Robin and I were riding through the flattest stretch of road we have experienced in all of Baja. Strong side winds were keeping us at a slow crawl through the otherwise unbearable heat. Up to this point we had seen one other biker, a sad and struggling Eli and who knows what happened to him. All of a sudden another bike tourer passes us, not uncommon given the ridicoulus amount of gear we carry, but in this section of Baja desert it felt very strange. Then another one. Almost as if they weren´t riding together but maybe they were, they continued down the road separately until we lost then in the mirage.
We stopped for a late lunch at a little restaurant on the side of the road. We still had 30k before we hit out projected camp spot for the night and needed a bit of fuel. Sure enough two bikes were outside the food joint. We walked in got some food and started conversation with the two Americans. Brian, an almost too smart for his own good kinda guy, had ridden from Alaska and was bound for Patagonia. It turns out Brian was Stenographer for the Obama Administration and couldn´t take it anymore. Being an avid cyclist, Brian said Fuck it. He flew to Alaska and is determined to have the experience of a lifetime. I would say this is one way to do it. Brian met Larry in Ensenada at a warmshowers host home and they started riding together. The two couldn´t be more different but somehow the dynamic duo was working. They had ridden nearly 600 miles together, Ok not really together, but they were there to keep each other company at night. Funny how things work out.
Larry, Oh Larry. He gets his own paragraph. Larry is from Sierraville, Ca. Need I say more. Wait a minute I know some one from there. While riding with the U.S. Snowboard team, teammate Jason Hale grew up in Sierraville. ¨Hey Larry, do you know a guy named Jason Hale…¨ ¨Dude that’s my best friend!¨ While eating lunch Larry continued to explain the significance of this connection or coincidence while I just sit there already knowing how small this world actually is. There are no coincidences just synchronicities, Thank you psychedelic Ryan. Larry is one of the happiest people I have ever met. Seriously. It turns out Larry lives in Reno and loves to fish, chucker hunt, and ride his bike. We exchange stories while we eat our much needed meal. After lunch we all decide to camp together and this decision would later turn out to haunt each and every one of us. Larry is about six foot four but has the longest legs I have ever seen. They make Robin´s legs look short. His frame had to be near a seventy inch frame. He was on a Salsa frame that he had spent many hours customizing. He even built a frame bag for all of his tools, which was super unique and sweet right until it came time to grab a water bottle. Shit. He rigged a solution up for that problem. Solve it when you need to mentality. Gotta love it, Larry was on a different type of plan then Brian. ¨I am going to ride until I am out of money and then I will figure it out.¨ Solid Plan Larry.
It became very apparent that Larry was livin on the edge of his pants when it was time to find a camp spot. After lunch and stocking up on beers we all rode together for a short distance in order to find a camp spot. We were all just riding along when all of a sudden Larry darts of the road in super soft sand towards a dry stream bed below the road. Instinctively we all follow. Robin and I thought we had cutty camping down. We were wrong, Larry has got it down! He sigged and sagged around the sharpest of Cacti until bailing off of his bike and pushing through sand and cacti patches until we were well out of sight of the road. ¨This will work¨ he says. The three look around and all have the same stuck in a Cacti prison feeling. We all knew that know body was going to dare bother us. But how the hell were we going to get out in the morning. O well. That night we all did a good job of getting drunk and telling stories past our bed time. It was all so much fun until I woke up in the morning to a nasty hangover and flat tires galore. Every single one of us had a flat! After pushing out of the Cactus Den, as Robin later named it, we fixed our flat tires and headed out. With a super late start we all had hangovers to burn off and no surf in sight for hundreds of miles. Just Desert. Hot, Hot Desert.
