Dog days

February 3-4, 2006

I had a morning meeting with myself and decided that I’d ride all the way to Loreto today, a trip of only 409 miles (659 km). On normal roads that wouldn’t be a difficult endeavor, but with this narrow Baja road, and the corners and hills farther south, I wasn’t so sure. No sightseeing today.

Twilight came at 0530 and I hit the road at 6. Just south of the La Pinta driveway was the first vado I had ever seen with running water in it. Since it hadn’t rained here, I wondered why the vado was full. I crossed carefully with no problem — the water was only an inch deep.

Our Lady of Loreto Mission Church

Guererro Negro was my next stop for fuel, but before that the highway again meets up with the Pacific side of the peninsula, and the cold air and thick-as-pea-soup fog I encountered cut to the bone. I had to stop and put on my rain pants to keep from getting chilled. At Guererro Negro I also lost an hour, as the time zone switches to Mountain here.

I stopped for fuel again in San Ignacio. I was going to spend the night here before proceeding on down to Loreto, but instead rode on to MulegĂ© for more fuel. MulegĂ© is a bit of a pain with it’s one-way streets, but there is a Pemex in town.

By now it’s up to 80 degrees again – a little warm to be in town, but not so bad out on the road. On the way out I discovered a new Pemex about four miles south of the town on the highway. Oh well.

North of Santa Rosalia, the road descends from the hills in a twisting downward spiral. Unbeknownst to me, a semi had stalled up-hill in the left lane on a blind corner. Fortunately I wasn’t going very fast, so I missed the line of semis that had already passed it in my lane. Just another reason for not speeding on this road even though it is good enough for high speed riding.

Inn at Loreto Bay

Finally Loreto came into view, but I passed it by for the Inn at Loreto Bay. This was a great place to relax for a couple of days and eat something besides the local food I had been devouring.

I have stopped.

One thousand miles.

I have come to rest by the sea. I keep returning but I’m not sure why any more. Wind. Waves. Smell. Sky. Sun. Sand. Sounds.

It’s not the real sea. This is the Sea or Cortez. The Golfo California. And I am just outside of Loreto, Baja California Sur. Temperatures are in the mid-80s, although the nights and mornings are much cooler.

The road was good. Two days of hard riding in daylight only, for to ride the M1 at night would be cheating death. Cattle, trucks, cars, animals of all kinds litter the roadway at unexpected times.

I measure the days thus: a three dog day yesterday; a seven dog day today, for they always seem to be laying dead in the roadway. Pups perhaps, who haven’t yet learned to grow old in traffic and now never will.

Harsh? Perhaps. Welcome to the Baja.

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