Me & Mrs Trip we got a thing going on

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Rhode trip, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    I love the boojums. Great photos.
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  2. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    I was just about to mention the boojums.....

    But first, there's the broken rack to deal with. As I said, there really isn't much in Cataviña....

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    ... there's the barrel gas, which we actually got from a woman with a truck across the street.... never once did I see the 24 horas guy.....
    ...there's a variety store, and there's the hotel. I don't think we're going to find a welder here. It's Saturday morning. It's not looking good to find one at all.
    So I did as liv2day suggests, and I stabilized the rack as best I could with a few zipties. We decided to head for Guerrero Negro instead of Bahia Los Angeles... I figure there is more of a chance of finding an open welding shop there, then BLA... although I've never been to either one. Strapped down....we headed south... we'll stick to pavement today!

    Dr. Seuss landscape...

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    a boojum tree tilts and curls in a fanciful shape... pointy peaks peer over the hill tops....

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    ...mostly, we rode straight and flat....

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    ...not a lot of traffic..... the occasional truck whooshed by..... otherwise, we owned the road...

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    Made plenty of stops... gave me a chance to check the load....

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    ...Still secure. When we got to the turn for Bahia de los Angeles, we topped off the gas from the guy selling it from his truck....
    turned out not to be necessary, because there's gas in Villa Jesus Maria... and the guy spilled the gas all over our bikes.

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    A little further on, we came across the 'Make America Mexico Again' graffiti. I've seen enough photos of it to want one, too.

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    More flat and relatively straight. Lots of potholes to dodge... better pay attention!

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    Guerrero Negro is just over the line separating Baja California Sur from the state of Baja California. It's a windy, sandy place... small drifts creep across the road...

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    We rode into the edge of the town... and almost immediately found the Cowboy Hotel... it's in the Sprocket Guide!

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    We parked the bikes. Unloaded the luggage into our room. Then we went out for a walk. It's late afternoon.... it's Saturday.... I don't know where to look......

    ...When what to my wondering eyes appears?

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    It's a hundred yards, if that, from the hotel. There's a guy in there... welding!
    I called out to him...waited until he took a break from what he was doing.... He didn't speak English... my Spanish is rudimentary at best... but I explained the problem to him.
    I could understand the body language... I'm almost done... it's late, see you Monday... I said, I'll get the bike to show you...be right back. Left Mrs Trip as a hostage :lol3.....
    When I got back, he looked it over. "OK" I took the pieces off the bike as he finished the truck he was working on.

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    The rack has a bracket that bolts under the seat, then acts as a fulcrum where the rack cantilevers off the back. It's not the first one we've broken. Here's the rack.

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    Here's the bracket...

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    Once he was done with the truck, he welded the rack for me. Did a nice job.... ground it to fit, filleted both sides.... it was better than new.

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    He lent me a socket, too, when he saw that I was struggling with an adjustable on one of the bolts by the footpegs. Once I had it back together, I went over to where he was collecting his tools. "How much?" I asked.... he told me 200 pesos. I gave him 300...it's Saturday evening, and he just saved us from spending an entire extra day in gritty Guerrero Negro! What a guy!

    We went to the Mallarimo Restaurant (just about across the street) for dinner.... it was recommended by my friends TJ and BS and NMTrialsGuy... and it was very good! :clap
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  3. SOLOKLR

    SOLOKLR Back to work

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    Now you tell me! I'm getting ready for the TAT and I thought that rack was bomb proof!

    Glad you got it fixed. We'll keep an eye on ours.
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  4. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    That’s outstanding! Nothing like finding exactly what you needed when you needed it, and all for a good price. Great update, looking forward to the next one :D:D
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  5. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Sunday, January 21st

    Packed up, back in business, we headed out in the morning.

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    ...with a farewell to the Cowboy Hotel. Mrs Trip was less than delighted... sporting a couple of new bug bites and a strong suspicion where they came from....

