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Old 02-02-2015, 02:20 PM   #1
OaklandF4i
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Barf Baja 2015

I guess this will have to be a bit of a teaser as I took no pics on this years trip. I know there were lots of photos taken by others, so they can add or start new threads as they become available. Others will add more detail I am sure. I'll do my best with the words I have to describe the adventure... and it was an adventure!

First, the 13 participants

Oaklandf4i - a 21 yr old XR650L (age is a state of mind)
Sfcootz - an ironbutt baja ready Dl650
ThumperX and Wayne - a pair of exotic American ATK's
Anytwowilldo - Plated XR400R with a big Acerbis tank owned since new
Lunchbox - KTM690r farkled with the rally fairings and big tanks
1962siia88 - Plated XR650R that turned our prep thread into a build thread
Norcalslowpoke - Husy TE450 (every farkle I know available on it)
Saltwater - A sweet XR650L that mine blush. Nice kicker addition!
HadesOmega - A DR650 that looked ready to cross Mongolia
Cabrito - A KLR that wins most farkled.... aka the Mobile Man Cave
Sasquatch - KTM 640 with the pink handlebar streamers
Dmitriy - Our beer swilling chase truck driving, mechanic, and stand in stunt rider

The first evening everyone made haste to National City CA where we all met for the early Sat departure for the border. While tired, some hardy folks enjoyed a few beverages before hitting the hay. I will say two things. Some jagers were consumed and the pink flamingo fashioned into a beer bong made its first appearance. Flabongo!

DAY 1:

6am the next morning came earlier for some, but we all managed to get off on time to cross the border and stop in at Mexican Immigration for our tourist cards. Relatively uneventful. Someone left their passport on top of the ATM machine in the massive immigration building (it was thankfully still there 20 minutes later when they went to retrieve it), someone decided that their country of origin on the tourist card form was America, and we attempted to leave some one with the Immigration Official. The official refused and insisted we take him with us.......

Full of fuel and our tourist cards procured, the goal was to reach Bahia de los Angeles (Bola) on the Sea of Cortez by nightfall where we would leave the vehicles for the rest of the week. All vehicles made it through TJ without being pulled over.... despite a moon or too thrown from one truck. We safely made it on to the Quota and to Ensenada in formation.

Navigating through Ensenada the radios were pulled out to keep the group on track. Here, Senor Bubbles was informed he was breaking every ham radio rule known. Spirits and humor were high despite the traffic. Once free of traffic, we attempted to find a hub bearing cap replacement for one of the trailers. Finding none, a beer can cap was fashioned and duct taped to the trailer hub. Baja solution number 1!

Halfway to Bola we stop in El Rosario for fuel and food. Here almost the entire group enters the Pemex gas station in the opposite direction of the arrow painted on the dirty pavement. Not an issue most would think.... these Pemex station attendants take their job very seriously with the vigor of Homeland Security Agent on the Canadian border. No gas until we circled and entered following the arrows. We also had our first of many great Mexican meals at Mama Espinozas. As most know, there is also a lot of great eye candy there in the form of Baja Mil memorabilia.

Over lunch some one in the group was very concerned that Bola would still be in shambles from last years storm and supplies might not be available there. Most with Baja experience agreed that would NOT be the case. So we stopped at the market after lunch in El Rosario for the beer and tequila to alleviate any ones fears!

The trip further south was rather uneventful. One trailer had a flat just before Catavina and another upon entering Bola. While fueling up in Bola, part of the crew was busy trying to find a solution for the flat on the BAT (big ass trailer). The service attendant summoned a cousin that had a spare rim and old tire that would suffice until a permanent solution was found. The cousin took the bent rim and shredded tire with him (not sure if that rim ever made it back).

In the interim, Senor Bubbles and team went to look for the evenings lodging and a place to store the vehicles. We decided upon Daggetts and unloaded all of our gear before hurrying off for dinner (we arrived late and bit after dark). Some one will have to fill in the name of that restuarant as I dont remember. I do remember partaking in two beers from the Flabongo and some amazing lentel soup cooked in beef lard. The taste still lingers....

Thats it for day 1. Day 2 to come
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I'm looking for 1970 or older Triumph 650 project, cheap and preferably complete. PM me if you have something - will provide it a good home.

If you think me being naked is offensive, dont look!

