We woke fairly early and slightly foggy from the last night’s cocktails. I immediately went to find coffee while the guys did whatever people who aren’t addicted to things do. I found some decent coffee and took a walk around.
We get it…you’re so tough.
Doug came out of the room to find his rear tube had gone flat just like his front had the night before. Who woulda thought that could happen? Not us…
Today was to be a big day. We were going from San Quintin to Catavina via a route we were unsure of. We were hoping to catch the Bill Nichols trail into Catavina from the San Carlos area. We had tracks but they had been modified via google maps to work around some fencing that has been going up.
Doug headed back to our favorite moto shop.
“Pinche perros” – that is what a previous co-worker said to my dog right before he kicked him while at a company party a few years back. I didn’t find it too amusing at the time. But, now I do, so I always say it before I kick someone else’s dog.
We started the trek south. We went by the local bank/ATM and there were about 20 people waiting in line. I was running low on cash but assumed we would see another relatively soon. I was wrong. The reason there was a 20 person line at the ATM first thing in the morning was because there was not another one for hundreds of miles.
We stopped at “La Lobera”. La Lobera is short trek off the highway. It is basically a sea cave with a sunken roof that the local sea lion or seal (who the hell knows the difference) population inhabits. There is also some type of hatchery that was not in service when we visited.
This picture sums up why I love Mexico. No entry fees, no guard rails, no lifeguard. If you want to risk your life and get on the edge to look in, do it, that’s your call. “We will get to you after you wash up on shore next year.”
We left La Lobera and headed south for El Rosario. You’re supposed to go to Mama Espinoza’s when you go to El Rosario for the lobster and michelada’s.
We went to “Rico Tamales”. Usually, I can take or leave tamales but these were indeed “rico”. We bought the last of the tamales before Doug could get there and then told him how good they were and that he really ought to try them. He tried to order them and our new friend yelled at him “No Mas Gordo!” and me Gerry laughed heartily.
Doug, not eating tamales.
“Make a move, I dare you.”
This woman had so much pride and deservedly so.
This little girl took each of us for few bucks with the bracelets she was selling. They were perfect gifts for my ladies at home.
Back to the beach.
This was a very well protected harbor.
Maybe too well. These guys were waiting for the tide to come in so they could get their boat back in.
Just south was this light house.
We stayed along the coast heading south until about 6 miles north of San Carlos. We turned northeast along a well used dirt road. Just a few miles up the road our track led us off the main route and into some single track through the mud hills.
And this is where the fun begins…
We made our way thru the mudhills and we were filled with excitement. This is part of the trip we had all been looking forward to. We were getting close to the Bill Nichols trail. Bill Nichols is famous (infamous?) in Baja circles for building outstanding trails in desolate areas of Baja.
We were cruising along a fast mellow wash when it happened. Doug had broken his chain, kinda.
Did you remember the part about Doug buying an unknown bike with a dubious past? When Doug was preparing the bike for the trip he decided he wanted to run the wheel and sprocket off another bike he owned. In order to do this, he also needed to run the chain from the other bike because his current chain was not long enough. He swapped the chain and reinstalled with a clip type master. Well, the clip failed at just about our farthest mileage from home.
But wait, Doug had not one, but two master links in his tool bag! Except, neither one would fit his chain. They were both the wrong size.
“We could bury him right there!”
Time to put Gerry on the task
Gerry came up with a plan to shorten the chain a link, drive a pin out enough to release the link but not all the way out of the backing plate so he would be able to reconnect the chain and drive the pin back through. Gerry carefully drove the pin through the chain far enough to release the chain without driving it all the way through the inner plate. The problem was his chain tool would not release from the chain with the pin pressing against it. It was barely too small. So, he had to drive the pin all the way out so he could release the tool. Meanwhile, Doug and I went looking for the master link parts that came off. We were able to find the spring clip relatively quickly which raised our hopes. Unfortunately, we could not find the rest of the master.
Gerry moved onto the next step. He pulled the chain from the bike and placed it on its side on a large rock. Next, he took a rock in his hand and used that as a hammer to drive the pin back into the plate. After about 20 minutes of hammering he was happy with his work. He put the chain back on the bike and used the chain tool to reconnect the chain and rivet the end of the pin. Yay Gerry! We were back in business!
We had burned about an hour and half to two hours of daylight. We really wanted to push on the way we were going but we were unsure of the time it would take and if Doug’s chain would withstand the abuse. We made a tough decision to backtrack to the last fire road we were on and take that north to the 1.
And we’re off!
Our plan was to get to the paved highway and see how the chain was holding up. When we arrived it seemed to be holding up fine and Doug was not ready to head home yet. He decided to continue to Catavina with us on the highway.
We started heading south on the 1. About 1/3rd of the way to Catavina we passed a loncheria or truck stop. We stopped to see if they had gas for Doug’s bike. Gerry and I waited by the side of the road while Doug went and asked around. Right about the time Gerry and I started to get worried Doug showed back up. They had gas, but they had also told him Catavina was very far and had offered him a place to stay for the night. Doug decided it was best for him to stay the night and start heading back north in the morning on the highway. We were worried about leaving Doug but he was adamant about wanting to stay. Adios amigo! Gerry and I headed south and made it to Catavina at about 9pm. We grabbed some dinner and went to bed.
Up next, Doug meets a legend…