricardo. He handed us a couple of keys and pointed to our rooms in a building in the other side of the parking lot. Curious, this is the first place we stayed in Mexico where the room had a key, must be moving up.

As we walked across the parking lot to our room we saw something I had never seen before. It was a Ford F550 converted to an RV. This was the ultimate 4WD offroad monster truck camper. It said the Netherlands in the windshield. As we came around to the side a middle age couple was sitting at a camp table and said hi. It turns out Mark’s family is from the Netherlands and they instantly made a bond. These people were travelling around the world in this killer monster truck 4X4 RV, how cool is that. Here is a link to their adventure: http://web.me.com/jphannieontour/English/Welcome.html

Monster Camper





Across the parking lot was a younger couple on bicycles they were on an a long bicycle trip, guess where they were from? The Netherlands. How strange is it that we all met in the parking lot of Rice and Beans on New Year’s Eve in San Ignacia Mexico. I wish I could say that we celebrated the New Year drinking champagne and dancing in the bar but the truth is we were probably all asleep by 9:00, or at least I was. Happy New Year.

Day 6 San Ignacio to Loreto

I think Mark was eager to get an early start but I was bound and determined to post part of my ride report since Rice and Beans had a relatively fast internet speed. It only worked from the restaurant but that was ok. I got there before they opened and set up my computer on an outside table and started the upload process. A few minutes later Ricardo opened the door and started feeding my caffeine fix while I worked. A few minutes later Deby and Mark came over for coffee and they chatted while I worked. When I was done we said goodbye to the Netherlands bikers and monster truckers and left for points east. It was a fantastic morning ride with great curvy roads through the mountains back to the Sea of Cortez side of the peninsula.

East of San Ignacio








The temperature gradually climbed into the low 80s with a light wind. I felt like I was finally getting into a groove, relaxing and travelling effortlessly. The road met the coast at Santa Rosalia where we fueled up at the Pemex and turned south for a run along the coast. The road along the coast south of Santa Rosalia was one of the best roads yet, twisting along the coast with views down to hidden turquoise colored bays. We stopped for a late breakfast in Mulege at a small restaurant near the arched entrance to the town. Due to the holiday this was about the only place open but we had another good meal. There was an older gentleman setup on the long patio with a big bag of oranges and a press making fresh squeezed orange juice for the customers (we were the only ones), I had two. We drove through town a little scoping it out as a possible stop on the return trip. Lenny from Alfonsino’s recommended a place called Cliff’s near Jungle Jim’s bar. We found Jungle Jim’s but not Cliff’s and noted another couple likely hotels along the beach before we continued south to Loreto.

We got to Loreto well before dark for a change and came across a place called the Desert Inn right on the Beach, a beautiful resort that was almost deserted. We got a room for $60US. This time I had to fill out a form which was another first for this trip AND I got a key, now I knew this was a classy place. We asked if there was a restaurant, yes but it was closed for the holiday. A bar? No. Internet? No, it was broken. Was there a restaurant nearby? No, they were all closed for the holiday. Hmmmm. Then they gave me a remote control for the TV and one for the wall heating unit. I had to give them a 100 peso deposit for the remotes, ok I suppose. None of the places we’ve stayed at so far had heat at night and since it’s been getting down to the 40’s or cooler it usually got cold in the room. I was looking forward to just a little warmth in the room. Of course when I went to try out the remotes there were no channels on the TV and the heating unit would not come on. Oh well, body heat again tonight which I really don’t mind.

We were on the first floor so they let us pull our bikes around to the patio door to the room where we unpacked and got settled in.

Bikes in front of hotel rooms


We decided to take a walk along the waterfront to the center of town to look for either an open restaurant or a grocery store for some food. We ended up with a loaf of bread and some meat for sandwiches from the grocery store and a bottle of wine. Deby prepared a delicious meal and we dined on the patio next to the beach with the sound of the surf.

Sandwiches on the patio


During our walk through town we learned that Loreto was named after the city in Italy where the statue in the local church came from. The city was founded in 1697 and was the first capital of California which at that time extended from the bottom of Baja to Oregon.

Loreto Church


Loreto town hall


In the 70’s and 80’s the government wanted to make this a resort city like Cabo and put some money into it but things never panned out. Nonetheless, it’s a nice place on the water with an interesting history.

After dinner Deby and I took another walk along the waterfront when we came across this:




Another killer monster truck RV! What the? This was even bigger than the last one. It had European plates but nobody was around to talk to. Is this some type of new fad?

There is a monastery nearby that sounds worth visiting, it’s 20 miles down a dirt road in the mountains and it is recommended that tourists book a tour in a suitable vehicle to get there. Sounds like my type of road – maybe on the way back.

