Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Day 4 - Coast camp to San Borja Mision

Day 4
Coast camp to San Borja Mision
110ish miles


A great night sleep in the damp ocean air led us to some scenic ass coffee overlooking the waves. The jetboil delivered some of the best coffee for 50 miles around.


We headed out southeast down the coast around 9am, with the weather picture perfect. This ride was another favorite of the trip. Nobody around, just a few fishing camps.


Drink it in.....

The great riding gave way to some good washboard and then dumped us onto the pavement near a little town. We dropped down in to see what was shaking and found a little beach access. It was the first time any of us had officially road sand on the beach. We thoroughly enjoyed our childish selves ripping back and forth up the beach, possibly harassing the seagulls as well as the campers. Sorry.



Progressing down the highway we ran into the town of Rosarito and fueled up at the "gas truck" :-). 

Poor man was in some serious leg pain, part way through the fill up he asked us to self serve. But we still paid the FULL SERVICE rate :-) We chowed down at Mauricios and then repeated our drybag/ice/tallboy method out of the abarote. Beers aren't even shaken when we get to camp!




The ride up to San Borja was great, desert was green and the road lively. We got to the mision earlier than we had on any of our previous days. It felt good not to have the pressure of night fall.
We had a tour from the younger son and then had Jose, the father show us around their property. They had been working that land for 70 or 80 years. It was interesting to see the contrast of the fertile and irrigated trees and the desert just feet away. We asked about the possibility of cena, and he replied no problema. We ate at their house and enjoyed a simple meal of rice, potatoes and beans. Deliciosa.


Headed for the mision.


Today's sermon....more throttle



This snake snuck up on J, just looking for some shade in the palapa. Anyone know what this is? Jose said it wasn't bad, but he may have mistook my poor spanish. It later cruised up in the rafters.


A great sunset. Well worth the 150 pesos/pp

We almost took this little perro home.


Day 4 highlights - Turn on HD 1080

Day 3 - San Quintin to a remote ass beach

Day 3
San Quintin to a remote ass beach 
170ish miles


Shaking off some strong ass margarita induced fog, we strolled over to the restaurant. While sitting we couldn't help but employ some of our firefighter skillz and pull down a smoke detector that was beeping a loud ass low battery beep. Huevos Rancheros were solid! We hit the black trail at the crack of 11am after getting some gas at the Pemex at Los Pinos. They hwy drive down to to Catavina was awesome, at least on the KLR. The 350 and 450 were crying about their butts, but we pressed on.

We found the barrel gas in Catavina. Then headed over to the hotel for some lunch.


This is gonna taste good! 

We hit up the abarottes, stocking up on snacks and beers as we would be camping out at the beach tonight. Bombearo kindly packed ice and beers in a drybag in his backpack for the next 80 or so miles of dirt
The ride heading south out of Catavina towards the coast was phenomenal, the desert was green as green and the cactus were ridiculous! 

 Some great little strand stretches and smooth stuff too. All was flowing well, except for feeling the pressure of the pending night fall that as nearing. At about 5pm, I heard a funny squeak emanating from front tire.....braaap...then I felt it...a flat.
We worked like a pit crew and had it changed in about 20 minutes.


There happened to be some nearby timbers we used to prop the old girl up. I yanked out the affected tube and found a pin hole.....hmmm must be a cactus, nothing else on/in the tire. I dropped in the heavy duty tube I had brought (also had a spare tube for the rear). I pulled away cringing at the thought of how many more flats may be in my future.
Continuing on we finally hit the fish camp on the coast. The sun dipped below the horizon. We rolled a few more miles and pulled into the area we would camp in the dark. We found a perfect little spot that was out of the wind. Amazingly enough we scavenged a few pieces of wood and found that they burned awesome. We all expected by their size that it would be a fart in the frying pan, must be some sort of coastal thing? We enjoyed the Tecate tall boys and dozed off to stars equivalent to what we are used in the Big Skys of Montana. Highlight video - make sure to put on HD1080 [

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Day 2 - Mikes Sky Rancho to San Quintin 100ish miles

Day 2
Mikes Sky Rancho to San Quintin
100ish miles




The Tecates flowed like the rio the night before as we shared stories with some other riders from Bend, Oregon. A bit of frost on the roof that morning had us like WTF! this feels like Montucky. We knew the cooler temps would be short lived. We exchanged some map info with the Oregonians and we shoved off south, with the idea of hitting their recommended trail out of Rancho Coyote. The trail out of Mikes was a work out for the ole KLR, with the other boys making short work of it. The baby heads were enough to keep my fully loaded bike on it toes.


