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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BRUTSQD, May 28, 2014.
Count me in!
You had me at "Baja". Aside from Baja, my most 'other' place is the
eastern Sierra/395 corridor. Bring it on.
what is it about breakfast burritos after a night of drinking? Good choice on the monk. great beer.
Ok, i gotta ask this as i got to know both of you pretty well in baja, which one is the pea and which the carrot?
I'm the pea, Mike. Definitely the pea..
D3: Morongo Valley to.. someplace near the border.
Up early to start chipping away at a few tasks before heading out. But before any of that, coffee and some informal trip planning. This happened most mornings as nothing important was to be discussed before coffee. Bad shit would have happened otherwise.
Planning for this trip goes as follows: check out ride reports, look up things I might want to see, find them on google maps and then save the gps coordinates. P has a map of Baja so over coffee we highlight places of interest then once everything is on the map we come up with a idea of where were headed to. Planning never really included looking any further then the next day and the route made sense of itself as we would drive near places we highlighted on the paper map. Today we're just trying to grab some hardware for P's crashbars, grab some electrical parts for my LEDs that were already on the fritz, and try to camp somewhere near the border to set us up for an early crossing. Having neither of us ridden in Mexico yet, we both just wanted to get across the border and put some miles between us and the bordertowns where millions of Americans have been robbed and slaughtered for spare parts.
Found this little guy in the shower.
Pack up and hit the road, we'll grab parts on the way.
Tried the Harley dealership for metric hardware.. No luck but plenty of snooty attitude from the counter guys. Turds.
No luck, we'll find parts in a bigger town, on to Palm Springs. The road south was super windy, a good portion of the ride was spent leaning into the crosswind laced with sand.
Found a True Value hardware with the parts we needed, plus the guy that worked there stayed with us and helped us out in the parking lot to make sure all the goofy bolt lengths were right. Grabbed some Chipotle, picked up from freeze dried food from Big 5 and got back on the road south. P found some roads on the map that looked like they might be pretty decent and boy were they.
The roads South of of Palm Springs were gorgeous. I honestly don't remember the route now, but somehow we come into Julian on Farmer road. As we roll into town we see a pie shop on the right, sounds like a decent break after a bunch of twisties.
Hwy 79 out of Julian
Getting sidetracked with detours, pictures and coffee stops, we lose the sun and wind up scrambling to find a camping site. It's pretty easy to tell we're getting close to Mexico by the constant presence of border patrol SUVs all over the place. Time to pass out and be ready to cross the border in Tecate tomorrow morning.
Woke up to this little gentleman around midnight.
Stay tuned, the real pictures start tomorrow.
UP NEXT: Tecate, sand and an oasis in the middle of a Mexican desert.
Got an early start as both of us were pretty jazzed to be 15 minutes from the border. Downed some coffee and packed up. We figured we'd grab food on the road.
Last stop before the border crossing. Food tasted good, but not great. Plus the meat seemed a little, old. Hopefully the food is better in Mexico.
Hit a money exchange before the border so we didn't have to mess with trying to find a place in Tecate. Figured it would be a safer idea so we weren't walking around town or having to get off the bikes in a border town.
15 minutes of filling out a paper, paying a fee and.... Holy Shit!!
We're in MEXICO!!!!
Tecate is relatively clean, pretty and had a cool little park area in the middle of town with the usual tourist carts selling stuff for whatever the merchant thinks they might be willing to pay. Cool town but we're both itching to get some miles behind us.
After Reading Da Foole's RR on Baja, I looked up Canon de Guadalupe and highlighted it on P's paper map. Seemed like a cool destination to kick off the trip with. As we rode from Tecate towards Mexicali we stopped off and picked up supplies as it looks like we're going to be on our own once we head South for a while.
