Just Paul's Baja Fiesta Mas Fina

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by fudgypup, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. fudgypup

    fudgypup Banned

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    This shall serve as the ride report. We cross the border at Tecate Sunday morning around 10:00 am. Follow my SPOT or the others (Just Paul, CaliKarl, etc...).

    Here is how Just Paul introduced the ride:


    Hey Adv'ers,


    Cain and Bartek and I are looking for 1 or 2 more riders to go on another epic Baja trip but nobody has stepped up.

    Riding is alot more fun in a group of 4 to 6 riders and adds an extra level of safety if someone gets hurt or needs gas etc...

    I have gone to Baja each year since 2008 around this time and had a great trip every time


    The Trip will be 85% dirt

    camp from the bike is also required..

    130 Mile range is needed

    you must know how to patch a tube and reinstall it on your bike or replace the tube with one that you are carrying

    The riders right now are

    Paul- Plated Honda 450x
    Cain- Ktm 530exc
    Bartek- Ktm 990
    Fudgypup - BMW GSA
    CaliKarl - BMW f800gs
    Steve -
    Mark -

    Paul and Cain are good offroad riders and have been to Baja before
    Bartek is a good offroad rider but this will be his first big trip offroad

    The perfect match would be 1 or 2 more big bikes (800gs, 990, Etc) and 1 more smaller bike (450, 530) that is a faster rider.

    The dates would be

    Leave April 15th
    Return home Saturday April 21st

    We typically ride about 130 miles per day.. each day.

    Thanks,

    Paul
    #1
  2. fudgypup

    fudgypup Banned

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    Little update here on day four here in El Rosario.

    Im sure others will weigh in later with more details but lets just say the riding is epic! Everyone safe. No injuries, no flats.

    Tomorrow is Camalu then Ojos Negros on friday
    #2
  3. David13

    David13 Been here awhile

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    Where's the photos?
    I just came back from a ride down to Cabo. I entered the US at Tecate on Thursday, the 12th.
    How is the weather? I had heavy wind, and in the nothern Baja area, cold.
    I didn't get nice and warm really til I got to Guerrero Negro.
    dc
    #3
  4. fudgypup

    fudgypup Banned

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    Just got home minutes ago. Pictures, videos, reports to follow in the next few days from all 7 of us.

    Weather was great :clap
    #4
  5. fudgypup

    fudgypup Banned

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    Total miles: 1398
    223 miles today home from Ojos Negros.
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    #5
  6. fudgypup

    fudgypup Banned

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    I think this first day was 196 miles from our meetup point in La Mesa at Denny's. CaliKarl stayed at my place the night before and we left my place at 6:30 to meet up with them at 8:00.

    Here we are ready to head out. Mostly small bikes except for CaliKarl's f800gs, Bartek's 990 and my GSA.

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    We got across the border at Tecate with no delay and quickly found our first dirt trail. There was still a lot of mud puddles from the rain a few days earlier. I went through this one and the bow wave it created seemed like I was in a submarine or something. Can't wait to see the pics/video from that one. Went through one military checkpoint with no trouble at all. The smaller bikes (Paul, Steve, Cain) and the 990 (Bartek) went on and left us slower guys to form our own group B. CaliKarl was having a difficult time with the mud so when we got down to hwy 3, we let him hit that on to Mike's Sky Ranch. Mark and I continued on up into the mountains for some snow.
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    Wild stallions must run free
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    I had my first of just two get-off's here in the slushy snow trying to find the firmer rut and found myself in the soft shoulder. Mark was kind enough to help me lift my pig back up.

    We descended out of the mountains and found our way back to hwy 3 in a little town called Heroes de la Independencia and we passed a little tienda where they sold gas out of 55 gallon drums. I said "hey Mark, how about you get some gas?" and he say's he's good....

    Meanwhile, 5 miles down the road...
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    That's right, he ran out of gas. :lol3 I went ahead to Valle de Trinidad and got some gas and brought it back. I was behind some mental patient who kept crossing the center line and slowing down. Not sure if he was messing with me or drunk or what. That made me realize one of the biggest hazards down there are drivers.

