Baja Team 6 - The Incursion

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by chabon, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. chabon

    chabon Been here awhile

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    Okay, if you're here for an exciting, heart stopping, hair raising, wild eyed adventure to Baja - stop now.


    If you're here because you're bored, its cold outside, your bike is broken or stolen, you’ve looked at all the ‘Toxic Brittany’ posts, or you got nothing better to do you are probably in the correct place.

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    Incursion by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    Here is a little inspiration music. I picked it because it has the words south and Mexico in it. I didn't shoot ANYBODY!

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    This is ANOTHER Baja report. Some photos, some antidotes ( I don&#8217;t really know what this means, but seemed like good word to use), some medical advice thanks to Coco, a real medical emergency, and who knows what else????

    disclaimer: "Any resemblance to persons living or dead should be plainly apparent to them and those who know them, especially if the author has been kind enough to have provided their real names and, in some cases, their e-mail addresses. All events described herein actually happened, though on occasion the author has taken certain, very small, liberties with chronology and facts, because that is his right as an American.&#8221;


    So let&#8217;s get started. I will truck myself and my bike down to Yuma to meet up with Baja Team 6, the players include:

    Myself (Chabon) Yamaha WR250X
    Burt ( Mi Vale Madre) Yamaha WR250R fitted with X wheels
    Brad (Bgunn) Yamaha WR250R
    Tim DR650 (Live2Ride)
    Mike (Shortcutsmc) KLR650
    Lee (LeeU) Drz400

    Destination: South, far as we can get before we need to turn around and be back to Yuma in nine days.
    #1
  2. advrockrider

    advrockrider Been here awhile

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    I'm in... Could you hurry up already!!! It's cold outside, I need to be entertained...
    #2
  3. chabon

    chabon Been here awhile

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    PRESTAGE

    I will be leaving from near Santa Barbara, California and meet the players in Yuma. I was off all of Thanksgiving weekend so I had packed, and repacked about 8 times before my departure. Goal was to travel light even though we intend to camp most nights. Got everything into my Wolfman soft bags except my tent and a small dry bag with a jacket and motorcycle cover.

    Woke up early with anticipation. Decided to take the direct route going through Los Angeles instead of the desert, my usual route to miss the city.

    I have never trucked a bike anywhere, always rode, but I wanted to be fresh the first day into Mexico and I was on a deadline to get home, possibly driving at night - so the truck made sense.

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    IMGP1681 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    As I start travelling in the truck I notice something strange. Harley riders are waving at me. Sometimes they do while I am riding, but a lot of times not. We’re having a grand old time waving back and forth, fingering each other, making faces, etc. And then I start noticing them withdrawing their waves. I guess from the front all they can see are some handlebars and partial motorcycle outline. As they get closer they notice it is not a Harley. They seem embarrassed for waving at a non-HD rider, but I don’t care, I keep waving and fingering them.

    Traffic is sluggish through LA, but I make it in good time to Mike’s house.
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    IMGP1682 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

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    IMGP1684 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    We unload the bike, chat for awhile and each have a huge steak and some grilled veggies that Kate cooks up for us. Mike breaks out some of his fine home made wine. I don't think its called home made wine though. Probably something more like Private Estate Wine DeJour. It was good. Thanks Mike and Kate!
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    IMG_20121128_182253 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
    #3
  4. Live2Ride

    Live2Ride Not Famous

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    Just for the record, I was on the DR 650 and Lee was on the DRZ 400. I will jump in with my pictures as the story unfolds. :evil
    #4
  5. goldentaco

    goldentaco Been here awhile

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    Oakland Bishes!
    Nice start Doug. Can't wait to hear about the Hamborguesas.


    J
    #5
  6. chabon

    chabon Been here awhile

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    oops, fixed.
    #6
  7. chabon

    chabon Been here awhile

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    DAY UNO

    We have a good breakfast and then meet up with the rest of the guys. Baja Team 6 is complete.

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    We head for the border crossing at Algodones (means cotton in spanish).
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    IMGP1685 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    Some have tourist papers for Baja Sur, some don&#8217;t, but we opt out on getting papers. Someone says they never check for the papers anyways (wonder how this will work out?). Fill up on gas and head off to San Felipe, our destination for the day.
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    IMGP1686 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

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    The cotton fields outside of Algodones. I wonder what came first, the cotton or the town?
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    IMGP1690 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    Encountered a little ground fog, slowed way down. Traffic can be unpredictable.

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    IMGP1692 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    Mandatory stop for coffee. Real coffee. Seems to be a lot of instant coffee in Mexico. Maybe more so on the mainland, we had pretty good luck with coffee.

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    IMGP1695 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    Long empty roads on the way to San Felipe.

