Forty-eight hours since I last brought out the computer and it feels like a week… just like an evening with Mike Morgan. There is plenty to cover but most pressing is the fact that Alex just about lit us all on fire. Al got a hair up his ass to cook some refried beans as a dip for some tortilla chips. Against everyone else’s better judgment he insisted on cooking them over his whisper light MSR on the bathroom counter of our hotel room here in Rosario, BC (Baja California). Feeling particularly cocky, he ignored all other suggestions such as going outside, using the stove next door, or even lighting the gasoline-fueled MSR over on top of a cooking pan.
Fast forward thirty seconds and I am using a hotel towel to suffocate a ferocious three foot flame billowing from a puddle of gasoline on our bathroom counter. Alex apparently pumped too much fuel into his stove and it immediately leaked all over the apparatus and the counter. When the fireworks started, Alex calmly picked up the stove and walked out into the parking lot to keep the bottle from exploding and killing us all. That left me the duty of putting out the remaining fire puddle with the nearest thing I could find: a now singed hotel towel. All told, we are all fine, the room smells like gasoline, and Alex lost a corner from his Fireman Chit.
While we’re on the subject of Alex losing his mojo, let’s now go over his 65mph low side motorcycle crash this afternoon. First of all, I didn’t see it happen, but I pulled up seconds after he got back on his feet. We were all riding south to Rosario from Ensenada on Hwy 1. Alex and Charlie were doing warp speed in the lead and Sarah and I were chugging along at a leisurely 55mph behind them out of eyesight. Sarah and I came around a wide bend to find Charlie and Alex pulled off on the right side off in a patch of grass. As it turned out, that was where Al and his bike finally came to rest after he laid it down while off-roading a little trail that paralleled the road.
I didn’t know there had been an accident until we pulled up next to them and saw that both Alex and his bike were completely doused in thick mud. Alex was absolutely fired up about bogging down his front tire in deep mud and then riding his bike sideways and backwards for about 80 feet during his crash landing. I think I heard the story of his experience about four times in five minutes (you can imagine). Thankfully, Alex was fine and his bike fared pretty well. His right pannier had two bolt points come loose and his right rack has two cracks in it. The case has a little damage on the bottom but is holding together well. Everything is holding together for now but we will need to find a Mexican blacksmith to weld it all back together.
What is the lesson here? You’ll have to ask Alex. All I know is that it was an isolated incident caused by him alone (and that the god-king finally bled). Al is a great rider and he accidently ended up in some mud that he didn’t foresee. For all you worry-warts out there, don’t; I don’t hop onto dirt trails at 65mph ever. If I ever do, I surely will not be leading the pack. Anyway, not a bad way to remind us all that these bikes are inherently dangerous. Of course, though, we were back on the road within twenty minutes powering toward Rosario. Alex was leading the way.
We pulled in to town around 4:00pm and stopped for gas. We had intended to go further and camp in a national park but it wasn’t really in the cards. Rosario is the last town with gas for the next 300 miles (our range is under 250), which means we need to fill some water bottles with fuel for this next push. Given the dwindling daylight and sore asses we decided to stay here at ‘Tourist Hotel’ for a night before we take on the next stretch. We got a room with three beds for ~$40, bought some beers at a local market, and then almost burnt the place down (please refer to the first paragraph). Now we are all enjoying the Wi-Fi and discussing the logistics of tomorrow’s sans-gas adventure.
From what I’ve seen, Rosario is a small town fueled mostly by the local population. There is definitely a strong Baja racing influence. Every five minutes a quad, dirt bike, or lifted 4x4 roars by our hotel. Needless to say we fit right in. Tomorrow we will load up on gas and keep going.
Now that today is out of the way, yesterday was a lot less exciting but very fun. Saturday morning Charlie and Alex were set on going back to the beach to get some footage of themselves throwing sand around next to the incoming waves. Given my last beach experience I was not interested. While the others went to get some tacos I rode over to Tourist Information to ask some questions and study their maps. I eventually decided to ride out to a little peninsula fifteen miles South of Ensenada because the map showed a windsurfing symbol next to its beach: sold. I asked if the area was safe (of course it was), memorized the route, and started off around noon. The roads leading to the peninsula were a great ride and I really enjoyed going at my very own pace for once.
As I got closer, I noticed a lot of signs reading ‘La Bufadora’ pointing in the direction I was heading. As it turns out, I had chosen a major tourist destination instead of a windsurfing beach… shit! La Bufadora turned out to be a spot in the rock wall coastline where the waves rush into a narrowing corridor and then blow foam sixty feet into the sky at its apex. I haven’t checked a translator yet, but I think ‘bufadora’ means blowhole given the attraction. The road ended at the coastline but I had to walk the last quarter mile of it because of all the tourist traffic and vendors. I bought a beer, a vendor convinced me to buy a $5 cigar, and I enjoyed both on a secluded part of the beach watching the bufadora go off.
After talking to some Americans and letting them admire my bike, I decided to head back and see how the beach ride went. Sarah and the boys had gotten some great footage and also went to a local car wash to clean the sand and salt off their bikes. I decided it would be a good idea for me too. I pulled up to the car wash and for $4 two guys spent half an hour cleaning every square inch of my bike inside and out. They even shined the tires! I gave them $5 just because I’m such a baller.
That’s about it. That night we got to bed real early (all the sun and beer finally took its toll) and got out of Ensenada the next morning. Then Alex crashed and almost blew us up (winner). Now we’re all debating what kind of delicious tacos to eat tonight; this could tear the team apart. My eyes are still peeled for the white whale: windsurfing. Expect about five pages when I finally find it.