Funny thing happened in the grocery store.. A federali pulls up in a patrol car, walks into the store, walks up to the two of us.. Meanwhile I'm thinking 'oh shit, here we go.." He asks us if everything is good and that we just wanted to make sure we haven't had any issues. We tell him it's been great so far, no issues.. He's glad to here it, says goodbye and continues down the road in his car.. Definitely a sharp contrast compared to the kidney robbing scenarios I've been playing in my head about border towns. Perhaps this place isn't as bad as the newsmedia would suggest???
Threw some eggs in a container for breakfast
Grabbed some lunch before we hit the freeway. Every place of interest down here is covered in Baja stickers, love it.
1st Mexican meal....
Hit the road, E on hwy 2 to the dirt road south Accesso Canon de Guadalupe.
Halfway to Mexicali, hang a right and ride into the desert.
The dirt road starts of like packed gravel with plenty of traction and lots of irritating washboard. Turns out the washboard smooths out the faster you go so we made decent time. Somewhere between the vibration and the dreamscape of the desert, both of stopped paying attention to road and started getting sloppy.. Enter sweeping turn and a sudden patch of moderately deep but loose sand and I found myself wrestling the bike to not dump it. Got caught sitting down. P wasn't so lucky and had an easy get off, no blood no foul. But definitely no more taking the road for granted.
Noted. Back on the bike.
It's a good thing I had a renewed effort to pay attention to the road, otherwise I might have hit P's pannier when it ejected itself off her bike while she was riding down the road. Glad I was riding behind otherwise we may not have realized it for miles.
Turns out from the little get off earlier, one of the aluminum bolt holes stripped entirely and fell out. I offered to help(I think) but she seemed to have the situation well in hand so I walked around, took pictures and flipped rocks over looking for critters.
The heat wasn't too bad at full clip, sitting still and exposed it was down right oppressive. Started getting cranky...
Back on the road and running out of sun.
Right turn Clyde
By the time we figured out that the ropes blocking the road were for cows and actually found the campsites the sun was gone. We ran into a couple that was camping there for the week, Phil and Mackenzie. North Dakota transplants living in AZ whose family has been coming to the hot springs for a generation. Had a few beers and hit the sack. That was a long loong day on the road.
Looking forward to waking up tomorrow so I can actually see what the hell this place looks like.
UP NEXT: 2 Days in the Canyon, waterfalls, relaxation and vomit.
Love the pictures! How bad/good were the roads down there? did you ever find yourself thinking "so glad I'm on a dual sport right now!" or conversely, that a dual sport was overkill and you could have gotten away with a street bike?
Looks like a fantastic ride... I may have to copy it in the near future
Well done sir, maybe one day I will be able to get out of the studio and officially break in my bike.
GREAT stuff, GREAT pics!!
I just returned can't wait to go back.
We zoomed up Mex 5 past the Canyon.
Get it done next time.
Great ride report and excellent pics. Thanks a lot and looking forward to more!
CJ5K: The roads are a mixed bag but you can easily do either. The paved roads I thought were actually pretty damn decent. I've you're on a dual sport there's an absolute ton of gravel roads, dirt roads, sand roads and trails to be explored. Just be aware and or comfortable that the dirt roads can change fairly quickly. Gravel roads may have patches of larger rocks or deep sand, sand roads may have patches of the dreaded Baja deep silt and so on. If you're on a street machine I think the roads in general are pretty decent aside from occasional potholes and tight turns without signs to warn you that the road is going to take a sharp left.
Naughty: Let me know if you ever take a breath you bastard! Foresthill to Soda Springs is open now!
Da Foole: Thanks! Loved your report as well and I credit you for finding canon de Guadalupe. Amazing place!
McGee: Thanks man, plenty more to come!
Just got back from Cabo ready to go back. Looking forward to following your adventure
I don't know what it is about camping but I reliably sleep like a baby even though being a light sleeper is typically the norm. At home I usually toss and turn, wake up periodically and make trips to the fridge for snacks throughout the night. Last night I slept straight through without so much as a bathroom break. As soon as the sun came up my eyes pop open and I realize I'm in Mexico and staying in a natural hot spring that I haven't seen in day light yet. It feels like Christmas! I grab the camera and climb out of the tent.
