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Old 03-23-2009, 02:56 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 43
Lone Female Baja Trip Report

Hey all,

Made it back from the baja safe and sound and just wanted to give a sort of trip report. This trip was a huge learning adventure for me, being in the baja with the sporty by myself.

First off, the surfing was mediocre, unfortunately only had two really good days with swell, but it was soooooooo much fun anyways!!

I started cruising north of the seven sisters around punta canoas, hitting the point breaks leading up to the seven sisters. I was around punta baja bob when i got epically stuck in the mud. I must have had brain freeze when i was driving because i normally would have known not to drive on the mud flats. I was thinking it was sand, i think, and the van had 4x4 soooo fantastically thru all the gnarly spots i must've let my guard down. Long story short, it took hooking my winch up to a truck that was hooked to another truck and the combo of the two trucks towing and my winching got me unstuck. wish i had pics, but i lost my camera.

Later on, got a flat, and was changing the tire (had to hang upside down on the high jack to get it to climb the pins) and vehicle boomed to the ground which was sort of funny, luckily i wasn't hurt and neither was the sporty.

After i got back on the pavement, the van was shaking really badly at speeds over 30mph, so i limped to guerro negro and they cleaned my wheels which when airing down had aquired quite a bit of mud in them during the epic. That resolved that problem, for a while.

I was headed down towards loreto/agua verde to meet up with Veg Head, hopefully, when the van started shaking really badly, but only randomly. I had had this problem in the states, and when i took it in to ford they replaced the front tie rod ends, saying that was causing the shaking.

It was pretty disheartening, especially to be there solo and having a problem that was pretty in-obvious. Anyways, i ended up kayaking for a few days on bahia conception, and just chillin out. i had it in several shops on the way back north, no one could really say what was causing the shaking. I was able to keep the van from shaking it turns out by swinging the steering wheel back and forth pretty continuously, so in this mannner, i eventually limped back towards ensenada.

At the ford dealership there, they told me i was missing a stabilizing bar (ha!) that quigley must have forgotten to install one. But anyways, they recommended i go to a speciality 4x4 shop called "RRR", and those guys totally rocked the problem. Turns out the bushings for the track bar had been worn down a ton, causing the shaking. They didn't have bushings the size i needed, so they custom built me some poly bushings to fit my track bar. For good measure i also replaced the steering stabilizer shock. I talked to quigley, and these are both pretty routine maintenance type of things, but i had no idea of it, really before this trip.

Once back in the states i had the van thoroughly inspected by a speciality 4x4 shop in colorado, and things are looking good.

I will include a few pics taken by a fellow traveler, since i don't have my own.

I will say despite the vehicle drama, (oh yah, and i had two mice living with me for a while, also!) this was a fantastic trip, and i'm so glad i did it, and even more glad to have gone solo. Such an amazing experience, met so many cool people, and just had a blast.
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flat.jpg   surf sunset.jpg  

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Old 03-23-2009, 03:25 PM   #2
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Location: Seattle, WA
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Re: Lone Female Baja Trip Report

At least you're smiling during that tire change!

-- Geoff
2004 Ford, SMB 4x4, RB-50
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:41 PM   #3
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Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 10,157
Re: Lone Female Baja Trip Report

The tire-changing pit is classic!

I agree with Geoff that at least you were able to smile. Soon, you'll start to forget the bad, and only remember the good. Of course, that's why history repeats itself.

For tire changes on semi-stable ground, is why I have a bottle jack. Much easier and safer.

SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:44 PM   #4
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Location: Forest Falls CA
Posts: 876
Re: Lone Female Baja Trip Report

Glad you're back safe and sound, sounds like a great adventure.

Thank god nothing happened to you when the hi-lift let go.

We're you lifting off the roller fairlead of the winch?
Dave and Yoshi [Ki6LBB]
2003 Baja Tan SMB EB50 V10 (SOLD in 2008)
2003 Baja Tan SMB EB DYO 7.3 Diesel

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Old 03-24-2009, 03:31 PM   #5
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 43
Re: Lone Female Baja Trip Report

No, i don't think so. the toe of the jack is on the bumper, (underneath) just centered below the winch.
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:36 PM   #6
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Location: Oroville, CA
Posts: 105
Re: Lone Female Baja Trip Report

COOL trip you need some mishaps it makes for good stories. Traveling alone has some advantages, I rode my motorcyle to Alaska a few years ago alone and I noticed that more people would want to visit, I think you are more approachable when by yourself. After a few days of being by youself you get into a rythem. Bummer about the camera.....O well I guess you will have to make another trip so you can take some pics.

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Old 04-02-2009, 05:29 PM   #7
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Re: Lone Female Baja Trip Report

Thanks for the report. We definately need a thread showing our roadside repair shots. I'll get on that.
It takes a village to raise an idiot.
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