Thursday, April 15, 2010

Baja Bound

The last couple weeks have been a whirlwind of prep for a road trip down to Baja to put the truck, our camping setup and ourselves through some paces. A bit of a shakedown trip for the main event. Plus, what better way to spend my birthday (and National High Five Day – look it up) than camping on a beach, grilling fish tacos and chain drinking Pacifico’s?

So, with the rear storage and “kitchen” done (you’ll see them in the pictures below but more detail to come), recovery gear and tools fitted into a custom box, the roof tent mounted and truck electric mods including a super-secret kill switch and solar charge controller installed, we were excited to get on the road heading south.

The morning came early after a makeup Spanish class on Wednesday night for the one we’ll ironically be missing while in Mexico. Gorilla was temporarily packed into the truck although only for the drive to my Mom’s for birthday breakfast and to drop her off.

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With that, we officially turned south and headed down the coastline we’d be following on and off for the next 10 days. It’s obvious why people come from all around the world to vacation in our backyard.

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Note to Richard: Can you do a query in the iTunes database and tell me why my Genius playlist took us from the Gin Blossom’s “Allison Road” to the Dead playing “Ripple” by way of Wang Chung?

Ann was excited to get to drive the first dirt of the trip. Of course, it was on Highway 1.

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Elephant seals carpeted the beaches just south of Ano Nuevo.

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Next time…


Our destination for the night was Pismo Beach. No real reason other than that it was a reasonable distance from the border and that we heard you could drive out onto the beach to camp. After talking to the rangers at the kiosk, trepidation from the warnings about getting stuck in the sand and crossing the “creek” at high tide gave way to excitement (this may have been just after seeing a 2WD Celica set off fishtailing along the beach). We stocked up on groceries for dinner and headed out onto the sand at sunset.

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Tomorrow, the plan is to cross the border into Tijuana and head south on the coastal toll road to Ensenada. The Baja camping book we got listed some nice sounding campgrounds down near “La Bufadora,” a blow hole in the rocks off a point. From Ensenada, we’ll follow Mex 1 south towards the cutoff for Bahia Los Angeles, possibly with stopover night among the egg-shaped granite boulders and cactuses of Catavina.