Day 8 - Loreto, B.C.S. to La Paz, B.C.S.

I am alive and well and resting peacefully in the La Posada Hotel, in La Paz, Baja California Sur.

Starting Odometer: 6,837
Ending Odometer: 7,111
Distance Traveled Today: 274 miles
Distance Traveled This Trip: 2,508 miles [7,111 - 4,603]

Here's roughly what my ride looked like for today.

So, I wake up this morning, and there's a freaking marching band parading down the street outside my bedroom window. For some reason, it's a Monday, but these kids aren't in school. Instead, they're all dressed up and marching up and down the street, in step, out of step. Someone's blowing a whistle.

The best that I can get is that it's November 19th, and that is cause for some celebration. But I'm not clear who, exactly, they overthew on November 19th. No one else seems to know for sure either.

I get up, check out of the hotel, and then when I go to start my bike, I can't find my keys. I have an extra set, but I'm kind of freaking out because they're not in my riding pants pocket where they should be. The maid comes and lets me back into my bedroom, and I go in there, empty my pockets on the bed, and then I find my keys were in my blue jeans pocket, instead of my riding pants.

I'm relieved, and I go back outside, oil my chain in the parking lot, and then start riding down to the Route Uno store, to buy a Mexico Route 1 sticker. The band is just breaking up, and when I get to Route Uno, the store is still closed today, same as yesterday.

OK. That's it. So, I'm heading out now for Ciudad Constitucion.

But first, I'll stop by the Pemex across the street to top off my tank before rolling out into the deserts of Baja. You can't be too paranoid about running out of gas. It's a very serious risk.

So, I gas up the bike, but now I can't find my wallet. It's only like 6 liters, because I went south of town about 30 miles yesterday, and then returned. So, I put in about 6 liters, but my wallet isn't where it should be. It should be in my right riding pants pocket, but it's not there. I start frantically looking through all of my belongings, but I can't find it. There's this little girl, sitting there at the Pemex gas pumps...I'm guessing her mom is the one pumping the gas, and she's watching me come unglued. It isn't pretty.

Like, if I'm so stupid that I can't make this trip without losing my wallet, then maybe I don't need to be on this trip. Maybe I need to be in a "home" somewhere.

Finally, I ask to pay in U.S. dollars, because I have plenty of cash on me. She says it's $6.00 USD, so I hand her six dollars. Now, I'm really freaking out. I decide to go back to the hotel and look for it there.

When I pull up, the maid comes out waving my wallet. Apparently, when I went back into the room to look for my room keys, I took my wallet out, looking for the keys, and then left it on the bed when I took off.

She hands me my wallet back. I take out a $50 bill (USD) and hand it to her.

Now, I get on my bike and ride off into the deserts of Baja.

The gloves I nromally wear are North Face ski gloves that I bought up in the Yukon, in White Horse, Yukon Territory, Canada.

They say North Face "Hy Vent". And, I take them off because it's hot in the desert, and I put them under my CC Filson handbag as I'm racing across the desert.

In the desert, basically I just open the throttle and run triple digits because I've got no time for these deserts. I've seen enough cactus to last a lifetime. I'm done with this. I want to get to La Paz.

So, I'm running triple digits through the desert and, at some point, I realize that I've only got one glove. The other one must have fallen off. Oh well.

I do have a backup set of gloves in the rear Givi Case. At some point, I put on my other gloves just so my hands won't get too sunburned.

So, today hasn't been a great day.

I stop and refill the bike in Ciudad Constitucion (my internet sucks so bad I cen't get it to draw me a map of where I went today).

Then, I see a store in Ciudad Constitucion that looks like a large enough store to have an ATM, so I go in there, find the ATM, and take as much out of it in Pesos as it will allow. I think it was $5,000 pesos? I'm tired of not having pesos in this country. I was almost completely out.

Now, I have another 130 miles of open desert to cross before La Paz. And no fuel stops along the way.

I'm just running through the desert at 100 mph for some time when I realize that I'm really getting very poor gas mileage by driving so fast. That sucks.

But somehow, I make it out of the desert and come rolling down the hill to my old trusty Pemex station that I recall well from last time.

I go look for the restaurant that Jennifer and I liked so much, only to find that it is closed.
I think that our restaurant is called Terraza La Choperia, but it's closed due to November 19th celebration.

Then, I go looking for our hotel, and I do manage to find our hotel, La Posada hotel at Nueva Reforma 115, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur, 23090 La Paz, B.C.S.

So, good enough. I found my hotel. And I found our restaurant. It's right next door to the Whale Museum at Paseo Álvaro Obregón 1, Central, 23000 La Paz, B.C.S.

I go into the La Posada Hotel and ask for a room for the night. He quotes me $100 USD a night. I take him down to $90 USD a night. It's a lot, but the hotel is crazy nice and looks out over the bay as well.

I rest for an hour or two, then decide to go out to Pichilingue and make sure I know where the ferry leaves from, how long it till take me to get there, etc.

First, I go to the ferry building in La Paz, as it's closer. The address is Ignacio Allende 1025, Zona Central, 23000. But when I get there, it's about 4:30 p.m., but they're closed, of course, in observance of November 19th.

So then I decide to go to the ferry building in Pichilingue, to find out where I need to be, and at what time. She says to be there at 5:00 p.m., but allows that I can get there early, if I want to.

She tells me I need to have all of my paperwork, but I assure her that I have everything I'll need.

Then, i head back towards La Paz, but stop at the restaurant on the beach my return. It's about sunset, but they seat me anyway and I sit and eat dinner as the sun sets across the bay.

Jennifer and I stopped here and shot photos last time. This girl walks up to me, and asks..."were you shooting over there, before?" and she points to the other side of the beach where Jen and I were shooting last time.

"I was shooting over there before....do you recognize me? I was shooting over there, but it was back in July..."

But, apparently, she was referring to someone else that was shooting over there earlier today. "Oh no....not me....sorry."

La Paz is a really beautiful town, but I think not many people know about it really.

I roll back into town in the dark, and now I stop at our little ice cream store. It's called Michoacana. I park my bike, go inside, order my ice cream, and then go outside and sit on a bench to eat my icecream. At some point, I realize I don't know where my helmet is. I go inside the ice cream place, and I've set it down on a table, apparently, and walked away from it. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to finish this trip. I'm pretty sure I'm losing my mind.

I decide to go get some more currency, since I'm in La Paz, and I know where the stores are that have ATM's (cajero automatico). I go back down to our grocery store (Chedraui) and park in a handi-capped spot. Some woman comes out and starts running her mouth, but this is not the United States. Mexico is world's ahead of us in this regard. I just walk inside like I own the place. Like...what are you going to do, woman? In the USA, they'd tow your car and write you a $500 citation. But in Mexico, they can't really do anything. I walk inside the store, she's already tried to get about 3 other security guards to make me move my bike, but they just ignore her.

"Donde cajero automatico?" I ask.

They point me to the ATM, and I go down and take as much cash as it will give me....about $7,000 (pesos), I think.

Then, I walk outside. The upset housewife is nowhere to be seen. I get on my bike and ride to the nearest OXXO. Go inside, buy some Jumex (Mango) and some snacks, and then head back to the La Posado hotel for the night. Crazy tired. Not sure how much longer I can keep up this adventure. I'm completely exhausted.

I'm hoping that I can get a private room on the ferry tomorrow.

So, the ferry looks like this:
1 Adult $1,068.97 (Pesos)
1 Moto $1,017.24 (Pesos)
1 Cabina $990.00 (Pesos)

With taxes, the total is $3,410.00 (Pesos).
So, basically, it's $200 (USD).

And the ferry leaves at 8:00 p.m., and gets to Mazatlan at 9:00 a.m. So yeah...I for sure need a private cabin.

So then, my ride tomorrow (Tuesday November 21st), will be me riding to Pichilingue.
Then, my ride on Wednesday November 22nd, will be me riding from Mazatlan to Puerto Vallarta.



Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 20, 2017 at 3:05 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Day 7 - Photos


More photos in the extended entry.

Continue reading "Day 7 - Photos"

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 19, 2017 at 10:11 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Day 7 - Santa Rosalia, B.C.S. to Loreto, B.C.S.

I am alive and well and resting peacefully in the Hotel Salvatierra on the shores of the Sea of Cortez in the village of Loreto, Baja California Sur.

Starting Odometer: 6,633
Ending Odometer: 6,837
Distance Traveled Today: 204 miles
Distance Traveled This Trip: 2,214 miles [6,837 - 4,603]

Here's roughly what my ride looked like for today.


To do list:
change time on cameras and on bike.
log expenses for the day
log gas mileage for the day
charge cameras
charge gps and iphone
make fuel plan for tomorrow's ride
post photos
look at ferry schedule
clean visor on helmet
clean visor on motorcycle
oil chain on bike

This morning, we wake up in Santa Rosalia, B.C.S. We've all agreed to go to breakfast at 8:30 a.m. So we get up and walk to breakfast. Jorge has been through this town before, two years ago. I finally go back and look it up and it was 8 years ago that I was here.

So we go to breakfast and order and, of course, everything is deliciouso. After breakfast, we ride our bikes to the Pemex station and everyone gets gas for the ride today. Then, we ride down to Mulege.

Mulege is exactly as I remember it. It has a large wall with a gate that you ride through that says Mulege. So, it's a dramatic entrance when you go into town. Then, we follow the river down to the ocean.

Someone in their group has a drone, and he breaks it out and starts trying to shoot some video of the group riding, but the drone's not performing correctly, it seems. So I go and ride around the river and through town. I cross the river and go get some ice cream at a store just south of town. When I return, they've ridden down to the beach, so I ride my bike down to the beach also.

"Did you have any trouble getting your bike out here to the beach?"

"Dude...I've been riding for 30 years." Like, I really prefer not to take this bike off-road because it's not geared for it, but it's not like I'm incapable of riding off-road. That's not the issue.

At some point, we finally leave and roll south and stop at the Pemex station just south of town.

"I just filled up 30 miles ago. I really don't need to gas up again," I explain.

But, it seems that they're going to be riding off-road today. So I'm like..."Fair enough. Y'all have fun. I'm rolling south on Mexico 1"

But they tell me when I get into Loreto, if I go down the main drag towards the Malecon, I'll see a store on my right called "Routa Uno", or "Route Uno". And, in this store, they sell stickers for my motorcycle that say Mexico Route 1, which is the road we're on.

This, I think, is the most fun of traveling. Talking to strangers. Pumping them for information. Everything gleaned is an enhancement of your journey. Everything you hear from other travelers on the road is a gift from God.

Yes. Of course I want a Mexico 1 sticker on my bike. It has almost zero stickers on it right now. Ugh.

So I wave goodbye and take off heading south on Mexico 1. I'm not really clear how far I'll go today. I don't really need to be in La Paz until Monday or Tuesday. And today is Sunday. So, that basically means I have at least a day to kill.

I roll south and get to Loreto. The truth is that I really never went into Loreto last time. I mean, we rode past it, but we never went down to the malecon in Loreto, as I recall.

But this time, I have an assignment so, as I get to Loreto, I start driving up and down the various streets in Loreto, looking for a store that says "Routa Uno", apparently. But the first roads I turn down aren't even paved, so it hardly seems like they would be the "main road" if it wasn't even paved. So I keep sort of awkwardly rolling around through town, past stray dogs, cars with speakers on top blaring who-knows-what to the masses.

Eventually, I do find the malecon, but I certainly don't recall this from last time. Last time, we definitely skipped Loreto. We rode right past it.

I ask several people, and finally they point me to where the Route Uno store is. And, sure enough, I find it. But it's closed. Because it's Sunday, probably. Great. Brilliant.

Now, I'm not sure what to do. I could try to drive down to La Paz, but that's a fairly long ride. It's another 150 miles or so. And the sun is getting somewhat low on the horizon. I start rolling south, unsure of what to do at this point.

South of town, I see the restaurant that we stopped at last time I was riding down here. I'm almost certain it's the restaurant when I drive past it. But I keep going south, looking for something. I'm sort of looking for some places I recall seeing...some nice beaches where people were camped out. I roll south for about 30 miles, but then the road turns west and starts to cross the Baja peninsula again. So I double back. I really don't want to go any further tonight. I double back and stop at the restaurant that I passed earlier. I'm almost certain that it's the same place we ate at last time.

I remember specifically that there was a boat with a cactus in it. And a giant turtle carcass hanging on the wall inside the place. And, when I sit down, I do see a boat with a cactus in it. Then, I walk inside. "Didn't ya'll use to have a turtle in here?" I ask.

"Yes...but....I don't know how to say in English....It broke," he offers.

So, yeah...this is the place. So, I eat dinner, and then head back north to Loreto. There's a huge hotel with an enormous sign advertising rooms for $500 (pesos) a night, but this is Mexico, and when I ask, of course their rooms are $1000 (pesos) a night, not $500. So, I keep riding, because there's no way in hell I'm paying $50 USD a night for a hotel.

I end up checking into the Hotel Salvatierra for $25 USD a night, which is more what I was expecting to pay.

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 19, 2017 at 7:16 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Day 7 - Fuel Planning

Fuel Stops Day 7:
Trip Meter.........Town
0 miles.......Santa Rosalia.
122 miles......Loreto
93 miles......Ciudad Constitucion (215 miles total)
131 miles.....La Paz (346 miles total)


Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 19, 2017 at 12:47 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Day 6 - Photos

More photos in the Extended Entry...

