BMW R1150GSMotorcycle Trip to Mojave Desert and Joshua Tree National Park
January, 2010

 

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The trip report is at the end.

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On the road again.

Mike and I departed on this great Saturday afternoon on I-10 East towards Palm Springs, Indio on our bikes. Today he was riding his Honda Valkirie 1500cc and I was on my BMW GS 1150.
As this is my first over-night ride after more than one year, I wasn’t prepared at all. I just took all my bags that I had prepared for my Alaska trip in 2009 that never happened and throw it on the bike. Then of course I realized that I missed a lot of things and had a lot of useless stuff, but that was only late at night.
The I-10 is a very boring road, but in less than 40 minutes we turn left onto Highway 62 towards Twenty-nine Palms and got a nice high speed up hill winding road. The goal was camp on Joshua Tree National Park for the night and then explores some roads on Mojave National Preserve next day.

 

The new BMW GS departing from home - Click to Open
Joshua Tree National Park

Mexican beaches between Tijuana and Ensenada - Click to Open

Mexican beaches between Tijuana and Ensenada- Click to Open

The first option, Indian Cove was full when we got there around 3PM. The very nice ranger was kind and radio the next campsite,  Jumbo Rock and found that they still had 50 spaces available about one hour early when the ranger over there did the counting.
We jump our bikes again and went there to find that we could choose one of the last 5 spaces available… was a busy weekend for sure.
I start pitching my tent, after 18 months that I had not done that. Was not the same as doing in two, but I manage to do a quite good job. I guess!

 

Garmin Zumo Motorcycle Mount - Click to Open
The first step is lay donw the ground cover.

Mex-1 near Ensenada - Click to Open

Ensenada, Mexico - Click to Open

The tent still great and I think I will be able to use it for at least 3 more years.
Took me about 15 minutes to put it up.  I used to do in less than 5, so there is a lot margin to improve.
We were not expecting rain for this first night, but I manage to found a place between two low water washes, so in case of rain I would be a little safer.
Mike’s tent had the wrong poles. He could not put it up and decided to sleep into his slipping bag only. I was kind enough to tell him that if start raining really heavy, he may could came to my tent!!!!!!

 

Mex-1 to San Quintin - Click to Open

San Quintin- Click to Open

Food in Mexico - Click to Open

Tent was up, cozy and clean; we went for a walk to get to know our neighbors and to try to find wood for the night fire.
We walk the whole camp site and could not find anyone willing to sell us some wood, but we were very luck and manage to get invited by Lee and Bob to visit then after 7PM and enjoy their fire.
That turns out to be a great visit. They have a nice RV with chairs to sit next to the fire, good company, good vine and the conversation went until late at that night.


Restaurant Maria Isabel in San Quintin - Click to Open

Motorcycle inside the hotel lobby - Click to Open

Motorcycle inside the hotel lobby - Click to Open

We saw a lot of RVs and many tents. As I told before, the camp site was full and we were glad we manage to get a good spot. Myke is good find the perfect places to stay.
Joshua Tree is a desert view, with rock and of course, Joshua Trees.  It’s a different kind of beauty and I like to ride on the desert. Gives me a sense of solitude.
Back to the camp, I was able to get some great shots of sunset, Joshua Trees, and people who were having meeting on top of the rocks. You may be able to see then on the picture below (click on the picture and a new window will open with a large image.)

The camp fee was $10, up to 3 tents and 2 cars. There is only pit toilets and no water, so we had to bring our own water for the night.

Full pack car - Click to Open

Mexico beachs - Click to Open

Mexico beachs - Click to Open

Dinner time. Mike was in charge of the chicken and I was doing the pasta.
Of course I forgot the salt and the pasta was OK, but the chicken was delicious so we survived.
The temperature started going down as soon as the sunset and people around advice us that the nights there were being really cold. We had dinner then went to visit our new friends. The evening was awesome and we had a good time.
Late when we walk back to our place I took this picture of my thermometer and it was showing 40F. and let me tell you: got much colder at night. I would say 34F around 3PM.
I could not sleep well but that is normal. My first night on tent I never sleep well.

