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Old 02-02-2014, 12:08 AM   #1
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2014 BAJA Sojourn - "The best-laid plans..."

Here it is February 1st already, and our great adventure south to the wilds of BAJA is just less than four weeks away - GET EXCITED!!!!

I must confess to not being much of a planner, ever! When it comes to BAJA, I've learned that "The best-laid plans" often succumb to the "Maņana" mentality of southern climes and the and the adventure of taking the road less traveled.

I know however that many of you are planners (better people then I) and want to know what we are going to do beyond "have a great time".

We will use this thread to make plans, discuss preparations and bring everyone and everything together.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:08 AM   #2
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Re: 2014 BAJA Sojourn - "The best-laid plans..."

The list:

Below is the current list - unless I missed someone. I have had others tell me they are going, but have not posted yet. This is still four weeks off so there is a lot of time to plan and for more to join in.

We will be nailing down the plan over the next few weeks.

Hope more will join us!


Who's in?

01) BajaSportsmobile (Ramsey and Jan)
02) [s:jbiez13w]Ridge (Chris Ridgway)[/s:jbiez13w]
03) [s:jbiez13w]Shadzima (Scott)[/s:jbiez13w]
04) haywoodphotomaccom (Brent and Mary Ellen) Bring your cameras!
05) [s:jbiez13w]Dogmobile (Kim)[/s:jbiez13w]
06) [s:jbiez13w]fw500a (Karl and Shara)[/s:jbiez13w]
07) daytona323 (Ron and Charlene)
08) rawgawg (Dawg? and ?)
09) Yodavan
10) [s:jbiez13w]JonNelson (Jon and Liz)[/s:jbiez13w]
11) loren85022
12) [s:jbiez13w]Brit55 (Andy & Liz)[/s:jbiez13w]
13) Skinny (Dennis)
14) AndrewST (Andrew)
15) mtndewtri (Darryl)
16) Bolty (Bryan & Gloria)
17) kayakcarol (Carol & Linda)
18) Pschitt
19)
20)
21)
22)
23)

Those who expressed interest (sitting on the fence?)

01)
02) [s:jbiez13w]Ocsmb[/s:jbiez13w]
03) larrie
04) blupaddler
05) SteveAnd Lillian
06) LFFE
07)
08)
09)
10)

If you want to be added to the list, just let us know. If you need to be removed from the list let us know so we can try to change your mind

Baja is BIG - room for everyone!
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:08 AM   #3
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Re: 2014 BAJA Sojourn - "The best-laid plans..."

What you need to do before leaving to Baja:

Passports are a subject that always comes up. I recommend that everyone has one but I have traveled to Baja many times without mine. If you have to fly, a Passport is required, even your Passport Card will not suffice. So if you require an emergency flight for any reason, you want to have your Passport. You will not need a Passport to enter Mexico or return to the USA by vehicle although they like you to present one at the border on return.

Mexican Tourist Cards are required as described: Tourist Cards.
You will be able to get your Tourist Card at the border. A valid Passport is required to get one. We will be crossing at Tecate and they are available there as well as Mexicali. In 30 years of going to Baja, I have only done this twice, and I have never been asked for one. The only place where we could be asked for our Tourist Cards is at Guerrero Negro at the border between Baja Norte and Baja Sur. We will also be charged a couple of bucks there for "Bug Spray".

I am going to check with the Mexican Consulate here in San Diego to see about getting applications in advance. I talked with the Consulate and they suggested parking our vehicles on the US side of the border in Tecate and walking to the office to get out Tourist Cards in Mexico.

Mexican Auto Insurance is required for this trip - liability and legal assistance as a minimum but I would recommend full coverage. Stated value coverage is available which you might want to get. There are many options for insurance so I will leave that up for discussion and you. Instant Mexico Auto Insurance is a SCORE sponsor and many of the race teams use them.

What you need to bring along:

Bring everything you would bring if you were camping by yourself - be self-sufficient. That said, we will all be there for each other and no one will be "left behind". The reality is just about anything you could need can be found in Baja - might take a little time.

There will be plenty of places to buy ice, water, beer, food... which brings up another thought - Pesos! Dollars will be accepted everywhere and you be able to use your VISA at some PEMEX Stations but not all. Using Dollars for fuel will sometimes result in a higher exchange rate and sometimes lower but everywhere else it will be lower than if you buy Pesos at the border. I always buy Pesos because it makes small transactions so much simpler.

Plan on driving approximately 1,500 miles in Baja, so figure your fuel needs accordingly. One rule in Baja, is "Fill up when you can" and we will follow this, so many of our fuel stops will not be from empty.

What you cannot bring along:

Do not bring any thing illegal - specifically guns or ammo and drugs. If there is any chance that you have live or spent ammunition in your vehicle (because you use it to go hunting or shooting at home) search through it thoroughly and remove anything that would cause problems at inspections. We will be inspected several times on the trip by the military and you will be required to get out of the vehicle. These inspections are more of a time waist than anything but you should keep valuables on you or put away and keep an eye open while visiting with your inspector. I talk to them while they inspect so I can keep an eye on thing. I have never had a problem at and inspection. I carry several extra Harbor Freight $1.50 LED Flashlights and offer them to the military guys - much appreciated and moves thing along. Of course we don't all need to do this...
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:09 AM   #4
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Re: 2014 BAJA Sojourn - "The best-laid plans..."

