Baja - Tickle the Tip 10/2022

DesertGoat

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Getting ready to do this trip & posting this thread so you all can guilt trip me and Tommy into posting pictures & updates about it when we eventually forget.
The synopsis:
Canonball highway run from SD to Cabo.
offroad our way home.
10 days.
 

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theycallmeWALLY

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Story???

Followed as much as I could on social media. Looks like a great trip report is coming!
 

DesertGoat

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shit hit the fan at work while I was gone, so recovering from that at the moment.
I promise to do a write up as soon as i can.

2100 miles,
500 of them in dirt, and a bunch of those in 4Lo.
one day we did 62 miles in 8 hours.
Tommy's first offroad trip in 2 years since his accident.
 

85Yota

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Awesome trip but here was our starting itinerary.
Couple days somewhat changed since I blew up the front diff on 10/21 on way to Bay if LA

Fri 10/14 - San Diego to Guerrero negro
sat 10/15 - GN - Todos santos
sun 10/16 - vacation day, stay in todos santos
Mon 10/17 - TS to LA Paz via Cabo
Tues 10/18 - La Paz to Loreto
wed 10/19 - loreto to scorpion bay
Thurs 10/20 - scorpion bay to maybe Santa rosalia or San Ignacio. no hotel yet
Fri 10/21 - somewhere to Bay of LA. no hotel yet
sat 10/22 - BoLA to San Felipe
sun 10/23 - vacation day
Mon 10/24 - drive home
 

DesertGoat

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Tommy already gave you guys the top level of the trip, so here I go filling in some details.
Days 1 & 2 the idea was to cannonball to Todos Santos, long highway days - no offroading.
Make as much progress down the peninsula when the vacation is fresh so that the looming drive all the way home isn't hanging over our heads the whole trip.
We made it to Guerrero Negro in really good time so we decided to pivot a little bit and go in search of a "secret beach" I had heard about.
I did a shit ton of google earth prerunning & even found and old earthlink web post of some dude that documented all the lighthouses of Baja in order to find this place.
it was worth it.

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until Tommy got his truck stuck on the first freakin' day.
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Back to town & our hotel but first: tacos.
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DesertGoat

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Day 2
Cannonball to Todos Santos from Guerrero Negro.

hit the road early in the morning.
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Stopped in Santa Rosalia for some morning pastries & to check out the Eifel Church.
yeah, same guy as the Eifel Tower.
the local mining company that founded the town had their big cheese boss go to the World's Fair in Belgium in the 1800s and bought this church from the world's fair where it won some award. he then had it friggin' ocean-freighted all the way to the east coast of Baja to his town where it still stands today.
it's not a super impressive building by modern standards but the history behind it is mind boggling.
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Quick stop in Mulege to check out the mission
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Eventually made it to Todos Santos and our AirBnb where this view awaited us:
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we spent a layover day in Todos Santos chilling out from all the highway miles & just enjoying the town.
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smoked Bone marrow from Jazamango. Dude is chasing after a michelin star and the food at this place blew us away with the quality.
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the view from his little couryard ain't bad either.
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DesertGoat

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Day 3, Todos Santos to La Paz.

drove into Cabo for breakfast & to have a little walkabout. Pretty cool experience. Trevor had been coming to this place since he was a teenager and he was talking about how surreal it was to have his own car in that town that he "knew" so well from all those years. Driving in and having his own transportation really demystified the place and it was cool to be a part of.
Anyway we valet'd our trucks, had a drink at La oficina right on the beach and jumped in the water.
there's something to say about driving all the way down the peninsula and getting in the ocean. Something completionist about it.

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Feelings over, time for dirt.
We drove around the coastline following the water on the east side.
first dirt:
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best dirt:
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further up the road i decided we should try to maneuver our way through this river wash. It looked passable at first. It wasn't no bigs though we just had to backtrack a bit.
In hindsight this should have been my first clue that the hurricane had SIGNIFICANTLY changed the accessibility of much of the dirt roads. throughout baja.
Serious foreshadowing for later in the trip that I didn't pay enough attention to.
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we made it 1/4 mile down this little trail before we decided to say "the heck with that" and save the paint on the trucks
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that choice rewarded us with some highway miles but we got to drive into la paz with this view:
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DesertGoat

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Day 4, La Paz to Loreto. Beginning of the fuckery.

La Paz, as the kids say, friggin' slaps.
What a cool town, I would come back here noooooooo problem. So rad. Don't think I need to spend much more time in Cabo but La Paz? yeah.
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Continued up the east coast, such a friggin' epic drive. The road is pretty smooth, the view is epic.
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Pulled off and went for a swim here:
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aaaaaaaand then the road ends. Sort of.
You end up at the end of the coast in a very small little pueblo right on the coast. To the north of them the mountains run right up against the water. Impassable.
So the road turns west and into the mountains through a canyon to head back towards the middle of the peninsula.
And like i said before, the road to this point was really damn good. The road afterwards? friggin frigged.
The hurricane, i believe, washed down an incredible amount of rock fall onto the trail and made for some rough going.

In the group one of the guys, Ryan from AccuTune, is a former rock crawl junkie. Trevor has 35s and lockers and rock rails and drives patiently.
But ol' Tommy Nipples is a desert rat that's never rock crawled before (new info to me!) and is hitting the full stinky pedal all the way up through this shit and scaring the bajeezus out of the 3 of us because none of us want to change an axle on this funked up trail.

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Eventually he falls into a hole cause he's a dummy. At least the view was good.
Bad lines, good times or something something
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please don't burn the sequioa down like this truck...
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We bitch about the rocks but lezbehonest.... we were in a beautiful place
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Eventually, after much coaching about throttle control and tire placement and using rocks as tractions instead of obstacles... Tommy's truck transforms into the Torta and becomes a rock crawling machine and we start making progress
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The road smoothed out and we end up at a mission, running low on fuel. We were pretty tired at this point and I don't even remember the name of this one
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everyone at this point is suffering from a diagnosis of Low T so we pull into town and solve that problem right away:
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Highway the rest of the miles to Loreto before dark. no photos.
 

