Los Siete Afortunados en Baja

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by FrameOil, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. FrameOil

    FrameOil Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Oddometer:
    29
    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.
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    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.
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    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? :rofl 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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    Sorry - I had to put a picture of the tried and true XR 350R even though we didn't take it on this trip.:super
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    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.
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    The KLR did not look like this on our trip, but you get the idea. Everything but the kitchen sink can be carried.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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. :lol3Sounds like a challenging good time to me!

    Next up, we actually go to Mexico.:clap
    #1
  2. DualDawg

    DualDawg Been Lurking

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2015
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    El Dorado County, CA
    In! Baja Rocks! Me and 3 riding buddies went to San Felipe with our bikes for the 250 this year. Camped on the edge of the beach just south of town. Mostly rode the beaches this trip and enjoyed the pre race festivities and of course watched the race! Looking forward to your report.
    #2
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  3. FrameOil

    FrameOil Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Oddometer:
    29
    Hey DualDawg! Thanks for reading. We are looking forward to having you along for the ride! San Felipe is a great ride as well!
    #3
  4. FrameOil

    FrameOil Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Oddometer:
    29
    11/11/2017 - Saturday

    Dave and I picked Jeff and Scott up at LAX on the 10th. After a relaxing flight with an unplanned 10 hour layover in Dallas, the two trudged off of the plane, and we proceeded back to my place to make final prep for crossing the border on the 11th.

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    We decided an early afternoon meet up time on Saturday with Roger and Stephanie in Temecula would suffice, because hey…we are only driving to and crossing the border, and riding a few miles to the hotel in Tecate. If only plans went that smoothly. We quickly learned that the tie down points in my truck suck, so we jimmy rigged a system that we hoped would work.

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    It ended up working just fine both to and from the border, but we didn’t get to the border until after dark since screwing with it took so long. This, along with a quick stop to a local moto dealer to purchase those last minute items, and we were on our way once again. After a lengthy wait in their truck in Temecula, Roger and Stephanie welcomed us with their love and kindness, so we all proceeded to caravan down to the border. We unloaded, crossed over and obtained our FMM cards from Mexican Immigration.

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    Has anyone else dealt with the Mexican Immigration Officer at the Tecate crossing? It’s the same guy, no matter the day or time that you cross. Plus, he always tries to sell you hot sauce, honey or dried meat. It’s the small things that remind me that I am no longer in the US. I sometimes ponder what would happen to a US Immigration Officer if they tried to sell anyone anything while on duty. Anyway, the guy is always super nice and got all 7 of us out of there, fast.

    We immediately rode to Taqueria Los Panchos and consumed our first meal of delicious tacos. This place rules and is always a first stop for us when crossing into Tecate.

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    Since this is Jeff and Stephanie’s first Mexico trip, they were soaking up the atmosphere and loving the fact that they were not enduring the brisk winter weather of the Midwest.

    With tacos consumed, we had pretty uneventful ride through Tecate, obtained some pesos, and met at the hotel. I say pretty uneventful, since Jake decided to pull a wheelie, like a boss, on his 690 at speed right in the middle of Tecate. The locals got a kick out of it, as did our group. What better way for Jake to celebrate his first time on a motorcycle in Mexico, than popping a wheelie at night, and in the center of town!

    We shacked up at Hotel La Estancia, and prepped for an early AM departure the next day. A few beers and gear check later, we turned in.

    Tomorrow – Electrical in morning, electrical in the afternoon and electrical at night!
    #4
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  5. advrockrider

    advrockrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    835
    Location:
    Norcal
    In,love anything Baja! We are staying at that same hotel in March for the first time, how is it....
    #5
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  6. WHYNOWTHEN

    WHYNOWTHEN where are the pedals?

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    773
    Location:
    closer to Baja
    Excellent!!
    I’m in
    #6
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  7. FrameOil

    FrameOil Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Oddometer:
    29
    Hey Advrockrider!

    Estancia is a good place. About $65/ night for a room with two beds. Ask for a room in back so the bikes are hidden from the view of the street. That, along with a cable lock, and you should be fine.
    #7
  8. Bonnie & Clyde

    Bonnie & Clyde Wishing I was riding RTW

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,312
    Location:
    Gardnerville NV
    :lurk love the buggy
    #8
  9. MufflerBearings

    MufflerBearings Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    234
    Location:
    Ciudad Catedral
    Me too! It carried all my crap and when I grew tired of fighting with my uncooperative KLR, I ditched the bike and rode in luxury aboard the buggy. It's amazing what you can see when you aren't focusing all your attention on staying upright.

