Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Baja California with the Z's - Day 7: We Move further South in Baja California and Umarang gets Stuck in Sand

Today's sunrise wasn't too shabby:

We left the campsite north of San Felipe and drove into the town to do some chores.  But first, Chris Z. found that the sea shell Lori had collected yesterday actually had a creature within!  So they took Stewie, their Overlander rig back to the beach and deposited the shell back in the water:

We got fuel while heading into San Felipe at the Arco Station.  Paid 1930 Pesos for regular gas.  Then it was groceries, dumping tanks and taking on water (100 Pesos) in San Felipe.  We also tried to score some booze but only found some beer (Modelo Negro) at 97 Pesos and Chris got some new blended whiskey to try out.  Driving in town was an exercise in concentration due to the narrow streets with cars parked along the curbs.  No room for error!

Next we headed south out of San Felipe on Federal Highway 5 towards Puertecitos.  The "highway" was two lanes, no shoulders and narrow!  Still, no major issues were encountered though we narrowly missed a ditch when pulling over to let cars behind us pass at one point!

When we got to the site, as reported by iOverlander, and while the way in had been a bit rough, it was quite doable by Umarang, my VRRV.  Chris said to move in first to the spot we picked, giving me first dibs.

I found a spot I thought nice but I changed my mind about parking head in, so started backing up so I could then reverse into the same spot for leveling ease.

Well, that's when I found a large sand patch and Uma quickly buried her rear tires into the soft stuff!  Dammit.  Ironically, same patch that I'd just driven over...

Yep, another inch and the plumbing would have
been rubbing on the sand!

Lori and Chris offered to use Stewie, their Overlander to pull Uma out but I wanted to try the sand tracks and to self-recover.  After all, what if I'd been camping by myself?

Here's a movie about my self-recovery debacle.  Should have listened to the Z's original offer but it was something I needed to try!

The only damage was the mud guards that were caught under the rear tires and ripped off their mountings.  I should be able to remount them with no major issues expected.  

My thanks to both Chris and Lori Z.!  Of course, Stewie, their mighty Overlander rig who was the brute force hero....Lori reported not feeling the rig strain at all when pulling Uma out!

It'll be a day of rest tomorrow, for all of us!

Monday, February 27, 2023

Baja California with the Z's - Day 6: T-Dub'ing on the Beach

 Sunny but not exactly warm day.

In the afternoon, we rode our T-Dubs down to the public beach and played on the sand for a bit.

The beach was empty but for a couple on an ATV, and they soon left leaving us with the whole beach to ourselves.

photo courtesy of Lori Z.

photo courtesy of Lori Z.

We shot several short videos, here's the compilation, hope you enjoy it.  My thanks to Lori and Chris Z. who contributed to the videos!

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Baja California with the Z's - Days 4&5

Saturday, February 24

A day of long walks for me and exploration of San Felipe for the Z's.

It would be the warmest day so far in our sojourn into Baja California. I believe it would soar into the high 60s but it felt much warmer as I wandered out onto the tidal flats at the beach.

While I did that, Chris and Lori took the TWs and road to the nearby town of San Felipe to see what they could see.

I was on a quest to see what kind of sea life the tidal flats would render once the ocean water was gone for low tide.

Bottom line, there wasn't much sea life to be had, I guess they were smart enough to go out with the tide as it had receded from the shoreline.

I did catch, only because he was moving at the time, this little fellow who was basically smaller than the fingernail on my small pinky.

Great camouflage huh?

Chris and Lori came back from the ride with favorable impressions of the town of San  Felipe.  They had lunch there, checked out the grocery store, and just basically rode around looking at the town and its people.

Here's pics of some of the sand dollars I picked up from the tidal flats and in case you ever wondered what plastic Flamingos eat....

Sunday, February 26

Lazy Day today, not much got done and definitely no riding.  It was windier today than yesterday too, so a bit less enjoyable.

I did go for a short hike to explore nearby trails but not much in the way of pics.