02/27/2014 - Thursday:

The adventure begins!!!!

We will all meet up in the mid-morning between 10 and 11am in the Rancho San Diego area off Hwy 94: HERE.

We will be in the parking lot between the Carl's Jr and the Mobile Gas Station. There is a Target, Albetson's and other stores for your last minute needs.

We will head for the Tecate Border Crossing at 11am, cross the border, get our Tourist Cards and head out on the Hwy 2 Toll Road towards Mexicali and then south on Hwy 5 to San Felipe.

Anyone wanting to cross at Mexicali can meetup with us at the new PEMEX Station by Eldorado Ranch, just north of San Felipe between 4 and 5pm: PEMEX

We will be camping on the beach at "El Pescador" owned by Juan Quinonez and family. It is North of San Felipe. Jan is working up a map that I will post later.

Late comers and people catching up with us later will have no problem finding the camp - we will be there Thursday and Friday night, leaving Saturday morning.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:09 AM   #5
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Re: 2014 BAJA Sojourn - "The best-laid plans..."

02/28/2014 - Friday:

This is "Contingency Day" for the racers and a big party down on the Malecon. For us it is a day to do what you want and for late comers to catch up with the group.

Some of us will want to head into town and the Malecon to participate in the festivities, get some fish, shrimp and carne tacos and a few cervezas as well at the infamous Bar Miramar.

We can also head out into the desert and watch some of the racers do some last minute testing.

If there is enough interest we can drive west across the desert to the mountains and see the water falls that come out of the mountains and disappear in to the desert floor.

Of course we can also stay in camp and enjoy the beach. The extreme low tides of the upper Sea of Cortez makes for awesome walks on the ocean floor to find sand dollars the size of dessert plates.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:09 AM   #6
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Re: 2014 BAJA Sojourn - "The best-laid plans..."

03/01/2014 - Saturday:

We will break camp in the morning and head south for Gonzaga Bay, stopping long the way to access the SCORE Baja 250 race course and watch the race shortly after the start. If you haven't seen a Trophy Truck at speed - you are in for a thrill.

Once the race has passed us by, we will begin heading south, stopping along the way to go "Bowling" and visit other great little spots.

We will end our afternoon in Gonzaga Bay. I am still working on arrangements there, but there are many options - all good. More info to follow...

Race Course:

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Old 02-02-2014, 12:09 AM   #7
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Re: 2014 BAJA Sojourn - "The best-laid plans..."

03/02/2014 - Sunday:

The Day of Rest, and relaxation in Gonzaga Bay.

We will have the full day to enjoy Gonzaga Bay. If you are bringing Kayaks, inflatables or SUPs this will be a great day to get them out on the water and maybe get lucky and spot a Whale Shark - we saw one in November when we were last there.

Don't forget your beach chairs, umbrella and cooler!

Fishing is another option if you are a fisherman - find out what you need to fish in Baja, 'cause I have no idea what it takes to be legal if you care about those things.

Another option, and something I want to do is visit La Turquesa Canyon (old Turquoise Mine) and the water pools below.

Here are another visitors reports: Located in La Turquesa Canyon, 2.7 miles west from the main road, I last visited them in 1975. A turquoise mine is located a mile further up the canyon. This is also the bottom of Kacey Smith's XR Motorcycle GPS ride up to Highway One... also called 'Coco's Shortcut'!

The pools were photographed by Wayno recently ( http://vivabaja.com/wayno ).

The turnoff to La Turquesa Canyon is 2.4 miles north of the abandoned ranch at Las Arrastras, north of Coco's, at N29?34.347' W114?21.943' (NAD27). The end of the road at the pools is at N29?33.716' W114?23.890'. http://vivabaja.com/wayno/.

We can also explore other areas around Gonzaga from Papa Fernandez' to Punta Final if more off-roading is your thing.

This evening, we will be having dinner at Alfonsinas - good food and margaritas! Always a fun time.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:10 AM   #8
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Re: 2014 BAJA Sojourn - "The best-laid plans..."

03/03/2014 - Monday:

We will be leaving Gonzaga in the morning and heading to Bahia de Los Angeles (LA Bay).

From Gonzaga we will drive about 30+ miles on graded dirt road to Coco's Corner. The road has some washboard and embedded rock but is no problem for 2wd vehicles. We will be going slow.

We will stop at Coco's corner for a short break and to let everyone check out this Baja fixture.

From Coco's, those that want to take the 4X4 route through Calamajue Wash (Frog Canyon) with it's beautiful canyons and water crossings will turn southeast. This is not tough 4-wheeling and could be done in 2wd with an appropriately outfitted vehicle. We will take our time and enjoy the canyon and it's sights.

2wd vehicles and others will continue on straight ahead to Hwy 1, about 13 miles of more washboard and rocks. Last year traveling the 2wd route we spotted a group of Big Horn Desert Sheep so keep your eyes open and enjoy this scenic route.

We will join back together in LA Bay in the afternoon and look for a camping spot north of town up by Punta La Gringa on the beach for the next two nights.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:10 AM   #9
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Re: 2014 BAJA Sojourn - "The best-laid plans..."

03/04/2014 - Tuesday:
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:10 AM   #10
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Re: 2014 BAJA Sojourn - "The best-laid plans..."

03/05/2014 - Wednesday:
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