Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Home sweet, southern Baja, home.

Three hours from Punta Conejo is the Peanut. The Peanut is our home down here in southern Baja and after a couple days of roughing it in the Conejo sand we decided it was time to head for our home base. At the Peanut, life is pretty good, we've got shade, a clean place to cook, a sink with running water. Best of all, we've now got a brand new bathroom with a flushing toilet! All carved out of a piece of desert where there is no electricity or water supply (our water is trucked in).

CON KSO at the Peanut docking station.
The newest addition- a legitimate flushing toilet.
The best thing about the Peanut is its close proximity to a few different surfing options. Within a few hours in either direction we've got right and left point breaks, beach breaks and a couple reef breaks too. Now, to be honest, none of them are what you'd call "world class" and it takes a lot of good luck to catch any of them on a really good day but, they're nearby and if you can read the weather signs, you can score some good days. Lucky for us, the second day we were here, the winds started to clock around to straight offshore. When that happens, the surf starts getting really good.

The winds switched offshore and the surf went from okay to seriously fun.
Nothing too big or life threatening just good shoulder high fun waves. Rumor has it, something bigger is on the way.
 We've been surfing the local point (about a 5 minute drive from the Peanut) for the last couple days. I'm cooked off, sunburned and tired. The rumor on the beach is that something size-able should be here in the next couple of days. If the winds cooperate, I may be pulling up stakes and launching a surf patrol to the spot that's been inhabiting my brain for the last year. It's time to scratch the itch.

The best part of surfing down here is hooking up with old friends, my good old buddy Marcos lives down here about 6 months out of the year and surfing with him is a highlight. Surfing with friends is the best and during the winter, coming down here is like a reunion.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Path to Conejo.

Driving up and out of the Sea of Cortez is one the best parts of the trip. There's the sapphire blue of the water over your left shoulder and, as you drive past Loreto, the craggy mountains just to your right. This area tends to get a lot of rain in the summer so those jagged peaks are always specked with giant green cardon cactuses, thick trunked elephant trees and other cool desert plants. It's a beautiful area. This day would be a medium length day of about four hours to our next stop, the big left point break of Punta Conejo.

The road into Conejo, drop your tire pressure and take it slow- there are blind curves and sharp rocks... and you're a long way from help.
When it's breaking, and the wind isn't cranking, Punta Conejo is one of my favorite waves. It's not hollow, gnarly and fast so if you're a short board ripper you might be disappointed. It is, however, a cobble bottomed, left point break that has enough power and a long enough tapering wall to allow you to get really jamming down the line. And the wave can be long. I've surfed over a hundred yards many times. On special days I've stretched waves all the way from the top of the point down into the fish camp which is probably three hundred yards of leg burning, left handed fun. It's a favorite of mine- if it's on.

Unfortunately, the surf gods decided that I'd have to work a little harder for my waves. The surf was only fun for one morning session. I paddled out on my 9'0 stando and snagged anything I wanted since I was surfing all by myself. I only came in when I'd surfed close enough to camp to smell breakfast being made. It was a perfect morning.

Dakotah giving path goers a little advice on their travels.
Although the surfing was not so hot this time at Conejo, the camping, as usual at Conejo, is really good.  With four wheel drive, I can drive out onto the sand berm away from the cliffside surf/camp ghetto to where there's tons of firewood within easy reach and clean white sand. Watching surfers walk past our camp we noticed that the walk up to the point was a bit of a slow process. This was due to the broken oyster shells, sticks and sharp rocks that had to be navigated in bare feet to get to the paddle out point. Dakotah and I quickly decided to help out the surf community by building a clean sand footpath. We collected rocks, cleared a path and hand-sifted the sand to make sure anything sharp couldn't poke a barefoot. It took us a whole morning but we built a really nice little path, everybody was stoked on it and we had fun doing it. Each time somebody walked our path it made us happy to have made a great spot just a little bit better.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Sea of Cortez Campsite

Leaving Shell Beach we zoomed up the coast to Guerrero Negro, the border town between the Mexican state of Baja Norte and Baja Sur. We try to mix up our driving days alternating really long days with days that may only require three or four hours. Yesterday we were on the road for almost ten hours so today would be a shorter, "easy" day. Our goal was a small beach on the Sea of Cortez that has two things going for it: a couple of beautiful campsites and small restaurant/bar that sells good food and insanely potent margaritas (the bartender, Pepe is a margarita artist). Crossing the border between the two states, we paid the optional-but-not-really-optional twenty pesos to have the bottom of our car sprayed with "pesticide". Next stop would be a beach-side campsite. 

