Baja Single-Line Tour - 1400 Miles, 10 Days

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Z_HARSH, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    Denver
    This is quite belated but after getting laid off and a little trip to Alaska to look for work, it’s time to finally post this.

    So here it goes, a story about a few crazy Colorado dirt bikers lucky enough to know the right people who are on a mission to ride some of Baja’s tightest little single-lines and throw in as much beech as possible.

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    &#8216;Guess I&#8217;m new around here so I should introduce myself. I suppose I&#8217;ll go by ZH. I&#8217;m not really that new, this site has kept me sane for the last couple years, but this is my first story. I grew up riding dirt bikes in Colorado and Utah. My parents told me that as early as 6 months of age we were riding triple on my pop&#8217;s XR 600, or maybe it was the 500 back then. I grew up riding with&#8230;well I guess you could call him ArvadaGeorge. If you want to ride the tightest single line in Colorado or Utah there are not many better people to lead than he.

    We started out as a band of 3 from Denver at 8:00 in late February on a sunny Saturday morning after loading our three steeds into the back of a truck, headed quickly out of town and directly into ski traffic, no worries and a minor delay for we had the 24 cassette Lonesome Dove saga to keep us company, and soon enough we were looking for a three bed hotel room in Phoenix. A foldout will do the trick and before we knew it we were in Calexico exchanging money and getting car insurance then eating fish tacos in San Felipe.

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    The choice of bikes and set-up: A 2001 and a 2002 DRZ 400 and a 2001 XR 400 (Scott Summers edition 440)

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    I understand they are exactly &#8220;adventure bikes&#8221; but they&#8217;re street legal where I come from and sure, sure, sure, you may ask why so ancient but I always figure that at this point it&#8217;s hard to justify 3x the expense for a marginal bump in the fun factor. Plus these DRZs are solid. Don&#8217;t get me wrong, if someone wants to give me a pumpkin I will ride the s#@& out of it but on the other hand the only mechanical issues encountered was on the last day, after 1400 miles, on the last strip of pavement back to the truck, the XR burnt up its original clutch (can you say good timing?).

    We had up to 6 gallons at our disposal: two clamato bottles that fit exceptionally well into some cheap ATV tank bags, one gallon on the fender (usually empty), and a 4-galon tank for mine.

    Tomorrow we ride Bill&#8217;s infamous Rock Trail.
    #1
  2. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    Denver
    We woke up early, followed the waitress into the restaurant, filled up with huevos mexicanos and headed out for an adventure.

    We headed up the slab out of town and my head was buzzing, millions of thoughts rushing through and thought how lucky am I! I could have grown up playing a lot of sports but here I am with the fresh salty air whipping past on an un-supported ride with friends spanning generational gaps flying down the road on steel, plastic and rubber headed off into the barren desert wasteland. Before long we hopped on the beach for a 40-mile stint.

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    Then up a nasty little wash. Not sure what it was, perhaps it&#8217;s just soft or maybe we were rusty and our bikes were a bit more obese than usual, but this darn wash is as nasty and wallowy as they come.

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    We were down here 6 or 7 years ago and drove up and down this wash trying to find Bill&#8217;s trail, rode around for hours to no avail, but since then one of our buddies marked it for George, thanks Mark!

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    &#8230;.so here we are, one nasty rooted out hill followed by 40 miles of baby heads&#8230;. The hill really only had one tough ledge that I drug my rear tire up, then cleaned the rest and came down to add a well-placed rock and help AG up.

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    Then it was this like this for the next 40 miles or so:

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    Honestly, the last ten miles make sadistic rocks all worth it with beautiful switchbacks in and out of a wash, along little ridges, and ducking the massive &#8220;jumping cholla&#8221;.:

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    Then some old, unused roads through Fred Flintstone Land and the most important task.:

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    140 miles and all I could do was think how great that man named Bill is. Story is he hired a private plane to fly over 3 different times to put the trail through. He still rides it today, at the age of 70!
    #2
  3. going south

    going south hero & Zero...

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,191
    Location:
    Alaska, Mazatlan. sometimes seattle!
    Man oh man, the only way I'd go down some of that single track is on a Donkey! I like the pic's so far, put up some more.....
    #3
  4. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    Denver
    As you wish.
    #4
  5. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    Denver
    Day two was comprised of some of the most beautiful single-line I have ever ridden. It had rained quite a bit the month or so before we came and desert was greener than I have ever seen and painted with flowers but it also brought other problems as well.

