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The End Of The Adventure
Monday morning was clear and warm.  A great day for riding!  So we pointed the three bikes toward the southeast and headed to Baffin Bay.  Soon passing Concan on our way to Uvalde for breakfast.  Passing Dilley before lunch.  Dilley, the home of Moto Hank.  Normally I would have been stopping for Hank to service the two BMWs, but Hank was on a plane headed to Berlin.
Finally arriving back on Baffin Bay at about 4:00 PM, we were all tired but safe.  Great memories of another adventure.  Almost 9000 kilometers, across Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Baja California and Baja California Sur (actually each one twice.....) Not a bad ride.

Now that we are home, the bikes must be serviced, washed and Ricardo's ride needs replacement tires.  That will all be taken care of this week.  And Ricardo and I will begin our plans for the next adventure.

This is the final entry for Baja, Spring 2016!
The End Of The Adventure
Monday morning was clear and warm.  A great day for riding!  So we pointed the three bikes toward the southeast and headed to Baffin Bay.  Soon passing Concan on our way to Uvalde for breakfast.  Passing Dilley before lunch.  Dilley, the home of Moto Hank.  Normally I would have been stopping for Hank to service the two BMWs, but Hank was on a plane headed to Berlin.
Finally arriving back on Baffin Bay at about 4:00 PM, we were all tired but safe.  Great memories of another adventure.  Almost 9000 kilometers, across Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Baja California and Baja California Sur (actually each one twice.....) Not a bad ride.

Now that we are home, the bikes must be serviced, washed and Ricardo's ride needs replacement tires.  That will all be taken care of this week.  And Ricardo and I will begin our plans for the next adventure.

This is the final entry for Baja, Spring 2016!
Eight thousand kilometers, across four states in USA and two very long ones in Mexico and not a drop of rain. Amazing!  But, upon arising this morning in Del Rio, it was raining.  On with the rain suits...and by the time we were on the bikes the rain stopped and we again had a day riding without rain. 

Our first stop of the day was in Campwood, right at the beginning of one Sister (TX Hwy 337).  Then we were off to the Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop.  Thirty three kilometers up one of the best cycle roads in Texas.  A stop at Frio Canyon to see the owners, Bob and Robyn.  A bit of necessary shopping and a hotdog and Coke Zero, then we started to ride the second Sister (TX Hwy 336) but since it was still threatening rain, we headed instead to Vanderpool and the Lonestar Motorcycle Museum (see photos).  

Dinner? Well, the best coconut meringue pie in Texas can be had at the Lost Maples Cafe in Utopia.  So, guess where we headed, yes to Utopia and dinner.  And tonight we are in a beautiful cabin at Oak Hill Cabins, right next to the Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop.  A cabin with a back porch looking out over a hilly forest.  Wildlife is abundant here.  I expect we will see deer and wild turkey both this afternoon and in the morning.

Our next destination?  Back to Baffin Bay.  I just have not yet decided if it will be Monday or Tuesday.  This adventure is nearing it's end.  The bikes have run perfectly and both Vivian and Ricardo have been great riding companions.
Marfa, River Road and Terlingua
Vivian loved the ride from Marfa to Presidio and then the River Road from Presidio to Terlingua.  We took him on an 8000 kilometer ride to Baja only to find out what he really likes is the Big Bend area.  I have to agree with him!  The River Road (Tx Hwy 170) is the best ride in Texas!

Marfa, exqusite!  We visited the Paisana Hotel, the Presidio County Courthouse, rode past the art galleries and then were off to the River Road.  But first, a surprise.  I had received permission to take them for a ride into the very private Cibolo Creek Ranch Resort.  A beautiful twelve kilometer ride up the ranch road and suddenly we arrived at this old fort that has been transformed into a private and exclusive retreat.  And we had permission to stroll the grounds at our leisure.  It was a treat.

By 3:00 PM we were on the 102 kilometer ride up the River Road.  Curvy, up and down, hanging out over high canyons; the ride always delights.  Running along the Rio Bravo (some call it the Rio Grande), the river runs right on the border.  By late afternoon we were in Terlingua, checking into our motel.....but Chuck?  I was off to the front porch of Ghost Town.  To listen to local music, talk with the delightful, off beat folks who have fled to this mystical sanctuary.  Hours sitting, talking and enjoying the music (and the pungent smell coming from the hand rolled smokes several were enjoying).  

Finally dinner at the Starlight Theater and back to our rustic digs for the night.  Saturday we are riding to Alpine then headed east past Sanderson, on to Del Rio.
Back In El Paso
I am still not sure what to do even if I do find Rosa's cantina.  Maybe order a Coke Zero and watch Felina whirl. Five hundred eighteen kilometers, all on Interstate 10, not the kind of ride that Vivian or Ricardo would prefer. But it was virtually the only sensible way to get to El Paso.

