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Old 09-22-2013, 01:42 PM   #16
damasovi
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I think he likes it here (Baja) or should I let the pics say it better..











I hope you had fun!
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Old 09-22-2013, 04:16 PM   #17
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OBTW Sean, the only thing you forgot to take was the liter of Pacifico in my cooler. I promise to keep it safely for you...........



Oops... all gone!
I was hoping that you would find a good home for it

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I think he likes it here (Baja) or should I let the pics say it better..
Cool pics Damaso thanks for posting those mi amigo
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:32 PM   #18
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6. Ensa-"todas"

Today was a first for the Killer, she got to go to a mechanic. I’ve never handed her over to anyone before, but these guys definitely know what they were doing. The further away you live from a big city the more resourceful you must become when problems arise. This is the case everywhere I’ve gone and it shows in the locals abilities to problem solve any issue.



You can always tell you are in baja because of all the offroad rigs running around. Obviously many end up in the shops as well.



They scoped it out for a second and Damaso helped with the translation specifics. They then drilled and retapped both the peg and the mounting bracket and had her fixed up lickety-split. They even put in some much sturdier bolts. Gracias to the guys over at Tama Motorsports and muchos gracias Damaso for the great shop recommendation.



There are lots of great reasons to travel via motorcycle, the freedom, the versatility, the fun factor, etc. Another is how easy it is to explore. It’s so simple to just cruise around, head on a swivel, and explore an area. I turned the GPS off, and took the rest of the day try to get a feel for Ensenada.

First stop, some much needed tacos. The lady running the street cart pegged me for a guy that didn’t know much spanish yet. Is it the ginger beard?? She was correct. She asked “Un taco pescado?”. “No, cinco, por favor.” She looked at me suspiciously, questioning my understanding of 'cinco'. I nodded and held up 5 fingers. Don’t worry this white boy can eat.



I meandered through neighborhoods which changed from housing, to work communities, to social gathering locations like parks packed with families playing with their kids. The ebb and flow of the cities different zones slowly being downloaded as I criss-cross across it's districts.





Not sure if this sculpture is made of whale bones or not, but I think it’s formed into something that is most definitely not a whale.



Offroad racing is HUGE here, for obvious reasons, think Baja 500 & 1000 among the more famous races. Around every corner you hear the loud brraaappppp of dirtbikes cycling through the gears and there is no shortage of heavily modded trophy trucks, buggies, and ATVs.

This is where the Baja 500 and 1000 start. It’s a big flag repping the well deserved pride of this special place and country. Girl from a cruise ship took my picture and said the flag was the size of a football field. She was drunk.



After the Baja races start they wind through town as they head for the mountains and then the open desert. One of the spots where they can start to open up their motors is this water viaduct that cuts through the center of town. The whole corridor is packed with people wanting to see the vehicles. The noise must be absolutely thundering from the motors, pinned wide open, tearing down the viaduct towards the end of town. I rode my bike down into it for a photo. It's just a water way, but an eery feeling lingers, as if you were stepping into a Colosseum and you can 'feel' the excitement of what happens there. It makes sense though. This is a coliseum of sorts. One for vehicular gladiators, on their way to battle mother nature and the clock. The hairs on the back of my neck were standing up imagining the event in full-tilt, the roar of the motors echoing off the banks.



If you’re hartbeat is low while reading this RR, watch this video and take a visual injection of epicness straight to the dome.



After criss-crossing the city several times I pushed further out from the city/village/town(?) to explore other areas.





And then still further, out onto a peninsula that wraps out into the pacific, south of Ensenada. You can see Ensenada in the distance.







Fair amount of people out getting around on horses.



The next day Damaso invited me along to the Cochilocos Sunday breakfast ride. Riding and eating, two of my favorite things.



We took a winding mountain road outside of town that twisted and banked higher and higher until it leveled out and turned into a dirt road. At the end of the road was our breakfast destination.



Group shot, I’m super good at photography.




