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Tres por uno Baja paseos (Canyon de Cobre sin cargo adicional)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ScotsFire, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    That's right! This limited time offer will take me into northern Mexico for several weeks.

    The first of three sessions in Baja (the word "route" implies that I know where I'm going) starts today and will last a couple of weeks.
    Then I'll meet up with a couple of guys I met on my first ride to Baja in 2017 ( @advrockrider and @ktmnate ), and ride with them throughout Baja for another ten to twelve days.
    The part of the trip I think will stretch me the most will be around two weeks to go onto the mainland and ride the Copper Canyon and wherever else I can stumble into.
    Lastly, and certainly not least, I'll pick up my girlfriend @NotaYinzer in San Diego and take her for her first trip ever to Mexico for not quite a week two up in northern Baja.

    I'm riding my mostly trusty 2014 BMW F800GS Adventure. This has taken me around a lot of the USA and to Baja twice already. I am a bit perturbed as I just had to replace the ABS pump/sensor, a not uncommon issue with bikes like mine I hear. Anyway, a couple of road tests show that all appears to be in order and running well.

    I plan on some camping, especially during the solo rides. This will be my longest continuous time on the bike, but have done nearly a month before, so feel like my kit is mostly right sized. I'll post a pic of the set up soon.

    Hoping to get off the pavement as much as possible. I've hit sections that have defeated me and my 470 pound beast before, but generally do pretty well on two tracks. The road from San Francisquito through El Arco is the site of my worst off ever, to be forever known by me as "The Road of Shame." At some point on this trip, this will be ridden without incident to exorcise those ghosts.

    Otherwise, in Baja I want to do whale watching, ride some areas that I haven't been able to yet, and generally be a bum and ride the shit out of my bike. At a relaxing, gentle pace of course.
    #1
  2. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    To get to the "start" of the ride, I hauled the bike south in my pickup. I'd just as soon ridden, but planned it this way given the variables of riding from North Idaho in the winter. I easily could have left the pickup at home weather-wise, as it has been sunny and beautiful the whole way south, even with going to the Oregon Coast at Tillamook (it did rain overnight while I was there of course).

    Also stopped in Sacramento to see a friend, and was able to get in a very unseasonable and beautiful ride over Custer Pass. Pics here in my ongoing report.

    Took CA 1 south as it had been a long time since I had been on it. Turned out to be a mistake as now I have to get back to actually ride the southern half of it.
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    The GS didn't speak to me for a couple of days. This was NOT how it wanted to do the PCH.

    Crossing sometime today at Tecate.
    #2
  3. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Hell yeah, in for this one @ScotsFire! Man, I'm envious of that much time off - especially now that I've started a new gig that doesn't have the same vacation allotment as my previous gig.

    My ~3 week Baja stint in '18 was one of the best trips of my life. Also crossed in Tecate and have great memories of enjoying some of the best adobado tacos before returning to the US.

    Looking forward to following along, keep the knobby side down and enjoy yourself. Really cool you're introducing your g/f to Mexico the Baja way. Given that, I'd strongly suggest a visit to the Guadalupe Canyon hot springs - great spot to kick back after being on the bike.

    Safe travels :ricky :thumb
    #3
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  4. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    February 16, 2020: Tecate to La Rumorosa

    They say that no plan survives first contact with the enemy. My plans don’t seem to be able to get past the latte stand.

    I still am not sure how leaving the hotel in Thousand Oaks around eight with what Google described as a three hour drive ended up with me crossing the border in Tecate at four in the afternoon. Yes, yes, I did stop for coffee in San Juan Capistrano, but only hung around long enough to eat the key lime poppy seed muffin. Attaching and loading the luggage always seems to take longer the first time of a trip too. You will likely find that the most consistent thing about my rides is that I often don’t start when I want to.

    However, once loaded, the crossing was seamless and quick. It took me longer to wander around to find the INM office than it did getting the FMM stamped. I always do this online ahead of time, mostly as I can’t read my writing in my own language. I don’t expect those of other nationalities to do any better.