 Tomorrow will be better, back on two lane west Texas roads. First we will head to Marfa, a delightful west Texas town made famous by it's being the location of the filming of the movie, Giant. Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean starred and all stayed at the beautiful and elegant Paisano Hotel. Yes, we will stop by. I always do. 

Later we will be off to the south, stopping by Mr. Poindexter's Cibolo Creek Ranch Resort. At over $400 per night, we may not stay there. In fact, I am not sure they are currently welcoming guests. It was here that the greatly respected Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia, recently died. 


 Then on down, past the Shafter silver mines to Presidio. Why? So we can ride the sixty mile River Road along the Rio Bravo to the ghost town of Terlingua. A favorite destination! And dinner? At the Starlight Theater of course. Ricardo and Vivian will sit on the front porch and sip a cervesa amidst the swirling smoke of ......I am not telling. And our hotel will be the Chisos Mining Company Motel, not very elegant but for $75 that is what you get in Terlingua.
A Hot Long Ride
Well, it was only 763 kilometers but the temperature was upwards of 100 degrees ferenheit much of the ride.  Fun?  At times.

We were up early in San Felipe, Mexico.  Breakfast at 7:00 AM then on the bikes headed 203 kilometers north to Mexicali and the International Border Crossing into Calexico, California.  Then it was to the east on super highways to Tucson. We were back in a different world.

Tonight we are in a great hotel at the Tucson Airport.  Why the airport?  Simply because I got a good deal.  Tomorrow we are riding to El Paso, Texas.  I think it will be a six hour ride.  But we get there we plan to do laundry, some exploring and maybe enjoy a good meal.
A Hot Long Rideeter
Well, it was only 763 kilometers but the temperature was upwards of 100 degrees ferenheit much of the ride.  Fun?  At times.

We were up early in San Felipe, Mexico.  Breakfast at 7:00 AM then on the bikes headed 203 kilometers north to Mexicali and the International Border Crossing into Calexico, California.  Then it was to the east on super highways to Tucson.

Tonight we are in a great hotel at the Tucson Airport.  Why the airport?  Simply because I got a good deal.  Tomorrow we are riding to El Paso, Texas.  I think it will be a six hour ride.  But when we get their to do laundry, some exploring and maybe enjoy a good meal.


Photo Album "Coco's Corner To Baffin Bay"
Photographs taken from Guerrero Negro back to Baffin Bay on the Texas Coast will be found in a new album entitled "Coco's Corner to Baffin Bay".  Take a look, they are interesting!
Coco's Corner's, A Must Do Stop
Gas was hard to fine on the ride from Guerrero Negro to San Felipe.  However, we all made it without running out.  The Mexican folks are cutting a road thru from Laguna Chapala to San Felipe.  Only 36 kilometers remain to be finished.  But that 36 kilometers is a challenge.  A wide dirt and rock road cut through high desert mountain passes and low valleys, curvy with large rocks everywhere.  But really the ride was fun.  This road, when completed, will allow travelers to ride directily along the Sea of Cortez from San Felipe to Baja Sur.

Twenty two kilometers up the rocky, dirt road we arrived at the famous Coco's Corner.  Coco, an entertaning and nice guy has made this high mountain desert his home for close to thirty years.  A double amputee, Coco has thick leather pads attached to his "stumps" just below his knees.  Never a tall man, he is very short now--but he zooms around in his wheelchair greeting visitors,  Coco is an inspiration to amputees everywhere.  Riding a motorcycle, flirting with the occasional lady, selling  beer and other drinks and generally regaling everyone.  For motorcyclists Coco's Corner is a popular destination, right out in the middle of the high, windy and dusty desert.

Soon we were out of the mountains and riding by the Sea.  Our destination for the night, San Felipe, a port, beach and party town located on the northwestern shores of The Sea of Cortez.  We arrived in San Felipe about 4:30 PM and located a basic but adequate hotel.  Dinner was at a popular restaurant, "Beans and Rice".

We have decided to stay in San Felipe today.  Wednesday will find the three of us riding to Mexicali and hopefully crossing the border and back to the USA.  We have to do it fast, before Trump builds the wall to keep out crazy gringos and "muy loco Ticos".
Spending Sunday Night In Guerrero Negro h
Guerrero Negro, a dusty salt producing town almost in the center of Baja, is our home for tonight.  It would not be our choice if it were not late and a plan for a hard ride in the morninng.  This city is a major salt producer, producing over five million tons per year.

