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Catavina Hub RR--A little singletrack before baja bites back

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This was mentioned in another thread, so I thought I'd throw a little ride report together. Our plan was that we really did not want to lug heavy packs and do a destination type ride, so we decided to base out of Catavina and run some day loops in different directions. There were 7 of us on 3 WR's, 3 KTM's and a CRF450R. We had a number of different options for each day and wanted to keep our plans loose so we could change them on a whim. We lost 4 from our original 7 from the year before and brought in 4 more this year.

Last year we hit the border at about 3 am to drive to San Quintin and then ride about 130 miles to Catavina, which was a mistake. We were just too tired from getting up at 1 am and then trying to ride after a long drive. This year it was just a nice relaxed drive to Catavina with no real urgency at all on day 1.

As we were getting ready to get dinner at the hotel, we ran into a group of about 8-9 guys from AZ that had arrived from San Felipe via the rock trail. The rock trail was to be our last day's ride--maybe. So asking a couple of the guys how the rock trail was, the response I got was mostly just "ok". I don't think I've ever heard anyone rave about that trail and because of it I figure it is just something that needs to be crossed off my baja bucket list and move on. So being from AZ, some of these guys knew Bill Nichols and had ridden with him. Needless to say, they knew where all his stuff was in the area. They had mentioned a section of singletrack in the Catavina area that they also did before hitting the hotel (they had chase) and just raved about it. I asked a few more questions about it an was able to confirm that it was one of my 3 options for our first ride day. The other two options were to the Pacific coast. After dinner, I wasted no time talking everyone out of the coast loops we had so we could run this trail.

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--Day 2 to follow--

Edited by OUTERLIMITS

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We are heading down next week to do similar to what you did last year. The first day will depend on how late we get to San Quintin. 4 guys and 6 days. The problem I have with leaving my pack in the Hotel is it seems like everytime I do it I need what I left behind. Nothing worse than having somebody breakdown and realize you have to spend the night in the desert with no jacket or Tequila.

Can't wait to the Rest of The Story.

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Nothing worse than having somebody breakdown and realize you have to spend the night in the desert with no jacket or Tequila.

Can't wait to the Rest of The Story.

I can solve 50% of that problem. Just bring the tequila, then the jacket will be redundant and not needed. :busted:

I'll add some stuff later tonight, still at work for the next coupla hours.

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Day 2 began with pretty awesome conditions, no rain, but the sky was pretty clouded over and cool. Still, you could get by w/o a jacketl which was a big plus.

Getting ready in front of the hotel

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A good time to slip in the rock

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There are a couple of different 2-tracks on the east side of the highway more or less running parallel to the highway goining north. The one we rode on last year was a real rocky in places, but still fun. This time we jumped on one that was pretty fast and not whooped.

I think both roads have you cross paths here at this little wind driven water well. A nice deep concrete water trough I imagine for the animals. Lots of horse/cow trails around here.

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Rock, paper, scissors to determine who is going to drink from the trough.

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We eventually pop out on the highway and take it a bit farther north. Surprisingly we've goofed around for about 50 miles and I know we still had at least 60 miles to go, maybe more. A couple of the guys head back down the highway to grab a couple of gallons at a Shell station they saw. Meanwhile the rest of us wait around for an eternity and while sitting still I now wish I had a jacket. Larry takes the opportunity for a siesta.

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Once everybody is gathered back up, we hit the trail. I don't know what this trail is called, but I'd say it is about 10-15 miles long for the singletrack portion. It's in good condition and I'm glad we took it in the somewhat downhill direction to keep from chewing it up when it eventually goes through the ravines.

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Sorry, was out of town for a few days. Here's a little more of day 2 (first ride day).

Andres just flowing along

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Ben, heading downhill

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The trail ahead

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Mid trail pit stop

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Larry getting ready for siesta #2

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Now this was fun. After we got off the singletrack and onto 2-track we were looking around for more options. We found a couple of cow trails to follow that were actually pretty fun, but only recorded one. This is the first one which was a little straighter and allowed 2nd gear. The second one was first gear only as it was much tighter, but also more burned in and easier to follow. There were only hoof marks on these, no tire tracks. If you ever come across these things, they can be a lot of fun as long as they don't take you too far from your intended route. They do tend to pass closer to cactus and things than normal singletrack though. I'm guessing milege for the two trails before we had to abandon them to get back on track was maybe 3-4 miles only. The second part of the video was some real fun 2-track that took us through some amazing valley's and vistas.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Ceestas92#p/u/21/18ExiSXzh1I

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Somewhere along the way our 2-track ran into a gulley and kind of vanished for a short while allowing us to hone our endurocross and bushwacking skills.

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Thanks for the update. We leave Tuesday night from the SF Bay Area. When did Baja Bite? I want to watch out for the teeth.

Edited by DIRTDOGS
can't speeel

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awesome trip man. I know we saw some of your tracks when I was down there about the same time. That part of Baja is awesome, open and free.

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awesome trip man. I know we saw some of your tracks when I was down there about the same time. That part of Baja is awesome, open and free.

I'am In need of some of that kind of sick freedom!!

Rad report and pics...