Continue reading "Day 6 - Photos"

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 18, 2017 at 11:56 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Day 6 - Camalu, BC to Santa Rosalia, BCS

I am alive and well and resting peacefully on the shorts of the Sea of Cortez in Santa Rosalia, Baja California Sur. The hotel I'm staying in says " Hotel La Industrial Carr Transpeninsular NTE SN Centro".

Starting Odometer: 6,201
Ending Odometer: 6,633
Distance Traveled Today: 432 miles
Distance Traveled This Trip: 2,010 miles [6,633 - 4,603]

This is roughly what my ride looked like today.

In the morning, I wake up in the Hotel California in Camalu, BC. This section of the Baja is sort of strange because, we're right by the coast, but there doesn't appear to be any access to the coast. As though ocean-front property were well within reach, but not desirable. Very peculiar. I try to drive down to the beach, but the dirt road is very rough, and I turn back without making it to the beach. I can see the ocean, but I didn't ever get down to it.

So I gas up the bike and roll out of town heading south.

This section of the baja is very strange. The road is completely straight - ramrod straight - for some distance south of Camalu. It runs in a perfectly straight line heading south. We pass through small towns, at odd intervals. Seems to be some sort of irrigated farming in some areas. But we just keep going south. Straight as an arrow. Lots of Pemex stations. That is never an issue. Just keep rolling south. Shoulder to the wheel.

The locals appear to be gathering up vines/grass and burning them in piles on both sides of the road, for reasons known only to them. So, basically, you're riding south through a desert where they're burning the only thing that grows in great piles on both sides of the road.

The economic desperation here is difficult to comprehend. I'd hate to guess what they per capita income is in this area, but it can't be much.

Just before El Rosario, the road leaves the coast and turns inland. Now, it's heading inland, with cacti on both sides of the road. This is where I turned back last summer. This is where I turned back and said "oh hell no....I'm not going into the Punta Prieta desert again without a full tank of gas. Not this time. Hell no. Never again..."

And I turned back and back-tracked for 20 miles to the last Pemex station I passed. But this time, all is planned out. All is well. El Rosario is coming up. I'll refuel there.

I stop and refuel when I come into El Rosario. I remember this town perfectly. I stop at the Pemex station and fill up with Roho.

Now, I'm rolling through town, looking for a place to eat. I go through town a few times before settling on a place and sitting down for lunch. You just can't believe how cheap the food is down here, but it's something like $1 per taco, and a CocaCola Light next door goes for $15 pesos. It's really hard to imagine, but this is the truth.

So I eat lunch, and as soon as I get started, some Americans come rolling up with a dune-buggy on a trailer. They say that they just came in 5th in the Baja Mil race. But I don't really care. I didn't come down here to hang out with gringos. Not really my thing. I hate that people have discovered the Baja through Trip Advisor and Yelp and such.

I finish my tacos and roll south out of town. As soon as you leave El Rosario, you cross this large optimistic bridge across an irrigated field. They always build these bridges acorss these creek beds, but it's hard to imagine when it ever rains here. I've never seen it rain at all down here. Ever.

And south of town, the road leaves the coast and now starts winding precariously through the hills, and there are enormous cacti everywhere. Now, we're moving into the heart of the Punta Prieta desert.

What's so funny is that, this time, I'm like super careful with my fuel. And the first time I came down here, I was so unprepared there are no words. I was on a kick-start dirt bike, Honda XR650R, and I rode off into the Punta Prieta desert without even bothering to fill up at the gas station in El Rosario. They told me, "this is the last gas station for 225 miles," and I ignored them. Laughed at them. And rode off into the desert alone, with a half a tank of gas. Like... so stupid there aren't words. That I survived is a testament to....something. Dumb luck I guess? God watches out for fools and children.

But this time is different. This time, I've planned my fuel stops very carefully. This time will be different. This time, I fill up in El Rosario. This time, I know every location in the Punta Prieta desert where people are selling gas on the side of the road.

The first stop south of El Rosario is at Catavina. At Catavina, there is a place on the side of the road where a man sells gas with a little hand-painted sign that says "PEMEX". Obviously, it's not a PEMEX, and when I stop, he isn't there. But someone hits a car horn and he comes walking across the road.

I've only gone 75 miles since I filled up in El Rosario, and he is only offering to sell me 1 full gallon (4 liters) at a time. So I buy 4 liters (1 gallon) from him for $100 pesos ($5.00 USD).

Now, I take off south again, following Mexico 1, always. Always south. Now, 75 more miles until the exit to Bahia de Los Angeles (Angel Bay).

Now, this valley looks very familiar. I remember this place. This place where I almost died last time. We're exactly in the center of the Baja peninsula now. There is, on each side, a mountain range. Each range is about 15-20 miles away from me, roughly paralleling the coasts. I'm in this bowl, full of nothing but cactus, as far as the eye can see.

This is where I hit reserve last time. So stupid there aren't words. I'm not about to hit reserve this time. Even if I did, I'm carrying 2.2 gallons of rojo (premium) gasolina. So, there's zero chance of me running out of gas in this desert this time.

Now, I'm at the exit to Bahia del Los Angeles. Here is the 2nd fuel stop in the desert where a shady character is selling gas on the side of the road.

I'm not sure how much fuel I need, really. I'm thinking maybe I need 2 gallons. I mean, it's not like you have a good clear picture of how much fuel you're getting really. He pours some amount of gasoline into a red, steel 5 gallon jerry can from a 55 gallon drum in the back of a pickup truck. Then, he pours the contents of that into my motorcycle tank. How much fuel did I get, it's hard to know, but my LED lights on the Honda did indicate the tank was full. That cost me $200 pesos, which would be $10 USD for 2 gallons of gas, let's say.

Now, I'm riding south again. Always south. Like, at some point, you just think....I want to escape from this desert. And now, I start running triple digits. I want to go 430 miles today. So I'm just screaming through the baja desert.

There is not a lot of traffic on this road. There never is. Only I do see a bunch of trucks of people riding north from the Baja race. They're carrying dunebuggies on trailers heading north. I see a lot of those guys.

I ride all day, as fast as I can go. I manage to get the bike up to 120 mph. Once the road leaves the coast, I just open it up and run as fast as I can. I've got to make it 430 miles today. In theory, you would think that you could just go 100 mph for 4 hours and you'd be there, but that's not how it works for whatever reason.

I run 100 mph for hours at a time, but hardly seem to get anywhere. The deserts of baja seem to be without equal. They're practically impenetrable. Unconquerable.

Eventually, I make it to Baja California Del Sur, and cross the border at Guerro Negro. There is a Pemex station, so I stop to gas up again. You just can't grasp how vital gas is when you're crossing a 200 mile desert. It's a scary thing to attempt alone.

Now, I fill up again in Guerro Negro. Exactly as I remember it.

"How far is it to Mulege," I ask the woman at the Pemex station.

"Dos horas, mas or menos," she offers.

Right outside of town, anothe rmiltary checkpoint. I remember this one well. This is where I started riding with my friend last time. After nearly dying in the desert, I decided it might be a good idea for me to ride with someone with a brain.

I just roll through the military checkpoints now. I don't even hardly slow down. I figure, if they want to shoot me, they can shoot me, but I never stop. I just roll through like I own the place.

Now, I'm really running wide open. Just skint back, running as fast as possible. Wide open. Trying to get to Mulege before dark. And somehow I've still got two more hours to ride Christ.

So I'm just flying across the desert like a lunatic. Running triple digits. I have to get these pineapples through to Hawaii.

I'm having a hard time remembering some of the details. I recall that we ended up spending the night in Mulege, but it also seems like we went through Santa Rosalia, first. But it's been so long I can't remember clearly.

I get to San Ignacio, and it's roughly like I remembered it. Well irrigated and green. Like a jungle in the middle of the desert, somehow.

But now, still rolling across the Baja. Running triple digits. At some point, I pass a few guys on Kawasaki KLR 650's. But I have no time to be social. I'm flying. The sun is getting lower. I don't want to be riding in the dark.

Today, I rode through several cows grazing on the sides of the road. In places where grass actually grew, there were free-range cows grazing. And you think about how dangerous that is to a motorcycle. It's insanely dangerous. I'm flying down the road at 120 mph, and there are cows chewing grass just 3'-6' away from my bike. This is suicidal.

But I'm a low flying plane. Rolling pretty much due east straight across the peninsula. Heading for the sea of cortez. This is almost like I remember it. I remember climbing away from the sea of cortez. This all looks familiar. And now, the sun is setting and I stop to shoot a few photos. And now rolling down the hill into Santa Rosalia.

I see another motorcyclist. He's on a KLR 650. I stop and speak to him briefly.

"There is a good hotel in town, just on the right once you pass the hardware store. Just up the hill a little," he offers. These are pearls of wisdom. These gems are gifts from strangers on the road. I'm extremely grateful for his help to try to find a room, but I'm so exhausted I'm sure I will never find it.

I'm just totally wiped out. So tired I can hardly open my eyes. He says he's waiting for his friends to come down the hill, so I roll on. Alone. Always alone.

But presently, I see my buddy, and he comes by me on his KLR 650, and I recognize him, and now I see that he's leading me to the hotel. Holy Christ. Thank the Lord. He shows me the hotel, then goes back to find his buddies. This was a gift from God.

I go in and ask how much a room is. It's $500 pesos for the night. ($25 UD). Hotel has airconditioning, hot water showers, internet. Ding. Ding. Ding. We have a winner. Can you imagine getting a hotel room for $25 USD a night in the USA? Exactly.

I'm checking into my hotel, when my friend returns, with his friends. There are 4 or 5 guys on motorcycles now, and I tell them, "Sorry man, I just got the last room", and then they realize I'm joking and everyone is laughing. Now, we go to dinner. Somehow, they know this town, and we're walking to this little taqueria that they like. We all order tacos, and they buy me dinner and won't let me pay.

After dinner, we go back and, in the parking lot, they're doing maintenance. Cleaning their chains. Clearning their air filters. Etc. I'm just like...."yeah....I don't do that stuff".

They pick up their bikes and spin the rear tires with assistance to oil their chains.

"Yeah...I just spray mine while I'm riding it," I reply.

"Seriously?"

"Yeah. I'll show you in the morning."

And with that, I turn in for the night. One tired gringo loco.

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 18, 2017 at 6:27 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Day 6 - Fuel Planning

Fuel Stops Today:
Trip Meter.........Town
62 miles.......El Rosario - Pemex.
76 miles......Catavina (138 miles total) Guy selling gas on the side of the road.
64 miles......Exit to Bahia de los Angeles (202 miles total) Guy selling gas on the side of the road.
93 miles.....Guerro Negro. (295 miles total) Pemex
137 miles....Mulege (432 miles total)

I awake to the sound of crowing roosters and stray dogs fighing in the streets. Paradise.

Today, I'll cross the Punta Prieta desert alone. I've crossed this desert four times in my life. It's not something you take lightly.

When I was in Rosarito, yesterday, I saw vehciles coming north on Mexico one that had crossed the deserts of Baja. You don't look at them and wonder. You know. These machines that have crossed the desert have not made it by chance. They made it by careful planning. And as they roll north, you see the dust. The countless jugs of gasoline that they carried with them just in case.

The deserts are cruel and unforgiving. In the desert, life is focused around gasoline, water, sunscreen, and chapstick. Without these, there is death and pain.

And I'm watching this parade of madness coming north out of the deserts of Baja. Such an insane parade. Machines of all types. Trucks pulling trailers with buggies that were racing across a thousand miles of deserts last week.

The riders I met yesterday told me of a place they were going, on their motorcycles. THey were going to ride up to the top of a mountain, that would be freezing cold, with ice forming at night, where they could see the pacifica and the sea of cortez.

But I was never clear where they went. I didn't feel like getting off road that far. So I went on.

They are planning to take the ferry at La Paz to Mazatlan also, so I'll ride on today and maybe I'll meet up with them again.

This desert crossing is a serious matter. I've done it many times before, but never without serious consideration. I've seen men stranded in this desert. Women also. And I cannot stop to help them. Because a man in the desert is desperate. He'll do anything to survive, including kill me to take my bike. So you cannot help these people.

And if I cannot help them, then I cannot expect that they would help me.

Now....Into the Punta Prieta Desert. :)

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 18, 2017 at 8:39 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Photos from Day 5

More photos in the extended entry.

Continue reading "Photos from Day 5"

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 17, 2017 at 10:39 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Day 5 - San Ysidro, CA to Camalu, Baja California (Norte), Mexico

I am alive and well and resting in the Hotel California in Camalu, BC, Mexico.

Starting Odometer: 6,025
Ending Odometer: 6,201
Distance Traveled Today: 176 miles
Distance Traveled This Trip: 1,598 miles [6,201 - 4,603]

OK. So, I didn't have a big day in terms of mileage, I'll admit that. Right? I can't deny that. But is the whole trip really about mileage? Really?

OK. So, where to begin?

This morning, I get up, and while I'm taking a shower, I pull the bathroom door closed, and then it won't open. Like...I'm in this shittly little no-tell motel in San Ysidro, and the freaking door-knob does nothing. And, I can't get out of the bathroom. And I don't have me cell phone. I'm royally screwed. I could be in here for days. Years. Fuck. This is going to suck.

