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2017 BAJA EXPEDITION #6: Southernmost Baja (14 days/ 3,000 miles)

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by David K, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. Aug 28, 2017 at 4:49 PM
    #41
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Heading back to Mulegé

    IMG_6729_24dce2c9df7cbceb9c9a07f1ae10512926b2f0ea.jpg

    IMG_6730_501a0a1f3c1f6607f47a3356a31b3f6644a71ce9.jpg
    I think this steep graded was the peninsular divide, 1,825' above sea level. Mile 21.6 (from Mulegé), about 3 miles east of El Aguajito.

    IMG_6732_9b8af69b4e11357f41f30b036c8b073d776a0f67.jpg

    IMG_6733_823a7071197043c3ae244b0aec513ed0523a5743.jpg
    For this road, you better get your ass in gear!

    IMG_6736_6a23fcdbf4e7b18d3c72a0336a52e441c9e1f6d1.jpg

    IMG_6737_64040ba18477fab757fb5ac8bac45b1e015a418f.jpg
    Looking back from where I was.

    A rugged day trip, allow 4 hours each way. How long you explore the mission is your call. I was only there for an hour, I think. It was a good hour, however!

    I was back to Mulegé before 6:30 pm. I had been texting with Russ out on Punta Chivato, who invited me over for dinner. I just needed to pick up some tomatoes and an onion. There is great little store in Palo Verde, practically unmarked... and he had ice for sale, too. I was at Russ's about 7:30. DONE DRIVING! (for today)

    Stay tuned for DAY 13 of the 14 day trip.
     
  2. Aug 28, 2017 at 4:50 PM
    #42
    horstuff

    horstuff Re-member

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    Any shots of Punta Chivato?
     
  3. Aug 28, 2017 at 4:53 PM
    #43
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I just stayed at a fellow Baja Nomad's place this trip, as I did in February. I researched Punta Chivato (many photos) in my TRIP #2 report: https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads...baja-california-san-ignacio-to-loreto.474872/

    A reminder... I have all my recent Baja trip photos posted here on TW as well as on Baja Nomad forums. Just scroll back in the TRIP REPORTS forum here to see them. The 2017 trips now number 6 for the road guide research and one family trip (Memorial Day 2017). They are numbered TRIP #1- #6 (so far) and cover a lot of Baja... The research is sponsored by www.BajaBound.com your best choice of Mexican auto insurance (you can buy and print the policy online, before you leave, and the use the best Mexican insurance companies). We are producing a travel guide to Baja's backcountry and open highways... basically, outside of cities.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
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  4. Aug 28, 2017 at 4:59 PM
    #44
    horstuff

    horstuff Re-member

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    Love it. We stayed in that hotel you have two pics of, back in the early 90's. What's it up to these days? I remember having a lizard and a scorpion on the tile floor in the room. I also remember hiring the neighbor, Tony, to take us out in his panga and we caught all kinds of stuff. The kitchen at the hotel cooked up a cabrilla for us for dinner, half the price if you catch your own.
     
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  5. Aug 28, 2017 at 5:01 PM
    #45
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    As I reported in TRIP #2, it is closed... in a bit of disrepair. Very sad, it is a magnificent location with excellent runways for pilots. Just not a great time for business and it needs fresh management.
     
  6. Aug 28, 2017 at 5:02 PM
    #46
    mjp2

    mjp2 Living vicariously through myself Moderator

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    I <3 @David K threads. Thanks as always for sharing your adventures with us!
     
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  7. Aug 28, 2017 at 5:12 PM
    #47
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    El gusto es mio... The pleasure is mine!
    I want TWers to know that Baja is an excellent place to bring your family and your Tacoma. Heck, the TRD Tacoma was developed from racing in Baja and Ivan Stewart's input. My 2010 DC Tacoma (as many others) was MADE IN BAJA CALIFORNIA! We here in San Diego County see the truck carriers going north full of brand new Tacomas, from the factory, near Tijuana, all the time.
    You are afraid of crime?
    Don't watch TV...
    Because when I do I hear of robberies and shootings daily, here in my area of the USA!
    Crime or shootings in Baja is typically between drug dealers and police. I have been camping in Baja since the 1960s and have NEVER had an incident with any such activity. I feel safer camping in Baja, where my Tacoma can take me than anywhere in the USA!
    I refuse to let 'someone who knows someone' or some TV news person tell me where I should be able to enjoy history and the outdoors. IF something bad does ever happen to me, I hope it does happen in a place of MY choice doing what I love to do! VIVA BAJA EVERYONE! www.vivabaja.com is my website.
     
