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CA to Baja - going south

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by NWAF, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. NWAF

    NWAF Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    270
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    So I took some time off work to do a few weeks of travelling around Baja. My friend Eric had the same idea, so we hooked up for the first 2 weeks or so, until he has to be back for work.

    I'll try to keep this ride report going as much as I can get to the internet. We are currently in San Felipe, sitting in a nice cafe having a good time.

    This is how it started:

    Thursday, 01/19/06:

    My friend Eric picked me up at 10 AM in Marina, CA.

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    Me on the 12GS and Eric on his 650GS.

    After a short chat we got on our way down Highway 1 past Carmel and Big Sur. It was sunny and the traffic was light, so we had a blast. We made a quick stop at the Piedros Blances Seal colony. Lots of seals on the beach.


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    We had a blast riding down the coast and stopped in Moro Bay for lunch. After this we got on Highway 101 and stayed in the Motel 6 in Ventura for the night.
    #1
  2. NWAF

    NWAF Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    270
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Friday, 01/20/06:

    We wanted to make it past LA before noon, which we did going down Highway 1 past Malibu and turning on Highway 10 and 405 at Santa Monica. We encountered only a little heavy traffic around LAX, otherwise we had had no problems getting to the intersection of Highways 5 and 78. There we turned inland towards Escondido and then towards El Cajon. We then stayed at a campground in Jamul.

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    #2
  3. Swillmongrel

    Swillmongrel Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    110
    Location:
    Vista, CA
    :lurk

    I'm jealous.
    #3
  4. NWAF

    NWAF Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    270
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Saturday, 01/21/06:

    Around noon we reached the Mexicon Border at Tecate.

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    We got our Tourist visas and changed some money. We got on Mex 2 and stopped at El Hongo for lunch and some supplies. From here we hit the dirt roads to get to the camp ground at Laguna Hanson in the Parque National Constitucion de 1857, where we wanted to spend the night.

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    Navigating these dirt roads turned out to be quite some challenge. I was tasked with navigating because I had the GPS and paper maps. Well, I got us to far west, so we had to cut back over some challenging roads to reach the north end of the part.

    The roads hat lots of deep sand stretches, which caused me to have about a half douzend low speed tip overs :cry. I don't mind the accidents as much as I do picking up the bike again afterwards. That thing is heavy and the procedure gets old quickly :evil.

    Eric did way better and only washed out once :clap. I wanted to take a picture, put he was too quick to get back on the bike. So no crash pictures yet.

    We finally made it to Laguna Hanson just before dark. It was already getting pretty chilly, so we made fire with some pine cones we collected. Later a pickup pulled up and the guy sold us some firewood. This was a good thing, because it was really cold now :vardy. So we sat around the fire and chatted with some Mexicon guys from the next tent over :freaky. The beer we brought from El Hongo already had chunks of ice in it. No good sign and it got worse from then on. We both were so cold that we barely slept that night. Once the sun came out it got better and when we finally had our water thawn we could make coffee. Even so it was very cold, the place is very pretty:

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    It turned out that a few bolts vibrated loose and one from my cases actually got lost, but it wasn't a big problem and I could fix it easily with some less important one from another attachment.
    #4
  5. NWAF

    NWAF Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    270
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Sunday, 01/22/06:

    Another day of trying to navigate the dirt roads. I cannot even say which roads we took, because mostly neither the GPS map nor the paper map showed the intersections we hit :scratch. It was quite some going back and forth, coming up to a locked gate, turning back, finding ourselves at some dead end and finally deciding to simply go around the locked gate. All the while we tried to go in the general direction of Highway Mex 3. And finally we made it, still with fuel in the tanks:

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    We stopped in Heroes De La Independencia for lunch at a nice little restaurant.

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    After gazing up we drove over to Mike's Sky Ranch. Eric had me do the water crossing in front of the ranch twice, because he wanted to take a picture. He got his picture and I was wet, but happy that I didn't dump the bike in the middle of the stream.

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    Turns out that there was just one other guests at the ranch that day, so we had the whole place almost to ourselves.
    #5
  6. NWAF

    NWAF Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    270
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Monday, 01/23/06:

    We left Mike's to make our way to San Felipe. Here is Eric crossing the little stream in front of the ranch.