"You find the biggest meanest bull, chop off his balls, dangle them in front of him, then hop on his back. That should give you some reference point. Either that, or shove a shuttle rocket up your ass. Take your pick." Colin Edwards

'Cycles is a mean toy lady" Big Halsy

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Old 02-02-2015, 02:44 PM   #2
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Sounds fun!
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Old 02-02-2015, 02:47 PM   #3
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Great write-up, CJ. Looking forward to hearing how the rest of the trip went
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Old 02-02-2015, 03:14 PM   #4
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Great write-up, CJ. Looking forward to hearing how the rest of the trip went
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Old 02-02-2015, 03:25 PM   #5
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Excellent. Have only heard bits and pieces so far, can't wait to hear the rest!
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Old 02-02-2015, 03:30 PM   #6
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Been following your Spot tracks and anxiously awaiting your return. Well, to be honest just waiting for the photos and stories. Should be awesome!
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Old 02-02-2015, 04:27 PM   #7
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Old 02-02-2015, 04:41 PM   #8
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Day 2:

Day 2 is planned as an easy off road route on the bikes from Bola to Punta San Francisquito. I forget the milieage. I think 80ish. Shake down for the bikes, riders, and group. I have never ridden in a group offroad this large over that many miles. Keeping folks on track and in the right direction is the goal for first day. We dont want to lose anyone.

We start the day with a little chat about riding well below your abilities, not within abilities. Help is a long way off and you dont want to ruin the trip for others. ThumperX provided me with some pink streamers to mark trail with.... it was put to a higher use later in the trip. She and Wayne will leave a bit later to catch the group.

Finding the trail out of town turned into a bit of comical Shriners parade as usual. I got directions from a local on the side of the street, but still manage to lead the group in a circle two or three times before finding our exit.

On the trail we are treated to magnificent views of the bay, the Mtns, and a high desert meadow for the lack of a better description. We stop at the beginning of a the first low pass on the route to access. Its pretty obvious that we have a wide range of experience and comfort level in sand (and we havent hit deep stuff yet). The group is going to get very spread out, so we chat about the group accordion technique, the route itself, and when the lead will stop.

Over the pass and into the next valley heading south and east towards San Rafael the two track opens up and I start enjoying the trail with a little speed. Fairly hardpack, plenty of loose rocks, narrow washs (vados) to wheelie over with a tiny bit of sand thrown in. Over one hill as I am enjoying the view of the pink canyon walls and a glimpse of the Sea of Cortez in the distance I come upon two Donkeys in the middle of the track. Skidding to a halt, they both turn their heads in a lazy motion to acknowledge my presence.... and then ignore it. I rev the XR a few times with no response. The weak XR horn solicits no more attention than the revving engine. Then, for no apparent reason, they begin moving at their own pace down the two track in the same direction as I.... albeit without acknowledging me. Eventually after following them a hundred yards or so they decide their path diverges off the two track to the right. They are on Baja time. Time to adjust mine....

The next stop to regroup is on top of a mesa just before San Rafael with a beautiful view of the Sea of Cortez. Its half way to Punta San Francisquito and from the head to the tail of the group we are spread out almost 45 minutes. We use the time refuel our bodies, do some minor maintenance on a bike, recheck our position on the Baja Almanac map, and of course..... bench race.

The next section of our route as we leave San Rafael will take us across a wash many miles wide in light sand before climbing another mountain. I take off across the wash and begin to enjoy to the edge of the two track trail that provides a nice short sand berm in every corner to squirt off of as we slalom through the Cacti forest in the wash. Grin ear to ear under my helmet.

Through the wash we climb the last pass of the day with the trail narrowing slightly and becoming rocky again.. but not bad. Think Carnegie. Through the pass Lunchbox joins me where the trail staightens and we can stretch the legs of the bikes a bit. More wheelies over washes and cacti wizzing by.

Upon reaching the next major intersection of our route, we are only about 10-15 miles from Punta San Francisquito. We stop to regroup and realize the group is now stretched out over an hour from tip to tail. ThumperX and Wayne also catch the group at this time. As we wait, some of us discuss the clear advantage these big red Honda XR's have in Baja over the fancy pumkins, especially the older air cooled ones. XR's are made for Baja.

We eventually send Lunchbox back to check on the tail of our group as he has the most gas in his tanks (those rally tanks rock). We find out we had a rider change in the wash and our first crash of the trip (though not related to each other). Anytwowheels helped the downed rider (he would do this a number of times on this trip for a number of folks to his great credit) and everyone made it safely to the turn off.

While this is happening, I had sent ThumperX and Wayne on to Punta San Francisquito (PSF) to arrange for a meal. Meals, gas, and even a place to stay are far from regularly available there in recent years. We were prepared to camp and eat from our bags, but a hot meal would be REALLY appreciated. Gas too as we would be on the edge of our bikes range to make it out the next day.

