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Author: Subject: Salsipuedes Canyon by Fatbike
DosMars
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[*] posted on 1-23-2014 at 11:24 AM


Awesome photos Mark! Too bad the timing didn't work out better. I just realized I'm about to tap out on my vacation hours... If you'd had more of a heads up from work it would have been great to rendezvous down there for another week to scout out that second roUte in from the dry lakes.

I'm going to use up a couple of days next weekend and do four days north of gonzagas.
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[*] posted on 1-23-2014 at 12:51 PM


Spectacular country!

It's no wonder that you were attracted to it. It's like Catavina without the highway. Even better.
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[*] posted on 1-23-2014 at 10:48 PM


Mark, the rental car was adding up every day... we'll see how work goes. If I get laid off I may try again but I want to go with one or more other people, and I don't want to bring a rental car down. My bike should be done soon.
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[*] posted on 1-23-2014 at 11:31 PM


Mark_BC, now that you are 'known' and shared your trip photos, etc., you should find it easier to find a Nomad who can toss your bike into his truck and drop you off... then when he is done fishing or surfing, to pick up up for the ride home... maybe???



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[*] posted on 1-23-2014 at 11:41 PM


perhaps.... sure would be fun.



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[*] posted on 1-24-2014 at 02:31 AM


"I started worrying about the gear I had left behind so I decided to hike back and camp where I did the previous night."

may i ask why you were worried about your gear. it doesn't look like people would be an issue in there?




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[*] posted on 1-24-2014 at 01:38 PM


I tied my bike up low down so if it started to rain half my stuff would have gotten washed away. And if anything had food smells on it animals could have gotten in.

Mostly irrational concerns I know, but I have discovered that's how I work. I take comfort in my material physical equipment when travelling and if I'm not in control of it and it's not in good order I get anxious.
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[*] posted on 1-24-2014 at 01:39 PM


:light:



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[*] posted on 1-26-2014 at 11:05 PM


Just a couple photos from the next day. I decided to backtrack out and try from the east entrance. It would take a few days to get to Bay of LA so on my way back out I stopped to filter some water at the stream. I went up as far as I felt like going but there was still cow chit everywhere. I know the filter takes out multicellular organisms but not virsuses. I think cows are pretty clean but to be safe I added iodine tablets. This made the water taste really bad so I preferentially used my clean water. It turns out that my 22 liters of water lasted almost the whole of 7 days. It worked out to 3.5 liters per day. That's pretty good because I don't sweat much. If it was summer I'm sure I'd go through a lot more.

I went out a different way than when I came in. I followed the cow trails out and avoided the cliff. The exit is here: 29 15.875' N 114 0.914' W. It was a lot longer and harder than I expected because it has to wind all back and forth around the rock formations. To go 300 m probably took 1500 m of trail.

I took the trailer off and did it twice: once with the bike and once with the trailer. These shots are somewhere around 29 15.685' N 114 0.943' W





I'd encounter cows going back in as I was going out. They'd be a bit startled. With one I just waved her through and intuitively she knew what the wave meant and relaxed. Maybe I'm a cow whisperer...

It took all day to get out. I was worried it might start raining because it was really clouding over and I swear once I felt some drizzle. So I was racing to set up the tent. I forgot my Spot back near the first campsite I was going to set up in at the head of the canyon (decided that would be a bad idea if it started to rain!) so I rushed back before dark and in the process screwed up the derailleur somehow so I couldn't shift the rear gears. Here is where I ended up camping. I can't find my GPS but it was about here, with the cows in the background:
29 15.493' N 114 1.267' W


It was here that I learned a lesson I should have known before: don't bring a Thermarest to Mexico, it will just pop. There was lots of vegetation in that spot, with thorns inevitably on the ground. So I had a hard bed that night. I should have brought a regular foamy that can't pop.

Also, I left the zipper open with about a 6 inch slit and I turned on my flashlight for some reason not too long after dark and a big 4" stick insect somehow managed to get through the slit and was hanging on the inside of the tent!

It didn't rain and wasn't too windy. Tomorrow I'd see how far down the road I get.
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[*] posted on 1-27-2014 at 12:01 AM


Wow, what a great adventure! Thank you for posting photos. Love the hummingbird image. Beautiful countryside.

going solo was courageous, maybe on the return you can find some companions.

