Baja 2009 from Canada

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Rockin Rollin, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. Rockin Rollin

    Rockin Rollin Rockin Adventurer

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    No, I didn't ride from Canada!

    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]Hi All,

    Just got back from riding 10 days in Mexico. Rode the Baja penninsula from top to bottom. Rode 10 days, 2300 kms, mostly offroad.
    Did the trip with CliffshoreAdventures (http://www.cliffshore.com/adventures.html) from Welcome, Ontario. Our trip trip leaders/organizers wer Barry Ferguson & Warren Thaxer.
    We flew in to San-Diego California Jan 22 with 12 other riders , we met up there with Joyce and John Furguson, Barry's Mom & Dad. John is a professional driver and Joyce is his wife/co-pilot/navigator/advisor. An awsome team. They had brought all our own dirt bikes plus a spare, from home in a large trailer towed by a large motorhome. They would be meeting with us at the end of most days with our luggage, extra gear, spares, & available Servesas(Beer), snacks, accomodations arranged for us and dinner reservations made. Great service, great people.
    We crossed into Mexico same day and stayed in the town of Tekate a beer Brewing Town, good beer.
    Jan23 was the first day of riding, it was mostly sandy hilly terrain with trails between large loose rocky hills. Reminded me of the type of terrain you would see in the old Western movies. I could imagine an ambush of gunfire coming from any of the many high points on the tops of the rocky hills. Sure felt great to be back on the Dirt Bike, riding, plus nice weather though we did have threats of rain and very slight bits of rainfall the first 2 days. Rest of the week was very nice and got warmer each day we travelled further south. We passed 2 Military patrols first days with machine guns at hand, no issues. Late afternoon as we crossed over a high hill we got our first view of the Pacific Ocean. We rode along the tops of high cliffs high above the Pacific shore. On occasion you could see the heavy waves crashing into a craggy shoreline, a beautiful site. About 4:30 we arrived at our destination for the day, Coyote Cals. It is an American owned Hostel with an incredible location high on a cliff above the Pacific ocean at Erendra. The place had amazing character to it. Saw an awsome sunset, then had Servesa's in the quaint cantina area courtesy Johnny Baja, our accomodating comedian on the trip. See the pics.
    Jan 24: It did rain overnite and was quite windy. Next morning was quite nice however and we got to ride the beach as the waves rolled right in alongside. Cool! Until I needed to pass past a protruding cliff of some width. This required timing the waves rolling in, unfortunately as I allowed for the wave retreating a 2nd larger wave came in swiftly behind and almost knocked me off the Bike. I managed to stay uprite but it did snuff the engine. So there I am now retreaving my bike out of the Pacific Ocean. It wouldn't restart and so required troubleshooting. With much help from Warren, Barry, And Jim C it was determined the Coil had gotten wet. It was about a 45 minute time loss but with the bike now running again we all carried on with the ride. More beach plus rock gardens which could be quite challenging as they would bounce you around and some time act like ball bearings under the tire like when many of us were trying to get out from the beach and had to ride up and over these piles of rock. (see beach pic)
    That afternoon we had our first fast food at a local roadside food stand. Very good!
    More fun beach later, sand dunes and a challenging hill climb.
    We finnished the ride with a bit of highway inland to the town of El Rosario. Don't know what the name of the Hotel was but the big sign said "RICE & BEANS"??? Can't remember what I had for dinner.
    See my big Sombraro?
    More to Come...

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    More to come...
    #1
  2. Ooobah-Moto

    Ooobah-Moto Banned

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    AWESOME....!!!!!

    Post more!!
    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    I gotta do that!! thanks for the link to the tour organizer! :thumb

    Keep it comin' :lurk
    #3
  4. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

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    more.....:clap
    #4
  5. schismatic

    schismatic Been here awhile

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    looks like you are having a blast!

    mas por favor!
    #5
  6. bkirby

    bkirby DRZ400S

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    Roland you creep !!! Here I am sitting inside all friggin winter and your off riding ! Glad to hear you enjoyed yourself. :clap
    #6
  7. EduardoMas

    EduardoMas Spartan Overlander

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    Orale huey!
    Warm weather feels good in the middle of winter eh!

    keep the pics and stories coming Roland... they really help make our non-season a little warmer.

    Cheers!

