Bakersfield to San Carlos Mexico : Ride Report (Non Vetter)

Kynan C.

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The story as it happened.

Myself and longtime friend Jeromy, adventured from Bakersfield, California to San Carlos, Mexico and back on our enduro's in 10 days. The round trip was a little over 2000 miles, and a good combination of dirt and asphalt. We traveled down the coast of Baja, crossed over the Sea of Cortez in Santa Rosalia on a ferry boat to the mainland side, then up to San Carlos for a 2 day stay, then back up to Nogales Mexico to cross back into the US.

We met up with Jeromy's childhood friend Steve, whom he had not really seen since 6th grade. It just so happened that Jeromy saw a post that Steve had made on Facebook talking about his KLR650. From there Jeromy mentioned we were doing a Mexico ride on our DR's and Steve said "I'm in!!" Steve whom quickly became nicknamed "Hey Steve" lives in Sierra Vista, Arizona. The name "Hey Steve" came from a character in a Flash cartoon series called Homestar Runner, it was 10 years ago or so. Another note to share is "Hey Steve" is fluent in Spanish, and this came to be extremely valuable as Jeromy and I knew about 15 words each.

So, here we are, getting the bikes ready to depart. We put on new tires the day before we left. We researched the crap out of tires and went ahead and went with the good ol' Dunlop 606's. We figured for the dirt we were going to encounter, we need a good 50% 50% tire. I have to give credit to Brent of The Adventure Center here in Bakersfield for convincing us these are the tires we needed. Boy was he right.

Friday, April 10th - Bikes getting the new tires. Pictured below is my Suzuki DR650.
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Learning the Ropes
Sounds like it will be a great time. A single cylinder dual purpose will probably be my next bike, how do you like the DR?

Kynan C.

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Departure, getting the bikes packed up, saying goodbye, riding towards Joshua Tree, CA from Bakersfield, CA.

Sunday, April 12th

Kinda odd. Out in the middle of nowhere too.

Same with this, again out in the middle of nowhere. Why?

Kynan C.

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Sounds like it will be a great time. A single cylinder dual purpose will probably be my next bike, how do you like the DR?

Love the DR, great bike so far. Both of ours are 2014's. Mine is pretty modded, and Jers is as well.

List some mods soon!


Learning the Ropes
How does it compare to the KLR? Have you ridden both?

My buddy has a 2011 klr and I like the fact that they have the larger fairing built in

Kynan C.

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Nothing ever goes as you plan it. Because of our late start on Sunday we strolled into Joshua Tree, CA right before dark. Enough light to get a pic of the sign and to stop at a store and grab some food and a beer for a great camping extravaganza!

Needless to say, we had to clue Coachella 2015 (huge music festival) was going on, so every single camping spot in Joshua Tree was full! We rode in the dark to about 4 different camp grounds within the area and nothing open. It was starting to get a bit cold out and we had no place to go. Contemplated crashing a group campsite but figured we better not. So, we adventured forward another 45 minutes or so to Twentynine Palms, CA. Where again we could not find a campsite. The RV parks were more then the hotels. We found this crazy hotel in the middle of a residential complex around 10:00PM. I think we pulled the guy out of bed. This place was odd! It was an old apartment complex covered to a hotel and made to resemble a mining town. Pretty weird...

Sunday, April 12th. Arrival in Joshua Tree, staying at Sunnyvale Garden Suites in Twentynine Palms, CA


Was what was supposed to be the dinner for the Great Campout of 2015!

Just a bit creepy, why does this remind me of something from Terminator 2?
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Kynan C.

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The next morning we got up from our late night mining town adventure and headed towards Calexico, CA where we would meet up with "Hey Steve" from Arizona.

We rode back through Joshua Tree, it was nice to see everything we missed because it was dark out. Lots of giant rocks. We traveled through Mecca and then rode along side of the Salton Sea. You want to talk about an odd place. It smells bad and is way run down.

Monday, April 13

As if we were not going to eat enough Mexican food in the very near future.....

"Hey Steve", Jeromy, and myself, ready for our venture into Mexico via Mexicali.
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Kynan C.