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  8. Aug 29, 2017 at 10:16 AM
    #48
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    DAY 13 (Sun. Aug. 13, 2017)

    Russ and I had a nice visit. His home is in a perfect location on Shell Beach, a private home area next to Punta Chivato. His view faces south towards the entrance to Bahía Concepción.

    Russ made us burritos and all was good.

    I placed my cot out by his sea wall and had the stars above me. Tomorrow I would make the drive towards home so the final day would not be too stressful a day's drive.

    Sunday morning, I was on my way at 9:20.
    Out to Hwy. 1 at Palo Verde and turning north...
    The San Borjitas cave art access road is at Km. 156

    IMG_6738_f4a5484ae6e63726967ecea6c7c5893ca0348a70.jpg

    IMG_6739_348abcc42427995a021143b6008b50112a0ce97f.jpg

    Santa Rosalia is Km. 195 (from Loreto) and here becomes Km. 0, northbound to the state border at the Eagle Monument.

    Pemex fill-up at the first station northbound, on the east side, closest to the harbor: 16.28 pesos/ liter; 930 pesos; 57.13 liters; Dollars were accepted at 16.00: 1. I was about out of pesos, so in dollars, it was $58.13 (I gave the attendant $60 and the change was his tip). I traveled 340 miles since the last fill up, mostly off road. In Mulegé, I added in 30.7 liters... So, 87.13 liters = 23.2 gallons for 340 miles = 14.6 MPG. With all the dirt roads driven yesterday and the Mulegé gas station well known to not have honest pumps, I am not disappointed in the figure.

    Some overall mileage notes that I scribbled down:
    Santa Rosalía to Vizcaino (Bahía Tortugas jcn.) 88 miles (143 kms.)
    Santa Rosalía to Paralelo 28° (Eagle) 136 miles (220 kms.)

    My mileages have all been adjusted for the 3.5% slow odometer because I am using oversized tires. When compared to the Mexican kilometer posts, this correction is spot on. On roads where I have deflated the tires down to 25 psi, the odometer slows down very close to accurate. My tires are 265/75-16, about 1" taller than the stock 265/70-16 tires.

    At the Eagle Monument Pemex (near Guerrero Negro), 28° Parallel of latitude and the state border, Pacific Time Zone...

    I add gas at the Pemex station. Very nice personal there. A US$20 bought me 320 pesos of gas (16:00: 1). 15.88 pesos/liter. 20.1 liters.
    12:54 PM became 11:54 AM!

    19.6 miles north is Villa Jesus María (the final Pemex station on Hwy. 1 until El Rosario, or if using Hwy. 5, until Gonzaga Bay).

    108.7 miles north is the Highway 5 junction (Laguna Chapala). It is 1:58 pm.

    NEW ROADBED OPEN!
    In the 2 weeks since I was last on this route, barriers blocking the new highway elevated roadbed (south of the original road) were removed and other cars were on it. During construction, these detours could very well change back.

    Mile 0.0 Hwy. 1 & Hwy. 5 Junction, 1:58 pm.
    Mile 0.9 Fork right onto new roadbed.
    Mile 3.5 original and new roads rejoin.
    Mile 5.2 off of new roadbed.
    Mile 8.0 Construction camp, leave new road alignment and head for Coco's Corner.
    Mile 12.9 Coco's Corner 2:36 pm
    Mile 16.8 Las Arrastras 2:45 pm Rejoin new road route.
    Mile 22.3 On pavement and new bridges.
    Mile 23.2 Km. 167 (just north of previous pavement start.
    Mile 35.5 Gonzaga Bay Pemex, 3:12 pm

    IMG_6740_566ebc3a37c0f53439cd8ccecee208b6254ab6e6.jpg
    Paved bridge, new section, Chapala Valley.

    IMG_6741_8f8c75c7a3060d29dca8f268bb6d067b76ad6d04.jpg
    New section, Chapala Valley.

    IMG_6742_c31cba26ee29016ebf30ad6bd74e00bd98be72c5.jpg
    Can you imagine how Arturo Grosso made the first road through here, in 1955? Picks and dynamite!

