Baja 2016

Jan. 5, 2016

A quiet nights sleep was exactly what we needed. We were up at first light and were ready to start driving. As we approached the steep exit, a gate across the road was blocking our exit. This could be interesting. I walked up the hill and tried to push the gate open. There was no obvious lock, but it did not budge. A man walked toward me and I asked him where we could pay since we had not seen anyone last night. He pointed across the road and said that the store located there would open at 7 and we could pay then. Then he showed me that you had to lift the bar up not push. At least we were not locked in the campground.Don drove to the top of the driveway and I told him that we could pay at 7. I then decided to ask the man who helped me with the gate if I could pay him. He smiled and said of course. So on our way before 7 rested and seeing the road in daylight made us feel thankful. The morning started out rain free, but it was obvious that a lot of rain had fallen the day before. Numerous rocks on the road reinforced the good decision we had made of not driving at night. Our car and kayaks are now quite brown in color and pulling off on to the berm is out of the question.  We see several vehicles buried up to their axles in mud.We are told that 3 inches of rain fell last night and it continues to fall intermittently till we reach San Quintin. The good news is that we can get data on our mini ipad when we are near larger towns and the forecast is for better driving conditions as we head south.  Soon we are approaching El Rosario, which is the gateway to the road turning west.   We stopped here last year on our way home and shopped at a small market called Cassandra's mini market. Last year we had given it a 10 for being neat and organized. The same was true this year. Their high standards were evident. It was typical of a small store with not many choices, but there were fresh corn tortillas, eggs and some vegetables which were all we needed. Soon we will be approaching one of our favorite spots in central Baja. The Valle de Boojums is a National Parque with little to no resources. The endemic boomjum tree is found here as it decorates the landscape among the boulders.  A museum along the road is badly in need of repair and the granitic boulders are covered in graffiti.  The small town of Catavina is located here. The only gas available  is sold by people who sell it out of drums and five gallon gas containers. We made sure our tank was full and could make it to the next Pemex station. Soon we see the sign for our destination for the night, Rancho Santa Ignez. We turn left on to a bumpy road and soon are parked under a mesquite tree. The wind is strong and the clouds are building. Not sure why but we decided to take a short nap which turned into a long one. It seems that all the activities of the last several months have resulted in a somewhat tired condition.  We are looking forward to relaxing under blue skies and fresh air. Waking up from our nap we decided to check out a more protected area from the wind. It was available so after parking we decided to take a walk/run up a sandy arroyo.  Three wheeler tracks in the sand are most likely made by Ralph an older man  in his 80's that we had met last year when we stopped here. He and his wife, Patricia have been coming here for more than 50 years. They have quite the off the grid homestead.  Last year we were treated to some of his garden greens. We ran by his gate and headed up a rocky road. Shortly we heard his vehicle and saw him approaching on his vehicle with his dog. He had seen us and wanted to show us some Indian signs. There were rocks that had been placed in circles and straight lines that he thought were made by the natives. He told us about the mission that was located 14 miles down the road.  Not something for this year, but maybe in the future. The road was mostly dry, but mud from the previous days rain gave us the indication of how easy it would be to get stuck. Back to camp and cooked up a meal of beans and vegetables. It was a good day that did not seem rushed. Night activities included Spanish and playing Banagrams.