We arrived to Punto Conejo in the heat of the day, sweaty, sun burned and exhausted after a nasty 10 mile stretch of dirt road that took us over 3 hours! We stopped at a run down fish camp and asked if there was any spot to get water. The old fisherman looked at me like I wash crazy and just shook his head. F$%k!! we thought as we looked around at the flaming hot sand dunes and blown out surf. Luckily we ran into a local expat surfer named Mike, who gave us the low down. “Before doing anything, go set up a camp site and get out of the heat”. Where we thought. There is nothing here! We found out that all of the camp sites rest underneath ten foot tall dense shrubs that cover the low ground beneath the dunes. We road our bikes over to the shrubs, to find dope little camping nooks sheltered completely from the sun from the thick branches. Mike also told us about the surf situation! “You are in for a treat! The surf is going to be off the hook the next two days!!”
The next morning, we woke up before sun rise, some trail mix and rushed out to the beach. With no one in the water, Abe and I stared in awe at perfect head high sets of left breaking waves bending around the point for a quarter mile! With out hesitation, we were in water, ducking warm waves, and looking down at the reef through crystal clear water. A truly good surf session is a very rare occasion. The right people, good conditions, and the luck to catch some good waves all combined to my all time best surf session ever. I felt like a pro, cranking down the line, picking up speed, and arching turns at the top of the lip! Wow, I could not have been more stoked!! Despite my excitement, the locals suggested that the surf was about to get a lot better! “Pick up the surf? Wasn’t today good enough?” I asked a local surfer. “It was just ok” he said. “Wow” I thought, I couldn’t imagine how the following day was going to be! With this in mind we got up even earlier, in anticipation of the arriving swell! We walked to the beach with the full moon illuminating our trail through the shrubs. We arrived, and I could not believe me eyes………………There was one surfer in the water, looking like a fly on the wall of a double overhead glassy wave. My heart skipped a beat, and I may have had a small stroke! Just kidding, but seriously. I could have been staring at a magazine, our watching Endless summer, but I was there! “Shit” I told myself, as I came back to reality! “How the hell am I going to surf these waves” I look over at Abe, and he is no longer standing next to me, but all ready a hundred yards out into the ocean. All right, here I go!!! Nervous as all be, I ducked several waves just in time to see Abe paddling into a monster wave (Tripple overhead for Abe, maybe double for me). Abe got to his feet, and skipped down the face because it was moving soo fast! Soon the pro surfers from La Paz showed up, and the talent began to shine, with people ripping the waves apart. Unfortunately my talent did not shine today! Instead, I put on a clinic of unique and radical wipe outs, falling in ever imaginable way. The crowd favorite was when I made it down the wave balancing one foot, because the other was not cooperating with my leash! This ended in an all out face plant at the bottom of the wave. Stoked at having experienced such an epic day, I fished my surf session by enjoying watching Abe and the pros from the shore taking some pictures!!
While resting in between surf sessions, we conversed with the local camp host, Nardo (One of the most interesting, compassionate, and far out individuals I have ever met). Nardo is a flamboyant, Gay, Mexican, Cowboy, with an expertise in medicinal plants, cooking seafood, and the local gossip. Nardo invited us over to his place for dinner two nights in a row, where he cooked Manta ray Machaca, and Octopus Tacos. He entertained us with wild stories about his 20 years living in Punto Conejo, while cooking over a fire, and fending off wild dogs with his whip! The food was quite good, but very intense. Abe suggested that it was his most extreme culinary experience ever! We bid Nardo and Punto Conejo Farwell as we got ride back to the main highway, bypassing the nasty dirt road we road in on. (Its not cheating if you have already ridden the road, ha ha). Krissy and Steve, two local shredders loaded us up in the back of their 1980s van, and blasted up the dirt road. We enjoyed the ride, rocking out to Def Lepard and Iron Maidden while drinking several Tacate Lights. Thanks Krissy, Steve and Nardo for an awesome time in Punto Conjeo! Back on the road, we bushwhack camped in the desert in another patch of cactus and made it to La Paz, where we are enjoying the local flair before heading back to the Pacific for more surf! Thanks for reading and stay posted!!