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We got up early, got eared up and ready to go, and grabbed a quick bite. Then discovered that Jeromy and I's chains needed to be adjusted. That was a pain considering neither of us had center stands. Thanks to "Hey Steve" and his luggage combined with some bricks from the flower garden we were able to get the bikes raised up enough to adjust the chains. Our destination from here is Puertecitos. We passed through San Filipe where we grabbed lunch. Not a bad first lunch in Mexico I might add.

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Kynan C.

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We arrived in Puertecitos at about 6:00 in the evening on Tuesday not really knowing what to expect. To backtrack a bit, Jeromy and I have a mutual friend and his name is Scott. We were telling Scott about the planned venture and he mentioned that he had some great friends that had a place in Puertecitos and we should meet them and stop and visit or stay when we were in Mexico. Well, some time went by and Scott bought his friend Kim by who invited us to stay with them when we came through. The short end of it, thats exactly what we did.

When we rolled up, we were greeted by Kim, her daughter Katie and her daughters husband Rob. Talk about the nicest folks on the planet. We felt right at home, it truly was the mi casa su casa experience. The view was spectacular. We spent some time in the ocean water, then retreated to the hot springs that were just a few steps from their home. Waking up Wednesday Jeromy discover he had a flat front tire, no problem, with a team effort it was changed and we were off. We had a great time, and can't say enough thank you's to Kim and her family.

Tuesday, April 14th arrival in Puerticitos, and departed Wednesday morning.
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Kynan C.

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After departing Kims place in Puertecitos our destination was set for Bahia de Los Angeles. Along the way we stopped at Alfonsinas in Gonzaga Bay. There is where all three of us agree that we had ate some of the best fish tacos ever! Really nice place right on the ocean. I hear there is even a private landing strip.

After lunch we headed towards Bahia de Los Angeles. This is where the road ends and dirt starts. We did about 3 hours in the dirt before arriving in Bahia de Los Angeles. However, along the way we had to stop at Coco's Corner. This place is legendary and just a visual train wreck. Apparently if you are a lady and passing through you have to leave Coco an offering (see pics below). We asked the lady that was there about Coco and she said he was sick and in the hospital. Coco has no legs, and I am guessing this is due diabetes.

We arrived in Bahia de Los Angeles in the dark and found a place to stay. The place was called Guillermos, we ended up eating dinner and breakfast there.

Wednesday, April 15th
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Kynan C.

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Departure from Guillermos in Bahia de Los Angeles. This place was a interesting destination, it sure looked different in the daytime! From here it went south! :eek:

More dirt, and even more dirt, did I mention the SAND, ohh and more dirt. Our destination was Santa Rosalia, it took us 10 hours to get from Bahia de Los Angeles to Santa Rosalia. The dirt riding was great, you had to be cautious of giant rocks everywhere. Where it all went down hill is when we hit sand, miles and miles of sand, I mean about 30 miles of sand and rocks. I dumped the bike over server times, and had to get the fellas to assist lifting it up. Jeromy also had a spill and some close calls. "Hey Steve" escaped with no falls, but we think its because his KLR was so huge it couldn't fall over.

We arrived in Santa Rosalia at about 9:30 and found a place to stay. We elected for Hotel Frances. "Hey Steve snored all night!!

Thursday, April 16th

My makeshift Gopro mount! Love it

Jeromy and his fallen DR

My fallen DR!

We finally made it out of the sand!!!!

Arrival in Santa Rosalia staying at Hotel Frances.

Kynan C.

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How does it compare to the KLR? Have you ridden both?

My buddy has a 2011 klr and I like the fact that they have the larger fairing built in

After being on the trip with "Hey Steve" whom has a 2014 KLR650, I would say I am happy with the DR650. Although, I did not ride his bike, it just seemed to big to me. Then again I am a smaller fellow, sitting 5'7" and 150 lbs, so the DR just feels better to me. Lighter too.

Kynan C.

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Well, we woke up bright and early, around 5AM early, because we needed to catch the ferry boat at 7AM where we would cross the Sea of Cortez and 9 hours later land in Guaymas. As with most things in Mexico, upon arriving at the ferry boat station we discovered... NO BOAT, and a sign that "Hey Steve" had to translate for us. Basically, it said boat delayed till 7PM. So, at this point we have 12 hours to kill in Santa Rosalia. Off to find some breakfast!