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Day 3

This day was sort of a deviation from our idea of just doing day rides out of Catavina. The plan was for an overnighter in BoLA and then a return the next day. After deciding that morning to cut off has much highway as possible, we planned to go down Fred's tractor trail and swing by Coco's. It had been 5 years for me and I had forgotten how rocky the top section gets before the drop. I don't think any of the guys got any pics of the top flat part. Not sure why as it's a little challenging in places on it's own.

Here is right before the drop down Fred's

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Someone we know has been here recently

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Here's a clip of the descent, me following Ben

http://www.youtube.com/user/outerlimits92129?feature=mhee#p/a/u/1/_ZJS0Y7hiLo

If you were to go up, pretty much the whole thing would be a challenge, but going down the only place to watch is at about 3/4 of the way down where the rocks get a little looser and more jagged.

Gathering everyone at the bottom. Ben with the thumbs up, no falls for him and therefore nothing broken

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Larry went down, as did I. Larry's reward was a custom two finger clutch lever

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fred's is a fun scenic decent,down to the cortez side of baja. i would like to try it up one day, it's probably tuff er than it looks climbing up those loose rocks. the white sand roads at the bottom are the stuff that keeps me coming back to baja year after year!

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The wash at the bottom is kinda fun. Not a sand wash really and there are a few different ways to flow downstream. The key is to stay to the left more or less until you find the 2-track coming out of the wash on the right side. We basically followed some tracks that we could see through the wash.

Here is some video from the Bubbacam

http://www.youtube.com/user/Ceestas92#p/u/12/9TZwYgxpzBU

I dropped it in here and as a result, received a 2-finger brake lever to match Larry's clutch lever

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From there just a short jaunt to say hello to Coco.

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Something you all probably know, but worth mentioning. Most of the time, unless you are staying at Gonzaga Bay, Coco's is just a quick pit stop. Just don't tell him that. Morgan made the mistake of announcing that we would only stay a few minutes. This did not sit well with the man. Here he is about ready to drop a 55 gallon drum of whoop ass on Morgan if he says it again.....and of course for those of us looking on, we're hoping he does.

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Man I was there a few weeks ago when that Desert Assassins sticker was put on that rock.

Its cools to see a picture of it so soon after.

Missing it big time looking at your pics! Fred's is awesome!

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Love the report and the photos. Glad you guys had a good time. Just seeing the trails makes me want to go back now.

We rode up Fred's this year, interesting. Brian Campbell "cleaned" it and there were a few single dabs but I threw my bike down in the rocks in the mentioned tough part when descending......

The meet spot at the base of the decent/climb is one of my favorite spots on the Baja. The amount of unique cactus and trees are so cool and photos here are a much. Elephant Trees, Boojum's and Cardon's stand together in this beautiful spot.

Bill Nichol is a bad dude and all of us owe him a debt of gratitude for all the effort he has put in to open the Baja to us by way of his epic trails.

Enjoy and be safe

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Bill Nichol is a bad dude and all of us owe him a debt of gratitude for all the effort he has put in to open the Baja to us by way of his epic trails.

10-4, hope to meet him someday!

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There was no ass kicking to be had at Coco's so it was time to move on.

We took a little time to play on Chapala dry lake, but only took a couple of pictures. I think this is Ben and I passing by a few of the others that had stopped.

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It turned out that Andres was smelling coolant as he was on the lake bed. He apparently checked his fluid level somewhere on the wash below Fred's and did not get his radiator cap on all the way. He has a 450R with no catch tank so he can't just look at the fluid level. He said he'd meet us at the BoLA turnoff and look around for a new cap, so we set out for some trail.

Here we take a few minutes to gather everyone up before winding through the desert. Larry finds a nice soft spot for another one of his now legendary naps :lol:

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Despite the photo title, I don't believe this is actually considered a part of the Wondow Rock trail, but not sure what it's really called.

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Coming up on a little rise

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It's good to gather everyone up every few miles even if there is basically only one way to go.

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On top of this rise we see a cloud of dust headiing for us and these guys are just rippin'. They stop to chat on top of the hill and as it turns out, they are the group we saw from AZ at the hotel the first night. As it rained a little the night before they said we needed to boogie to Window Rock before it all dried up.

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"Despite the photo title, I don't believe this is actually considered a part of the Wondow Rock trail, but not sure what it's really called."

Iv'e heard it named after Jimmy Sones, I guess that means he originally burned it in. I wouldn't be surprised if it was another one of Bill Nichol's gems though.

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Iv'e heard it named after Jimmy Sones, I guess that means he originally burned it in. I wouldn't be surprised if it was another one of Bill Nichol's gems though.

+1:thumbsup:

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Iv'e heard it named after Jimmy Sones, I guess that means he originally burned it in. I wouldn't be surprised if it was another one of Bill Nichol's gems though.

Agree. Not sure who the builder is, but it's a great trail and we definitely owe him. Not the most spectacular vegetation along this trail, but the trail itself is in good shape and not thrashed.

Here is a clip of maybe the first 3rd of it or so

http://www.youtube.com/user/outerlimits92129?feature=mhee#p/a/u/0/JVuWlxJsUBs

Here is Bubba navigating the least fun part of it (IMO) with the 6.6 gallon mothership. We all love sand, but this part will give you a little workout

http://www.youtube.com/user/Ceestas92#p/u/15/zdnpUCzSyQk

Another popular place to stop along the trail. We stopped far too much, but erred on the side of caution this time much more than last time.

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