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    We were anxious to get rolling, so we went to the taco stand across the street for breakfast. They had a good menu... but nothing remotely breakfast related, and we had a couple of bottles of juice and a pair of quesatacos.... very good and made for a decent, stick to your ribs breakfast. Nice couple working there...

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    Heading south from Guerrero Negro... more straight, flat highway....

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    ...over the shoulder....

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    It's sandy... not much forage.... but you've still got to mind the livestock....

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    passed through a couple of small ejidos, not much else to see....

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    Passed through the town of Vizcaino.... we stopped in a Pharmacia, and tried to pantomime "Nyquil" without success. We couldn't identify anything similar behind the counter.
    So Lynn said she'd tough it out, and that she had more Dayquil that she was continuing to hammer....

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    We came to a sign pointing north from Mex 1 for San Francisco de la Sierra. On a whim, we decided to check it out. This is a good road, built to a high standard...you can tell from the curbing along the sides... not your typical road.

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    Makes a beeline for the mountains. Eventually, it starts to climb into the hills.

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    More vegetation crowds in as the elevation rises...

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    Cool views....up the canyons...

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    ...back over the desert we came from....

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    We passed a group of bicyclists, coming down from the mountains at a fast pace.... spread out for quite a distance, followed by a support truck. I think they took the truck up... and were enjoying the long ride down....

    Dodged a herd of goats....

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    Still climbing....

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    ...eventually, the pavement ended. The road continued up...

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    The road ended in a tiny cluster of houses and outbuildings. I think you could hire a guide here, horses maybe, to continue on into the mountains. There are cave paintings out there somewhere. After a quick look around, we headed back.

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    I think this is the peak known as "El Raton", the mouse.

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    Spectacular views as we rolled downhill, looking out over the desert beyond.

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    Back on Mex 1, and it wasn't that far until we reached San Ignacio. We turned off the highway, and rode through town, circling once or twice. We asked in a tienda, and got directions to the Hotel de la Huerta. They only had 1 or 2 rooms left, so we got lucky... it was a very nice place. As we unloaded our bikes, these guys were asking Lynn for "steekers" She pointed to me, and I gave them a couple. "Wait!", I said, and rummaged in my tankbag. I gave them each a TW200 lapel pin as well. They were very appreciative. Then guy on the left, the raconteur...."neccessito un por me hermano" I laughed, and asked the other one... "¿tienes un hermano?" his buddy poked him in the ribs, and he said, "Si" I gave them both another one....

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    We unloaded our bikes and changed out of our riding gear. The hotel was just a short walk from the center of town. San Ignacio has an old mission still in good shape.

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    This building is set up as a small museum. Has displays on the people indigenous to the area, and about the land and the geology that underlies it.

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    The back section is set up like a cave, with reproductions of the famous cave paintings...

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    Very interesting, though we struggled a bit to translate the signs and charts that accompanied the exhibits. We left a couple of bucks in a donation box, and headed next door to the mission.

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    I've forgotten all the names and dates... but it's old. It's still used by the townspeople.

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    an angel floats high overhead....

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    a huge altarpiece features painted portraits of saints with intricate carving and gilded gold....

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    From outside, the bell tower... with ropes so they can ring it without climbing all the stairs. And ring it they do, marking the hours of the day....

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    I thought it was interesting... while the mission is built of native stone, it was plastered over, and then incised to look like it was made of large regular blocks of marble... the red lines mark the faux mortar lines between the blocks...

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    Across the street is the plaza... shady under the trees....

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    We walked around the plaza... ended up having dinner in the restaurant off to the right... where there's tables outside...

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    We walked back to the hotel as evening settled in.

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    The hotel had filled up with a tour group on dirtbikes... a Chris Haines tour http://www.chrishaines.com/baja.htm

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    And there was another rider as well, who we hadn't met yet....

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    Lots of other bikes about... to keep our little piggies company. I hung out for a while with a couple of the guides as they locked up their bikes... cool guys, I'll bet the tour is a lot of fun!

