I didn't know where to post this, I figure it would end up here anyway. It's not about the bike but it's an adventure trip report. I've been inspired with this site over the last few years and it's been my vehicle into cyber community (Is that scary!). I'm gonna share this with ADVrider with total fear I will be banished for life or worse yet, thrown to jomoma in the future. If you have time, please kick back and enjoy. The Adventure: Traveling through Mexico Central America and beyond. Adventure Begins: Heidi has been staging for the trip since early Fall at our cabin in northern Wisconsin while I continued to work 4 days a week in the cities. I didn't want to pay for the apartment in the city just to spend three nights so I pitched a big tent on the banks of the Minnesota river close to my job. Fun fun, people I know think I'm crazy but to me this is living the dream already. I'm 3 feet from the bank! Up stream had a lot of rain and the river started to rise above flood stage. All of the campers near me cleared out but I had this little hill on the bank so I stood tight. I had to move the bike when the parking lot started to flood. This spot was at least 10 feet above the river when I first pitched tent. It was an eerie feeling being the only person near the river. I was watching a web site that had measurements just up stream from me and predictions with time bit it was Still Weird! Living on the edge, as adventurers we all get that rush any way we can. Am I OK? Road Update: 01/10/05 Guerrero Negro, Baja Mexico Free Drinks: we took off from Wisconsin late Tuesday Dec 28 and made a bee line south. The second night at Wichita we took a cheap room at the motel 6. After getting settled we wandered across the street to a fancy hotel in search of a bar. At the bar I got a couple of cocktails then tried to pay. The bartender says "You need to get some drink tickets at the front desk" I guess The bar is for hotel guests only and drinks are free. I worked the resort hotel business for many years when I was young so I know the ropes, go with the flow and act like you own the place and nobody will notice. It's not that I'm too cheap to pay for our drinks but the bartender wouldn't take any money and to me this is fun! We stood in the bar drinking and met a couple from Austin, TX, Heidi & Dale. Fun people, we had a lively conversation and received and invitation for a New Years eve party and a place to stay in Austin, unreal! The four of us walked to a restaurant next door to have some food. Before we knew it we had a group of about eleven people. Four others I had made some small talk with at the hotel bar while I was getting more drinks and the others I think owned the restaurant. Man we lit that place up! It was like we were all best friends that haven't seen each other for a long time. One of the guys had some unreal stories, I could fill pages. Super, what a way to start the trip, social adventure. Well, Austin was out of our way so we had to decline their offer. We had numerous other offers for places to stay from people I met at the horizonsunlimited.com motorcycle event in Creel Mexico. I canâ€™t get over how warm and friendly people you meet on the road can be. Yuma: At the motel in Yuma I plugged the laptop into the phone jack and clicked on NetZero. Sweet, it fired up even though I don't have an account with them any more, thanks NetZero! Mexico: From Yuma we made it to the border in no time. It's only a little over a hundred miles to San Felipe, our first destination in Mexico. In route I saw a few dune buggies cruising next to us in the dirt so of course I had to jump in behind them just for the fun factor! San Felipe is great, it's the first American tourist destination in Mexico I've been to. I didn't like it that most people we ran into spoke English but I guess that's the way it is in the Baja. I've conditioned myself over the years to never speak English when talking to Mexicans in Mexico but it felt weird when they spoke English to me. Heidi & I rented a little cabin with a fireplace, stove and fridge and private parking right outside the door for $35 a night, we took two nights. We had a short mile walk to the malecon, super fun. I've read about the fish tacos being to die for here. It's true, they are unreal. We had a great time playing tourist, walking, eating, drinking and looking at all the shops. I bought a "Baja off road racing" decal and received a free shot of tequila for the purchase, what a deal! Ok, when in Mexico and on a budget here are some things that are often norm. When we got back to out little cabin the temperature dropped significantly, we were frozen. Only being a hundred and some miles south of the border I didn't expect it to be hot yet but a cold front was upon us and there was no heat in our cabin, burr! We had a gas stove so great, a heat source, but NO, no gas. There were 9 cabins and one standard sized hot water heater for all and it