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Old 02-05-2013, 07:30 PM   #1
warp9man OP
Gravel in my Travel
 
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Layton Utah
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Baja Round 2 - 990 Two Up!

We just recently got home from our 17 Day adventure. It is a major pain to do a ride report while riding. Kudos to those of you who can do it while on the fly.
Me and my wife Patty did our first Baja ride 2 up, one year ago. After we successfully came back with our heads still attached and without ransom notes, our family was convinced it was safe (well, safer anyway), lol. I decided I would love to do a ride with my dad (58) and my son (22). I invited my dad. Next thing I know, my stepmom (60) was coming and several others were invited. My son, due to school and work would not be able to come. Since everyone else was coming, Patty decided she might as well come along for the ride.
So our group ended up consisting of me, Patty, my dad (John), my stepmom (Jacque) and my dad’s high school buddy Dave.
We made our plans, (which proved to be difficult in a group of 5) and headed out.
Day 1 - January 12, 2013
We left Layton, Utah at 6am in the middle of a snow nightmare, winter storm warning and 19” of snow in the front yard and single digit temps! Our course, neither the KTM nor myself was up for a ride in this shit so she was strapped to the trailer and towed to Yuma, AZ. We jumped on I-15 and had snow covered roads for almost 300 miles!

6am departure from Layton, UT!

The snow never stops.....




At the rest stop I wonder? In -2 degree temps, 70mph wind chill, would either of the bikes even start?

We stopped in St. George, where there was finally sunshine and above freezing temps, about 40, lol but we were happy.

The first dry roads and sunshine as we come into St. George, UT


We are officially the only popcicle around.



The poor SUV, KTM and spare DR650 looked like they just got time warped from the artic tundra. After a quick bit to eat we came out to find the SUV sitting in a lake of it’s own melting ice. We decided to run to the car wash to get all the salt and sand off, then we grabbed fuel and were on the road again.

We arrived in Yuma just in time for late dinner with the family. John and Jacque had arrived a few days earlier and had driven their motorhome from New Mexico. Dave had flown into Yuma from Michigan the night before. Jacque’s parents (my grandparents) were graciously allowing all of us to stay with them.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:41 PM   #2
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Day 2 – January 13, 2013

We woke up to a great sunny day and got busy making last minute preparations to the bikes. My KTM 990 Dakar was all ready to go. Dad was riding his BMW 650GS Dakar. My dad and I both used to desert race all the time since I was about 7 years old and up until I was 32. Jacque was riding her BMW 650GS. She just started riding motorcycles two years ago so this was going to be a big trip for her. Dave was riding his Suzuki DR650. John and Dave were high school buddies and both very experienced riders. This was Dave’s first ride on his DR650 because he actually had us purchase and prep the bike for him ahead of time and transport it to Yuma so he could just fly out. I decided to also bring my Suzuki DR650 just in case Dave didn’t like his or if he wanted to use some of my components for the trip. He opted to borrow my tank bag and an axle wrench but was pretty happy with his bike.


A little last minute prep.


Shake down pre ride.



We went out for a little shake down ride (and to scrub in the new tires) which turned into an all day ride into California. We arrived a bit late for dinner. I was pretty enthralled with chatting, riding and prepping with Dad and Dave. After all, none of them had been to Baja so I wanted to make sure they were well prepared.

We got a disturbing call from home and had to handle some drama well into the evening. While Patty was double checking our Mexico cell phone plans with AT&T she discovered they had activated my international features onto our daughter’s phone line instead of mine. She had to get on the phone again to get the problem corrected. We finally went to bed rather annoyed and frustrated at about midnight.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:42 PM   #3
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Day 3 – January 14, 2013

We woke up, made some breakfast and we all got on the road about 9am. We left Yuma and headed toward the Algodones border crossing.

Leaving Yuma.

We had a pretty easy ride planned down to San Felipe for the night, about 191 miles. It was a cold 40ish degree morning and windy.
We were bundled up and stayed warm. The wind was rather scary for Jacque so we went at a slower pace.


Algodones Border crossing.




At the border we stopped to get our tourist Visa’s, get the passports stamped and exchange some money.
This is never a fast process, nothing in Mexico ever is, lol, but with 5 of us it took about an hour.