Wayne and ThumperX hit pay dirt. Just as they arrived a fisherman was unloading a nice Yellow Tail. Wayne and the Nicaraguan tourist fisherman by way of LA arranged for the folks at PSF to cook up the yellow tail for the 13 of us. There was also 15 gallons of gas for us to share.

The group arrived in PSF late in the afternoon but before dark. I will have to do some thinking about tomorrows route as we will see our first real sand and need to make sure we all make it safe. An alternate will route for part of the group will have to be figured out.

PSF has been hit by a number of storms over the year, an earthquake, and changing ownership. There is really only one building left in good condition, the main one. We set up camp on the beach, some folks stringing hammocks from roofless walls. Others strung tarps from the walls and put there sleeping bags on top of old wooden cots. Others chose to sleep under the stars later in the evening on the beach next to the fire....

Oh yeh, the bonfire. Prior to dark and dinner, Lunchbox and I decide to seek out some firewood for the post dinner bonfire. Its there we a small group of locals celebrating one of their crews 22nd birthday. He informs us that it may be a little loud with the party music... we laugh and say we wont be fazed if we can join! This is where Sasquatch decides to try out his spanish for the first time on this trip (and it does improve). However this time, he asks if there will any an guapa chicas at the party. The poor look on the birthday boys face..... handsome women? We all got a great laugh after realizing the spanish error.

Dinner. Many thought it was the best fish tacos ever! From whole fish straight from the sea to tacos in front of us. Amazing dinner. A number of folks had second plates, and the first plate was already very generous. The poor women was a little frustrated as she actually ran out of yellow tail meat for the tacos so many folks had asked for seconds. I was greatful as I knew had it not been for the fisherman and Wayne, we would have been eating nothing more than bean and rice tortillas that night. I was Baja greatful.

After dinner folks fired up a large bonfire on the beach with a music from the bday party in the background. Sasquatch shared a large bottle of tequila that passed until empty. Tecates from from the FJ. Great night with great folks and new friends.

As I fell asleep on the beach next to the fire, I was even greatful for the light drizzle. A little wet as I had no cover, but warm and comfortable... I was greatful for the drizzle knowing it would cut down on any dust on tomorrows right.

Baja greatful for a great ride, full stomach, new friends, and to be alive in such a wonderful place. Baja greatful!

Day three to come....
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I'm looking for 1970 or older Triumph 650 project, cheap and preferably complete. PM me if you have something - will provide it a good home.

If you think me being naked is offensive, dont look!

"You find the biggest meanest bull, chop off his balls, dangle them in front of him, then hop on his back. That should give you some reference point. Either that, or shove a shuttle rocket up your ass. Take your pick." Colin Edwards

'Cycles is a mean toy lady" Big Halsy
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Old 02-02-2015, 04:55 PM   #9
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I need to add 13 and one Bossdog. He rely had a blast
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DMV test is not there to teach or prove you can ride the bike, it is there to prove that you can control the bike.
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Old 02-02-2015, 05:07 PM   #10
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Great write up. Viva Senor Bubbles!!
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Old 02-02-2015, 05:53 PM   #11
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Day 1

After crossing the border






The caravan on MEX 1


Lunch at Mama Espinosa's (lobster burritos yum!)










Driving down to BoLA the scenery was beautiful but roads were treacherous as reminded by roadside memorials





These sunrises & sunsets did NOT suck!





Stay tuned for Day 2

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Old 02-02-2015, 06:05 PM   #12
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Old 02-02-2015, 06:34 PM   #13
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Day 3:

Our goal on day three is to ride offroad from Punta San Franscuito to Vizcaino via El Arco and on to Mulege via the pavement by nightfall. If we leave by 7am I believe there is no reason not make Vizcaino by noon... a mere 70 miles away.

I awake a little groggy this am. A combination of the residual tequila, smoke from the fire I slept next too and the drizzle I endured under no cover all night. I am stoked to see others already awake and making ready for the day's trip. A little caffeine and copenhagen puts me on my way as well. I'm still laughing to myself from all the stories shared the evening before.

The first half of the leg to El Arco is going to take us out a long wash in light to moderate sand on a two track. We make a rider change for this section, Dmitriy is on the DL650. This leg is fairly unevently. Folks are doing better in the sand. A few folks miss a turn in the sand and head straight out into the virgin deep sand in the middle of the wash. Nothing dangerous... just good for lots of laughs as some negotiate the deep sand better than others.

Out of the sandwash and back on to hard pack the whole group is making good time. We plan stopping at the cave paintings just east of El Arco. We find the Mesa where Wayne and I each seperately head out looking for the trail to the paintings. With no luck, Lunchbox uses his GPS to find the head of the trail and the group enters.

