Like every plan that has ever been made in the history of mankind, mine to write this report immediately after our trip was changed. The reasons why the plan was changed is not important, but what is, is that our trip to the 2017 50th Anniversary Baja 1000 was epic in more ways than one. Enough of that…let’s get to the trip report. Just like any Baja trip, this one started off with a phone call in early February of 2017 from my (biological) brother, Dave (MufflerBearings on ADV Rider). Dave and I (FrameOil on ADV Rider) travel the Baja Peninsula somewhat regularly, and there are no bad trips when you are riding in Baja. We just aim south, and then here and there find points of interest along the way, stop, check them out, and keep riding. I speak fluent Spanish, so that comes in handy in some remote areas. As for pace, it is ours to set, and sometimes we need to really step things up to beat the sun. If you ride in Baja at night, you have gusto! Anyway, Dave wanted my thoughts on a week+ moto trip to Baja for the 50th Anniversary of the 1000, and I was in before he could even finish the sentence. To top things off, Dave had just talked to Scott (Burntlawnchair on ADV Rider), our life-long friend (our brother from another mother) from Toledo, Ohio and Scott was in for the trip as well. This was getting better. After I finished speaking with Dave, I called Jeff (Scott’s younger ‘biological’ brother, and mine and Dave’s life-long friend and other brother from another mother). Jeff (Gfri75 on ADV Rider) resides in northern Michigan, so when I told him of the wonders that Baja has to offer, and that he would be in shorts in mid-November, he signed on, making this trip a true once in a life time opportunity. The four of us have been friends (more like family) nearly all of our lives. Dave and I grew up in the one horse town of Temperance, MI, where we met Scott and Jeff in Kindergarten. Our parents also became friends, and we all grew up together, going on vacations and getting into random trouble that I will not incriminate us on in this forum. As adults, we only see each other about every 5-10 years, so the fact that we were all going to be in the same area, at the same time was nothing short of a miracle. In 2013, Scott was able to fly out from Ohio to join Dave and me on a 15 day ride down the peninsula (You can see that write up if you really have nothing better to do – “Las Tres Chaquetas Ride Baja”). At the time, Jeff was unable to make it, so he sat the trip out. Over the past 5 years, Jeff has continually told me how much he regretted not being on that trip, so he was all pumped up to make his maiden voyage to Mexico. Along the way of making plans and selecting dates, Dave and I were telling Roger (Dodger123 on ADV Rider), a good friend of ours, about the trip with the brothers, and he said, “I’m in.” Dave and I both worked for Roger at his machine shop in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Roger was the best employer that we both have ever worked for, and always encouraged us professionally, educationally and especially with our riding abilities. Oh…did I mention that Roger is a Baja Champion? Yeeeeeaaa…so there’s that. Roger rode with Team Green (Kawasaki) in the late 80’s/early 90’s. He won the 1000 in 89 and 90 (89 was to La Paz), and Roger was Score Champion in 1990. About ten years ago, Roger was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. In true Roger form, it hasn’t slowed him down. In 2009, Roger returned to Baja and raced again in the 1000. Roger rode 3 sections of the 09 race (including the dreaded multiple miles long whoops section outside of San Felipe at night), and also rode the bike across the finish line around 4AM. When Roger crossed the finish line, the chase crew was there jumping up and down in excitement. Come to think of it, I think we were more excited than Roger was. Needless to say, Dave and I have been trying to ride with Roger in Baja for a while, and this was our opportunity. Roger threw in a curve ball that made us all think for a moment…he was bringing his girlfriend, Stephanie. My initial thought was, “Poor Stephanie. She’ll be the only female among smelly dudes on motorcycles.” Stephanie is originally from Minnesota, and her accent gives it away in the first sentence…Don’t ya know? Stephanie quickly earned all of our respect for not only putting up with 6 guys that don’t shower much, but also for the constant sarcasm and good natured ribbing that we give each other in our feeble attempt to show compassion and friendship toward one another. This is Stephanie’s first time in Mexico. About 3 weeks before the trip, Roger and I were discussing logistics, when he mentioned that Jake, a friend of both of ours, had also signed on for the trip. Jake (Jtm386 on ADV Rider) used to work for Roger in his shop back in the day, and for a short time, he and I also worked together. Jake is the kind of guy who can befriend anyone he comes across, and is always smiling. Jake is a salt of the earth dude, and has his stuff squared away in life. Since Jake is on some time off from his job in Montana, he was quick to load his bike into his truck and make the trek to So Cal where we were all prepping. I was stoked to hear that Jake was joining us, and knew that we would all have a good time. Let’s talk equipment. I am riding my 2001 Honda XR 650R. As Dave once stated, I ride a lot...doesn't mean that I'm any good at it. Scott will be riding Dave’s 2002 Honda XR 650R. The 650R is definitely the best bike that we have ridden in Baja. With plenty of power and lightweight (for its size), it is pretty agile, and is able to carry a rider and gear with ease. On a side note, for our 2 week trip in 2013, Scott rode my 1983 Honda XR 350R. That bike performed perfectly for over 2400 miles, with the only mechanical issue being one rear flat. Sorry - I had to put a picture of the tried and true XR 350R even though we didn't take it on this trip. Dave will be riding his 2007 Kawasaki KLR 650. This bike is a bloated pig, but Dave is a nice guy, and is letting Scott ride the more agile XR 650R. The KLR did not look like this on our trip, but you get the idea. Everything but the kitchen sink can be carried. Jeff will be riding my wife’s 2000 Suzuki DRZ 400E. Jeff currently rides a 2005 DRZ 400S, so the transition to the E should be fairly easy. Jake is riding his 2014 KTM 690. Jake’s bike is nice. It has the most bells and whistles of all of our bikes, and does the job well. Roger and Stephanie will be driving their new (to them) buggy. If you think you recognize this buggy, you may recall that Border Patrol drives/drove these things in the more remote areas along the border where they need to give chase. This buggy is quick! Even better, it is able to carry all of our gear. This will be our first experience with a “chase” vehicle. So – the stage is set. We have a loose plan at best, with seeing the race being the overall theme. I’ve given this report some serious thought and have decided that it will be called “Los Siete Afortunados en Baja.” In case you are scratching your head, that translates to, “The Lucky Seven in Baja.” How did I come up with that name? About a week before the trip, Dave and I were chatting, when one of us asked, “What kind of a shit show have we started?” We figured that all of these people with varying backgrounds would either be famously good friends and family after the trip, or never want to see each other again. Either way, we may need a little luck. Sounds like a challenging good time to me! Next up, we actually go to Mexico.