Immigration Office.


View from the Immigration Office in Algodones.

Immigration Office.


Local Rx prices, if your curious.

We were happy it started to warm up while we were there. Getting out of the tourist area was no problem. I actually had a GPS (Garmin Zumo 665)
this time and it helped that we had been there before.


Heading South out of Algodones.



We headed down local hwy 2 south. As soon as we hit the open farm areas the wind
was gusting on us again. We tried to keep the speeds down knowing the wind was an
issue for Jacque. The wind got annoying as we turned onto Mexico 2 and had cross winds
constantly. My neck was tired of fighting the wind and I was anxiously looking forward
to turning South onto Mexico 5 so we would have the wind at our backs.

Shortly after we turned onto Mexico 5 we stopped to grab lunch at our favorite spot.



Holy crap their food is good! I might screw up the name but something like Yocojihua.
I highly recommend it! The old man said if we bring pictures of our trip he wanted to
put them up on the wall. They are big into off road races, baja trucks and bikes.





Not sure if we could possibly take a more retarded photo?


We got back on the road, grabbed some fuel and headed south toward the flats.





It just keeps going.


Jacque having a good time.
With the wind to our backs we were able to pick up the pace. We went thru the
military check point pretty quick. The rest of the group was initially a bit nervous
about this but quickly realized it was fast and easy. We arrived in San Felipe and
rode straight to Kiki’s Hotel (www.kiki.com.mx). We have stayed here before and
really liked it. The room was $50usd or $600pesos.
It was funny, as soon as we pull in we see Coco’s truck and Coco sitting outside.
We went over to say Hi and to see why he was up here? Turns out he was waiting
for his friend to pick him up and take him to Mexicalli for eye surgery. He had a
new ATV with some custom welded footwells for his amputated legs. He pulls
around a little trailer behind the ATV with his wheelchair. Even he was complaining
about the cold saying he was up on the hwy riding his ATV and turned back around
because he was riding into the wind. He told us to give his worker a message when
we pass through tomorrow, that he was going up to his appointment on the 17th.
I guess with Patty’s small Spanish vocabulary we will try? LOL

As we walked around and out to the beach we stopped and chatted to some of the
winter RVer’s for a bit. One of them had a bulldog that felt like he was made of lead!
Idk how he moved, lol. They told us all the shrimp boats had recently come in close
to shore to anchor down. They said they only do that when bad weather is coming……
Great…

We got back on the bikes and headed toward the Malecon.


We stopped at Fat Boy’s for a tasty pizza dinner.




We walked around the dark street for a bit so the group could do a little sight seeing.



As we headed back to Kiki’s I took them for a little detour ride down the Malecon.
Patty and Jacque (probably most of us) were a bit chilly. Jacque decided to ask Kiki
about any heat for the room, of course we already know no hotels have heat in Baja
but next thing we know Kiki is in a storage room pulling out 2 space heaters!
We were pretty excited to have a space heater for the room. Patty and I were kicking
ourselves because the last time we stayed here we had to jump in bed to stay warm.
I guess we should have asked, lol. Good job Jacque!



We all retired to our rooms for the night and planned to get an earlyish start tomorrow
because we have 207 miles to go to Bahia De Los Angeles plus Jacque would most
likely have to take it slow on the dirt road section.

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Old 02-05-2013, 10:04 PM   #4
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'bout time.....
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:14 PM   #5
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Day 4 – January 15, 2013
We wake up, check out the Sea of Cortez Sunrise and get ready to head out.

Even the camp dogs enjoy a good sunrise.

Sure beats the hell out of 19"of snow!


Kiki's rver's




I pull out ahead of the group and we wave goodbye to Coco in his truck.

I sit out on the street for a bit and nobody is coming? I turn around and drive back in.

Jacques BMW is having some issues. It struggled to start and was idling high then wanting to die when she stopped? She had a new Lithium battery that was not liking the unusually cold weather (low 40’s)
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:45 PM   #6
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Day 4 Continued
We eventually got the bike to cooperate and rode over to the Malecon to grab some breakfast at Rosita’s.



While waiting for breakfast, Patty runs out to grab a few photos.


