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Baja on St Patricks Day

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by haket, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. haket

    haket Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    222
    Location:
    San Jose,CA
    I took a week long solo ride to Baja from San Jose, my first time riding in Mexico and loved it. My notes are from my road diary so a bit disjointed :-)


    Day1
    591miles, 10hrs riding
    San Jose to El Cajon
    Blasted down 5, then usual LA traffic, did 1/2 of Angels crest
    but it was closed 8miles after Newcombe's ranch. Back-tracked
    to the 205 and away to SD. Too much traffic on the back roads
    too.

    Approaching the Vine
    [​IMG]


    Dammit Angels Crest, you foil me again:
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. haket

    haket Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    222
    Location:
    San Jose,CA
    Day2. El Cajon to Mikes 208miles
    Easy border crossing, trouble finding immigration but nice guy
    there. $25 tourist card, and open on Sunday. 80miles of dirt, mostly a few
    inches of sand over hardpack. Then onto road, stopped for lunch
    in local hut P$68 for 4 tacos, good enough. Tough dirt road to
    Mikes, plenty of deeper sand though ok on the GSA, dropped bike
    and broke off spot lamp, doh. Thought I was lost heading to Mikes
    Sky Ranch, a real oasis and invisible till you are 1/8 a mile
    away. Thank fook for gps though the tracks were bad to Mikes.
    Met three atvers and had dinner drinks, only 4 there, Greg, John
    and Jeeemo, Americans living in san Felipe, $180 prob tax and
    $800 hoa for private gated community on the beach. Had a good
    laugh.

    Not in Kansas anymore !, getting the Tourist card in Tecate
    [​IMG]

    Sandy lean angle
    [​IMG]

    Lots of this stuff, 3-4 inches of sand over hard pack, not too bad on a big bike
    [​IMG]

    Stopped for lunch in a local establishment
    [​IMG]

    Pre-renovation obviously
    [​IMG]

    Dumped the bike just before this pic, those ruts were softer than they looked
    [​IMG]

    Arrived in Mikes for the night
    [​IMG]

    Just the four of us and secure parking
    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. haket

    haket Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    222
    Location:
    San Jose,CA
    Day3 mikes to Bay of LA, 318miles. 60+ dirt. Rode with atvs to road,
    three military checkpoints, searched bike at 1st. Windy day and was over
    95 for much of afternoon. Alfonso's for fish taco lunch, yum, could
    have stayed there for a night, met Andrew on a DRZ from portland......
    Ride onto cocos, tough dirt road, gravel and rocky, beer at cocos, then
    tougher shark teeth out to pavement. Costa del sol for the night, beautiful
    views, met a SF dude who was moving down on his KLR. Dinner was 2beers, two margaritas
    avocado soup, chips/salsa and breaded fish and rice for $25, noms.


    Back out the next morning and headed to the Bay of Cortez, San Felipe
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Pic of the view from Alfonsinas, pretty cool dirt airstrip next door also.
    [​IMG]

    And lunch, nom nom nom,
    [​IMG]

    I almost cut the day short and stayed here, maybe next time.
    [​IMG]

    Oops, beached whale while changing lanes . ..
    [​IMG]

    Arrived at Cocos:
    [​IMG]

    Then more dirt onto Bahia de Los Angeles
    [​IMG]

    Room with a view
    [​IMG]

    Met a nice fella from SF moving to Baja on his fully loaded KLR
    [​IMG]

    Celebrated St Patricks day in style
    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. haket

    haket Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    222
    Location:
    San Jose,CA
    Day4, 278miles, BayOfLA to San Ignatio. Boring desert ride to
    start, then nice run into Ignatio and onto santa rosalita.
    Saw Gustaf Eiffel metal church and a horrible mineral mine,
    now the great highway makes sense to here.
    Rice and beans hotel was a pit. Beautiful mission and oasis
    of San Ignatio.

    A long mostly boring road blast to the oasis of San Ignatio
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And spin to Santa Rosalia the most southerly point of my trip
    [​IMG]


    Visited the Mission there designed by Gustave Eiffel
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Back to San Ignatio and the mission there
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Different terrain on the way to the west coast
    [​IMG]

    Random hotel picked and hit the jackpot ($30/night)
    [​IMG]

    Drunk beardy man pic
    [​IMG]
    Never had Huevos Rancheros before, fantastic !
    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. haket

    haket Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    222
    Location:
    San Jose,CA
    Day5 San Ignatio to San Quintin 430miles.
    Back along pavement to west coast.


    The ferry is going to be late today
    [​IMG]

    Almost back to California, looks a little more like home now
    [​IMG]

    Day6: San Quintin to LA 480miles

    Day 7: LA to San Jose 400ish miles
    Took Hwy1 home, perfect conditions
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #5
    DutchOne likes this.
  6. JoeMongo

    JoeMongo ¿Por dónde? Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,014
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, not exactly dirt moto heaven
    Nice vacation!

