Salsipuedes Canyon by Fatbike
So it looks like it's actually going to happen. Tomorrow I get a ride to Tijuana where I will rent a car and drive down to Bahia de Los Angeles. From there I will make my way over to the Salsipuedes Canyon somehow and fatbike 23 km up a dirt road then 43 km down the sandy wash (with a few rocks thrown in) out to the Sea of Cortez. I'll then have to packraft 10 miles down from there to get to Condelero wash where I can ride back up and back to Bay of LA through the dry lakes. If the wind isn't bad, which is doubtful, I may packraft all the way into town.
Only a few parties have gone down this canyon, but they never had fatbikes and packrafts... I couldn't figure out how to remove my presta valve cores so I didn't end up putting Stan's in my tubes (running Nates). But I don't think I'll encounter too many cactuses, mostly just sandy wash and beach.
I am taking a stock Mukluk 3 with Extrawheel trailer for water. I wanted to bring my newly-built Pugsley but the Extrawheel fork wouldn't fit the offset so I am borrowing my friend's Mukluk which used to be mine. I have a hand desalinator pump and a campfire seawater distiller pot as a backup for fresh water. Should be good. Here is my Spot GPS if you want to follow my progress along with the Antarctica adventurers, although this trip's a tad tamer...
SPOT Shared Page
Also, I started a thread over at Baja Nomads:
BajaNomad Forums - "Peace, Love & Fish Tacos"
Here is a picture of my choo choo train. Plus water, and backpack.
Good luck! Take lots of pictures.
Some presta valve cores are removable and some aren't. Have fun!
Sounds like a ripper trip, enjoy and shower us with photos
always mad and usually drunk......
Good onya mate and good luck, enjoy!
It seemed like a good idea!...... at the time......
Great looking rig! I am looking forward to pics. Can you post all the items you will have packed into the bike? It would be cool to see the unpacked and packed pics.
There is a way to get sealant in those tubes without removable cores. My LBS did it for me. But I'm not sure how it worked. I think I even read something about it in this forum a couple years back.
Fantastic project, subscribed to this thread in the hope of reading the trip report here .
A question if you find the time: did the Extrawheel fork fit the 170mm rear hub, did you have to do some tweaking or was it a special order ?
this page has instructions for installing slime in a tube that doesn't have a removable valve: Slime Your Presta Valve Bicycle Tubes
There's a way to do it without puncturing the tube by somehow letting the inner valve drop into the tube, keeping ahold of it, and then reengaging it. I just can't remember the details.
This is how you do it - unscrew the locknut from the presta valve core (not supposed to be done but i've done it before) the valve core will then fall into the tube, then you could put the slime in through the valve, then carefuly re-position the core back into the valve stem by feel through the tube, then put the lock nut back on.
Originally Posted by jonshonda
I was going to do a GPS hit at dinner in el Rosario but I couldn't find my Spot. I freaked out and booked a room, so that's where I am tonight. Then I brought everything inside and found it. Hopefully I should get that mess organized.
I got the separate fork, the one that's supposedly for "Pugsleys". But it doesn't actually fit a Pugsley, without some additional spacers around the skewer to offset it a little bit. Unfortunately this doesn't work with my Alfine solid rear axle so it won't fit my Pugsley. Which is why I took the Mukluk.
Originally Posted by caminoloco
It fits the 170 mm hub but it's a ***** to open it wide enough. I can just barely do it by myself. Interestingly, I have zero clearance with the profile of the Nate rear tire. Meaning, it doesn't rub the tread, but it passes so closely you can barely see any gap.
DSLR's, remotes (2 X Nikon V1's, 1 X D7000)
lenses (300f/4 w FT-1 adapter for V1, 10-30 for V1, and 70-300 VR for D7000)
homemade windscreen for DSLR's
extra backup 10 mm f2.8 lens
CF cards (not on this trip)
CF card reader and cable
little camera brush
audio recorder and mounts, remote
microphone (probably won't take)
AA / AAA charger and plug
AA / AAA batteries
pearstone chargers for nikons and Gopro, cable
GoPro and spares
GoPro spare lenses
Nikon camera straps
Canon 500D for macro shots
USB charger from solar panel
sensor cleaner (not this trip)
computer (will leave in car)
dry bag for computer
hard drive (not on this trip)
cell phone and cable
UW housing for Gopro
Xtrawheel drybags (not on this trip)
epoxy (not on this trip)
various marine glues
boat patch material
knife, fork, spoon, or spork
extra leatherman bits
air horn and pouch (not on this trip)
passport and waterproof pouch
little camera backpack
axe with saw in handle (not on this trip)
pocket chain saw (not on this trip)
water filter and extra strainers
desalinator hand filter
seawater distiller pot setup with copper tubes
tent repair kit
tarp (not on this trip)
VHF radio and charger
compass (may not take)
mattress and patch kit
first aid kit
unwaxed dental floss (can be used to mend torn tire)
2 long sleeves
1 woolly underwear
2 cool thin long sleeve
1 short sleeve
3 pairs socks
1 or 2 pants
rain pants (probably won't bring)
drysuit (not on this trip)
neoprene hood (not on this trip)
plastic bags to line sleeping bag and other bags in case of rain
mask and snorkel
pogies (not on this trip)
gaiters (not on this trip)
hat with cinch
mosquito head nets
bug jacket (not on this trip)
nuts and bolts bag
crab trap (not on this trip)
extra carabiners and cinch nuts
extra rubber bands
drip skirt for kayak
kayak / packraft
extra grab patches for kayak
bear bell (not on this trip)
bear spray and pouch (not on this trip)
wooden braces for kayak (not on this trip)
SPD shoes (not on this trip)
spare brake pads
tire patch kit
extra nuts, bolts, parts
extra rear quick release
various bike mounted bags
odometer (not on this trip)
lock (will leave in car)
paper for notes
spare inflator adapter
duffel bag (not on this trip)
freeze dried dinners
pasta to bulk up dinners
clif bars, etc.