Along the narrow two track lined by cacti, Wayne and SFcootz decide to do some trail improvement by using the FJ to pull a downed cactus off the trail. For those of you who have never experienced a cactus in person... they are not soft and dont bend or break easily. More like a thorny oak tree IMO. They hurt and dont break away when you hit them. Thorns are so sharp and strong they will actually stick in and stay in plastic bark buster.

Lunchbox was the only one to wheelie over the downed cactus and was our first flat tire. Coincedence?

At the end of the trail we come to a wash with deep virgin sand. I still dont see any sign of a trail up the mesa to the paintings. I decide to investigate north and south up the wash for signs of a trail. As I am returning north from my last ditch effort I find what seems like a 1/3 of the group with their bikes stuck upright and in various stages of digging out of the sand.

Upon getting all the bikes out to hard ground we decide as a group we dont have the time to investigate further and should move on to El Arco. At El Arco we split into two groups. Half will take the easy route on a graded gravel road west to the pavement, then head east on the pavement and meet us in San Ignacio. The other half follows me SE toward Mission Santa Gertrudis and then S via a two track across the sand of the Viscaino desert to the pavement. Its may 25 miles to pavement and folks know to expect sand. Still shouldnt be more than an hour......

We are still adjusting to Baja time. Some folks are hitting the physical wall and struggling to get through and out of the sands. Most are in good spirits after 3-4 hours of sand. No nav errors, its just took some folks longer than others to go through it. Lunchbox, Anytwowilldo, Norcalslowpoke, and Wayne were a huge help. Others were troopers to keep getting up and trying again. Motor on! Once out and on the pavement we gassed up at Vizcaino and then moved on to meet the group in San Ignacio.

The rest of the group that took the easy split were already at Rice and Beans in San Ignacio when we arrived. Dmitriy was trying to convince Walker Evans (of Baja Mil fame) that he should let him drive his monster of a prerunning buggy and that it would make a great chase vehicle for the group. Meanwhile, my group fueled up on great food and drink. Its only a couple of hours to Mulege via the pavement. Easy Peasy.....

Except two of our bikes headlights werent working, another had tail light out, another missing their plate back in the desert and and and...... Its Mexico where we will be finishing the ride at night.

Best headlights were on HadesOmega's bike so he was out front and the chase FJ following close behind. We made it safely to Mulege with only a few frayed nerves and personalities. I dont recommend anyone ever doing this. This was bad timing and execution on our part. We made it safe, and it just adds to the story. Others can add in some details on this segment

Safe in Mulege, Sfcootz negotiated a great rate at Hotel La Terrazas for us. After unloading we made a be line to Francesco's restuarant. While he normally closes at 10, he stayed open late for us and even sent some one out to get more food to prepare for us. We ate and drank like kings while sharing some significant war stories from the day.

Day 4 to come.....
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I'm looking for 1970 or older Triumph 650 project, cheap and preferably complete. PM me if you have something - will provide it a good home.

If you think me being naked is offensive, dont look!

"You find the biggest meanest bull, chop off his balls, dangle them in front of him, then hop on his back. That should give you some reference point. Either that, or shove a shuttle rocket up your ass. Take your pick." Colin Edwards

'Cycles is a mean toy lady" Big Halsy
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Old 02-02-2015, 07:11 PM   #14
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Time to catch up here is Day 2

First & last shot of the best condition those riders and bikes will be in for the next few days:

Oaklandf4i - a 21 yr old XR650L (age is a state of mind)


Sfcootz - an ironbutt baja ready Dl650


ThumperX and Wayne - a pair of exotic American ATK's


Anytwowilldo - Plated XR400R with a big Acerbis tank owned since new


Lunchbox - KTM690r farkled with the rally fairings and big tanks


1962siia88 - Plated XR650R that turned our prep thread into a build thread


Norcalslowpoke - Husy TE450 (every farkle I know available on it)


Saltwater - A sweet XR650L that mine blush. Nice kicker addition!


HadesOmega - A DR650 that looked ready to cross Mongolia


Cabrito - A KLR that wins most farkled.... aka the Mobile Man Cave


Sasquatch - KTM 640 with the pink handlebar streamers


Dmitriy - Our beer swilling chase truck driving, mechanic, and stand in stunt rider (not pictured as he was still drunk in the gutter or something)


The scenery was killer:






'Hotel' for the night had some stunning views:




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Old 02-02-2015, 07:13 PM   #15
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Day 2 Continued

Hammocks were strung and sleeping bags ready just before dinner:








Did I mention the stunning sunsets?!:




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