    Eduardo.
    #7
  8. agplant

    agplant Ride Fast Travel Slo

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    looks like a great time. Awaiting more.:clap
    #8
  9. pixellman

    pixellman Adventurer

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    DAMN
    I'M JEALOUS ....
    Beauty pictures from the race ...
    #9
  10. Rockin Rollin

    Rockin Rollin Rockin Adventurer

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    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]Day 3: Saturday Jan 24[/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]Today we rode from El Rosario to Cativina[/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]It was a bit of a challenge at the beginning of the day finding the trail. [/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]Once we[/FONT][FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]did I was astounded at the beauty that surrounded us. [/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]It was as though we were [/FONT][FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]riding through a beautifully landscaped garden. Spread across the hills. [/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]All kinds, size [/FONT][FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]and colour of Cacti, rock and stone, randomly spaced, surrounded by clean white [/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]sand and no weeds to speak of. [/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]I thought, wow, they do a wonderful job with the [/FONT][FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]landscaping around here![/FONT]

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    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]One of the things I was really looking forward to on this trip was to see the very [/FONT][FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]large Cactis's. [/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]I had only ever saw them in pictures before. Today we stared to see[/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]them and they are a beautiful sight. [/FONT]
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    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]At about high noon that day I was riding 2nd position in the group and had lost site [/FONT][FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]of Barry our goup leader. [/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]Checking behind me for the following rider and there was [/FONT][FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]no one there either so I thought I better stop.[/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]I went up to some slightly higher [/FONT][FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]ground, no one in site in any direction. [/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]I back track about half a kilometer and see [/FONT][FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]there was a slight fork in the trail. [/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]I had stayed on what was obviously the main trail.[/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]Barry would have stopped if we where to turn off, or did he assume I was right [/FONT][FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]behind him? So I wait & wait. [/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]Here I am, in the desert, seemingly totally alone, No [/FONT][FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]sound, not even a breeze. [/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]The Sun is shining brightly and it is getting hot. I imagine [/FONT][FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]being lost out here. [/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]I think if I am alone and my bike breaks down this could be real [/FONT][FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]trouble, er I mean Serious Adventure! [/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]I look up and see I do have company, [/FONT][FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]Turkey Vultures. The're circling! Hopeful?:huh [/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]Still no sound, but suddenly I see a face. [/FONT][FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]It's on a cactus, I figure the sun must be getting to me, I blink a few times:eek1 , [/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]but [/FONT][FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]yes the cactus has a face, and is looking at me. Huh? [/FONT]
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    Need to get closer to see if it's friendly. Hello! Well it seems it can't talk, or move.
    Well thats a good thing. Let me take his picture (see pics). Never did get his name though.[/FONT]
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    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]Ok so well I'm still feeling pretty alone and it's been about 15 minutes now, just me, [/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]Mr Cacti and the turkey vultures. Wait is that a sound? Yes I here a slight engine[/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]sound in the distance. Looking back the sound gets louder and there is Blair, rider [/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]#3. Tells me Rich had a run in with a Cactis, I think right away oh my God, they are[/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]alive, and ask "Is he ok?" Blair said yes but it took some time to extract all the[/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]needles and it was Rich that had ran into the cactis. He got a little too close in a turn [/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]bobbled and suddenly found himself straddling it. Ouch! Ah now here comes the rest[/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]of the group.:clap [/FONT]
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    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]More day 3 to come...[/FONT]
    #10
  11. RumRunner

    RumRunner Sit there, turn that

    Joined:
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    I hope you sun-burned your ass in all that sunshine while us FF's froze up here in Ontariariario.... (just kid'n damn I need to get to Baja)

    DW
    #11
  12. Rockin Rollin

    Rockin Rollin Rockin Adventurer

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    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]Day 3 continued:[/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]Saturday Jan 24, High noon.[/FONT]

    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]Now came the very best and most fun part of the trip. We got onto the nicest bit of single track I've ever had the pleasure to ride. I had heard it was built by a guy named Bill Nichols and Barry had actually ran into him and a group of riders on the trail last year. Well, unbelievably we ran into him again this year in almost the very same place. I figure he must live out there, what are the chances? Anyway he was leading a whole group of guys from the Arizona Trail Riders Club. I believe he must be a member as well, maybe he founded it. Looks like he's been riding a long time and luvin it! Ya![/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]Met and spoke with a few other riders, Eric & Ryan. Nice guys who were also luvin the ride. They introduced me to a fellow ADVrider Don. Goes by Phxman here. Hey Don. (say hello to Bill, Eric & Ryan for me.) Don also put out a ride report which I just read. http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=428202 [/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]He gave the apt description of many of the moments riding Baja, & that is "Surreal Baja Moments" SBM. Well there were many of them. This trail was the ultimate. The Terrain, the Cacti, big rocks the views and sharing the passion with fellow riders.:freaky As great as these pics are they just can't show how incredible this was. "SBM's"!:D [/FONT]

    Bill Nichols
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    Ryan & Eric
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    Phxman - Don Hood


    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]That single track probably went for about 2hrs. Later we got into some deep loose sand that gave me a lot of trouble. KayTee (KTM) didn't like the way I rode her thru there either & got steamed over it. [/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]I had previously had trouble with this type of terrain, sandy, loose deep gravel washes, especially on 2 previous trips riding in Nevada. I got some great riding tips from my fellow riders and by the end of the week it was no problem at all and actually a lot of fun.[/FONT]