Next: In search of Gringo Doug
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ADVenture On Two Wheels
KTM 1190R, F800GS, WR250R ,ZERO Electric Bike (dead), 73 Norton Commando, 1969 Yamaha Trailmaster. Wife rides (dirtbikegirlrider): G650GS, G650XC(sold), DR200
2010 Sasquatch Ride 2011 Utah Ride 2012 Baja Ride Report 2012 Rocky Mt Ride 2012 Sasquatch Pictures 2013 Seattle to Buenos Aries BLOG Follow Me
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:40 PM   #21
donnh OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by busdriver803 View Post
Great report so far... riding Baja is something I've wanted to do for sometime and it just hasn't happened. Your first time adventure gives me more ammunition to convince the wife that we can do this. May need a different bike than the VStrom, hhmmmm what better excuse for a new bike than a ride to a new and different adventure.
I recently sold my VStrom so I agree it would be a little tough on some of the roads down here. Or, you could consider a paved road only trip as a scouting mission. Thanks for following.
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ADVenture On Two Wheels
KTM 1190R, F800GS, WR250R ,ZERO Electric Bike (dead), 73 Norton Commando, 1969 Yamaha Trailmaster. Wife rides (dirtbikegirlrider): G650GS, G650XC(sold), DR200
2010 Sasquatch Ride 2011 Utah Ride 2012 Baja Ride Report 2012 Rocky Mt Ride 2012 Sasquatch Pictures 2013 Seattle to Buenos Aries BLOG Follow Me
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:43 PM   #22
donnh OP
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Originally Posted by Bgunn View Post
Had a little nite ride up to Mike's Star ranch eh? Thanks for the spot....looks like smooth sailing now.

Keep it coming....
Glad you are enjoying the ride. I guess I can cross riding up to Mike's in the dark off my bucket list !
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ADVenture On Two Wheels
KTM 1190R, F800GS, WR250R ,ZERO Electric Bike (dead), 73 Norton Commando, 1969 Yamaha Trailmaster. Wife rides (dirtbikegirlrider): G650GS, G650XC(sold), DR200
2010 Sasquatch Ride 2011 Utah Ride 2012 Baja Ride Report 2012 Rocky Mt Ride 2012 Sasquatch Pictures 2013 Seattle to Buenos Aries BLOG Follow Me
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:46 PM   #23
donnh OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snooker View Post
Awesome pics, looks like you are making major progress! Thanks for the Spot link...

Heated gear? you will laugh at that later!
Thanks for following snooker, did you check out that frame bolt? Ever hear of that on the G650?
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ADVenture On Two Wheels
KTM 1190R, F800GS, WR250R ,ZERO Electric Bike (dead), 73 Norton Commando, 1969 Yamaha Trailmaster. Wife rides (dirtbikegirlrider): G650GS, G650XC(sold), DR200
2010 Sasquatch Ride 2011 Utah Ride 2012 Baja Ride Report 2012 Rocky Mt Ride 2012 Sasquatch Pictures 2013 Seattle to Buenos Aries BLOG Follow Me
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:22 AM   #24
kirkyoung
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Baja January 9

Sounds like a great trip so far, my wife and I have pretty much the same plan, still not sure if we'll ride 2 up of she'll ride her own bike?
We'll be crossing the border January 10
KLR 650 DRZ400
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:37 AM   #25
kirkyoung
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Baja January 9

Sounds like a great trip so far, my wife and I have pretty much the same plan, still not sure if we'll ride 2 up of she'll ride her own bike?
We'll be crossing the border January 10
KLR 650 DRZ400
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:11 AM   #26
Torm
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Kim and I are watching your progress with great interest. In fact, just to get in the mood we ate at Playa Bonita (beautiful beach) in Arlington last night. Looking forward to your meeting with Doug, tell him we said Hey! Enjoy the ride and we look forward to a detailed in person report on your safe return.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:49 AM   #27
K75STER
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Great Trip and RR!

I think I'm going to use this as ammo with wife also. Not that I'll need it. We went to Mex for the first time back in Nov. to Ensenada to catch the start and finish of the Baja 1000. We both enjoyed it, she has even hinted at going to the Baja 500 this yr. No M/C riding for us on that part of the trip, but it primed me to get back down there on a bike and do some riding! What you two are doing is inspiring!

As if I need to say it-

Enjoy!
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:40 PM   #28
muddyrabbit
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Originally Posted by donnh View Post
Thanks for following snooker, did you check out that frame bolt? Ever hear of that on the G650?
Donny, I have found those lower frame bolts, as well as the upper ones under the seat loose on my X Country. Wouldn't hurt to check the bolts for her pannier racks either.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:19 PM   #29
gary griffith
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Donn and Debi
I am really enjoying your Baja adventures, and keep an eye out for the Mexican Pickle lady ( Pepper Lady?) Take care.
Gary
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:18 PM   #30
Skowinski
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Very cool, thanks for the report! Skowinski-wife and I have been talking about doing Baja. Talking....
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