El Picacho del Diablo in the morning light

A long eared rabbit, one of two spotted
while on the hike by the beach

Our campsite again, with the Sea of Cortez in
the background.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Baja California with the Z's - Day 3: T-Dub'ing with Lori Z.

A much less windy day today at our boondocking site north of San Felipe in Baja California!  Much more warmth was felt even though today's high temperature would be only 61 degrees Fahrenheit!

We all went into "basking lizard" mode during the warm and mostly windless periods.

Shortly after 1PM, Lori and I, on our respective TW200s rode from camp and south towards San Felipe seeking to check out the area between the highway and the nearest mountain range called Picacho del Diablo: Devil's Peak.

After a short detour through some housing development, we headed further south on Mexico Federal Highway 5 and found the right road.  We basically followed signs for Colonia Morelia, for future reference.

Once we were past the perimeter fence that I believe encloses El Rancho Dorado community; it was a sandy, rocky dirt road which we took for about 14-15 miles of sometimes "interesting" riding.

As we were headed west, the lighting wasn't conducive for good pictures since we were shooting towards the steadily lowering afternoon sun.

Shortly before we reached our turnaround point, we saw this sign at a road junction.  We mistakenly thought it referred to some nearby structure.  It turned out to be a rehab center further down the road, probably in Colonia Morelia I think.

Arch of Triumph?

El Picacho del Diablo's top was shrouded in clouds
and backlit by the afternoon sun.
photo courtesy of Lori Z.

photo courtesy of Lori Z.

A vain attempt in unfavorable light conditions to
get a view of the mountains near Devil's Peak at
our turnaround point.

As we retraced our way back to the highway, we stopped here for shots of the not too distant Sea of Cortez:

Flowers were photographed by both Lori and I:

Apricot Mallow

Mentzelia involucrata
photo courtesy of Lori Z.

Some sights along the way:

Curious rock pile with some trails that could be explored.

One of several watch towers we saw within the 
perimeter fencing of El Ranch Dorado gated community.

We have no idea why the gated community would need watch towers.  They didn't appear to be in use or being manned.  Curious.

The ride back was into a cold wind from the ocean.  Still, we made it back to the highway and shortly after that back to camp with no issues.  A good ride overall!

Tonight's sunset was pretty good:

Yep, that's Picacho del Diablo

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Baja California with the Z's - Day 2

 Thursday, February 23

Our first Baja California Sunrise:

I would find Lori Z. enjoying the sunrise in the gazebo

I managed to "collect" a bunch of spiny items

Later, after lunch, I rode out with Yagi, my TW200 to explore the public beach area.  The road to it, and by it was quite sandy but not too deep.  I simply took it easy and meandered.  I even took Yagi onto the beach itself for a bit.

There was a long sand bar, off to the left of Yagi in the above pic, onto which I walked to get closer to some birds.

Still on the sand bar, I shot towards the beach:

Beach front property!

I could see Stewie from the sand bar

Back on the beach....

Looking up and down the almost empty beach

I returned to the trail that leads to the beach from our campsite and posed Yagi with small patches of purple flowers:

Desert Sand Verbena

On the way to the flower patches, I stopped to take pictures of this Heron who I saw fly by and settle somewhat near me.  

Soon as I got back, I decided to go for a hike, both to explore the area around camp and to get my daily 40 minutes of doctor recommended exercise.

Some of the Ocotillo Cacti are starting to flower:

Fuzzy looking seaside cactus:

Here's something I didn't expect, I thought it looked like to be the skeletal remains of a crocodile.

The skull was missing and I didn't spend time looking for it either.  I wonder how it got where I found it?  No visible tire tracks near it and it was pretty far from the trails.

Lori Z later guessed it was a dolphin's skeleton, I think she may be right and it would be a more likely find near the Sea of Cortez!

I hiked down to the edge of the plateau that borders the beach area.  Here's picture of the beach side housing on the north side of San Felipe.

A pretty good day overall here in Baja California, hopefully the wind will be less tomorrow and a bit warmer.