DesertGoat

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Loreto was pretty decent, super sleepy & slow paced. neat little town though
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Drove over to San Javier. Seriously beautiful mission tucked back in this epic canyon. Worth a stop if you find yourself nearby.
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From San Javier it's back in the dirt & we're on the way to San Juanico (scorpion bay).
today should be easy, short on the miles.
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Over by La Purisima, we stop to check out another very small mission
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Back down the road & we're aiming to get into Scorpion bay by the early afternoon for some beach chillin'
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Where's the road gone? oh well, time to find a way through.
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I also wanna say, at some point on this road we pass a dude in a full size sprinter van and a couple of his buddies on bikes. We're stopped for a minute to chat with these guys and we're trading notes on the routes since we're doing opposite directions of the same stuff.
We show him our plan to go from San Juanico to Mulege through the canyon and he goes "dude that road is 10x worse than what you're about to go through here. Don't even try it, seriously"

yeah, okay buddy.

anyways, we make it to Scorpion bay and put it into relaxation mode.
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DesertGoat

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Day 6 - The Baddest of Lines

The plan was to do ~80 miles of dirt early in the day and end up at the Bay of Conception for some epic beach chillin' and good photos. Then we'd finish up with a little highway and maybe stay in Mulege, Santa rosalia or maybe even san ignacio.
We didn't predict what was about to happen.

The night before we had a conversation "so should we go this way despite Sprinter-guy's warning? or do we do the thing I've done before & go north straight to san ignacio? we miss the beach though.
We basically concluded that Sprinter guy is full of crap and we don't suck at offroading and our trucks are smaller, how bad can it be?

bad.
very bad.

Like.. i'm going to do my best to describe how messed up this was and the photos aren't going to look that bad... but no words are going to describe properly.
So what had happened was... the hurricane messed this road up even worse than the one from earlier in the trip.
The road was legitimately marked on google maps... you can see it.
for real: https://goo.gl/maps/zeE9YsbZFQLnWVFR7

but when we pulled through here what we discovered is that the "road" was only ever at best a dirt road with packed down rocks.
But that wasn't even the worst part... the hurricane raised the river levels so high that it washed out massive sections of the road.
So we'd be following on a clearly marked trail and then it would just... vanish.
and we're staring at a river bed and no clue where the trail picks up.
so we're walking through little mini boulder fields trying to find the trail. find it. walk back to the truck. 4Lo our way through the thing, get 200 yards of "trail" and then repeat.

60 miles took us 8 hours.
and I would absolutely do it again. Epic Type 2 fun.

Eventually the trail leveled out near Mulege & we were rewarded with some of the most epic views in this Jurassic Park looking canyon right at dusk. So majestic.
Pulled into a hotel, picked up 2 last-minute rooms and crashed hard. What a day.

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Tommy got a flat from a stray stick. Had an offsize spare. Tommy becomes El Tortuga for being a dummy again.
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where tf is the trail??
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DesertGoat

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From Mulege to Bay Of La
spoiler: we don't make it to Bay of La

first stop is in San Ignacio for some date shakes & to check out the little plaza and yet another mission.
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Then we start hitting dirt taking the fun way into Bay Of La.
We make it ~40 minutes into the dirt and The Torta start reporting he's hearing noises out of his front end and it's steering weird.
He slows up and there's smoke everywhere.
Nothing obvious - shit did you just window the block on this thing?
Nope, blew up the front diff.

considering all the shit we just drove through the past few days that absolutely makes sense.
Well, time to 2wd swap this thing in the middle of the desert.
The trouble: we don't know if we can just disconnect the front driveshaft & axles or not - we need to know how the unit bearing installs to see if we can safely remove the axle shaft and run it.
So trevor and I drive to town to get service & do some googling & buy rags + things from VatoZone.
which, by the way, was the best autozone i've ever been in.

We get conflicting results from the internet. Strangely enough there's not a lot of offroad Sequioa owners out there modifying the 4x4 systems on those rigs, lol. who knew?

We get back with extra cutoff blades & thankfully Trev had a battery powered angle grinder and we disassemble the whole front end, chop the axles at the CVs and put it back together. total of 4 something hours.
Poor Ryan had to listen to Tommy tell stories about his friend Scott, who lives in Todos santos, for almost all of those hours :ROFLMAO:
but we got it back together and got the Torta back on the road.
But we're done with dirt, at this point it's dark and we make for the next closest town to the north, which ends up being the first hotel of the trip too. back in guerrero negro.

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It's all highway from here, but we end up peeling out to San Felipe on that saturday to meet up with the folks from Baja Weekend 2 (more of my friends from back home) and we have ourselves an end-of-the-trip fiesta in town before heading home.
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And a big shout out to the big dummy, Tommy @85Yota
El Tortuga. La Torta.
you talk too damn much sometimes lol... but I'm super stoked you made this trip.
What a statement.
~2 years since the accident, first trip back in the dirt and it was a huge one.
Welcome back to Offroading, officially, amigo.
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Last edited:

85Yota

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Apr 5, 2022
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181
Amazing trip and can't thank the 4 of us for making the trip to tickle the tip. And thanks to Ryan for helping me pull apart the front of the Sequoia in the dirt. For anyone who's wondering the sequoia is still driving around with the chopped front axles and 2wd conversion. It will be 2wd until I build it into a TTB beast. Also my "rock sliders" as I kept calling them are a little bent and dented since they are just plastic side steps.
 
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