    That "random" inn photo looks like the outside of the Old Mill Restaurant and bar. You stay at the Old Mill Inn? Or Don Eddies? If Don Ed's, have they rebuilt their restaurant and bar yet? I prefered to stay at the Old Mill and eat at Don Eddies, before their restaurant fell down.

    BTW, go back a few more times and you'll eat at a lot of place that make that "before restoration" photo look like "5 Michelin Stars", but the food and service is almost always very good.

    Its really hard to have a bad day riding in Baja.
    J.
    #6
  7. longtallsally

    longtallsally Yeah I'm a chick

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,415
    Location:
    Escaped from Kalifornistan
    How was 1 north of Ensenada? Did they repair it already?

    Also, did you take the easy (more east) or hard route to Mike's?
    #7
  8. haket

    haket Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    222
    Location:
    San Jose,CA
    Yep I stayed at the Old Mill, always a nice experience when you are greeted with a beer at check in :D

    I took the 3 north from Ensenada to cross back at Tecate, that was a nice stretch of road,

    Going into mikes I took at road going a south easterly direction from the 3 and coming out, a different road going north easterly. I hear the hard road is more due west of Mikes no ?
    #8
  9. jared1843

    jared1843 Drifter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    187
    Location:
    Reno, NV
    I just got back from Baja myself with a bunch of buds! Alfonsinas was awesome! We went twice an got the all you can eat fish taco treatment :freaky

    BULLETIN: Anyone traveling from Gonzaga Bay to CoCo's corner be on the lookout for my Oakley's! They flew out of my front tool bag on the way north from Coco's. They're in a brown cloth bag.... black with green lenses.
    #9
  10. JoeMongo

    JoeMongo ¿Por dónde? Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,014
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, not exactly dirt moto heaven
    Yeah, the "old road" heads kinda south east from Mike's to the observatory road. Its a bit more than I'd want to deal with on a BMW GS, but its a lot more fun than the main road if you are on a dirt bike. I believe that there is another route out to the west that was part of the Baja 500 route recently. I haven't figured out that track yet but will keep trying.

    J.
    #10
  11. BigNastybrp

    BigNastybrp Big Nasty

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    743
    Location:
    high speed boogie land, Sunny Ca.
    nice thanks Mark
    #11
  12. Jhafner

    Jhafner n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Cultus Lake BC Canada
    This is a trip I am planning for October 2015
    I have been wanting to ride the Baja for 20 plus years now and it looks like it is coming soon. Any pointers?

    Joe
    #12
  13. haket

    haket Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    222
    Location:
    San Jose,CA
    I'm no expert but lots of reading on ADVrider helped alot. I was probably a little too paranoid about safety (as I was on my own), so would be more relaxed next time.

    Bring cash (cards are not a good idea), and find out what an ATM sign looks like (not what I expected), get insurance, stay at Mikes Sky Ranch and visit
    Coco. Learn a little spanish, I found podcasts on iTunes that. were genuinely useful, at least numbers, roadsigns and greetings. Garmin topomaps worked well for trip planning.

    You'll have a blast !
    #13
  14. Jhafner

    Jhafner n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Cultus Lake BC Canada
    Thank You Haket. I am super stoked for this trip!
    #14
  15. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,034
    Location:
    Kaslo BC summer, Yuma AZ winter
    Depends a lot on what type of riding you want to do... as much dirt as possible, mostly pavement, gentle mix of both?
    If it's mostly pavement you want to do, then get a BCAA (AAA) Baja California map. It has pretty much everything on it you'll want. If you have a Garmin GPS, then City Navigator North America including Mexico will be helpful as well.
    Lots of guys ride solo and do fine, but if you have a buddy to ride with, you'll feel safer, plus, it'll be a memory to be shared.
    October can still be a bit warm, also it's approaching the end of the hurricane season. A few roads and bridges usually wash out. Late October to mid November can be busy with pre-running traffic, preparing for the SCORE Baja 1000 (north loop only this year.. starts and ends in Ensenada)
    Stay way right of the center line on pavement on all corners you can't see around.... After the first hour, you'll see why.
    Get your visitors visa (you have to turn it in on exiting) at the border, and it's now mandatory to carry Mexican auto insurance with now increased minimum coverage.
    The usual, don't ride at night..ever.... ...cows, horses, potholes, disappearing roadways, truck aircraft landing light high beams, and it's tough to fix a flat tire in the dark :evil :lol3 Keep an eye out for chupacabras.
    Lots of advice in this forum and lots to gain by reading Baja ride reports.....
    I'll be going to Baja again in November for the Baja 1000

    haket, great ride report... looks like you've been bitten by the Baja Bug !!

    #15