    IMG_6743_a2a9ce264a74c9f2460b776de07a3f408d1051d1.jpg

    IMG_6744_4f59509fcdc28026232cc02e0e4f58507c603eba.jpg

    IMG_6745_62fb2485d2e91fc46d931190dddb72f417b88a78.jpg

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    IMG_6747_36e8b32e6496aa19a085acb658055e8e39bdd56a.jpg
    Here is where the highway leaves the original route (northbound) and shoots straight to Las Arrastras, bypassing Coco's Corner.

    IMG_6748_aeab0245d09027ec2d9b9669b1eff431a976a1e0.jpg
    Nearing Coco's Corner.

    IMG_6749_d487cf6f4d39fb65a64158f4f73936db83431174.jpg
    Here at Las Arrastras, is where the new highway returns to the original route, on the north end of the Coco's Bypass.

    IMG_6750_5c10f680f36b9da9b005a61ade8102d18a0f3a09.jpg
    Old and new routes criss-cross a few times.

    IMG_6751_064fa1e3c2bc7f8fa5ff463fa01bb6748d5da561.jpg
    Gonzaga Bay, dead ahead!

    IMG_6752_71a5918e9534f3720c8e85e0bf8d5c96dfe41869.jpg

    IMG_6753_477c6463387e2f4cfb19cca344d115cce39aa3a0.jpg

    IMG_6754_5f5683e633b5a8eedb64b90cfbcf278736f670af.jpg

    Made it to Shell Island for my final rest stop and overnight of this 2-week research trip!

    IMG_6755_7e029ca86b2e35b7cb444cb85cc2e21ecb2f77d4.jpg

    357 miles from Santa Rosalía and 112 miles from Laguna Chapala.

    IMG_6757_3db0acacc78e88bc863c678537251cb74ac6a3c6.jpg

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    Good Night from Shell Island, Day 13.

    One more day to go!
     
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  9. Aug 29, 2017 at 11:04 AM
    #49
    horstuff

    horstuff Re-member

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    Epic thread. Thanks very much for sharing.
     
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  10. Aug 29, 2017 at 12:05 PM
    #50
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    DAY 14 (Mon Aug. 14, 2017) The trip home:

    I had a great evening under the stars.
    Unless there is wind, Shell Island is an ideal beach camp and relaxing location. It is a 4WD only kind of place either for the deep sand on the beach or the possible mud beds that surround it. It is an island and during the highest lunar tides, sea water surrounds this barrier island beach. The access is at Km. 26 (another road cuts across from Km. 25). It is 1.3 miles to the mudflats and another 0.5 to the dry sand of the beach. The island is about one mile to the south end (Bahia Santa Maria bay) and three miles to the north point (opposite Rancho Percebu campground). Camp where ever you like or as much deep sand driving you can do.

    IMG_6760_c238e5c62536da3bde4dee80e27d834d9e327dcf.jpg
    Monday Sunrise

    IMG_6761_9fe0969b3b7688738b78ff5b5924e64c92fcf44e.jpg
    I am packed and headed to San Felipe at 7:48 am.

    IMG_6762_b96059935f168c53c8ebeee074778392f1c8f4b6.jpg

    In town, the car wash I have used most of the other times is open and can take me right away! Getting excess mud off the truck before going to the border can really make a crossing easy. I was once threatened to be turned back because of the mud and dirt on my truck!

    Car wash (exterior only) was just $5. I always give a tip because I appreciate the job they do!

    The gas station in SanFelipe (at the ejido station, just north of town) was 15.91 pesos/ liter; offered an exchange rate of 17.60 pesos/ dollar and I was good for the 300-mile drive home to north San Diego County.

    IMG_6763_90a071f7001fe185f0d726d3e377b6ec83884e10.jpg
    There is a sand dune field about 60 miles north of San Felipe, a perfect rest stop.

    IMG_6764_3a7e9bbecaafeb273ba59e9dac4f8563975ddd1a.jpg
    Just another awesome trip and fantastic service from my Tacoma. In the 3,000 miles, I had one tire puncture that we plugged and the 5+-year-old battery died on me, in the best place possible, a block from an Auto Zone store.

    I took the Toll highway to Tecate (Mex. 2-D) which avoids the city of Mexicali. The toll was 75 pesos for Mexicali South; 24 pesos at La Rumorosa; and 70 pesos at El Hongo.

    I was in the border line at 1:05 pm Monday and inside the USA at 2:09 pm. I got home at 3:57 pm.

    SUCCESS!

