What the Heck, Let's Go to Baja!

Discussion in 'Trails - Events - Expeditions' started by Hltoppr, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. Hltoppr

    Hltoppr

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    This thread isn't Land Cruiser based, but I hope ya'll stuck behind a desk or otherwise at work won't mind a little internet-based travel.

    The Background, or "Foolishness or Adventure":

    About one month ago I started riding motorcycles. I took a MSF Basic Rider Course in April, and had been looking for a bike for a bit, when a client just happened to have a 2002 Honda XR650L with 2K miles on it that they wouldn't mind trading some work for, so I picked it up!

    Wednesday, June 1st I pick the bike up....Thursday, June 2nd I run into a buddy who has a 1988 Honda NX650 and is leaving Thursday, June 9th to go to Mulege in Baja Sur, Baja California, about 600 miles down the East Coast of Baja Mexico.

    Ten Days of Baja!!!! :bounce: :bounce:

    So, I say what the hell, my schedule is clear (relatively... :rolleyes: ), flight clearance is granted from the wife; and sign up for the trip.

    The plan....Flagstaff, AZ to Yuma, AZ day one, over the Mingus Mountains and down into the desert. Mexico crossing early day two and on to Bahia de San Luis Gonzaga, then to Guerro Negro on day three, with a final push to Mulege on day 4.

    Once we get ferry information at Santa Rosalia, we plan to ship the bikes, and ourselves, across the Sea of Cortez to the Western coast of mainland Mexico at Guaymas and run up through Hermosillo and Nogales, stopping in Tucson for the night, and home on day 10.

    Getting the Honda prepped for the trip was a run...larger gas tank, new tires with heavy duty tubes, re-jetting the carb and adjusting valves; luggage....whew!

    On Friday, June 10 we set off!

    Pic 1 Riding along the Sea of Cortez
    Pic 2 Shade at La Ventana North of San Felipe
    Pic 3 Wishing all Mudders a "Weather is here, wish you were beautiful salute!" :flipoff2:

    -H-
    LaVentana Shade.jpg GonzagaRdRide.jpg SaluteGonzaga.jpg
     
  2. Hltoppr

    Hltoppr

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    As I don't have much experience on dirt, the road to Gonzaga, which I've done several times in the 80, is well....challenging.

    We roll into a hotel/restaurant called Alfonsina's about 8 pm, just after dark.

    Of course, we take a wrong turn and bury the bikes in about 12" of sand....then I proceed to dump the bike in that same sand...

    As karma would have it, we haven't seen anyone for several hours, and as I'm getting up off the ground, I notice I'm illuminated by headlights, only to turn around to a hearty "Que Paso, Amigo!" and guy in a pickup truck behind me...

    I didn't know how to say in Spanish..."Well, I just dumped the bike in this friggin' sand!"

    We opted for a small room at the local hotel, and a hearty fish dinner...a couple of fresh margaritas made the throbbing in my right knee feel much better. Funny how that works!

    The next day we rode past CoCo's corner and on to Guerro Negro, where we got first class accomodations for the night, including being able to park the bikes right outside our room (at $20 each for a nice hotel, I'm not complaining about not camping in the desert....)

    -H-
    Mexico 5 Sign.jpg HotelParkGN.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2005
  3. Hltoppr

    Hltoppr

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    The next day we ride on for Mulege, stopping at a small town called San Ignacio, where an underground river hits the surface to make a spectacular oasis in the middle of the Baja Desert.

    As we get to "downtown" we notice a couple of Yamaha with these HUGE aluminum boxes on the back, and the riders just getting off. Turns out to be a great couple from England, Lew and Anita, who have sold everything they own and are riding around the world on motorcycles!

    They've been out for a year already, having traveled through Iceland, Canada, the US, and now are making their way to Cabo and then to Mexico and South America.

    We immediately hit it off with these crazy folks and ride into the next town, Santa Rosalia, for some lunch. Turns out that they're spending some time in Mulege too, so we end up hanging out for a few days.

    So check out www.yamaroundtheworld.com to follow these guys' adventures!
    BritBikes.jpg BikesSantaRosalia.jpg SanIgnChurch.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2005
  4. Hltoppr

    Hltoppr

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    Other than Lew taking a c-clip in a tire, we made it to Santa Rosalia just fine!