Art hour at our beach campsite. 
After a couple of margaritas and a papa rellena (stuffed potato) we hit the sack in the back of CON KSO. Late that night we heard a moto pull into the site next to us- it was our friend Matt who was riding down the peninsula solo on a DRZ400. Matt's what I call a Baja cowboy- he knows the nooks and crannies of the peninsula, speaks fluent Spanish and is just the kind of guy you want to travel with in Baja. I got up and welcomed him into camp- he was cold and tired having made up huge offroad miles to reach camp that night. I made sure he was set up and crawled back into my warm sleeping bag.

Matt's wheels.
The next morning we got to catch up and hear the tales of his offroad moto trip over a cup of hot, black coffee. The riding sounded really gnarly but I have to admit, it's something I'm going to have to do sometime myself. I told Matt about the natural hotsprings that I'd heard were just a couple coves away. I wanted to ride my moto over to them but two margaritas and the late hour of our arrival made it impossible. Matt said he'd go see what they were all about and report back to me about them. Saying our goodbyes, we hit the road leaving Matt to explore the hotsprings and making tentative plans to meet up at Punta Conejo, my favorite point in Baja for stand up paddle surfing.

And then there was surf! Words later, surf now.

The wind has been a little off. Blowing down the coast it's created fun waves for goofing around but nothing really to get too excited about. And then it switched offshore. Talk to you later... I'm out there!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Day 3: A little bit of night driving- never a good idea.

After scoring our tourist visas we hit the pay road towards Mexicali. We’d eventually take the cutoff for San Felipe, Puertecitos and out to Laguna Chapalla. At Laguna Chapalla the road would reconnect with the main north to south highway in Baja, Mex 1. We prefer this longer but more scenic route because it allows you to avoid the dreary agricultural region between Rosarito and San Quentin, we call that area Baja Sorrow. Baja Sorrow is a long stretch and it’s really ugly and boring. There are no ocean vistas just lots of small towns with topes, stoplights, slow trucks and slower buses. No thanks.

This is where you come off the road, back onto Mex 1 at Laguna Chapalla. See that white SUV right at the tire shop across the highway? That was the dumb gringo who was hauling ass on the road when he should have aired down and taken it slow. He shredded two tires and drove the last couple of miles on bare rims. Dummy.
Our route is much more pleasant. There are very few trucks so you don’t have to make any sketch pass maneuvers. The highway is new, it’s wide (sometimes four lanes) well paved highways and the Sea of Cortez over your left shoulder once you get past San Felipe. It’s our route of choice every time we drive south. Gassing up in San Felipe we continued south through the desert. The road here was a bumpy dirt road just a couple years ago, in the last three years, the government has been going full time trying to get this stretch paved all the way to the Laguna Chapalla reconnect. It’s both cool and not so cool. On one hand, the road will be a high speed work around to avoid Baja Sorrow. On the other hand, it’s sad to see the beautiful and pristine desert being gouged open for a road and there’s always the reality of the “good roads bringing bad people”. For example, take a look along any of Baja’s well paved routes and you’ll see plastic trash bags snagged on cactuses, dumped vehicles and garbage. Change and progress are inevitable, I guess. I’m glad I got to see it when it was still a little bit wild.