We met a fun fellow named Marc whom we learned was from New Mexico and natively from France. He was an woodworker by trade and an adventurer by heart. He had traveled all over the world, and had some great stories of his adventures. Marc is what we refer to as a "Lone Wolf", he travels alone, and takes the time to pull it all in. On this particular venture, he was out on a 6 weeker on his 1992 BMW 1000 dual sport. He told us that he had traveled the exact same route we had just come from, including the sand! He, however spent 3 days trying to get out of the sand. He told us every time he fell over in the sand, being just one person, he had to unload all the stuff off his bike, get it propped up, then reload it. He then would get a bit further in the sand and fall over agin! He said he ended up walking along the side of the bike and nursed the throttle until he was able to get out of the miles and miles of sand. He eventually made it out of the sand and onto the dirt roads, only to run out of gas! He was found by a rare passing truck who gave him a ride back to civilization. Marc had really lived the adventure! I felt lucky I had the fellows around to help me lift my bike when it fell! We gave him one of our Mexican wrestler stickers and he put it on his bike. He liked the same one I have on my DR "!EL ESTUPIDO!

We got to see the church that Gustave Eiffell the designer of the Eiffell Tower built. Very cool construction, all metal! You can read more about it here. After wondering around Santa Rosalia, the time had finally come to go to the ferry station, and of course the boat was late, and would not arrive for 3 more hours. When it arrived we had to wait for them to unload the boat, reload the boat, the military to inspect everything that was boarding the boat. We set sail finally at about 11PM!!! The boat itself should I say this... not so seaworthy. One of the regulars told us he feared for his life a week ago and slept with his lifejacket on.. The boat we were told is a flat bottom lake boat from Guatemala. They bought it for cheap and it took 80 days to get to Mexico... Pretty crazy. With all Tecate beer, and the help of a "agent" we all slept like babies or at least until I woke up at 2AM to try to use the god awful bathroom while the boat was rocking and rolling! It was really moving.. left, right, KABAM! ZZZzzzzzzzzz......

Friday, April 17th


Kynan C.

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After getting back to sleep with a boat crashing up and down I woke up to Jeromy yelling LAND HO... and yes there was land. I think the fellows were suffering from a little to much Tecate, however they plowed right through the fog.

After docking the boat, we had to endure yet another military search. What I found funny was that the driver of the truck was passing out gifts to the Military guys... hot dogs, cheese, and whatnot. How comb we didn't get a giant pack of hot dogs??? Ohh well, next time.

Guaymas is where we would meet Roger, Jeromy's Dad. We followed Pops to his town of San Carlos where he bought us breakfast. It was the first more American style breakfast we had had in Mexico, and it was tasty too. Pops also hooked us up with a spectacular place to stay for a couple nights. A beautiful home with fantastic views out the front and back. A super big thanks to Jeff, Rogers friend for letting us stay in his guest house. Jeff had a super nice palace right next door that was even more incredible then the place we were staying.

That afternoon we attended a beer party that Jer's Dad hosted. Pop's is a home brewer and throws these beer parties every so often. He has been protecting his beer recipes and might I say he has done a great done. He served some fantastic beers and hopes to open a micro brewery in San Carlos soon. Truly tasty craft beer and brewery worthy! That night we went out to dinner with Jeromy's family. It was just like when we were kids, we got to ride in the back of Pop's truck! After dinner it was back to the palace to crash out.

Saturday, April 18th

Kynan C.

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Sunday we primarily spent time checking out San Carlos, we looked at some locations where Pops was thinking of for a brewery. There is some real neat Spanish style architecture in San Carlos, I took a few pics and we got the tour. At the beer party we met Jerry whom invited us to check out his self built house. Super nice place with a great view, you can see where he docks his boat below. I was fascinated with his concrete spiral stairwell. He build his home himself and did a great job, just a super creative fellow. He also had a cool buggy, kinda looked like a frog.

All in all, a low key day off the bikes. We just kicked around a bit, visited with Jer's family and drank, yes you guessed it, more Tecate.

Sunday, April 19th

"Hey Steve" is looking pretty thug like in this pic...

Love this little buggy!

Jerry's super cool hand constructed concrete spiral stairwell.

You will never know why I am holding up the number 3! Ill never tell! :pfft