Saturday, February 28, 2009

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ESN:0-7387679
Latitude:31.1097
Longitude:-115.636
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:02/28/2009 23:51:46 (GMT)
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ESN:0-7387679
Latitude:30.8603
Longitude:-115.7141
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:02/28/2009 19:58:38 (GMT)
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ESN:0-7387679
Latitude:30.7125
Longitude:-115.9976
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:02/28/2009 16:06:21 (GMT)
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Friday, February 27, 2009

February 27

This morning we woke up early in Guerrero Negro and crossed into BCN. There was no one at the checkpoint, so we drove through. At the next checkpoint we were stopped and had to get out to open the trailer. It was a good thing, since one of the hinges holding up the large bunk had broken and another hinge had pulled off the wall making the trailer a mess. We decided to undo the last hinge to lay the bunk on the floor for the rest of the day.
We stopped at Punta Prieta for breakfast at the same restaurant we ate at on the way down. Good folks.
At a fuel stop we met an amazing man, who as it turned out wrote the songs “You ain’t nothing but a Hound Dog” and “Twist and Shout”. Not only that, but he invented Tomato Soup and named the city of Honolulu. Clare thought that it might not be all true, but the man assured him that even though it sounded too good to be true, it surely was.
At the last checkpoint of the day we pulled alongside a truck that had to open his rear door. What a surprise to watch hundreds of squash fall out onto the road right in front of us. Needless to say, our trailer was not of great interest to the guards after that.
We decided to stop for the evening at Colonia Vicente Guerrero which seemed like a good place to leave for tomorrow’s ride. We also rode the bikes out to the coast to see a shipwreck and had a very nice cruise along the sharp cliffs on the way back.
This is our last night in Mexico and tomorrow will be the end of the motorcycle odyssey we call MennoBaja.

Thurs. Feb. 26th - pictures

We took an hour and a half to ride around the shore and up the Puente Concepcion peninsula. It was a blast to fly over the sand and mud in the tidal flood plane, and even Glenn was grining through his pain and gut discomfort (it seems someone sold us "agua pura" that wasn't - he's still working that out).






We then loaded up and drove the rest of the day north up the coast and across to Guerrero Negro for night. The oasis at Mulege is especially scenic.

Pavement Sucks – Rocks Rock…

Ok – by now you have read Rachel’s somewhat biased report of our loop ride via La Purisima. Rachel tends to think that pavement is good and rocks are bad. I however spend most of my time thinking about how I might die on pavement – it is such an unpredictable surface, dirt on the other hand is always predictable and safe! After spending the first 8 miles contemplating the various ways I might crash and burn the pavement eventually gave way to a pleasant windy dirt road. After about 40 miles of this we came to Comondu – an oasis in the middle of the dessert.

After a short break we left for an 18 mile leg to La Purisma – this part of the trail was my favorite. We spent an hour negotiating large boulders and loose shale. Rachel may have experienced a few bumps on the way…but don’t let her description of this trail make you think that we didn’t have a good time.

In La Purisma we purchased gas from a local entrepreneur and after a short break we left for the final 40 mile leg of the trip. This was a fun, fast graded road. After arriving at Mexico 1 I loaded my bike into the truck and avoided having to drive on the dangerous pavement….

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ESN:0-7387679
Latitude:30.8613
Longitude:-116.1659
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:02/27/2009 23:23:37 (GMT)
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Thursday, February 26, 2009

wed. feb. 25th....rachel's point of view

…. You have to wait for Glen’s posting for the other opinion about the same day……

Another hot day in the sun. 11am, and we were hitting the road from just south of Loreto on our way to La Parisma and back up towards the highway where we’d meet Clare in Rosarito. The first 8 miles turned out to be paved. Good news for me, not so much for Glen. Then we met construction….and a group of tourists taking photos of it. Not so sure about that one! Then the trail became a windy, rocky dirt road thru the mtns. Windy dirt is still fairly slow going for me, but at least it was still fun road, and had beautiful views.
We arrived at the mission town of Comondu, where we took a small break to look at a beautiful stone church, and where I had a small conversation with an 80+yr old couple who were “very poor and can’t work any more because we’re too old.”. it made me smile.
The smile quickly faded when the trail became a track of large loose boulders, which kicked my bike around like a “bucking bronco” (as russ put it). This became VERY exhausting, VERY quickly. My pace slowed to a crawl as I tried to pick my way thru these rocks while trying VERY hard to keep rubber side down, at some points literally walking my bike! (while sitting on it). At one point a rock bucked my bike right off the trail and in a desperate attempt to keep the bike running and moving forward I kept barreling along the ‘shoulder’ and hopping off of several large rocks before finally spilling it again. This time the only damage was a peg down my boot, trapping one leg for a bit while my other leg was laying on top of the engine and burning thru the pants. After a wee struggle to get the bike started again, I continued to creep forward with my trusty “bounty….the quicker picker upper” (russ) following behind.
Blissfully, we arrived in the beautiful oasis towns of San Isidro and La Parisma. The locals either laughed at us, or just stared at me when I asked them a question, and all the children wanted to see a wheelie. We gased up, and after questioning the locals, I was prepared for another 60km of ‘mas o menos’ the same kind of road. Thankfully, they were wrong, and we had 20 miles of wonderful grated track where I could actually maintain some sort of speed. Ironically, this stretch of road appeared as the worst stretch on the map. Wrong again. The last 20 miles were a mix of straight stretches of flat grated road, windy rocky patches and beautiful valley vistas…… and the whole time, I was counted down the miles.