Yesterday we decided to stop and spend the afternoon and night in the beautiful coastal city of Loreto.  Why?  Great restaurants and a good hotel.  I think I could eat sea bass every day.  Loreto has a major golf course and gated housing development obviously targeting retired Canadians and folks from USA.  We toured the development, it is very well done and affordable.  But it's not for me.

Tonight we are dining in the hotel restaurant here in Guerrero Negro.  It is a rather traditional type place--fajitas de pollo for me.  Tomorrow we are riding up Highway 5, along the Sea of Cortez, to San Felipe.  Probably a ten hour ride.  Some of the route is primitive, dirt, gravel and large sharp rocks.  I don't look forward to that but it is all part of the adventure.

Baja is famous for "off road racing". And at least two have been in progress the past several days.  One, MORRA is a 500 mile run occurring over the past four days.  A second, Dos Mares, runs from La Paz to....some place on the Pacific coast.  Ricardo and Vivian have been in the midst of the festivities and you will see several photos of them with the cars and drivers (actually only the senoritas that may be drivers).  Last night several racers passed near our hotel and the noise was loud and festive.

Baja, very interesting!  But a place I probably would have enjoyed more when I was much younger.
Cabo San Lucas
Yes, today's ride took us to Cabo San Lucas, the extreme southern tip of Baja.  One hundred fifty kilometers south of La Paz,  through a couple of low mountains but mostly along the mighty Pacific.  Life was great---and Cabo.  Well, it is a tourist destination known for fishing and "partying".  Since we were interested in neither, it was a turn around point for Vivian and Ricardo.  And Chuck?  I am just tagging along.

By late afternoon we were back in La Paz.  La Paz, the capitol city of Baja California Sur, has over 200,000 full time residents, beautiful beaches and marinas and good restaurants.  Hotels are many and prices are modest.  I recommend La Paz for your adventure...you can always hop down to Cabo for a few hours.

Tomorrow?  We have not yet decided but at some point we have to ride back north.  We are discussing riding the gravel and dirt road that leads to San Felipe.  We really must get off the pavement and see some of the isolated fishing villages located along the Sea of Cortez.  And there is Santa Rosalie.  I really need to get a few Crown of Thorn cuttings.  And then there is the historic and beautiful French hotel.  I think we need to spend a night there.

Remember, to a "long distance rider"' it is always about the travel,  not the destination.  And the bike?  It is just a means to do the travel.  By the way, the bikes are running great and the weather has been superb.
La Paz, BCS
Ah, near the tip of Baja California Sur....but not quite.  We arrived in this thriving port and vacation city at 3:00 PM today and quickly found a hotel right on the beach.  Ricardo and Vivian are both in the pool.  I don't see why they did not go in the Sea but I am sure they will try it before we depart.
La Paz is a large city, a port, several colleges and one university, the city seems to be prosperous and vibrant.  Many Americans retire to Loreto and La Paz and I envy them.

Today's ride was only about 437 kilometers, through beautiful mountain deserts much of the time but also along the shores of the Sea.  The roads were good, the bikes are running great, the ride was perfect.

We have now ridden almost 4000 kilometers on this adventure without a problem ar all---not even a drop of rain.  And we have stayed in nice hotels the entire trip.  In Baja we have a good beachfront hotel for only $78 per night.  And the seafood is fantastic.  

Tomorrow?  We have not yet decided.  We may travel the 170 kilometers south to the busy and expensive resort city of Cabo San Lucas.  We have to do it.  That is the southern tip of Baja and you cannot come this far without going all the way.

Today we took some nice photographs and I will post them in an hour or so.  Yes,  in case you wondering, I am enjoying a very active retirement.
Dinner On The Sea of Cortez
Dinner on the Sea of Cortez....and freshly caught fish at that.  The only way life could get better is for the restaurant to have freshly prepared flan, swimming in Kahlua. No, I don't drink alcoholic beverages but there is nothing wrong with eating Kahlua with flan..in fact I recommend it!
We only rode about 350 kilometers today but it was a beautiful ride through a couple of most
 interesting towns.

  Leaving San Ignacio at 9:00 AM, we were off up and down at least three steep mountains before suddenly arriving high overlooking the shimmeringly Sea of Cortez.  Absolutely breath taking.  Suddenly we were in the coastal town of Santa Rosalia.  Santa Rosalia, a hidden gem right on the edge of the Sea.  Founded in 1880 by a French mining company, Compania Del Boleo a company that was to build a tremendous mining operation.  The buildings in this unique city are in the early French tradition, beautiful and very well preserved.  The timber used in this construction was imported from Oregon and British Columbia.  Amazing.


