Moto Adventures

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Trip Home

Leaving home on November 30th, we would never have thought that April 4th and the return trip up the Baja would have come so soon. After 4 months of warm weather and travelling Mexico it is time to return to Westbank, a home and family and all the responsibilities that go along with it. As much as we hate saying goodbye to Mexico we are excited about moving on to the next section of our continuing saga.

The first day after leaving the beach was a pretty short one, into Loreto to dump, clean up our act and prepare for the trip home(not to mention one last dinner out for authentic Mexican food we just never seem to get sick of fish tacos). First thing in the morning on the 5th we are on the road and off the San Ignacio where we got our first taste of rain in 4 months along with some wind that would blow your socks off.

Undaunted by the weather though the next morning we are on the road to Punta Abreojos where we have been on the bike but never to camp. I wanted to do a bit of last time kayaking. We found Rene's Camp which was situated right on the Estero El Coyote a great place to do just that for a couple days, somewhat sheltered for the Pacific winds it supplied us we with bird watching galore and many little arms of water to explore. It was here that Ken found a little hitchhiker in the trailer, a somewhat farrow cat had caught a lift with us since our stay in Loreto and was scared and hungry by the time we found it 3 days later. It was hard to catch and when we finally got it out of the trailer it was gone and we only hope that it found food and a place to stay at Rene's before the coyotes found it!

Having had enough of the Pacific winds we were off and again attempting to drive a new road for the truck and camper. On a previous return trip from Mexico mainland Ken and I had taken the Coco's Corner/Gonzaga Bay/San Felipe road which was gravel and very much continuous washboard, at that time it had done the only damage to our bike on that trip, a lost speedometer cable and we vowed never to put ourselves through that again, but after talking to several people this year who had travelled the road and reported that it was much better and in fact mostly paved from Gonzaga Bay to San Felipe we decided to give it a try. The road was slow going from the Mex 1 highway to Coco's Corner which was of coarse not paved and during the 21 km we averaged about 18 km/hr. A brief stop at Coco's where we found out that Coco himself was not there but in fact in Ensenada dealing with health problems. Let me add a little Baja history here, Coco's Corner is a Y in the road and here lives a guy who welcomes all traveller in for a cerveca and to sign his guest book, where he will later draw a picture of the travellers beside their comment. Ken and I had done this on our past trip but we were unable to find our old comment because the book that year was already put away for safe keeping, but we were able to find signatures from people we had met along the was this year. The section of road from Coco's to Gonzaga was not any better than the first and we were really looking forward to a rest in Gonzaga Bay for a day or two but the winds again were so bad we decided to trudge on and stay in San Felipe(thinking that the road from here on north was going to be a way, way better...Not! Yes there is new pavement north of Gonzaga Bay but not for a while and the road is most definitely the roughest we had seen and our average speed dropped considerably. So to those of you who are thinking about making the trip, we a total of 93 km of gravel, of which the last 33 north of Gonzaga Bay was the worst and on which we averaged about 14 km/hr. The new pavement however was amazing and the new road was literally pushed right through mountain and arroyo, beautiful! And by the way the scenery along the way was fantastic.

Reaching San Felipe we stayed the night at Pete's Camp for the night and were on the road with intentions of getting across the border at Mexicali before noon on Sunday the next day. Things didn't quite happen exactly as planned however, deciding to do a little last minute shopping, and having a little trouble finding the crossing itself(you'll have to ask Ken about his wallet incident in Soriannas)cost us a little time and we ended up waiting in line for over 2 hours and then spending over 45 minutes in secondary while the border guards checked out our rig:( It is too bad you can't drive from Mexico directly into Canada and bypass the States. Not really, we had friends to visit in California on the way home.

One night camping along the canal on the Indian reserve just outside Yuma then it was on to Parker on the Colorado River to enjoy a little kayaking(an unexpected surprise) and to do a little riding. Ken had lowered the V-strom and put a lower seat on the bike so that I could reach the ground and ride while we were in the States. It's not my BMW but fun to ride all the same.

From Parker we were on to Death Valley, again we had been there before but on the bike not with the truck and camper. We camped overnight at Furnace Creek and did a few hikes into the mountains and to the sand dunes, unfortunately we were not there in time for the desert flowers but you know the desert has a beauty all its own.

From Death Valley we crossed into California and in a days drive we were sitting on the doorstep of our friends Teresa and Avery at their place in Walker. Now as you know this is the home on the famous Walker Burger and if it is this craving you have while in the area you absolutely have to stop and say hi...I mean everyone knows about the famous Walker Burger! Next a few hours north in Grass Valley we stopped for the weekend to visit with other Baja buddies, Lew and Ramone and their new addition to their family, Laila a black standard poodle. Northern California is beautiful in the spring and we took advantage of the warm spring weather hiking and taking a tour of a local mine, not to mention partaking in a few cervesas, margaritas and fish taco made just like they where in the Baja.

Leaving Grass Valley we cut over to head up the Oregon coast for awhile and with the weather still holding out for us enjoyed a little walk on the beach and a oyster bake as we headed north into Washington. Crossing the border into Canada was short as most always, with a few questions and answers and how do you do's.

