Thursday, February 19, 2009

Day 2 in Mexico - First Ride

We camped our first night at Familia Lucinda’s campground, where we had delicious suppers (crab-stuff jumbo schrimp, etc) before an early bedtime to the sound of water dripping off the trees onto the tarp outside. Several of us awoke to water dripping on our faces (at varying hours of the am), not because the roof re-sealing I did San Diego didn’t work, but because 5 people breathing all night in a warm trailer caused a significant amount of condensation to form on the cold steel roof rails (right above the bunks, between the insulation sheets). Not quite a problem we expected in the desert...

The sun rose in clear skies, and the walk down to the beach was beautiful. Anticipating a breakfast from the same local restaurant, we packed up camp. An hour past the posted time it was clear they weren’t starting on time today, so we ate in Rosario at a famous Baja 1000 checkpoint: Mama Esperanza (Glenn posted something using her WiFi, probably wildly inaccurate).

After driving to Chapala, we unloaded the bikes, packed our riding bags for the first time, and headed out to Coco’s Corner (another famous race checkpoint). Coco’s an interesting fellow, a double amputee living out the desert by himself. After buying a few of the only thing he had to sell at the time (Pacifico servesas), and heeding his warnings about a quick-sand creek crossing further up the trail (‘stay on right of camino – you go left or you too far right and you sink! You go swimming – bye bye…’), we headed on down the “road” towards Calamajue.

The riding was fun, and challenging. It got progressively more technical as we went, and after a few miles we found the road have started following a creek flowing out of the mountains, crossing it many times, and just running up the creek bed in parts. A couple miles in we came to this aforementioned crossing. It was a point in the road where water pooled in a low spot (3-5 ft deep?) with much and marsh all around it, and the road just went right through it. So, we looked at the road, and where other trucks appeared to have made/attempted crossing, and tried to figure out what Coco was talking about. In the end, we were poking around the hole with a stick and decided hugging the right edge seemed smartest. Glenn jumped in first, and rode it out. I followed in my XR, nearly getting my rear end stuck in a 3’ deep hole, but managed to get it out. Del charged in, and nearly rode it out, but ended up thigh-deep in the puddle, and needed to dump out his boots and ring out his socks. Rachel elected to have me ride hers through, and on the second attempt it was much easier (knowing what’s under the brown surface helps a lot).

Helmet Cams & Videos:

(can't get it to upload on this connection - will try again later)

We then turned down a trail to Crucero, where we rejoined the #1, and road down to a small pueblo called Punta Prieta to meet Clare for the night. The local restaurant owner was very friendly and allowed us to just park in front of her shop for the night (after warning us that the guy who owned the trailer in the lot next door (where we’d parked to come eat supper) was a bit “loco” and would be the type to wake us in the night to chase us off if we stayed there). She fed us a very good supper (for a mere pittance), and an excellent breakfast in the morning as well. We threw the bikes in the truck (turns out the XR400s aren’t much fun cruising the highways), drove to our next trailhead.

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