Falling Further Down Baja

Jessie dropped Bridget and I off back at the main road, ready to continue south into Baja. Jessie was a guy who'd picked us up days earlier, closer to Ensenada, then let us stay with him in his little village above the ocean, it was a great welcome into Mexico.

We got a ride from a woman for a ways, then quickly another ride from a welder. We got let out and waited on the next ride, talking about meat, animals and spirits, all this stemming from Bridget being vegan and my curiosity of her philosophy behind it. I've met many vegetarians and vegans, all of which have different reasoning for the particular diet, different exceptions and different understandings. Some cite health reasons, some for animal rights and the like, others talk about how the human body wasn't designed to consume or process animals and animal products.

Bridget was keen on the spirits of animals, in fact she would go into nature and perform ceremonies to capture the animals essences to create tinctures that she would then sell or give drops to friends. I'd done it with her once or twice, it was almost as if you were dropping acid, without the trip.

To Bridget, all animals were special, but not special enough to ascend to light like humans, but all the same too special to eat, even if they ate each other, humans should know better. I argued that plants have a certain intelligence and were life as well, and yeast for that matter, the magical life behind beer, didn't seem to matter much in this, perhaps too small to bother with.

It's easy to see how this sort of discussion goes nowhere but back and forth, buzzing through stubbornness  philosophy and estimated science claimed as fact to make a point. This continued a bit longer, even from the back of the next pickup truck that gave us a ride.

Eventually we dropped it, a school teacher gave us another ride, then yet another pickup truck ride to the next town. In this town we managed to find a restaurant where we could sit with a coffee and use their wifi to check some messages. At this point we were heading for a town named Mulege where a guy lived that I'd once met in Phoenix.

We hit the road again, catching one last ride from a pickup truck over the hills and through the sunset, dropping us off near El Rosario. We walked the short length of town, there was a sign for a restaurant that seemed to be the last structure before the road broke back into open desert. Bridget needed to use the bathroom, so I waited while she went inside to inquire.

A few minutes went by and she came back out looking happy and excited, "He said we can camp in the backyard!".

I went inside and met Ed, the owner of the place. It was all together his home, a restaurant, event space, lounge and accommodations of sorts. The backyard was a big open space with tables here and there and what looked like would be a decent view in the daylight. We talked for a minute and thanked him, then set up our sleeping bags in the grass.

He had two dogs, a big one named Rocky and small yappy dog aptly named Dinky. Both of them got their kicks by licking and jumping on us throughout the night. This is the manner we were woken up in as well, licks and sounds of Bridget, "Oh come off it Rocky! Cheeky!".

We packed up and thanked Ed for the soft grassy place to sleep, despite the active creatures, then it was back to the road. Stray dogs roamed all the streets in Mexico, scrappy, some barking, many worn down and timid, sniffing around for something to eat. A couple followed us for a minute until we broke away from the town, out to the never ending road.

The road curled us around, over a long bridge and then up a big hill where we paused to enjoy the view and snack, still thumbing the cars as they passed by every once in a while. Another pickup truck became our ride, we were growing accustomed to the open air rides, wind rushing and watching the past slip away as we rushed through the desert hills, dotted with impressive cacti going as far as the horizon would allow.

They dropped us in the middle of it when they turned off to a little road, we stood in the middle of the desert next to what seemed like an abandoned set of structures, no sign of life except for the stray dogs of course.

An 18-wheeler truck picked us up in that spot, it had a great big back seating area where Bridget sat, I sat up front exhausting all the Spanish I had at my disposal to talk with the happy-go-lucky driver. The drive became very beautiful very quickly, along with the unique tall cacti came giant boulders dumped throughout the rolling hills. We stopped towards the top at a lace where many of the rocks were painted, the trucker thought we'd like to see the spot, he was right.

We hit the road again, he blasted some music and I nodded in and out, catching up on the bits of sleep that Rocky had licked away, some hours later we arrived at the junction where our paths would split. Bridget and I got to walking, breaking away from yet another little roadside town and into the sun setting over the desert. We veered off the road ourselves, making our own path into the desert a fair ways where we set up camp amongst some taller cacti and brush.

After scouring around for some firewood, we got one blazing and roasted up some marshmallows I had stashed in my backpack, a pretty good night after the day on the road.

In the misty morning we made our way back to the road, quickly getting a ride from a guy who worked on a ranch nearby where he dropped us off, then a col guy scooped us up and took us clear to Santa Rosalia in the east, now on the sea of cortez side of the peninsula.

We took some time to walk around the town and explore the narrow streets and hills, old churches and steel structures throughout the place. I tried to use a telephone card to call Bill in Mulege, just south of us, but it didn't want to work. Instead we paid five pesos to use an internet cafe and I called him from there, he said we were welcome to make our way on down.

Back to the road we hopped in yet another pickup truck we drove us a short way, we walked from there until we got a ride from an insurance guy who was heading far south, he dropped us off right in front of the gate to town, Mulege awaited.

February 21, 2012 to February 23, 2012