    I learned then that it's best to always get gas when you have the chance. We got fully gassed up in V. de Trinidad and took the longer (and tougher) way up to Mike's Sky Rancho just before dark
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    We were greeted there by everyone else and had a really good dinner, joined by some other dirt bikers who'd come up from San Felipe that day. They very kindly shared their high dollar tequila with us and I traded them one of my "little brown friends from Havana." Wish I took more pictures there but got this one
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    #6
  7. fudgypup

    fudgypup Banned

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    Here's a cool app I used on the trip called everytrail

    It will show you the tracks I rode with pictures along the way.
    #7
  8. M1Jeep

    M1Jeep Long timer

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    Looking good, Eric! I like how that program geo tags the pics (or vice versa?). I am sooooo over due for a baja trip.
    :lurk
    #8
  9. fudgypup

    fudgypup Banned

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    It geotagged all my iPhone pics but I had to manually place the pics I uploaded that were taken on my regular camera.
    #9
  10. fudgypup

    fudgypup Banned

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    Had a great night's sleep at Mike's, even with the random sleep-talking of one of my roommates :lol3 With a good desayuno in our bellies we headed out to San Felipe.
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    Passed this cool little rancho
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    And some ponies
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    We headed out to the dry lake bed after getting Karl some of Mark's gas (remember: always get gas when you can). Here's Karl approaching. He didn't know we wanted him to do a high speed pass
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    Here's Steve taking a shot at the GSA. He was doing these huge sweepers then came by us pretty fast
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    Group shot
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    We then stopped to get a Coke at Jose's
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    Karl and I thought the sand was a bit deep so we called BMW roadside assistance and got this road grader to come by and flatten it out a bit. That f'er didn't bring ANY Starbucks like we asked for, so naturally we had him fired on the spot.
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    Made it to San Felipe for a great meal at Rice and Beans
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    Stopped at Puertocitos for a pic
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    Bartek ended up riding up the beach from San Felipe for like 20 miles! :eek1 Dude, that must have been amazing! We got a bit of beach riding in somewhere around there. Just make sure you turn SLOWLY on the GSA.

    And made it to Gonzaga Bay where the Pemex was closed for the day.
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    Alphonsina's is a great place, even if it didn't have hot water
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    Had some AMAZING food here. That was typical of the food in Baja. It's ALL good.
    #10
  11. Just Paul

    Just Paul Pro Cat Herder

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    Here are a few pics from Day 1

    Our Route..

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    we leave Denny's and Mark is working on his bike... I said geez mark the trip has not started yet and your working on your bike.. he said it will be my last time ! this turned out not to be true. LOL
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    The Gang about to Enter the Dirt in Tecate... This was a great first day. My favorite day of the trip.. Mud, Snow, Jumps, Roosting !

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    Bartek and Cain fly by !
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    Just a great pic !
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    Steve !
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    Cool Statue !

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    Nothing in Baja is ever Finished including this castle
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    5 trips to Baja and I have never seen SNOW ! we got to ride in it for about 15 minutes but it was the greatest 15 minutes
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    Kick ass tacos in Valle de trinidad
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    Cain Crossing the stream at Mikes !
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    STEVE !! BRAAAB !
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    Half of our Gang
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    Bartek soaking the camera and me... lucky it was waterproof
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    Steaks at Mikes..
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    The END of Day 1
    #11
  12. ian408

    ian408 Administrator Administrator

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    BMW Roadside assistance sucks :lol3

    Is that white shit snow? This was South of the Border, right?
    #12
  13. Just Paul

    Just Paul Pro Cat Herder

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    It was SNOW and it was SOOO FUN !

    Ian once again you missed an amazing trip... maybe next year :rofl
    #13
  14. fudgypup

    fudgypup Banned

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    Woke up to a beautiful sunrise at Gonzaga Bay. For some reason I didn't get a picture of it but stay tuned; I'm sure someone will post theirs.

    Made a stop at the local market for some water
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    Then posed for a group pic near the palapas
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    It wasn't long before we got to Coco's Corner. What an amazing guy he is.
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    He has a huge love of life and loves to talk to people. We loved his stories peppered with pinche this and pinche that. :lol3 We got him talking about the trouble he had getting his passport and he eventually gave up at getting it. :cry Another story was the dreams or out of body experiences he had while in a coma in the hospital. :eek1 We were honored that he asked us to help him do some minor construction work while we were there. For a 75 year old guy with amputated legs, he does more than most people half his age. We got some cokes then posed for some funny bare-assed shot you might see later.