Do you see the guys living in the tent?

A sunny but chilly morning.

Panorama of San Felipe.

Dave's Huevos Rancheros.

Building across the street, getting reading to leave.
The wind was kicking again 20-30mph with gusts over 40. Luckily it was NNW so it should be at our backs as we head south today.

As we head out Patty asks me on the Sena, “so do you have us mapped out of here or do I need to navigate?” me:“no woman, I have the route loaded in the GPS”. After we grab gas at the round-a-bout, I dutifully follow Zumo’s directions. Within a block Patty says: ‘we are going the wrong way and need to turn around” Me:”no we’re not. We are headed back up to the hwy”(although I don’t remember going this way last year). Patty: “can you pull over so I can show you on google maps where we are. We need to turn around and then go south” . So I pull off (with the whole group pulling off behind me). Indeed she shows me that we are going the wrong way. I don’t have time to screw with the GPS to see what I did wrong so I tell her to just navigate with her Blackberry. She tells me to go up the road a bit and make a U-turn. All I hear is “U-turn” so I immediately flip around only to find myself facing an on-coming car head on! WTF? Quickly I dart to the right down a 3 foot, concrete, almost vertical hwy island divider. No problems. I’m getting an earful from Patty hoping the rest of the group didn’t try to follow me on the stunt ride. For some damn reason I was thinking I was on another two lane road (like everywhere else) but this was 4 lanes with 2 each direction, hence the problem making the U-turn, lol. Luckily the other don’t blindly follow me and they rode down and found a good spot to turn around. Patty navigates me to our correct route as I mess with the GPS.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:55 PM   #7
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Day 4 Continues

We follow the nice coastline as we leave San Felipe and decide to stop for a photo op. It is still very windy, NNW but not a big deal, just a bit annoying.





We take the time to inform everyone to hang back from us a bit and if they see our brake lights to use caution because there are some pretty abrupt G-outs before Puerticitos. We hit two of these last year, fully loaded, two up, at speed.
One of those moments where you are amazed the bike frame didn’t just bust in half!
It is cloudy and gloomy outside, not like the great weather we had last year. We hear the Pemex in Gonzaga Bay is open (just not on wed) but we decide to stop in Puerticitos for fuel, just in case. We roll up to find the Puerticitos Pemex is closed today, lol. Figures.

Leaving Puertocitos.

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Old 02-06-2013, 02:20 PM   #8
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in!!!!

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Old 02-06-2013, 02:26 PM   #9
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Day 4 Continues

Sure hope Gonzaga is open or I’m screwed on getting to hwy 1.
At the Pemex station we happen to notice Jacque’s face when we stop for a minute and she looks a bit freaked out. As we climb around the coastal hills/mountains the wind picks up speed around the canyons and gets pretty gusty. We knock down our speed to take it easy on her, although she hasn’t complained.

Just south of Puertocitios.



Views heading south.



Further down the road, after fighting the wind we stop at a paved scenic overlook for some photos and to see how Jacque (and everyone else) is doing.

Everyone is pretty good but Jacque is visibly freaked out and riding tense in the windy conditions. We try to assure her that we will probably hit the dirt road shorty and we will be going a lot slower so the wind shouldn’t be issue. At this point I don’t know if she would rather have the wind or the dirt road but I have to hand it to her for sticking in there.

We passed the section where the pavement ended last year and wonder how much more they have paved? We keep going and going! We can still see the old dirt road that typically parallels the hwy. We are sad to see all the new pavement and are wanting to just jump back onto the old dirt. We resist because this is easy travels for the rest of the group and know we need to make good time today. We eventually hit the construction barrels that signal the end of the asphalt and we detour onto the dirt. We tell Dave, on the DR to just go ahead and stay on the main road, while I check in with Dad and Jacque for a minute. We happily jump on the dirt and soon find ourselves riding between 5 bridge pylons that are being constructed. Cool to see but sad at the same time.




We motor on a little ways and catch up to a white pickup as we pull up to the Gozaga Bay military check point.