Some awesome looking blooms as we headed out.


 We passed a entourage of Mexican 4 wheelers heading the same way. That must have been some slow going.


We stopped in at Rancho Meling for a few cold ones, the cervezas were mucho refreshing and we enjoyed the rancho porch.

We back tracked to Rancho Coyote and took the trail that takes off to the west just as you come into the ranch from Mikes (before the cattleguard). I was feeling some trepidation about the trail, as the riders who suggested it were obviously better and had 690's with a lot less gear. I agreed to give'r a try. We encountered some sand for the first bit and then got into a few rocky dry creekbed sections. While the KLR did handle it, it was at the upper limits of my skills and teetering on possible bike damage if I tipped er over. After 5 or so miles, we hit a junction and hung more to the south.


This overgrown and little used road was more manageable, just lots of rock. It spit us out at goat ranch, where we eventually encountered a locked gate. We reluctantly tipped the bikes over and dragged them under the gate, just thankful that the folks working in the nearby fields didn't seem to be concerned with us. We also took a few minutes to refurb my buddies drybag set up on 450. It was bouncing all over place and had already worked through one of his NRS straps.


We soon dumped onto the pavement and flowed through some nice looking ag land. There were a chitload of bees on that section, several times riding through what felt like someone tossing a handful of gravel in the air. Only one rider picked up a sting to the face.

We crossed Hwy 1 and headed out for the coast. This riding along here was some of my favorite, beautiful views and smooth. It was crazy to see how many folks were working along this section, bagging up rocks for what I assume was destined for landscaping purposes. And you thought your job sucked!


 We pulled into Molino Viejo right at dusk, ready for some good food and drinks. The boys ordered a couple of bubbling cauldrons of goodness






There were several moto groups hanging out at the hotel's bar area. A few cool guys from Colorado on 990's (advriders?) and a big possee of SoCal riders on smaller bikes. The hotel was great and the food even better. One guy commented on it being like the Claim Jumper of Mexico.....jajajaa



This dude was tearing it up in the bar. Good, but one of the more aggressive serenaders I've seen in Mexico. Are you having a conversation? Don't worry mi amigo.....I'll get a little closer and a little louder :-).

Here's a 60 second highlight of the day

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Day 1 - Mexicali to Mikes

Day 1
Mexicali to Mikes
175ish miles

Just like Christmas eve, I slept like shit in the HoJo of Calexico. Rousting the boyz, we enjoyed a super continental brekkie and set out to find a place to park the truck and trailer for 2 weeks. We settled on Parking Del Valle - Parking Lot, Forklift Service & Storage Yard. Pulling it to the yard, my gut churned a little bit. The lot was full of wrecked cars and parted out cars. We spoke with el Jefe and he set our mind at ease, 24 hour watchman, razor wire....the works. The only thing he suggested was we remove the license plate....okay....when in Rome. We geared up and set out. Give this place a look, we had no issues and it was only $4/day. He even moved some junkers with the forklift to give our rig a front row parking place.


Had to include the obligatory entrance shot


Followed by the turn right after entering and following the non existent WALL! 

It was a great first look for Bombearo and J, as they were Mexico newbs. We followed the wall for 5 or so miles and then weaved through the ghettos of Mexicali. I purposely and maybe stupidly thought it would more interesting to fumble through the west side of Mexicali. The sights and the smell for the 2 newbs was eye opening.




We beat feet for La Rumorosa and then turned off for Laguna Hanson. Grabbing fuel just at the Pemex, just before the turn. Only 2 miles onto the dirt and we had our first mechanical. I had added a tool tube to my bike, on the opposite of the exhaust. 


Well, I think the first good bump caused the swingarm to come up and contact the tube. This resulted in the black KLR chain guard wrapping it self up in my wheel. After dicking around for an hour to remove the shit show and reinstalling it, I pitched the tube off the side of the road. Braaap. 


Pulling the mess out of the wheel



Cruising the road to Laguna Hanson.....braaap! 



                                                              Valle de Trinidad



Minute highlight of the first day....make sure to turn Quality on to 1080p HD

Baja 2017 - 13 days and 1900 miles

This thread is somewhat of a dream that started to form over 5 years ago when I figured out that I need to buy a motorcycle. I don't remember exactly what the spark was, but something to do with the cliche stuff of Dusk to Glory and The Long Way Round. I was at a point in my life that I needed something new. So I bought an 06 KLR650 with the goal of riding somewhere in Mexico for more than a week.