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  6. tilliejacques

    tilliejacques gnarly girl Super Supporter

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    Love the photos of your detour to San Francisco de la Sierra!
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  7. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    San Ignacio is a gem. Great photos
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  8. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Hell yeah man, great update! The ride up to that point/overlook looked to be fantastic, what a cool find and great way to spend some dino juice :thumb The pics you took are sweet and I really like all the shots inside the mission and the area. Pretty cool to see all those Hondas lined up, did you ever talk to the rider on the big ADV bike? That's one bald-arse rear tire...lol.

    What a great report thus far @Rhode trip. I'll say it again, I think it's super cool that you're doing this with your wife. I can't wait to do the same type of thing with mine. We're trying to plant the seed with in-laws on something this fall, have them fly down with our boys and we'll meet somewhere after hauling our bikes down in a truck.

    Anyway, perfect thing to browse on a Monday morning in cubeville :ricky:ricky
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  9. jgormley

    jgormley Long timer

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    I beginning to see your strategic use of aspect ratio... :-)
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  10. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Monday, January 22nd

    OK. The plan today is we'll ride to San Juanico... otherwise known as Scorpion Bay. I'm up fairly early... but what's that noise?
    I went out to investigate.... and discovered the hotel has peacocks in a couple of large cages at the edge of the grounds.



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    The sun was coming up. The guides were beginning to stir, getting ready for the day ahead.

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    We were taking our time... getting ready... had breakfast once the big group cleared out of the restaurant, and then we watched the guides rounding up the riders.... like herding cats, loading luggage in the van, adjusting bikes that needed it, starting them all up, idling for their riders. Hung out with the other rider there... watching the big group as they left....

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    This is Henri.... from the Netherlands. He has been on the road now for 2-1/2 years. Very nice guy. I gave him a pin...

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    We talked about the group ride.... and how we'd both enjoy joining in... looks like fun! We talked about his travels http://www.toso30.com/
    We talked about Baja... and lots of other stuff.... I told him about breaking the rack and getting it welded in Guerrero Negro. He said, "Yeah, I saw that."
    "What's to see?... I got it fixed!!" I said.
    "No, no... the broken one...I saw it" he said. "When I was looking at your bikes"
    We both walked over to the TW200s. "*&^%$%^"...I treated poor Henri to a crash course in English curse words.
    There...as plain as day... the rack is broken on Mrs Trip's bike.

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    I hadn't seen one break like that before...not at a weld.... the pipe itself has broken, just at the end of where the seat bracket attaches....

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    Henri, as you can see, knows a thing or two about loading a motorcycle, and he admitted to having a few experiences with broken bits as well. Baja will do that to you.
    My first impulse was to ride it down to San Juanico... how rough could it be?... and see about fixing it there. But common sense prevailed. We finished loading, said 'farewell' to our friend Henri, and went looking for a soldadura.

    Rode back through town, and past the lake...the pond?.... the river?..... that makes San Ignacio seem like such an oasis....

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    Cool, green... it seems out of place in this dry, dusty land....

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    At the corner where we met Mex 1 there was an auto parts store.... so we went inside and asked where we could find a welding shop..... he directed us south on Mex 1...just a couple of miles.

    Same deal as last time. I dismantled the bike and took off the rack.

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    It was tough to get the parts lined up.... He tugged on it, and so did I.... we both pulled....no way.

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    He got a small bottle jack, and that did the trick. Butted the ends and welded it up.

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    150 pesos.... about 8 bucks..... I gave him 200. Nice guy to fix it and more than fair priced. I put it back together and we loaded the luggage back on.

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    Then we rode back to town again. We were just reaching the plaza when Henri rode past. We stopped, and he turned around and rode back.
    "Everything OK?" he asked.
    "Yes, all fixed" we assured him. He was heading north today, while our route pointed south. Another 'farewell', and he was off. We wondered what to do.
    I was not sure of the road to San Juanico, but suspected it could take some time. We'd wasted too much of the day to start now. It's still January, and night comes fast and early.
    So we rode back to the Hotel de la Huerta.
    They only had a single room available for the night, so we were lucky to get it. I saw them turn people away later in the day.
    We put our luggage in the room, changed, and went out for a walk around town.
    San Ignacio is a gem, like @Turkeycreek pointed out. It's a nice little town...but not fancy. People are friendly. We walked around and admired some of the houses.
    A well tended garden, here, behind the wrought iron fence.