I fiddle with the door knob, and, eventually, it opens. I have never seen this in my life. They should be sued for zillions. Christ.

So I get out of there, and check out of the hotel. Gas up at the first gas station. Now, the only thing I need is insurance. So I stop at the Instant Mexico Auto Insurance place. Just about the last U.S. exit. They'll right me a policy for 2 weeks, without legal coverage, for $150 for two weeks. I'm like...good enough. Let's go.

So they write me a policy and hand it to me. I hop back on the interstate and head across the border.

As I get to the border crossing, I turn to the night to look for Immigracion/Aduana, and some guy comes after me. He's got a machine gun, and he's telling me that I need to go through the light.

So, I apologize, and I pull up and go through the light. THe light is green, which means go, so I roll forward, and they motion for me to pull forward into secondary screening. Like, I'm so stupid I've screwed up the simplest border crossing on planet earth, and now I'm about to get a body cavity search from Juan.

I explain to them that I need to get my FMM Mexican Tourist Card/VISA stamped. The guy tells me, in perfect English, to pull forward and park up ahead, and then to go into that big building over there.

So I do, and then I walk into this large building. There's not a lot of people in it, mind you. And they're all sort of bored and disinterested in my presence. Finally, I find a guy that's willing to process my paperwork. He takes it, stamps it. Stamps my passport, and in about 2 minutes, I'm walking out of the building. Completely legal.

This is odd because, I'm reasonably certain that I've never ridden my bike into Mexico legally before today. It's a peculiar feeling.

Also, it's kind of fun. Like an adrenaline rush, to be crossing into another country, with guards waving machine guns at you. I'm not clear what part of my body needs this, but now I'm drowing in adrenaline, as I'm rolling through Tijuana, trying very carefully not to screw up following the road to Mexico 1D. I've been this route many times, but my success rate for following the correct road isn't good, and it's well marked.

There's 3 jackasses on Harleys. Like...Harley rides need more attention than a teenage girl, and they ride down the road, racking their throttles with their absurdly loud pipes. "Look at me. Look at me." Go fuck yourself, faggot homo harley riders with loud exausts. WTF? Seriously?

So I let the loud fucks pass me, and they all rack their throttles as they do. Faggots.

Now, we're at the Mexico 1D toll road, and they're so fucking stupid they can't figure it out. I hand the guy a dollar and he waves me through.

"Mucho frio, amigo," I whine. "Por que?"

"Es Novembrio," he replies. Like, this surprises me. I've never been down here that it's been this cold, and I've been down here several times. But I guess this is later in the year. But it's cool.

So now, I'm rolling south on Mexico 1D, and it feels so good to be in Mexico again. So happy to be down here. Now, I know....most of you don't "get" mexico. I understand. But to me, it's awlays been about having an adventure off of the beaten path. And Mexico is perfect for that.

In about 20 miles, I'm in Rosarito, so I exit, but I always exit too soon, and on the North end of Rosarito, there's not a bunch of places where you can get down the beach. I roll further south, more into downtown Rosarito, and then cut down to the beach. Sure enough, they're serving drinks and meals on the beach. Renting horses. Donkeys. Ponies. Riding ATV's. This is the Rosarito that I remember.

I ride my bike down to the beach, park it, and then walk to a table with all of my gear. Sit down at the table, and now they're bringing me CocaCola Light and shrimp cocktail. This is the life. It's hard to imagine how it could get much better.

They're playing american music over the radio. A bunch of oldes from the 70''s. And these Mexican bands are walking around offering to play for me, but I really don't want them to mess up the songs on the radio. So I shoo them off.

After my shrimp cocktail, I decide to ride on, so now I'm rolling south again. At Ensenada, the tollway ends, and I recognize the southern end of the tollway. I remember this place.

But I'm still rolling south. I stop to refuel in Ensenada. This is my plan. I'm not going to run out of gas in the desert this time. That's not going to happen this time.

South of Ensenada, the road goes inland. At first, mostly desert, but then, as I ride on, it gets greener, and now there are some irrigated fields. I don't really recall this part as much. And it's not like it's been that long since I was last year. I was down here last summer.

But the Baja is beautiful, in it's own way. I really like coming down here.

I'm passing through these little worn-out towns, and I then I come to a little road-side shanty in Punta Colonet with 3 adventure bikes out front, all loaded with gear.

I quickly pull in and park.

They all start fawning all over my bike, and I'm talking to them as best I can. They're Mexicans, from the mainland, up here on a motorcycle adventure to see the Baja Mil race.

I sit down and eat lunch with them at this little taco stand. I got two tacos, and a cocacola light for $50 (pesos). (Roughly equal to 3 dollars.) I'm thinking....that can't be right. But that's what they charged me.

"Which way are y'all headed?" I ask.

They're heading south, the same as me. So, we talk for a bit. I'd really like to ride with them, but they're going off to ride up some mountain, where you can see both sides of the peninsula, apparently.

I'm not really keen on going offroad, and when I ask them how far they'll be riding offroad, he says it's about 2 hours. And I'm like....I'm out.

I'm heading south. I'll see y'all on the road.

We're both going to catch the ferry in La Paz, though no one is really sure what day they'll end up there.

So, we part ways, and I hop back onto Mexico 1 heading south.

My plan is to drive to El Rosario, but the sun is setting. I spent a lot of time just hanging out and talking to those guys, hoping that we would ride together, but ti didn't really work out. And now, I'm running late and I don't like riding in the dark and, as I'm rolling south, I see this sea of headlights coming at me.

The Baja Mil has just wrapped up, and now all I see is a sea of headlights coming north. All of the cars are coming north, and I have an epiphany. If there are tons of poeple comin g north from BCS, then they're going to take up all of the hotel rooms and, when I roll into El Rosario, they're going to be like, "I'm sorry but we're all booked up" and how screwed will I be then. I decide to call an audible. It's about dusk. I see a sign that says "Hotel", and I turn in.

"Y'all have a room for me?"

"Si"

"Quanto es?"

She scratches out on a notepad that it's $350 (pesos). But I'm so tired, I can't even do the math. Like...it's not like I rode very far today, but I'm still wiped out. Traveling through foreign lands on an adventure bike is not easy.

"Quanto es in US dollars?" I ask her.

"$21.00" she writes on the paper.

"Done. I'll take it."

Like, it's a little more than I was hoping to spend, but sure. I'm in. I'm all in.

This gets me off the road, and now I can crash for the night and get up and try again tomorrow.

"What is the name of this town? Como se llama esta ciudad?" I ask.

"Camalu," she replies.

I've never even heard of the place before, but apparently, I'm just north of Vicente Guerrero.

I roll through town to try to find a restaurant or a bar, but there's nothing really that rises to that level. It's just little sheds on the side of the road where they're offering food to people, as one might feed a stray dog behind a shed. So, I buy a large Tecate and take it back to my room.

Today, I didn't ride far enough. So, that means that I'll really have to push it tomorrow to make it to Mulege.

Looks like about 416 miles. Ugh.

Refueling Points for Tomorrow:
1) El Rosario, BC(N) - 62 miles
2) Catavina, BC - People selling gas on the side of the highway. 76 miles (138 total)
3) Exit to Bahia Los Angeles, BC(N). Dude selling gas out of a 55 gallon drum in the back of a pickup. 64 miles (202 total)
4) Guerro Negro, BC, Mexico. Open Pemex station. 93 miles. (295 total).
5) Mulege. 137 miles. (416 miles totla)

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 17, 2017 at 6:29 PM : Comments (3) | Permalink

Day 5 - Into the Baja

So, today, I will cross the border at the Chapparal Crossing between San Ysidro, CA and Tijuana, Mexico, Baja California (Norte).

Before I cross the border, I will stop just this side of the border and get my Mexican Insurance at Instant Mexico Auto Insurance - 223 Via De San Ysidro, San Ysidro, CA 92173. (619) 428-4714.

Then, I will cross into Mexico. The trick is that I have to stop at Immigracion and get my FMM Mexican Tourist Card/VISA stamped. Then, I will be completely legal for my trip down the the Baja.

Also, they're running the Baja 1000 down there right now, but I think that I will miss most of it as it is almost over, I think.

Fuel Stops Today:
Trip Meter.....Town
0..................San Ysidro
68 miles.......Ensenada (68 miles)
184 miles.....San Quintin (116 miles)
230 miles.....El Rosario (46 miles)

Chores to do before I leave the hotel:


  • Clean the motorcycle visor and mirrors.

  • Clean the motorcycle helmet visor.

  • Superglue the view finders on both cameras.


Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 17, 2017 at 9:05 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Day 5 - Into the Baja

So, today, I will cross the border at the Chapparal Crossing between San Ysidro, CA and Tijuana, Mexico, Baja California (Norte).

Before I cross the border, I will stop just this side of the border and get my Mexican Insurance at Instant Mexico Auto Insurance - 223 Via De San Ysidro, San Ysidro, CA 92173. (619) 428-4714.

Then, I will cross into Mexico. The trick is that I have to stop at Immigracion and get my FMM Mexican Tourist Card/VISA stamped. Then, I will be completely legal for my trip down the the Baja.

Also, they're running the Baja 1000 down there right now, but I think that I will miss most of it as it is almost over, I think.

This will be a fairly short day, so I think that I will stop for lunch in Rosarito. Have a margarita and a shrimp cocktail down on the beach.

Fuel Stops Today:
Trip Meter Town
0 San Ysidro
68 miles Ensenada (68 miles)
184 miles San Quintin (116 miles)
223 miles El Rosario (59 miles)

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 17, 2017 at 9:05 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Photos from Day 4

Continue reading "Photos from Day 4"

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 17, 2017 at 1:06 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Day 4 - Brawley, CA to San Ysidro, CA (Thr Nov 16th)

Starting Odometer: 5,731 miles
Ending Odometer: 6,025 miles
Today's Mileage: 294 miles
Total Trip Mileage: 1,422 miles [6.025 - 4,603]]

Update: I am alive and well and resting peacefully at the E-Z8 Motel South Bay in San Diego, CA.

This is roughly what my ride looked like today.

So, this is the first time this trip that I spent 2 nights in the same state. I will be in Mexico tomorrow morning, but I didn't want to cross the border at night, and this has already been a pretty long day. So, I'll get up in the morning and get across the border and start making my way down the Baja Peninsula. I learned that they're racing the Baja 1000 right now, so that should be interesting. Also, because it's the 50 year anniversary, I'm told they're racing the length of the peninsula? Yikes.

I stopped at K-mart in Riverside and got some super glue. The only thing I need now to cross into mexico is insurance.

============================================


Note: After taking a short break, I am now back on the road from Riverside, CA to San Ysidro, CA.

============================================

I am currently taking a short break from riding while I eat dinner at my old stomping grounds, the Cactus Cantina, in Riverside, California. The traffic was really bad, so I decided to stop and wait for the traffic to die down a little bit. My logic being that, if I ride later, even though it will be dark, there will be less traffic, and since I'm on interstate at this point, I'm not as likely to hit a deer, I figure.

============================================

This morning, I start out really late. The reason is because I was trying to get a few thousand photos off of my camera, which I succeeded in doing. The maid is out there pounding on the door, trying to get in, but she can't because I have all of the deadbolts and all of the internal locks thrown. So, she can't get in. And she's screaming at me in Spanish that I have to leave. Finally, I tell her to calm down. Like...you're a maid for fuck's sake. Settle down. Life will get better.

But when I finally get away, I head from Brawley, CA to Slab City. I saw a documentary on this place somewhere. I forget where. And I thought it was sort of funny. Basically, an abandoned military base where they poured concrete slabs out in the desert, never completed the construction, and then abandoned the entire base. Now, it's over-run with homeless squatters, and what made me think that I needed to go out there is anyone's guess.

Like, basically, imagine a bunch of homeless vagrants, barely alive, surviving in the scorched desert without electricity or running water That's pretty much what it's like. Hell on earth, essentially.

I took a few photos and left. But I saw a guy on a BMW GS1200R motorcycle going in there while I was coming out. So, somehow this place is sort of infamous, I suppose.

"Where you riding from?" asks the guy on the beemer

"Just from Denver...How about you?" I ask. Like...I'm very cautious with this. You don't go bragging about your adventure when you're only a thousand miles from home. You're goin g to get embarrassed in a hurry if you think a thousand miles is a road trip. Some stranger is going to smash your adventure like a whack-a-mole.

"I rode here from Pensacola," he offers nonchallantly.

"I'm riding to Tierra Del Fuego," I reply. Like....let's not make any mistake. Tierra del Fuego is a decent ride in anyone's book. A nice little sunday afternoon ride that very few people on this planet could turn their nose up at. And I tell everyone I run into that I'm going there because, let's be honest...it's a pretty audacious adventure to try to make it down there.

I leave and go to a little grocery store in a shanty town just outside of slab city. Go inside to buy some more gatorade. If I'm going to drive through the Joshua Tree national park, I'm not doing it on a half a bottle of warm gatorade.

Grab a cold gatorade and a man in a dress is in front of me with a purse is buying something. Like...dude...wtf? Welcome to Kalifornia.

I go outside and finish the other gatorade in the parking lot. Now some guy is asking where I'm going and I tell him. He tells me about a road called the Painted Canyon. When I get to Mecca, I should turn right. About 50 miles from here.