    Thank you to Baja Bound Insurance for sponsoring these mapping and research trips. I now have a lot of work to do to put these miles and notes into a road guide format. I look forward to sharing my work with you all and we can help each other with some feedback at what is most useful for you to have on your Baja travels.

    Knowing that there are interesting and beautiful sites just out of sight may inspire you to see more of Baja than just going back to the same great place over and over? The future map is hopefully going to be useful as well. Stay tuned!
    David www.vivabaja.com

    I welcome your questions and suggestions to improve this trip report!
     
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  11. Aug 29, 2017 at 12:26 PM
    #51
    horstuff

    horstuff Re-member

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    Bravo, great reporting. I'm sure many more people than just I envy what you are doing. Let us know when the road guide is available, I'll buy a few right away.

    And I agree with what you said a few posts back... don't let any gomer who heard from a friend who heard from a friend that the Frito Bandito will get you in Baja... everybody and their mother (including mine) warned us not to tent camp up and down Baja in the early 90's. I almost listened to them but then I realized not a one of them had ever been there, so I said fck it, we're going. The first couple nights and days were rough, but something broke through on the 3rd day and I felt safer and more relaxed down there than I ever have up here. 2 weeks later, as soon as we crossed the border at Tecate heading back into the US, I instinctively locked my doors. That's no shit. Didn't even think about it till after I did it.
     
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  12. Sep 1, 2017 at 2:43 PM
    #52
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I just double checked my notes on the Salt Flat road south of San Ignacio and edited the road log and the maps... and then added a new map for San Juanico to Las Barrancas. Please save a copy if you are going south of San Ignacio to Scorpion Bay on that road!

    For those interested...
    I find that my 265/75-16 tires slow my odometer by 3.5%, so at my street pressure (34 psi), I correct the odometer figures by adding 3.5%. This also is agreed by the Mexican kilometer posts, which are pretty consistent on the highways and major graded roads in Baja.
    When I deflate to 25 psi for dirt road driving, my odometer is reading correct, or pretty close when I compare to posted mileages.

    Here are the revised mileages and maps:

    REVISED ROAD LOG

    The mission and town plaza is 1.6 miles from Highway 1. Continue straight, passing in front of the mission church, passing the market and hotel La Huerta, the paved street curves left, passing the Hotel Posada. Pavement ends briefly.

    Km. 0 This marker sign is 0.6 mi (1 km.) from the mission/plaza. Pavement begins in 500 feet.
    Km. 9 Rancho El Batequi
    Km. 12.5+ Rancho San Juaquín Km. 16.5 Road left, signed to San Vicente. Km. 19.5 San Zacarias
    Km. 29.5 Road left to El Patrocinio (35 kms.)
    Km. 47.5+ End of Pavement (30.1 miles from the mission/plaza). The road ahead is an elevated roadbed, over the salt pan.

    The following are mileages from the mission/plaza in San Ignacio:

    34.7 Bypass road south, avoids whale camps and village. Signed San José de Garcia. Log goes on right branch, to the lagoon.
    36.1 Pancho’s whale camp entrance, on right.
    36.2 Lagoon shore.
    38.8 Fork, keep right. Left goes into village.
    40.2 Crossroad. Antonio’s Camp is to the right, Kuyima Camp is 0.4 mi ahead. Turn left (east) to continue south. Operations open during whale watching season. Typically, that is December-April.

    40.9 La Laguna village, pass through to far side. Several optional roads come back together.
    42.8 Join graded bypass road from Mile 34.7, above.
    46.7/ 0.0 Major Fork. Small sign “Salina” here. The left branch is the high road via Rancho Cuarenta and the access to San José de Garcia. The low road returns to the high road after 39 miles. This road log uses the more popular low road, longer but smoother driving, if dry. Reset odometer to zero.

    The washboard surface begins very bad, but soon improves. Deflating tires by ~30% improves the ride and traction off the pavement.

    14.7 Abandoned building and many high poles now serving as osprey nests mark a former desalinization project. The road soon reaches the salt flats. It is advised to avoid any shortcuts across the flats and stay on the route that follows the desert’s edge.