    A mother cat and her two kittens Coco was taking care of
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    Mark and I chose to follow the small bikes on this brief trip to see the "fountain of youth." It's a spring that has drizzled out its minerals to form this huge white slab over who knows how long. Because the big bike route that day was rather boring, we decided to do it.
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    Anyone know the story with these random piles of shells by the side of the road? We saw these a few times along the way to the spring. This isn't all that near to the beach so I'm not sure what they were doing there.
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    Here's a video of it. I managed to find it in some reeds above.
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    Then got Mark and Bartek doing a small water crossing
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    Mark and I went back to Coco's because the trail got too tricky after that. That's when I had my second of two spills. It was coming through another water crossing. The other side was really steep so I got up a bit more momentum than usual and then hit a large rock and lost my balance. The water was less than knee deep so no big deal. We got back to Coco's and did a bit more construction before moving on to CataviƱa.

    The hotel in CataviƱa was REALLY nice.
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    Paul had an idea to go check out this old abandoned mission, Santa Maria. It was supposed to have some kind of granite springs you could swim in. I thought he said it was 18 miles of highway but what he meant was single track. :eek1 I did the right thing and turned around with Mark. Cain later came back saying we did the right thing because he eventually turned back too. Paul and Steve got back late and said oh yeah, it was super tough. This picture might look like it's flatter but this was pretty steep and rocky.
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    We had a great dinner that night and polished off the bottle of Cazadores Bartek bought in Gonzaga Bay. I met three GSA riders from Mexico and talked with them for quite a bit about riding the GSA in dirt. I told them about advrider, so hopefully they'll join in the fun.
    #14
  15. fudgypup

    fudgypup Banned

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    This was to be our longest day and it started out great.
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    We did this leg out to the west coast, up the coast, back to the highway then the final leg was a 100 mile route back to the coast then up to El Rosario.

    The desert in Baja is amazingly beautiful and filled with all kinds of cactus. I grew up in AZ and thought I'd seen a lot of saguaro cactus until I went here. It was like a garden. We also saw some snake tracks in the soft sand. Steve said he saw two black snakes while they passed the same area.
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    Here's Bartek coming down this steep hill a lot more gracefully than I did.
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    Lots of little fish camps along the coast. Here's some lobster traps all stacked up
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    I learned a few things about packing and that's whatever can explode in your panniers WILL. It was interesting explaining to the military checkpoints that my footpowder had exploded and that it wasn't cocaine. Of course two days later it was my lotion. MUCH harder to clean that stuff up. Good thing my clothes were sealed in a plastic bag.
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    Some big ass cactus down there. This one's only medium sized
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    We then hit some real GSA roads and the group found that I was long gone. Not that I'm that good a rider yet but now I understand when Jimmy Lewis says he smoked the smaller bikes in the longer straighter sections in Dakar when he rode a boxer engine.

    Here's the gang discussing our next section. Mark and I opted out at this point. I was WIPED out, probably because of the heat that day combined with the Cazadores the night before. We got to Mama Espinosa's and I wanted to crawl into a corner and go to sleep right there. I showered and was in bed at 6:00 and slept 13 hours. :eek1
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    We stayed at the Baja Cactus Inn and it was really nice inside too.

    That was is for day four. Day five Mark and I decided to backtrack and do that last 100 mile leg from the day before because the big bike route for that day was just slab up to Camalu. And that's when things got really interesting for us...
    #15
  16. GoSpeed

    GoSpeed 'getting there

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    JustPaul-
    Glad to see you pulled off such an epic trip to Baja.
    #16
  17. jnyrav

    jnyrav Been here awhile

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    Awesome...keep it coming :ear
    #17
  18. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

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    :thumb

    Very enjoyable. Glad you guys had a good time.
    #18
  19. fudgypup

    fudgypup Banned

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    Woke up after 13 hours of sleep. This kind of riding can be very grueling. People back home thought we were probably "raging" every night and downing bottle after bottle of tequila. The truth was more like we were in bed between 9 and 10 most nights after barely being able to keep our eyes open (or at least that was my experience). Or that we were chasing senoritas. :lol3 As if. No knock to the latinas, but in that part of Baja there just was nothing happening. We saw lots of pictures of hot senoritas, like at Rice and Beans in San Felipe, but they must have been in hibernation, or just smelled us coming.

