Wedding Vows in Action: Riding South from Seattle

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ADVegan, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. jathkajoe

    jathkajoe Been here awhile

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    Been following since your first post. Enjoying your writing and pics.
    Savor every moment of your travels with your amazing wife.

    I’m old and used to old tech stuff. Black key, Orange key? All mine are just simple stamped metal. Hope you get the key(s) you need!

    Jathkajoe
    #21
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  2. ADVegan

    ADVegan Been here awhile

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    I wish it were that simple! KTM ostensibly wants to keep people from stealing the bike so they made an intense key system in which losing certain components really causes issues.. they can also charge $129 for a blank key... But that can't be a factor in why they do it!

    We left San Francisco about 11am and stopped at REI for some more luggage organizers. Apparently my method of throw it all in the closest box was going to drive Rachel insane and since she's being such a good sport, I figure I can try to make things a little easier on her. IMG_5084.jpeg

    The highway along the coast to Monterey was unfortunately pretty smokey so the typically world-class view was more like 2nd place all-county. We stopped in Half Moon Bay for some great sandwiches and had an overall easy first day two-up. As my dad likes to say "stay outta the news" and we did just that.

    Today we rode inland to save some time since the coast was smokey anyway. We stopped in Paso Robles at the KTM dealer and they helped us get the powerparts skid plate mounted on the bike. I'd removed it before the engine work and just flat ran out of time to remount it so it had been strapped to the back of the bike since Seattle. I went to pay and the service manager Matt said "the only payment needed is slapping these two stickers on the side cases." Deal! He also gave us his card and said he'd be happy to ship us parts anywhere we needed them. Awesome experience all around.
    IMG_20181120_140211.jpeg

    As we came over the hill into Pismo Beach it felt like we had arrived in SoCal. It made me wish we'd taken the coastal road, but I couldn't remember if some of it was still out from the mudslides a few years back. Also, we wouldn't have gotten to meet Matt, so no real regrets. Rachel had booked us an Airbnb in a trailer near Arroyo Grande. The property was quite unique and as Ben, the owner, showed us around he shrugged and said "I like to build stuff". It showed! He really reminded me of Woody Harrelson. Below is the trailer, I hope Rach got some better photos of the property, it was really cool. I think the Airbnb listing called it a "ranchette". IMG_20181120_162816.jpeg

    Got an early start today and stopped in Solvang. I met a guy at a gas station back in Portland who worked for the brewery so I tried to check it out but we were too early. Solvang is a Dutch town for tourists in CA, and back home in WA we have Leavenworth - an out of place Bavarian town also for tourists. My older brother lives there for the skiing/biking/ climbing scene so the magic of Solvang was a little lost on us. Still got a requisite windmill selfie, of course. IMG_20181121_104206.jpeg

    We powered down to Pasedena where some friends are letting us stay in their wonderful home. We've been grateful for all the generosity we've already experienced. Ride was good, a little too much freeway but we're kind of speeding through CA to get past the border, then we'll take some days off to sustain this trip.

    Oh, yeah we went down today! Well, Rachel did anyway. I tipped the bike over getting on at after a break. I need to get an inch or two hacked off the kickstand, it's standing way too straight up.

    Happy Thanksgiving! Tofurkey here we come.
    #22
  3. de crowe

    de crowe de crowe

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    Safe riding and enjoy your trip, I'll be watching from Ireland
    #23
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  4. ADVegan

    ADVegan Been here awhile

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    Slightly better picture of the Arroyo Grande property, out buildings galore. IMG_5107-1.jpeg
    #24
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  5. CROSSBOLT

    CROSSBOLT Been here awhile

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    Like the whole adventure! You are blessed to have such a trooper as a soul mate! I will be definitely following this until you stop it!

    I am originally from Washington state, grew up riding on the back fender with Mom and the tank with Dad on BSA thumpers. Been to Leavenworth, ridden in the rain and snow on the west side of the hill and the heat of the east. I understand some of Argentina and this will be a great trip!
    #25
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  6. ADVegan

    ADVegan Been here awhile

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    We made it to Mexico!

    First we rode down to spend the night on Thanksgiving in San Diego. My parents had some time share points and generously let us use them for a night stay in Balboa Park. Nearly all of SD was closed for the holiday, but we did find some food and drinks in Little Italy.

