We'll rendezvous Sunday evening at our hotel in San Diego and then head for dinner, where you'll get to know the GripTwister crew and your fellow riders before heading back to get a good night's sleep. In the morning, we'll ride the short distance to the border crossing in Tecate on scenic Highway 94. We'll top off our gas tanks and exchange some dollars for pesos before crossing the border, after which we'll head east a few miles on pavement before turning south onto dirt into the mountains, as we make our way towards Mike's Sky Ranch, the legendary off-roader's oasis perched high in the mountains by a beautiful stream.
Seemingly in the middle of nowhere, you'll marvel at the swimming pool in the manicured courtyard while dining on a huge BBQ steak dinner, followed by some bench racing with new friends over a drink or two in their unique bar before hitting the sack.
If it's a clear night (and it usually is), you'll want to take some time out to stare up at the beautiful Baja sky for a truly awe inspiring moment.
In San Felipe, rapid new land developments have been spurred on by Americans who've discovered that a warm, beachside getaway is available for less than half of what they'd spend in California. We'll gas up and grab lunch at one of it's restaurants on the "malecon", or boardwalk before continuing south.
At one time, the road leading to Puertecitos was one of the most horrible paved road in the world, with man eating potholes impossible to avoid, but this stretch has just recently been paved. However, the new "vados", or dips in the roadbed are so steep and abrupt that careful attention must be paid so as not to hit one at high speed unprepared for it. On the other hand, if you are prepared... they can be utilized as motorcycle launching pads! Before too long, the nice new pavement ends just past Puertecitos, a sleepy coastal village many American expatriates call home.
From here to Gonzaga Bay, the road was once harsh and winding, with huge rim bending rocks sticking out of the roadbed everywhere and occasional stints of long straightaways with washboard so stiff and tall you'd forget you were on a "highway". The road was just meant for a motorcycle!
However, over that last couple of years, the government has undertaken a huge project to pave this route all the way down past Gonzaga bay to where it meets up with paved Highway 1. Kilometer by kilometer, with each passing month a new section of this once rough and tumble "road" is being turned into a scenic route suitable for any vehicle. But for now, we'll enjoy what's left of the old route and take in the views from the new "improved" section, as the views of the Sea of Cortez meeting the desert along this stretch are simply spectacular. When you next return, the dirt sections will likely be just distant, fond memories.
Reaching our destination, we'll enjoy a tasty dinner as we look out across beautiful crescent shaped Gonzaga Bay towards Punta Final from Alfonsina's, a fly-in restaurant and motel that's popular with private pilots from the US.