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700 MILES SOUTH OF THE MEXICAN BORDER -Scooter Tramp Scotty

Winter’s cold is long and bites deep for a man who travels by motorcycle....Part 1

By Scooter Tramp Scotty
5/26/2014


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(The first story in a series of three)
 
Winter’s cold is long and bites deep for a man who travels by motorcycle and spends most of his nights outside. These frigid months push the nomadic motorcyclists far to the south, and it’s for this reason I long ago began to migrate over the border and deep into Mexico…
 
Baja
Baja

 
Baja
Baja

 
 
As the lonely two-lane highway spread out across the Mexican desert I relaxed farther into the pilot’s seat of the old FL. Strange breeds of huge cactus—some 60-foot tall—spread across the mountains and flat lands. Beat up ranch houses came and went. An occasional town, always with large dirt parking lots standing before the family run stores, restaurants, and taco stands, came then passed quickly as the road continued its solitary journey.
 
Baja
Baja

 
Bikers in Mulege
Bikers in Mulege

 
 
I was not alone. Michelle had been living from the back of her motorcycle for five consecutive years and together we decided to make this ride. The very loose plan had been to cross the border at Tijuana then hang in Baja for a month or two before catching a ship across the Sea of Cortez to the mainland, then cross the bulk of Mexico, reenter the US at Texas, ride to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, then on to Florida for the Daytona rally. Seemed like a reasonable winter plan to me. As usual we’d simply make camp upon the land of our choosing and clean up in the government run gas stations which almost all offered showers for a few pesos.
 
Mulege Canadian Boat
Mulege Canadian Boat

 
Mulege Canadian Boat
Mulege Canadian Boat

 
 
Mulege sets along the Bay of Conception some 635 miles south of the border. Here desert gives way to thick groves of beautiful date-palm trees thriving along the river as it passes through this uncommonly beautiful coastal village. While here, friendly Canadian snowbirds took us in search of dolphins on their boat. After just over a week’s stay we resumed the southbound journey.
 
Bikers in Loreto
Bikers in Loreto

 
Bikers in Loreto
Bikers in Loreto

 
 
When two hours had passed, the slightly larger costal town of Loreto came to view. A small grove of short trees stood beside the tiny dirt road leading us ½ mile beyond the town limits. These would provide shade over our camp for the next week. A local gym offered showers. We settled in around town and, in time, befriended many tourists/snowbirds, and locals as well.
 
Mike and Cholie, Del Borracho Saloon
Mike and Cholie, Del Borracho Saloon

 
Del Borracho Saloon
Del Borracho Saloon

 
The flyer on a storefront window said: “The Baja Bikers MC will be throwing a party at the Del Borracho Saloon. Bands, booze, etc. Everyone’s invited.” Of course we’d go.
 
Party at Del Borracho Saloon
Party at Del Borracho Saloon

 
Party!
Party!

 
Baja Bikers began to arrive two days before their scheduled event and we met many. Their manner was friendly and fun as we accompanied them from bar to bar and even a hotel room or two. Some were American riders who now lived in Mexico.
The day arrived.
 
Party
Party

 
Party
Party

 
The Del Borracho stood alone in the desert some three miles outside of town and it was a challenge to find parking among so many motorcycles already there. Surprisingly, our bikes were a bit ragged when compared to most of the late model Harleys.
The party began…
 
Party
Party

 
 
The large bar on this huge property was packed both inside and out. Barbeques smoked as everyone drank and gorged. Outside, multiple metal bands pumped out tune after defining tune from a slightly elevated portable stage. Below, a crowd of half-lit nut-ward escapees mobbed the dance floor in an atmosphere of anything goes. The mood was almost overly friendly and conversation flowed easily with almost everyone we met. It was a time I would not forget. In Mexico, parties with family and friends are a major part of the native culture and there is not a single law intruding enforcement agency to disturb such a thing.
 
 
 
 
Eventually however, time passed into the small hours of late night stillness.
Most of the crowd had gone home as we sat at the bar/restaurant with only a few stragglers and the establishment’s owners. Conversation became more personal as I listened intently to the tales of their journey. Mike and Cholie are both gringos from the U.S. Some years prior to life in Mexico they’d worked as captain and caretakers aboard a movie star’s huge yacht. Eventually they migrated south to buy this property then build their house, garage, and the Del Borracho Saloon. Mike had once been a member of an American MC and although no longer affiliated, still kept his Shovelhead parked in his big freestanding garage. Beside it sat a few motorcycles belonging to friends, many tools, odds and ends, and his high powered dirt dragster. Mike seemed uncommonly interested in our gypsy ways and this attraction tightened our bond even more.
 
We were invited to make camp upon their land. But I’d already chosen a more secluded spot in the nearby desert. The land had been my home for many years and in its embrace is where I feel most comfortable. Obviously however, we’d cruise by in the morning for breakfast and a spin in the hot, open air, shower stall attached to the garage.
 
 
 
Tomorrow would be a day of leisure, and Mike brought up the idea of a beach outing with a few friends and ourselves piled into their SUV. How could we say no?
 
 
It was another fine morning and warm sunshine again dominated this southern latitude. Mike and Cholie’s SUV brought our little band of six souls to a great family restaurant. The mood was light and talkative on this fine day. Breakfast was a parody of comedy…some of it quite dirty by church standards. When finished, Mike took care of the bill and all piled back into the truck for the 30-mile journey north to his “special” beach. The mood was high and comedy continued to reign.
 
 
The SUV came upon a military check point and we were made to stop. Most of our associates held cans of beer in their hands as they stepped from the vehicle. All stood nearby, swilled beer, and flapped jaws while waiting for the army guys to finish their job. Mike laughed as the empty beer cans spilled from his truck and onto the ground while the vehicle was searched. The military men grinned back. Having lived in Mexico for so long, Mike was no stranger to this procedure. He told me that they were just looking for guns or drugs and we’d be on our way soon as they finished their job. But I already knew of this from personal experience; although they seldom, if ever, really search Betsy.
 
 
The winter beach was sunny, warm, and quite drunken. The day’s remainder passed in a blur and before I knew it we were back at the Del Borracho. This bar, by the way, was originally supposed to be the “El Boreacho” (The Drunk, in English) except that the sign painter misspelled the name. Mike just went with it. This is, after all, Mexico and one can simply NOT expect perfection down here. Betsy fit right in.
 
 
 
We spent another week in Loreto. After all, there was no real hurry. Old man winter still held the frigid north in his grip, and this icy realm would not condone motorcycle travel up there for months to come. 
 
Beach outing in Mike and Cholie's SUV
Beach outing in Mike and Cholie's SUV

 
 
But the call of itchy feet began to sing their song once again. The bigger city of La Paz awaited some few hundred miles to the south. A course was set. Little did I know that these recent adventures were only the very tip of what lay ahead….
 
But then, that’s another story.
Scooter Tramp Scotty 
 
Part Two and Three coming soon......stay tuned! 
 
Find Scotty on Facebook
Find Scotty on Facebook

 
 
 

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