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Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by bigtodd, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. bigtodd

    bigtodd Hi, wanna ride?

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,304
    Location:
    Surf City, USA
    We were able to get by on the bikes without issue. There were far less pipes on it though. We saw a couple guys go by in a pick up and later saw them come back down the hill with a bed full of plastic pipe
  2. MufflerBearings

    MufflerBearings Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    281
    Location:
    Ciudad Catedral
    Has anyone here been down the San Rafael wash from Rancho Coyote to Colonet since the storms? I'm heading down to Coyote/Meling via Mike's this weekend, and I'm expecting the water crossings to be deep (and cold!).
  3. bigtodd

    bigtodd Hi, wanna ride?

    Joined:
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    3,304
    Location:
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    That was part of our ride plan last weekend but turned around half way up to Mike's from VDT due to snow, slush,mud. After a 3+ hour slog from Laguna Hansen out to Hwy 3 the day before we decided to head out to Colonet via the Wine Rd. A couple months ago, GalacticGS and I rode from Colonet to Rancho Coyote via San Rafael wash and there were 2 deep water crossings ... before the storms.
  4. MufflerBearings

    MufflerBearings Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Ciudad Catedral
    Thank you for the up-to-date information, Bigtodd. I guess we'll just allow ourselves plenty of daylight to choose alternate routes and backtrack if needed. Last year at this time we weren't able to get through Casa Verde from Compadre to the Laguna Hanson road due to a lake which had formed across the trail high up and fences/locked gates keeping us from detouring around it. And there wasn't as much precip then as there is now.

    Looking forward to no dust, though!
  5. bigtodd

    bigtodd Hi, wanna ride?

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,304
    Location:
    Surf City, USA
    Last year we missed our annual end of year Baja trip so we were all pretty pumped for this year. Original rider list had 8 guys, then weather reports started looking sketchy and the list dropped in half. At one point there was some thought of canceling all together based on forecast showing 3 of the 5 days raining. Fortunately the rain came sooner than our trip but it came HEAVY ... most of the trip had exceptional riding conditions, but we had a rough first day!

    Day 1 Tecate to Valle de Trinidad
    Plan was to leave Tecate early and end up in San Felipe. A quick stop for gas and tacos in VDT but on a mission to make San Felipe. That morning we lost a rider to the flu so we're down to 3; me @ToddLite and our buddy from Green Bay, WI (Tim). All of us riding 500's would make it exceptionally fun.

    Todd Lite and Tim ready to pour it on the wet sticky dirt south of Tecate
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    The riding was fantastic and we were the only tracks through the dark wet dirt almost all the way out to Compadre Trail.
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    Conditions were epic until about 2,700' of elevation ... that's when Compadre started getting a little interesting
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    In hindsight, we should have just made the run into Ojos Negros but instead made the turn for Laguna Hansen. Then things got familiar for the guy from Green Bay
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    Tim feeling right at home in the snow
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    We had pretty good trails for a bit with just patches of snow covering the tracks. As we kept climbing however, it all changed. Here's Todd Lite checking to see if he packed any snow chains
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    Tim and I laughing about how dumb our decision was to keep climbing.
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    Once we reached the Laguna Hansen area, the nice fluffy snow turned into slushy half frozen mud. It was tough to keep both wheels going the same way. That mixed with the locals running the roads in their 4x4's we had a tough couple of hours trying to get down the mountain. We did take a break at the pond to watch the locals test the ice.
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    It was 3:45 when we got out to Hwy 3, still 30 miles from VDT and Tim about to run out of gas. Now we are planning to just get to VDT before dark and hope we can get a hotel room. Well Tim did run out of gas about half way there but was able to buy some gas at a roadside house as well as get a cup of coffee ... we were freezing. Made it to Valle T and secured rooms and dinner.

    It was freezing in our rooms and it actually got warmer by turning on the A/C to it's highest setting. The next morning we had to roll the bikes out into the sun for a bit.
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  6. bigtodd

    bigtodd Hi, wanna ride?