We notice that we don’t see DR Dave anywhere? We ask the guards and the people in the truck if they seen another motorcycle go by? NOPE. WTF? Where the hell did Dave go? We wait for John and Jacque to arrive and just a bit behind them we see Dave! Huh? Somehow he found another trail/road and at some point found himself on a hill and looked down below to see Jacque riding between the bridge pylons. He quickly realized he went the wrong way and found his way back down. I’m standing there scratching my head? Man, I have to keep an eye on these guys, lol.




Dave, John and Jacque rolling into the Gonzaga Check point.



Assorted skeletons at the check point.




We go down to the Pemex and happily find it is open. After some fuel we decide to just grab a drink and small snack at the little store instead of lunch at Alfonsia’s.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:44 PM   #10
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Day 4 Continues
We get going again and find the road pretty much the same as last year. I keep my speeds down so I don’t get too far ahead of the group.

Patty and I periodically stop and wait for the group to make sure everyone is good, and to make sure they don’t go blazing down a new road. At one of our stops I notice nobody is coming.

Patty says she will just chill for a bit and take some nature photos while I ride back to check on the group. I find DR Dave so we both head further down to find John and Jacque. We find them stopped on road.

They had both low sided their bikes in a slightly sandy section. John hit pretty hard on his hip but was ok and Jacque landed soft and just stepped off. Both the bikes were ok but John decided to air down both their tires to improve traction. They were both running some Shinko 705 (80/20) tires and I found myself grateful for my Dunlop 908 & tkc80 combo. DR Dave was doing really good with his Shinko 700’s (60/40) tires. The lower air pressure did the trick and we were going again.

We ride ahead again so we have time to stop at Coco’s to deliver our message to his worker and pass a semi truck in route.


I bet that is one rough ride!


We pull Coco's and Patty eventually gets the message delivered…we think?

We don’t want to stay long because we are running behind with a long way to go. The group pulls in for a few minutes and we head out again.

The whole gang!



Me and My Dad.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:50 PM   #11
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'bout time.....
ya ya says the retired rider.
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:13 PM   #12
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Yep....Day 4 keeps going! We aren't even to the hwy yet.
Alot more dirt road ahead.

It looks so fluffy, lol.

Now this one looks like it would hurt. Make a great photo though.

Just waiting for the group.

Here they come.

I'm lovin' this! Great dirt road but wish I could speed along, lol.

As we make our way thru the hills to hwy 1, the sun is getting lower and the temps are dropping into the 40’s.


The wind is still blowing full tilt making it feel even colder.

Dave decides to go have some fun on the other road.



Dad looks comfortable.

DR Dave and the rest of the gang, all make it to Hwy 1

We all make it to the hwy and are anxious to make some good time.


Dave's Look

We quickly realize that with the gusty wind there is no way we can do higher speeds without leaving the group behind. Since I’m navigating I have to keep the group together.


Coming into the Bay of LA

We make it to Bahia De Los Angeles about dusk. Us and Dave stop at the Pemex to wait for John and Jacque to arrive.

Watching Dad and Jacque coming into town. We are chillin at the Pemex.

We tell Dave he can ride ahead to go find Costa Del Sol, since we have never been here before. We don’t have reservations so we hope they have availability. J & J arrive shortly and follow us into town. We find Dave at the hotel and he has gotten all of us rooms. We are all pretty chilly after an 8hr cold windy day on the bikes.

We ate some great food at the little on-site restaurant then head to our rooms for a hot shower and bed.
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warp9man View Post
ya ya says the retired rider.



















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Reality is what does not go away when you stop believing in it. -Philip K Dick
I wanna be skinny, but my ass is too big. - Charles Barkley
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:36 AM   #14
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Day 5 - January 16, 2013


We wake up to a fantastic sunrise in Bahia de Los Angeles. It is actually WARM and sunny!


Panorama of the Hotel


Street View




Scooby comes in to say good morning. He is the owner's Great Dane.


The hotel owner, Victoria.

We grab a great breakfast at the hotel.

Yum!

We pack up and get ready to leave.



When mom allows, Scooby gets to chill inside with her.

Rare photos together, lol.



We don’t have a real long ride today (211mi) so we take a little time to cruise threw town before we head out.





This little store is incredibly well stocked, like a mini Walmart.

Pemex Peace sign!

Once on the road, Patty manages to grab a photo of one of my worst fears while riding.