Roberto and Damaso both have KLRs, here is Roberto’s good looking Gen2.



Great riding with and meeting all of you Cochilocos, thanks for showing me the best road in Ensenada.



After the ride back into town everyone peeled off to head in our separate directions. I pulled in the clutch to come to a stop light when it went, POP. No more clutch, cable snapped. I felt it going when we started the ride that morning. The ominous scraping vibrations transmitting through my fingertips on the lever as the cable strands individually give up, one by one. Roberto and his wife Coco where still behind me so they noticed and stopped as well.



I have a spare already routed and ziptied next to the original though so we just had to hook up the ends. Thanks for your help with the cable Roberto, ciao amigo.



Tomorrow I’m going to cross the peninsula and head towards the east coast of Baja and San Felipe. Should be able to find more dirt there. It’s never far away in Baja.

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Old 09-26-2013, 12:07 AM   #19
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sweet RR so far. use to fix that fork seal
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:33 AM   #20
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sweet RR so far. use to fix that fork seal
Roger that Brown-Bear, manhandled that pig. I thought we would be done with those damn things after Alaska
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:06 AM   #21
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7. Finding Cortez

Itís time to leave Ensenada. Itís been real. Itís been fun. Itís been real fun. For any other riders going through Ensenada and wanting a cheap ($18/night) non-camping place to stay, the Ensenada Backpackers Hostel has safe gated parking on the side of itís building. You could fit 2 maaaybe 3 bikes in there. If they arenít busy they have a whole back patio that could fit more bikes too. Bonus, itís a hostel too so somebody is always at the front desk 24/7.





San Felipe on the Sea of Cortez is where I want to go. Depending on when I make it there I may keep heading South as I heard that there are lots of small nice places to camp on the beaches a bit further down past San Felipe.

First though, more tacos.



I didnít realize how mountainous Baja was. This is coming out of Ensenada on Mexico 3, looking east towards the Sea of Cortez.



Awwww yeah, canyon carvingÖ.. good way to start the day.





Catholicism is big here, lots of little Ďshrines?í on the side of the highways. Sometimes they paint stuff on the rocks.



This is saint Ďgator. Patron saint of killiní shit.



Am I in Ohio?





Los Federales are cracking down on the drug running in Baja so there are checkpoints every few miles at strategic spots. One can be seen down at the bottom of this valley. After they went through my stuff and made sure I was only carrying stinky clothes and not kilos of cocaine the soldier questioning me asked to sit on my bike. Sure why not? The captain quickly stepped up swatting him away from the bike and jumped on himself. These guys seem fun. I reached over the captain turning the bike on and gestured him to take it for a spin. Through my broken spanish I confirmed that 1st gear was down, then 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th were up. He stalled it at first but itís pretty heavy. The other soldiers laughed as he swore at them and took off again, this time blasting through the gears down the straight road into the valley. His soldiers laughed again, but this time it was at me, saying that he and the bike were now gone, en route to Tijuana. He did come back though, faith in humanity prevails. I asked if I could hold his machine gun, he did not return the favor.



Pushing on towards the coast, is that the beach??



Nope, some sort of mirage. Still desert.



More checkpoints. I got waved right through this one though, maybe mi amigo radioed ahead saying the ginger is all clear.





Hello San Felipe. Where can I find Mr. Cortez?



Oh, heíll be getting tacos by the beach you say? Perfect.



Mr. Cortez never showed up, but I had some damn fine tacos anyways. I still have some sunlight so Iím going to go find a small beach place to camp.



AND THEN A FUCKING NUCLEAR EXPLOSION!!!



Never mind, just the sun setting behind a bush.





I found a nice place to camp, if you can call it thatÖ.I guess I was in a tent, but it was pretty bougie for camping. The place is about 50 kilometers south of San Felipe, called Puertecitos. The next morning I woke up on the beach and watched the sun come up, first pushing out the deep dark blues of the night sky...



then shifting to a swatch of rich oranges and yellows.