  Let it be known, the name is tongue in cheek, joking and hopefully translates into a cheesy meant The Smoke Eaters.

During those 5 or so years, I farkled too much like all KLRistas do. And I putzed around Montana and Idaho doing mostly on day trips. And then I spent an shit ton of time in here reading and reading. I saved and bookmarked an enormous amount of information. The years passed and I still had yet to put dates to my Mexican adventure. Then finally a year and half ago, my lovely wife Mrs. Snirt said, " You just need to pick a date and then things will fall into place." So as any good husband does, I obeyed and announced to all my potentially riding mates that it was going down in March of 2017. I immediately had one bite from a co-worker, Bombearo. He brought the skillz, mechanical prowess and fun factor that would be perfect. Digging into the details of my plan, at times I thought he may bail. We picked up a 3rd rider (not on advrider....yet) and stuff fell into place. Working at FD, there were numerous other bomberos that were on the fringes, but couldn't commit. Enough with the background.....We left Montana at 0400 hours with the trailer and 3 bikes - KLR650, WR450 and a KTM350. We hauled ballz all day, pounding a case of redbullz and dreaming of cold Tecate. 1200 miles and 20 hours later we arrived in Calexico. This trip is very close copy of BigDogAdventures route. He was awesome, helping me with questions and sharing the ultimate GPS track. We would follow it and became more confident in it's delivery as the days progressed. Big Dog is the man!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Missoula - Snowiest winter since 1996



The official snow depth at the Missoula airport stood at 15 inches this week, marking the first time since 1996 the city had that much snow on the ground at any given point.
Corby Dickerson, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said Missoula has recorded 39.9 inches of snow this season – two inches above average for an entire winter.
“We’re already 2 inches above normal for an entire winter, and we aren’t even halfway through January,” Dickerson said Friday. “We’re ahead of normal and will have an above-normal winter.”
The average snowfall for December is typically around 11 inches, though Missoula received just shy of 28 inches this December. Snowfall from January through May generally averages 21 inches.
If the rest of the winter is average, Dickerson said, Missoula stands to record nearly 60 inches of snow this season, or roughly five feet.
“It’s been 20 years since Missoula has seen this much snow in the city itself,” Dickerson said. “It’s the first time we had a snow depth of 15 inches or greater since 1996.”
The cold temperatures – subzero at times – has kept the valley snowpack in place. The average temperature in December was 5 degrees below normal. So far this January, Dickerson said, the average temperature in Missoula is 16 degrees below normal.
Snowfall records also are being tested in other categories this winter. From Dec. 9 to Jan 9., Missoula recorded nine days with snowfall over 1 inch.
“The last time we had that amount was 2008 when we had eight days with snowfall over an inch,” Dickerson said. “In 1996, we had 11 days over an inch. It wasn’t one storm in 1996, but it felt like it because it snowed for 5 days in a row. This is the snowiest it has been since 1996.”
Back in early December, Nick Silverman with the Montana Climate Office at the University of Montana forecast near normal temperatures in western Montana with a slight increase in precipitation.

The snow is piled high just about everywhere in Missoula. (Martin Kidston/Missoula Current)

His winter forecast was based on a weak La Nina setting up in the Pacific Ocean. The phenomena remains in place, and Dickerson said predictions suggest it will linger for a little longer.
“We expect La Nina to remain in place,” said Dickerson. “The Climate Prediction Center just released their latest findings. It will be designated as a weak La Nina, but La Nina nonetheless.”
While the Missoula Valley is above average in snowpack, the mountains surrounding the valley are running at around 80 percent of normal. Dickerson attributed that to the recent arctic air that has sapped moisture from the snow.
The cold temperatures should ease as the wet weather returns.
“We anticipate more wetter winter storms than what we’ve seen,” Dickerson said. “It could be mixed with some rain. We’re evaluating what areas might be susceptible for that.”
Flooding or ponding remains a concern.
“There’s no prolonged areas of warm temperatures or precipitation,” Dickerson suggested. “The biggest concern in the next seven to 10 days with any rain potentially causing issues is that a lot of the storm drains are covered up with snow right now.”
Contact reporter Martin Kidston at info@missoulacurrent.com