"There's a checkpoint before you get there though," he offers.

"How do they get away with that? Isn't that a clear violation of the 4th Amendment?" I ask.

"They have secondary checkpoints all over the place," he laments. "They're everywhere. There's a turnoff before you get there, so you could go around it, but they watch that road really close."

It sounds like a good suggestion, and I thank him for his advice and take off.

I wasn't really impressed by Slab City, but now I'm thinking I'd like to see the Salton Sea and, even though I flew over it more times than I could count, I've still never seen it with my own eyes.

After a while, I see a sign for the Bombay Beach (Bombed Out Beach the guy had called it back at the store), so I cut down to the beach to see the Salton Sea.

A find a little dirt hill/road and climb it without much difficulty on the bike. I get within about 75 yards of the beach and decide to walk down and check it out, as opposed to dropping the bike and getting stuck.

I'm sort of hoping that I'll find this beautiful, undiscovered beach. But the Salton Sea is just death. A polluted cess pool with a mud beach. Like, it's hard to imagine a less attractive body of water. I see a few birds wading on the shore. It's hard to imagine there is life in this place. I have to think that the birds are smart enough that they wouldn't stand there if there were no life at all in the Salton Sea. It's hard to grasp how unnattractive it is. I get on my bike and start riding away. Now, I begin to question why it is that I think I need to see the Joshua Tree desert (let's call it what it is). Like, Slab City and the Salton Sea are just a slow painful death on a hairy biscuit. No one with any sense would ever go to either place.

It makes me question my entire adventure. Like...maybe I'm not capable of making rational, intelligent, informed decisions at this point. Maybe it's too late for me. Maybe the rest of my life will be me chasing after things no one with any sense would care about.

A Quixotean quest of epic proportions. Me, swinging at the windmills, in a foreign country, where I don't even speak the language.

I decide to skip the Joshua Tree desert and instead make a beeline for Chapparal Motorsports in San Bernardino, CA. I decide to take I-10 instead of taking Highway 60 over Jackrabbit Pass. I'm just hell-bent for leather at this point. Plus, I got away very late, and then exploring Slab City and the Salton Sea has taken some time. Suddenly, I realize that I'm not going to be in Chapparal Motorsports before 4:30 p.m., then I'm going to be stuck in rush hour traffic.

Like, it's amazing that, for all of the time I spend planning every day, I still manage to screw it all up royally.

Somewhere outside of Mecca, there's a quasi-legal checkpoint, and I pull in. It's going to be very hard to explain why I'm wearing a money belt with $10K in cash in it. I don't like police. At all. But when I pull in, he just tells me "have a nice day". It's the camera. They hate seeing that GoPro up there, filming them. And just because the red lights aren't flashing on the GoPro doesn't mean it's not filming. There's no way they can know if I'm filming them or not.

He just waves me on. This is the same as it is in Mexico at their quasi-legal checkpoints. They always just wave me on. Probably, it's because I'm on a bike. No one would smuggle drugs on a motorcycle. It's not not economically feasible. You couldn't carry enough drugs to cover the cost of fuel to cross the desert.

Eventually, I make it to Chapparral Motorsports, and I race to the service counter to see my buddy Al, only to learn that he doesn't work there anymore. Mother. Fucker. Al was the coolest guy in that place and I talked to him on the phone just a few weeks ago.

Albert Terhune, is what they told me his name is.

I get my sprockets and put them in my Givi case...I now have a spare chain and sprockets.

I go back inside to look at buying a new jacket and helmet. But, there's just this wall of helmets and analysis paralysis.

How much did you want to spend, the little worm wants to know. Like...what the fuck does that have to do with anything? I've got ten grand in a money belt and this little idiot couldn't sell water to a man dying of thirst in the desert.

"Like...here's the helmet I have now....I'm sort of looking for a replacement...." I begin.

But he doesn't get it. There's just this wall of helmets. Like, you could spend days trying them all on. But I need to get on the road. Fuck this moron.

I go outside, and one of the guys comes out to pull the bikes in.

"Al went down to work in Texas," he offers. "I'm in touch with him. He's geting contracts from the government clearning up after the hurricane."

"Al was the coolest guy up here. I can't believe that he left. He was a riot."

Like...I hate how everything changes. Like...you can never go back, really. Like..I just want to come back here and walk into my old office and have everyone say "HEY ROB" and take me to lunch. But really, everything changes and no one at Chapparal has any clue who I am.

I leave and head to the office where I used to work at 14350 Meridian Parkway. But now, it's going to be like 4:30 p.m. when I get there, and it's Thursday for Christ's sake. No one was ever there on a Thursday. I'm not even clear the building exists outside of the 3 days a week that I was there.

On the way there, I realize that my fuel light is flashing. Somehow, I've totally spaced all of my re-fueling points today. Like, I'm reasonably clear that I'm not qualified to be taking this little adventure unsupervised. I have a feeling that I'm not far from being incarcerated in a memory ward in a home.

But I pull up to the building and Clint comes out to greet me. He's fawning all over my bike, which is nice. Like, it's great to have someone that actually remembers me. Fuck.

Now, I leave to go fill up at the gas station where I used to gas up. But somehow, the place is blocked off to traffic. I drive down the sidewalk to get there, and two guys yell at me that the place is (quite obviously) closed, hence the wooden barricades that I drove around on the sidewalk. Oh...Hmmmm.

So I leave and now, I'm not sure what to do. LIke...the traffic is so bad there aren't words. I-215 is hardly moving, and I'm not really excited about lane-splitting down to San Diego for 2 hours. I used to do that, but it's too dangerous. I'm not up for that any more. It's suicidal.

I decide to go to my old stomping grounds, the Cactus Cantina, in Riverside, California. So, I bust up in there, and I mean I used to eat here every night. I freaking owned this place. But I don't recognize anyone in the place. Motherfucker.

"Where's the blonde girl that used to work here," I ask the bartended. I'm so retarded I can't remember anything about her except that she was blonde.

"Ashley?" She clarifies. "She never works on Thursday."

Fuck. It is Thursday. Like...how could you possibly screw up a ride any worse than to arrive in the LA basin on a Thursday. Son. Of. A. Bitch.

My bartender isn't here. The bus boy isn't here.

The food is delicous, and the menu hasn't changed. So, there is that.

I used to live in the Motel 6 in Riverside until they came and arrested my neighbor one night, and then my neighbor on the other side of me came outside with his one leg on crutches and asked what was going on. That was the last night I ever stayed there.

Now, I think that I'll roll down to San Diego to spend the night. I'll cross the border in the morning. I don't like crossing borders in the dark. That's a bad idea.

I need to buy some superglue before I leave the country. And I need to get my Mexican insurance.

OK. I'm taking off. It's about 7:00 p.m. I have to get gas, then Waze says I should be in San Ysidro by 8:30 p.m.

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 16, 2017 at 7:53 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Photos from Day 3

OK. Finally got my photos done form yesterday. I think that, after today, it should be easier. I hope. It takes me several hours this morning because of the thousands and thousands of photos I had left in my camera. Ugh. Should be easier now (going forward).








Additional Photos in the Extended Entry.

Continue reading "Photos from Day 3"

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 16, 2017 at 11:54 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Day 4 - Brawley, CA to San Diego, CA (Thr Nov 16th)

I am currently taking a short break from riding while I eat dinner at my old stomping grounds, the Cactus Cantina, in Riverside, California. The traffic was really bad, so I decided to stop and wait for the traffic to die down a little bit. My logic being that, if I ride later, even though it will be dark, there will be less traffic, and since I'm on interstate at this point, I'm not as likely to hit a deer, I figure.

============================================

This morning, I start out really late. The reason is because I was trying to get a few thousand photos off of my camera, which I succeeded in doing. The maid is out there pounding on the door, trying to get in, but she can't because I have all of the deadbolts and all of the internal locks thrown. So, she can't get in. And she's screaming at me in Spanish that I have to leave. Finally, I tell her to calm down. Like...you're a maid for fuck's sake. Settle down. Life will get better.

But when I finally get away, I head from Brawley, CA to Slab City. I saw a documentary on this place somewhere. I forget where. And I thought it was sort of funny. Basically, an abandoned military base where they poured concrete slabs out in the desert, never completed the construction, and then abandoned the entire base. Now, it's over-run with homeless squatters, and what made me think that I needed to go out there is anyone's guess.

Like, basically, imagine a bunch of homeless vagrants, barely alive, surviving in the scorched desert without electricity or running water That's pretty much what it's like. Hell on earth, essentially.

I took a few photos and left. But I saw a guy on a BMW GS1200R motorcycle going in there while I was coming out. So, somehow this place is sort of infamous, I suppose.

"Where you riding from?" asks the guy on the beemer

"Just from Denver...How about you?" I ask. Like...I'm very cautious with this. You don't go bragging about your adventure when you're only a thousand miles from home. You're goin g to get embarrassed in a hurry if you think a thousand miles is a road trip. Some stranger is going to smash your adventure like a whack-a-mole.

"I rode here from Pensacola," he offers nonchallantly.

"I'm riding to Tierra Del Fuego," I reply. Like....let's not make any mistake. Tierra del Fuego is a decent ride in anyone's book. A nice little sunday afternoon ride that very few people on this planet could turn their nose up at. And I tell everyone I run into that I'm going there because, let's be honest...it's a pretty audacious adventure to try to make it down there.

I leave and go to a little grocery store in a shanty town just outside of slab city. Go inside to buy some more gatorade. If I'm going to drive through the Joshua Tree national park, I'm not doing it on a half a bottle of warm gatorade.

Grab a cold gatorade and a man in a dress is in front of me with a purse is buying something. Like...dude...wtf? Welcome to Kalifornia.

I go outside and finish the other gatorade in the parking lot. Now some guy is asking where I'm going and I tell him. He tells me about a road called the Painted Canyon. When I get to Mecca, I should turn right. About 50 miles from here.

It sounds like a good suggestion, and I thank him for his advice and take off.

I wasn't really impressed by Slab City, but now I'm thinking I'd like to see the Salton Sea and, even though I flew over it more times than I could count, I've still never seen it with my own eyes.

After a while, I see a sign for the Bombay Beach (Bombed Out Beach the guy had called it back at the store), so I cut down to the beach to see the Salton Sea.

A find a little dirt hill/road and climb it without much difficulty on the bike. I get within about 75 yards of the beach and decide to walk down and check it out, as opposed to dropping the bike and getting stuck.

I'm sort of hoping that I'll find this beautiful, undiscovered beach. But the Salton Sea is just death. A polluted cess pool with a mud beach. Like, it's hard to imagine a less attractive body of water. I see a few birds wading on the shore. It's hard to imagine there is life in this place. I have to think that the birds are smart enough that they wouldn't stand there if there were no life at all in the Salton Sea. It's hard to grasp how unnattractive it is. I get on my bike and start riding away. Now, I begin to question why it is that I think I need to see the Joshua Tree desert (let's call it what it is). Like, Slab City and the Salton Sea are just a slow painful death on a hairy biscuit. No one with any sense would ever go to either place.

It makes me question my entire adventure. Like...maybe I'm not capable of making rational, intelligent, informed decisions at this point. Maybe it's too late for me. Maybe the rest of my life will be me chasing after things no one with any sense would care about.

A Quixotean quest of epic proportions. Me, swinging at the windmills, in a foreign country, where I don't even speak the language.

I decide to skip the Joshua Tree desert and instead make a beeline for Chapparal Motorsports in San Bernardino, CA. I decide to take I-10 instead of taking Highway 60 over Jackrabbit Pass. I'm just hell-bent for leather at this point. Plus, I got away very late, and then exploring Slab City and the Salton Sea has taken some time. Suddenly, I realize that I'm not going to be in Chapparal Motorsports before 4:30 p.m., then I'm going to be stuck in rush hour traffic.

Like, it's amazing that, for all of the time I spend planning every day, I still manage to screw it all up royally.

Eventually, I make it to Chapparral Motorsports, and I race to the service counter to see my buddy Al, only to learn that he doesn't work there anymore. Mother. Fucker. Al was the coolest guy in that place and I talked to him on the phone just a few weeks ago.

Albert Terhune, is what they told me his name is.

I get my sprockets and put them in my Givi case...I now have a spare chain and sprockets.

I go back inside to look at buying a new jacket and helmet. But, there's just this wall of helmets and analysis paralysis.

How much did you want to spend, the little worm wants to know. Like...what the fuck does that have to do with anything? I've got ten grand in a money belt and this little idiot couldn't sell water to a man dying of thirst in the desert.

"Like...here's the helmet I have now....I'm sort of looking for a replacement...." I begin.

But he doesn't get it. There's just this wall of helmets. Like, you could spend days trying them all on. But I need to get on the road. Fuck this moron.

I go outside, and one of the guys comes out to pull the bikes in.

"Al went down to work in Texas," he offers. "I'm in touch with him. He's geting contracts from the government clearning up after the hurricane."

"Al was the coolest guy up here. I can't believe that he left. He was a riot."

Like...I hate how everything changes. Like...you can never go back, really. Like..I just want to come back here and walk into my old office and have everyone say "HEY ROB" and take me to lunch. But really, everything changes and no one at Chapparal has any clue who I am.

I leave and head to the office where I used to work at 14350 Meridian Parkway. But now, it's going to be like 4:30 p.m. when I get there, and it's Thursday for Christ's sake. No one was ever there on a Thursday. I'm not even clear the building exists outside of the 3 days a week that I was there.

