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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by HardWorkingDog, Feb 19, 2013.
The biggest AdvRider cliffhanger ever !!
You can hand me my Oscar now, thank you.
Of course, MY mud was WAAYYY worse than your mud
Ain't it convenient I don't seem to have a photo of my mud?
This is getting really good. My money is on 5 more weeks of riding.
In Baja a long time ago I learned to stop, park and walk the road first, saved a lot of getting stuck, give it a try
You gotta love that "Play-Doh" mud!!!!
A trip to remember
Well...we were determined.
Yeah, we've learned a few things now too. A great thing I read recently--an expert is someone who's made every possible mistake in a very narrow field--I'm workin' on that expert classification
I wasn't sure----had to go back through the archives---that was your bike in the mud photo!
Yep. He loves to laugh when I make a mistake. I keep him laughing.
All of a sudden this RR got turned up to 11! Can't wait to see what happens, but I know that if you are in San Felipe and safe it is going to work out.
For LittleWan, who's in Baja right now...
I'd just turned into Michael Scott, and was about to follow my gps into Lake Scranton, with Dwight in tow...
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That's how it goes sometimes ya know, you......lose everything, everything falls apart, and......eventually,
you die, and no one remembers you.
So that was you guys!!! Sorry for the near spoiler! We rode that section headed north and the LB maps sent you right through the not so dry lake. We rode out on it about 100 yards and decided to take the high road. Its a little late now but the road we followed was between the mountains and the Salida dry lake. I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out! Keep it coming.
Sounds like we were [in]famous! Yeah, more on "the high road" a bit later, but there were definitely better ways to go than what I chose. Experience is a great teacher, right?
I hadn't even fallen asleep that night when WoodsChick texted me back; I was half-joking when I'd asked if she could find me a Robby Gordon type but dang it, less than an hour later she HAD! In large part because of the great people here on advrider.
I called Kay Awaad--kay here on advrider--right away and he agreed to extract our bikes.
The next morning we were picked up at our hotel by Kay and his racing partner Mickey who own bajaraceteam.com--they race their F150 and a smaller Ranger in the SCORE Baja races. Kay has also raced motorcycles in Baja and has a repair shop a few miles north of San Felipe in the gringo settlement of Playa de Oro. We drove the 65 miles back north in their 4-door 4 wheel drive F350 chase truck towing a Rhino and a utility trailer. As we passed by the place we'd hiked out of the day before Kay shook his head and uttered the words that became our motto the rest of the trip: "That's not a road------that's a track!" They knew right away they'd never be able to get in that way without getting stuck as well.
As it turned out this has been a very wet winter in Baja. Remember the damp sand we'd had fun in leaving Canon de Guadalupe? As Kay put it, it only rains in Baja once or twice a year, and--it had rained here pretty hard just 2 days earlier, while we were living like kings in El Centro.
They drove a mile or two past our mud track, found a REAL dirt road that skirted the small hills to the north, and using my gps we drove the truck to within about a mile from where I'd marked the bike's location before they'd been abandoned. If they were still there....
We unloaded the Rhino,
hitched up the trailer, and set out over a sandy track.
We intersected our track from yesterday about a half mile from where we'd left them and slowly approached through the slimy mud--the four big wide soft tires on the Rhino were much better at floating over that glop...whew, bikes are still there!
Kay was convinced he could ride the DR out------I'm pretty sure he figured we were just Baja noobs (uhhh, yeah, we were)-----and we had just panicked at the first sign of trouble. We got it started and he promptly got it stuck in the mud trying to turn it around, and pronounced in his Egyptian accent: "There is something wrong with this bike..."
We muscled the DR into the trailer and got back to the truck,
loaded up and dropped everything back at his shop.
The clutch had not just fried, it had exploded--the plates were broken into pieces, bits were floating around the inside cover, and the basket was burned black.
Our choices were to call home, send for my truck and end our trip, or find a way to fix it. Yep, we weren't ready to bail, no way.
It took us 8 days in San Felipe to get it done, but we got a basket, plates and springs, 3 oil filters and 2 gallons of oil to flush out the crankcase (which included an all day ride to El Centro and back for parts from Imperial Valley Cycle--I did manage to swing by In-N-Out on the way back, got a double-meat-animal-style burger for my son--the checkpoint guards got a kick out of the cold hamburguesa in my saddlebag).
We got to know the town of San Felipe pretty well. Went on lots of hikes.
Got to ride along in the race truck during some test runs.
Explored the unique style of building.
Tried the tallest swingset in Baja.
Watched lots of futbol and CNN on the 2 channels in our room.
Saw some NFL playoffs at the bar.
Became regulars at the panederia down the street.
Played massive games of cribbage--you don't need a cribbage board either.
Tried not to kill each other.
In general, we lived like kings.
Finally the parts were in and our last night in San Felipe we celebrated by going out to a great taco place.
We were ready to get back on the road.
Classic epic Baja awesomeness! San Felipe is a hell of a place to be stuck.
Just a little disappointed.........I expected that Robby Gordon might do the rescue
He was a little busy that day--I've only seen the 1 hour highlights, but I'm gonna say the day we extracted the bikes he was in the Atacama desert screaming at his navigator
Lots of great action!
Did you drive back to the rescue site on BigDogs track?
Not exactly. It was clear to Mickey & Kay they would get their truck stuck as well if we'd just tried to drive in from where the mud track intersected Mex 5--where we'd hiked out. Kay was pretty sure he knew where a true road was that would get us close, so we drove past the track about 2 miles and sure enough right along the base of a small mountain was a graded road. That took us back south and west, about a mile from the mud track but still north, where it was only partially muddy. We stopped at this point on the road--any further the road would've just gotten us farther away from the bikes, and that was about the limit of traction for the truck.
We headed for the mud track in the Rhino--we were standing on the back hanging on to the roll bar, grinning and hoping against hope our bikes were still there. We were going cross country at this point, using my gps to navigate & intersect the mud track north of our bikes where we knew there was relatively decent traction, figuring we could cautiously work our way down the track, making sure the Rhino didn't get in too deep.
It worked according to plan, although there was a pucker moment or two after we'd found the bikes--the Rhino was spinning all 4 wheels for a bit--but Mickey gotter done...
We learned a lot that day from talking to Kay and Mickey how to read the Baja terrain, and the difference between a dirt road, and random tracks.
Thanks for the update.
I guess it just goes to show ya. You don't have to be deep in Baja to experience some of that "Baja Magic".
I can't wait for the rest of this one. Bring it!