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    Luckily it wasn&#8217;t too bad. Before too long we had ArvadaGeorge's bike on its side and yanked it out. The other problem was we lost the trail. It wasn&#8217;t far away but after and hour and a half of walking around we were back on track, ready for some more. If we would have know where the trail was we wouldn&#8217;t have gone the extra 50 yards and gotten stuck but that is just the way it goes. Luckily some nice people had marked it because it was hard to see at times.

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    We came out and ArgadaGeorge spotted the most beautiful little virgin wash, smooth and wide, full throttle straight-aways and no reason to back off corners:

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    After that its off to the dry lakebeds linking into another little trail and skirting around some not so dry lakebeds; we even saw some century plants in full bloom on the way:

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    This is where the track log said we needed to go. It was getting late and finding a way around a couple of the &#8220;dry lakebeds&#8221; was a bit troublesome having to bush-wack through the strong shadows but we were soon to our pink hotel; that was one Kick Ass Tuesday!!!

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    #5
  6. beechum1

    beechum1 Grimace Soup

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,734
    Location:
    Not home in Tijuana
    There's so much pink in the hotel, the lake in the pic above is turning color.
    #6
  7. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    57,504
    Location:
    Toronto
    Beautiful pics!! Tough ride! :thumb
    #7
  8. benwiggin2

    benwiggin2 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,174
    Location:
    Red stickered, in the wild, wild, west
    What an epic ride! :beer
    #8
  9. wallache

    wallache Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    378
    Location:
    PHX, AZ
    :lol3

    Like a glove! Took me a minute to even notice the headlight tank.
    #9
  10. rides2little

    rides2little Posts2Little

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    390
    Location:
    Lost in Utardia
    Looking good.

    More more more.
    #10
  11. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    Denver
    Thanks guys!

    Wallache, yea, we only really needed the 6th gallon on the fender one or maybe 2 days and emptied it as quickly as possible. You just have to remember to unplug your headlight if you end up having to ride at night.....but it fit perfectly there and didn't flop around.

    When riding that type of terrain you don't want any extra weight, especially on the front in the sand. For clothes all we brought was one pair of sweat pants, one extra t-shirt, a pair of sandals, 3 pairs of boxers, 3 pairs of socks, a book to kill some time, an emergency blanket, a few power bars, a tube of honey, a tube of peanut buter (to put on tortillas), some instant coffee, a cup and burner from the army supply store, and our typical tools and extra tubes. Since we were staying in hotels and eating out for breakfast and dinner, that is all we really needed.
    #11
  12. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    Denver
    In preparation for the trip we took a bit of care getting ready for this day. We were headed up the Pacific straight through the silt beds. We had pre-filters in and socks over the K&Ns but luckily there was enough recent rain that it was a nonissue. Nice, but I kind of wanted to see what all the silt hype was about. Before too long we could smell the salty air and then saw the waves crashing.

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010571.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010571.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010572.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010572.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010574.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010574.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010575.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010575.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=FSCN5137.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/FSCN5137.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    We cruised up the coast and checked out some of the sites along the way.

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=DSCN5140.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/DSCN5140.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=DSCN5141.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/DSCN5141.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010583.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010583.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010584.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010584.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=DSCN5143.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/DSCN5143.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010587.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010587.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Then I did something dumb. We were jumping in and out of the compressed silt beds and one of the zip ties used to attach the bungee chord holding down the saddlebags snapped so I stopped to replace it. I got back on and tried to catch up and tried to catch up…and tried to catch up. Then when I didn’t catch up I stopped and waited and waited and waited. I should have turned around and gone back to where I had last seen them, that’s the rule, but just before this happened we stopped and TM suggested that we get a move on it because it was already 3 p.m. and we still had 100 miles to cover before bed. Somehow I convinced myself that the left to cut over to Mex 1 wasn’t too far up so I thought I would go see if they were waiting there. When I got there it was obvious there were no tracks where the track logs said we should go. All I can say for myself is that time is a bit warped in the middle of the desert sometimes and miles are a lot shorter in Baja.

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010589.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010589.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010590.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010590.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010591.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010591.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010592.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010592.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010595.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010595.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    It feels a bit empty sitting on the Pacific with nothing but my lonely cylinder knowing that we are staying on the other side of the peninsula. I started weighing my options. On one hand I have never used my emergency blanket and there was enough light to gather some firewood, but, I also saw a little red line on the GPS that looked like a good option back to the highway and if I got a move on it I might even be able to make it before dark. I checked my fuel, roughly calculated the distance knowing that I can probably scrounge some gas on the highway if needed and started the race against the sun.

