Motorcycling Mainland Mexico and Baja Peninsula

Motorcling Trip #4

10 days, 1,800 miles, Feb 2012

Ray & Jenny Jardine

Day 1 2012-02-06 page 1 of 10

Our Moto-Baja trip was extra special to both of us because for once Jenny wanted to go with me (The basic trip was her idea) and I enjoyed having her along. And I think she enjoyed the trip as well.

* * * * *

Arizona City to Nogales

We were already about 90 percent packed and ready, so this morning Ray had just a few more items to pack while I drove Camper to the kennels. By noon we were finished with these last jobs and were ready to depart. We checked the air pressure in the tires on the motorcycles one more time, then locked the house and wheeled out the driveway, at 12:10 pm.

Ray has been on several solo motorcycle trips, but finally I am able to join him on this short jaunt south into Mexico. I'm still a newbie, so although I'm excited about the upcoming travel, I have to admit I still get a bit nervous when I gear up. I've been practicing with Ray two or three times a week, riding the bike off-road and going for longer day trips on the pavement.

Also, I try to learn from Ray as much as I can about maintenance and repair of the bike, so I feel confident that my bike and I are ready for this trip, and I'm looking forward to the ride.

Stopping for a short break near Picacho Peak in order to photograph the poppies already blooming alongside the road.

We drove the Interstate 10 Frontage Road to Red Rock, stopping for a short break near Picacho Peak in order to photograph the poppies already blooming alongside the road.

The Interstate 10 traffic did not look too bad so we decided to ride the slab for a while. Another short break at Marana, followed by a short stretch of frontage road, and then back onto the interstate through Tucson. The Tucson traffic was manageable, and soon we were southbound on Highway 19 to Nogales.

I noticed the turnoff for Madera Canyon, and thought about the hummingbirds and other migrating birds that visit this area. Just then in my peripheral vision I saw a couple of hummingbirds zing by.

Our objective for the afternoon was a motel in Nogales, which would then put us in a good position for an early departure in the morning, for the border crossing and points south. The southbound traffic became heavier the closer we got to Nogales; even the border towns, and the crossing itself, have rush hour traffic.

We took exit #4, Mariposa Road and headed for the closest hotels. The first two we looked at did not have secure parking for the motorcycles - we prefer to have a room on the ground floor, with a door that opens to the parking lot, where we can park the bikes right in front of the room, and can see them from the window. On the east side of Highway 19 we found what we were looking for. The time was 4:00 pm.

The riding today was fun, which I knew it would be; even riding the slab was ok. The motorcycles are running excellent, thanks to all the work Ray has done getting them ready. Time to go oil the chains before it gets dark.

Tomorrow morning's agenda: check air pressure, get gas and drinking water, change some dollars into pesos, and proceed the last four miles to the border crossing.

130 miles in 4 hours

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