    Mark and I decided to backtrack and do the 100 mile loop we skipped the day before because this day had us doing slab only up to Camalu. Once again, perfect GSA roads...
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    We came to this abandoned farming community and saw this shack. Mark went in and checked it out and said there was furniture and everything like they just left and never came back but had tons of rat droppings everywhere.
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    I think there was still at least one family there because I saw a flock of sheep running away from us. And this on a post.
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    We made our way down to the coast and turned north back towards El Rosario. I saw Mark behind me the whole way, even past that gravel mine or whatever that place is with the huge trucks. I finally spotted CaliKarl who had come the other way to meet up with us. We chatted for a bit and I told Karl to go back and see what is holding up Mark while I did a small repair (ziptied my tool box). We head south a few miles back and I spot a white pickup truck with Mark in it and his bike in the back. Mark explains he was hit by a green pickup truck coming around a corner! :eek1 He was pretty shaken up and bruised but this other guy, Arturo and Henry (probably younger brother) offered to give him a ride back to town. Coincidentally, Henry was the kid who was translating for them the night before at Mama Espinosa's. Mark said after the truck hit him, he wasn't sure where he was or where he was going for a while. We get back into town and Arturo helps us track down some help to get Mark's bike fixed. Mainly, it needed a new front wheel. We got some guys to call around and found one at Tato's in San Quintin. Had we waited just a bit longer for the now-activated ADV network to kick in, we probably could have gotten one in El Rosario from Jnyrav's friend. I loaded Mark and his broken front wheel on the back of the GSA and we rode the 70 miles up to San Quintin and back.

    His rim
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    Here's Tato all proud he could help and slapped his sticker on the side of my pannier.
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    The wheel was used, spray painted black (even the rotor), needed new bearings and suddenly jumped in price from the $160 quoted on the phone to $180 in person (the Baja way?). We got back to El Rosario and had this back yard mechanic/junk dealer (Kiki Matis?) do a SUPER job in getting the wheel back on the bike, adding some spacers, replacing a stud bolt, cutting out the old hub, etc... Mark paid him and Arturo a few bucks and everyone was happy.

    Stopped at Mama Espinosa's again just to take a leak
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    I sensed we were running out of daylight and Mark was hurting pretty bad so I thought it best that instead of staying to eat, that I'd best get him as close to his hotel bed in Camalu as quickly as possible. I gave him some jerky and half a power bar to keep his energy up.

    This is where it gets real. Mark is so NICE. He's a NICE guy. He's so NICE that he was apologizing for the truck hitting him and delaying our ride. :lol3 I said enough of that, man, I'd want you to do the same for me and I know he would have. He kept thanking Arturo and Kiki and Tato and everyone who helped us out.

    I learned that Mark is also a black belt, which I'm sure contributed to a lot of what he went through. He really had the focus to position himself for the crash, the mind to keep it together afterwards and the tenacity to keep moving through the pain. So he may be really NICE, but I'm sure he's well prepared to handle himself if someone were to misjudge his calm, nice nature.

    The ADV character continued to be on display that evening as we got to the hotel in Camalu after dark. Bartek handed us each a beer and we went straight to dinner as Steve and the others moved our bikes, got us a room and unloaded all our gear for us. What I noticed here was that it's not just that people were willing to help out so much as they actually wanted to help out. Everyone really wanted to give assistance everywhere we went and everytime someone needed it. The other riders as well as the people we met along the way. That's adventure riding for you! :D

    Here's Mark taking a well-deserved shot down the hatch
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    I don't always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis
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    This day ended as a huge success. No one ended up in the hospital or worse. :clap
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    Stay tuned for Day 6: whoop coffins, shipwreck, helping abalone divers, food porn, dodging cars in Ensenada, running into the Death Valley rapist in Ojos Negros, etc...
    #19
  20. Buster714

    Buster714 VP of crash testing

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    I don't always drink beer, but when I do, I drink 18 of them. :freaky

    Just living vicariously...

    TEMPORARILY!!
    #20