From Bahia de Los Angeles we headed back to Catavina via the 22 day trail. We had ridden the section of the 22 day trail between BoLA and the highway in previous years, but none of us had ever ridden the trail past the highway to the pacific. This became a goal. After getting gas from our chase van at the highway, we ventured off into the unknown. The remainder of the 22 day trail is absolutely amazing!!! I was in heaven and feeling right at home in the technical single track. Everybody in our group made it through with no huge issues...just 1 flat tire about a mile from the end of the single track. From there we connected to a portion of the 1000 course and made it back to the highway by Catavina about an hour after dark. It was a great day and we were all beat but ecstatic at the same time.
The following day was short but sweet as we made our way from Catavina to Gonzaga Bay via Fred's Tractor trail. Of course we stopped to say hola to Coco. This was the 3rd time I've been to his corner, but the first time that he was there for me to meet him. He's kind of creepy, but nice and I'm glad I got to finally meet a Baja legend. I did find myself getting into a fight with a cactus in the wash on Fred's though and that was not fun! I'm pretty sure there is still cactus in my hands, arm and quad, but I guess I'll consider those souvenirs.
The next two days were easy as we made our way from Gonzaga to San Felipe and then up to Mike's Sky Ranch. On the way to San Felipe we scoped out the start of the Rock trail. This trail is on the menu for the next trip. I hear it's not very fun, but one of those trails that you just have to do. We did have the opportunity to meet another legend in Gonzaga and get some trail advice from him. Trackmaster has been obsessed with finding a way up the Santa Maria wash so he was quizzing Malcolm. I took some time during low tide to hike the hill across from Gonzaga Bay while my husband and Trackmaster explored on the dirt bikes and the other guys sat on the beach.
From Mike's we headed out to Kurt Caselli's memorial along the 1000 course. It was very important to my husband and myself to stop here. We were working 2 of the KTM pits, Pit 1 and Pit 16, during the race and were both devastated when we found out that Kurt had not made it. From there, we rode to where Pit 1 was and relived the memory of seeing Kurt come tearing into the pit, getting gas, and then grabbing 4 gears within 50 feet. It was very impressive to witness. Then we cut over to where Pit 16 was and relived the memory of waiting and waiting for Kurt to come and then finally getting word that he had passed. I think it was good for us to do this because it helped bring closure to our hearts. The day ended with some sweet single track that we took into Rancho Santa Veronica.
In the end, we rode roughly 1200 miles with an elevation gain of 75,788 feet...which probably explains why this years ride seemed much more exhausting than last year's even though that was more mileage. I cannot wait to get back to Baja and explore some more trails! Thanks Trackmaster for the awesome ride! You're awesome!