    22.2 El Dátil fishing village. Limited supplies.
    32.0 Sand dunes near the south end of salt flats. The road begins to turn inland.
    35.1 Rancho El Datilón. The road soon turns south and crosses an arroyo.
    41.7 Junction with high road coming approx. 39 miles from the fork at Mile 0.0, above. Turn south for San Juanico and on to La Paz.
    46.7 Rancho La Ballena at Arroyo San Raymundo. The mountain road from Mulegé came in here, but recent storms may have altered the route.
    52.8 Cadeje an oasis village with an airstrip.
    61.0 San Juanico town entrance. Motels, restaurants, supplies. Popularly known as Scorpion Bay by surfers. Paved road south to Las Barrancas and on to Ciudad Insurgentes and Highway 1 to La Paz or Loreto.




    REVISED MAPS:

    bb6a28e6-d5c8-41ef-ac4f-4381a216c89f_835c815a69895799ada3b3d87707f78f08294f94.jpg

    9b602dc5-17b8-4577-ade7-6eaf277c74fb_d252dc38db0485a0a34c0cd867e031b2cb35935c.jpg

    2cee18a2-cdfa-4891-a0c8-0ef0803ed151_1f2aa6261b1ce62560ce2392ffb1897e9280ed7d.jpg

    2cb60c4a-6926-4bfa-bad3-79c92995e671_e596e6092250034b5a78fe6b4c3c43c68eb794e5.jpg
    The more direct, original dirt road between San Juanico and La Purísima is between the red pointers, along the paved roads. The north end has the blue truck symbol. The dirt road is approx. 20 miles long between the arrows. Another access is when the new highway reaches the edge of Estero San Gregorio, reducing the dirt drive to La Purísima to about 12 miles.
     
  13. Sep 14, 2017 at 7:13 PM
    #53
    gaprider0

    gaprider0 Well-Known Member

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    An amazing trip you had
     
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  14. Sep 15, 2017 at 8:28 AM
    #54
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Muchas Gracias, el gusto es mio!
    (Thank You Very Much, the pleasure was mine!)
     
  15. Oct 27, 2017 at 8:05 AM
    #55
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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  16. Mar 20, 2018 at 8:30 AM
    #56
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    My New Maps for the areas from San Ignacio to Cabo San Lucas, in this Trip Report:

    b76f6874-625e-41cd-91f9-bbe177c7804f_72b360306f4b6f11548dd9ce57c555f85410d848.jpg

    ee59e087-6e5a-48fc-8d32-daab588a923c_b9bd3f8dc9a3f70f0f3a6620fce6166d06cafaf1.jpg

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    79332f82-12c7-428b-8587-246cbef1805f_7ef970534c69d4d79d42569697cf5fb64cbd336c.jpg

    4165ecd6-5b58-4076-a62e-ba54d3cfa314_089a402c701db00a399bbe75f2221d29a669696e.jpg

    4246df8f-2ad7-43df-9cc7-812e67ea3eaa_a696d213d1d7318c143b0a7569cc1a1571927466.jpg

    bdbb8766-4cc3-4556-b95f-745217d3a28f_65aa60db12e61739b70c5a8c96f2ee42d533ebc0.jpg

    22b3e64f-20f1-486b-b842-61846e931c0d_103f798889e039c8aebc63e648931ba9241b398f.jpg

    c5148af5-e139-4877-b4e1-7a77496befc6_b7b41b739d7945bfc9c15798b20c63711a99475e.jpg
     
  17. Mar 20, 2018 at 1:55 PM
    #57
    13yota

    13yota Well-Known Member

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    Great post thanks! Love going to Baja, hopefully will go for a few weeks this fall
     
  18. Mar 20, 2018 at 3:31 PM
    #58
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Differential Breather Mod Light Bar: 4 Cree LED lamps Bilstein 5100s Ride Rite Air Bags
  19. Mar 20, 2018 at 9:45 PM
    #59
    13yota

    13yota Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    No I hadn’t heard of those, but luckily I’ve got a lot of downtime traveling for work this week I’ll definitely check them out!
     
  20. Apr 2, 2018 at 11:21 PM
    #60
    OnHartung'sRoad

    OnHartung'sRoad -So glad I didn't take the other...

    Joined:
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    Somewhere in the Mojave Desert...
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    2017 Tacoma OR 4x4 (formerly 2002 OR 4x4, 1995 4x4 4Runner, 1985 4x4 Toy PU) ... and RIP’s (rust in pieces) to a Bronco II 4x4 & S10 Blazer 4x4
    I last visited Baja Sur in ‘96, and am thankful for your work posting your time there. Definitely plan to go back soon! Thanks!!
     
    David K [OP] likes this.

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