KC to Newport Beach to Cabo and back. Wahoo!!!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Adventure_Mike, Apr 9, 2021.

  1. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

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  2. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

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    México: (686) 577 2021
    USA & Canada:
    011 52 (686) 577 2021
    #82
  3. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    Sent email, form from their website, and a Facebook message. In Bahia de Los Angeles and no cell service. Happy to provide credit card to reserve and pay in USD/cash, pesos, or credit card when I get there but no cell so can't call.
    #83
  4. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    No luck on Kiki's (full). Will try El Capitan when I get back into cell range. When I check all the bookings sites it shows all full in San Felipe. My bad for not booking earlier. Worse case will hammer down to Mexicali. Welcome others suggestions if you have thoughts. Thanks!
    #84
  5. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

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    Ah, as I'm a Canadian, I didn't recognize this weekend as your Memorial Day. No doubt, finding a room on or near the water in San Felipe may be a difficult task. If El Capitan doesn't work out, there are a few hotels on the highway going out of town (more than likely not on any booking site). Once through the northern entrance (the arches) you'll see a few hotels in the next few miles. Chances are they'll have a vacancy, but get there as early as you can to secure a room. San Felipe is the town with a stop sign at every block, so heads up !!! Sometimes they're hidden behind a truck, tree or whatever... just assume there's a stop sign ...
    Link to a map showing where the hotels are ... bonus... map shows the one way streets on/near the malecon.
    Booting it up to Mexicali could work, but it's two hours away from San Felipe + a military check point will add time to the effort as well.

    https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&ll=31.024470237205687,-114.83939926945428&spn=0.017836,0.038581&z=16&mid=1Nljpw5oPtSB8NyNQkCqnRMjj_C4

    Link to S Felipe accommodation discussion:
    http://forums.bajanomad.com/viewthread.php?tid=92513

    The good news is it looks like you'll cross the border on Saturday, and if you cross at Tecate, you have until 4 PM to make it across.


    Best of luck !!
    #85
  6. okietrailboss

    okietrailboss Long timer Supporter

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    If you have camping stuff you can try Pete's Camp in San Felipe
    #86
  7. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

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    It'd be a shame if you missed S Felipe and not experience the weekend festive mood on their malecon! Grab a Oxxo can of beer (large one of course) and as long as it's in a paper bag and out of sight, find a spot on the malecon to enjoy the beer and antics playing out....
    #87
  8. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Mike,
    You asked for help in correcting errors in your writing , here is some input

    “ GUERRO NEGRO” is not a place name in Baja . Yours is an error also commonly made by other writers still learning Spanish , or just plain careless with tapping out names that are not familiar Anglo.

    It is correct only if you write GUERRERO NEGRO , the name for the salt harvesting town at the most NW-point in BCS .

    The word “ guerro” with double “ rr” is not.

    The nearest word is the adjective güero ( m) güera (f) , which means blonde, fair, light coloured while “guerrero “ means warlike ( adj) ; warrior, soldier ( noun)

    Ergo it translates to English as black warrior “

    Guerrero Negro , was so named in 1957 as inspired by the name of a whaling ship , the Black Warrior from Massachusetts which sank in the bay in in 1858

    Another correction is your use of “ Ciudad” as if assuming that tells the reader anything useful .
    There are many places in Mexico which include Ciudad as part of a name . If you are going to mention only one part then do not pick Ciudad .


    .” Ciudad” just means city and without an additional second part it means nothing. Think on it , you are from KC , so would it mean anything if you said “ Hi , I’m from City “
    Before typing any name , look it up and copy it down correctly and completely .

    If you are still RACING for San Felipe to find a hotel then there are other fine places not dedicated to serving the waterfront- oriented partying and boozing Gringo visitors .[as you may gather I am not interested at looking at crowds of drunk Americans = ) ]
    Look these hotels up in the streets farther inland . Here are a couple of my picks .

    Hotel Baja Adventure, located on street called Mar Jonica , 50 m south off the Mex 5 entry street named Chetumal , ten blocks inland ( NW) of the Malecon and just around corner from an OXXO shop .It is operated by a young couple , has 8 rooms with ac, TV,wifi , secure gated parking . I found it a very nice quiet place ( Joris van O also stayed there , he said it had a pool , I thought it was an outdoor tiled tub)

    Hotel & Villas Los Arcos , very nice duplex style cottages , on south side of Mex 5 at the monument with arches in the center of that highway as it enters north end of town .