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    a bronze street marker

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    the plaza...a cool and inviting place to sit on a sunny afternoon....

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    a lush yard to muffle the sounds of the street.

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    a flowering tree on a street corner... grown tall over many years with the gnarled trunk to show for it.

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    a mustard and brick color scheme, with very nice metalwork.

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    potted plants screen a porch painted mint and purple.

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    Tortilla factory.... closed today!

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    It's not Bauhaus. It's their house.

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    An old doorway. The old mingles with the new(er).

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    The number one question people will ask us about our trips south of the border is: "Is Mexico Safe?" There is a thread on Advrider with that title, and over 3 million views.
    And I tell them, "No... Mexico is very dangerous... the sidewalks will kill you." Take this one, for instance. Apparently, the builder wanted the sidewalk to be parallel with the building, for aesthetic reasons. Never mind that that leaves the near end about 18 inches higher than the next property. If your not paying attention, you're in for a nasty tumble.
    Holes, dips, drop-offs.... crumbling cement, wide grates and uneven tiles.... the traps they lay for the unwary are endless....

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    Down another side street

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    we were checking the stores... there are not that many. This one is not just a beer store. Lynn wanted to buy a notebook, with lined paper. She found one here, with a cheery school theme to the cover....

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    a nice little house, just off the plaza...

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    ...and right next door to my new dream.... I'll buy this vacant store, and turn it into a Starbucks..... with all the Advriders passing through... it'll be a goldmine!

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    More chillin' at the plaza... a good place to spend a lazy afternoon....

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    Evening started to settle and the shadows got deeper. We had dinner in a different restaurant on the plaza, and then we called it quits. That's how we spent our bonus day in San Ignacio!

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  11. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Awesome update @Rhode trip! Great pictures, glad you were able to get the other rack welded, and crazy how inexpensive it was. Looking forward to the next one, laughed hard at the danger in Mexico comment :thumb:thumb
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  12. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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  13. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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  14. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Tuesday, January 23

    Patched up. Restless from hanging around. We were ready to head for San Juanico. So, after breakfast at the hotel, we wound our way through some narrow dirt streets heading south out of town. Past the last houses... the road was paved, probably where the state or federal dollars kicked in... keeping things smooth for the tourists in the whale-watching vans.

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    Passed a couple of small ranchos... that was it. The surface, further on.... not quite so good....

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    Through a vado as we came out of the rolling hills....

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    ...and onto the salt flats... as far as the eye can see....

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    The Laguna in the distance....

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    ...and the mountains beyond....

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    Eventually, the water is right up to road...on both sides. They've given up on the paving by here...

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    and are fighting the flooding that apparently keeps the road as a work in progress. We rattled over a rocky patch where the water likes to dig...

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    a couple of wash-outs to trip the unwary....

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    Before we reached the Laguna, we turned left, more due south now.

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    We're riding parallel with the dark mesa on our left.

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    It's hard to see, but there is pretty severe washboard that lasts forever here. This could take a while.

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    Mrs Trip pointed out the mesa..."it looks like it's got a cookie crust"

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    ...not only do we ride slow... we stop frequently to comment on, oh...geology and stuff........

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    dipped through a wide wash... or at least a shallow dish where groundwater can collect...

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    Stuck in my mind now...... Mmmm Mud Pie.... with mocha ice cream, chocolate, and an Oreo cookie crust.......

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    Gate ahead.

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    I unhooked it....

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    ...pulled it out of the way....

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    ...after you, my dear.....

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    ...pull it back into place....

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    ...hooked back up.....

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    a herd of horses roaming ahead.....

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    scamper off at our approach.....

