2008 BAJA 1000 – Time To Start The Planning

October 18th, 2008

It’s that time of year again. time to start prepring for our trip to Ensenada. This year the course is a round trip so we will be able to see the start & the finish. I’ll update as I get more info.

Jawbone / Dove Springs

October 5th, 2008

It’s about 5:15 am and I get a text from Frankie. He’s “ready to go”. Well our scheduled departure wasn’t until 6:30 so ,needless to say, at this time I was so asleep you could have called it a coma. There is no way I would have heard my phone. Luckily I had left the phone on my wife’s side of the bed so she did hear the phone. At first I was in shock when my phone was going off an hour earlier than I expected and I thought to myself “what is he thinking” but then realized that the sooner we hit the road the sooner we can start the ride. I replied to Frankie’s text and told him I would get dressed and send him a text when I was ready to be picked up. After about 15 minutes I sent the message “be ready in 10 minutes.you can pick me up now.”. I figured 10 minutes was enough time to get beakfast made (My wife offered to make some chorizo & egg burritos for us to take).

Frankie showed up so we threw my things into the truck and we headed to Todd’s (about a 25 minute drive). Once Todd was ready we hit the road on our way to JAWBONE. It was a long drive for us. It took a little over 2 hours from Todd’s. The weather was nice but it was cold and we did get some strong wind near Mojave, CA. This is where we stopped for gas and a quick stretch. We didn’t stand around for too long because it was cold…very cold. From here it was another 20-30 minutes to the ranger station on Jawbone Canyon Rd. It was about 8:45am so we had to wait until 9am for the office to open (Todd wanted to buy a map). It’s funny how much attention the buggies get. About 5 minutes after we arrived another group showed up in the parking lot. Right away they came over to look and ask questions. They do look kind of cool up on the trailer.

We moved on to find our base camp and unloaded the buggies.

It was time to ride. Our first trail was awsome…for a bike anyway. The trail was a little “too technical” for the big buggy but we did it anyway. It was fun and I tried to document as much as I could. i took tons of pictures and plenty of video. I also collected GPS data and saved it as a Google Earth file so you can see where we were.

jawbone-run-10052008 You’ll have to download GOOGLE EARTH to open the file.

The Adventure Begins

July 11th, 2008

Today is the big day, we hit the road on our driving adventure into Mexico. We loaded up most of our stuff into the truck the day before so we didn’t have to wake up too early so at about 9am we left the house to pick up Marcela. There are 2 vehicles in our caravan through Mexico (my F150 and a Dodge caravan). There are 5 of us traveling in my truck. My wife, my 2 kids, my sister-in-law Marcela, and myself.

Ciudad Guzmán, Jalisco

July 6th, 2008

As previously mentioned, the next travel destination for OFF ROAD FUN is Ciudad Guzmán, Jalisco, Mexico. Since I’m not an expert, you can go to the wikipedia page on Cuidad Guzman to learn more about the city itself. 

As a side note…after the trip I still won’t be an expert but I’ll definately have lots of photos, information, and experiences to share with you.

Driving Through Mexico Can Cost You…AKA “Toll Booths”

July 5th, 2008

Do your homework. Finding the best roads usually means having to pay tolls…many of them. Just be aware that the booth workers are not always the most honest people and some of them will try to over charge you or short change you so the more you know before you go the better. Charges vary, depending on the route, and how long the stretch of road is to the next major town or turn off. Tolls are best paid with cash, – some booths are starting to accept credit and debit cards, but not all – so make sure you have pesos with you when you travel by car on toll roads to ensure you don’t get caught out. Some will take USD but will be very inconsistent with the exchange rate. Information about toll roads , distance and costs between any two points in the country can be found (in spanish) at Traza Tu Ruta.

Make sure you keep the receipt you get at each toll booth. This is your “insurance certificate”. If you are involved in an accident you will need this receipt or you may be liable to for road repair and maintenance charges.

Routes which have toll roads connecting the destinations, also have a free alternative road. When you’re driving in Mexico, watch the signs and follow the route for the road type you want to use. Here is a list of the key words to look out for:

LIBRE = Free Road. Free roads are less well maintained, single carriageways that will take you longer to travel across. However, to see some of the ‘off the beaten track’ places, you’ll need to avoid Toll Roads, as they often double as “by-passes” (see term below). It’s recommended that you don’t take the free roads after dark.

CUOTA = Toll Road. Follow this sign if you want to take the toll road to the destination you are traveling to. Note that the highway numbers are often the same, so you can be on the right highway number, heading in the right direction, but on a free (slower) road than you’d like to be. For toll roads, follow the signs that read “CUOTA”.

LIBRAMIENTO = Bypass. Sometimes, major free roads that connect big towns and cities will give you an option to take the “Libramiento” route. This is like a toll road (and sometimes it’s part of the toll road) which, for a fee, will enable you to by-pass the smaller town city if you don’t want to go there, saving you time, and perhaps the hassle of getting lost. Libramientos work in the same way as toll roads.

Driving your car into Mexico?

July 5th, 2008

If you plan on taking your car into Mexico you will need to get a permit to temporarily import your vehicle into Mexico. There are several ways to accomplish this. You can do it at the border when crossing, you can go to select Mexican consulates, or you can do it online at the Banjercito web site.

Some of the documentation they require (must bring the original and a set of copies):

  • Passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • certificate of vehicle ownership (if financed, notorized approval to temporarily export the vehicle to Mexico)
  • auto insurance for the dates you will be in Mexico
  • current vehicle registration
  • photo ID
  • A credit card (IE Visa,MC) or up to $400 USD cash deposit
  • and of course there is a fee $29 to $59 USD (each method has a different price)

After all this is done you will get a permit with a sticker that you attach to your windshield while in Mexico. Before you leave Mexico you are obligated to present your vehicle to the Banjercito office at the border crossing to get your deposit back.

Save Gas

June 10th, 2008

Since I’ve been posting so many videos about driving, I thought I should also post a video about saving at the pump…

How to Drive Off Road – instructional video

June 10th, 2008

This video goes over some of the basics of off road driving. They don’t go into too much detail but you may learn something anyway. it’s about 20 minutes long so enjoy.

cool buggy video

June 10th, 2008

Full Potential Off-Road”Dune Pinned!” – video powered by Metacafe


found this cool video while browsing the internet so i thought i would post it.

Extreme hill climb

June 10th, 2008

not exactly family safe but wanted to share this video anyway.