On the way there, I realize that my fuel light is flashing. Somehow, I've totally spaced all of my re-fueling points today. Like, I'm reasonably clear that I'm not qualified to be taking this little adventure unsupervised. I have a feeling that I'm not far from being incarcerated in a memory ward in a home.

But I pull up to the building and Clint comes out to greet me. He's fawning all over my bike, which is nice. Like, it's great to have someone that actually remembers me. Fuck.

Now, I leave to go fill up at the gas station where I used to gas up. But somehow, the place is blocked off to traffic. I drive down the sidewalk to get there, and two guys yell at me that the place is (quite obviously) closed, hence the wooden barricades that I drove around on the sidewalk. Oh...Hmmmm.

So I leave and now, I'm not sure what to do. LIke...the traffic is so bad there aren't words. I-215 is hardly moving, and I'm not really excited about lane-splitting down to San Diego for 2 hours. I used to do that, but it's too dangerous. I'm not up for that any more. It's suicidal.

I decide to go to my old stomping grounds, the Cactus Cantina, in Riverside, California. So, I bust up in there, and I mean I used to eat here every night. I freaking owned this place. But I don't recognize anyone in the place. Motherfucker.

"Where's the blonde girl that used to work here," I ask the bartended. I'm so retarded I can't remember anything about her except that she was blonde.

"Ashley?" She clarifies. "She never works on Thursday."

Fuck. It is Thursday. Like...how could you possibly screw up a ride any worse than to arrive in the LA basin on a Thursday. Son. Of. A. Bitch.

My bartender isn't here. The bus boy isn't here.

The food is delicous, and the menu hasn't changed. So, there is that.

I used to live in the Motel 6 in Riverside until they came and arrested my neighbor one night, and then my neighbor on the other side of me came outside with his one leg on crutches and asked what was going on. That was the last night I ever stayed there.

Now, I think that I'll roll down to San Diego to spend the night. I'll cross the border in the morning. I don't like crossing borders in the dark. That's a bad idea.

I need to buy some superglue before I leave the country. And I need to get my Mexican insurance.

OK. I'm taking off. It's about 7:00 p.m. I have to get gas, then Waze says I should be in San Ysidro by 8:30 p.m.


---------------------
-- from earlier---
----------------------

Today, my planned route looks something like this.

Basically, go to Slab City, Joshua Tree, return to San Bernardino and pick up my sprockets from Al at Chapparal Motorcycles, stop by the UC Path Center, then head down to the border.

Refueling Points:
1) Brawley, CA - 0 miles
2) Yucca Valley - 176 miles
3) Escondido Valley - 145 miles (total 321 miles)
4) San Diego - 30 miles (351 miles)

OK. Mapped out my ride. Picked my refueling points. Now let's check the forecast.

  • 72F in Yucca Valley

  • 81F in Riverside

  • 79F in San Diego

Yesterday, I cracked the code on getting my photos onto my home server, but the one trick I missed is that there are thousands of photos on my 32 Gig memory card in the Canon EOS 50D with the 100-400 mm lens. So, this morning, I want to sort that out before I hit the road. So, I'll try to get these photos moved over from the camera this morning.

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 16, 2017 at 9:00 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Day 3 - The Salton Sea

Starting Odometer: 5,423 miles
Ending Odometer: 5,731 miles
Today's Mileage: 308 miles
Total Trip Mileage: 1,128 miles [4,603 - 5,731]

Update: I am alive and well and resting peacefully on the shores of the Salton Sea in Brawley, California.

This is roughly what my ride looked like today.

I changed timezones when I crossed the Colorado River into California. So, now, I'm trying to change all of my electronics so that they have the right time. Here's what I have to update:
iPhone 4S
iPhone 6S Plus - Changed automatically from MST to PST.
MacBook Air - Changed automatically from MST to PST.
Canon EOS 50D w/ 17-85mm lens - Updated manually from MST to PST.
Canon EOS 50D w/ 100-400mm lens - Updated manually from MST to PST.
Garmin Montana 600 GPS - Updated automatically from MST to PST.
GoPro Hero 5 - Updated manually from MST to PST.
2017 Honda Africa Twin - Updated manually from MST to PST.

Today, we leave Steve's place to go meet some of his buddies for lunch at the Pinnacle Grill in Scottsdale, Arizona.

On the way there, I'm following Steve, and suddenly this large suitcase/briefcase object comes bouncing down the road towards me. I slow down, not sure of what is going on. It stops, and I see that it says BMW on it. So, I'm assuming that it's a case that came off of Steve's bike. I stop in the middle of traffic, pick up the case, as cars stop around me.

"Are you OK?" they ask. Thinking, no doubt, that I've wrecked.

Somehow, I balnce the large case precariously on my gas tank, along with all of my other gear, and take off after Steve. He's only gone a short distance, and I find him stopped on the side of the road.

"Are you missing this?"

Apparently, he put the case back on the bike, but it wasn't locked properly for whatever reason? I dunno. He re-fastened it, and we rode on without further issues.

At lunch, all of his buddies are there - this big motorcycle gang that meets every Wednesday. Generally, they go for a ride, and then they meet for lunch somewhere. But today, they're just meeting for lunch. I thought that I'd be the oldest guy there, but somehow I was the youngest.

They're somewhat interested in my little trip down to South America. I don't think anyone is under any delusions that I'll make it, but I intend to give it a boy-scout try, anyway.

After lunch, Steve said that he'd go with me for some distance, to see me off on my journey.

So, we're riding off out of Scottsdale, sort of North and West, it seems. We ride for some time, and the scenery is very nice. Like, it's warm and partly cloudy, but there's no chance of snow. So, that's why lots of people come down here, I think. There's countless RV parks for people escaping colder weather up north.

Eventually, Steve pull over and we stop to talk.

"It's really hard to believe that you and I were riding across the continental divide in Colorado a month ago. And now, we're riding around in Arizona. We've got to stop meeting this way," I offer.

He laughs and we part ways. Now, I'm sort of heading towards Slab City. Like...why? I dunno. No real reason. Because I saw a documentary on it, I think. Because I flew over the Salton Sea 64 times in the last year? It's hard to say. But, certainly, flying across this Great American Desert twice a week for the last 14 months made me want ot see it on the ground, instead of from the air.

This part of Arizona is almost indescribably dry. I carry 3 chapsticks with me for a reason. I mash them onto my lips until they create a sort of thick creamy paste that you wear, proudly, on your lips. The road I'm on is straight now. It doesn't turn or bend and it reminds me of the roads in Texas. Where you're just driving down long straight flat roads and it's like you're not even really riding at all, but more like sitting inside of a hairdryer and watching a simulator, the way people peddle stationary bikes while watching TV and imagining that they're going somewhere.

I do get on I-10 and go west only for a few miles though.

I'm rolling west towards the California border and I start crossing a bridge over a fairly large waterway. I realize it's the California border. After crossing the river, they have a little illegal search-and-rape border control point. But they just wave me through.

I'm in California now. Still heading roughly west-south/west.
I turn south, following my GPS.

Generally, I have 2 GPS units and I set them for the same destination and then I'm belt-and-suspenders safe when I'm following their directions. But the Garmin Montana has never heard of "Slab City", so I turn it off and I focus on the iPhone 6S Plus and he's sending me towards Slab City.

Now, the road turns south, and then west, and then south, and then west. I'm going down these random roads, through all of this irrigated farmland, which is a lot different from Arizona. Arizona was just a desert, really. Somehow, California is irrigating the shit out of everything, and they're growing fileds of cotton....I don't know what all they're growing. But it's as green as Vietnam, everywhere you look.

Really a very dramatic change from Arizona, for whatever reason.

As I get closer to my destination, I realize that I'm not going to make it before dark.

And see, this is really what's wrong with riding your motorcycle cross-country. It's no that it's hard. It isn't. It's very easy. What's hard is to do it consistently without making a mistake.

Today, I sort of deferred on my normal route planning, because Steve was planning about 1/2 of the day, and I wasn't sure where I'd end up. So, I sort of called an audible, and headed for Slab City in the afternoon. But now, the sun is setting, and I'm a long way from Slab City, and I'm not clear that there's any place to stay there anyway. It's basically a squatter's camp full of meth addicts, as best I can tell.

I roll past one of those illegal checkpoints where they stop and search people without probable cause in clear violation of our 4th Amendment Rights. Then, I decide to turn back and ask for some guidance. I do a U-turn, cut across a strip of sand, nearly crashing the bike.

Somehow, I don't go down and I pull up to the illegal search-and-seize checkpoint. Young men with machine guns. German Shephards that want to chew your calves off. I roll up to a young man that appears to be in charge.

"Where can I find a place to stay tonight? Is there a place to stay in Glamis?" I ask.

"No. There's nothing in Glamis..." he offers. "Where are you heading to?"

"Slab City?"

"Well, your best bet is to go to Brawley," he explains.

"There's a place to stay there?"

"Yes."

"OK .Thanks boss." And with that I take off. Now, I'm following the road west across these large sand dunes in the near dark. This is not good planning. I might hit a deer, or an armadillo. No telling.

As it gets darker and darker, I decide to follow another vehicle, as I'm hoping the car in front of me will hit anything that jumps out in the road (deer, rabbit, fox, coyote, etc).

Like...I'm not kidding when I say I saw a coyote on this trip that was cut in half on the highway. Like...you think about what has to happen to cut a coyote in two. That would easily make a motorcycle go down.

As I descend from the dunes towards the Salton Sea, I smell the rotten stench of the Salton Sea. It doesn't smell pleasant like the ocean. More like it stinks, like it's polluted and festering. Not a place you'd want to spend any time. I had imagined that it would be this nice beach with people boating and fishing and swimming. Instead, as the air blows the scent over me, I feel the urge to gag.

I roll into town, see about 3 hotels. And I check into the Motel 6 for the night. I still need ot copy some photos off of the cameras in the morning, but at least I know how.


This is roughly what my ride will look like tomorrow, me thinks.

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 15, 2017 at 7:00 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Photos from Day 1 and Day 2

Continue reading "Photos from Day 1 and Day 2"

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 15, 2017 at 10:23 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Day 2: Fort McDowell, Arizona

Starting Odometer: 4,961 miles
Ending Odometer: 5,423 miles
Today's Mileage: 462 miles
Trip Total Mileage: 820 Miles [5,423 - 4,603]]

I am alive and well and resting peacefully in Fort McDowell, Arizona.
This is roughly what my ride looked like today.

Once again, I wanted to take the interstate, but Steve wouldn't let me. He made me turn off of I-40 at Holbrook, and it was a beautiful ride from Holbrook to Fort McDowell, Arizona.

Today was a long ride, and I didn't get away until 11:00 a.m. because I was fiddling with my photos on my laptop in the hotel room for way too long.

I got up and rode out of Santa Fe this morning. My buddy Devon said that New Mexico is the poorest state in the country. I was like...I thought it was Mississippi or Alabama? But apparently, New Mexico has been sliding into last place for some time.

But I dunno if this is true or not. They're trying to revitalize the econmy, attract computer workers, etc.

Good luck with that.

Like, for some reason, Steve decided that I needed to ride 450 miles today. So, basically, I rode all day today, from noon until 6:00 p.m.

At first, on I-10, the biggest problem was that there's a bunch of 18 wheelers doing the 15 mile pass routine, where they take way too long to pass each other. So, as I passed people riding out in the left lane, I'd flip them off and keep going This worked pretty well until I realized I was about to run out of gas. The thought of all of these angry motorists stopping to assualt me on the side of the road was not something I wanted to happen.

My first gas stop is supposed to be Thoreau, NM. But, the winds are so high that I'm getting 36 mpg instead of 45 mpg. I'm basically out of fuel, praying I don't run out. When I get to Thoreau, NM, there was no gas station. Not clear why I thought that there would be one there. Oh well.

So I ride on down to the next exit or so and see a sign for gas and stop in and refill. But, when I refill my gas tank, it doesn't hold 5 gallons. It only held 4.8, even though it said it was empty. Liars.

I keep on riding and riding and eventually, I get to Holbrook, Arizona. This is my 2nd refueling point, and now Steve has me riding down some random road. But as I keep riding, the road gets nicer and nicer. Lots of trees now. Climbing and descending through conifer forests. Eventually, the sun setting before me with a range of mountains silhoueted.

I would not have chosen to come this way, but I'm glad Steve told me to follow this road. It was a scenic drive, and not one that I've been on before, I'm sure.

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 14, 2017 at 7:55 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

Day 2: Dealing with the photos

I'm trying to get some photos copied over onto my MacBook air from yesterday. I hate apple so much there aren't words.

First, I delete all of the photos in iPhoto(Photos).

Then, I delete all "recently deleted" photos in iPhoto(Photos).

Now, when I hook my camera to it, iPhoto(Photos) doesn't launch, for some reason. Argh.

http://www.idownloadblog.com/2015/12/28/how-to-stop-photos-mac-auto-launch/

Step 1: Open Photos on your Mac.

Step 2: Click Import in the toolbar at the top of the Photos window.

Step 3: Connect a camera, your iPad, iPhone or other iOS device to the computer with a USB cable and make sure the device is turned on. If you're connecting a digital camera, make sure it's set to the correct mode for importing photos.