This camping shit is real tough. Had the beach to myself to get some exercise in too.




Then made some break-y. Huevos sucio.



And listened to some 'practice spanish' tapes. It's the say and repeat type stuff. ďNo hablo espaniol a hora!Ē Nothing planned for today. The olí bizzeard is getting scraggly, maybe Iíll take care of that.



I packed clippers and also wired in a 12v to 100w converter on the bike. Pretty handy piece, picked it up at Home Depot in Joshua Tree CA. Plugged my clippers right into it and went to town. Itís supposed to be able to charge a laptop too but weíll see, it even has a light that glows different colors so you can see if you are draining too much of your battery. Oh technology.




Iím informed that there are Ďaguas termalesí (hot springs) nearby on the beach so I set out to find them.

This looks promising.



Yep, found them.




Holy shit-balls they are waaaaayyyy to hot! I put my hand quickly in one and it almost felt boiling. It was low-tide, pretty sure you have to wait until the tide comes in and cools them down a bit. The ocean water itself was in the mid to high 70ís easily, apparently thatís pretty average for the Sea of Cortez.

I met some other people vacationing in the area too. They confirmed I had to wait until higher tides. They offered me some cold beer instead. It tasted like nectar of the gods.




Where to next? Looking on the map it seems like Cocoís Corner is a reasonable distance away. I hear from everyone else on ADVrider that his place out in the middle of the desert is a must if you are riding through Baja. Maybe Iíll check out what this guy ďCocoĒ is up to.



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Old 09-26-2013, 08:29 PM   #22
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Glad to see you on the east coast! Love Saint Gator.

The little road side shrines are built by locals to mark where loved ones died in accidents. They always remind me to go easy on the happy handle.

Back up at base camp tonight sans bike. I can see your taillight from here!

Vaya!
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Old 09-27-2013, 02:06 PM   #23
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Glad to see you on the east coast! Love Saint Gator.

The little road side shrines are built by locals to mark where loved ones died in accidents. They always remind me to go easy on the happy handle.

Back up at base camp tonight sans bike. I can see your taillight from here!

Vaya!
Ahhh I see, I was wondering why people made so many random shrines. I guess it's similar to the stuff we do in the states. I need to pay less attention to them as I'm riding so I don't end up as one.

Good to hear your body recovered from the crash
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Old 09-27-2013, 02:10 PM   #24
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8. Kicking It With Coco

Cocoís Corner is a must location as you near the Ďborderí of Baja North and Baja South. Itís a historical marker, and museum of sorts, for both adventurers and racers alike. Itís off the east coast of Baja a ways in-land and can be found along the route for the Baja 500 & 1000.

Iíve seen the pictures, heard the stories, itís time to meet the man himself. Hopefully heís there, as thereís no guarantee that he ever will be.



Heading south on Mex. 3 down the coast from Puertecitos the landscape gets more and more baren.



Not much growing out here. No need to worry about rain...whatís rain?





Mmmmm Sea of Cortez, still havenít met the guy though. Cool sea, man.



This roads really good, but whereís the dirt I heard about? My bones need a good rattling.



There she rolls.



Passed this guy on the way to the last stop before the road to Cocoís. Is it a camper, is it a van, is it a offroad rig? Sweet vamper rig.





He caught up at the last gas station.

Cool rig man.
Thanks Man.



Juan is from Nevada and cruising around Baja with his dog, Duke. He says all of it is for Dukeís comfort.



Meet Duke. Duke, is chill.



Iím Hungry. What can I eat? MORE TACOS!





Awwhhhhh yeahhhhhhhhh



Fart fueled up and on the road. Vamos a Cocoís.

The road out was decent, not super technical but a blend of hardpan choss and stretches of sand and silt. The scenery was stark, harsh, and cutting. Donít want to break down.



Sometimes you get two roads side-by-side to pick from. Like a Ďchoose your own adventureí ride. Ride the hardpan choss stuff for a while to get good a shooken up. Then switch to the soft sandy silty stuff for a butter-smooth ride, but much less traction though. Keeps things interesting.



