Day 1 of the Appetite 4 Adventure Baja Dark Skies Expedition

In our last post, we introduced you to the Appetite 4 Adventure Baja Dark Skies trip.    Now, we'll let you know a little bit about our day by day itinerary: 

 Day 1 looks like the longest day covering 170km  and  4,000m  of climbing.    We’ll start by dipping our wheels in the Pacific ocean at the beach and finish by pushing them through the snow.  the day starts early with us on our bikes as soon as the daylight makes it safe.  The first few miles are flat,  but we’ll soon begin the  nearly 100K road climb to the observatorio  astronomico at the 9600 foot peak of the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir natural park.  We’ll accumulate over 10,000 feet of climbing in what must the one of the steepest point to point metric century rides around. On our route we will experience the natural beauty of Baja California with its forests, beaches, deserts and mountains as we climb through the different landscapes. If we grow tired of the sound of our own breathing and each other’s voices,  we will be joined by many wild animals they range from the delightful to the dangerous,  notably the park has a healthy population of  bobcats and pumas.  The forest is also home to 28 of the otherwise nearly extinct California Condors ( only around 200 live in the wild), we hope to catch a glimpse of them as we pedal towards the sky.  After battling steep climbs, cold temperatures, and whatever wildlife encounters that Baja has in store for us,  we’ll reach the observatory.  Although  we will be able to see the Sea of Cortez from here, and will be only 60 km as the crow flies from our end goal of  San Felipe,  we won’t be able to get to it . Unlike crows (or condors) we can’t drop off the eastern edge of the  because of the mountain range we have just climbed due to the unrideable terrain to the east of the peak .  From the  observatory, the mountains drop off precipitously from nearly 3,000m to only 600m and the Vale Santa Clara which houses the dry lake bed of the Laguna Diablo.  Two days of riding still separate us from that adventure. Having glimpsed our goal, we won’t be able to bed down for the night just yet. First we must turn around and descend about 50Km and 2000 meters, to where we will  we will turn off the the paved road and get our first ( short) off piste adventure.    About a mile down the dirt road  we’ll stay at Meling Ranch, a 10,000 acre working cattle ranch that  is  a common jumping off point for people exploring the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir. After recovering with a well earned beer by the campfire and a look at the captivating sight of the cosmos in our first night under the famous Baja dark skies, we’ll retire to sleep under canvas and wake up with the sun for our next day.

Next: Day 2 and 3