    LRM_EXPORT_101984654817759_20181125_104543716.jpeg

    The next day we stopped just before the border and shipped some hard drives and my heated gear back to Seattle. We were all ready with our documents- passports, registration, title copies and tourist cards I'd diligently gotten ahead of time. I only needed to get the TVIP for once we left Baja. As we pulled into the border, I coasted between the lane markers and waited for our interrogation, I suddenly realized we were through and on the highway to Ensenada! I didn't even put my feet down, didn't speak to a single person. We found ourselves in Ensenada in no time and got checked into a hostel. We've booked 3 nights here to get the rest of our logistics in order and rest after riding everyday the past week. The border happened so quickly the TVIP will have to wait until La Paz.

    IMG_20181123_132459.jpeg
    #26
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  7. Romero

    Romero At Cinépolis or OXXO

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    Following...enjoy the mainland!
    #27
  8. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Rachel could be the twin of a woman I worked with up here. Incredible. Safe journey!
    #28
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  9. peejayess

    peejayess Adventurer

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    I'm in

    Sounds like a, keeper ... :-)
    #29
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  10. ADVegan

    ADVegan Been here awhile

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    Thanks for all the follows, makes me feel cool!

    We left Ensenada two days ago and first headed Northeast to Valle de Guadeloupe. It was only about 35-49 minutes out of town and has been described as "Napa in the 60's". I could imagine that being accurate. There are a lot of very nice wineries, but it it's not overrun with buses full of snobs. Yet.

    We stayed in a gorgeous Airbnb that was on special since it was a Monday. IMG_20181126_180911_405.jpeg

    Before setting out on this trip it was always a question of how much it was going to cost. "If we save "X" dollars, how long can we last?" Now if it was just me on this trip, I'd likely wild camp, eat mostly rice, beans and tortillas. Think I could do it for under $35/day. As it is, we came up with a general Target of 100/day average. Rachel is much better at spending money than I am. I am slowly learning that even though I resist and think "authenticity" means doing things as uncomfortably as possible, there is a lot of fun to be had on the other side too. I might not have given myself the option to stay somewhere nice when something cheaper is available, but I would have missed out in this case. Hopefully we'll be a good balance.

    I did save $100 USD by mustering up my best Spanish to ask if we could borrow the bikes I saw instead of hiring a car all day..

    IMG_0525.jpeg

    We had a cat follow us everywhere on the property and I came inside one time to find him in our pannier liner bags:
    IMG_20181126_180703.jpeg


    Rachel making friends at the last winery:
    IMG_0538.jpeg

    The next day we rode about 150mi South to El Soccorito just south of San Quintin. Even that was a long day, and we were happy to stay for a rest day today. This middle section of Baja seems pretty sparse, and we are going to try to ride to Guerro Negro tomorrow and cross over into Baja Sur.

    The distance between gas stations is longer than our range, but I've read there might be a fuel truck in the middle somewhere.. I haven't told Rachel about this yet.

    So far all is well, we've stretched our comfort zones just a little bit a few times but not enough to derail anything, just enough to feel like the trip is a good idea.
    #30
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  11. MoikonaBoik

    MoikonaBoik Adventurer

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    Good luck with your trip, should be a blast (already is by the sound of it). I am grieving for the guitar on the back of your bike. No way that thing's gonna make it.
    #31
  12. SoosCreek

    SoosCreek Angle of Repose...

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    FYI. There was fuel drum service somewhere near the intersection of highway 5 and 1 which is about 110 miles south from El Rosario when I was there a few years ago...
    #32
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  13. ADVegan

    ADVegan Been here awhile

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    That's the one I'm counting on tomorrow!

    I hope it lasts, but it's replaceable if not. We brought the commercial (Mini Taylor) one instead of the one Rachel's dad built for her.
    #33
  14. ADVegan

    ADVegan Been here awhile

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    There was a gas truck in Catavina:
    IMG_20181129_104116.jpeg

    There were actually a couple we saw along the way, and what looked like a new Pemex going in in Catavina too. Really great ride from El Rosario to Guerro Negro- cacti forrests and heaps of boulders, fun turns and minimal traffic. I had a big grin, and Rachel was cold enough to wear the heated vest.

    In Guerro Negro we got some food at a vegetarian restaurant and chatted with a very... unique lady over dinner. She told us we needed to check out the salt pools and get some water from them to heal our various ailments. I don't feel I have many ailments, but Rach has plenty so the next morning we drove around until we saw what looked like a beach beyond some palm trees. I scooted the bike between them and we were out riding between the massive salt pools in no time. Really should have pulled the drone out, but Rach and I were having a disagreement (probably due to fatigue of the previous day) so I didn't unfortunately. Guerro Negro produces 34% of the world's salt through a combined effort of the Mexican Govt and the Mitsubishi Corp. Strange bedfellows. It's also excellent for grey whale watching, beyond those two- it seems like a stop on the highway.