Road climbed and fell at times, dropping into small valleys where water would come crashing through taking out the road. Itís the desert, the floor doesnít absorb anything anymore, so when it rains, it alllll turns into rivers. Speaking of water, didnít I have two water jugs on the back of my bike? Damnit, one must have rattled loose on the road somewhere. Of course it had to be the only one with water in it. Cocoís got water probably right? Just donít break down.





Thereís a lot of stuff reflecting sunlight up ahead. Is it a mirror? Are those beer cans strung along fences? Ahhh this must be Cocoís Corner. As I get closer a small blue ATV comes out to the road to see whoís coming and welcome whoever it is in. Hola! Su nombre es Coco, correcto? Shit, who am I kidding, Jobius guy without any legs on a quad in the middle of a desert, itís got to be him.

Welcome to Cocoís Corner.



This place is like a Mad Max oasis in the desert. Cars, trailers, race scraps and memorabilia everywhere.



And lots of panties.



We chit-chat for a bit and I ask if itís cool for me to camp here for the night. He says of course, you buy something to drink and you can stay in one of my trailers. Take your pick!
Well shit, Iíll buy some beer then. Several please :-)

Oh, and Iíll take this one, por favor.



This is a funky place. I like funky.





It was just him and I there so I got to kick it with him all night. We had some beers, shot his gun off into the desert, and chatted in broken spaníglish about the crazy people and things that have gone on here over the last 23 years heís been living here.

Heís a character for sure, and at 73 (?) itís pretty amazing that he subsists out here all by himself still. His history out here is a tale of great fun, excitement, and good people. Sadly though itís also a story of great hardship, not in just the lifestyle (which he seems very happy living) but in the price you pay when people want to take advantage of you. Over the years heís lost both his legs to health complications, forcing him away from racing, and into the city for periods of time leaving his home vulnerable to vandals and thieves. People stealing everything from his tools, equipment, and vehicles to his caches of much needed water and food. He even had his beer art sculptures dismantled for the money that could be had from recycling the cans. Thousands of cans and many hours lost. He has rebuilt it twice, and twice it has been dismantled while he has been away for health reasons. He said that he doesnít have the energy to build it again.

We brought the chairs out to an open area to watch the sun dip behind the mountains. He said on ridgeline you can see the facial profiles of family members and friends that have already passed away. I asked him how long he thinks heíll be able to stay out here. His tone shifts to positive gear and he chuckles. He looks at me and asks ďHow long do you think youíll be alive? Nobody knows these answers. Neither do I. Every day I wake up and realize that Iím still alive, I am thankful to be here. I say, thank you for this day I have been given.Ē

After the sun went down it was time to go to sleep. I told him to think about anything that would be helpful to have another hand for around the place. In the morning we can get some of it done. I didnít want to be insulting, he sure is fucking capable, but an extra set of hands makes light work.

I slept like a rock in his trailer.


Plenty of space for me and my stuff too.



Plenty of interesting characters have slept the night in this trailer. Some of left their marks, providing interesting stuff to read.



Pretty primo view for sunrise from my bed too.



Even got to sleep next to my lady.



In the morning we fixed one of his quads tires, got the front wheel off his big rig, and relocated some solar lights that needed to be adjusted.

Before I left I swapped out my old plate for my new one that I had been carrying since I left Seattle. I nailed the old one to his wall and signed the book, making my mark along with all of the other travelers and racers to have done so before me. Heís now on his 7th book.



Thanks for letting me chill for a bit Coco, it was a pleasure.

Unfortunately when I was leaving my camera started to take a shit on me and appeared to be breaking. I have no photos for the rest of the day to Mulege. I first met up with Mex. 1 and took it South, then southwest to Guerero Nego, then back east crossing through San Ignacio and Santa Rosalia before getting to the coast and into Mulege. I will also say that if one is in Baja and getting tired of the dry desert, DEFINITELY stop in San Ignacio. Itís small, chill, and a literal oasis in the desert with big palm(?) trees lining the main street if you turn into town. Then, the road to the coast? Well that is just swell and very pretty. So far it is my favorite road in Baja in terms of aesthetic beauty.