    Great job on the report so far, Greg. What happened next? I forget.
    #9
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  10. FrameOil

    FrameOil Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Oddometer:
    29
    11/12/2017

    We awoke to perfect weather in Tecate. The previous night, we discussed a departure time, and mutually agreed on an 8AM departure from the hotel. I was pretty sure that wouldn’t happen with such a big group, but wouldn’t ya know, all 7 of us rolled out of La Estancia at 8AM on the button! Most surprising to me, I was last out to pack up my bike, so I sure as hell was not going to be the loose wheel.:hide

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    A quick ride later to Mejor Pan de Tecate, and we were buying the best baked goods in the city. Dave and I briskly moved through the bakery, snatching up our usual selections, paying and then proceeding back out into the street where Roger was waiting with the equipment.

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    When the rest of the group joined us, I endured some good natured ribbing for leaving them behind to try and comprehend what was being said by the person checking them out. :tough I forgot for a brief second that I was back in Mexico, and being the only Spanish speaker, I was somewhat of a commodity in the group. They did fine though.



    We consumed the tasty, sugary goodness that Mejor Pan has to offer, took a few pics in Tecate, then proceeded south on the 3 for about 10K before turning off onto dirt. It’s always neat for Dave and me to see people’s reactions when they first enter Mexico. Now that it was daylight, Jeff and Stephanie were looking around and doing double takes as if to say, “Whoa! You don’t see THAT in the states!”:eek2





    Above – Scott may look like Jesus, but he does love to strike a pose!

    We were on the dirt by 9AM. I was thinking how well things were going. With so many moving parts and people, it was going exceptionally well. We made quick work of the dirt between where we turned off of the 3 south of Tecate and the turn off to Santa Veronica off of the 2. We stopped quickly to do a check on gear.
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    All was going well, and the insults were starting to fly between the group. Yea – this was gonna be awesome. Nobody escaped sarcasm, not even Stephanie. She did mention though, that we should all put money in a jar whenever we used bad words. We all laughed hysterically, then agreed that not even the buggy could carry that weight. Plus, we would all be out of money by the time we reached Ojos Negros later in the morning. Since Dave and I knew the lay of the land of where we were heading, we elected that I would lead and he would take up the back of the pack. We departed with the motos in front of the buggy, and Dave behind the buggy on his KLR.

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    We rode about 7 miles to where the dirt turns back onto the 2 for a few miles before turn off for Santa Veronica and the Compadre Trail. The motos stopped to allow for the group to collect. We waited…and waited…and then I went back alone to check on the buggy and Dave. About 2 miles back, I found Roger and Stephanie, who gave me the “I don’t know” shrug and pointed back the way we had come from our original stop. I nodded, and kept riding back. I found Dave back where we had originally stopped, with various parts of his KLR on the ground, and he in a delightful mood. :kboomThe bike had no electrical power and therefore would not start. I rode back and got the others, and we all worked on a solution. Dave’s solution was to tow his KLR back to Tecate, get in his truck, and meet us in Ensenada in a few days. Not acceptable. We were in this together, damnit, and he was not getting out of it that easily. Jake and I pushed while Dave bump started the KLR.

    We all unanimously agreed that would be our method of starting the KLR for the rest of the trip. This all consumed about an hour and a half, so we made even quicker work of Compadre down to Ojos.

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    When we emerged from Compadre onto the 3 in Ojos Negros, we made the 60 K pavement jaunt to Valle de la Trinidad with minimal effort. We found out that the buggy tracks like crap on the pavement, so Roger had to be somewhat aware of oncoming traffic. Riding behind him, it almost looked he was driving wasted, but he was fighting to keep an off road vehicle on the pavement. It’s a good thing that Jeff and I stayed back with Roger. The DRZ’s fuel range sucks, and the tank ran dry. :baldy Roger was carrying a two gallon supply on the buggy, so we quickly replenished, and continued to Valle T. Once in Valle T, we refueled and ate at the best taco stand in Baja – Taqueria el Rancho:raabia

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    File photo of Taqueria El Rancho from our 2013 trip. It appears that nobody took a picture while we were at Valle T.