What water filter did you use? Too bad about the cows- iodine flavor is hard to mask. You will definitely need more water later in the year as it warms up. Maybe bring some of the electrolyte mixes or flavored powders to add in?

I look forward to your return.




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[*] posted on 1-27-2014 at 10:10 AM


A really great report and photos. Your writing style and honesty is very refreshing, and I salute you for that. What an adventure------and what an Adventurer you are!!!

Thank you for sharing it with all of us. Nobody ever said that particular regional geography was "easy", and you appear to be proving that in spades!!! and your pictures reveal it--------just spectacular!!!

Barry
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[*] posted on 1-28-2014 at 12:10 PM


Next time - and I will never doubt you will do it again - I will try to be available to accompany/carry you to the end of the road even if there is another vehicle along. Always better to have two vehicles. I have been in the area before.

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[*] posted on 1-29-2014 at 01:02 AM


Thanks Neal.

I'm uploading larger photos now. Here is a shot from the previous day with my GoPro mounted on the trailer looking forward. It is me pushing the bike over some rocks in the wash. I think it was here: 29 16.161' N 114 0.579' W



The next morning I explored a little bit around the area and went up some rocks to take panorama shots. These two shots are from the same spot.
29 15.514' N 114 1.310' W
Looking north:


Looking south-east:

In the above photo, the highest peak on the right is probably at this location: 29 15.350' N 114 0.940' W so you can see how GE really levels out the terrain! Basically, when you see rocky areas in GE you have to assume it's very steep even though the elevation information doesn't reveal that.

Looking south-east 29 15.592' N 114 1.203' W


You have to watch out for those chollas! They drop off chunks that start new cholla bushes but they'll go through the bike tire pretty easily. This was in the same vicinity.


I headed back down. I should have GPS'd the gate. But it is within a few hundred meters of my campsite, at most a km. I found a chisel on the road on the way up and forgot to see if it was Jimmy's when he came to see me. So I tied it to the gate ropes where the next person would see it.



Coyote and bike tracks:


I was expecting a mostly downhill ride back out but holy cow that road sure goes up and down a lot, I guess that's why it isn't straight! It seemed harder than coming in, but that's probably because I was expecting it to be downhill. I got a little confused when I saw more junctions than I remember coming in. When I left the hilly area and got to the straight sections I really flew. But I still couldn't change my rear gears so I put the chain in a middle cog and then had to get by with two gears corresponding to the two front chainrings -- low and medium. It worked OK.

The wind was blowing hard from the north so my plan was to turn south-east at the Y junction 2 km from the highway and high tail it over with a tail wind to the Desangano mine ruins to camp. That was a lot of fun rolling over the whoopdeedoos in the sandy track with the wind blowing from behind.

Somewhere around 29 10.977' N 114 5.772' W


Somewhere around 29 8.261' N 114 5.132' W looking north


Same spot:


I think this one was here:
29 7.284' N 114 2.494' W


29 7.090' N 114 2.240' W


Careful where you walk. I wonder how many cows have fallen in. 29 6.981' N 114 1.886' W


It was pretty windy and I set up camp in the most sheltered spot I could find behind a line of trees.
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[*] posted on 1-29-2014 at 06:51 AM


Quote:
Originally posted by Mark_BC

Careful where you walk. I wonder how many cows have fallen in. 29 6.981' N 114 1.886' W


It was pretty windy and I set up camp in the most sheltered spot I could find behind a line of trees.


This picture contains the remnants of the corner of a building that is all but gone. Maybe the Lost Mission?

That should perk up DK's ears. :lol::lol:
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[*] posted on 1-29-2014 at 07:12 AM


I love those panorama shots. That's some fine country in there.
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[*] posted on 1-29-2014 at 09:27 AM


Picture #4 "looking south" shows what appears to be an old jeep-type track-------------is it actually a veh. 2-track ??

Barry
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[*] posted on 1-29-2014 at 01:51 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by Skipjack Joe
Quote:
Originally posted by Mark_BC

Careful where you walk. I wonder how many cows have fallen in. 29 6.981' N 114 1.886' W


It was pretty windy and I set up camp in the most sheltered spot I could find behind a line of trees.