    Joined:
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    3,304
    Location:
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    Day 2
    Well our run through the mountains cut off a full 1/2 day of our ride plan and we fell far short of the San Felipe plan. Now we start a new plan. We needed to be in San Quintin tonight so we thought we would try to go to Mike's, down to Rancho Coyote and over to Colonet. Again, not a very well thought out plan based on conditions of Day 1. It started great out of VDT though, Tim getting some air time
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    Then as we started up the mountain to Mike's we started seeing the same thing we saw heading up to Laguna Hansen the day before ... no thanks. New plan, back down the hill to the Wine Rd and out to the coast. About the half way point of the Wine Rd, we ran into a major road block.
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    Todd Lite and I have a plan to ride around
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    Unfortunately shortly after squeezing by the abandoned truck, TL picked up a flat ... I think that makes him 8 out of 10 on Wine Rd trips.
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    We made it to Colonet without any other issues and enjoyed some of the best fish tacos I've had in a long time
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    It was a spectacular day out on the coast
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    We rode the beach for a bit and then pulled up on some really good coastal single track
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    South of Costa Brava, we jumped back out on the beach with a super low tide and did about 25 miles of perfect beach conditions.
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    Trying to catch Tim riding behind me and then getting him showing off as he went by me
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    The ride into San Quintin and the Hotel Santa Maria was nice firm, wet dirt right until town where it turned into a mud bog. All good though as the beer was all that much better in the bar.

    Over dinner we planned to cut out some miles from the Day 3 plan ... good thing as it turned out to be a LOOOOONG day
  7. bigtodd

    bigtodd Hi, wanna ride?

    Joined:
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    Day 3 San Quintin to San Felipe

    Though the ride plans had been a bit mixed up, by getting to San Quintin we were within range of doing a section we had deemed the "THE GRINDER"; SCORE course south of El Rosario, Catavina Loop, Rockman Trail. Over dinner we all determined that this day's original plan was way to ambitious and we cut off a little over 60 miles that looped through Catavina. Gassed up in El Rosario, we dropped into the river south of town and make our way south via the SCORE 1000 course.

    The dirt was wet, the desert was blooming and we saw wildlife everywhere.
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    The green and reds of the desert were amazing
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    Todd Lite and Tim passing me in a blur
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    Our bikes are starting to get a little heavier from the last couple days of riding
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    Posing with the BIG cactus
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    Coming off the SCORE course back onto Hwy 1, we had about 20 miles down to the turn off for Rockman Trail. About half way there, a herd of horses along the Hwy spooked and bolted in between us ... at 60 mph it was a scary moment. Tim locked up and went into a slide, I barely kept from locking up and managed to dodge a horse as I went off the road and Todd Lite escaped it all as it all went down behind him.

    ROCKMAN TRAIL

    The original plan was to ride this track east to west coming down from San Felipe. With our big ride plan changes, we're now riding it west to east. The first few miles were no big deal and then as the main track merged into the desert, it was harder and harder to find the trail. We did a bit of zig zagging across sections of river wash and small dunes, some back tracking here and there and finally picked up some moto tracks that we were able to keep up with. We followed those tracks up off the desert floor and into the hills then I lost them riding up into a little box canyon with no exit. Turned around and riding back, Tim dropped his bike right at a point where the tracks rode up out of the canyon ... successful recovery! That led us into some beautiful rolling hills with easy single track.

    Tim coming over a rise and Todd Lite making good progress
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    Then we hit the ROCKS ... miles and miles of rocks. Tim was feeling ok at this point
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    The ROCKS just never ended; flat rocks, round rocks, square rocks, small rocks, big rocks, huge rocks ... lots of f'ng rocks. It was like 2 hours of trials riding, in some places riding rock to rock trying to keep a line. Tim was just about popped at this point.
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    Had a little false hope here as we could see the Gulf and figured we were close, but it was another 45 minutes of rock trials riding from here
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    Finally we reached the end of the ROCKS and only had to negotiate the drop down into the river wash
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    The ROCKMAN Trail is a one and done for me, I don't ever want to do that again.

    We had a cold and dark ride into San Felipe, Tim ran out of gas again and TL picked up another flat which extended the day even more. All good though as we settled into a warm restaurant bar on the Malecon and watched the 49er's vs. Seahawks over a couple of steaks.
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    We all slept well that night and were looking forward to a nice easy day ahead.
    eakins, renogeorge, catfish and 10 others like this.
  8. bigtodd

    bigtodd Hi, wanna ride?