 

Baja California Motorcycle winding road - Click to Open

Baja California Motorcycle winding road - Click to Open

Baja California Motorcycle winding road - Click to Open

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Rocks formation Baja California - Click to Open

Baja California cactus - Click to Open

Local chat in Baja california - Click to Open

Next morning we wake up later then we plan, had some breakfast and put our things back on the bikes and went back to Twentynine Palms to get gas and depart towards Amboy.
Amboy is a small town funded in 1858 in the middle of nowhere, well  in the middle of Mojave desert with probably less than 50 souls living there. Amboy road is a very well kept road that cross South to North from I-10 to I-40 and no traffic. We cross probably 5 or 10 cars in 60 miles.
There is a old salt mine there that I’m not sure if still being explored. I never saw any activety every time I pass there, but the white view is really amazing.

 

car load in Baja california - Click to Open

Guerrero Negro baja California - Click to Open

Baja california sur border - Click to Open

There is an abandoned school, a closed gas station and an open café that we didn’t stop (Toy’s Café).

 

Salt Plan guerrero negro - Click to Open

Salt Plan guerrero negro - Click to Open

bird nest - Click to Open

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Then less than a mile on Route 66 that cross Amboy, we will find the Shoe Tree.
It’s a tree covered with shoes. People stop there, take their shoes and throw at the tree.

 

birds guerrero negro - Click to Open
birds guerrero negro - Click to Open fishersman warf baja california - Click to Open

Then less than a mile on Route 66 that cross Amboy, we will find the Shoe Tree.
It’s a tree covered with shoes. People stop there, take their shoes and throw at the tree.
Then about a mile North in the same Highway 66 you will se on your left (right if you are going South) the Underwear Tree.
People stop, take of their underwear and throw there… Kind of interesting.
Mike stop to take picture of his bike and I decided to do the same.

 

 

fishersman warf baja california - Click to Open

malarrimo hotel and tour - Click to Open

malarrimo hotel and tour - Click to Open

Riding on Route 66 is a dream many motorcyclists have and I’m fortunate enough to have it right on my back yard.
It’s fun to be riding and then see the sigh Route 66 painted on the pavement.

 

 

baja california food - Click to Open

Salt plant - Click to Open whale tour baja california - Click to Open

From Amboy we got lost a little until find the right road to go to Hole In the Wall Camp site. Mike want to see this camp in the middle of noweare, really. There is nothing around, but they have water and pit toilets and very organized.
We got a little bit of dirt road to get there and it’s soft sand. The bikes do not do well on soft sand. Mike had a close call and almost drop his bike getting into pavement from sand road. I wish I had my camera ready at that moment.
Below you can see the electronics on my bike: GPS, Spot and iPod remote control.
The GPS is wired to my helmet so I can receive directions and even phone calls. The Spot is a nice device to track real time movement and then you publish that on a web page. My close friends and relatives have the address, so they can track me were ever I’m , real time. The iPod is nice to listen to music when riding.

 

whale tour baja california - Click to Open
whale tour baja california - Click to Open whale tour baja california - Click to Open

From Hole in the Wall camp site we went to Mitchell cavern. Getting there was easy, all paved, but the tour hours were full for the day. Plan in advance if you want to go inside the caverns. I took this picture of a huge stalagmite and was happy.

 

 

whale tour baja california - Click to Open

whale tour baja california - Click to Open

birds fly in formation - Click to Open

From Hole in the Wall camp site we went to Mitchell cavern. Getting there was easy, all paved, but the tour hours were full for the day. Plan in advance if you want to go inside the caverns. I took this picture of a huge stalagmite and was happy.
We had about 500 miles of fun ride and got heavy rain about one hour before home. Of course we didn’t stop to put on any rain gear but the clothing I had hold the rain pretty well.
The coldest ride was Sunday afternoon, when we got 36F. With the wind it was pretty cold.
No mechanic problems, the bike average 43MPG and mike and I had a 3 digits max speed at certain point, with  43MPH average.

 

whale tale - Click to Open

whale playing - Click to Open  

 

Who is Elton

I was born in Brazil and moved to USA, California in 1996. Took me some time to learn the language and get into this country, but I think now I'm doing quite well. I became an American citizen in late 2007.
I love to travel and by the time I was writing this page, I had logged more them 140.000 miles on the motorcycles I have/had. My current bikes are one 2002 BMW K1200LTe and one 2003 BMW R1150GS. Also there are many more miles on my car and much more on airplane trips.
Winter I try to do Snowmobile. Summer is time for water sports (PWC) and I motorcycle year around (one of the benefits of living in sunny California)

 

 

 
Date Miles Duration Avg Speed Gallons Cost MPG
             

The duration is for the whole day, not only between gas.
The Avg Speed is with stops.

 

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