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010596.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010596.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010598.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010598.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010600.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010600.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    …it was a photo finish....well maybe I lost, but just barely. I put on my headphones and sweatshirt, moved my extra gallon container, plugged in my headlight and started cursing down the slab. That is another thing about the ol’ DRZ, its stock headlight is killer. By the way, do you think a rabbit would take your front tire out if you hit it at say…50 mph?

    When I rolled into Bay of LA and pulled up to the gas station the attendant immediately handed me a note from ArvadaGeorge and pointed me to Larry and Raquel’s. I drove the longest few k’s to the hotel and was filled with relief. Scarffed down some food, slammed a beer, typed a quick note to the gf and parents letting them know I am having a blast in Baja (not mentioning the previous excitement of course) and was out like a light.
    #12
  13. kpmacker

    kpmacker Live to Ride

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Kamloops BC
    2 questions:

    1. Those pics are unreal, what do you use for a camera?

    2. Do we get to see days 4 and on?

    Thanks again, awesome
    #13
  14. ktm950se

    ktm950se Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,385
    Location:
    Southern Maine
    'Gonna share the track? :deal

    ktm950se
    #14
  15. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,314
    Location:
    Alaska
    The Rockman Trail. Nice start. :thumb After I rode that route I didnt want to see a rock for quite a while. :rofl

    Did you guys hit Fred's Tractor Trail out of BoLA?
    #15
  16. MotoMike

    MotoMike Washed Up Desert Racer

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,099
    Location:
    The Black Palm Springs
    A bunch of the pics don't show up on my computer :scratch Is this a problem on my end :dunno

    I really want to ride all that single track. Every time I have gone down there the people I'm with aren't interested or their bikes are not the right tool.
    #16
  17. kta

    kta Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    594
    Location:
    Antigua, Guatemala
    I can't see them either. Not a problem on your end. Photobucket has bandwidth limits and there are too many ADV'ers trying to see the photos. However, the couple photos I can see look incredible! :clap
    #17
  18. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    Denver
    Sorry guys, I was trying to not pay for photo sharing, but PhotoBucket is telling me I am over the bandwidth.

    I should have some time in a few days and get back to it.
    #18
  19. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    Denver
    kpmacker – Thanks! My camera is just an old Panasonic point and shoot and here comes Day 4.

    ktm950se – Well….lets just say our fearless leader had to call all the way up to the Godfather himself and the only way he would send the tracks is if they don’t get on the internet so unfortunately, no.

    crashmaster – Thanks! All I can say is Bill Nichols is a great man. Not sure about Fred’s Tractor Trail, we had one we were calling One Way Hill but I’m sure it just depends on who you ask if it is the same.

    MotoMike – Yea, it is hard finding the right combination, I feel real lucky looking back at it.

    kta – Thank you kindly!
    #19
  20. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    Denver
    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=DSCN5145.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/DSCN5145.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    After the previous stressful 250 mile day the cinnamon coffee never tasted so good.

    We said goodbye to our little friend living under the trashcan and hit the road.

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010603.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010603.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    After a bit of gravel roads we hopped on the Green Door Trail and wallowed over to Punta San Francisquito. Apparently the local rancher thought the brightly panted door would be better suited in his home because the door isn’t there anymore, or that’s the story I heard, but in the West you have not business telling a story if you can't add to it. We did get a taste of prison life in though.

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010606.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010606.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=DSCN5147.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/DSCN5147.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    This had obviously been run in a recent Score course and honestly if wasn’t an incredibly enjoyable ride all torn up especially in comparison to the first couple days.

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=DSCN5149.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/DSCN5149.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010607.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010607.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010608.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010608.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    And after a quick 90 mile day we were relaxing on the beautiful San Francisquito beach.

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010610.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010610.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010614.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010614.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010619.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010619.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    This place has seen a ton of change over the last few decades. Originally this was going to be a fly-in Club Med type of an establishment with women hanging from the rafters. After that, with a runway at one edge of the property, surrounded by nothing but desert for a hundred miles, the drug runners decided that it would be an excellent fuel stop. Consequently the Federalies put up shop and since moved out and now it is under new management catering to quite a few dirt bikers and serving up what one San Franciscan we met described as the best fist tacos he has ever had in his life. I agree 100%.

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010623.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010623.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010621.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010621.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/?action=view&current=P1010622.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/Baja%202010/P1010622.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
    #20