    While we were eating, Dave mentioned that my newly purchased Baja Designs Squadron Pro light on my XR was intermittent. A quick evaluation determined that the cheap connectors that Baja Designs includes with their overpriced products had come apart, and the bare wire was exposed. Jake and I wrapped it tightly with electrical tape, and made sure it was steady, as we were surely going to need it later in the day when we reached the Pacific.

    We proceeded at a brisk pace out of Valle T and rode toward the Wine Road that would take us over to Highway 1 and San Vicente.

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    The Wine Road was in good shape. Half way through, we stopped. Jeff and I were quickly re-educated that pushing a KLR up a slight hill to pop start it is not nearly as easy as it was 20 years ago. We got it going though, and made our way to the 1 in San Vicente. By the time we made it to the 1, it was pretty dark. After we crossed the 1, back onto dirt, we elected to have Stephanie and Roger pick up the rear of the pack in the buggy, and Dave lead, with me in the middle, in case anyone lost their way. Travelling at night in Baja is not preferable, but our hand was forced, so we pushed on to Coyote Cals, our final destination for the day. Aside from Scott taking a spill, :muutthaving the XR land on top of him and his saying some things that his Pastor would not be proud of, the trip to the Pacific went pretty quickly. After Scott ate it, I assured that he and Dave’s XR were operating properly. Scott proceeded in front of me, with Roger and Stephanie directly behind me. When I crested the hill and saw the ocean in the moonlight, I saw Dave, Jeff, Jake and Scott at the ocean in the distance, flashed them that I was good, and the four of them took off north along the Pacific. I knew where I was going, so no issue there. The issue was when I reached the ocean and the turn where I would wait for Roger and Stephanie. As I was rolling to a stop, my light went out again. :doh I was in total darkness. Roger and Stephanie showed up shortly after. Thanks to the superior lighting on their buggy, I was able to jimmy rig my light so that it would work the last seven miles in to Cals. We rode north along the ocean and rolled into Cals around 630PM.

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    At Cals, Rick and Ta welcomed us famously well, and immediately began prep for an awesome Lobster in Thai sauce dinner, along with some well-earned cocktails. It was a long, but fun day. We all laughed at the day’s happenings, and shared similar tales that we had endured in the past. With all of our energy exerted, we crashed and slept…hard.

    Tomorrow – Why we come to Baja!
    #10
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  11. JTM386

    JTM386 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    MONTANA/CALIFORNIA
    :clap
    #11
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  12. Romero

    Romero Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2016
    Oddometer:
    268
    Location:
    Morelia
    Awesome! Thanks for posting--pretty cool buggy support!
    #12
    FrameOil and MufflerBearings like this.
  13. FrameOil

    FrameOil Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Oddometer:
    29
    11/13/2017

    Since we were the only people at Cals last night, it was relatively quiet when we woke up. We had a plan of busting down the coast to Pirate’s Cove, have lunch, then make our way leisurely back up to Cals.

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    Since they didn’t have too many people planning on staying there (the 1000 is not going anywhere near them this year), we elected to stay two nights. After a solid breakfast of waffles and eggs with Rick and Ta, we went out to pre-op check the equipment.

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    The DRZ had a flat. :doh Considering the amount of miles we laid down the previous day, we were OK with this, although it was (always is) somewhat irritating. Jeff and I immediately began the process of replacing with one of the multiple spares we were carrying, while Scott and Jake went out for a hot lap in the buggy with Roger.

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    Ultimately, Dave finished the job, as he is the fastest with field maintenance. By the time we had the flat replaced and all of the bikes checked out, it was later than we had planned, so we decided to play it by ear and proceed south. Dave wasn’t feeling having to pop start all day on the KLR, so he decided to take Roger and Stephanie up on their offer to ride in the buggy for the day. :super

    We decided that I would lead the bikes quickly down the coast to the cave on the ocean, and meet up with the buggy at the Cave. Along the way, I introduced Scott, Jeff and Jake to riding motos on the beach in Mexico.

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    The ride down the coast was much more fun than the night before, and we all enjoyed riding along the ocean and watching the waves crash over the beach. We turned off the main trail to take the path to the cave and waited for Roger, Stephanie and Dave there. They never showed because they thought we were waiting at the turn off. When they got to the turn off to the cave and we were not there, they proceeded south to Colonet, thinking that we had missed the turn and kept going south. :dirtdog We will catch them later.