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    IMGP1698 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

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    IMGP1700 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    Stopped for a bathroom break along the road. Well ventilated. Seems like there is always a Tecate store at each stop Burt picks. Think there is a pattern develping.

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    IMGP1701 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

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    IMGP1702 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    First stop in San Felipe, what do ya know, a Tecate store!

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    IMGP1705 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    The Boom Boom room seems to be closed. Business is down in San Felipe.

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    IMGP1707 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    Arrive at Rueben&#8217;s Palapa campground. Mike stays next door at Kiki&#8217;s. Mike is a hotel guy, we are cheap guys! The record crowd at Rueben&#8217;s was 600 people. We are the only 6 tonight. I would like to thank the US news organizations for clearing out all the gringo tourist trash from Mexico. Not so good for Mexico, but makes for no reservations and empty roads.

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    IMGP1709 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    Had a good dinner at La Vaquita&#8217;s and the boys picked up their adult beverages to take back to our beach front camping. Notice the Seafood Volcano! It was hot hot hot.

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    I opted for the local coconut shrimp, good stuff. Tim got a hamburger. I don&#8217;t think he has had much &#8216;authentic&#8217; Mexican food, more the Americanized version. No Taco Bells here! And surprise, Mexican hamburgers are not like American hamburgers, you have been warned. No ketchup, mustard, pickle or secret sauce here!

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    IMGP1713 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    After some friendly banter (Brad assured me that this WAS friendly banter) between Burt and Lee, we head off to sleep. Burts plan was to sleep on the beach. There was a lengthy discussion on how Burt would negotiate the rather hazardous step down to the beach consisting of a half buried picnic table. I happened to catch Burt out of the corner of my eye make his assault on the beach. He made a rather graceful belly flop/faceplant with a shoulder roll to the beach. I was impressed (maybe an 8 out of 10). You have to keep in mind that Burt is retired Air Force, not Marine&#8217;s so he probably did not have a lot of beach training. Oh, and congratulations to Burt for his 80th birthday this year.
    #7
  8. Bgunn

    Bgunn Mucha distancia

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    Always enjoy a Baja trip report ! Escpecially if I'm in it.

    Speaking of Seafood Volcano's , Hopefully you'll get to most of the trip before the "Mayan calendar end of the world" runs out :lol3
    #8
  9. Live2Ride

    Live2Ride Not Famous

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    The next morning. Hmmm, why is everything out of focus?
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    Oh yeah. :freaky
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    The owner had some concrete delivered for a new launch ramp he is putting in.
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    #9
  10. wachs

    wachs just passin' through

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    Hey Burt! :clap (Met you and your son at the Montana WestFest a couple years ago)
    #10
  11. Live2Ride

    Live2Ride Not Famous

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    That would be me. (son) You met Mike also, he bought one of your bags.
    #11
  12. wachs

    wachs just passin' through

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    Yes - Looks like a super fun trip so far! :clap:freaky
    #12
  13. LeeU

    LeeU Been here awhile

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    I'm in!! Will add some as it progresses.

    LeeU:freaky
    #13
  14. chabon

    chabon Been here awhile

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    ya, feel free to contribute. I should have the next days ride up later today...
    #14
  15. chabon

    chabon Been here awhile

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    Dia Dos

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    Up at sunrise and off to breakfast at Chenco’s.
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    IMG_0916 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
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    Some shots of Ruben’s, The Coco-Loco House on the Beach...

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    IMGP1725 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    The boys seemed to be drinking more coffee than usual???

    Burt said he wouldn’t be sleeping on the beach again, he got too much sand in his hair (I silently chuckled). It is here that I find out we need to be back by Tuesday thereby shortening the trip to 6 days. Not sure why it was shortened, but I figure if I get home early I will be able to save some vacation days and do another trip in the spring. Fuel up and head out for our destination for the day, Guerrero Negro. Paved road (deserted) almost all the way to Gonzaga Bay. Maybe 10 miles of gravel and dirt adjacent to newly paved unopened highway, Gas up again next to the landing strip and head off across the peninsula towards highway 1.

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    IMGP1726 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
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    IMGP1729 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    And then the road south out of San Felipe. Notice the lack of traffic and the nice condition of the road? Not bad at all....
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    IMGP1732 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
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    IMGP1739 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    And then the non-paved portion starts. Hard pack with washboard and some sand on top. Very wide also. Maybe the condition is from the Baja 1000 and not typical, not sure about that.

