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San Pedro Canyon, BCS....

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by gaspipe, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,437
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    For the third time in a couple months, I ended up down in Baja. Good fortune, I guess. Anyway, there's not much to tell about the regular ride, not really worthy of a ride report - I've told tales here of that stuff many times before.

    In something of an accident, the Goat Stuntaz DSMC :lol3 rode the San Pedro Canyon area. Somehow, I screwed up, and misunderstood the route that the guys wanted to ride. I guess it's because I thought they wanted to ride the San Raymundo Wash from Mulege out to La Ballena. The best part of the San Raymundo Wash is the first 35 miles or so across the mountains. Nevertheless, dogwater & bro, he who shall not be named, redone and I ended up where no one wanted to be. Except me, I guess.

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    But what they hoped to do was ride north from Mulege up to the road out to Magdalena, then intersect the San Raymundo. Then laze about in San Juanico for the afternoon. Perhaps it was all the Dos Equis we consumed in Mulege? :scratch Anyway, I ended up the boogeyman, and we rode what I consider an excellent ride.

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    We reached the intersection off the San Raymundo Wash road, and headed north to the site of the old Guadalupe Mission.

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    Dogwater's GPS (e32 datum) indicated a route from Guadalupe out to the La Laguna area. I'd never been through there, having thought it too rugged to build a trail. Nevertheless, there was a road, and we turned to the north, and towards San Pedro peak.

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    We turned off and headed towards San Juan de las Pilas...and the road got steep. Redone turned and went a different way, having enough of the steep, loose climbs.

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    It was hot, and dogwater & bro were low on water already.

    [more later on]
    #1
  2. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

    Joined:
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    3x-You are a lucky one, did you when the lottery too. Good for you:clap
    #2
  3. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    We started up the climb to the northwest towards San Pedro Peak.

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    The mountains in this area rise over 5,000 feet ASL.

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    Soon, I found myself alone at the summit, at 4,400 feet. Somewhere below were my three other riding buddies.

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    I waited for a few minutes to absorb the view.

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    [more in a bit]
    #3
  4. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    I waited a bit, but no one showed up. The road was in pretty good shape, so I wasn't too worried about the other three riders making it.

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    I decided to ride a bit ahead while the others made it to the top.

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    And then I started down the other side. The road was steep and loose. Not much traffic comes through here.

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    When I reached a good vantage point of the summit, I stopped to watch where the road comes over the pass. From here, I could see the others as the summited the mountain.

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    Here's a good spot.

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    I waited for a half hour, then started back up the slope. The Maxxis Desert IT clawed for grip, the loose volcanic rock tearing it apart. I made it back to the summit, and he who shall not be named met me a few hundred feet below the summit on the other side as he was headed up. Seems dogwater and his bro' were a bit overrun by the 90F+ degree heat. I rode halfway down the other side to chat with them. They'd found a shady spot and were taking a siesta to recover.

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    We decided to head back for the summit and go the way we'd started to go. North.

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    As we summited and went back down the other side. I realized how badly this climb had torn up my tire.

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    The topo lines are sorta close together, eh?

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    Nowhere to go but down, and work our way out towards La Laguna.

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    The rest of us ran out of water about here after sharing what we had. Hmmmm...

    [more later]
    #4
  5. Nata Harli

    Nata Harli Accidental Tourista

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    :lurk
    #5
  6. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
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    :wave More coming on this lost track.... :deal
    #6
  7. Nata Harli

    Nata Harli Accidental Tourista

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    :clap
    #7
  8. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    As we descended, the road was becoming more a memory than a road. Cool! :clap

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    We stopped at the first rancho, greeted by a handful of caballeros that seemed pretty much surprised to see us. They said that it would be better to go back over the mountain than keep going towards San Ignacio.

    "El camino es un poquito feo..."
    "Poquito o mucho feo?"
    "Mas feo que bueno."

    He says the road gets uglier as we head down the canyon. How bad could it get? I gave them a box of Altoids, and they seemed delighted to have the candy. Not a vehicle in sight that didn't have legs....

