Baja California (Norte), January 2016...just us and our amigo, "El Niño!"

RIDGE

Adventurer
#1
So there we were, in a little bit of a predicament again...alone, AGAIN!! I really need to get a winch!



Anyway, I'll get back to that in a bit.

Our trip really started on January 1st when we crossed the border into Mexicali. Have you ever seen ads against drunk driving, or what happens when you don't wear your seat belt? Well, let's just say Mexico takes it to a whole other level! I'm not sure what the message here is supposed to be though!


Don't drink and drive! These were placed in and around San Felipe (or maybe it was just another typical New Years day!)




San Felipe is a fun town. If you are nervous about Baja, this is a good place to be as there are many retired Americans who live here. There are lots of good restaurants, like Pete's Camp.










And you can drive on the beach! (Maybe I should have paid a little more attention to this!)
 

RIDGE

Adventurer
#2
This was an inside joke...I HATE leaving home with a dirty van! Many times I've washed the van in the middle of the night before a trip, but not this time. My work schedule gets crazy and I just didn't have time, but no big deal, there are tons of car washes in Baja.



The only problem with this plan was they were all closed because it was New Years Day! Lol. Dammit.

I was excited to head south and show Kristal what Baja is really about. I wasn't really paying attention to the weather at this point, but I should've been, I had a lot of desolate backroads planned. But, we still had some pavement to pound.








But not before one last reminder!
 

RIDGE

Adventurer
#3
My late friend, Ramsey El Wardani (Agile Offroad), suggested we turn left after the big cactus. YEAH RIGHT! LOL! We looked for this secret beach/camp spot for hours...still saw some great stuff though.
















I'm a van guy but this is taking it too far.


 

RIDGE

Adventurer
#4
Lots of abandoned vehicles, boats, trailers...and doggies.


We headed out a different way we came in, mostly because we never found what we were looking for.


After this dilapidated entrance art (and feeding a couple stray dogs), we turned left (south) on to HWY 5.


Pessimist.


Optimist.


Nothing says Baja more than an abandoned Baja Bug used for yard art, with an awesome looking stance!










One of the things I absolutely love about Baja is the freedom! If you see a really cool beach, and there is a road going to it, take it!




Those wet rocks weren't all that small and I hadn't aired down the tires yet, so it was a little rough.
 

RIDGE

Adventurer
#5
The beach was cool but we had lots of stuff to see, so we bugged out and did a little more exploring on our way back to HWY 5.




This guy was keeping a close eye on us.




Even the highway scenery is amazing.










You'll find these military checkpoints in Baja...nothing to fear, these are the good guys. But they might inspect your junk regardless! Having some off-road stickers handy always helps!
 

RIDGE

Adventurer
#6
The sun was starting to set so we decided to spend the night in Gonzaga Bay. There was a mini-mart on the right of the highway where we paid for a spot to camp on the beach. There were quite a few other Americans already there...it was fun!


We awoke to the sun rising over the Sea of Cortez and started south again pretty early...to beat traffic (lol).








Driving down this road gave me some flashbacks to the 2012 Baja 1000...


When you've been on the bike for 300 miles non-stop, and still have 100 more to go...you try to relax any way possible.


I'll get back to the thread tomorrow. Thanks for reading!
 

RIDGE

Adventurer
#7
The traffic south of Ganzaga is pretty low. In fact, this was it!


Out in the middle of nowhere you'll find Coco's Corner. Coco is a staple in the off-road world as far as Baja is concerned. I've been visiting him since I was working for Tim Morton's Baja Bound (bajaboundmoto.com) in the late 90s.






We didn't spend much time at Coco's because I wanted to show Kristal some of the more scenic stuff I race through. We headed east for a short way and then south again. This road is in good shape for a ways, eventually narrowing down to a small two track road as you head farther south.






I've seen some racers get pretty creative with their course markings. This is one of my favorites...it makes you giggle at time of suffering!


It is also the beginning of a great section called Calamaju Wash!




I have no idea what this used to be but it's just to the left as you drop in to the wash.


 

RIDGE

Adventurer
#9
There are a couple routes to choose from to get back to HWY 1. Whichever one you take, it seems like a while to get there.




Still lots to see if you enjoy the desert!





Have you ever heard of silt? Imagine driving through 3' deep baby powder...with ruts and holes hidden in there! You don't want to get stuck in this stuff because once you open a door, everything you own will be covered in dust!
This is what it looks like as you approach.


Then get ready and hold on!














To give you an idea about how bad silt is...all those pictures were taken around 10MPH!
 
#10
Keep the pictures coming! I am stoked to head south of the border in a little over a month! The silt is no joke, maintain momentum and keep the revs high and cross your fingers.
 

RIDGE

Adventurer
#12
After the siltbed we cruised on through the desert some more...enjoying the scenery.






Back on HWY1 for a stint...


Turn left for a good time!










Made it to Bay of LA with some time to spare to look around!










Our 5 star room for the night!
 

RIDGE

Adventurer
#13
Kristal and I had some food and many margaritas but still got up early enough to do some exploring around town. We saw this manly lookin truck.




Found this cool area north of town.








We went as far north as possible and enjoyed the tranquility...and the wheeling!








And some more abandoned stuff!
 

RIDGE

Adventurer
#14
Our next true destination was the San Borja mission. While doing some research on our route I came across some areas that looked too good to pass up, and they were somewhat on the way to the mission.

This trail isn't as well traveled but the scenery is awesome! Lot's of desert pinstriping to be had...







These petroglyphs always trip me out. I can't help to think about how long ago these were made, what life was like, if they got in trouble for graffiti, etc.


















Continuing on the trail...






Amazing view!






 

RIDGE

Adventurer
#15
Back to the San Borja mission trail. It's not a bad trail and I think you could get almost anything back in there.




Still like to get my race on!








San Borja










The inside is unbelievable...I don't even know where to start, so I'll just post a couple pics.


















Remnants of the old mission from the 1700s.