The time off to head south is finally here! We were going to leave Yuma, AZ on Wednesday, 2/20, but changes in the weather, cold and snow at 2500 foot levels, have made us possibly leave a day early and head straight south to San Felipe and try to miss the snow, since the pass is about 4500 feet. The sudden changes s have us scrambling to finish getting the bike ready and packed, but we are both excited as our attempts at whale watching in the past have been boycotted by the whales. We will be using the SPOT GPS tracking device on the trip. Our progress will be able to be followed on SPOTWALLA.
As luck would have it we got out of town on Tuesday, but late, as the hospital sometimes owns you. We didn't have enough daylight to make San Felipe so we headed west trying to make the border crossing at Tecate, Mexico. It started out great as the day was warm with a breeze from the west but once we got closer to the start of the pass on I-8 the winds picked up and the temps started to drop. Since we were headed to Mexico I didn't think I needed my heated gear, boy was I wrong. As we headed up the mountain on the twisty interstate toward the exit for Tecate, the winds picked up to a wicked 40-50 MPH wind that would come from any direction. At one time I was slowed to about 35 MPH and being pushed all over the lanes so much I had to pull over and stop. That didn't work out to well as I could barely hold the bike up when it wasn't moving. We got going again as the temps were about 40 and dropping. We got I-8 just in time as the fog had rolled in and it had started to sleet, then we passed two snowplows! We still had another 30 or so miles to go of twisty, back roads. When I finally saw the border and crossed we were so cold and wet, all I wanted to find was a hotel, a bar, and a warm shower.
After waking up Wednesday morning I looked out the window to see snow on the bike, and temps about 34 degrees. Our time frame to get to Ensanada by noon was about 3 hours riding, so that meant a good breakfast, coffee, and some time to warm up. By nine am it was still cold but the sun was peaking through the gray clouds, and looking better toward the coast, which is the route we choose. The ride there was good as most of the roads were newly paved with only one military checkpoint to cross, which we were just aloud to pass. We met up with our riding buddy, Kelly, who is from San Diego, and an MTF member. We headed south toward our stopover town for the night, San Quintin. A hotel was quickly located on the Pacific ocean for 500 pesos, beer bought, bikes parked, boots kicked off, and relaxation started. Total miles for the day, about 200.