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    The view of the ocean from the cave is awesome. The cave can be a little tricky to find, but well worth it. To get into the cave, you must commando crawl from the welcoming light of day, into the daunting darkness of the cave.

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    Once you’re inside, it opens up into a big cavern. You must have a light with you, as it is pitch dark aside from right at the entrances. We made our way down to the other end that opens up right onto the surf. It’s a pretty cool cave. It is pretty well hidden, so unless you know where it is, it can be difficult to find.

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    Coming out of the cave is the reverse of going in, so I was able to catch some good pics of the guys at their best. :ksteve

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    After our cave exploration, we went back to the turn off. Not seeing the buggy, we found its tracks, and followed them south along the ocean. We made quick work of the old 500/1000 course along the ocean between San Vicente and Colonet. It’s all whooped out, but with the right speed, it is really fun and quick. It was along this section of the trail that Jake decided that he had enough of the nice smooth, crack free fairing on his KTM. :muutt We rolled into Colonet and went directly to the Pemex, expecting to find the buggy. They were not there. To pass the time, we bought some sugary goodness and waited. Mexican sugary treats are the best!

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    We ended up finding the rest of the group at a local diner down the road, so we all ate lunch, and continued south. The ride in the wash from Colonet to shipwreck was awesome. Super-fast and soft sand had us all riding at our best! We hit the silt beds right by Cuatro Casas hotel on the ocean, so I led the group through it. It seemed like a good idea, anyway. A couple of the bikes ended up being pushed out of the silt, but no harm done. This is why I love and come to Baja so often. The terrain is always changing and you can ride almost all of the different terrain types in one day. Baja rules!

    We continued to shipwreck, where we took pictures of our whole group, thanks to some Canadians that were camping on the beach in their van.

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    Above – Please note – This is not a gang sign. Stephanie asked us all to do this with our hands for some reason. Stephanie, you’re welcome. :happay

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    It was getting pretty late, and the crappy Baja Designs connectors had failed again on my XR, so we decided to hot foot it back to Cals. We bolted north on the 1 and turned off in San Vicente to avoid the more technical portion of the trail along the ocean. We rolled back into Cals at 445 PM in time for the sunset. :webers

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    Back at Cals, we dined again with Rick and Ta, :dukegirl and also met up with some people that had come in during the day. One group consisted of three guys all making their way down the peninsula to deliver race gas near Guerrero Negro, for a Class 1 car that was set to start the race two days later. They had a pretty sweet set up in this van.

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    The other guys we met had a unique story. :hmmmmm There were 5 guys on motos, with one guy doing chase in a Ford Raptor. The group split apart and two motos headed directly for Cals from the Ensenada area, along with the Raptor. Meanwhile, the other three motos decided to come over from Ensenada via Rancho Viejo, a route that we were planning to do the reverse of the following day. The 3 riders that chose this route got “turned around” and their bikes ended up in a steep ravine near the large religious compound on the ocean north of Cals. A very long story short – these three dudes were picked up by their chase truck, and left their motorcycles in the ravine, thinking they would pick them up the next morning. To say the least, it was entertaining conversation. We were all betting on whether or not the motos would actually be there in the morning. The general consensus was that they would not be, but we will see…:dunno

    Tomorrow - That's a 10 dollar comment...
    #13
  14. SMURPH

    SMURPH Been here a while

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    448
    Location:
    Western Canada
    subscribed :). Great ride report! Going to Baja for a few weeks in February. Wanting to ride off pavement as much as possible N to S and back.
    #14
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  15. FrameOil

    FrameOil Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Oddometer:
    29
    Hey Smurph! Thanks for the read! Have a great trip, and I look forward to reading about it!
    #15
  16. FrameOil

    FrameOil Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Oddometer:
    29
    11/14/2017

    After we ate breakfast and checked the equipment, we were ready to push off and make the journey north to Ensenada. The guys who were delivering race fuel had left early, as did the group who ditched their bikes north of Cals. We wondered if we would pass them, as we were headed in that general direction.

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    Dave and I were up before the others and explored some of the beach near Cals.