We explored much of the city this  morning and the residents were eager and proud to show us around.  I have,  in recent years, become a passionate grower of Crown Of Thorn plants.  The Crown of Thorns is the only cactus that has both leaves and blooms constantly, twelve months a year.  Yes, I discovered a lady that is equally enthused.  She has several beautiful specimens but her sister has over two hundred.  I any have forty two!

We are spending the night near the beach in Loreto, a small but elegant city right on the shores of the Se sa of Cortez.
The Beautiful Oasis San Ignacio
Five hundred forty kilometers of treacherous desert mountain roads.  Roads full of potholes and no shoulders at all.  And this is the thrill that makes a long distance rider thrive.  Yes, Ricardo and Vivian are long distance motorcycle adventurers.  And Chuck?  I am just like an eager puppy tagging along.

The desert was amazing,  filled with beautiful giant cacti, Huge boulder fields that looked as if they had rained down from the heavens.  And I am certain that is how they were created.  An atheist could never ride through this desert and not question his own wisdom.  

Hot, curvy roads, one stretch over 320 kilometers without a Pemex, and we still made it.  By 4:30 PM we could see this lush green oasis sitting right in the middle the Deserto de Viscaino.  San Ignacio, with it's thousands of green Palms.  A central Plaza shaded by giant Laurel trees.

But our real reason for coming is to visit Mission San Ignacio de Kadakasman.  Founded in 1728 by Jesuit priests, this mission is well worth the journey.  I suggest you take a look at this beautiful mission by visiting the photo album, Baja, Spring 2016.

Tonight we had delicious fresh seafood dinners at Victors, right on the Plaza and across from the Mission.  Wednesday morning we will head southeast to the Sea of Cortez.  I am told the coastal city of Loreto is beautiful, so guess where we are spending tomorrow evening.  
La Bufadoraof
Monday morning we had to spend a couple of hours exploring this beautiful Baja port city.  But by lunch we were on our bikes headed south.  Thirty kilometers down the road found us at an intersection.  La Bufadora was 22 kilometers to the west.  Ricardo headed that way.  He knew about La Bufadora and was eager to see it.  La Bufadora, one of  Baja's many natural wonders.

Tucked in a cove of huge stone islands and crashing Pacific waves, La Bufadora is a spectacular Pacific blowhole.  Shooting water some 60 meters in the sky, it looks like a giant ocean geyser.  We were so in awe that we have posted several photographs for you.


Finally back on the bikes, we headed south about three hundred kilometers to El Rosario.  Through mountains and valleys, we passed through beautiful grape vineyards for an hour or two.  We were in Mexico's great wine country.

Four hours later we pulled into El Rosario, "the gateway to the wild Baja".  We quickly booked a suite of rooms at the Baja Cactus Motel. A great suite for only a total of $36.  And right next door was the famous Mama Espinosa's Restaurant and Cantina.  Right on the route of the famous Baja Road Races, Mama's has long been the roost of celebrity road racers like Steve McQueen, James Garner, Parnelli Jones, Paul Newman....maybe even Ricardo Collado.  The ambiance, company and food were all fantastic.  

Tomorrow will come early and it will be "muy frio".  We will be off about 500 kilometers through treacherous mountain desert to San Ignacio.
Ensenada, Baja California
We arrived in Ensenada late this afternoon. It was a beautiful ride from Tucson, through Yuma, Az and down to the California border town of Calexico. However, it was very dry, very,very dry.  My Sinuses dried up to the size of sand pebbles.  My eyes were so dry, when I blinked I heard a scraping  sound.  Yes,it was dry.  But the fields were irrigated and for many miles all you saw were beautiful green vegetable fields.  We were riding through one of the United States greatest bread baskets, right in middle of the desert.

Finally we reached Calexico and stopped by Oscar Padilla's Mexican Insurance.  Mexico recently made auto insurance mandatory and we were going to comply.  Soon we had three policies, one for each bike and rider.  The cost for twelve days, about $110 per policy.

Back on the bikes, we crossed into Mexico at Mexicali.  The crossing took thirty seconds and we spent no more than ten minutes at Imigracion getting visas.  Very efficient, painless and friendly.  In minutes we were on to Ensenada.  About 300 kilometers, west on MX 2 to TecatE, further west towards Tiajuana, then south on MX 3, Ruta Del Vino. Beautiful grape vineyards and modern wineries.  Yes, it was dry, the grapes on the vines had dried to raisins.