    The 2 Libre highway going east was in fine shape and traffic was pretty light. Approaching La Rumorosa, the sun was getting pretty low. I have pushed longer than I should on far too many occasions so chose to not start off in that manner and pulled into a hotel.
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    Hotel El Portal seems reasonably secure, though there's no gate on the enclosure. It is however much nicer and cleaner (and cheaper!) than the room I had last night in Thousand Oaks.

    La Cabana del Abuelo for supper was pretty good. But the best part was:
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    And the salsa cleared out my sinuses.

    Real riding with pics tomorrow. I promise.
    #4
  5. advrockrider

    advrockrider Long timer

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    Hell yeah, we are fired up and ready to ride! We will make sure you kick the crap out of that road this year,LOL! Looking forward to your report and catching up in a couple of weeks. Save some tacos for us!
    #5
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  6. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    February 17, 2020: Parte Uno - La Rumerosa to Ojos Negro

    This installment brought to you by a .5 gb limit per day of high speed internet on my phone. Or at least the breaking of it into two parts. Not to change the subject, but I actually have had great phone service through Verizon and the international plan I pay for. If there's cell service, my phone works.

    So I promised some real riding, and it happened, though (as usual) not exactly as I had envisioned.

    Leaving Rumorosa after breakfast out of my panniers, it was typical dirt roads near a town. This warning is actually much better than most hazard markings.
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    Corollary C to Rule #3 of riding in Baja (if you can't see the road surface in front of you, slow down): If something looks odd in the roadway ahead, slow down.

    Up thar is where I want to go.
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    The road surface was pretty firm, with still some dampness (and at places flat out mud) from the SNOW they had a week or two ago.
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    Note the custom engineered passing lane.

    Sections here and there had actually been graded within recent memory.
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    As an affront to one reason I come this far south (to get away from snow), I see this.
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    Nothing that affects the road, but still quite a bit still hiding in the shadows all morning long at the higher elevations. Climbed up to around 5800'.

    The melting snow did leave some other joys.
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    Most of which had a go around.

    Some did not.

    (Video 19 seconds)
    This was quite a bit deeper than I expected.

    The altitude kind of creeped up on me. This was around the highest point, and I couldn't say that it was a steep climb except for a couple of spots, and those not too numerous.
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    This did not mean what I was hoping.
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    It was very green. I know it's more so on the west side of the divide, and especially in the north. But still surprisingly so.
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    I did finally find some roads with a little more flavor.
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    Parts were more sagey, with boulders piled about.
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    Which gave some sections of road too much flavor.
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    No issues getting it righted. In fact, the drop, and reroute only cost me twenty minutes. That's WAY less than my poor choices usually take.
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    The star of the show.
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    Parts of this area were remarkably like north central Washington, or areas in Oregon.
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    I think they have a vacancy.
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    One reason for this route was to hit up this National Park.
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    Specifically this: Laguna Hanson
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    It was a bit underwhelming. Though there was a rickety picnic table for my snack.
    The lake seemed to be nearly empty, but the signs told about a lot of birds. So I expect that this (in the spring when filled) is a significant stop for a lot of migratory birds.
    Makes sense. During the several months I lived near the MX border in Arizona, I learned that over 75% of the migratory birds in North America pass through the Sonora Desert in their travels.

    But still. Not exactly a highlight reel moment right now.
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    Fortunately, there's still an awful lot of Baja to see.
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    After making it down to HW3, I wasn't quite sure how to proceed. So I bombed up the highway to Ojos Negro, as I figured I'd have some cell service to help google figure it out for me.