Step 4: Photos shall display the media on the device. To stop the app from auto-opening whenever you connect this device, untick the box next to "Open Photos for this device" at the top (you may need to click the Action button to reveal this option).

OK. FInally googled it and some people said to reboot and rebooting fixed it. Now, when I connect my EOS 50D, the photos are imported into Photos successfully. Argh.

Now, I want to run my little EXIF renamer trick. I think that this was the post where I managed to rename my photos using EXIF .

1) export all 202 images from Photos
2) make a copy of them in another folder
3) run the new program to rename them based on exif data.

1) Launch Photos.
2) Hit Command-A to select all photos.
3) File - Export - Export Unmodified Original for 202 Photos...
4) Export IPTC as XMP?

"Export photos in their original format. You can export photos in the original file formats in which they were imported into your Photos Library. Click the Export IPTC as XMP checkbox to export IPTC information (assigned IPTC metadata and keywords) as a sidecar XMP file." I have no clue what this means.

5) Click Export.
6) Click New Folder.
7) Name of new folder: iphoto_sux_dix_2017_11_14
8) Click Create
9) Click Export Originals

Now we want to do the renaming trick.

The software I downloaded is named ExifREnamer. So, now what I do is go to:
o Finder - Documents - iphoto_sux_dix_2017_11_14
o Command - A to select all photos.
o Right Click - Open With - ExifRenamer.
o Rename All.

It does appear to have renamed them all. Christ.

\documents\ iphoto_sux_dix_2017_11_14 (this has 202 photos in it, and they're all named yyyy-mm-dd etc.)

Now, I go back into photos. Select all 202 photos. RIght click and selete Delete photos.
Are you sure you want to delete all 202 photos? For the love of God yes.
Click on Recently Deleted (on the left) and CTRL-A to select them all and click Delete 202 Items in upper right to delete them yet again (apple sux).
Are you sure?
FOR FUCKS SAKE DELETE THE FUCKING PHOTOS ALREADY!!!

OK.
No recently deleted items.

Now, from Photos, select File - Import and select the 202 files for import.

Click Review for Import.
Click Import All New Photos.

Now, delete them off of the camera so we don't have this problem again tonight.
OK. Erased all images on the card.

Now, I mark them as favorites, and export them.

Now, I send them to Expirebox.com

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 14, 2017 at 8:24 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Day 2: 100 Miles Before Noon

In the morning, my alarm goes off at 8:00 a.m. One of the greatest dangers we face is lethargy. A lack of ambitiion. Possibly the other greatest danger we face is rationalization.

When I rode up to Alaska the second time, I met some guys riding in the Hoka Hey. They explained to me that they were riding 1,000 miles a day, which I had never even considered possible. But it did make me re-evaluate my riding habits. Why was I laying in bed until the maids were beating down the door with a claw hammer? What purpose did it serve. In the end, I decided that the goal should be to get up in the morning, get out of bed, and ride 100 miles before noon.

Then, at noon, you stop for lunch somewhere.

If you do this, then the afternoon goes much better. You have more time to stop and shoot some photos.

So, beating lethargy is a real issue. We all suffer from this. I was fortunate that I met other riders along the way that helped me to deal with this issue.

The other issue that we face in our lives is "rationalization". Rationalization is a problem we all face which basically means that logic, as a tool, is inherently flawed.

Rationalization works like this. When the price of houses was going down, I didn't buy because the price was going down. Then, when the price of houses was going up, I didn't buy because interest rates were higher. So, the problem is that, there would never be a right time to buy. Once I reached this realization, only then did I realize that logic doesn't work like I thought it did.

So, you have to be very careful in your decisions, because "logic" is a fool's gold. It's doesn't work like you think it does.

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 14, 2017 at 8:12 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Day 2: Santa Fe, NM to Fort McDowell, AZ

I will get up on Tuesday November 14th, and ride to just east of Phoenix, AZ, from 400 Griffin St, Santa Fe, NM to 9605 N Fort McDowell Rd, Fort McDowell, AZ.

So, my ride tomorrow (Tuesday Nov 14) looks like a 476 mile ride. Ugh. I'll have to get an early start.

Refueling Points for Tomorrow's Ride (Tuesday Nov 14):
1) Santa Fe, NM. Distance = 0.
2) Thoreau, NM. Distance = 167 miles. (Total 167 miles)
3) Holbrook, AZ. Distance = 127 miles. (Total 294 miles)
4) Fort McDowell, AZ. Distnace = 156 miles. (Total 450 miles)

Weather for Tomorrow's Ride (Tuesday Nov 14):
1) Santa Fe, NM. Party cloudy. Mostly sunny. High of 64 F.
2) Thoreau, NM. Party cloudy. Mostly sunny. High of 66 F.
3) Holbrook, AZ. Distance = Party cloudy. Mostly sunny. High of 76 F.
4) Fort McDowell, AZ. Distnace = Sunny. High of 86 F.

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 13, 2017 at 10:36 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Day 1: Conifer to Santa Fe

Starting Odometer: 4,603 miles
Ending Odometer: 4,961 miles
Today's Mileage (projected): 326 miles - 390 miles.
Today's Mileage (actual): 358 miles.

I am alive and well and resting in santa fe new mexico at the Villas de Santa Fe, a property of Diamond Resorts International hotel located at 400 Griffin Street, Santa Fe, NM.

So, I got away later than I had hoped. So much crazy work to get done to prepare for this trip it's insane, really.

Planned on leaving by 10:00 a.m. Finally broke away about 11:30.

I got all packed up, asked the neighbors to shoot some "before" pics of me. Then rolled out to Conifer, only to realize I was hungry and stop and Wendy's for lunch. Finally left Conifer about noon, I think.

At first, I'm a bit cold, as I sort of intentionally wore one less layer of thermal underwear tops than I had been riding with. The thought being that Monday would be warmer than Sunday, and, even if I was cold for a bit, I'd drive out of it at some point.

But as I'm leaving conifer, I'm so cold I seriously consider turning around and driving home and putting on more clothes. But, as this point, I just decide to keep riding. Damn the torpedoes. Full steam ahead.

By the time I get to Kenosha Pass, I'm thinking that there has to be a Wal-Mart somewhere....maybe in Fairplay, and I'll go in there and buy about 7 more shirts to put on. But after I come down Kenosha pass, it warms up enough that I think that I'll be OK so I keep on riding.

At Buena Vista, I turn south, and I start thinking about what I'll do when I get to Salida. Salida is kind of a funny little town because it's off of Highway 285 about 5 miles. But I stayed there one time, and I saw a map that's bother me for some time. It's gnawed at my brain over the last several years, and now I think that it would be great if I could remember where I stayed, and then just pop in there, find the map in question, and take a photo of the map.

What was odd about the map is that it basically explained why they call South Park, "South Park". Because, the odd think about South Park is that it is not, in fact, in South Park County. It's not even close. It's in North Park County. That's where all of the hay is grown. The South part of Park County is, in fact, hilly, covered in trees, with twisty mountain roads. So, the area that we know as "South Park", is not in South Park County.

And, the map that I saw in Buena Vista explained this lie. Because, if you look at the map in the Buena Vista motel, it shows "North Park" as being in Northern Colorado. And South Park as being in Northern Park County. So, it sort of explains (or alludes to) the reason for the names of North Park and South Park. It's the only hint at the reason for the names that I've ever seen.

Of course, I can't recall what the name of the place was. Only that it was a hotel on the left as I was driving into Salida from Highway 285 and they had a sign advertising their natural hot-water springs (which were out of service, I'd learn after I checked in.)

So I roll through town, but I don't really see the place. Nothing jumps out at me. And get to the east end of town, and turn to go back. On the way out, I see this hotel and I'm like...."That's the closest thing to the hotel that I've seen. If it exists, that's probably it." And I park and go inside and see the map on the wall.

I try to explain to the man behind the counter that I want to take a photo of the map, but he speaks no English, so I take a few photos and leave.

Like..I wish I could tell you how long that's been bugging me.

It's kind of weird to realize that I was just here, like....a month ago (September-October) on the KTM, riding back from California. Steve convinced me to check the forecast, and I learned that I-70 was closed due to heavy snowstorms, so Steve diverted me from Grand Junction, down to Delta, then Montrose, then east from Montrose on US Highway 50 through Gunnison, Monarch, and then down to US Highway 285, where I turned north without ever seeing Salida.

Now, I'm rolling south of Salida, and here, the road is less familiar. The last time I was down here was with Wendy, I'm pretty sure. We went down to Santa Fe for the weekend. Like...she's as crazy as a mad hatter, but she was good at getting out and doing things. So, this is the route that we took to Santa Fe.

Like, I can't really recall why we went to Santa Fe, but I do recall that there was an old downtown section and that we walked around and checked it out and all of the art galleries. It was a pretty cool spot, as I recall.

As I roll south, the air begins to get warmer. I start to feel as if I might live. Like, it was stupid of me not to bring more long johns....more thermal underwear, but it worked out.

Now, I'm rolling down Highway 285 south, shooting from the saddle, riding with no hands. My planned refueling stop is at Alamosa, Colorado. But I nearly run out of fuel before I get there. I have 2.2 gallons additional in a red wal-mart gas can on my seat, so running out of gas isn't a huge deal, but it does make me wonder what kind of gas mileage I'm getting if I can't even make it 200 miles between fillups.

At 3:00 p.m., I fill up in Alamosa.
4.663 gallons. $12.91. $2.769/gallon.
I've gone 206.8 miles since I filled up in Marshdale.
So, that's 44.3 mpg, which seems low. Maybe due to all of the gear I'm hauling? I dunno.

I take a few sips of my Gatorade. I always carry food and Gatorade with me when I ride. I've been stranded too many times not to.

Then, I take off hell bent for leather. South of Alamosa, there are no other cars on the road. It's just me. Sort of like a post-apocalyptic Mel Gibson movie. Not clear why.

As it gets later in the day, the animals start to move about more. Now, I'm dodging deer, coyotes, crows....like...these are the greatest threats to my campaign, I'd argue. They're sort of unpredictable. And, I know better than to ride at night, but I got away later than I'd hoped. I watch the sun getting closer to the horizon. I pray it doesn't get dark before I roll into Santa Fe.

At some point, we cross the state line into New Mexico, and I stop to shoot some photos at the border. No one is around to take my photo, as there are no other cars on the road. So, I shoot some pics of my bike and roll on.

Just north of Santa Fe, I see signs for Tusuque, which I remember from Bojack Horseman, I'm pretty sure.

As I get closer to Santa Fe, I'm trying to remember if this is the town Wendy and I came to, or maybe if we went to Albuquerque. I can't recall for sure. I pull over and look for the old town center of Santa Fe in my iPhone 6S Plus.

I have to say that, having 2 GPS units with heads up displays on the Ram Mounts is the bomb. Sheer genius. One of the smartest changes I made for this trip. All day, when one of the GPS units looked like it was steering me in some random direction, I'd cross-reference it against the other GPS (like when I followed state Highwy 17 instead of US 285 for some distance between Salida and Alamosa).

Now, I find the old section of Santa Fe and surprisingly, it's only like a half of a mile from my location and, as soon as I roll through the town, I'm like...."Bingo...this is it. This is where we came." Like, this is easily one of my favorite things about traveling. To go back and revisit a place I've been before, and recognize it. It's like, for a brief moment in time, you really feel like you're in control of your destiny,

Now, I have to find a hotel, so I go onto hotels.com and find a place to stay. I drive about a mile away and check into the hotel. They rip me off and charge me an additional fee of like $15 over and above what Hotels.com charged me, plus they took another $100 deposit which I'm sure will never be refunded.

But I check in and throw all of my gear into the room, and then circle back to old downtown Santa Fe. I find a well-hidden little restaurant called The Shed at 113 1/2 Palace Avenue.

So I park my bike on the street. The only thing that's there to be taken, really, is the red gas can with 2.2 gallons of gas in it. Like, it would suck if someone stole it, but it's not like it's worth a lot of money. Maybe $5-$10.

Go inside, sit down at the bar because there's a long wait, and I meet this guy, Devon, who's also a bike rider. Has a KLR650 and been to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Peru. I mention that I'm going to be sailing through the San Blas Islands, and he's even seen them, somehow. Small world, is it not?

Devon also mentioned a few books that I'm somewhat familiar with, but have never read, like:

  • Jupiter's Travels
  • Ghost Rider
  • Anxiety Across the Americas
  • Meow Wolf

Go back to the hotel and turn in for the night.


Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 13, 2017 at 8:10 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Day 1 - Steve Won't Let Me Take the Interstate :P

Starting Odometer: 4,603 miles
Ending Odometer: 4,961 miles
Today's Mileage: 358 miles

OK. Still got a few loose ends to tie up before I take off.
take out trash.
x take bactrim and folic acid for my cold.
x give pokie his medicine.
x feed cats.
x Erase tracks from GPS.

This is my route for today.

Refule in Conifer, CO. 0 miles.
Refuel in Alamosa, CO. 186 miles.
Refuel in Santa Fe, NM. 326 miles.
Refuel in Albequerque, NM. 390 miles.