The beauty must have fixed the camera (for now?) because itís now working again. Welcome to Mulege Mr. Ginger. Sweet.




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Old 09-28-2013, 11:38 PM   #25
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This picture is the tidal pool where Baja Bug bit on of our riders in February. Near Bridge of Leona.





Lovin' your report.

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Old 09-29-2013, 08:30 PM   #26
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This picture is the tidal pool where Baja Bug bit on of our riders in February. Near bride of Leona.

Lovin' your report.
No Baja Bug yet for me and I will be avoiding this tidal pool now.

PS thanks for the GPX tracks, I was following them through Coco's and they were great. Didn't brave the Score route after that though as it was recently washed out, you guys are beasts.
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Old 09-29-2013, 09:28 PM   #27
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9. Mulege

Welcome to Mulege, a little oasis on the Sea of Cortez. Someone in town told me the population was around 3000 on average, and 4000 when the gringos come for the winter. I don't buy those numbers, 3000 seems like this little town would be bursting at the seems. I'm a tourist though so what do I know.



What it doesn't have in numbers though it definitely has in feels. It's small, it takes 3 minutes to drive every street and end up back where you started. In such a small town where everyone knows everyone, not being a local I definitely feel out of place as I putts through town. I like it here.





It is a popular place for snowbirds. The kind that travel south for better weather during the winter months. Not the bird kind though, the human kind, and I have come early before the rest of the flock.

There are small shops and old buildings.









Public Squares to loiter in and pull your shirt over your belly.





And plenty of good places to eat. I recommend both Danny's (for the TACOS!) and Gato Guerdo for the Pizza.



Gato Gordo just opened, is locally/family owned, and make damn good original as well as mexican fusion pizzas. Soon theyíll be offering sandwiches and subs, Iím told, as well. The owner (Laura) and her daughters are rad and speak waaaayyy better english than I do spanish. Cool hang-out spot to shoot the shit, drink some beers, and people watching.



I've got a feel for the town now, as I like to do, so I headed outside of it to see what there is to see. There is a beach out a road on the edge of town so I went there. A big hurricane came through and covered most of mulege in mud, destroying lots of property. This road was being rebuilt, couldn't tell the town had been so affected though from being there.



The gringos build their homes on the other side of the inlet outside of town. Unfortunately this also seems to be the place that floods first when storms come in.



Shieeettt, that's pretty good livin.



Found an early-bird like myself flying a kite.



And a guy from Portugal. ĎBout that time to eat and drink a bit, so we did that.



The guy from Portugal is named Juan, he's been traveling for 8 months mostly hitchiking. He was doing genetics research and decided some time off to think about what he wanted to do next was good. Sounds familiar.

Beach camping was free so Juan and I did that.



Juan tried to teach me spanish.



And I tried to learn how to use my camera in low-light a bit better.



Here I come Victoriaís Secret, so majestic.



Sunriseís are pretty good here.



The locals say the best beaches in the area are south of town, the best being about 10 miles out called Playa Coyote.

The road south is nice, twisty, and good elevation gain/loss. Definitely fun on the bike. Is that a beach in the distance?






Jigga fuckin whaaaaaattttt!



Mmmmmm greenery.



10 miles out, this must be it. Pull down a dirt road and find a beach at the end with little palapas. Yeeeeeep, this'll do just fine for the night.



Juan was traveling with two other people, Patricia (from Mexicali Mexico), and Damian (from France). They were going to go on a tour of some famous cave paintings outside of Mulege tomorrow so I'm gonna tag along for that. The location of the cave is protected, as with most things though, if you pay someone they can show you. They said it's an hour or so out into the desert down dirt roads. Perfect, I'll take my bike :-).


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Old 10-01-2013, 09:49 PM   #28
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10. Coyote Livin'

Meet Gary. He's my neighbor at Playa Coyote. He says nobody knows his real name around here, everyone just calls him Cuervo. I guess Cuervo is a snowbird, as he spends half the year in Madras Oregon and then the other half here on Playa Coyote, and has been doing so for the last 20 years. He's always working, even when he's down here, so I don't categorize him the same as a true 'snowbird'. He's a rad dude, but more on that later. We are both late to meet people in town, him for work, me for a cave painting tour.





Shiiiitttttt this road is good. If I had to ride it every day into town for work that WOULD NOT be a problem. But I don't work right now, and it's too early for anyone else to be on the road. Perfect, crank the happy-hand!





I met Patricia, Damian, and Juan (other travelers) in Mulege which is 10 miles north of where I'm staying at Playa Coyote. They got a deal to be taken to some cave paintings and I'm tagging along. They were in a 4x4 van lead by the guide and I followed behind on my bike. Why not ride with them they asked? Because it's going to be a shitty, bumpy, dusty dirt road out into the desert....that's exactly what I want to be on my bike for! After an hour or so down dirt roads into the desert northeast of town we arrived at the Trinidad Ranch. Really pretty place.







The cave is somewhere on the ranch, they try to keep it's location secret to protect the paintings. Mind you these are not your average finger paintings, these are designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (think pyramids, Eiffel tower, and Jay Leno's chin).



The area is rich with artifacts that show how the indigenous people lived here. Before we began, the guide spoke very sternly in spanish to the 4 of us. Patricia translated the gist, she said to think of the place as a whore house, you can look but don't touch, and definitely don't take anything home with you.

We passed some stones that were used for grinding wheat and corn. These stones were not locations of a homestead but rather were to be left in specific locations throughout the valley so that as the people traveled through the valley, they would remember where each of these locations were and would know they could prepare food there.



The terrain is harsh, as with everywhere in Baja.







Vultures circled overhead, waiting for our sweaty survival-skill-inept bodies to become their next carcass meal.



We came to a river. We were to swim across the water and on the other side we would find the paintings up on the cliff face.





We aren’t allowed to take pictures unless you pay extra. I'm on a budget so you’ll just have to google it. The paintings are prehistoric and absolutely fascinating. Obviously not in a Rembrandt or Picasso way, they are essentially just finger paintings on some rock, but in a way that leaves you in awe of a people that have long left this valley. The history that is right in front of your face is mind boggling. Our guide had a wealth of information and it was worth the money to learn about these people and how they lived. They were known as the 'second harvest' people. Why you ask? Among many other fascinating things, when food was scarce (as it often was in this location) they would eat their food, then throw it up and give it to the others in the tribe to eat. They would also all defecate in the same location, then later when food was scarce they elect a person to go through and sift out all the seeds from the dried feces for their "second harvest".

I have no photos of the place, here’s a picture of Damian instead. He is a cheeky frenchman.



We walked back.



I snapped some photos.





And then it was time to go back to town which meant going back down the dirt road that we came in on. Earlier on the way in I had been dropping tracks on my GPS, I now knew the way back and was free to ride on ahead. Wait, so you mean I don't have to go 10mph and suck down the kicked up dirt from your van for an hour? Ah shiiiit yeah! Having left all my gear and panniers at camp I was ready to fly. I haven't really opened the bike up for some higher speed pounding since I reworked my entire suspension with the help of Cogent Dynamics, this road provides just the opportunity.



Let’s just say, the 14 miles back into town were the most fun I have had on my bike in a very long time. The little boy-racer in me came alive again. Leaving the group behind, motor belching it's thumper roar. It was time to have some fun. Up through the gears and onto the trail. I got up on the pegs, body weight centered and mobile, picking up pace as I started to work the whole bike. I went zipping through washed out river beds, over banks and up burms. I can remember being a little kid on my rickety old mountain bike, bombing downhill on my long gravel driveway, throwing the handlebars side to side as I peddled as fast as possible. I used to imagine having a real motor as I emulated my favorite racers from TV. Sometimes making the sounds of the motor with my mouth.

Today, riding through this desert, I feel the exact same. I’m 25, but I feel 8 years old again. I have a real motor to make the sounds with now, and boy are they better. Picking up more speed my pupils dilate nice and wide, analyzing the track ahead. There's no time to see everything, just what is important. Large rocks, changes in surface texture, and the distinct patterns of soft deep sand. Obstacles quickly approach before flying by in a blur. Dreaming of my favorite racers I crank the throttle. The suspension jackhammering over the ground as I blast over whoops and power slide around corners. The tires fight to stay on the ground in a violent dance of traction and rebound, all orchestrated by the crank of my wrist and movement of my body. In my head I'm alone the deserts racing the Dakar, I crank the throttle more as I hunt for the perfect line, eager for every bit of speed. brraaaaaAAAAAAP.

Much like my old rickety mountain bike, my motorcycle is far from a race-bread machine. What she is though is a dream bike, a bike that can take me places I've never been. Today, she's brought me exactly where I want to be, right here, flying down this dirt road. I'm a little kid again. Shit eating grin ear to ear. I love you bike.



After I got back to town I ate some tacos in the square. (Isn’t that the exact same guy from the day before, still reading??)





And had some cold beer.



This is now the third day I've been here in Mulege? Or is it the 4th?? I don't normally stay this long in a single town. I guess I did switch to the beach 10 miles south of town, yeah that counts as a move.

I went back to the beach and sat.




Mangos are good here, and cheap. Nom nom nom.




I pulled the killer into the bike shop and stripped her down to get some work done. Switching to LED's in the back and need to wire in the new relay and lights. Digital RPM readout is gone too, should address that. Love working on bikes, this is a good spot to do it. Some tunes and sunset complete it.



I wake up the next day and knock on Cuervo’s motor-home door to see if he’s around. He has already been up for a while and is kayaking around the surrounding islands. He's left me a pot of warm coffee on the step. He's doing research on the local raven populations and taking general ecosystem metrics of the area. He's a naturalist both at heart and in his profession. He specializes in ravens and golden eagles. He's an endless book of information about the area and at 67 he has a very impressive resume, even having worked with Sir David Attenborough himself. He's booked out years in advance and still only has to work 4 months a year, mostly up in Oregon doing golden eagle research. The other 8 he's down here working on personal projects for himself, and in general, just having a good time. Sometimes he bicycles down when he's trying to stay in shape between bicycling seasons. He's made the trip from Madras to Playa Coyote and back 6 times via bicycle.







He’s a regular crocodile Dundee type character, fun guy. His hat has a raven feather and a stingray stinger in it.



I try to practice spanish for several hours every morning. Coyote Beach is perfect for it because there isn’t anyone else around to think I’m trying to speak to them. Eventually Cuervo comes in from his morning doings and pressures me to take his Kayak out around the islands for a study break.



There’s lots to see out there.







Several little island beaches that are always empty.





These shells are biiiiiig, this is one side of a shell, I got big neanderthal paws and this thing looks huge still.



Hang out for a bit, eat some lunch then leave.



It’s a pretty shitty way to go through the days. I should just go home. (Wait….where’s home again?)



Sometimes we get new neighbors, like this dutch couple. They converted a 30year old volvo military ambulance for their trip.




Sometimes clams are snorkeled for and eaten raw on the beach.



Or are cooked in the fire later.



Twice a week a baker drives in from town with pizzas for sale.



Whatever can be done to pass the time. Again and again taking the almost perfect road 10 miles back into town as the sun sets, sometimes with a purpose to get more food, or pick up beer. Sometimes for no purpose at all, just to enjoy the ride.

It’s wonderful here in Mulege and Coyote Beach. This is a place that has a feeling that is hard to put your finger on, but having been lucky enough to grow up in a similar place, I am all too familiar with how rare it is. Time to move on though. Many good places to see, can’t get too attached to any one spot just yet. Tomorrow, back on the road and further south, to roads yet unridden and places unseen.

Catch you later Mulege.












__________________
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"In life sometimes you just need to value adventure above security and comfort."
No-Moto-Boundaries, Tanning A Ginger Tip-to-Tip, '04 KLR 688

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Old 10-01-2013, 11:02 PM   #29
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I'm a little kid again. Shit eating grin ear to ear. I love you bike.
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:25 PM   #30
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11. Where Are All The PEZ?

I left Mulege and Coyote beach yesterday to find someplace new. Someplace further south and hopefully by some water. It feels good to be on the road, it feels productive in a very geographical way. It’s a productivity that is quantifiable. Sitting and relaxing is nice but there’s always more to see. I didn’t know where I was going to go but the main options were first Loreto, and then Ciduad Constitucion, along with any place I saw fit to camp in between.

After I left Coyote it was only about an hour south on Mex 1 and then I hit Loreto. Loreto seems larger and more hip with the hippety-hop than Mulege.



It’s a beach town that is supposedly trying to become the next La Paz (which is the largest city in Baja Sur).








After being in the same area for a few days, moving an hour south was not satisfying my itch to ride and find something new. Ciudad Constitucion is another hour or so southeast and inland from Loreto. Inland? That means no water….no, no that will not do.

My camera needs to be professionally serviced as I am now aware that every photo I have taken has a small round smudge in the upper center. I tried to disassemble it myself yesterday but it didn’t go very well. I must accept I can’t fix it and take it to a professional. Alright, La Paz it is.

Doesn’t seem like there’s much between Loreto and La Paz on the map, this is infact correct. First you head straight for an hour or so towards Constitucion on Mex 1. The first 30 miles are great, twisty, turny, climby roads.



But don’t be fooled, as you will soon reach a plateau.



And after that plateau, it’s flat and straight, all the way to the middle of the Baja peninsula.



After a long straight stretch. There will be a slight turn which points you south. This minute change in body position brings with it much excitement and joy, for at this point you may, like me, find yourself hopeful that the endlessly flat and straight road, has given up on it’s sinister game, and died. But no. It lives on to torment you further, only now in the southeasterly direction for a couple hours.



Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittttttttttt these straight stretches are terrible. It’s funny how quickly riding a motorcycle can go from “this is the best thing in the world” to “sitting here going in a straight line for hours is the last thing I want to be doing right now”. My mind drifts, desperate for stimulation of some kind. Anything, please just anything. Giving in to the nothingness I stare off into space, slouched over the gas tank and handlebars, motor droning on at a steady high pitched hum….

Next thing I know I’m through some military checkpoints and in La Paz though! Was I really just not paying attention for that long?



I found a nice hostel with locked parking for the moto and had some beers with the staff. They said they knew of a place I could probably take it tomorrow.

The next day I awoke rested and showered. Fresh water rather than salt water to clean myself with? I feel like a new man. Or maybe I just don’t smell like the old one. I can’t take the camera to the guy until after 5pm because he’s doing me solid and working on it after hours. Hopefully this will get it done faster as well.

Again I set out to criss cross the city and get a feel for it. There are roughly 250k people here I’m told. It feels bigger than any other place I’ve been too thus far in Baja, yet still has a smaller town vibe.





The beaches are really nice in town, but I heard they are even better outside of town about 16 kilometers. I went to find those ones and to scoot around on the bike.



Yes, they are in fact nice.



But there’s also dirt to be ridden!




And more beaches to find.



Alright time to go back so I can drop this camera off in time. Hopefully he can fix the smudge (see it up there on top of all the pics?)




__________________
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"In life sometimes you just need to value adventure above security and comfort."
No-Moto-Boundaries, Tanning A Ginger Tip-to-Tip, '04 KLR 688
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