This picture contains the remnants of the corner of a building that is all but gone. Maybe the Lost Mission?

That should perk up DK's ears. :lol::lol:


It is the remains of one of the houses at El Desengao (gold mine from early 1900's-1930's)... maybe a bit after. In 1967, I saw several standing adobes here. The Baja Adventure Book says there is a Model A or ? down one of the mine shafts!




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[*] posted on 1-29-2014 at 04:09 PM


Beautiful pictures and country, thanks.
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[*] posted on 1-29-2014 at 10:03 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by Barry A.
Picture #4 "looking south" shows what appears to be an old jeep-type track-------------is it actually a veh. 2-track ??

Barry


It goes into what looked like a paddock. It looks like from GE there is another road just beyond there. There are a few tracks going various places, it would be interesting to explore them.

Camp in morning:


The next morning I headed over to the highway. The road got sandy but the bike can handle it. On the final wash, however, before reaching the highway, the track was very sandy with deep wheel ruts. That made it too hard to ride, not because the wheels were sinking in, but because at low speed you have to turn the wheel back and forth to maintain balance, but that was hitting the sides of the ruts and causing me to lose momentum. Even the motorbike tracks suggested they were having trouble.

Next two shots somewhere around here: 29 4.149' N 114 0.512' W
Looking north:


Looking south:


At the highway I saw this buzzard:


When I got to the highway I did something foolish and pulled out the thorns from the front tire. Of course they started hissing when I did that so I had to change the tube, and make sure that any other thorns in the tire were removed. Next time I'll use the Stan's puncture sealing goo. I didn't have time to sort that out this time.
29 3.703' N 113 59.967' W


I went down the highway which seemed very slow, almost slower than the sandy tracks. Maybe not, but it was much more pleasant riding off road. I wish I had loaded more GE into the cache of my iPhone beforehand because it turns out there are a lot more tracks in this area which would have allowed me to avoid the highway for quite a ways. In TW's recent trip report, he went up to Yubay, and there is actually a road leading from way up near Salsipedes that goes right by Yubay. It branches off the Salsipuedes road here: 29 14.768' N 114 1.248' W and goes by Yubay in this vicinity: 29 12.450' N 114 0.579' W. And then the road continues towards Bay of LA here: 29 4.628' N 113 57.989' W but eventually you have to go on the highway before you get to the dry lakes.

This bike is great for riding through the desert. I could go about half the speed you'd go in a vehicle and in some ways it offers even more freedom because it's easy to get over rough spots and you don't have to worry about 3000 lb of metal breaking down and leaving you stranded. I can haul a week's worth of water with me so I'd love to explore more of these areas by bike. Just have to spend more time on GE now.

Approaching the dry lake:




I was hoping to turn off at the turnoff to Mission de San Borja but there wasn't much cover there. I was getting really tired and run down from running the big fat tires with low pressure on the highway. I continued on a couple more km and pushed the bike 100 m off highway through the desert to find a nice spot in a little wash:
Somewhere around: 28 58.488' N 113 43.026' W


That night the coyotes came by around midnight. They were on either side of my tent yipping, probably a few hundred feet away but they sure sounded close. I was freaking out; they sound terrifying. But afterwards I checked the internet and serious attacks on adults are basically unheard of so I was safe.

A few other cholla species to be wary of:


This is the water pipe supplying Bay of LA from a well at the dry lake. I wonder what happens if a car goes off the road and breaks it...
28 58.434' N 113 36.254' W


It only took an hour or so to get to the final descent into Bay of LA. 28 58.879' N 113 34.916' W


Another shot of a buzzard, at Villa Bahia:


I got in with half a litre of water left! I was going to re-organize for a couple days and then go up the dry lakes and hike in to Salsipuedes from the eastern side to see what the terrain was like there. I didn't have the time or food to actually go down, it would just be a scoping mission.

[Edited on 1-30-2014 by Mark_BC]
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[*] posted on 1-29-2014 at 11:02 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by Mark_BC

This is the water pipe supplying Bay of LA from a well at the dry lake. I wonder what happens if a car goes off the road and breaks it...



Long lines to get water at the spring in town.

[Edited on 1-30-2014 by bkbend]
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