road to Gonzaga Bay from Mex 1 was punishing. But, the road
from Gonzaga to Puertocitos was worse. We had no choice as
were no alternate routes; in for a penny, in for a pound.
went slow, but the wash board produced damaging vibrations on the
The photos below are what we saw.
at both Pemex stations, but neither had diesel. We were
fine, but Matt has a small tank and some motor issues so he gets
poor mileage. At the second station, we encountered a set of
"rent-a-racer" folks who were on some kind of paid tour. As
of their package, they get to use the red four-wheelers and they
does not look rough, but trust me it is. Above, the local
vulture crew clean up some road kill.
takes its toll. The vibrations from the washboard broke the
mounting bracket for Kai's air tank, tearing one of the lines in
tank apart was hard as the fittings were rusted and very tight.
us contributed components for a trail-side fix.
was to just connect the tank supply line to the consumer lines
without the tank in the middle. The fix got Kai back to San
without other issues. I can say for certain if this failure
happened on my 1300, we would be still sitting there. The
use air for a number of sub-systems and without air, you are going
nowhere. Kai's 416 was more tolerant of this kind of
was addressing a coolant leak on his 416.
some nice views of the water from our low speed run along the
in front of us was going faster than he should and also suffered
a failure further down the road. Whatever happened, he was
in the water in the middle of the road. Note the obstacle
in the photo above. There is a huge washout there that goes
about 6 feet. Yet another reason not to 'wheel at night in
the small islands were covered in bird droppings. Note that
the amount of vegetation now is down to almost nothing.
can live almost anywhere, so they were expected. But other
Puertocitos the dirt road turned into new, smooth pavement.
After we hit the pavement, we passed several really nice
Note the white caps; the wind is blowing strong again.
into San Filipe was in good repair and we made good time.
Note the green color of the water here in the northern reaches of
Sea of Cortez.
used to be a small, sleepy fishing village. Not anymore.
its growth, San Filipe is not immune from the "abandoned
construction project syndrome". Many places had a slab with
rebar, but no walls.
generally like Mexican architecture, but the Kermit green is
over the top.
diesel, ice and some seafood for dinner in San Filipe and then
headed north on Mex 5 to the turnoff for Guadalupe Canyon.
the way, we passed the delta for the Colorado River which is a
expanse of mud flats and semi-dry salt lakes. It also
the sand for the Altar dunes. The smoke on the horizon is
smoke, but rather steam from the geo-thermal plants at Guadalupe
Victoria. GV is the epicenter of some big recent
largest just a few months ago at 7.2 on the Richter scale.
took the turnoff and aired down for the trail. Close to the
were these dunes on the side of the volcanic hills.
trail took us across the south end of Laguna Salada (salty
Above you can see the dust trails of one of the group who where
ahead of us.
Salad is usually dry. But, with the recent rains, there were
wet spots. This fellow cut some deep groves in the lake bed
surface. If you get stuck, you have a whole bunch of work
for you. Having a winch will not help since there is nothing
spot produced some interesting sensations for the driver.
be told, we got lost. We did several hours of wandering
until we got our bearings and were back on the correct
all had GPS, but without a valid map, all the GPS says is "you are
here". The correct track, however, was part of the Baja 1000
course and was very rutted and super-slow going. We did not
arrive at the camp ground until 9pm, well after dark. During
transit of the palm grove at Guadalupe Canyon, I tagged the awning
the side of the camper. The palm left some small nicks, but
think it is usable as is. Once we hit camp, Matt and Nancy
cooked, we ate and hit the hot tubs. All in all, it was a 13
drive across some pretty nasty roads. I think this was a new
record. Next morning was a pretty late start.
winds were calm in the canyon and it was quite pleasant.
view of Pico Guadalupe.
made chicken fried steaks, hash browns and eggs for breakfast.
we were leaving camp, we got a nice view down the canyon to Laguna
was a small bit of water in Arroyo Guadalupe but nothing to
the previous rains.
our return path took us right past some cave paintings, we did a
stop before attacking Laguna Salada.
paintings are somewhat faded, but it is remarkable that they are
Salada was generally dry and provided a reasonable travel speed of
about 30 mph. We might have been able to go faster had we
low tire pressure. High speed with low pressure will damage
tires and generate a blowout. Ask me how I know.
you get into the center of the Salada, you are in for the
duration. Unless the surface has been disturbed, it is
we hit Mex 2, we aired up and headed west into Tecate.
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