Can you see CON KSO down there? This is the end part of the Laguna Chapalla road, you can see how excavators are cutting up the hillsides.
Hitting Tecate put us behind a couple of hours so it was getting dark by the time we reached Mex 1. The CO2 PowerTank that I carry with me allowed me to air all four times back up to 80psi in about ten minutes, which is fast but is still a time drain when you’re trying to race the last light of day. I hoped we could reach Guerrero Negro, the halfway point in our journey before dark but it was no becoming obvious that we’d be driving in the dark part of the way. This is never a good idea in Baja. It’s not the cartel, or bandidos that you have to worry about here, it’s the two ton black cow that’s standing on the road just around the next corner. Cows on the road cause all kinds of death and destruction down here. 

That cooler lid is all the warning you'll get before you bottom out in this pot hole. See the previous post and you'll get to see how deep that hole really is.
Figuring that we only had a couple of hours in the darkness to make it to a nice hotel in Guerrero, I told the girls we were going to roll the Baja road dice and go for it. Bad decision, we almost didn’t make it. Two thirds of the way there, we hit a very deep, very gnarly pot hole that I missed as I was dodging a couple others. The right front tire banged down into the hole (which is why you buy the best tires you can afford before you drive into Baja- a blow out would have meant rolling the truck) and threw CON KSO to the left- straight across the dividing white line! If there had been a truck in that lane at that instant, we would have all been dead. CON KSO being slightly top heavy went into a wobble, weaving in the road. Being cool paid off here because jerking the wheel to the right would have increased the wobble, maybe rolling her. With stability control warnings beeping and a couple of girls hollering, I eased her back into the proper lane and made the decision I should have made earlier, we were getting the hell of the night road.

Shell Beach, at least that's what we call it. A safe place to camp half way down and a way better option than driving at night.
I knew that a couple minutes up the road we could take the Punta Rosalilita turn off out to one of our favorite camp-over spots. We call it Shell Beach. There’s actually a goofy, mushy, dead-end right hand point off the beach if you were amping to surf you could have at it. We, on the other hand had just finished almost ten hours of hard driving and we just wanted a safe harbor for the night. Safely tucked in into CON KSO, we called it a night.

Liza got one at shell beach. The surf's been pretty small so finding other things to do is important. The girls like to collect shells and stash them all over the truck in plastic bags. I'm not so sure if I'm a big fan of the collections.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Tecate: Visas and Borders

Apologies for the road report delay- sometimes WiFi is hard to find when you get yourself off the beaten path. So here’s a quick rundown of what’s happened since we last escaped Tijuana.

The next morning we woke up early, said goodbye and good luck to a friend riding a moto to the tip then we hatched a plan to hit the Tecate border station for our Tourist Cards.

The Tourist Cards are important to us, they give us a legal tourist status, for six months, in all of Baja. We’re in a foreign country we might as well play by the rules. Plus, since the girls are flying home, I didn’t want them walking up to the airline ticket counter and then having to explain why they were in Mexico illegally, better to deal with the hassle now instead of kicking the can down the road. So off to Tecate we went. 

This is why you don't drive at night- the white jug is all the warning you'll get. On the road to Laguna Chapalla after leaving Tecate.
Getting the tourist cards in Tecate ended up being simple to do. Since we got there early in the morning, there was little to no traffic and we were able to find a nice parking spot for CON KSO near the Mexican border station. We asked the guard how to get to the Immigration office and he said we should just walk through the turnstyle and the building is right there. Well, I think we actually may have walked across the border back into the United States because once you walk through the revolving gate, you’re heading north, I could see the United States, it would have been easy to just keep walking (maybe “they” were watching us with some pre-Snowden secret surveillance). We hopped a small fence and walked across the road, hopped another small fence and walked back into the Mexican checkpoint where the Immigration office was easy to find.  It was empty except for the friendly official who had a desk for us to sit at, pens for us to use (that’s a first) and was able to take our fee instead of sending us to a bank to pay which saves a lot of time and hassle. In a couple more minutes we were back in the truck heading off towards Mexicali. Another problem solved.

