Baja Burro Mike’s Sky Ranch

Yesterday we woke up at Alfonsitas Eco Hotel by the water in Gonzaga bay and just like that, the end is clearly in sight for this Baja Burro ride. Joe, Todd and Tom are probably now home while the rest of us are at lodging on the last night at Mike’s Sky Ranch. They left a day early before the end of the ride. No stickers for you!

The twenty something mile ride into Mike’s Sky Ranch qualifies you as a full fledged dirt bike rider. The dirt, sand, rock , vertical climbs, drop offs and stream crossings more resemble the Baja 500 course than a road into a motel. I rode my BMW GSA MOTORCYCLE in without once dropping it but, only because I had Joey as my wingman. Joey and I traded on the way out and I thoroughly enjoyed riding his KTM 890.

Three persons per room and it was pleasant in a very basic sort of way. The bed was probably original from 1967, when the place started out as a hunting lodge; and the pillows probably came from an older place with the stuffing completely gone out of them. If you placed a sandwich near one I’ll bet you the sandwich would be taller. There’s no television as it’s all off grid, no cell or wifi either and the toilet didn’t have a “Sanitized for Your Protection” banner across the seat.

Our immune system now after riding Baja is such that we exposed it to a wide range of threats ranging from everything like bacteria, to parasitic germs from touching Baja dogs to eating coconuts, dates, almonds and peanuts. In other words we’ve been exposed to everything Mexican and in short doses; and we are now far better for it. That’s how it’s done. You get a shot with a small dose of whatever you want to protect yourself against.

Motorcycle dirt and trail bike riders also need physical and mental challenges of periodically riding in conditions that are unlike anything we encounter back home. Mike’s road to it is just what the Doctor ordered.

There’s an old saying that says prepare the rider for the road, not the road for the rider. On the other side of Mike’s Sky Rancho road there’s a bar and a dining room capable of sitting 75 people. The dinner meal was prime rib steak, homemade brown beans, rice tortillas and a wafer bar for desert. Dinner meal and breakfast included in your lodging price. $80 US.

The evening air was cold and last night we heard it dropped down to 27 degrees. The air still holds the aroma of the charbroiled steaks from the outside restaurant grill. Non of us had eaten since breakfast, so the whiff of bbq made me realize just how hungry I really was.

I can remember when I was younger how a place like this would have television sets that when you turned them on a test pattern would come on.

That’s how old I am. After a while the test pattern would be replaced by. “This is a test of the emergency management system, this is only a test.”Nowadays they don’t show test patterns at all on American TV, which is a shame because given a choice between test patterns and many TV programs I would choose the test patterns.

Back at San Ignacio I called home to let Patti know, that no one else had gone down, and that I hadn’t been killed, and was now recycling my underwear and one day closer to home. All in that order.

I’m sure my roommate Joe on most of this ride will be extremely thrilled to read this. Sammy’s loved ones may also be interested in reading that it was so hot today; and the water was so inviting, that Sammy declared his BVDs suitable as wearable eco resort clothing. He was only topped off by a Dukes of Hazzard ball cap that the Duke boys, Bo and Luke, probably also wore.

We rode to Antonitas at a high rate of speed with Joey in the lead, KTM Brian with the bent up front rim in second; Sammy third and yours truly fourth. Joe would’ve possibly caught me but, he needs a faster bike. Our goal was so to maximize the eco resort beach for all its enjoyment pleasures. Other than two fuel stops, a breakfast stop at Maurico’s and a stop at Coco’s place we rode faster than most US freeways in Texas or cars heading for Vegas.

We gave the kid stickers and bought his goods.

Just before me, like for the past hour or so, I’ve been judiciously watching the tide drop bit by bit , now fully exposing a huge sandbar. A local really dark tanned Mexican guy is now out with a shovel; probably digging up tonight’s dinner.

I haven’t seen him succeed in finding anything and everything is literally hand carried into this exo resort.