Something had hit and killed a HORSE! I can’t say I have ever seen horse road kill.
Two coyotes and several Turkey Vultures were feeding.


Up the road a few miles we ran into a herd of cows as we came around a blind corner.


We had to grab a photo of the crazy looking and tall cactus.


As soon as we hit HWY 1, Dad and Jacque pull off for a stretch.


We stop for fuel and munch on a few snack in Guerro Negro then motor on to San Ignacio.


Appears to be a millitary training center in Guerro Negro.

We have reservations for a two night stay at the Ignacio Springs B&B. It’s a pretty cool place right on the river where you can stay in a yurt.

Dave's yurt

A bit on the spendy side but very cool and they put on a great Canadian breakfast.

We head into town to grab dinner at Tootsie’s. It is a new place that actual belongs to the B&B’s daughter, a native Canadian. She has a pretty extensive menu and a well-stocked bar.

The purple building is Tootsie's.

All the food was very good.

It was too cold while we were there to eat outside but she has a kick butt patio courtyard in the back with a massive tree that fell down ages ago and crushed the neighboring building but it is simply too big for anyone to move, so it’s a permanent landmark now. I wish I had gotten a photo of it.


We walk around town for a bit while Patty grabs some night photos.




Note the top of the building that is crushed? That is where the huge tree crushed the building. The smaller top half of the tree was removed while the rest of the tree remains in the back.






We went into a little ice cream shop. Funny thing was trying to figure out the flavors. Patty asked if one of them was butter pecan. The lady says “Si”. Poor Dave just followed her lead and got the same thing, lol. Afterward, Patty and Dave are trying to figure out what they are eating because it’s not Butter Pecan. They decide it is some sort of banana pecan flavor, lol. It remains and unsolved mystery.



We grab the bikes and head back to the yurts for the night.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:17 PM   #15
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Day 6 – January 17, 2013
We don’t have any plans for today so we enjoy sleeping in for a bit. We had been thinking about whale watching today so we drug ourselves out of bed. We find John, Jac and Dave at breakfast. They have already made plans to have a shuttle van take them out to go whale watching. We decide to join them.

I would have to say I would much rather ride the KTM down the dirt road. Taking the van increases the drive time dramatically. On an upside, we could wear casual clothes (not riding gear), Patty decided to lay down on the seat,( she gets car sick), I got entertainment watching cleavage bounce around on the bumpy road. We both arrived happy.

Driving across the laguna during our van ride.

The campo Banös

Some of the little rentals at the campo. I asked what the price was to stay in them, $60usd! um...ok

A whale skeleton they have on display.
Last year we had rode the bike out to the campo’s but it was cold and windy. Jumping into a little panga in riding gear didn’t sound like fun so we just went for a bike ride.
We signed a few waivers, they gave us a quick tour of the place and gave us a few menu choices for lunch so they could have our food ready when we got back in.

The Grey Whales were not hard to find. The females had just given birth within the last 2 weeks!

Female, mother grey whale

It is amazing that they will just come right up to the boat! The babies are very curious and mom’s are very friendly. The females are enormous!



Mom and baby.


We even seen some of them spy hopping!

I have some cool videos I will try to post. We had a great time.
Back at the campo they served us lunch.



Patty found a new buddy.


We headed back to the B&B.
While walking to our yurt we seen a BMW1200GS parked next door with a full set of knobby tires on. I don’t see that very often. We head over to chat with them and discover it is a fellow ADV’er, Mike and his wife from CA. I don’t remember his handle? He had a wealth of information and has been coming to Baja to ride for years. We have a good time chatting with them. We make arrangements to meet up with them again at dinner. Me, Patty and Dave run over to Tootsie’s again for a light dinner.

Mike and his wife show up a bit later and we have a good time.

We roam around town for a bit and head back for the night. I stop in to chat with Dad to go over the plans for tomorrow down to Loreto. They say they plan on getting up early, to breakfast by 7am, then they will head out ahead of us. I go over Dad’s GPS, give them one of my maps so they can find our hotel (Posada del Cortes) in case they arrive before we do. It’s a nice easy ride tomorrow, 167mi, so no hurry for us.



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