Suddenly on the west, the mighty roaring Pacific Ocean.  Now we knew we were in Baja and the view made the entire trip worthwhile.  Tonight we have wandered through the  lively parks around the docks, marveling at the joyous Mexican families.  Tomorrow, some sightseeing.  We have not yet decided when we will ride south.  There is so much to see!
Riding West
We departed Fort Stockton early, but not as early as the race cars.  I heard several roaring to life at 5:00 AM.  However the BBORR had to do without us.  Our goal was to reach Tucson, AZ before dark.  We made it but just barely.

We arrived in El Paso, TX at 10:30 AM.  The great songwriter and singer, Marty Robbins had a far better reason to visit El Paso than did I.  You may recall the words to his number 1 hit.  "Out in the west Texas town of El Paso I fell in love with a Mexican girl.  Nighttime would find me in Rosa's cantina.  Music would play and Felina would whirl.".   Well I never found Rosa's cantina and I never really looked for "the wicked Felina".

But we did find Barnett Harley Davidson and Vivian and Ricardo were satisfied.  Two hours after arriving, we were back on our bikes fighting the wind and traffic.  Today's run was only about 920 kilometers but it was enough.   Tomorrow we are headed to Colexico, CA to purchase insurance that will cover the motorcycles in Mexico.  With luck, we will cross the border early Monday and be in Ensenada by lunch.
Big Bend Open Road Race 2016
Yes, Vivian, Ricardo and I arrived in Fort Stockton early and attended the car show.  One hundred sixty cars, from Dodge Vipers, Ferraris, Cobras, Corvettes,  even a 1947 Suburban, will participate.

  An open road race, Tx Hwy 285 will be closed to all but the race participants  The fastest, running at speeds up to 310 kph, will head out at 7:00 AM.  Then, every sixty seconds another car races away.  Each making the 102 kilometer run to Sanderson, then lining up for the return race.  Exciting!  We have posted the photos of many cars in a separate album, Big Bend Open Road Race, 2016.  I suggest you go take a look.

Vivian, Ricardo and I had a great ride today,  we made our visits to the Pecos Bridge Overlook and to the Judge Roy Beam Museum.  Of course those photographs can be found in the album entitled Baja, Spring 2016.


Tomorrow we plan to ride to Tucson, Arizona. About 900 kilometers down the trail, a long and hard day.  But Vivian must stop in El Paso.  Why?  To visit Barnetts Harley Davidson, the worlds largest Harley dealership.  I see some money being spent on tee shirts.




Back In Del Rioi, Texas
Del Rio, Texas, on the border just across from Cuidad Acuna,  may be my second home.  I visit here many times a year.  And it was to this historic South Texas city that Vivian, Ricardo and I rode today.  Leaving Baffin Bay at 9:15 AM, we arrived at the Del Rio La Quinta at three in the afternoon.

The morning started out brisk and clear, a perfect day for a motorcycle adventure.  I led, setting a pace at 115 kph.  Out past the King Ranch, spotting several flocks of wild turkeys, the morning was perfect.  Benavides, Freer, Encinal, Carizzo Springs, Eagle Pass, all older Texas cities, welcomed us.  Oil field trucks, cattle trucks and even a prison bus shared the roads.  But we never spotted another motorcycle!  Strange!

Ricardo is in the pool, Vivian is getting ready for dinner....dinner at Rudy's means BBQ'd ribs, cole slaw and of course, apple pie.  Tomorrow?  Up early, a stop at the Pecos Bridge overlook, the highest bridge in Texas, then on down to Langtry, the museum of Judge Roy Bean, the hanging judge.  After all,I want Vivian, a retired Costa Rican judge, to understand how Texas justice is metted out.


Mid afternoon will find us in Ft. Stockton, Texas, The Big Bend Open Road Race takes place Saturday.  Highway 285 running about 103 kilometers from Ft. Stockton to Sanderson will be closed to all traffic and the Highway becomes a raceway.  We will be among the last riders on the road before it closes for the races.

Remember, you can access out photos by going to "pictures" and opening the album, "Baja, Spring 2016".  And to see where we are, punch "find me".
The Bikes Are Ready To Run
Ricardo and Vivian arrived in Corpus Christi yesterday right on time.  Today was spent getting the bikes packed, making a last minute run to Walmart........we even did a short ride to make sure the bikes are running strongly.  Some last minute packing tonight and we depart tomorrow morning.

We have decided to only ride to Del Rio tomorrow.  It will be about 310 miles.  A short ride but it will give Vivian and Chuck a chance to get accustomed to their bikes.  Friday we will head to Fort Stockton where we will join the festivities for the 2016 Big Bend Open Road Race.  Life is good!