I had every intention of publishing this when I got to good internet. My friend Danny died on Wednesday, which reminded me I had these photos and words. He was one of the most positive guys I have ever known. Love you forever bud. Keep on smiling.
I tried to publish this while in Mexico, but could not find wifi that would upload the photos. So here it is, late:
We picked up Amy at the bus stop in Vicente Guerrero and ran a last couple of errands before heading to the FASS bike shop. Danny and I had stopped in the day before to talk with the owner, Salvador, and get a couple quick repairs done to our rigs. Today, Salvador wants to ride out or town with us and show us a couple of suggested route changes he has for the Baja Divide. I have told him that I am happy to record them on the GPS, take some notes, and pass them on to my gypsy sensei. The riding is good and a little sandy out of town. We ride some short sections of nice single track that would make an excellent addition to the route. As the light fades we set up camp right on the single track and Salvador rides into the dusk with the promise of returning mañana with coffee.
We are still in our sleeping bags, eating cookies and drinking coffee, when Salvador and family come climbing up the trail. They arrive with a warm thermos of coffee and a roll of cookies. We greatly accept the coffee and sit around talking about the riding and the landscape and scorpions and tarantulas. It is nice and lasts too short. They ride off down the hill and we start to pack up camp.
For the next two days we ride down along the coast and then start cutting back into the heart of the peninsula. We don’t cover a ton of ground, but we do gain a fair bit of elevation. Once we leave the coast the road becomes rocky and loose, with an abundance of ups and downs. The group now is Danny, Amy, and I. We camp on a nice saddle as the sun sets somewhere past Nueva Odisea. We are awoken several times during the night by dueling packs of coyotes calling to one another.
We awake with 90 miles to do in the next two days. Kyle and Evan are getting on a bus and plan to meet us in Catavina, and I would like to beat them there. The roads become nicer and our travel becomes faster. We are seeing more variety of cactus now and are finally in Boojum country. Boojum is a member of the ocotillo family, and is an odd looking tree. Perhaps the best description is a giant green parsnip with spines. We roll into Catavina around 4:00 on the second day and get a room in the hotel. Catavina is a small town on MEX 1, with a nice hotel that seems to be a bit out of place. We get dinner and some beers and await the arrival of our friends.
Ev and Kyle arrive in the evening and we catch up and make a general plan for the comping days. They have joined for start of the longest section on the route without a resupply. The main obstacle this presents is carrying enough water. We make a plan to carry two and a half days worth of food and roughly 10 liters of water a person. A heavy load. Kyle and Ev seem up for it.
In the morning Amy learns that she needs to return to the states for some personal business. It is a bummer to see her go. She graciously offers us her extra water bladders to help with packing the water. Fitting 10 liters onto a bike is a bit of a Tetris game. Once we are finally loaded we bit Amy farewell and safe travels and head out on 6 miles of MEX 1 to intersects the route.
We spend the next three nights camped near the Pacific. It is a really nice section of the route. We all really enjoyed being able to stop and jump into the water.
It is nice to be with Ev and Kyle. Neither of them have done this type of travel before and I enjoy giving pointers on how to pack gear and where things might fit nicely on the bike. They give me a momentary boost in my spirit, which is appreciated.
Eventually we have to leave the coast and we head inland on a rough and loose track. This is followed by several miles on pavement and then finally smooth dirt roads. We camp at around 1800 feet in-between the saguaro and boojum. Their are still campfire coals in the morning, which makes it easy to get the fire going and work our way through three pots of coffee. Kyle brought down some fresh coffee from a roaster in San Diego, and it is quite a treat in the mornings. The following day we roll up and down in the high country for some miles before descending to a paved road. We cruise the next 13 miles in a nice formation as we descend to the Sea of Cortez and the town of Bahia de Los Angeles. We have been on the bikes for a while, and this presents us with a nice opportunity for a rest day.