    :scratch

    And we decided to press onward.

    The road was no longer a road, but a trail. Deep sand, alternating with river rock (not stones)...Lots of fun, but tiring...as we entered into the top of San Pedro Canyon. It was beautiful scenery.

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    :clap:clap:clap

    We came to a rock face that must have been at least a 30 degree slope. Maybe more. Hmmm. No tire tracks, just hoof prints.

    How bad could it get?

    We motored up the slope, my Maxxis leaving lots of rubber behind....We came across a caballero on a horse, who was startled to see us. He asked where we were headed.

    "Vamos a San Ignacio."

    He laughed, and rode on.

    Well. It gets a little more difficult....

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    We'd shared all the water we had left in a last communal rite. And we had no food at all. We need to keep moving, or this won't be fun. I can see that eventuality unfolding, as Esteban, dogwater's brother, was exhausted.

    [more in a bit]
    #8
  9. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Alaska
    Classic Baja exploration.:thumb

    :lurk
    #9
  10. redone

    redone That Guy

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    Location:
    In a van down by the river
    I wish my knee had not been trashed. But the good stuff not so good if you can't stand up. The trails you only go down once are some of the best:D
    #10
    Sporting Wood likes this.
  11. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

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    Es la verdad.

    That sucked that your knee and shoulder were torn up. You'd have needed both for the middle of this run.

    :webers
    #11
  12. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    This is turning into some tough track way down in Baja Sur, its a long way to home. Good RR:clap you lucky bastard, kinda sucks about the H20 situation.
    #12
  13. Mongorian

    Mongorian Banned

    Joined:
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    Watt-ter, Need Watt-er Buddy. Not another Meter w/o watt-tar Guy. My brother needs Food! Watt-tar! and Rest! He went down needs to stop on the roadside and take a nap, Friend! You fat gun-toting Americans go ahead, we can easily catch up with you slovenly bastards. We\'re Canadian, Guy! And we have Oranges...
    #13
  14. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
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    As we descended again to the canyon floor, the trail became progressively less hospitable. The river rock went from golf ball size, to grapefruit size, with some basketballs thrown in.

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    Esteban was utterly exhausted, crashing his bike a half dozen times in a couple kilometers. Dogwater and I took turns riding with him to help. I felt really badly about how tired he was, and realized that this was going to get much more difficult before it got better. Whenever the tire tracks are gone and are replaced by nothing but hoof prints, there's a reason why.

    He who shall not be named and I rode ahead, and came to an oasis - San Juan de las Pilas.

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    As it turns out, Jesus and Maria lived here. Maria's family had been here for about 50 years, and they operated the ranch now that her family was in Guerrero Negro (I think?). Jesus had told me that the road was destroyed by Hurricane John a couple or three years back, and never repaired. In fact, he'd told me he hadn't left the ranch in quite some time due to the road, or lack thereof.

    I gave him a flashlight and a tin of Altoids, and in return, he gave us water and a bucketful of fresh oranges. Dogwater and Esteban arrived, and esteban dove into the oranges like he'd never eaten before! Watered up and rested, I checked out the place. He had about 30 head of cattle roaming about, and about 45 goats total. The young ones were funny as hell.

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    We each gave Jesus and Maria some pesos for the hospitality, and Jesus showed me a folder that he said was given to him by an American lady who had ridden through here in the past.

    It was the Lizard Lady! I read her (Kaycee's) description of the ride from the folder Jesus handed to me, and realized that it might have been before the road was washed away. Nevertheless, she'd described it as the hardest loop in her second release. Wow - small world, eh? Jesus mentioned the road gets worse before it gets better. How bad could it get? :patch

    We mounted up, and said our goodbyes, and headed north again on the trail of tears :lol3

    There are several caves along this route that contain cave paintings. If you go through here, check 'em out, and PLEASE, don't screw 'em up.

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    The road got worse...The golf ball and grapefruit sized rocks gave way to the basketball size and larger variety of boulders. Esteban took a couple more harsh bail-offs, and dogwater told me he was considering camping out here tonight and letting Esteban rest up. It wasn't worth risking busting up a radiator or breaking a bone - rescue is a long, long way off from here.