    Hacienda Don Jesus and Hotel Don Jesus are two hotels located a few blocks inland from the Malecon and thus prices are higher, but not in the potential noise of the tourist street.
    Both are on Mar Baltico which runs south from the Mex 5 entry street .
    #88
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  9. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    Greatly appreciated! I had really debated on hitting the 'post' button on a couple of posts as I knew they were 'loose' but had plans to edit the next morning and ran out of time. Your corrections and suggestions are much appreciated.
    #89
  10. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    Quick update...

    Decided to roll up to Mexicali. At a different time I would love to party with the crews in San Felipe but this round I made the call to head up to Mexicali where I am now. I have a ton of pics and notes from the run from Mulegé which I will cover later.

    One quick update from today... per recommendation I stopped at the larger of the markets in Bahía De Los Ángeles and pick up some fruits and vegetables for Coco. On a good news front they had lots of fresh fruit but unfortunately had been cleaned out earlier that day of their best vegetables. I did have a chance to stop in a drop the fruit off, visit with Coco for a bit, and make a favorable contribution for the water I purchased. What a special guy.

    A bit of fresh fruit for Coco.
    Coco3.jpg

    Meeting the legend.
    Coco1.jpg

    Coco2.jpg
    Tomorrow is across to Tecate and then up to Ontario to pick up the tow vehicle and load the bike. Sometime sooner than later I will post the other updates as well as some closing thoughts.

    Thanks as always for the help and feedback! It is greatly appreciated.
    #90
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  11. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    More updates coming soon!
    #91
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  12. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    Jumping back to pre San Felipe / Mexicali time frame with a couple of updates and pictures on the trip from Mulegé to Bahia de Los Angeles.

    Theme of today’s ride could be… Beauty followed by a bit boring followed by Beauty with a LOT of gratitude thrown in.

    The trip out of Mulegé was absolutely beautiful. The temperature was in the 70s, the sun was out, and the roads were awesome. After several awesome shots of the sun poking over the edge of the mountains I had to pull over and get a shot. See below.


    Santa Rosalia 2.jpg

    The trip from Mulegé over to Santa Rosalia was also awesome w/ great roads, awesome sweeping turns and near constant views of the Sea of Cortez for most of the trek. When I was heading down a couple of weeks ago I was so focused on getting from A to B that I did not really appreciate the ride.

    Upon pulling into Santa Rosalia I stopped at the promenade to get a couple more pictures of the sun rising over the sea. As someone else mentioned SR is a blue collar town but with million dollar views. Also on a good news front they have re-paved the south bound lane most of the way thru town and hopefully will follow with the north. These were literally the worst roads I encountered the entire trip.

    Santa Rosalia.jpg

    As I climbed out of Santa Rosalia I kicked on the gopro for one section of the twisties heading up out of town. These are not as tight as the ones dropping in towards Loreto but they are steep. No trouble on a bike but for a truck or RV… wow.

    Coming out of Santa Rosalia...
    Santa Rosalia 3.jpg

    One more...
    Santa Rosalia 4.jpg

    Speaking of a tough road for trucks as I was getting close to the second set of really steep and twisty turns heading out of SR a few vehicles were flashing their lights and hand signaling to slow down. I was not sure why until about a half mile ahead there was a loaded semi that was heading south (down), lost control, turned over on their side, and slid thru the oncoming lane (mine), thru the guard rail, but gratefully not over the edge of the cliff. The Nacional Guard had just showed up but there were still no ambulances, no tow trucks, etc. and they were digging into the ground to I believe get the driver unbuckled. He was moving inside the truck and did not appear to have serious injuries but did appear stuck in the truck. I cruised by slowly and thought to myself… thank goodness no one was in the oncoming lane (including myself!) and thank goodness he did not go over the edge of the cliff. I did try and look back and get an idea of what caused the crash… too steep, too fast, big wind gust? There was a solid set of skip marks for some distance so it was not complete brake failure but other than that I have no idea. I rode away slowly grateful that maybe some higher power said it was not my time to go. Had I not stopped in Santa Rosalia to take a few pics, who knows….