protein powder (not on this trip)
quinoa (not on this trip)
Damn dude, thatís going to be a kick-ass voyage!!! Have a blast and take lots of pictures/video/etc.!!!
QUOTE from MTBR.COM: You have given Brewtality too much Reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later.
Good luck - the most deadly things I have encountered during my months of Baja beach riding are dead puffer fish. They are crazy spiny and end up covered by a bit of sand. No thorns or other cactus type plants if you are on the beaches.
Have a great trip!
This is a great forum, don't get me wrong, and I've benefited a TON from the information here. But there is also a lot that is kinda "ho-hum, been-there-done-that". Okay, the majority. Sorry.
This thread is SO not that, and deserves a bump.
I don't know Mark_BC or anything about the Baja peninsula (which may explain my new-found fascination) but I somehow got caught up in this adventure today and I am convinced that it's a big deal. Mark_BC has been pretty understated on this forum, I think, in terms of what he's set out to do on a fatbike. Which I get. First, it seems to be his personality, and then he's been super busy with planning and logistics and is contributing to at least one other forum that I know of and probably other social media outlets.
There's not a lot of info in this thread, but he's also posted up about his trip on a forum dedicated specifically to travel in Baja, which I would never have imagined to have existed, but which is quite active. And substantial. And informative. On that forum, he is somewhat of an anomaly, travelling by bike through this super-harsh and challenging terrain. He has also raised the eyebrows of that readership, in terms of his rate of his progress, so far.
It becomes obvious through reading that forum that he's had some experience in the region and has done a lot of planning and has taken some previous bike/pack-raft trips that will be beneficial in terms of experience. But as I look at his bike and trailer and his list of what he is taking, I'm thinking, "holy hell". That is a TON of weight to be wrestling through the obstacles that are being described on the BajaNomads forum.
I will never do anything as challenging as the trip he is taking, but I have put myself out there on two different trips over the past two years that were in the middle of effing NOWHERE and the most recent was planned to cover 50 miles in four days. I was laughing beforehand, and packed a book, so I would have something to do during all the downtime. I never opened the book and the trip kicked my ass. Point being, there are certain places out there that are just over-the-top challenging to get through, by bike or otherwise, and I think this is one of those deals.
Mark is packing a buttload of photographic equipment and I can't wait to see the images. On my last trip, my camera gear added up to almost 10 lbs, so I can't imagine the amount of extra weight he is slogging up and down all those climbs and descents. But thanks in advance, Mark.
Currently, he appears to be in the midst of some really challenging terrain, making very slow or very fast progress, depending on your perspective (I tend to rely on the voices of those chiming in that are familiar with the terrain, and they say he's ripping it up).
We've all been watching the Antarctica stuff lately and it's so costly and hyped, and this deal with Mark just conversely strikes me as so pure, in terms of a guy identifying this totally unique opportunity to use a fatbike in a way/area that no one ever has, and to just somehow get his ass from Vancouver BC down to LA, and then to the border and then to his starting point, and then throw down, solo. RAD, RAD, RAD.
I'm in no way trying to diminish anything adventurish that has been done on fats, but I have a sense that this may further the cause; build on it. The stuff that mikesee and his crew did was transformational in the public eye and a big part of that was the telling of the story. Time will tell, what this trip will yield. In the meantime, rock on, Mark. Thanks for towing us along on your adventure, in whatever way possible.
Here's his Spot tracker link
...and here's the BajaNomad forum link.
If you're interested in this kind of stuff.
Thanks spovegas! Yeah that was quite an adventure. That terrain is absolutely amazing, the boulder canyon with palms everywhere, including all the way up the mountains, is stunning. But I got to a point where I couldn't go anymore. Too bad, just one 2 km section prevents riding all 50 km out to the coast... It's a bit dangerous by yourself, to put it mildly. It would be better with multiple people. Plus the area is just so intense and harsh it's a bit freaky by yourself.
