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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by liv2day, Nov 3, 2018.
Mulege is great.
And the sunsets over the mountains were something else.
Bananagrams by the Sea of Cortez...epic.
Enough driftwood to make a fire on the beach.
And more fire.
And more beach.
And a great way to cap things off, lots of Pacificos as we laughed our way through many, many games of Bananagrams.
And that concludes the family fun portion of the report.
Hoping to have enough time to get the first day of our return trek north posted today. It was an epic day on the bikes, water crossings, water crashing, tacos in San Juanico, riding crazy fast on the salt flats, and fantastic street tacos in San Ignacio.
Damn...I want to go back to Baja.
After enjoying ~10 days off the bike and having a wonderful time with my family (and friends!), it was time to hop back in the saddle and start making our way north. Our plan for the first day was to ride from Mulege across the peninsula, up the Pacific for a while, then turn east and end up in San Ignacio.
When discussing the route, our Tiger TY said he would ride with us for the first ~15 miles or so and then turn back and take asphalt to San Ignacio (after enjoying taco Tuesday at Playa Buenaventura...lol). He made the right call as his sand pig would not have enjoyed the whole ride. Aside from the one water crossing that partially swallowed at WR426, there were others that wouldn't have been fun and we hit some really rocky, rough stuff that would have had most yelling expletives in their helmets.
We met at the Pemex in Mulege to fuel up and start west. A couple miles of asphalt and then the fun began!
TY had called this the ice house road, which was supposed to be because there had been an ice factory somewhere along the way? Never saw any signs of anything like that, but I can tell you this was a sweet ride through amazing terrain. Lots of elevation changes, crazy cool rock formations, water, random ranchos here and there, and just plain neat.
Like a Mexican stand-off...lol.
Really glad we're not going this way.
The water crossings started off easy enough, nothing remotely close to axle deep. Some of them were pretty slimy, causing some bouncing off the rocks, but no problem if you kept the throttle going. The road was rough in spots, but riding through this valley was fantastic.
I was too slow with the camera, though I have GP footage. TR was a bit too frisky going across the deepest crossing and found himself with the WR on its side. Thankfully, he killed it prior to water being sucked into the motor. He filled his boots though and I'll never forget the image of him laying down on the rocks, propping his feet up, and gravity forcing small ponds from each boot
The crossing that nearly ate a WR.
Lots of great views as we continued on our way west.
We contemplated skipping San Juanico as it added 20ish miles to the day, but I couldn't pass up another visit, stop at Restaurante Bahia, and getting a chance to show JP just how cool this spot on the Pacific is.
We left San Juanico and found the salt flats heading north. Thankfully dry, it was easy to blast up the flats and make good time. That said, I did have a serious pucker moment where I thought I was high-siding for certain, crossed the center track and it was SLICK. Back came around and bucked me up, but she settled down...mostly because it happened so fast that I didn't have time to chop the throttle and have her chuck me into the lower atmosphere (side note - have high-sided on the track and street and it's no fun...sure salt flats are just as hard as asphalt too).
The rest of the ride into San Ignacio was easy. Now, you know the problem with trying to meet up with another rider after parting ways? Nothing if you have good cel reception or Wifi. But, let's say the hotel where we planned to stay was completely booked (La Huerta). Let's also say that when we arrived, no Tiger TY to be found anywhere. Phones on and nada. Check with the hotel and nada. Hmm...worrisome to say the least.
So, we grab some beers at the market right next to the hotel and figure out what to do. After downing the beer, I jump on my bike and go scout a couple other hotels in the area. Found a nice, cheap one just up the road from La Huerta and reserved a couple rooms. At this point, we learn that TY went to Rice & Beans and is waiting there several beers into it. TR takes off to go hang with him and since I already had rooms at the other hotel JP and I hang as I'd rather check out San Ignacio than head to R&B.
Can't find your friend? Just grab some beers and wait.
Dropped our stuff in the room and made our way into town. Had killer adobado tacos, Cabrito, and Tecate at the street taco stand right across from the ice cream shop.
And then we went across the street to the ice cream shop. What a KICK ASS place! Not only did they have great ice cream, but the Baja memorabilia was great.
Back to the hotel for a few more Cabritos on the veranda (lol), then it was lights out. Covered 214 miles and saw the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific, crossed a bunch of water, and had a phenomenal day of riding.
Did he ride that on a stock DR seat?
That's a good question, I'm not sure if TY had replaced the stocker with something else. Looking at pics of the bike, appears to be the original seat cover, so it might be. I know JP never complained about the seat, but he rides KTMs...lol. Complained about the weight of the bike, but he also rides a 500 for this type of stuff back in OR
Very cool ride....
Heading to Cabo from BC in a week. trucking to Yuma,
I'm guessing if you hit the In reach emergency button, you're going to get at least one food cart serving tacos and beer.
Thanks for sharing, awesome trip!!!!
Great report ... Awesome job on videos ..
Baja is on my list for sure ......
Great ride report & fantastic images. I've been to many of the places you hit but not the areas west of Catavina nor around San Juanico. You've given me lots of new ideas.
As you found, once you ride in Baja it's almost impossible to resist going back.
Hello Tom. Had to cancel my trip for January. OMMRA#203. Glad to see you are having a good time. I understand what you are saying about heading south out of Mikes, dropped my KLR many times on our way to Melling Ranch.
Awesome! Have a great ride and post a report from your travels, going to need it as winter has definitely set in here in the PNW.
Safe travels amigo.
LOL, fortunately, we didn’t have to find out. Much better to stop by the street taco stand and enjoy some cerveza with the fare.
Thanks Doc! I’m really looking forward to hearing about Chile and Argentina when you guys get back
Thanks @Steinbuck! The ride west from Catavina to the Pacific was one of my favorites. And San Juanico is a super cool town...very tranquil.
And you’re spot on, Baja is incredible and I cannot wait to go back and explore more
A'ight, time to get another update added to the ride report.
Today's ride would take us from San Ignacio to San Francisquito. The first part of the ride was pretty boring, just a slog up MX 1 to the turn-off for El Arco. About the only exciting thing we saw on the way to El Arco was the road grader...lol. At least the road was recently graded and we didn't have to follow anyone making a ton of dust. Hit the turn-off to make our way east with a planned stop at Piedra Blanca again.
We took our time at the rancho as our day was relatively short, I went up to the cabanas they rent to look around and get some pictures. Definitely want to head back there sometime and hang out for a night or two - the cabanas looked great and there's a great common area to hang out in. They also have a nice open fire BBQ and a great kitchen.
Stopped at the intersection in El Arco.
Really cool topography and Rancho Piedra Blanca is awesome.
The cabanas they rent and common area.
It was an easy ride from the rancho to San Francisquito, and amazing to hit the Sea of Cortez again to camp for the night.
Local wildlife not overly impressed with my riding skillz...lol.
Although San Francisquito doesn't have much in the way of amenities and it's run down, it's an incredible spot to throw your tent up and enjoy the beach. We met Lionel and a bunch of lobster men who'd been out harvesting fresh spiny lobsters from the traps. Not only did we have a great meal with fresh fish they'd just caught, but they shared a couple of their lobsters with us...amazing.
Killer full (or nearly full) moon rose over Cortez that night, was bright enough that no headlamps needed when walking in the dark.
Dinner was ready in short order and we enjoyed a great feast of fish tacos and fresh lobster!
Pretty easy day's ride given the number of slab miles and good road into San Francisquito. 157 miles added to the overall trip and another killer day in Baja.
Another great post.
Going east this time, did you avoid the deep sand that you'd written about when headed south--or is that coming the next day? I'm all for avoiding that stuff when I can.