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    further on, cattle, sheltering from the sun, and trying to hide the first trough of "moon dust", polvo de luna, that we encountered.

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    ...fine as talc.... slippery.... we squeeze past the cows.....

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    firm pack here... there were a lot of pools of dust to watch for....

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    I was hollering to stop! "I'll take your picture with the carcass." I said. She kept right on going.....smelled bad!!

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    I crept back for a photo....phew! A few weeks later, @tomdubz pulled off the skull, and finished his ride with the horse skull mounted to the front of his KTM!

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    Next up.... a wide, rocky wash.....

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    I remember it as rougher than the carefully laid stone path in the pictures....

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    ...and long, too! C'mon Mrs Trip!

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    bumpitty, bump!

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    Made it!

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    Whoa! An actual water crossing this time. We dipped down into a narrow cañon....

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    ...sandy approach and exit.....rocky in the middle....

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    ...a rancho by the river... with solar panels....

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    a lonely cemetery where 2 roads meet.

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    The road doubles back, onto another ridge....

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    a cluster of buildings... Ejido Cadeje.... and then another rocky water crossing...

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    ... and then more washboard... to rattle us all the way into town....

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    We went to the Scorpion Bay Hotel. I'd made a reservation for the day before, but we'd called when the rack broke, and they let us move it ahead a day.
    It was very nice... we stayed in one of the small casitas...

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    We went out for a walk around town... looking for a restaurant....

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    There was a bit of a market going on... but no food there....

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    we walked some more... but nothing....

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    down to the beach... but not there either. A single stand was all closed up. A couple of dogs kept us company....

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    We asked a few people.... no, there was only Miranda... and pointed up the street... We finally found her... cooking hamburgesas and hot dogs under an umbrella. We sat at a picnic table and joked with a few of the local kids.... Hamburgers and a Coke... very good!
    It was getting dark as we walked back to the hotel. They're off the grid in San Juanico... just electricity from generators and solar panels... so darkness comes quick.

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    The hotel only had power for a few hours in the evening... by 10pm, it's 'lights out!'

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  15. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Awesome update @Rhode trip, you really capture fantastic photos!
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  16. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    I hate this crappy puffy dust. As you know, it's dangerous. Not because it's dust but because it hides the ruts or other objects underneath it. I think it's a air cleaner clogger upper too!

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    I thought everyone was supposed to mount a horse skull on their motorcycle eventually. 'Course, I'd wait a long time for the meat to be gone. :lol3

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  17. SOLOKLR

    SOLOKLR Back to work

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    The TW must handle that talcum powder better than most. I would expect those tires would float really well?
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  18. Ol Man

    Ol Man Long timer Supporter

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    Looks like this was a part of the ride where big, fluffy tires really made the trip better.
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  19. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Thanks, liv2day!

    Ha. Now I'm going to want a horse skull for my bike, too. :lol3

    I don't know....I don't think much will float in that ultra-fine dust. :p3rryAt least it makes for a relatively soft landing...
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  20. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Location:
    Coventry, RI
    Wednesday, January 24th

    San Juanico is a little town on the edge of a wide bay, tucked behind Punta Pequeña. The surfers know it as Scorpion Bay. January's too early for surfing, though... and the town seemed like it was sleeping in. We ate breakfast at the hotel, packed our bikes, and rode through the town. The Scorpion Bay Hotel was off the main drag on a sandy side-street, an oasis hidden behind it's reed fence.

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    A couple of streets closer to the center of town was a little tienda that sells barrel gas. We bought bottled water as well, to fill our hydration packs.

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    I asked if we could add a sticker to the collection, and he said sure. So I pasted one up there with all the Baja race teams and other adv riders that had passed through...

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    Miranda was just opening up her little hamburgesa stand as we rode past.

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    Then we rode south from town, along the wide, shallow bay, on a new paved road. Change is probably happening fast in San Juanico.

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    I must have been spending to much time looking off to the west and the turquoise sea....