We managed to make it out onto asphalt, find Clare and get to a campsite all before the sun went down. Ask Glen about how import that was! And for the second nite in a row, I parked my tent in front of the water on a beach and woke to dolphins dancing in the bay. (sorry mom!)

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ESN:0-7387679
Latitude:27.9683
Longitude:-114.0304
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:02/27/2009 00:10:08 (GMT)
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=27.9683,-114.0304&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Tues, Feb 24th

(I've lost count of the days, and resorted to figuring out the date...)
We again stayed with our new friends at Campestre Maranatha in La Paz (recommended), where we took the chance to change our oil. In the morning we rode up the coastal road to San Juan de la Coasta (north of La Paz) and back. It was some beautiful twisty road, and Russ got some great video shots over his handlebars that we'll try to post if this wifi continues to work.

This ride is when we discovered Rachel’s bike had all but cannibalized her air filter (she was spitting blue smoke on high-speed deceleration), with only small bits of foam left and a lot of dust and dirt in her intake. This is not good. We drove into town to the bike shops and managed to get a foam filter from something else that we could make fit. That could have ended much worse, but the bike seems fine now that it's cleaned up.
After the morning ride, we packed up the bikes and made a run north to Ligui to camp on the beach. We arrived at sunset, and thought we’d be able to finally set up camp in daylight. True to form, we followed the road to the beach, and decided to follow the tracks to the far end (closer to what we suspected were the “banjos”). The far end turned out to be much softer, deeper sand (of course), and we got the truck & trailer stuck, 30ft from our destination. Some fairly quick but significant exertion using our firewood lumber to dig the truck out and make a board track to drive on as daylight faded, and we were making supper and starting a beach fire in the dark.

Del’s skipped meals and dehydration seemed to catch up after the work of pushing the truck out of the sand, and he had an extended dizzy spell that made the rest of us rather nervous. By the morning, all seemed to returning to what’s been passing as normal on this trip, so we packed the bikes for the next day and hit the road.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

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ESN:0-7387679
Latitude:26.6436
Longitude:-111.8454
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:02/26/2009 04:10:38 (GMT)
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ESN:0-7387679
Latitude:25.7404
Longitude:-111.2561
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:02/25/2009 15:33:32 (GMT)
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

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ESN:0-7387679
Latitude:24.3761
Longitude:-110.6898
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:02/24/2009 17:19:37 (GMT)
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=24.3761,-110.6898&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Monday, Feb. 23

Yesterday we had a great day of riding from El Pescedaro to La Paz, through the mountains in the south and then up Highway 1. I took my first spill there on a hard-packed gravely corner, but there were no witnesses. (If a guy falls in the desert and no one hears him, was there really a sound.) We were going to take another route through a national park, out the road is closed now. Glenn, Russ and I decided to take in one more loop on a side road before the end of the day, and it ended up being the fall of Glenn. He will be fine, but he was really hurting last night.

When we got back to Campestra Maranatha we were greeted by Cindy and her mother this time. As it turns out, her mom is Faye Hooley Byers Taylor Swartzendruber who went to school with my mother and who grew up at the church where I used to pastor in Oregon. We recognized each other right away even though it had been 15 years and a very different context. We also met Faye’s third husband who has all sorts of Hesston connections as well.

To end the day, we needed to change oil in the bikes and did the usual cooking and posting pictures and stories before retiring.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Day 8 (Day 7 on Bikes) - pictures















Then we headed East to try to cross the mountains back to the #1 where we could head north to La Paz. We had to ask directions a number of times to get to the right road, but what a road! Some stunning mountain climbs...

We met a couple other bikers coming the other way when we'd stopped for a break under the shade of an interesting tree.



Day 8 (Day 7 on Bikes) - pictures

We started today with a quick jaunt down to the beach to catch Glenn (and Russ) throwing sand roosters, since my helmetcam batt's had died (after that clip I posted of two days earlier) and I missed his first one. I'll try to post video tomorrow am if there's time...