    Getting chewed out at border crossing for not having better Spanish (deservedly so). He was nice but made the point that when in Mexico we speak Spanish. More practice before the next ride ;-].
    Federali 2.jpg

    Speaking of a tough road for trucks as I was getting close to the second set of really steep and twisty turns heading out of SR a few vehicles were flashing their lights and hand signaling to slow down. I was not sure why until about a half mile ahead there was a loaded semi that was heading south (down), lost control, turned over on their side, and slid thru the oncoming lane (mine), thru the guard rail, but gratefully not over the edge of the cliff. The Nacional Guard had just showed up but there were still no ambulances, no tow trucks, etc. and they were digging into the ground to I believe get the driver unbuckled. He was moving inside the truck and did not appear to have serious injuries but did appear stuck in the truck. I cruised by slowly and thought to myself… thank goodness no one was in the oncoming lane (including myself!) and thank goodness he did not go over the edge of the cliff. I did try and look back and get an idea of what caused the crash… too steep, too fast, big wind gust? There was a solid set of skip marks for some distance so it was not complete brake failure but other than that I have no idea. I rode away slowly grateful that maybe some higher power said it was not my time to go. Had I not stopped in Santa Rosalia to take a few pics, who knows….

    Stopped at the gas station outside San Ignacio for fuel up and quick cup of awesome coffee.
    SanAgnactio.jpg

    I had left Mulegé early enough that no places were open for breakfast and by the time I got to Guerrero Negro (got it right that time ;-]) I was STARVING and stopped at Marios just North of there for a quick bite and some coffee. It’s an interesting restaurant in that it is almost like an open air restaurant with gravel floors but with walls. The food was good but strangely what made it super enjoyable was the music. Not sure if this is the norm but the music was all OLD time country. Willie Nelson and Seven Bridges Road. George Jones and Who’s going to fill their shoes. And many other old time songs that I probably heard as a kid but had forgotten. I love the country of Mexico but buy this point I had been out of the U.S. for almost three weeks and hearing some classic old Americana was super nice and relaxing.

    Marios.jpg

    The cruise from Guerrero Negro to Bahia de Los Angeles was nice but is pretty much a straight line black top. The sun was out and the temperature was perfect which made for nice riding but the actual view is a bit boring IMHO. Then you make the turn and head down to BDLA. Once you take that final corner and the view of Sea of Cortez comes into view everything changes. I mentioned earlier that I love this little town. Incredible views, super nice people, and very reasonable.

    I pulled into Costa del Sol and… sold out. Completely my mistake for not booking earlier on a holiday weekend. Rode a bit further down and found Villa Vita. In terms of rooms this was about equivalent to Costa del Sol and the restaurant had excellent fish tacos but the vibe is just not the same as Costa del Sol. And… the internet in the rooms (I was in 20) was not usable which usually would not be a huge deal but given there is no cell service and Wifi is your only option to connect it made things a hassle.

    Sunrise view from front porch of my room. Beautiful!
    BDLA.jpg

    Front porch of room at Villa Vita in BDLA as the sun rose and I was getting ready to take off.
    BDLA2.jpg

    I crashed early as I wanted to get to get an early start in hopes of getting a place to stay in San Felipe but we already know how that turned out ;-]. All in all a great day of riding and one more beautiful day in Baja!
    #92
  13. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    The original plan had been to make the trek from Bahía de los Ángeles (Bay of the Angels) to San Felipe and spend the afternoon exploring that area. Leaving BDLA bright and early it was a beautiful warm morning and just like the last time I dressed fairly light. And just like last time as I started the climb out and up the hill it got cooler, and cooler, and cooler. Finally I did what I had done last time and stopped to put on the rain suit and full face helmet to try and warm up. It was at this stop that something interesting happened.