Planned on leaving at 10:00 a.m. Finally getting away at 10:40 a.m. Not bad, all things considered. :P

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 13, 2017 at 8:06 AM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Sunday - Pokey Goes to the Vet

Today was supposed to be the day that I left on my big trip, but Pokey was limping, and I could't leave without taking him to the vet. So, I took Pokey up to the vet and they x-rayed his leg and said it wasn't broken. They gave me some medications to squirt in his mouth twice a day, and charged me $250. I was in there a total of 20 minutes. I think I"m in the wrong line of work.

So now, I decided to get some final things done before I take off:

Final packing. Gather everything I'm taking on the dining room table and try to cram it all into my CC Filson Handbag from Circle 7 in Madison, MS.
x Copy files off of Seagate External 1TB drive. (backup external drive).
x Copy files off of GoPro Hero 4 camera (backup GoPro).
x Shave.
x Get my hair cut.
x Get tool bag for bike.
x Gatorade and snacks for the road.
x Set time on GoPro Hero 4.
x Re-tape labels on USB cables.
x Buy gatorade and emergency rations for trip.
x Create spreadsheet to track trip expenses.

Erase tracks from Garmin Montana.
Wire SETERUS Payoff.
Get auto insurance for Mexico.
x Copy files off of CF cards.
Take CF cards downstairs.
Check the dates on both cameras, both iphones, MacBook Air, motorcycle, and Garmin.
Update maps on Garmin Montana.

Get Mexican insurance before I leave the house.
Check forecast.
Fill up motorcycle gas tank.
Set trip meter.
Oil chain.
Pack 2 pairs of gloves.
Contacts, case, and solution.
Snacks and gatorade.

It seems as though this preparation will never end. However, I do intend to leave before noon tomorrow (Monday 11/13/2017), come hell or high water.

At this point, I should mention that I've been coughing up phlegm non-stop since October 11th. And, the medicine that Mark prescribed me doesn't seem to be helping. He gave me a prescription for Sulfameth/Trimethoprim (Generic for Bactrim), but I fear I'm not getting any better.

My route tomorrow will look something like this.

I will refuel in Alamosa (200 miles).

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 12, 2017 at 4:07 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Guanella Pass

I've been doing a lot of shakedown cruises lately...trying to test out all of my gear to make sure that, when I hit the road, I have some basic idea of how my new gear works, etc. And, as part of one of these daily rides, a week ago Sunday (11/5/17), I decided to pop over Guanella Pass. In November. Not the brightest idea I've ever had. But, I went over it in October, and it was a beautiful ride with the leaves changing and all. So, when I went across it this time, I was noticing there were no leaves on the trees. It never dawned on me that it might not be a good idea to try to cross a pass at 12,000 feet above MSL on a motorcycle at this time of the year. Doh!

http://www.peeniewallie.com/videos/GuanellaPass.mp4

File size should be approx. 70M.

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 12, 2017 at 9:30 AM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Making a Video with iMovie

Import movies into imovie:

So, I exported my movies out of iPhoto onto Simon at \\DISKSTATION\Simon\_2017\2017_11_11_Home

Go into iMovie:

1. Go to File > Import > Media.
2.Select Simon under Devices on left side of screen.
3. Navigate to \Simon\_2017\2017_11_11_Home
3. Select tge 5 mp4 files in this folder.
4. Click "Import Selected". This process may take some time. 9:38 p.m. -

Once everything is imported, go to Window > Show Event Library. All of your movies are going to be grouped into the event name you entered above. The following steps are optional, if you want to sort by events:

1. Go to File > New Event and create each event that you want to.
2. Right-click on a movie, choose "Select Entire Clip", and move your cursor to an edge until the cursor changes to the hand.
3. Drag-and-drop it into the event that you want. iMovie will prompt you to confirm and then move it.

At this point, you can remove them from iPhoto:

1. Go back to the iPhoto album you created that shows all of your movies.
2. Press ⌘+A to select all.
3. Press ⌘+⌥+delete to move them to the iPhoto trash.

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 11, 2017 at 9:04 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Copying Files off of a GoPro Hero 5

Now, it turns out that I'm supposed to get my hair cut today, and be at Jennifer's school event at the same time. And Pokey is limping. So, there are some scheduling conflicts here.

There is so much to get done and not enough time.

Every day, boxes come in from Amazon, as if somehow, buying more technology will make things better. It's a fools dream, of course. That if we just had more electronics, then everything would be better.

But everything you but has to be charged, backed up, plugged in. Every new gadget has a new menu system to learn. More new cables. I think I was smarter when I did these trips without a GPS.

I ordered a new 4 TB seagate external drive, but I can't find it, so I go online and it says it was shipped and left in my mailbox. So I go through all of my gear and finally find it in my CC Filson bag/suitcase. Like...the gear is just coming in so fast I can't handle it all.

Now, I'll copy the files from my GoPro Hero 5 onto the 4 TB external drive just as a practice/exercise. I need to get the data off of the memory card before I start my ride, and this will be a good test of the process of archiving the camera data on the road.

Like, if I can't do this here, then I certainly won't be able to do this in Peru.

I have no clue how to use the GoPro Hero 5. Just no idea. Too much technology.

https://gopro.com/help/articles/How_To/How-to-Import-Camera-Files-to-a-Computer-Mac

OK. To turn it on, you press and hold the Mode button on the side of the camera and it comes on. Automatically detects that the USB cable is detected and goes into a USB mode.

The photos and videos automatically show up in Photos on MacBook Air in Photos.

Click 'Delete After Import'.
Click 'Import All New Videos'.

Probably it would be a good idea to count how many videos there are so you have an approximate idea of how long it will take.

Started import at 9:07 a.m. - 9:12 a.m.
14 Items Successfully Imported.

OK. Now, from Photos, I can delete the ones I don't want. Keep the ones I do want. OK. Fair enough.

Now, let's copy everything out of Photos and onto the 4 TB Seagate external drive.

So, in Photos, I select everything. Then do File - Export - Export Unmodified Originals.

Select the 'Seagate Backup Plus Drive'.

Export Complete With Errors
0 of 95 files have been exported to: Seagate Backup Plus Drive

Errors: You can't save the file because the value Macintonsh HD is read only.

Now, I look at the Seagate drive in Finder. I see that there are two files on the drive:
Start_Here_Mac
Start_Here_Win.exe

But what if we need both?

Configure Your Drive
This drive is set up to work with Windows PCs. Click Download to install software that will let your Mac work with drives formatted for Windows.

If you want to use this drive for Time Machine backups, let your Mac format the drive when it is connected.

Install downloaded software after completing all steps.

So, now I have to click download.
Now, it starts downloading, so I click Next.

You can install your downloaded software now.
So, I go to downloads.

Select NTFS_for_Mac.dmg.
Opening...
So, its installing Paragon NTFS for Mac 15, whatever that is.

Restart and you will be free to created edit copy move and delete all of your data on your connected NTFS drives.
Use Paragon NTFS for Mac Menu to access volume information and most common tasks.

OK. So, I restarted the MacBook Air. Now, let's see if we can export files from Photos to the external Seagate Drive. Select them all. Export. Export Unmodified Originals. Select external seagate drive. Create a folder on the drive named 2017_11_11_Home. Export everything here.

Click Export Originals.

95 of 95 files have been exported successfully. Took about 2 minutes. Very nice.

Now, lets copy them from the 4 TB Seagate external drive onto the home server external 8 TB NAS Simon.

\\DISKSTATION\Simon\_2017\2017_11_11_Home

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 11, 2017 at 10:35 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Jack Kerouac - On The Road

"I'd often dreamed of going West to see the country, always vaguely planning and never taking off." - Jack Kerouac - On The Road/

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 10, 2017 at 10:17 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

The Trash Man Cometh

OK. This is what I have to get done today:

x Take out trash.
x Check email.
x Take medicine so I don't die.
x Scan and fix SD card.
x Check mail.
x Leave a note for Rob the mailman.
x Print out Peenie Wallie cards.
x Get out some smaller bills.
x Organize forms/documentation for trip (FMM, Temporary Vehicle Import Permit, etc.)
Buy amoxicillin in Mexico.
Install new mailbox.
Go to credit union and have them wire money to Seterus.
Put soft copies of all of my documents on memory card on MacBook Air and Kingston 32 GB CF memory card.
Order new frames for glasses.
Install Ram Mount Tether for Small X-Grip Cradle.
Put screen protecter on iPHone 6S.
Buy a tool bag/pouch.
Put tools in Givi case.
Copy videos off of cameras.

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 10, 2017 at 9:38 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Peaceful Hills 12

http://www.peeniewallie.com/images2017/peaceful_hills12.png

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 10, 2017 at 8:50 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Laziness Cuts Like a Knife

Bad Books - Forest Whitaker

We started a fire;
That was never supposed to burn out.
You started a band;
That was cool for a while but it turned pretty bland.

I started a fight;
With the neighbor next door
And his pesky wife.
You started a job;
That you hate when your sober
And hate even more when you're not

I know you hate me too,
Always say you do

And you moved to Japan;
Thought a clean bill of health and a camera
Could show you the plan.
I bought a bird that repeats what i say,
But I'm lonely is all that he's heard.

You found a guy,
That is clearly the opposite me
With a black motorbike
I dicked around,
But it's just like a movie that's picture
Is off with the sound

I know you hate me too
You always say you do

And you started to write
It was subtle at first
But the danger was clearly in sight

I don't reply
Due to a lack of an ego
And laziness cuts like a knife

You say that you're good
Had a baby with biker
And named him Forest Whitaker
I'm laying low
On the probable chance
You convince me to give him a home

I know you hate me too
You always say you do
And I know that you hate me too
Always say you do.


Fort Atlantic - Let Your Heart Hold Fast

All my days are spent
All my cards are dealt
Oh, the desolation grows!
Every inch revealed
As my heart is pierced
Oh, my soul is now exposed!

In the oceans deep;
In the canyons steep
Walls of granite here I stand
All my desperate calls
Echo off the walls
Back and forth; then back again

To believe I walk alone
Is a lie that I've been told

So let your heart hold fast
For this soon shall pass
Like the high tide takes the sand

Oh, oh, oh, oh!
Oh, oh, oh, oh!
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh!

Oh, oh, oh, oh!
Oh, oh, oh, oh!
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh!

At the bitter end
Salt and liquid blend
From the corner of my eyes
All the miles wrecked
Every broken step
Always searching, always blind

Never fear! No! Never fear!
Never fear! No! Never fear!

So let your heart hold fast
For this soon shall pass
There's another hill ahead

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 9, 2017 at 2:59 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

More To Do...

Got the new left handguard and new clutch lever installed. (Many thanks to the rock stars and B&B Cycles in Evergreen, Colorado).

Now, I need to:
Check Front/Rear Tire Pressure
Leave mailman a note in the mailbox.
Get insurance for Mexico.
Copy video off of Go Pro cameras.
Figure out which contacts are correct.
Print off Peenie Wallie labels.
Pack smaller currencies.
Find a belt.
Attach X-grip to RAM mount.
Pay gas/electric bill.

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 9, 2017 at 1:31 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Call The Credit Union

Call the credit union. I'm going to be riding through every country in Central and South America over the next 2-3 months. Please don't cancel either of my debit cards.

When will I be back? I'm not clear. There's no set date. Probably in 2-3 months.

So she put a note in both of my accounts that I will be traveling.

They have a new system and it may try to contact me (via text or email) to validate the transactions even though I have put a note on both of my accounts that I'm traveling in Latin America.

Christ.

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 9, 2017 at 10:59 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Verizon

So, I went in to the Verizon store and told them I was tired of getting ripped off and they said they'd lower my monthly bill and give me unlimited data as long as I signed up for auto-pay. So, I'm going to sign up for auto-pay.

OK. Set it up for auto-pay. Paid my bill.

Now, I'll call them and tell them that I'm leaving the country. I seem to recall that the guy at the Verizon store handed me a little note with a phone number on it of who I should call regarding service outside the USA.

travel pass - use phone like in USA. $10/day. Text talk data.
monthly pricing options -

1) $10/day.
2) $40/month. 100 minutes for talk. 100 sent text. incoming free.
3) $85 250 minutes of talk. 250 texts. 250 meg data. If you go over, you'll be notified. .25 cents over. texts .25 cents. $25/100 megs. Add this starting Tuesday November 14th.
4) pay as you go. pay for what you use.
$1.79/minute. $0.50 per sent text. .05 received. $2/meg.

Put Plan 3 on my phone. Don't mess up Jen's phone. Done.
This plan will be on my phone until I call in and tell them to remove it. I will get cell coverage in every country in Central and South America.

To make your phone work in Central and South America, there's a few little tricks you need to do. Turn off International CDMA.

Settings - Cellular - Cellular Data Options - Roaming Voice & Data:


  • Voice Roaming - On

  • Data Roaming - On

  • International CDMA - Off

Be sure to turn OFF International CDMA.

How to call Verizon from Mexico.

Dial +1 908-559-4899 (Hold down zero to get the plus sign.)

How to call USA from Mexico:
00 - Mexico exit code to dial first when calling international
1 - US country code must be dialed next
00 + 1 + Area Code + Local Number - Overall dialing code format


Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 9, 2017 at 9:59 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Will I Outlive This Illness?

I've been nursing a cold since October 11th. Mark finally called in a prescription for me and I picked it up yesterday (November 8th). I'm not sure if I will live or not, but I figure that the last thing I need on my trip through Latin America is to be trying to ride through the Baja half-sick. That would not help things any. So, I've been sick for a month now. God willing and the river don't rise, I will outlive this cold.