Safe and sound, day 3 on the road at Punta Conejo. Surf was small so it was all about arts and crafts, camp projects and shell collecting.
Getting into Tecate early gave me a chance to get the lay of the land since I didn’t have to worry about traffic buzzing all around me. It’s really a simple layout and I’ve got a much better feel for how to get around. In addition, seeing how much easier and stress free it is to cross at the tiny Tecate border station with it’s easy to find Immigration building confirmed in my mind that we’ll be using that crossing point for both entering and exiting Baja. Again, a little bit of a hassle ended up delivering another useful set of data points.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Crossed and double crossed.

Crossing the border is easy, blink your eye and next thing you know you're in Mexico. That's the easy part. Getting our FMM (Tourist Card Visa) is usually easy too. Typically I pick them up at the San Ysidro crossing, you pull over once you cross the border and the Immigration office is right there. Supposedly (thanks Matt), it should have been just as easy at the Otay crossing.

Made it! CON KSO in a safe port: Hotel El Portal in La Rumorosa
Was it? Hell no. Nothing's that easy. The Otay crossing is being totally remodeled and the station is torn up.The Mexican Customs guy took a deep breath and tried to explain how to navigate the maze that gets you to the Immigration Office. The deep breath told me everything I need to know. He was basically saying (in Spanish), "There is no way you're going to ever figure this shit out Gringo, because I barely know how to find the place myself- but I'm gonna tell you anyways." I asked him if we could just park right there in Mexican Secondary and walk the hundred yards to the new building. A long stare pretty much said it all (which was, "You are not my problem now, welcome to Mexico have a nice day"). We drove out and gave it a half-hearted attempt, ending up in a light industry area right next to the border wall, prime El Chapo/Cartel tunnel rat real estate. Feeling extremely out of place, we said fuck it and headed for Tecate and La Rumorosa. We'll have to figure out the visa thing later. I don't really need one but the girls will when they fly out of San Jose del Cabo.

This is what 700 pesos (about 40 bucks) gets you in La Rumorosa... pretty sweet. Super clean and close to a great restaurant. And oh yeah, all the electrical shocks you want from the light switch. Bueno!
Driving to La Rumorosa should have been easy. Was it? Hell no. Pro-tip: pay attention to what you're doing when driving through TJ during rush hour. I got the ol' Texas Suck-Off and was siphoned off the main highway into a never-never land of OXXO mini-marts, Pemex pumps, tire shops and furniture stores- there was even a fucking clown walking up and down the jam packed road. As if my shit was freaked out enough by the Death Race 2000 swirling around me.

Eventually we navigated out of that mess (thank you geo-stationary satellites) and here we sit in cool, little hotel El Portal in La Rumorosa. There's a take away lesson in all the day's craziness: If you don't swing at a couple fast balls you're never gonna learn how to hit them. What the fuck does that mean? It means that if we never put ourselves into trying circumstances we really don't grow and learn. I did not enjoy getting lost, but I learned from it. I always tell my chem students that they've got to get used to making mistakes because that's the only way you get where you want to be. So today was my learning day, stay left and dodge that Texas Suck-Off.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Baja Ready.

Full fuel tank. Full propane, PowerTank, water. Tires at 80psi, airbags up to 70psi. ARB freezer powered up, camera batteries charged. A couple thousand bucks changed into pesos, PB&J, coffee, granola, surf wax (warm water), five sets of fins.

The new moto mount. Super sweet but driving at night is definitely not going to be an option. The headlight beams do make it through the bike to the road but there's a small bit that's reflected straight back into the cab.
Two standos, 9'6 longboard, steel leaders, Krokodiles, filet knife, three hand planes, four sets of swim fins, two mask and snorkel sets, three body boards, two Kialoa stando paddles (Methanes... the best), four Staun deflators, four pairs swim trunks, six tee shirts, two pairs flip flops, iPhone, iPod, Yamalube, chain lube, 18" inner tube, 21" inner tube, three passports. There's more but that should cover the most important stuff.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Let's wrap this up.

Was it really a year ago?

Yep. Okay- let's tie up some loose ends. We'll start with the ending to last year's Baja story. Here it is:

The "asshole" is an expat dick who lives at Alejandro's, which is one of the most beautiful little coves in Baja- made a million times better by the super fun right hand waves that peel off it's northern rocky point. The place is sweet, fun waves, great fishing, sand bottom, good camping. You'd think that if you found yourself living there year round, you'd be all smiles and sunshine. Naw, not this dick. He's perpetually grumpy, always trying to be the biggest asshole in the lineup and always winning that competition. Worse of all he's a middle aged pony tail dude,  Senor CockFace has locks like Fabio. Yes, he is a hair farmer. 

We crossed paths- he barked, we laughed. He flipped us off. We laughed.

And our Baja trip was still awesome.

The End.

And now let's get ready for this year's southern ramble.

This spot is my primary objective.
CON KSO is locked and loaded. I've added some upgrades to the old girl. There are many small things but the greatest hits include a custom, always-hot, 12volt circuit into the back of the cab (of course it's fused- come on now),  this will allow us to fully power up our ARB freezer, I added an additional new awning off the back so that the western sun blazing through the camper's back door won't interrupt my noon nap, cold central Baja nights demanded some insulating window shades so we complied (Reflectix- if you don't know about this stuff... google... you'll love it) and finally I added a 4" receiver off the front of CON KSO so that we could carry a moto and have our custom back porch with us. Pics are coming as soon as I've got a second.

This year's going to be an interesting one because the girls are flying back halfway through the trip leaving me to make my own decisions for about twelve days. I've had an itch that's needed to be scratched at a certain hush-hush region and that is high on my Baja to-do list.

We leave in two days. And the itinerary is pretty set- we'll be spending the first night up at elevation before pushing hard for Guerrero Negro. Come along for the ride- this should be a good one.

Pics and words are on your radar- please be vigilant. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sorry about the delay- the FLU (in caps) kicked me in the nuts.

First time in my life that I didn't like the taste of food.

It starts like this: Kid comes into my classroom and hands me a note, "Stephanie had a fever last night, it broke early this morning so I think she's okay for school.". I had a bad feeling about that- next thing I know, I've got blankets stacked over my shivering, sweaty body and fluids are running through me, north to south, like monsoon season Ganges. I tried to eat something the third day in and the food actually tasted bad. Dropped six pounds in a week and haven't been completely right for two weeks. But that was two weeks ago- lately I've been getting my moto prepped for my next adventure: Ghost Towns and Hot Springs of Central Nevada. But that's a whole other story (which I think I'm going to post up on this site- why not?).

The blog has suffered and my Baja story remains unfinished. I promise the last part is coming- soon.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Southern Baja: Part 11

Matt told me that he once ran across a friend with a killer, abalone detailed belt buckle. The belt buckle was made by the inmates of the Mulege prison. The prison is a concrete box set just enough back from the coast to ensure that no cooling ocean breezes ever makes it through the prison's barred windows. I can only imagine that in the summer time, the guys inside slowly stew in their own body fluids, convection cooking themselves in that brutal cinder block hell. So when Matt told me we were going to check out the prison shop, I have to say, I was a little apprehensive.

Mulege super-max prison, dirt road in, no way out. The guard held onto our passports and opened the gate. There was no smiling public relations guide and the guard only gave us one verbal direction, "Adelante". We obeyed, walking forward, trying not to make eye contact with the inmate jamming his head out a small window looking down on us. It was creepy. And the little gift shop was odd. A prisoner in orange came out, unlocked the door and stood silently by as we checked out he handicrafts. He was very quiet and, when we mistakenly overpaid him he told us so and made the correct change. There were no cool abalone belt buckles but there were all kinds of Virgin Mary paintings, wooden dolphin ear rings and a couple non-operating wall clocks that seemed to be constructed from bark, cactus spines and plywood- those were actually pretty cool. 
The prison was interesting but once we realized there'd be no belt buckles in our future, we were determined to get back to the surf. It was pedal to the metal until we hit the turn off to our old faithful camp/surf spot. Pro-tip: never drive past free firewood- and don't load it where you sleep unless you'd like to cuddle with a scorpion or snuggle with a centipede.
The surf was flat. Fortunately for us, motorcycles always want to make you happy. While we set up camp, Matt, Dakotah and Luke did a beach run up to the big point.
We decided to camp out at the inside point. Cold beers were cracked, our campfire built and dinner prepared. Perfect.
Well, it was almost perfect. Almost perfect because the next day, "the asshole" showed up. Remember him?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Southern Baja: Part 10