    Fuel, facilities, then a zeroing in on ways to get to HW1 without passing through Ensenada. Route found, but I have to backtrack. Fine then. Back south/east to Lazaro Cadenas.
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  7. crownhorse

    crownhorse Been here awhile

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    #7
  8. crownhorse

    crownhorse Been here awhile

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    my abs on beemer was repaired by modual masters in Idaho
    #8
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  9. crownhorse

    crownhorse Been here awhile

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  10. crownhorse

    crownhorse Been here awhile

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    you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave
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  11. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    They don’t do the model year my bike is any more my apparently. Or Westside Motorsports is as full of shit as I think they are.
    #11
  12. WYO George

    WYO George I have no idea

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    Dang, first page and I’m already hooked!
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  13. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    February 17, 2020: Parte dos - Lazaro Cardenas to Punta Colonet

    The rip down HW3 was uneventful, with good pavement and little traffic. The route that google directed through town however was like four lefts and six rights, not in much of a logical order. Therefore, I stopped to eat.
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    Loncheria Economico. Not a bad Torta con pollo. The best part is that they made it fresh in front of me.
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    So google says it's two and a half hours through to Punta Colonet. I'm not buying that.
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    Though as often as I stop for pics, it just might take that long.
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    Especially at first, the roads fostered a little bit of speed.
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    Which is good considering how the shadows are starting to get longer.

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    There are so many of these tempting side tracks. It would be so easy to take all day to just explore this little valley. But that'd probably be a better time on my WR450.
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    The road got progressively more rough as I got closer to the pass. But really not bad. Still definitely big bike friendly.
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    I didn't get any good shots of it, but this road must have been part of a race at some point. All the corners were tremendously rutted out by power slides. They of course filled up with rocks, so staying on top of the rutted out parts was definitely the way to go, if challenging.
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    Once again, racing the shadows. Everyone knows Rule #1 of Baja: Don't ride after dark.
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    But that didn't keep me from stopping for pics.
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    But that didn't keep me from stopping for more pics.
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    I got to HW1 well before dark, though it seemed very dusky due to the marine layer. Once in Punta Colonet, I got a hold of Richard at Cuantos Casas and arranged a stay there. As it turned out I was the only one staying there that night, and it was a very nice and quiet respite. Surprisingly, there was cell service out on the point, so had a nice conversation back home with @NotaYinzer before bed.

    The only bad part was that it was definitely full on dark riding out to the hostel. I did manage to avoid all the voles, mice, and bunnies on the way in.
    #13
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  14. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    I bet some of that first morning's ride looked like parts of Wyoming for that matter. It did NOT feel like Mexico.
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  15. Drybones

    Drybones Fish bones are on my truck seat cover, too

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    The only bad part was that it was definitely full on dark riding out to the hostel. I did manage to avoid all the voles, mice, and bunnies on the way in." I thought I might learn a new Spanish word, voles, but no...you meant plain old holes :) You're having a great trip...I need to get down there again...I'm reasonably close here in Tucson.
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  16. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    Well @Drybones , you can still learn a new word. Just not in Spanish.

    vole1

    noun

    1. any of several small mouselike or ratlike rodents of the genus Microtusand related genera, having short limbs and a short tail.
    #16
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  17. Drybones

    Drybones Fish bones are on my truck seat cover, too

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    Took me 70 years to learn about voles! Thanks!
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  18. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Effin outstanding updates @ScotsFire! Seeing pics of Laguna Hanson and the National Park brought back fantastic memories of my first night camping in n Baja.

    Where’d the crappy uphill rocky track happen? Looks similar to what we encountered after leaving Mike’s, but you’re not that far south yet.

    Truly appreciate and enjoyed the pics and your update. I like your writing style, had me laughing hard with the comment about less time for poor choices :lol3 :lol3

    Looking forward to the next update :ricky:thumb

    Knobby side down.
    #18
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  19. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    That steep as a mofo rocky piece was just south of a rancho. I had missed a left turn, and new it, but Google rerouted to this hill. As part of the “Don’t stop till gravity makes you” club, I did manage to get up the first shelf, but caught my left peg guard on a big ass rock and that was all she wrote.

    Usually in these situations the bike falls so that the wheels are up hill, but fortunately that did not happen this time.

    It’s always better to be lucky than good.
    #19
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  20. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    Sorry for the lack of updates. Having a real hard time getting pics uploaded due to wonky internet. Even with staying in a hotel last night.

    Things are otherwise excellent. Going on a whale watching tour today.
    #20
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