This place is absolutely ridiculous.. We drove into the desert till dark and woke up in a friggin oasis. Canon de Guatalupe is a natural hot spring and rare source of water in an otherwise sandy butthole of a desert. Each "campsite" consists of; your own palapa structure made of river rock and cement w/ thatch roof, fire place, sink and empty river rock/cement bathtub complete with a 4" pvc pipe system that provides 110F hot water to your campsite. Want to sit in the spa? No problem, just connect the hose from the pvc to your own private tub, close the drain valve and 30 minutes later you have a piping hot tub overlooking a canyon packed with palm trees. Unreal.
the water closet w flushing toilets..
The campground pool (warm)
Hot water dip before breakfast? Sure.
Shortly after my soak I started pulling out the cookset to get some coffee and breakfast going to start the day. Right about that time Phoenix ran out of the palapa to barf her guts out in the rocks and I realized something might be amiss. Couldn't quite put my finger on it but something wasn't right. Then it occurred to me, she said she didn't want any coffee.. She must not be feeling very well, she's as much of a caffeine junky as I am. We had only really had one Mexican meal which was from a fairly busy and very decent restaurant. Maybe the food was bad? Maybe she was pregnant? Maybe she was bulimic? I'm sure it wasn't the questionable eggs and chorizo I cooked last night. Either way she looked pretty sick so I made sure she had water and left her be.
Shortly after breakfast Juan came by to collect our money for the campsite and he was nice enough to take me on a tour of the place. Super nice guy.
Around noon I ran into Phil and Mackenzie who were getting ready to go on a hike up to the cold water spring. Considering the brutal heat was at it's worst with nothing but hot water nearby, they let me tag along to find colder water.
30 minutes later we were diving into water cold enough to make you hyperventilate for a few moments while you acclimated. Sweet relief.
They were nice enough to throw a couple cold Tecates my way as well, a gesture I won't soon forget. Great people.
Meanwhile, back at the palapa. The Phoenix had risen from her barfy ashes and was snacking quietly. After a day of sleeping and drinking water she had regained much of her color and vigor. Great timing as Phil and Mackenzie were nice enough to invite us over for dinner which sounded like a hoot. Not sure if it was a viral bug or my shitty cooking but either way it looked like she was on the mend.
Phil had BBQ'd up some steak, sausage and sweet potatoes all of which he shared along with a few more Tecates. I couldn't have been happier. Not a bad way to kick off a vacation then by hanging out with new friends. Stuff like this is my favorite part about traveling and something I need to be better at in my day to day life. It's so easy to stare at your feet while you walk through your daily routines without leaving yourself open to connect with other people.
Stuffed and maybe buzzed I hit the wall. Bed time and early departure tomorrow!
Thanks for reading
UP NEXT: Slab, sweaty balls and San Felipe.
As soon as I saw raw eggs being consumed - I thought "Salmonella!"
I hope you guys went out on the playa instead of the road when you left. That road is bad news and no fun when you are loaded and the weather is hot. The lakebead, OTOH, is FANFUCKINTASTIC!!!!
Great pics!If you have the time the ride isnt always about putting the miles in-its about meeting new people along the way.I seem to have this nack for having boring RR'S.Keep it coming.
Jenn: Are you talking about taking the dry lake bed road to the E and SE from Canon de Guadalupe??? If that's the case then I wish we did dammit!!! We didn't know whether or not we could get through so chickened out and went north the way we came back to the highway then cut over to Mexicali and S to San Felipe. Without knowing for sure, the sandy road to the south seemed like a bad idea after all the warnings I read about getting stuck in silt w a big bike..
Oldxr: Thanks! I agree, the random people you meet are half the trip!