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 9, 2017 at 9:37 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

iPhone Backup Failed

Christ. I thought that we'd solved this problem. Now, I'm getting this message on my new iPhone 6S Plus.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205703

Device Storage:

Go to Settings.
Tap General.
Tap iPhone Storage.

Says my iPhone 6s Plus has used 16 gig out of 128 gig on the phone. OK.

iCloud storage
Go to Settings.
Tap [your name].
Tap iCloud.

It says in my iCloud Storage, that I've used 3Gig out of 5 Gig.
I can't figure it out. I just turned off iCloud backup. There's nothing on the phone I want to back up, and if I do, then I'll back it up to my MacBook Air. I've already copied all of my photos onto my home server RAID drive (Simon).

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 9, 2017 at 9:22 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Route through Baja

I think that my route through Baja will look something like this.

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 8, 2017 at 11:02 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Pemex Stations in Baja

So, I'm tentatively planning my refueling points in Baja. It gets a little tricky because, unless I'm mistaken, there are no open Pemex stations between El Rosario and Guerro Negro, a distance of 225 miles through open desert.

However, there are, as I recall, two places where people are know to sell gas on the side of the road. These locations are Catavina, BC and the exit to Bahia de Los Angeles.

So, the distances between these locations are something like this:
Mile 0 El Rosario - Last open Pemex station for 225 miles.
Mile 76 Catavina, BC - People selling gas on the side of the highway.
Mile 140 Exit to Bahia Los Angeles, Mexico. Dude selling gas out of a 55 gallon drum in the back of a pickup.
Mile 225 Guerro Negro, BC, Mexico. Open Pemex station.

So, now that I look at it, it seems to me that there are people selling gas on the side of the road at approximately 75 mile intervals.

The other part that I recall was that there was no gas from Ciudad Constitucion to La Paz, a distance of 130 miles.

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 8, 2017 at 10:05 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Applying Online for Mexican Tourist Card (FMM)

https://www.bajabound.com/before/permits/mexicoFMMonline.php


Online Tourist Card (FMM) Application

Inicio Forma Migratoria Múltiple
Forma Migratoria Múltiple (FMM)
ES EN
Important: To generate your request disable pop-up blocker browser and check to have installed Acrobat Reader. It is essential that has an email account.
Check the information registered
Entry Information
Means of entry*:
By land
Point of entry*:
El Chaparral
Date of arrival to Mexico*:
14/11/2017
Date of departure*:
05/12/2017
Personal information
Name(s)*:
ROBERT ANDREW
Surname(s)*:
KISER
Gender*:
Male
Date of birth*:
22/05/19XX
Nationality (Country)*:
United States of America
Country of birth*:
United States of America
Identification document
Type of document*:
Passport
Document number*:
XXXXXXXXX
Document number (Confirmation)*:
565666502
Country of issue*:
United States of America
Date of issue*:
17/10/2017
Date of issue (Confirmation)*:
17/10/2017
Expiration date*:
16/10/2027
Expiration date (Confirmation)*:
16/10/2027
Place of residence
Country of residence*:
United States of America
Address of residence*:
6778 BLUE JAY RD MORRISON CO 80465
Trip information
Reason of trip*:
Tourism
Specify*:
Recreational Activities
State*:
Baja California Sur
Address in Mexico*:
LA POSADA HOTEL NUEVA REFORMA 115 LA PAZ
Email
Email*:
rob.kiser@gmail.com
Email (Confirmation)*:
rob.kiser@gmail.com


Verification code*:
XLG3LT
Application fee
It is necessary that you pay the corresponding fee in order to obtain your application. When you send your information, you will be directed to the web page of Banjército.

DATOS DEL SOLICITANTE
Número de pasaporte565666502
Nombre(s)ROBERT ANDREW
Apellido(s)KISER
INFORMACIÓN DEL PAGO
ConceptoFMME Frontera Norte
Fecha y hora de pago08/Nov/2017
Total$500.00
Folio de la Operación5003446209

OK. SO, I downloaded a file named Recibo_FMME.pdf

Let's print this out.

Then, you have to hit return (REGRESAR), then you get the message:

Your Electronic Multiple Migratory Form has succesfully been created, now you can download it.

Click Download.
So, I downloaded it and printed it out.

Now, I think that I finally figured something out: There are 2 things you have to get, and you can apply for both of them online:


  • Temporary Vehicle Import Permit

  • Mexican Tourist Card/Visa (FMM)

However, if you apply for the Temporary Vehicle Import Permit online, you have to do it at least 7 days before you show up at the border. And I was getting really close on that one. So, instead, what I did was go to the Mexican Consulate in Denver. There, I could apply for the Temporary Vehicle Import Permit in person. And, I got my permit there. However, they don't issue the FMM there. So, then you go get your FMM online, which I did.

Now, I have my FMM and my Temporary Vehicle Import Permit. Now, all I have to do when I cross the border is have them stamp my FMM.

Also, I still need to get insurance for Mexico, but I believe I can get this at Baja Bound or some such place no problem.


Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 8, 2017 at 5:58 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Third Time's a Charm - Permiso de Importacion Temporal de Vehiculos

So today, I got up and went down to the Mexican Consulate's office for my scheduled 9:42 a.m. appointment. Only I took the Beemer this time because the roads are so icy.

She was running a little behind, but she called my name at 10:00 a.m., and I went up and handed her my dossier. I'm not sure what she took,really, as I had so many copies of so many documents that you just wouldn't believe it. I have copies of my online FMM, copies of my title to the motorcycle, registration, and insurance. Color copies of my passport. She took some of the copies, and then she gave me lots of papers to sign. I don't recall what all of the papers were that I signed. I just signed everything she handed me.


"Where will you cross into Mexico?" she asks.

"San Ysidro," I reply.

"Tijuana?" She clarifies.

"Si."

These are the two border towns. San Ysidro, CA and Tijuana, Mexico.

"When are you crossing into Mexico?" she asks.

"Tuesday November 14th", I reply.

Only later did I realize that I could go into Mexico at any time after that date. So, I should have said Monday, but then she would have had to cancel the transaction and start all over, so I went with Tuesday. That's the date that I can go into Mexico. Fair enough. I'd be hard pressed to get to Tijuana before Tuesday, in any event.

Now, she wants a credit card. I have to pay a $400 bond, essentially, to take a 2017 vehicle into Mexico. When the vehicle leaves Mexico, I can get my money back, apparently. But I have to present the document when I leave Mexico to get my money refunded. I was charged $8,861.79 Mexican Pesos. If the exchange rate is 19:1, then that's $466 USD, which is about right. The permit costs about $44 USD plus some additional taxes.

Finally, she hands me the document that I've been struggling to obtain for so long, the Permiso de Importacion Temporal de Vehiculos. Now, understand, that I still have to get Auto Insurance for Mexico, and I also still have to get an FMM Visa when I cross the border.

"I can get FMM Visa here also?" I ask, just for clarification.

"No. You get that when you cross the border."

"Where do I go?" I ask.

"Aduana," she replies.

So, "Aduana" is "Customs". And, that's what I thought. I just wanted to clarify. So, I'm not clear how much time I've really saved myself by going down to the Mexican Consulate and getting this permit. Maybe I've saved myself some time. Maybe not. It's hard to know for sure.

I still have to get an FMM Visa when I cross the border at Tijuana. And I still have to get Mexican insurance for my motocycleta.

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 8, 2017 at 5:23 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Word for word Spanish Translation

http://www.spanishdict.com/translation

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 8, 2017 at 3:29 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Checking the Sunday (Nov 12th) Forecast


https://www.wunderground.com/ndfdimage/viewimage?region=sw&type=maxt&msg=6

It looks to me like the warmest ride is to just get on I-25 and run south down to Albuquerque, and then go west on I-40.

If I go this route, then I change time zones when I cross into CA, because AZ doesn't do Daylight Savings Time, so Phoenix (and all of AZ) is on MST right now.

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 7, 2017 at 10:13 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Catching up on photos...

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 7, 2017 at 1:46 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Sharing Large Files from MacBook Air to home Windows Server

So now, I'm trying to figure out a way to share large files (zip file of photos) from the MacBook Air with my Windows home server. The method I've used before with some succes is ExpireBox.


Download link:
https://www.expirebox.com/download/b072c957559473a567516a58ecb7ad60.html

Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 7, 2017 at 1:27 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Left Hand Guard and Clutch Lever for 2017 Africa Twin

Called RPM Motorsports. (303) 232-7576. They have my clutch lever, but not the Hand Guard. They will hold it for me. They close at 6:00. Ben.

Fay Meyers (303) 744-6632. 2 for parts. Left hand guard. 2017 Africa Twin.

Aurora Honda 303-341-7200. John. He can get it tomorrow. Call him back pronto.

Chapparal Motorsports - 2 parts. See if Al is there. Do I need the screw that goes in with it?

OK. John at Aurora Honda says everything will be in Thursday. This is the hand guard and some parts that mount it on, I think. He will call/text me on Thursday when it all comes in.

I will go down to RPM motorsports and get the clutch lever now.



Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 7, 2017 at 12:03 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Banjercito Temporary Vehicle Import Permit

Dial 011 52 55 5626 0500. Then, a recorded voice says blah blah blah "markey ahora". You enter the extension now: 2637.

Then, they'll say..."blah blah blah for English, press 2 ?

"Thank you for holding."

"If you know what the requirements of obtaining a Banjercito Temporary Vehicle Import Permit are, but wish to make an appointment, press" 3.

For information on importing
For information on appointment press 3
For info on requirements press 1.
To schedule an appointment, press 2.

Press 2.
To schedule you must write down the appointment number.
We will transfer you to one of our agents.

9:42 a.m. tomorrow morning - November 8th.
Confirmation Number: 131 156 841 118 181 027.

So, tomorrow will be my 3rd (and hopefully final) trip to the Mexican Consulate in Denver. I swear it's like my second home. The problem I have now is that, when I go online to fill out the Temporary Electronic version of the FMM - when I fill out the online form, the "NAMES" section is confusing to me. People in Latin America tend to have more than the standard first, middle, last that is common in civilized countries. So, when I'm filling out NAMES section of the form, you'll understand that there is going to be some room for error here. Also, consider that the form and directions are all in Spanish, and you'll begin to grasp why I keep getting the "name" section filled out incorrectly.

Let's see if I can provide a link to the offending section of the online temporary version of the FMM form:

http://www.inm.gob.mx/pae

Here's the form when you first start to fill it out. So, obviously, no one can read this because it's not in English. That's the first problem, obviously.


But if you go back to the top right section of the form, you'll see you can choose "ES" (Spanish), or "EN" (English). So, click on the grey "EN" box, and it changes to English.



So, now we see the first box on the form is labeled "Name(s)". Now, what you're supposed to put in here,"FIRSTNAME MIDDLENAME" apparently. Who would have guessed? Christ.

The asterisks mean "Data Required" (this is at the bottom left of the form).

Birth date Format: dd/mm/yyyy o ddmmyy
Passport Issuing Date: dd/mm/yyyy o ddmmyy
Passport Expiration Date: dd/mm/yyyy o ddmmyy

Also, it's nearly impossible to get the dates correct, and there are several you have to enter.

You have to enter your Birthdate, the Issue Date of your passport, and the Passport Expiration Date. Now, normally, this wouldn't be very hard. But the date format we use and the date format they use are not the same.

If I said today is 11/7/2017, like it says in the corner of my computer screen, no one in America would think today is July 11th. But that's how their date formats work.

So, this online electronic TEMPORARY FMM VISA Application has to match EXACTLY what your passport says. But, I kept getting my name wrong on the FMM. And I've also managed to the the Passport dates wrong as well. Once you get your name right on the FMM, and you manage to get the dates hammered in backwards so the dates are correct, then you have to schedule an appointment with the Mexican Consultate in Denver. Then, once you have your appointment, then you go to the Mexican Consulate Office in Denver. The address is:

5350 Leetsdale Dr #100, Glendale, CO 80246
Phone: (303) 331-1110

Now, keep in mind, these people aren't open very long. They close every day at 2:00 p.m. like clockwork. And they don't have a copier. Or a printer. Or internet access. And cell phone use is prohibited in the building. And, when you get there, you'd damned sure better have all of your paperwork. This includes the originals, and copies of, the following:

o Appointment Number Issued by the Mexican Consulate in Mexico City.
Confirmation Number: 131 156 841 118 181 027.
o Passport (Original)
o Copy of Passport. (We told you to bring this, remember?)
o Printed copy of Temporary Online VISA (FMM) that matches Passport EXACTLY.
o Vehicle Registration
o Copy of Vehicle Registration. (We told you to bring copies, didn't we?)

So, you show up with all of this documentation, at the time of your appointment, and then they'll tell you what else is wrong. And, oh, by the way, we close at 2:00. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

All of this bureaucracy makes me remember that the border crossings always took at least half a day. This is the part of the trip I like the least, obviously.

Yesterday, they kept sending me back to the Office Depot on Colorado Blvd near the Mexican Consulate office, as the Office Depot has computers with internet access, and they'll allow you to go online, fill out the Temporary Electronic FMM form, make copies of your documents, etc. Obviously you can't expect the Mexican Consulate to have internet access, printers, or copiers. That would be absurd.


Categories:

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 7, 2017 at 9:20 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink