Tuesday, January 14, 2014

La Paz in time for siesta

We have started to get the hang of the siesta. This is an achievement we are proud to display. It's not as simple as just taking a nap after lunch. It's a pacing thing. It starts with dinner. Get the evening wrapped up early enough to get to bed early enough to get a nice first light start to knock out the miles on the cool morning. Reward: big lunch, lay out a tarp on the shade, sip beer, eat fruit, put a bandana over your face and nod away to a podcast on the speaker from 1 to 2. Pound out another forty kilometers and repeat. It's not so unlike our former pace. It just took midday heat to force the pattern. And it's just such a humane way to tour.

La Paz tomorrow. And everything changes. Or something. Supposedly Trevor and I will bus inland from Mazatlan to Guadalajara, DF, Oaxaca and the Yucatan while Ty rides south for Puerto Vallarta to meet Caroline. We'll see.
I am excited for that 18 hour ferry ride to "real" Mexico.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The desert is my bedroom

We were going to camp a lot. Seattle to La Paz and beyond. More camping and roughing and tuffing than I don't know what. It was going to be a test. Could we handle it? We were in the desert now: no more cushy camp showers and Freddy Meyer men's room shaves. And it's true, more planning required. Less safety net. I mean, Trevor's mom is more than a six hour drive away. So yeah, a little less safety net, but keeping it all in perspective it did seem that heading out of Ensenada it was now more "On".

It was on, so we carried more water and had nervous map jabbing planning sessions that resolved little and carried 3 days rations and don't forget the TP and peanut butter because God knows when we can get those again. and it was On.

And then:
Tucking myself in the moonshade of a grand old cardón, a wind rustling Trevor's tin cup hanging from a low thorny branch, I relaxed. "The desert is my bedroom" popped in my mind. Not a substitute. Not "oh this will do because I'm tough now". Just plain comfy. Warm and toasty and a big plush camp pillow under head, hypnotized by the display of stars. No alarm clock. Can't ride until it's lighter than first light. Ten hours to doze the long winter night and ponder the road ahead and behind. Water bottle close, TP on a handy cactus, dinner tucked away, fire glowing low, crickets chirping.

When the desert is your bedroom you sleep deep as a reptile.

When the desert is your bedroom you wouldn't trade it for hostal, yurt, motel, hotel or home.

Everyone's an expert fire builder when the desert is your bedroom.

Orion is your nightlight.

Everyone's Copernicus when the desert is your bedroom. A Galileo. A Mayan shaman. A heathen poet.

The world is good and so are you when the desert is your bedroom.


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mar de Cortez

Posting from a bar on the sea of Cortez. Last stop for libations before Laredo, as we drank all the Tecates at the little shop 30 k's from here. We have actually back tracked since Christmas. Friends from Oakland enticed us to Coyote beach for some beach lounging,  fire top fish cooking,  and inflatable boat paddling,  in December. How could Tryman refuse. Our bags we left in Laredo. Planning on fast and light to cut our efforts in the prevailing north wind as much as possible. Ambitious but rubbish,  we had to make camp half way to the beach. Trevor ' s tires have been turning into spike balls,  shredding every inner tube in sight. They are regular thorn magnets here in the desert,  home of every thing spiky. He is a champ,  readying this morning,  carefully patching the five punctured tunes draped over his handlebars, while the two he has installed deflate just from sitting there. Cool thing is the patch kits you buy here are in huge boxes of forty-eight! And feature the moniquer "thumbs up" a little reminder that even the least rad day on a bike trip is still really rad.
Sun setting,  I leave you to imagine the waves crashing and the pelicans diving. I have a kilometer to ride before our next camp, and photo uploads are discouraged in the land of satellite wifi!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Out of the hot springs and into the highway

We are back on hw 1,  swarmed by vans with surfboards on top,  tractor trailers and other dwellers of the fast road. The hot springs were expressly amazing.  Totally worth climbing into the freezing altitudes,  and barreling down the straits for.  Two days were spent,  and un countable liters of Pacifico cerveza passed back around. The road to and from was delightful, then we passed by Gonzaga, where the winter winds whipped up the sand and dust, forcing us to hide behind bandanas. A sandy highway  in mid construction marked the next phase of travel, a part we were warned about,  it was now time to pay the piper.
A few kilometers of sand road gave way to hard pack,  with lots of sharp rocks.  Our compatriot Carol quickly  got the idea that this was un passable, and we flagged her a lift in the last jeep of the day.  Tryman pushed foreword, gaining elevation by hook or crook,  and we got a pristine camp spot with all the splendors of Baja in view. Trevor,  our chef de cuisine found a great nook to break the wind for him,  and our kingly meal of beans and tortillas was had under full moon light. Ten kilometers into the next day,  we happened by a desert oasis. Cold, cold beers in a fridge and a stopping spot for locals,  Coco's corner,  half way between nowhere and somewhere was a mighty good place to sit. Coco,  a legend in the off road community welcomed us in,  saying he had been waiting for for us for two days. news travels faster than bikes on the road. He scribed on our map, marked a few places that were good to camp,  and then had us sign his guest book. He pointed out all the bicycle riders from the past few years, there was one just 12 days before. A truck then come into the lot,  the passenger had just completed in year's running of the Baja 1000,  Coco offered us for them a lift in their off road prepared truck,  and with Simons and Trevor convincing,  I let my bike be stacked like a piece of pie on display, and we were carried up the road at an awesome speed.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

San Felipe to puertecitos

Lots of ideas come and go while biking, the hard part is catching them before you stop peddling and they leave.  I'm working on that  so for now,  it has been amazing few days, leaving Ensenada to bike over the Sierra Juarez,  camping at 4,000 feet elevation. So made San Filepe, and are continuing to puertecitos,  for a soak in seaside hot springs. Our comrade is Caroline, I'll let her blog speak for her found here http://www.thequietmouthofcaroline.com
Picture of our water re up.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Bike to San Felipe

We are headed to San Felipe.  Promise of a road less traveled and some hot springs has us topping up  our water bags, and stuffing cans of beans under our saddles.  More info to follow.
Tryman bicycle.