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    because I missed the turn off on the older road to La Purisma that I'd intended to take. I didn't realize until we came to a wide, rocky river channel, the road shaped like a giant vado to stand up to floods.

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    and just a small section of bridge to let the usual trickle pass through.

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    A few cows wandered across the road

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    gotta watch out for the stealthy sand colored ones.....

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    After Las Barrancas, we were on the older, paved road heading east towards San Isidro. Across the valley you can see the way we'd meant to come as it descends the hillside.

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    Downhill on our side as well

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    Where the roads met, we turned and rode down to the river.

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    I'd studied the map, and I'd been wondering about this spot. You can see that the road winds down to the side of La Purisma, and that the river is pretty good size here.
    But does the map show a bridge? I couldn't tell. Not long ago this was the only road to San Juanico.

    No, no bridge. There is a narrow natural ledge that the river crosses here... smooth enough to make a solid crossing.

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    Looks fine right now. But I'll bet there's days of high water when crossing would be pretty much impossible!

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    We rode back up from the river bank

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    and continued eastbound on the road to San Isidro.

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    It's a green valley of palm trees and fields spread across both sides of the river, a couple of quiet villages along the way. An old ruin slowly disintegrates, it's adobe bricks exposed.

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    a splash of color covers another old building.

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    The site of the old mission.... there's not much left....

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    another small building.... freshly plastered.

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    The valley is dominated by the Cerro el Pilon la Purisma.... a distinctive old volcanic core that towers over the towns.

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    We're heading up into the mountains beyond.

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    The pavement ends... we continue on. San Isidro is the end of the main road. We have 2 choices here... south to the towns of Comondu, or east, through the hills to Route 1. We choose the shorter option...straight ahead....

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    The road climbs up into the hills on sandy switchbacks.

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    A last look back from the top at the pleasant valley of la Purisma.

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    and then a look at the road ahead....

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    Around a bend, and a cloud of dust obscures the way. Closer...it's a herd of goats, coming towards us...

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    We stopped; pulled over to the side to let them pass without scattering them. The goat herders nodded as they passed, mumbled a reply to our greetings as they tried to keep the herd condensed... the goats did their best to avoid us.....

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    A nice ride... if a little rubbly.....

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    well, with some spots quite rubbly......

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    The road could not decide.... some parts smooth, well graded. Some, well, not so much....

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    The road deteriorated as we started to follow another river flowing eastward, traversing the mountainside above the river.

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    a lot of areas of flood damage.

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    Pretty slow going as we picked and plowed our way through the rock gardens.

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    Some stretches of soft sand thrown in... to keep us paying attention. :lol3

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    Rocks? Yes, we encountered some rocks....

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    This is what we call a 'hike & bike'. I am riding Mrs Trip's bike through a particularly bumpy stretch.

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    There she is...up ahead. I rode her bike through as she hiked the boulder field. Then I hiked back... and rode my own bike to catch up. It's slow going when you walk it.
    The TW200 is a little piggy for me... but it's a big hog for her!

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    Rode through a rancho... out in the middle of nowhere. I said, "That probably means the road is better from here..."

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    "ummm.... no."

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    Actually, though, the road did improve. Slowly. Which is a good thing. You can see the shadows have started to lengthen.....

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    The road flattened, straightened, as we came out of the hills.

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    ...and finally, we met route 1. Pavement.

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    We road south down the highway. It was evening by the time we reached Loreto. We stayed at the Hotel Centro Plaza Historico, which was older, but nice, and was reasonable at about $35 US. They let us ride our bikes into the courtyard and park them there, which was great since the hotel was in the center of town.

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    We walked over to the plaza once we were settled. Eyed the restaurants... there were a lot to choose from. We ate at MezzaLuna.... which was great. The chef and owner was from Uruguay, and would come out to your table to take your order himself, and to discuss the menu... kind of chi-chi... but we enjoyed it very much. Then we strolled around a bit, to burn off some of the excellent dinner. Then back to the hotel....for a good rest after a good work out today!

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