Baja 2008 Day 9

Day 9

Last time I came through the San Quintin area we actually stayed in Lazaro Cardenas at the very quaint Motel Roma. We made a much better choice this time, staying at the new place in San Quintin on the east side of the road. The name escapes me, but it was an excellent clean place with a restaruant right in front. And there was even hot water, something sadly lacking at Motel Roma.

We slogged north past the huge agricultural facilities into Ensenada. Coming into Ensenada is like coming into Bellevue. Every big box retailer in the US is there. We took a break at a Pemex station and headed east on Hwy 3 toward Laguna Hanson.

Our last dirt road of the trip and we’re stuck behind a truck hauling a Cat dozer going 3 miles an hour. I finally got up close enough so he could see me and he pulled over and let us by. Nice guy.

Parque Nacional Constitucion is a beautiful park in a pine forest at 5200 feet. What a contrast from the dry desert we’d been in for the last week. Quite rugged and very pretty. I’m sure they get serious snow in the winter. This is an easy and fun route between La Rumorosa on Hwy 2 and Valle de la Trinidad on Hwy 3 and there isn’t a single military checkpoint along the way.

We've been looking for this sign

We’ve been looking for this sign

There was a road grader just ahead of us making it all flat for us. Are we lucky or what?

There was a road grader just ahead of us making it all flat for us. Are we lucky or what?

I still haven't lost this guy! :)

I still haven’t lost this guy! 🙂

Feels like the top of the world

Feels like the top of the world

baja08_67

It was a little rougher in spots but not much. Fun road

It was a little rougher in spots but not much. Fun road

The Especial Hamberguesa was quite good, if a bit greasy. Mark and I shared a turtle

The Especial Hamberguesa was quite good, if a bit greasy. Mark and I shared a turtle

Epilogue

Riding in Baja is great fun and I look forward to doing it again. But riding hundreds of miles of pavement on a 400cc dirt bike isn’t my idea of a good time. Next trip I’ll put my bike in the back of the truck and take it all the way to San Ignacio or Mulege and ride from there. That’s the area I like the best. Beautiful and remote and hopefully it will stay that way at least until I get back there.

Baja is changing fast and for those of us who enjoy the remoteness and solitude of the desert, now is the time to go. The Baja I rode this year is way different from the one I rode 3 years ago and hardly resembles at all what I experienced on my first trip 5 years ago.

The road from Mulege to San Juanico was new territory for me and I really enjoyed that area. There were lots of side roads that beckoned, but you can only do so much. Truly a spectacular area for riding and taking photos. I can’t recommend it enough.

I have always thought there were 3 Baja’s. One was the border area, one the tourist area of Cabo and then the real Baja in between. When we returned to Tecate to cross back into California, I stopped at a liquor store to check prices on a couple of liquors that are not readily available here in Seattle. Most of the ones I priced were higher than in the states. Yet another reason I like Baja further south.

I put my DRZ in the back of my truck in Seattle and drove to Spokane. My friend and I loaded our bikes in his Tundra and drove south to Escondido. We took I-90 east to I-15, since we’ve both seen I-5 as many times as we need in one lifetime. The single biggest expense for this two week trip was my share of the gas money. Unless you live close by, Baja isn’t necessarily a cheap vacation with gas prices being what they are. Camping certainly helps, but riding light is so much more fun for me that camping is really my last choice. Also, motels are pretty reasonable.

It certainly is a treat to ride around in 70 and 80 degree sunshine in February and March, but it does make me appreciate living in Washington and being close to lots of great northwest riding areas here and in the surrounding states. It doesn’t take $400 in gas to get to the wilds of Idaho or Eastern Oregon, where it is just as beautiful and certainly remote. Check my signature for some examples.

I have yet to go to Baja and not get Montezuma’s Revenge. This trip was pretty mild, but there were a couple of times. That gets old. A roll of TP and a 3-legged stool is required equipment for me.

A great trip with good friends.

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