There are plenty of people out there that just like to sit and sometimes devour and enjoy, say an entire newspaper. A blog is sort of like a newspaper with stories and thoughts; this week I’m riding and eating my way through Baja with a group of like minded friends. “Riding in Baja should cause you no fear. As fear is the path to the dark side.”
This morning we arose early to a day that promised splendor and beauty for riding. I peered out of my motel window just as a pink dawn was spilling light across the sky and onto our parked motorcycles that would soon be laying down tracks towards San Quintin. God bless those beasts of burden, especially the KTM ones ridden hard and put away wet from the likes of Joey and Todd.
Today I rode with Joey, Sammy and Tom. At one time today I look up ahead and watch Joey from the comforts of my BMW 1250 Adventure motorcycle as we continue at a moderate pace of say 75 mph. Joey now resembles a giant Maine lobster cracking open a clam. I notice him fumbling with something; suddenly a fast speed turn is coming up. I watch Joey who convolutes his body in such a way that the KTM leans in the desired direction as he chooses it too. He continues riding with complete control and eventually sorts out whatever he was working on.
Gpskevin is on this ride with a mighty band of Yodas. Yodas help pave the way for all Gpskevin rides to be successful for everyone. And the most helpful and knowledgeable Yoda in Gpskevin’s tool chest is Yoda Gregg. Anything that ails your motorcycle can always be fixed by him. Yoda Marco was sweeping the course today. “In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.” That’s Yoda speak.
Everyone on this ride has a stake in making it a successful ride or not. The goal is to arrive in one piece and work your way up to a Jedi Rider.
Our story kicks off today from the small border town of Tecate where it’s cold and hot at times. I thought it was just the humidity in the air but, according to the locals, but it’s much more involved than that.
I dress quickly before packing my panniers. Today we make San Quintin. On the road we eventually get hungry and so today the request was for fresh seafood.
Perhaps the missionaries traveling this way 300 years ago also thought the same; reason enough to stop, start planting a few grapes and then start making wine. One day spring will come and the weather will warm right back up again; the snow up high in the mountains will melt and everything including the grapes will incline towards the sun.
And then, just like that, spring time is over, it’s now time for summer. God works in amazing ways; finally he pulls that last final lever high up above; the wine grapes ripen and then get picked and then crushed for the wine.
The wine gets made, a feast takes place just before the weather rolls right back in from the opposite direction and starts the cycle all over again, such is life.
But the landscape all around us is just large boulders strewn all about. How can anyone make a go of farming around here? Occasionally out there in the middle of nowhere land is a determined Mexican who sets up a shack up on a pile of bricks or wood or rocks.
Soon other Mexicans start to see his determination and hard working spirit and they also decide to join in, near him. They work the land. The poop from anything that travels through or that is considered livestock soon works it’s way into the soil; then just like that, the town of the Valley of Guadelupe is born.
Father Miguel del Barco narrated: “On this site, we built a church and house for the father, other homes for Indians, and we formalized a town.
There, we planted a little vineyard, and later it was the vineyard from which the first wine was made in California…” The wine was produced for the purpose of religious ceremonies or whenever we are thirsty, which is often, as it’s usually hot as hell.
Over time, it became a winemaking tradition that is now three hundred years old on the peninsula. During the first half century of production of this missionary wine, the peninsula became known as California and resulted in the name “Californian Missionary Wine.”
All Mexican towns that we now ride through on the Baja peninsula at considerable speeds now consists of just one long street of mostly undistinguished buildings, with a Pemex for gas and an Oxxo for a supermarket.
The rest of the stores are .99 cent stores cast offs. And then the real businesses of making food takes hold. Anything that can be called a taco in every shape or form is soon served up and the people and the gringos that stop are happy. And at the taco restaurants the further front the border you get no one speak English.
One of the things about Mexico is that there’s color everywhere—and a whole lot of dust and garbage too. Here some roadside produce stands are brimmed with honey, oranges, almonds and anything grown in the nearby fields too. And as I wandered around really looking at the people all that I saw was nothing but wealth and beauty in their smiles and simple happiness.
Thanking everyone for making this day special!