    Needless to say, Mulege and the Bay of Conception doesn't suck... ;p

    If you're down that way, check out a place called Eco Mundo, the owners, Greg and Tracy, will set you up with great coffee and some sea kayaks to explore the islands!
    TireCclip.jpg ConceptionView1.jpg KayakFeet.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2005
  5. Hltoppr

    Hltoppr

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    After several days in and around Mulege, we get our bikes ready for the trip back. The ferry leaves Santa Rosalia on Wednesdays and Fridays at 8 pm, and takes about 8 hours...we book a cabin so that we can get some rest, as the next day will be a run for the border....Guaymas to Tucson, about 350 miles away (Remember, we're on single cylinder thumpers, not "rolling couch" Harleys! Our asses get sore!)

    The ferry is full, and we're jammed into every nook and cranny around other trucks and cars, but the cabin is comfy and the views are awesome!

    A few other guys from Mexico City join us on their fancy BMW bikes....if you can see in the background.

    We make it back to Flagstaff on Sunday, June 19th, to our wives who are happy to see us! We're already planning the next trip!

    -H- :beer:
    FerryFront.jpg FerryLine.jpg FerryTiedown.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2005
  6. Hltoppr

    Hltoppr

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    Overall, the lightweight approach is an incredible experience. Wherever we went, people wave and want to talk to you. It's totally different than rolling into a town encased in glass and metal. I'm hooked!

    Cheers! Here's a final view from the ferry going into Guaymas!

    -H-
    GuaymasSunrise.jpg
     
  7. woody

    woody unhelpful spotter Staff Member Admin

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    damn, that sounds like fun...love those "luggage racks" and the scenery is awesome!
     
  8. Mike S

    Mike S

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    Sounds like a super trip. Gotta love Baja!!

    M
     
  9. Pyro-boy

    Pyro-boy

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    That looks like an awsome trip :cheers: . I hope to go to Baja next year.

    Vince
     
  10. wcrbikemike

    wcrbikemike

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    Nice write up. Looks like a great trip.
     
  11. Hangtowncruzr

    Hangtowncruzr

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    The locals are very friendly even if you are wrapped with metal and glass. We went during spring break and cover 945 miles in 6 days up and down both coasts ending up at Mikes Sky Ranch. Everyone we met welcomed us with good food and hospitality. I can only imagine what the craziness is like during one of the big races.
    campatbeach.jpg
     
  12. Hangtowncruzr

    Hangtowncruzr

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    Cross country desert all out and Rock Crawlin all in the same trip
    intomission.jpg
     
  13. Brentbba

    Brentbba Former Golfer SILVER Star

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    You have the best trip write-up's H. Very nice again. Thx for the brief escape from the office.
     
  14. Hltoppr

    Hltoppr

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    I've heard some of the roads to Mike's Sky Rancho are pretty knarly! I haven't had the opportunity to cruise through the central mountain ranges yet, but can't wait! There are some hot springs in Canyon de Guadalupe that I've heard are fantastic!

    -H-
     
  15. JasonH

    JasonH

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    Great trip! I'd love to do Baja someday. If you haven't already, make sure you check out the trip reports on http://www.advrider.com . It'll give you lots of ideas for your next trip.
     
  16. alia176

    alia176

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    I don't have a bike, maybe I'll just be your support wagon and follow you guys around! Looks like great fun.
     
  17. Hltoppr

    Hltoppr

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    Support!? :rolleyes: Half the fun is going light with no support vehicles! :D I think my next trip will be solo to central Mexico on the bike!

    I'm also on adventure rider (also as Hltoppr), and just last night got my copy of the recent edition of the Adventure Motorcycling Handbook. That's a dangerous book! There's so much of the world to see!

    Cheers!

    -H-

    I'm glad ya'll enjoy the pics!

    :beer:
     
  18. LabRat11

    LabRat11

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    What general area are you refering to as 'central' Mexico. Have any thoughts yet on your destinations??? Open for a few off the beaten path suggestions???
     
  19. Hltoppr

    Hltoppr

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    I think I'm going to head to Copper Canyon...Creel in October maybe? There's a Horizon's Unlimited (World Motorcycle Traveler's) meeting there that I may try to make.

    -H-
     
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