The decision was made to leave with enough time for us to surf on the way back north. We also wanted to have enough days to break up the long drive. So we settled on a three day run which makes for an easy first day, a longer second day and a hell-day for the third and final part of the journey. Admittedly, the trip is faster and easier if you take the western route but I can't stand the stretch of road from San Quentin to Tijuana there's just too much congestion, too many buses and it's just an ugly part of Baja. In the future, I think a four day return trip with a final overnight in San Felipe might be the way to go.

We all said our goodbyes to the point, from here north the water would just get colder and colder.

Luke said his goodbyes too- he and his dad, Matt Wilson and little Vida (see her sitting there?) would leave the day after us and our plan was to meet up at the Sea of Cortez at our favorite campsite. Lucky for Luke, Matt and myself there was a little southern hemisphere swell in the water. That last day of stand up paddlesurfing was a great one for me, I paddled up the point to the little left wedge on the opposite side of the long right hander and snagged some fun, chest-high runners.

I spent the rest of the afternoon getting CON KSO in running mode. We carry a twenty gallon water tank aboard CON KSO and guess who won the honor of filling it up? Yep, that's me, bucket by bucket. Check out the custom funnel. Good thing I had the foresight to drill a fill hole in the bed platform- next time I'll build a filling funnel with a tube that reaches all the way out the door. The girls were thankful, that water feeds our on-demand propane hotwater heater and that means nice hot showers all the way home.

I pulled Rancho Payaso's gate closed and turned on the closed circuit security camera system. The Peanut would be safe and sound. We're already planning our return!

It was a gray day when we drove down our dirt road and really put the rubber to the road.

As we headed north, the weather improved. The small system that had come with the south swell had a high pressure bubble behind it that promised north-east (offshore) winds and blue bird clear skies. We had planned to stop at the big left point but once we got moving, the girls had that "let's get home to endless hot showers" look in their eyes and so I went right past the road in. Bummer- I keep second guessing that decision because from the highway I could see the coast out there looking clean, tranquil and beautiful. Ughhhh- I'll be thinking about that missed opportunity for the next year. Here's our campsite for the night, it's a nice, small spot with a small restaurant serving Baja's best margarita, really.

We missed Matt, Luke and Vida. We thought we might see them in our rearview mirror catching us on the road. When that didn't happen we began to have our doubts that we''d really hook up with him (I thought he would've hit the left point). It was a great and happy surprise then to wake up and see his truck parked next to ours. Matt's my favorite Baja travel partner, he's done the drive so many times and spent so much time down here that he knows all the cool spots for just about anything you'd want: Need some great pancakes? Ask Matt. Need a real cup of coffee? He knows where the good stuff is. Need some birria? You know the answer.
So, with our merry little caravan complete, we decided we would haul ass to the little right point that we scored on the way down south. That was until Matt told us he wanted to go to prison. And so we did.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Southern Baja: Part 9

And then everything kind of just slowed down, and blended together into weeks of surfing, swimming, reading, snorkeling, riding, drinking, eating and laughing. We'd sleep at the Peanut, cook breakfast at the beach, set out the solar panel,  deploy the awning, go for a paddle or maybe read a little bit, take a nice warm water swim and hang out. The surf was tiny for about five days and I guess if that was the focus of your trip you might be really bummed. Not me, there were other things to do and as you know, "Life is what you make it"- so I was busy finding ways to have fun, which wasn't hard to do.

