Last Trip in Baja

Bridget and I had spent close to a month in Baja, hitching all the way down to Cabo and had now began coming back north towards the US again. We'd stopped in a coastal village for several nights revisiting some people we'd met on the way down. A guy named Jesse had given us a ride south of Ensenada and introduced us to the village and friends, on this trip up we'd spent some time with a guy named Kevin that we hadn't met the first time around, now he was suggesting a place to stay close to San Felipe with a couple that bounced between there and this current village we stood in.

We caught a ride out of town and a good portion of the way from a friend of Kevin's, he was an interesting guy who told us about his younger days and travels. He dropped us off on the far side of Ensenada and stuck our thumbs out, getting a ride from the first pickup truck to come along.

The drive way beautiful, for how long it lasted. We heard a pop, wobbling took over, we bounced up and down until they pull over. A tire had popped, they scratched their heads and decided to keep going. We stayed in back, it was a roller coaster popping up and down. At last it got too much, another tire popped, they pulled over again. They were thinking about going on more, but that probably wasn't the best idea.

They sat to ponder it all, Bridget and I knew that our extra weight would be no help anyhow, we decided to just get to walking. The road wound narrowly through the hills, eventually we came upon a pull out and decided to pause there, it would be the only safe place for a car to pull over anyway.

We enjoyed a snack and the view until a rancher picked us up and got us down the hill and through another checkpoint. We paused right after the checkpoint, he had to turn back, but gave us his number in case we ever needed a place to stay. He seemed friendly, but apparently too much so, Bridget said he'd rested his hand on her knee for part of the ride, I hadn't noticed.

There was already a woman in a pickup truck waiting to give us a ride by the time the rancher drove away, we hopped in the bed of the truck and kept on cruising. The mountains turned to a deep blue hue in the distance, all was dark by the time we reached San Felipe. She passed us some apple bread sort of treat once in town and we managed to communicate that we were going to Puertecitos.

She dropped us on the south side of town, now just less than an hour's drive from the people we were going to see. Being late, we decided to camp out for the night and get to the last of the road in the morning. We walked along the road until the dunes got larger and more impressive, we hiked around them for a bit and picked a good spot to lay out for the night.

In the morning the view of the sea was great, once at the road we got a ride in now time. The guy took us right to Dick and Jackie's property on the beach. We pulled up the first structure we saw, Barry popped out. He was living in this other house on the property and pointed us over to Dick and Jackie's, the only others living on the beach.

They were an older couple living in their paradise. A whale skeleton was in the back, a canoe rested nearby. We all talked for a bit, Jackie was a crafter who used to make puppets pretty successfully, Dick was now into fishing about more than anything.

We headed towards Barry's after a while, he saw us heading his way, "Come on over!". He looked to be about in his 40's, a skinny school teacher. We got to talking and actually discovered that he'd been a counselor at a camp my sister had gone to in Wyoming. He now lived in Big Bear, California and came down here to his place in Baja whenever possible, always fixing it up and improving.

He got us setup with some fishing gear and a kayak, Bridget and I went out on the water while I tried my hand at catching some fish. Bridget read her book, deceptively ripping fish out of their daily swimming routine  was not her bag. I caught nothing but rocks and seaweed, after a bit of paddling we headed back in.

There was a fish fry in the community center in town, I took this as the offset to my lack of success on the water. Dick and Jackie knew about every house's history, everyone who lived in town, everything. The post office and library were the size of telephone booths, the town also had some tidal hot pools.

The next day we went scouring the low tide for clams and anything else. A friend of Dick and Jackie's was on the lookout for octopus and managed to find one. After eating up a clam with some lime I hopped up on the roof to wash down their solar panels and save Dick the trouble. Afterwards he showed me his workshop where he had the tools to make intricate wood designs, pretty cool actually.

Barry and I went out in the canoe later, talking about all sorts of things and catching several fish. We came back to shore with a few bass and a scorpion fish, we made up a big dinner then and the five of us chowed down. Like the night before, we played several rounds of cards before heading to sleep.

The next day would be Bridget and I's last full day in Mexico, it was pretty uneventful. Mostly we just caught up on reading and lounged about on the beach, yet another night of cards with Dick and Jackie. As it turned out, Barry was planning on heading back to California the next day, more than willing to have a couple passengers ride along.

Our Mexican trip had been pretty exciting as well as relaxing, but back to America we'd go for one last week together before Bridget flew on back to Australia.

March 22, 2012 to March 25, 2012