    I had now been on the road for twenty days. I had seen great friends, been hot, cold, seen incredible new views, met incredible new people and spent a few days in one of our favorite places… Cabo with my awesome friend and wife Jen. It had been awesome but busy! But it was at this stop outside of BDLA where time stopped. I was in the middle of the Baja dessert and the sun was out and it was perfectly still. It was beautiful. This may sound silly to some but it was Zen. There were no cars, no people, no planes overhead, no buildings, no noise, just the clean crisp air, beautiful sunshine, and mountains off to the distance. I had spent the last twenty plus years getting on airplane for work and traveling somewhere around the world and the last six months working daily to renovate our home. I had also seen the inside walls of more hospitals and had more procedures than can be counted over the previous year and this was the first time since I could remember that time stopped. I stood there for probably twenty minutes just soaking it in. It was special, it was magical, and it was awesome.
    zen.jpg

    I jumped back on the bike and kept heading West with a lingering fear about fuel. It’s about 210 miles between BDLA and San Felipe the next guaranteed place for fuel which is within the ~ 240 – 280 mile range on my bike but the thought still lingered as the last thing I wanted to do was spend half the day hitchhiking for gas. As I made the climb out I noticed off in the distance what looked like some super low clouds or fog. And I watched the temperature continue to drop as I rode… 62… then 58… then 52… and then a complete fog out with rain. I slowed down and opened my eyes wider and just kept going. The temperature continued to drop 50… 47… 46. Folks who live in the desert or spend time there realize that 46 in the desert is COLD and I had not packed for this. So… I did the only thing I could and just kept riding hoping I would not come around a corner and find a cow, horse, or burro standing in the middle of the road. Once I had got to the corner to turn north things were starting to clear and warm up.
    cold.jpg

    The trek north on Hwy 1 towards Hwy 5 was actually beautiful. The sun burned off the fog, the temperature warmed and there was virtually no traffic so it was great time to simply relax, ride, and enjoy watching the sun rise over the eastern mountains.

    The turn on to Hwy 5 was exactly what everyone had described. A newly paved road that cuts thru big rock hills with nice sweeping turns. I was cruising along still thinking about gas a bit when I cruised by the signs for CoCo’s place. I hit the brakes and turned around and made the ride up the driveway not sure what to expect. The first thing I noticed was a hand painted sign on a barrel that said ‘Free camping’. I had read about CoCo for years but never knew what really to expect. I walked up and he rolled out to edge of his small home and said ‘welcome, welcome, come on in!’. I hustled back to my bike to get the fruit I had bought and carried it in and two other gentlemen were also inside visiting. I bought a water and we sat there and visited like I had lived next door for twenty years. It was awesome. I tried to buy some stickers but he said he was running low and said that was a good excuse to come back when I could stay longer. He asked me to sign his guest book and I felt honored. I had read stories about CoCo for years and it was beautiful that the experience far exceeded my expectations. Special.

    Coco4.jpg

    coco5.jpg

    I jumped back on the road with fuel still on my mind. I was about 85 miles since my last fill up with plenty of gas but also the knowledge that folks said that the stations at Gonzaga Bay and Puertecitos may or may not have gas. I breathed a sigh of relief when approaching what I believe is referred to Gonzaga Bay and the Pemex was open and had fuel. I topped off and turned north and headed up the coast. Maybe some folks are not water people but I thoroughly enjoy the site of water. It can be a lake, an ocean, or a major river. It just relaxes me and makes me smile. The ride up Hwy 5 is just that. Newly paved highway with constant views of the Sea of Cortez and smooth riding. I took a moment to pull off at one of the look out points to grab a sip of coffee and enjoy the view for a moment.
    Peurto.jpg

    Heading further North and into San Felipe I knew it was a good time to top off on fuel and grab something quick to eat. I still did not have a place to stay for the night and was not sure what the road was like up to Mexicali so I was wanting to keep on rolling. The first gas station I ran into was a Chevron station next to a 7 Eleven. I almost felt like I was back in the U.S. When I pulled up their systems were down which gave me enough time to find a room in Mexicali, peel off my cold weather riding gear, and grab an awesome lunch (kidding!). I was hoping to find a small roadside restaurant or stand to grab a quick bite w/ no luck so I went simple and grabbed the tortillas I had bought at 7 Eleven (20 pesos), woofed a few down and made my way thru the rest of San Felipe.
    Tortilla.jpg

    Sometime in a future trip I’d like to like to explore San Felipe more. On that Friday of Memorial Day weekend it was a mad house. There was truck after truck and trailer after trailer of off road motorcycles, four wheelers, and side by sides. It looked like a ton of fun but it was packed. After spending the last four days working my way back up Baja it was a quick reentry back into traffic, people, and the hustle and bustle of the city.

    The trip north towards Mexicali was easy and uneventful. I did start to notice something that others had shared earlier in the trip and that was salinization that was taking place in the far northern parts of the Sea of Cortez. I was told that in the past the Colorado river use to drain from the U.S. into the Sea of Cortez creating a fresh water mix that was good for the health of the sea, good for enabling great fishing, and good for agriculture. That drainage no longer occurs and for miles and miles you can see what looks like salt fields as far as the eye can see. I also noticed that many of the fields along the road that looked like they had been farmed in the past were now empty. We live in a dynamic world and often don’t really see the impacts of decisions. No judgement here – just an observation. In this case you see it mile after mile.

    salt 2.jpg
    The rest of the trip up to Mexicali was uneventful. Based on awesome guidance from the crew on this forum I stopped a few miles south of town to plug in GPS coordinates for my hotel which I had purposely picked out that way so I could easily catch Hwy 2D over to Tecate the next morning. Unfortunately I had no cell service which surprised me given how close I was to town. I slowly picked up service (1x) and was following the map to what I thought was my hotel and upon arriving was informed when I got there that it was the wrong one. Up to that point I my signal was only strong enough to show a map but no guidance. Now having better service I plugged in the new location and was taken right there. Other folks have written about how bad it was driving in Mexicali but I actually did not find it that bad. Was it super busy, yes. Way too many folks for the roads. Did I have to sit at lights for longer than I wanted and watch my bike heat up, yes. But in general it was a bunch of folks doing what we all do everyday which is finding a way to get home from work or to an event the best that they could. Busy, yes. Crazy or terrible drivers, no.

    Tomorrow is off to Tecate and making the trek back into the U.S. Given the guidance I have gotten from others I am a bit nervous about the crossing back into U.S. especially on a holiday weekend. But we’ll save that for the next post!
    #93
  14. princess jamaica

    princess jamaica OLD DOG-NEW TRICKS

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    Loved your description of Baja.It is truly a special place.Thanks for the write up.
    #94
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  15. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    princess jamaica, Thanks! You guys have all forgot more about Baja that I will likely ever know but it was truly a special trip and part of what made it so awesome was the input and feedback from all of you. Huge thanks!
    #95
  16. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    Last day in Baja…

    As I woke up and loaded in Mexicali it was hard not to feel a bit nostalgic. I took off for the trip on May 9th and have covered a lot of ground. I had no idea what the run over to Tecate looked like but I knew I had quite a bit to do once I crossed back over and I was still a bit nervous about the border crossing.

    I made my way back to Hwy 2D and headed West and after a few miles started the climb. I believe the range there is called San Javier (anyone please correct me if I wrong) and when I looked it up after the fact and it said it was only 4,000 elevation which surprised me. It felt much taller. As I made the climb up I started to feel the wind gusts and periodically see look out points to take a quick picture. I passed two or three turn offs and finally was in a good place on the road to pull off and… it was super windy! Like windy enough that every time I tried to get off the bike no matter the angle of how I parked the wind would try and blow the bike over (and the LT is ~ 900+ lbs). I jumped back on and kept going.

    I passed a few more look out points and thinking I was near the top and in a place that was a bit more protected pulled off to get a couple of pictures.

    Mexicali 1.jpg

    My selfie game is weak!
    Mexicali 2.jpg
    I jumped back on the bike and to my surprise I was no where near the top. We climbed and climbed and finally hit a set of toll booths near the top. I paid and proceeded when I looked up and I had a decision to make… Dumb of me but I thought Hwy 2D was one road. After the toll booths it splits into two and I had to dig into my limited Spanish to figure out which road to take. Luckily my assumptions were correct and I started seeing signs for Tecate.

    I decided to fuel up as I was headed into Tecate as the station was wide open and I wanted to take advantage of the restroom in case I had a long wait to cross the border. I plugged in the border crossing and cruised a long for a bit to a road where I was running parallel to the border fence. I came over a hill and the cars were backed up for what looked like better than a mile. And they weren’t moving. In fact there were bands set up along the side of the road performing, street vendors selling food, t-shirt sellers, and very other kind of vendor you could think of to service the folks waiting to cross. Maybe this is normal or maybe this is Saturday of Memorial Day weekend but it was nuts. I wish I had captured a picture!

    I cruised up to a car with it’s window open and said that I was new to this and not sure how it worked. The gentlemen was super nice and said that because I was on a motorcycle I could go up to the front of the line. I put the bike in gear and proceeded slowly up to the front where the 2nd car in line waved me in. I felt a bit guilty but also incredibly relieved. I can’t even guess how long it took for those waiting in line. The crossing itself was quick and easy. A few questions, a stamp of my passport, and I was off to ride the awesome road back up towards La Mesa, California which even after over 2,000 miles thru Baja was still a blast.

    I trekked up to Ontario to grab the tow vehicle from OF Wolfinbargers (Thank you again Randy – Love you!) and then headed back down to Costa Mesa to have one last dinner with my wonderful friend Matt and his family (Thanks Matt, Denise, Austin, Madison, and Rocket!) before heading back West towards Kansas City.

    Will follow this post up with one more with a few closing thoughts including an ‘oh crap’ moment… Thanks as always for all of the suggestions, input, and recommendations by all! The trip was 10x more enjoyable with your input!
    #96
  17. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    Closing thoughts… The end of this Adventure…

    I’ve done a heck of a lot adventures in my life including 47 days in the RV on a West coast loop with my brother, moving to Maui for a period, extended time in Australia, surfing on multiple continents, and other motorcycle trips all over the U.S. But this one was different. For the hard core riders, this section may bore you so feel free to skip.

    Three things made this trip incredibly different… first was it came during a major life transition point. I have worked in high tech for thirty years including twenty with an awesome company… Cisco. During this entire period I also always had a couple of side gigs in parallel… apartments to work on, an abandoned property to turn into a farm, and others and in October I left Cisco to take a one year sabbatical. The first real slow down I have done since I was thirteen years old. The second thing was a diagnosis in February of 2020 that I had an unknown heart issue (electrical – not plumbing) when for the past three plus decades I had felt awesome, worked out 4-6 times a week, ate well, and lived a FULL life. What followed were a million tests, procedures, and appointments, and gratefully what appears now to be a steady state where I feel great. And last but not least and related back to Adventure riding was the amount of solo time with no other people, cars, or anything for hours and hours. In today’s hyper connected world I realized this is incredibly rare. And special.

    First tests... Have to have fun right???
    IMG_1294.JPG

    There are a couple of things that will stick with me from this trip. First, was simply the vastness of Baja and a reminder that not every mile of our beautiful earth or even North America is connected. There is something magical about being in place where there is no electricity, no cellular connections, no cars, no planes overhead, nothing but open land mile after mile. It’s grounding and at first a bit scary but later a bit freeing as you realize that all of those things are nice to have but they are not a necessity. I never would have experienced that without this trip.

    The second thing was the people and this falls into multiple camps. First is my family including my awesome friend, life partner and wife Jennifer who didn’t blink an eye when I said I wanted to make this run (especially right in the middle of a top to bottom house renovation that I was doing the work on). For twenty plus years she has supported my crazy ideas and adventures and for that and much more I will always be incredibly grateful. I have to also do a special call out to Mike Jones and his crew at Engle Motors (Ed, Tony, Robert, etc.). I had my bike serviced before the trip and was loading it up when I ran into Mike in the parking lot. In passing I shared that I was heading to Cabo and the bike was good other than a bulging brake line. I have done a lot of sketchy stuff in my life and I was simply going to find a way to make the trip work even if that meant only front brakes. Mike told me to unload the bike and they would find some way to get that one part in (rest were back ordered) which they did. I am not exaggerating when I say that chance encounter and Mike and his team’s heroics saved my life. There were countless HARD braking moments would not ended well without full brakes. And a huge shout out to all of the friends that helped me out on the trek to West coast and back. Covid disconnected a lot of us no matter how hard we tried and it was simply awesome to sit back on a couch and visit face to face. Each of you… you will never know how much this meant to me!

    Jennifer, Best Wife Ever!
    Jen2.jpg

    Nancy, you are Awesome!
    Nancy Hughes.JPG

    Cousin Brian and Uncle Jerry. Rest in peace Uncle Jerry. You will never truly know what you meant to me.
    Uncle Jerry.JPG

    For the past 50+ years, thank you to the Wolfinbarger family! You will also never truly know what you meant to us.
    Randy.JPG

    The last group was really the people of Baja. Once you drop South of Ensanada the world changes. You immediately find yourself amongst a population that is connected and in many ways without even perhaps knowing it dependent on each other. In most of these communities there is simply not enough resources (money, food, water, gas, shelter, etc.) for folks to have a ‘hurray for me and screw you’ attitude. Folks just naturally have to work together to make the world go around when there is not unlimited resources or a government provided safety net. This shows up in countless ways even for a foreign visitor. For example, most of the road from California to Cabo and back is a two lane black top road. I found it interesting that each semi you approached to pass would look out ahead for you and turn their left signal on giving you a heads up it was safe to pass. It happened a hundred times. Helping each other… even though we never met and never would. Watching a maid from a hotel who likely makes less than most of us spend on coffee in a day walk over to the lady selling tortillas in front of the Pemex and offer her a bit of her change not in exchange for tortillas but simply to be nice. I saw and experienced it over and over. There is an interdependency that is super interesting and incredibly special.

    Another brief observation was the general spirit of every person I encountered from south of Ensanada to north of Cabo. They were friendly, content, and generally happy. I am speculating here but I am guessing that some of this is driven from what is deemed as important to them (versus many of us). My strong sense was that if there was food (even if very basic and simple), if there was shelter (even if very basic that may or may not include running water), and there was healthy family, all was ok with the world. This moved me tremendously. I am not saying I want to live in that world but there is something incredible to be learned about a culture that is that content.

    My 5A coffee drinking buddy in BDLA (the cook) taking my keys and remotes. Just genuinely happy.
    Cook.jpg

    Wrapping up… I made the trek back across the U.S. in my old VW with my fingers crossed that I would have no issues. The vehicle had been basically abandoned when I got it and I had nursed it back to being somewhat reliable but with 220K miles you never know! On the way out I was fueling up and after doing so it WOULD NOT START which freaked me out! I was in the middle of nowhere at a credit card only gas station and it would not start. Finally.. with a little work I got it to fire and crossed my fingers it was nothing major and rolled on. On the way back I had the same thing happen in the middle of nowhere New Mexico over 100 miles from the nearest major city. Fueled up went in to start and no go. Tried again. No go. Uh oh! Once again I finally got it started and prayed again that I could simply make it home (For those interested, it was a purge valve. Easy and inexpensive fix once I got back).

    As I crossed through the beautiful Flint Hills of Kansas I could not help but appreciate the rich green fields and the cows grazing in the fields. After spending twenty five days on the road and in mostly desert like conditions I was reminded how much I enjoy and appreciate the luscious green fields of the Midwest.
    Kansas.jpg

    Huge thanks again to EVERYONE who contributed to this trip but in person and on this forum. It truly did make the trip 10x what it would have been other wise. I also want to again thank those from Advrider who I followed for years and who inspired me to make this trip including the founder of Adv Baldy, RTWPaul, Radioman, Jamie Z, EvergreenE, Abosit (Old Weed), Brett ('been everywhere man'), flyingdutchman177 (Ed) and all of the other incredible folks who have taken the time to share their adventures. If you love a good story, check those folks out!

    Thanks and have an awesome day!

    Mike
    #97
  18. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,254
    Location:
    Kaslo BC summer, Yuma AZ winter
    Thanks for taking us along!
    #98
  19. princess jamaica

    princess jamaica OLD DOG-NEW TRICKS

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,224
    Location:
    KM111.5 POSADA CONCEPCION,BCS
    Very well said.
    #99
  20. ssilliman

    ssilliman Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2019
    Oddometer:
    237
    Location:
    Republic of Texas
    great trip and write up
    Was just in Cabo 11-18 and if I go back it will be on my bike