Thursday night April 21st found us home in time to sort out some problems with our house (another story)and join Ken's family for Easter, this being the first time parents, siblings and nieces have ever been all together! Easter brunch with my family, along with an Easter egg hunt for the youngn's, again the weather cooperated, fun was had by all, too much food was consumed and I really have to say it is good to be home.

Ken relaxes and enjoys one last look at the square in Loreto before we head north.

In San Ignacio Ken takes a canoe for a little paddle using one of our lawn chairs as his seat and a kayak paddle to row.

These little guys mean business!

Paddling in the Estero El Coyote is relaxing and interesting with lot of varieties on fish and birds.

Near the boca(mouth) of the estuary clam shells line the beach.

On drive from Lake Chapala on Mex 1 to Gonzaga Bay we passed only a handful of vehicles, being left alone to enjoy the vistas on our own.

Parked at Coco's Corner, 21 km of gravel to Lake Chapala and 40 more to Gonzaga Bay.

Miles of gravel washboard!

Ken gets out the compressor to add air to our tires after driving the last of the gravel from Ganzaga Bay. The trick on washboard is to let the air down to about 30 lbs in your tires so they absorb most of the bumps. Having a generator and compressor on board is handy when you are miles away from a gas station.

Salt flats in Death Valley. close to the lowest point in the USA coming in at 287 ft below sea level.

To walk where no man has walked before...or at least since the big wind storm night!

Looking way down into Death Valley, if you look close you can see our rig parked in the lot located in the middle of the picture. Miles and miles of nothing to be seen by the naked eye.

I take a moment to stop and enjoy the view.

Water and time make for an interesting combination when forming rock arroyos, arches and walls. Death Valley has many examples on this.

The famous Walker Burger!!! in Walker California.

Still, too much snow in the passes around Lake Tahoe.

Ken, Lew, Ramone and Laila out for a walk in the park.

Spring flowers, Lupins line the hillside around Grass Valley.

Although a little cooler, the Oregon coast was still breathtaking.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Excuses, excuses!

What can I say there are no is hecktic on the beach! With no internet on the beach and not wanting to go into town or to the port to work on the blog I have fallen somewhat behind in my reporting and have received numerous emails inquiring on our status...where are you? is everything O.K.? are you ever coming home? So in reply to your questions, we have been on Juncilito Beach for the last 6 weeks and today we moved to Loreto, into an RV park, to do washing, fillup with water, dump and get to business on the blog! The problem with doing the blog entry this time is we have been here many times before and if you have been following us on previous trips you have heard it all before. So in respect to my problem I have compiled a few of our pictures we have taken in the last 6 weeks and I will now let them do the talking!
We are always up for a friendly game of bacci with our friends on the beach.

Ken tries to putt in his ball during a hole of beach golf, white rocks on either end of the beach represent the holes. Sounds easy but it can actually be quite challenging.
With lots on fresh oranges, lemons and grapefruit, squeezing juice is an endless job.

When the winds pickup, sailing is a fantastic option. Carl and Al (our neighbours on the beach) both have boats at the port.

The whales were still in the Sea of Cortez when we first arrived so we got out a few times to sit and watch them. Big, big, big!

While out on the boat we pulled up onto Carmen Island for a little walk around, the island is part of the Parque National Bahia de Loreto which encompasses most of the islands around Loreto.

Ken, Al and Carl did a bit of hiking up the canyons behind El Juncalito where they found a few waterfalls and ponds even if the area hasn't seen rain in a very long time.

From the top on one canyon there were some very breathtaking views of the palms. water and islands below.

You know I have to enter at least one food picture! This is a ceasar salad, served up at Del Barracho, One whole head of grilled romaine lettuce topped with dressing and croutons,made on site, that were to die for( oh and you could have it with chicken breast added as well)! I tried but just couldn't finish it!

More fun and games, Ken, Linda and I fit in a game of Mexician train before happy hour.

Early one morning as Ken is on his way out fishing some dolphins came into the bay to do a little fishing themselves.

Ken loves fishing and buzzing around in his 10 ft. Zodiac.

We took several rides back into the penninsula, which is not all dry with nothing to see but cactus. Down below the road an oxbow winds through the valley, still green even though the arroyo is dry and it hasn't seen water in a long time.

We did a few rides that we had done in past years, but still managed to loose our way (are you really lost if you know where you were, where you are and where you want to go but you just can't find the right road, but you got there anyway?).

Some roads we had travelled in past years were a little worse for wear after the last hurricane, here I volunteered to walk for a few metres and it saved my butt. That KTM 950 is amazing where it goes without much effort (well, not with much effort on my part, sitting on the back. Ken may have worked up a bit of a sweat!).

This is face only a mother could love. Do you know what this fish is? Ken caught it and it tasted like cod but...?

When the wind was down I was out on the kayak, my favourite destination...the little island just out from our beach.

On the island the Seagulls are nesting, here if you look hard you can see the eggs in the nest, in the forground, and mommy standing guard behind.

Lots of molting crabs.

Fishing was great the last week and Ken caught...lets say lots of fish including this Rooster fish, a real fighter. We will have fish tacos for a while.

Looking down at the beach and the 3 rigs camping there, taken from the top of the hill behind. Ours is the rig on the far right. We are so lucky to be able to enjoy this!

Tomorrow we leave Loreto to start our journey north, stopping in at a few places on our way and probably crossing the U.S. border in 5-7 days, then slowly through the States and then home to Canada. See you there!