Day 6 (Day 5 on Bikes) - video

Here's a bouncing rough taste of riding a comparatively smooth road down to the coast north of La Paz.

video

Day 7 (Day 6 on Bikes) - pictures

After 2 days around La Paz (staying at Campestre Maranatha), we rode south around the east coast to San Jose del Cabos on an absolutely stunning, breath-taking coastal "road".




Day 5 (Day 4 on Bikes) - pictures

This day was a day of mostly truck riding. Here's some pics of the Mexican Countryside, etc.










Del, Rachel and Russ rode to the northern end of the peninsula east of La Paz that afternoon while Glenn hunted down the aforementioned sprocket.







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ESN:0-7387679
Latitude:23.3701
Longitude:-109.7526
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:02/23/2009 20:35:08 (GMT)
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ESN:0-7387679
Latitude:23.3681
Longitude:-110.1736
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:02/23/2009 15:38:57 (GMT)
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Sunday, February 22, 2009

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ESN:0-7387679
Latitude:23.3668
Longitude:-110.1744
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:02/23/2009 03:15:00 (GMT)
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ESN:0-7387679
Latitude:23.0608
Longitude:-109.6941
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:02/22/2009 21:34:20 (GMT)
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ESN:0-7387679
Latitude:23.1704
Longitude:-109.4849
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:02/22/2009 20:45:20 (GMT)
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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Surfer Dude from Montana, Sprockets, Encountering the local Police and living with the Neufeld’s…

It has been a while since I last posted. Not sure if this will turn into a reflective piece or a travel log. Currently I am sitting in a coffee shop in La Paz and if you purchase a cup of coffee you get free internet and free calls to home. I have just finished talking to Rita (my wife), now it is time to post…

The riding has been nothing short of amazing – today I was able to drive down the beach at 60 mph with the waves rolling in just feet from my bike. Russ was going to video this experience, but according to him the batter to his video recorder went dead as soon as we arrived at the beach…the only evidence of this experience is the sand in my boots.

As some of you have already read my rear sprocket started losing teeth a couple of days ago – this essentially grounded me from riding. So I have spent much of the last 48 hours waiting for my bike to be repaired. When one is at a campground full of folks from Canada and the US and your friend our out riding even an introvert like me starts to meet people. Surfer dude from Montana has to be one of the most interesting people I have met on this trip so far. This guy is a carpenter and has spent the past 17 winters in Baja surfing. He and his wife surface in resort campgrounds every couple of weeks to shower, by supplies and catch up with what is happening around the world.

Tonight I receive my second fine in two days…yesterday the police pulled me over for “rolling through a stop sign.” With my lack of Spanish and the police officers lack of English we soon came to an understanding…I could go to the police station and pay a 2,000 peso fine or I could give him a 1,000 pesos and everything would be forgotten…without admitting to what I ended up doing, it would be fair to say the he and his partner had beer money yesterday. Now back to today – my sprocket was finally replaced by 3 PM and I wanted to go riding…off to the beach we went. After 3 hours of wonderful riding – Russ, Del and I are less than 2 miles from camp and supper – when a truck flashes his police lights – both Del and I are pulled over – Russ ditches us…the police also notice that our “amigo” left us in our hour of need. This time I know the routine – we are told that if we go to the police station the fine will be 1,000 pesos but if we pay now they will cut the fine in half…I pull out 300 pesos and say this is all I have – the office reluctantly accepts. Del opens his wallet and the police get to see how much $$$ he has – so his fine ends up being 470 pesos.

For those of you out there who are better acquainted with the “Neufeld” insistence of over processing every conversation…I need advice 

Tomorrow we ride to Cabo…it will be a 150 mile day on the bikes…

Day 4 (Day 3 on Bikes) - pictures

The oasis at San Ignacio
Breakfast (Huervos w/ a local sausage -not sure of the name)
Local mission built in 1699
A little riding (Rachel took the day off to recover)
Dusk in Rosalia

La Paz

We're here at Campestre Maranatha in La Paz, and Glenn's got a sprocket coming today at noon, so we're expecting him to be back on the trail today. Del, Rachel and I rode some yesterday afternoon while he was at the shop, taking roads (paved mostly) up the peninsula. The coast is lined w/ Playa's (resorts, hotels, restaurants, etc), but up at the point we found some nice open beach to play on.

We're trying to post pics and video, but getting them up is an ordeal, and it took 4 attempts and more than 3 hours of the computer "working" on it over a number of days just to get that last clip up. The 'net connections aren't reliable down here. So, pics might be slow in coming...

More writing later tonight?...

Day 3 (Day 2 on Bikes) - pictures