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    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]Day ended thru some gorgeous rock croppings added in to the splendour of Cacti. Some cool water-crossings nice switchbacks up a hill and all of a sudden we arrived at the Desert Inn at I suppose, Catavina. Wasn't much of a town, but that often seemed to be the case down there, it's different.[/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]The location was beautiful as was the hotel. Great views in all directions.[/FONT]

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    [FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]To be continued...[/FONT]
    #12
  13. gybeman

    gybeman Been here awhile

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    Great stuff Roland, now thats a winter getaway !
    #13
  14. Rockin Rollin

    Rockin Rollin Rockin Adventurer

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    Baja Continued;
    Saturday Jan 25: Day4/10

    Start of another beautiful day. Today we will be travelling to Bahia del los Angeles on the Sea of Cortez.
    But we needed gasolina before going. So fortunately there is a small business gas vendor right across the road.
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    John & Joyce in the support truck will be meeting us 1/2 way with lunch and gas. Then we will unsupported till next evening. Our groups split up this morning for an aggressive option or easy. We would meet back up at Coco's corners. A famous point on the Baja 1000.
    I went for the aggressive option and it was a great challenge across very rough rock and sand and rock wash. In the middle of it we had a quite steep rocky single track down hill that snaked around the side of a mountain. Don't bobble or it's pretty much a cliff you"ll be going over.:eek1 Great fun.:lol3 Don't think we could have made it back up that hill.
    Picturesque terrain at the bottom with a very challenging gnarly wash. Also great fun but very tiring. It finished with what should have been a small fun hill climb at the end. I bobble on some rock just before going up, lost momentum and didn't quite make the top fortunately a few of my riding amigos grabbed my front wheel and helped me up the last few feet. Muchos Gracias!
    On to Cocos corner.
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    Warren had a brush in with a local bush which required extraction of some nasty needles.

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    Which way do you want to go?
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    Well today was not Warrens day. He flipped off a bank right into some deep water. Went right in & under. After dewatering and much Upon further investigation by our group mechanics there was no way the engine would spin.:jjen Seized solid! Bummer!:dog
    We were fortunate today we were meeting up with support for lunch and there was a spare bike in the trailer. Barry had to tow Warren thru some serious loose sand wash for quite a distance to get out. He kept the throttle pinned WFO! It was now "Warrens Wild ride!":eek1:yikes
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    After lunch and retrieving the spare bike we took a pretty tight route to the Motel. Nice place!
    Mucho Servasa's poor fa vor.:freaky :beer :1drink :bueller
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    Took this pic for my daughter. Cat was keeping us company at dinner.

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    If you're enjoging the report would love to hear some feedback. Let me know. It's taking about 2 hrs to report each day. Whew!:jjen :knary
    #14
  15. osteo

    osteo Motion is Life

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    Hey Roland, looks great and an awesome time!!! one of these days I'll get to do it as well!!!

    D

    p.s. - I live your avatar!!! :clap
    #15
  16. Snowbeard

    Snowbeard maybe a bigger hammer

    Joined:
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    Great report!

    Please keep posting ,it's always awesome to read about fellow Canadians out on a big ride!

    Thanks for taking the time to post it.!!:thumb
    #16
  17. canadian XR

    canadian XR Adventurer

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    uxbridge Ontario Canada
    Hi Roland good stuff keep it up...

    Willie:freaky:freaky:freaky:freaky:freaky:freaky:freaky:freaky:freaky:freaky:freaky:freaky:freaky:freaky:freaky:freaky:freaky
    #17
  18. WoodsChick

    WoodsChick Long timer

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    Excellent stuff! :thumb
    Keep posting, please! But you better hurry up and finish soon, `cuz I'm leaving for Baja on Thursday and I want to read it all before I go:D



    WoodsChick
    #18
  19. Rockin Rollin

    Rockin Rollin Rockin Adventurer

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    Mouchos Gracias for the feedback Amigos.

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    That will give me motivation for for the day 5 report.:gdog

    Not sure if that will be enough time WoodsChick. Day 5 coming was almost a tie for best day with day#3 and I should have that up today.
    The northern half was the best riding IMHO.
    When you get back please report on your trip. Send me a link on this thread. Hope you have a great time.
    By the way on one of the other Baja threads someone said you don't really need the visitors visa ~$27. maybe so but we did get stopped by the military & had to present ours, so I definitely recommend getting it to be sure you don't have any problems that could end up ruining the trip.:kboom:flush
    I was looking for a good reason to use that ?Smillie? Cool!
    Have a Servasa for me while you're down there.:dutch
    #19
  20. canadaler

    canadaler Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
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    341
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    Southern Ontario
    Keep it coming :clap

    A few of us have talked about making this trip ourselves sometime in the next couple of years. Great to read about your experiences.
    #20