    Joined:
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    Surf City, USA
    Day 4 San Felipe to Horsepower Ranch

    We were in no hurry this morning as it was going to be an easy day making our way towards Ensenada. First things first however, fix Todd Lite's front flat
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    Bike maintenance addressed, time for breakfast ... Chilaquiles con huevos
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    Fueled up with food and lots of coffee, we head out on Zoo Rd.
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    Trail conditions out to the dry lake were EPIC! The rains had flattened out the whoops a bit and the sand was packed and gritty. It was a very fast ride out to the lake bed. None of us had any interest in testing the surface of the lake after all the storms so we went around.
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    We did stop at the shack however. It's all locked up as the caretaker passed away.
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    As pretty as it looked, there was no way we were heading out there into what was certainly slick nasty muck
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    Back on to Hwy 3 we made a quick stop in VDT for gas. I noticed my boot looking wet and not remembering riding through any water. Crap, looks like 3 1/2 days of riding in sand, mud, snow and slush have caught up with me. As it turned out, it caught to Tim as well by end of the day. Todd Lite had neoprene wraps around his fork seals and wasn't affected.
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    Cleaned up the forks best as we could and headed out for our Caselli Loop. Again the trail conditions were just all time. Other than a biting cold wind, it was some of the best riding we had. My last trip past the monument, we found it fenced off ... this time we may or may not have gone over or under the barbed wire to pay our respects.
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    Time to make our way to HP Ranch ... after a quick clean up it's time for one of Rodrigo's famous margaritas
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    We were the only ones there and had the place to ourselves. After a dinner of pollo y arroz, we settled in with more margaritas and stories by the fire.
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    Morning of Day 5 is New Year's Eve and we all need to get moving, Todd Lite has plans with wifey, Tim has a red eye flight back to Green Bay and I have dinner plans with the family. We took a very leisurely ride up Compadre and crossed the border before noon completing another great Baja Adventure

    My poor 500 needs some attention this weekend
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    Can't wait for the next one :beer *EXCEPT FOR ROCKMAN :knary
  9. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Burbank CA
    BT. come on now. you guys are tough enough to make it a great ride and looking back, i'm sure you're all glad you did it.

    sorry to hear about the loss of (sorry forgot his name). he saved a lot of riders from dehydration.
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    very nice RR!

    wish you all and everyone here....more dirt in your life this year.
    Cabrito likes this.
  10. El Zorrillo

    El Zorrillo charity case

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    Nov 19, 2007
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    Location:
    SJC, CA
    I’m sorry to hear he passed away also, his name was jose. The last time we talked to him was a little over a year ago, and he told us he was going to be 97 in a few weeks. I’ll never know how he managed to live such a long life living in that shack and sleeping on a folding cot. But thank you Jose for toughing it out all those years and keeping dirt bike riders hydrated! :beer
  11. Andrew_v949

    Andrew_v949 n00b

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2019
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    92110
    Hey all, was curious on some suggestions for some mellow single/two-track that is within striking distance of the Tecate border. I recently just did my first ride out of Santa Veronica for the Los Ancianos enduro.....and like most thing's Baja, I fell in love. My dad is 64 and I know my riding time with him is in its sunset, so I want to take him on as many memorable rides as I can the next few years. I know tecate would be right up his alley. Plan is to park at the border stateside and ride across. Any helper suggestions would be appreciated!
    Lost Cartographer and Davidprej like this.
  12. renogeorge

    renogeorge Let's ride!!

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    Reno
    I'm 72 and have no intention of quitting anytime soon. So get him going. I'm headed for the tip next month with other 70+ guys.
  13. AZ TOM

    AZ TOM Long timer Supporter

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    Kids:-)
  14. renogeorge

    renogeorge Let's ride!!

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    It’s always good to have a young strong kid along too. We have a 60 year old for that
    Lost Cartographer and Davidprej like this.
  15. AZ TOM

    AZ TOM Long timer Supporter

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    Let me know if you need a father figure would love to tag along?
    Lost Cartographer likes this.
  16. rjnutt

    rjnutt Desert tortoise

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    That’s why you let me tag along, knew there had to be some reason!
    NSFW likes this.
  17. renogeorge

    renogeorge Let's ride!!

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    Adult supervision would be good. Leaving 2/2 for 2 weeks. PM if serious. We have very low standards
  18. renogeorge

    renogeorge Let's ride!!

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    Yep! Wanna go?
  19. AZ TOM

    AZ TOM Long timer Supporter

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    Low standards, sounds great! Will see what I can come up with & let you know. Thanks
  20. Beaumont Paco

    Beaumont Paco Been here awhile

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    Dec 2, 2012
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    Will a 71 qualify for that.