Baja Divide Uno
We are 300 miles into a 1,700 mile trip. We are down to 2 people for a short bit. Malcolm headed back up north and will shortly be joined by another Alaskan, Amy. Below are some picture and musings on the adventure so far. I hope to organize my thoughts in a more clear fashion for future posts, but this is what you get for now.
We started the Baja Divide last Wednesday. After Danny and I finished up our abbreviated version of the Stagecoach 400, we met up with Malcolm in San Diego. After a rest day in town and a quick stop for supplies, we started out towards the Baja Divide from our friends Alev and Niki’s house. We were able to sample some of the great single track between San Diego and La Mesa as we worked our way southwest. Once on route we stocked up at Trader Joe’s for the day and headed towards the border.
We roamed through neighborhoods finding our way out of town before riding some flowing, urban single track around a lake. A quick section on the highway brought us to a big dirt climb up Otay mountain. The climb itself is around 3000 feet of elevation gain, which we had perfectly coordinated to ascend in the mid day heat.
After slowly making our way up the steep mountain road by hopping from small shady bush to small shady bush we were rewarded with a huge descent off the other side. We eventually made our way to the Barrett Junction Cafe where we slept out back after some fries and chocolate milkshakes.
The Tecate border crossing was quick and simple in the morning. $30 bucks and we are allowed to stay for 6 months. Sweet! You can even buy hot sauce or honey from the customs agent (we politely declined both). Once into Tecate, the first order of business was to get some Mexican cash. Everyone got cash alright, but the ATM ate Malcolm’s card. Nothing to be done but keep riding south, we headed to the store to get food for the day.
We meet a fellow cyclist at the grocery in Tecate, Gram. We ride with gram for the day swapping stories and sweating in the heat together. We spend the night just off the road in some brush and Gram is gone before we are up and moving.
We continue riding further into Mexico for the next several days in unseasonably hot weather, following Grams tire tracks, camping in the dirt and sand, carrying lots of water and eating untold bags or chicharron. It is good to be wearing shorts and not much else. It is good to be getting a tan. It is good to be sitting around in the dark with friends and drinking tequila and eating cold burritos. We get tacos almost everywhere they are available. They are as delicious as you would expect them to be.
The route thus far mostly follows dirt roads, ranging from well graded to chundery, cobble-strewn two-tracks. The riding is interesting and the scenery is often excellent.
Buying some beer to combat the hot sun.
Misty morning camp site on the Pacific.
Seems like a safe place to live.
Danny Fights his way up a steep and loose section as we work our way through the rolling ridges.
We arrive into Vicente Guerrero after 6 days of biking. We are dirty and ready for a day off the saddles. First things first we find tacos and sort out Malcolm’s bus ticket. We eventually find a hotel to crash in for a night or two and spend the afternoon eating tacos and decompressing from the last 300 miles. It’ll be good to get back on the bike soon though. Danny and I eat 1o tacos a piece on our first day in Vicente Guerrero; shrimp, fish, asada, and adobada. They are all fantastic. We drink tequila and Tecate.