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    We headed north up the dirt road from Cals at a good start time. Oddly enough, we passed the riders and the Raptor, already heading south back to Cals. Their bikes were where they left them! :happay We bid them good travels, and continued north. If you have never been on the dirt road between Santo Tomas and Cals, there is a cool beach with an access road. We always ride on it…because we can. This same beach is where my wife and I buried our 4X4 Dodge Durango the previous year. Scott was missing his family, so he decided to send a solid message of his affection for them :jkam:

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    We spent some time just ripping on the beach, while Jake pulled some sweet wheelies. :super
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    When Jeff, Dave, Scott and I hatched this trip in February, we discussed an idea of reliving history. When we were young kids, we rode bicycles everywhere in our little town of Temperance, MI. On one particular fall day, mine and Dave’s mom took this picture of us on our bicycles in our driveway. From left to right it’s me, Jeff, Scott and Dave. Our childhood dog, Caesar is eagerly checking out the bikes in the foreground. Please feel free to raz Dave, Scott and Jeff for their hot pink and green bikes. They were actually desired colors in 1987 by kids our age.

    On top - The four of us in 1987:

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    Bottom - The four of us in 2017 on our Baja trip on slightly bigger bikes. Again, from left to right, it’s me, Jeff, Scott and Dave. Some of us are grey, and some of us don’t have hair, but we still hold our own. The family/friendship bond that our two families have shared for the past 35 years is inseparable. Mine and Dave’s dad (Mike) suddenly passed away when we were very young kids in 1988. Jeff, Scott, their sisters and parents played pivotal roles in our recovery from that loss. Just a little over a year ago, Scott and Jeff’s dad (Rol) passed. Both men passed at young ages of complications from cancer. When we took this picture on the beach, the four of us reflected on how if both of our dads were still kicking, they would be with us, driving a chase truck. We decided to agree that instead, Mike and Rol are both in a better place, high fiving each other because we are doing this trip together, and smiling down on us.
    Mike (center) in the grey hoodie, Rol (right) in the red hoodie.
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    We kept traveling north, when all of a sudden Jake stopped right in front of the gate to the religious compound on the ocean. I pulled alongside Jake and urged him to not take pictures. His response was simple, “Flat!”

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    We swapped the flat out and continued to the lighthouse where we would be turning around to head to Santo Tomas.

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    When we turned around and went back, Dave, Scott, Roger and Stephanie took the dirt road to Santo Tomas. Jeff, Jake and I turned off and rode through Rancho Viejo. Finding the trail is a bit of a trick, but let’s just say that if you open one gate and are greeted by cows :topessniffing your bikes, you’ve gone through the wrong gate. I would have taken pictures of Rancho Viejo, but if you have ever ridden through there, you know that the two guys who live on the property will shake you down for “road maintenance fees” if they are outside. I let Jeff and Jake know this, and that we would pay if they were outside. After all, they could elect to lock their gate if they really wanted to, and we do not want that. However, if they weren’t outside, just keep going. We rolled through and I didn’t see anyone. Jeff was last in line and later stated that he said that someone was waving at him, so he waved back. :wave

    We made fast time and met the rest of the group at the Pemex station/restaurant in Santo Tomas.

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    Dave was particularly excited to see us.

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    After we fueled up, we parked next to the buggy to eat lunch at the restaurant, and noticed that the buggy had a flat.

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    While we ate lunch, Stephanie made the mistake of asking us all a serious question, “What has been your favorite part of the trip, so far?” I will leave our answers out, since they were of questionable integrity. :imaposer The guys on the trip thought that they had escaped this kind of conversation since most of our significant others were hundreds of miles away. I think it was Jake that said, “That’s a $10 question, Stephanie!” :D We all had a good laugh, changed the spare on the buggy, and rolled north on 1 into Ensenada. Having checked into our rented place, we ate delicious tacos at Tacos El Original and secured some hydration and much needed electrical connectors

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    We closed the day out at Hussongs. Love this place.

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    Just outside of Hussongs, a large beverage company that sponsors the 1000 was having a multiple block party in downtown. Jeff, Scott and I checked it out. Apologies for the angle of the video. I am not too technologically savvy.



    Tomorrow – Contingency!
    #16
  17. MufflerBearings

    MufflerBearings Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    234
    Location:
    Ciudad Catedral
  18. FrameOil

    FrameOil Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Oddometer:
    29
    #18
  19. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,232
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    In for more Baja action
    #19
    FrameOil likes this.
  20. koa925

    koa925 Senior Stromer

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    59
    Location:
    san ramon, ca
    great post, when we go to Hussongs we always pickup some taco's next door , we laugh our asses off since the one guy has been there over 20 years and when you finish ordering he turns around and looks at the menu on the wall to check the pricing............hilarious
    #20
    FrameOil likes this.