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    We made the about 20 miles back to the highway and looked for the road to lead us the dry lake Laguna Diablo. Here it is with greetings to the fellow inmates :D:

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    The first stretch was no problem to ride and we made good time. Some pictures from around Laguna Diablo:

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    North of the lake we hit about 1 mile of really deep sand. My bike was way too heavy to get on top of it, and I was falling over left and right :cry. Luckily I had Eric's help for getting the bike upright again. I think he had this "not again" look on his face after about the 5th time :rofl. Lowering the tire pressure helped a bit but it was still a chore. Here we're almost at the end of the bad stretch

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    After a few more miles of dirt road we got to San Felipe. We preferred to stay at the Hotel Rivera because the wind was blowing pretty hard. They even allowed us to park the bikes in front of the room, real nice :clap

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    Dinner at the "Langosta Roja" restaurant. Very good food and mucho vino tinto to give the day a really good ending[SIZE=-1] :1drink.[/SIZE]
    #6
  7. bajarider

    bajarider Mexican with internet

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    465
    Location:
    Mexicali, Baja Cfa., Mexico, Calexico,CA. US
    Well I`ll say it but it looks it happens before the advice, your friend in the 650 needs to remove the plastic from the rear tire, I don´t see it anymore in the Mike`s photo:rofl, from San Felipe there is another gas station in Rancho Grande in Bahia San Luis Gonzaga, next Coco`s Corner, then.....
    #7
  8. bajarider

    bajarider Mexican with internet

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    465
    Location:
    Mexicali, Baja Cfa., Mexico, Calexico,CA. US
    What kind of racks and luggage are those on the 650? he is with the tkc 80`s.
    #8
  9. NWAF

    NWAF Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    270
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    You got this right, his rear fender wrapped itself around the tire on the way to Mike's, luckily it did not do any additional damage :evil. I took mine off when I switched to TKC 80's, so it's just collecting dust in the garage right now.
    #9
  10. NWAF

    NWAF Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    270
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    He has Moto-Sport Panniers and a Touratech rack on his 650.
    #10
  11. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,437
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    :lurk
    #11
  12. bajarider

    bajarider Mexican with internet

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    465
    Location:
    Mexicali, Baja Cfa., Mexico, Calexico,CA. US
    Let me advice you both to secure that weak plastic license plate too, that´s the way I loose mine in Chihuahua, in the Horizonts Unlimited meeting, and thigth everything that can be loose , those roads are very bumping .
    From San Felipe to Puertecitos the road turns from good to very bad suddendly and be carefully with the deeps ( VADO ) or someone gona fly instead of ride. Half way to Puertecitos to Higway 1 it`s dirt road so before you reach Coco`s will find some sand buts it is ok.

    Suerte. Good look.

    By the way I´m in Mexicali drop me a line if need something.
    Carlos 686 555 35 64 Home
    686 146 01 34 Cellular
    #12
  13. bajarider

    bajarider Mexican with internet

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    465
    Location:
    Mexicali, Baja Cfa., Mexico, Calexico,CA. US
    Hey Gaspipe looking for HINTS.
    #13
  14. mikekay

    mikekay toiling midget

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    228
    Location:
    Baja and beyond.
    Dont forget the hot springs at Puertocitos....and consider staying at Encantada--and then do a ponga boat ride out to the islands. Very interesting trip. Hike to the top for a great view of the volcano.
    Alfonsinas is also really nice.

    You guys going all the way down?
    #14
  15. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    67,860
    Looks great... :thumb
    Love those Micatech cases on your GS

    Keep it coming! :lurk
    #15
  16. Mescalero

    Mescalero Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Oddometer:
    38
    Location:
    San Diego
    Keep the stories coming....................... and the wheel side down.
    #16
  17. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,437
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    I love Baja ride reports :nod

    Carlos, I'll call ya from Mexicali next time I'm there. :deal
    #17
  18. Lion BR

    Lion BR I'd rather be riding

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,168
    Location:
    Oregon
    You guys happen to live in (or close to) one of the nicest areas I've been too in the US. I used to attend an annual conference in Pacific Grove, at the Asilomar area. Congratulations. Now, I'll read your story.

    Later,
    Lion
    #18
  19. ErrinV

    ErrinV D Boon!

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,292
    Location:
    Alhambra, CA
    Front page material right here.

    Errin
    #19
  20. bajarider

    bajarider Mexican with internet

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    465
    Location:
    Mexicali, Baja Cfa., Mexico, Calexico,CA. US
    Hey Gaspipe , you´re welcome anytime:freaky
    #20