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    IMGP1740 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
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    IMGP1743 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    Fuel up next to the airstrip at Gonzaga Bay
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    IMGP1744 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    Saw some bicyclists from Canada along the road on a trip from the Yukon to Ushuaia, Argentina.
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    Take a break at Coco’s and hangout a while.
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    IMGP1749 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    Does something scare you in this photo like it did me?
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    IMGP1754 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    Can you imagine how small the girl that wore those red panties must be? Spookie

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    IMGP1755 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr


    Reach Highway 1 and stop at Chapala. Mike is our public relations guy and always gets all the local info, chats with whomever is close by and comes up with some interesting stuff. In Chapala he immediately starts talking to a young woman that is with a 18 month old girl and some bicycles, her boyfriend/husband comes along shortly. This is a family from Germany, also travelling to Argentina. I think they have a 3 year schedule they are on. Maybe Mike can post the link to their blog here.
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    100_1059 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
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    100_1061 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    Cute little girl (the baby you idiots)! When we asked about the trucks passing them on the skinny road they said the trucks were the best drivers, its the cars they worried about. The mom also had a missing tooth. More on that later......
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    100_1062 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    Another group of cyclists on the way to Argentina. I didn’t have the heart to tell them they were on a dead end road at the tip of Baja. Go figure?
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    100_1064 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    Had to make one more stop to add some gas from my Rotopax before we hit Guerrero Negro (GN). We made some ‘comfort’ stops also. When we got close to GN there was the border crossing into Baja Sur that we were supposed to have papers to cross (and it would be no problem without them). I wondered how this was going to go and then all of a sudden Burt makes a U-turn and goes back a ¼ mile to a dirt road. Ahhh, he must have decided avoidance is the best policy and we take a dirt road around the airport, the unofficial landfill and a bunch of squatters shacks.
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    This road hits the paved main street in GN directly in front of a Tecate store, surprise! But there is also the only reliable ATM here also. Mark this on your maps and don’t bother with getting papers. Save $23, but run the risk of having your bike impounded and who knows what else. Have you ever watched ‘Locked Up Abroad’, just sayin......

    Stayed at the Hotel Don Vicente. They had some rooms with 3 queen beds for 450 pesos, about $12 a person. Good room, light switch INSIDE the shower (not waterproof) but at least it wasn’t one of the ones you have to twist the wires together to turn on the lights!
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    The Don Vicente has a guarded locked courtyard at night so everything was probably safer than stateside.
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    IMGP1770 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    Dinner just a block up the street. I had a nice tomato bisque and milanesa. Tim had beef tacos. They weren’t on the menu. Lots of times things on the menu don’t exist and other items you just need to ask for. He made sure they were tortillas with meat only. NO sauce, no weird things, just meat! I think the other guys had seafood which was good. Local seafood. Not like in Santa Barbara where they actually do fish, but you usually get icelandic cod, or fish sticks or something frozen...
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    IMG_20121130_183217 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
    Crappy phone picture, thats fresh queso on top, yummm.
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    IMG_20121130_184716 by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr

    Think we just hung around after dinner and talked. Most of it had to do with Burt’s SPOT and camera he had lost on the dirt road between Coco’s and Highway 1. We got the coordinates for the SPOT from the website. It was still broadcasting the tracking signal and we figured we could pick it up on the way back, unless someone else found it. This was the great debate, fuelled by Tecate, Lee didn’t think we would find it, Mike and Burt were convinced it would be there. This carried on until we were all too tired to care. Good news is that Burt found his camera in one of the many pockets of his gear.
    #15
  16. Live2Ride

    Live2Ride Not Famous

    Joined:
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    Yep, just meat on the taco's, and I have never been sick in mexico. :D Yet. :eek1
    #16
  17. Bgunn

    Bgunn Mucha distancia

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    Priceless....:lol3
    #17
  18. IDWPUNK

    IDWPUNK ¡IDAbogado!

    Joined:
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    Can't wait to follow along with your RR. (By the way I am totally enamorado with Julieta Vinegas). You guys are riding all of the bikes I am considering buying (the DR, DRZ and the WRR). I would appreciate it if you could briefly provide your observations about the relative strengths and weaknesses of each of these bikes on a ride like this. ie. How did the DR do on sand and off road? Can the DRZ keep up with the bigger bikes on the slab? Was the WRR underpowered? Does the 6 speed gear box on the WRR allow it to keep up with the 650s on the slab? Overall, which bike was the best for a baja ride like the one you took? I don't want to start a debate or anything, but I would benefit from your perspectives. I'll now lurk on in silence.:ear Thanks!
    #18
  19. dirtdiver

    dirtdiver Long timer

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    Im enjoying this. Thanks for taking the time to write about it!

    so what about the missing tooth?

    DD
    #19
  20. Bgunn

    Bgunn Mucha distancia

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    Rockford Wa

    Helping Mexico make sense since 19__
    #20