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    They each had a spare orange left from las Pilas, and full camelback bladders. He who shall not be named and I had nothing - not even a tin of Altoids left to eat. I decided it'd probably be best if we, who carried nothing to eat and had nothing to contribute to the group other than our good looks and fine humor, should make a run for it and get out.....

    Dogwater had a SPOT and a Sat Phone - he'd be OK, and if not, we'll get a 4WD back out here to scoop 'em up in the morning. And both had camping gear. I wasn't worried about them now, but if we couldn't see motion on the SPOT in the morning, we'd need to get back up here.

    For now, I was more worried about getting he who shall not be named and I through this before darkness fell upon us. How bad can it get? Despite that - I was enjoying the hell out of this trail. I love a technical ride....

    [more in a bit]
    #14
  15. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    We had about ten miles of this to ride through, and maybe an hour and change of daylight left. It was going to be tough.

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    As we neared the next rancho - El Zauzal, the road began to improve slightly for short sections. The ranch had been abandoned - probably because it was more or less impossible to get here. :lol3

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    It was at this ranch where dogwater and Esteban would hole up for the night, although we had no idea at the time. We raced on ahead towards the next rancho....through sand, boulderfields, and finally used some stagnant pools of the river itself as the trail to push north.

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    We finally reached the mouth of the canyon and the next ranch - Las Tinajitas, which was also abandoned. And then a trail started to become obvious once again.

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    We made a long climb out of the canyon up onto the mesa as darkness fell. It was 48 more miles to San Ignacio from here. We had plenty of fuel and water, and were driven onward by the notion that there would be beer and food at the end of this trail. That was all the inspiration we needed, and decided to make a run for it.

    We dodged rocks, burros, horses, cows and coyotes as we rode onward, passing a couple small ranchos as we moved north.

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    It took us a couple hours to get to San Ignacio - it's not hard to outride a 35 watt bulb - even at 30mph. :lol3 Our headlights were akin to a birthday candle in a dirty mason jar with respect to brightness.

    We made it to San Ignacio, and had a few beers and some tacos at Ricardo's place. We'd ridden for 12 hours to get from Mulege to here - with nothing more than a couple oranges. We were prepared to mount a rescue in the morning with food and water - maybe even a 4WD of we could locate one.....in the morning, we'll check the SPOT and see what we have. I was sure they were bedded down and sleeping somewhere long before we even got here to San Ignacio.

    [more later]
    #15
  16. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Represent, yo!

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    We slept good, and in a bed, rather than in the dirt of San Pedro Canyon. I awoke early to see about locating dogwater and Esteban....

    [more in a bit]
    #16
  17. Hayduke

    Hayduke ///SAFETY THIRD/// Supporter

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    :lurk
    #17
  18. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
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    How did you find this? I was working so hard to keep it as a hidden surprise.... :lol3 :webers











    :hide
    #18
  19. Hayduke

    Hayduke ///SAFETY THIRD/// Supporter

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    "New Post" button yields some gold sometimes. :lol3
    #19
  20. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
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    I started checking the SPOT tracker in the morning, and saw that dogwater and Esteban were on the move already, nearing the mouth of the canyon. The road gets much, much easier here, so I was sure they'd be in good shape now that they were there.

    An hour later, the SPOT indicated they were passing Rancho Patrocino - only an hour away. I was still sipping coffee when they rode in, a bit bedraggled looking. It was a relief to see them nonetheless.

    They spent the night at war with the scorpions at Rancho El Zauzal, about halfway through the canyon. The were up at dawn, and started going again.

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    San Pedro Canyon was an awesome ride. It's only about 125 miles from Mulege to San Ignacio on that route, but it will take around eight to twelve hours to ride, depending on group size and how many breaks you take.

    Be prepared for absolute mayhem and bushwhacking your own trail from Rancho Las Tinajitas up to Rancho San Pedro. That's about 10 miles or so. And if you ride it, be prepared to camp up there. Ya never know.

    :thumb
    #20