The Aloha Deck was open for business, specializing in whale watching, coffee drinking and sunbathing- also perfect for beer drinking and sunset cocktails.
We brought all kinds of toys. Dakotah loved the 3 meter stunt kite- she was really good at flying it and had fun dive bombing German tourists.
Of course, there were tons of flatwater paddling opportunities. When the surf is small this is an easy launch. When it's cranking you've got to time it just right or your going to pay.
Here's the general idea, set out your chair, set out your umbrella and get your beers frosty- it's gonna be a long day at the office.
My favorite way to start the day was breakfast on the beach. We'd be up at dawn and on the beach right in the middle of sunrise. I'd chop up some pasilla peppers, potatoes, onions and some spam- those would hit the griddle to get all crispy. Next, I'd scramble a half dozen eggs into the mix and BAM... breakfast on the beach- the BEST place to eat it.
Fin quiver. Bring everything you've got because it will probably all get used.
Some mornings, I couldn't get the girls up and out of CON KSO early enough for a dawn patrol surf check. On those days I'd set off on the surf exploration satellite vehicle. Here's the beginning of my morning commute.
Sometimes I'd get stuck in a traffic jam on the way to the point.
And most of the time it was flat. I wasn't bummed- the ride to the beach was super fun and I knew that another great beach day hanging out with friends was just around the corner.
Like I said, the days started to blend together and I eventually got to the point where I didn't even know what day it was. This is a state of enlightenment it means that I've let go of the concept of time. Too bad it doesn't work the other way around. Indeed, time had not let go of me and Father Time had plans for me. All too soon we had to confront the reality of the trip back to the states with the knowledge that every mile north would bring us to cooler temperatures and more crowded places. Fortunately, the adventure isn't over until you pull into your driveway and I knew we'd be stopping along the way so with a little melancholy feeling in the air we closed up the Peanut, packed up CON KSO and pointed our bumper north. Home was calling.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Southern Baja: Part 8

We drove away from the big left charged up for even warmer water down the peninsula. In addition, the girls were feeling that homing instinct, they knew our home base was close and they were ready to set up a permanent camp. So after a great Christmas day surf session, we wrapped up CON KSO's camping gear and pointed the rig back toward the Baja highway, slow and low (air pressure that is) was the call and we made it safely back to the road into La Paz. A quick air up with the Powertank and we were on our way to my little piece of paradise further south.

It's tough to find my spot. First, just past the s-curve which is after the big arroyo, take your first right past Rancho SiComoNo. This is that first right.
Drive up the dirt road for about a quarter of a mile and when you see our water tank pull out your key and let yourself into the property.
Here's my lock, hope you know the combination.
The land is about as big as a football field, so we have a dirt road that leads back into the bush...
The stuff can be thorny- and you may scratch up your vehicle or puncture your flip/flop so watch your step.
This is what you're looking for- The Peanut!
We backed CON KSO up into the Peanut's docking station.
The Peanut is almost completely open air- here's a shot of the kitchen with running water, smooth cement counters and the best views you could ever want.
The end of the road: CON KSO docked to the Peanut and the surf exploration moto, ready to go.
We run a solar panel into CON KSO to power our bumping stereo and our 12v refrigerator (the 12v ARB 'fridge and the Powertank were two awesome additions to our offroad equipment roster- I highly recommend both of them).
Here's our ARB refrigerator on the custom built platform that I banged together in about twenty minutes.
That's right, -13 degrees celcius- more than cold enough to make ice cubes for your bloody mary.

Or keep your beer icy cold- we didn't buy a single bag or block of ice for the whole three week trip.
The Peanut is a great place to tuck out of the wind and sun and it gives you a nice view of the ocean just down the road. I used it update my journal and while I was there I did a little CAD designing...
Here's the CAD rendering of the bano that we hope to have finished by next winter... we shall see. The girls thought a flushing toilet would make the rancho just perfect.
The Peanut's beer drinking steps.
CON KSO's docking station allows us to tap the propane in CON KSO for the kitchen.
Board rack at the Peanut. I brought too many boards- next time it will be a 12' stando for small days and fishing and my all purpose 9'0.... and my boogie board..... and my fins.... and my handplane.
With the Peanut all set up for an extended stay, we gathered up our beach toys, put CON KSO into 4x4 Low Range and headed down to see what mother ocean had waiting for us.