Hey Mark, great job! It's been fun watching your progress via Spot over the last few days, and following the discussion over on the BajaNomad forum. I was disappointed for you when it was apparent that you'd been forced to turn back, but that's the nature of what appears to be a pretty intense challenge, I suppose. I suspected it would be a great adventure nonetheless, so I'm glad to hear that's the case. I've been looking around your blog a bit and am impressed with your photography, so I'm looking really forward to seeing your photos from this trip whenever you get a chance to put them up. Tip 'o the hat for a great effort, sir! Enjoy the rest of your stay.
Awesome trip, very cool place! Isn't it dangerous though with rebel drug dealers, and/or shady criminals roaming around? Correct me in my ignorance if that's the not case, but I always envisioned south of the border as a risky place especially carrying such nice equipment and being alone. Seems like it's just playing the odds of happening to run into the wrong people at the wrong time. I would have a hard time going any place that violates my right to bear arms and defend myself, but looking at those pics makes me really want to go check that area out anyway. I love the desert.
Great photos, Mark, thanks for posting. That's an impressive water cache on your trailer. I saw that some folks over on the other forum were surmising that you would run across some natural water sources. Was that the case or did you end up needing to rely solely on the water you were carrying?
N8R, it is pretty safe down here, there is military patrolling the highways in their hummers. The border areas are a little sketchier. That's where it helps to have an average looking rental car with Mexico plates.
spovegas, there is a spring and stream at the head of the canyon near where I entered, but there are cows everywhere making a mess. I could have gone further up to find the source but I didn't feel like it. I just filtered it amongst the cow patties. The water itself looked good, it's just what it was flowing through. I was a little worried about viruses which the filter won't take out. I don't think cows have any problem ones but to be safe I added iodine which made it taste really bad. So I put off using that water till the very end. And I barely needed it. Basically 22 litres lasted me 7 days, with about another litre of the iodined water. That is about 3.5 litres per day, say 4 to be safe. I don't sweat much.
Tomorrow where I'm going in there is no water around anywhere. It's a bit more freaky and I'll have to cache it as I go and hope no animal finds and spills it. If I can make it all the way to the pools from this side then I may find some more water, it would be good to know if it's there. This is big country not to be taken lightly. I always err on the side of caution which is probably why I'm still around.
The other night I had coyotes yipping all around my tent, man that was scary. They make the scariest most evil sounding noises of any animal. I thought they were going to attack me. Luckily I survived... I'll have my audio recorder handy next time.
It's pretty rare that a coyote would ever attack a human, but if a pack of them got hungry and brave enough, you wouldn't stand a chance.
Mark, yeah, I saw where you talked on the Baja forum about hardly getting any sleep that last night, due to the coyotes. That's fascinating to me (probably not the word you would use!), because in my travels, they have always kept their distance and have never had an experience where they acted in a threatening manner. The Mexican coyotes sound seriously badass.
What other native animals/insects are of concern there? In my imagination, I think about scorpions and snakes and maybe spiders, but not sure which species are native to that area. During a trip this past spring in a desert region here in central Washington, we traveled through an area that was infested with rattlesnakes and it was one of the scariest deals I have been through while bikepacking. I would not go back there again without kevlar gaiters.
Thanks for sharing all the great detail, it's really interesting. Good luck with your trip in tomorrow.
I didn't see any snakes. But scorpions like to snuggle up with you at night for your body heat. One morning one crawled away from my tent as I packed it up.
With the recent rains I think the coyotes are happy and wouldn't attack me. But I will have my 6 foot long flexible copper pipe from my distiller pot ready to go. I would not want to get whipped by that if I was a coyote.
I think they were still a few hundred feet from my tent the other night but they sure sounded close.
I've camped all over Baja for more than a decade and had no isssues with humans or animals - beyond a coyote stealing some water.
Originally Posted by N8R
I've biked, sea kayaked, motorcycled and gone down in my 4x4. The Baja is a great place to explore. Amazing scenery, wide open spaces and friendly people to meet.
Good luck with the rest of your recon. Glad you are enjoying your trip despite the unexpected challenges.
Originally Posted by Mark_BC
I realized I never followed up with a trip report here. It was a success! I got down in March / April this year. Things were very dry though so I didn't linger up the coast, since it was too hard to desalinate water. Would I do it again? For sure. I'd go more recently after rainstorms so there is water. Also I'd bring a larger desalinator so I don't have to spend 4 hours a day pumping. I'd bring a wetsuit and better fishing gear to be able to live off the sea indefinitely. I'd want to go with other people since if you spend any time diving / fishing for food the coyotes and birds will be through your camp in no time. You need another person to guard. I'd like to go back and explore some of the surrounding canyons and maybe make my way overland northwards which I don't believe has been done before. I'd only do this after rains so that I could be sure that there would be water in the oases. The trip report is here:
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