was situated just outside our cabin. We were the only ones staying there that night so I went to plan B, blast on the showers hot water spraying it up as much as possible to steam up the room. This usually does the trick to take the chill out of the room but not this time. We had lukewarm water for about a minute then nothing. It was late and no one around to ask about a source of fire wood so go to plan C, get out the long johns and sleeping bags. We were cozy warm in the bed but it must have been 40 deg. F in that cabin that night. Heidi never wined once, what a girl! We had another night to go and I needed to do something, it was not comfortable anywhere but under the covers. First thing in the morning I went to search out the source of gas for the stove. I found a shut off valve crammed behind the hot water heater just outside the cabin. Yes, bingo, I had four burners on the stove going and the bite was taken out of the room before Heidi got out of bed, I'm the hero! OK I'm liken this so I go out to tackle the hot water heater. Instantly I see why we had some warm water, the pilot light was burning but that was it. I fiddle around with the controls then kill the pilot, crap. I get a lighter, stick my hand inside the bottom of the heater where I saw the flame then flick the lighter, BAM! The pilot shut off mechanism was obviously not working, probably because the thing was sitting outside in the rain and salt sea air. I cut my wrist top and bottom yanking my hand out of the thing and singed the sleeve of my long johns. Anyway I got the water heater going full blast and found a ton of fire wood next door in a vacant lot, we were cooking and had a great second day in Mexico. After San Felipe we had two choices for going south into Baja. We could go back 150 miles north on a good road and catch the paved highway 1 south or we could continue south on the Baja 1000 race course for 150 miles of dirt road then connect to highway 1. The word "Baja" has been in my vocabulary every since I was a kid and it meant to me off road racing and tough off road terrain. I always loved going off road in northern Wisconsin and when I hit the rough stuff the word "Baja!" always came out of my mouth. The guide book said you will see a part of the Baja that you can't see any other way by doing the dirt road south. Heidi didn't like the idea of going 300 extra miles just to get to a bland nice paved road, again what a girl! We have the Jeep, I just installed new extra heavy duty springs and shocks and new mud terrain tires. Baja 1000 race course here we come! We're hammer along getting our teeth rattled out of their sockets but great scenery. A new friend, Art who I met at the horizons unlimited motorcycle event in Creel Mexico suggested taking some air out of the tires. It helped but the stiff suspension was a killer. All of a sudden we see a dune buggy racing toward us going super fast. It had what looked like 50" tires sticking way out and springs on each tire at least 5 feet tall. When it passed we could see the driver and passenger had big 70' style head phones on. I imagined them jamming loud rock and roll and having a blast. Heidi & I looked at each other for about a nanosecond, we grabbed our case of tunes and popped in 'Dance Extreme' and cranked it! WOW, in an instant I'm living the dream. We're racing along the Baja jamming tunes and seeing stuff I've only dreamed of. I'm having a difficult time keeping my eyes dry. Memo at the Cowpatty bar. This is Coco at his place in literally the middle of nowhere. Coco lost a leg in an accident years ago and now lives here right on the Baja 1000 race course. Coco serves cold beer and has lots of funny stories and information. We mentioned meeting Memo the day before at the Cowpatty bar. Memo is a big bicycler, every year when it's too hot he shuts down the bar and rides his bike south. Last year he made it to San Salvador. Memo stays with Coco on his way south and helps him out with repairs. Coco was saying how much Tequila he drinks having 3 liters strapped on his bike when he rides with a tube running into his mouth. Funny, I could go on but I'm sure you get the idea. True or false I'm not sure? For sure Memo is a real hard core biker. Coco said this is for mosquito control, ha ha ha. Road Update: 01/15/05 Lareto, Baja Mexico Past San Felipe we stayed at Alfonsina's resort and had a room over looking a beautiful bay on the sea of Cortez. A little expensive, $50 US but the service and food great. Antonio? made us feel at home. We woke up in the morning with an unreal orange sunrise filling the bay. I parked myself on the deck with a book and the next thing I see are a half of dozen dolphins playing around the bay where a fisherman was reeling in a giant fish net. I felt like I was in a dream. Later that day we continue south through constantly changing scenery, every mile getting more dramatic and exotic, seeing elephant trees and giant cacti.