I’m sitting on the second floor balcony of a three room non air conditioned balcony in the back rooms where before us are the bowels of this eco hotel experience. Two large sized fertilizer water tanks sit atop a NOT FOR HIRE FL70 flatbed truck just about twenty feet away.

Another Mexican guy, earlier using an extremely large noisy power washer is now talking really really loud to the kitchen staff. He is now partially deaf. They are all sitting outside on a picnic table smoking cigarettes and chatting about pooling their $$; hiring a coyote and moving to America. Not really. This is their little slice of paradise, where the wind now blows at 25 knots and anything not tied down is soon gone.

Nothing good is getting blown, nearby the mountains by the sea of Cortez are jaundice looking. My view is now about as far as the edge of infinity; still I can see further out. Roughly 24 gringo homes sit across the bay, visitable by boat during the return of the high tide.

All of us are always looking for something, I don’t know what it is but, this seems like paradise for some. It’s too off grid for me and remote. Wifi at the front desk will cost you $10 for texting, $20 for some pictures and $30 US for the full internet experience.

Earlier upon our arrival Joey entered the ECO Hotel Bar and declared that there shall be Cadillac margaritas, guacamole, chips and salsa. We all ate and drunk till there was no tomorrow while Joey twisted everyone’s arm. Eat he would say. Now drink that margarita there’s starving and thirsty gringos somewhere.

We all ate and drank till our heads spun. Earlier we all had crab machaca breakfast’s that now wreaked havoc in my stomach. Alaska Todd likes to say that he doesn’t twist anyones throttle to go faster and faster on Mexico 1 roads. Alaska Tom left earlier to take a nap as the three margaritas he consumed also kicked his butt.

Well, it’s like when someone brings you two cadillac margaritas; you just can’t sit back. It was hot outside and our throat was dry from recently riding.

After the Cadillac margarita infused nap I came back down to the dining room just as orders were being placed for prime grade steaks. The food was outstanding and I recalled earlier that someone had told me that they had a birthday next week.

Mexicans love birthdays so I promptly shared that little information with the wait staff. Before you could say mariachis we had ourselves the entire staff ready to sing happy birthday to Brian 1; he declared that he was not the birthday boy. Then we asked the roomful of riders. Gregg declared his birthday on the cinco de Mayo and so he got the sherbert ice cream dish.

San Felipe with a photo bombing local

And then the waiter decided to get in on the celebrations and brought out a four tier fountain that he lit up with flaming liquor. And since Gregg was entirely satisfied with his desert we chose 22 year old Patrick as the recipient of the highly alcoholic drinks recipient.

With the sun fast sinking behind the nearby mountains, everyone ran for their cameras. The tide kept getting further and further away and the evening quickly grew cooler. A bleak wind is now whipping about as the tide is now making a comeback from the emptiness of the Sea of Cortez in Gonzaga bay.

The wind now resonates, while we try sleeping, like a telephone line or a locomotive coming down the tracks. Somewhere off in the distance I can still hear a door creaking and banging, creaking and banging. At 10:00 p.m. the power generator gets turned off and we are put to bed for the night.

Well that about sums up our week long Baja ride, more or less. We rode about 1700 miles and ate some of the best Mexican food available. No one got killed by cartels or on the roads. Yoda Marco was the only casualty with a broken collarbone. We had several flat tires and a bent front rim.

And some of us are still carrying Mexican pesos and a clean pair of underwear. It just doesn’t get any better than this.


One thought on “Baja Burro Mike’s Sky Ranch

  1. Hola amigo!
    Great stories, some of our favorite places for sure. It sounds like Mike’s hasn’t changed much. Too bad about Alfonsino’s in Gonzaga Bay. We stayed there last year, and I think the whole eco-resort thing ruined it. It used to be a funky off the grid place that was about $30 per night. Deby and I stayed there for a week charging all our beer and food to the room and when it was time to leave, they asked me what I thought I owed!

    Deby and I are leaving tomorrow to ride to Vegas to meet the GPSKevin group on the Grand Canyon Ride. We hope we can catch up with you sometime.

    Donn and Deby

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