    Screenshot_20181203-072657~2.jpeg

    As we filled up leaving town I saw a shiny new Africa Twin, and went to talk to the owner Eduardo. He was from Cabo and was visiting a friend in San Diego and bought the AT and hadn't told his wife yet. K told him to keep his helmet on when he got home!

    We headed down to San Ignacio where we are now. We're staying at Ignacio Springs Yurt village that I'd read about here in ADVrider before we left. I love yurts and always (kind of) tease Rachel about living in one someday. Or opening a retreat of them somewhere. Paul and Bonnie bought this property nestled in the palms along the spring waters after visiting for one night! They're from Alberta, and very hospitable - if you're riding through Baja, it's definitely a great stop. We also met Aaron, an Aussie who'd been riding a Tiger 800 up from Buenos Aires for the last two years. It was great to socialize and talk bikes.

    IMG_5509.jpeg

    Rachel also scored big time when a woman named Nancy gave her a nice puffy jacket. Rachel was imagining white sandy beaches throughout and has more swimsuits than I have sockets in my tool bag. The jacket will be much appreciated and I know she'll find a way to pay it forward and back.

    We used the stand up paddle boards this morning and then rode bikes into town for lunch. Relaxing day for sure, and I can understand how a night's stay here could convince you to buy the place.

    Plan for now is to ride to Mulege tomorrow. I think I've read good things and we're not in a hurry so pushing to Lareto didn't seem to make sense.

    Still only have the one key for the bike but haven't lost it yet. Were finding that we can do about 2-3 hours (Google drive estimated time) very comfortably and if needed we could do a 4.5-5hr day but the following day should probably be a rest. I’m going to try to do a gear post here soon to say what I chose and why and what's working and what has room for improvement.


    Hasta luego!
    #34
  15. ADVegan

    ADVegan Been here awhile

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    Might need some advice after talking with a guy in Mulege last night:

    I mentioned we breezed through the border which want my plan, but it happened fast. I knew we had our FMM cards and we could get our TVIP in La Paz, so I decided to keep riding.

    Last night I was told that the FMM tourist cards we bought online didn't mean anything since we hadn't stopped to get them stamped. Didn't realize that the online ones still needed stamping although it does make sense.

    Does anyone know if this can be done in La Paz or anywhere near Cabo? Preferably without a hefty fine..

    Thanks for any help!
    #35
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  16. Phlyn' Phil

    Phlyn' Phil Been here awhile

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    #36
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  17. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

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    Another “hitch” with getting papers online when it only takes a few minutes at the border and all is done, no issues.

    I know of no way to get the stamp except at Migración. Hopefully someone out there knows a way around this.
    #37
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  18. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    how about the airport in Cabo?
    #38
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  19. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

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    I've read of one person that got the FMM at the international airport in San Jose del Cabo. But I've also read of people that had to ride all the way back to the border to get the FMM. Also, there used to be a Migracion office in Guerrero Negro (jmaybe still there) as they used to check you had the FMM when heading south.

    If it ends up you have to ride to the border for the FMM, you may as well take Hwy 5 to San Felipe and then ride down the coast of the mainland. You can get your TVIP and FMM at the east Mexicali crossing or you could just continue east and get it done somewhere along the border as you ride around the northern edge of the Sea of Cortez.
    #39
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  20. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    :becca :baldy :nah
    Yet another case of too much on-lining .
    If it was me I would ride back the day from San Ignacio to the border to pick up the missing stamps .
    Do some thorough research about a possible source at the south end airports 20181204105404.png

    https://a21.com.mx/index.php/aeropu...con-nuevos-kioscos-en-aicm-cancun-y-los-cabos
    This website now touts the new automated immigration machines at the Los Cabos airport and that there are actual live immigration officials to help straighten out problems . Watch their short instructive video and read English subtitles

    It is not as if you have totally nothing , you did pay for your card already , you just need an official to stamp and activate it .
    If you had absolutely no proof of purchase I think you would be SOL at the airport ,although I do know of one person with absolute perfect Spanish ( Lobo, ) who pled his case successfully at the Los Cabos airport .

    Migracion at Guerrero Negro (if there is any ) is among the army buildings at the Mex 1 glorieta north of the exit to town. , if you are heading back north. If you are risking it and going south take the time to check at the Santa Rosalia ferry terminal- with luck there might be a ferry leaving or arriving today and there might be a Migracion staff present .
    Now everybody reading this ,don't ever let this happen again :dirtdog

    ( by the way Solvang is a DANISH fantasy town , not Dutch - the windmill fooled you, ja? :D)
    #40
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