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BAJA NEW YEARS 2012: Clams, both steamed and petrified!

Discussion in 'Southern California' started by David K, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. Jan 5, 2012 at 11:58 AM
    #1
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Baja Angel (Elizabeth) and I headed south Saturday morning, crossed the border at Mexicali about 12:30 and loaded our ice chests with all the beer they could hold (Dos Equis, Carta Blanca Light) from a distributor at Km. 5.5 who added free ice above what we had. Very nice man runs the place who moved back to Mexico when business in the US soured.

    The highway to San Felipe was in super condition with just a very short detour about 50 miles south, near the sand dunes. However, that was finished yesterday... so no detours at all now.

    Gasoline in San Felipe was 9.42 pesos/ liter for Magna and 10.20 for Premium. The station at El Dorado Ranch was giving an exchange rate of 13.65 pesos per dollar. Making the cost of Magna US$2.61/ gallon... a dollar a gallon less than in California.

    The time was 3:30 and we headed directly to the Malecon (beach front street) for some tacos and beer. The town seemed nearly deserted from tourists (Mexican or American) and it was a sad scene. The taco stand plaza has morphed into just two restaurants from the original dozen fish taco vendors of up to 10 years before.

    We were invited to stay at BajaRob and Connie's (Bahia Santa Maria) which is 24 miles south, and we arrived about 4:30 pm and enjoyed the sky changing color and the Sea of Cortez. Rob and Connie arrived about an hour later from an event put on by the South Campos Community, called a White Elephant... Rob can describe that to you guys!
    The night was wonderful and we were asleep before New Years (well, unless you go by a different time zone).

    The next morning (Sunday, Jan. 1), was an awesome sunny day... Good omen... I helped Rob and his neighbor Jim bring up fresh water for the clams for a final purge. Rob ordered 100 dozen clams and has the clam thing down to a science... There were up to 100 people at the New Years Day party (1-4 pm) and the clams were perfect in both quantity and flavor. It is a pot luck, so many dishes and salads and Rob's black eyed peas add to the bowl of clams and butter everyone enjoyed.
    Before the party, Baja Angel and I drove to Shell Island and enjoyed some quiet time before the party. A kite-surfer went from Santa Maria to Percebu and back while we were there. It was interesting to watch him tack into the north wind.

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    Noticed how tires sink less than foot prints in sand... I guess they should re-think that vehicles could harm beach life, they would be better to ban people walking!:light:

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    Monday, we hooked up with 'Chick' and his wife who live at El Vergel to visit the fossil beds nearby. Rob tried to show us the place 2 years ago, but we missed the correct path... but had fun four wheeling anyway!

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    Next, we hiked further up the wash to see petrified sand dollars!

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    BajaRob

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    After seeing the sand dollars, we drove over to an entire hill made of oysters and other shells...

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    Chick's Ford was a nice off roader... it only broke down about 3 times that day! :rolleyes: (Chick fixed it while I goofed off driving circles around it on the beach) :lol: Chick has a Toyota too... I think he drives it when he doesn't have another vehicle along for support!

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    Near the top of the fossil hill.
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    Wednesday, we head home... But, not without some exploration into new (to me) territory.

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    This is the water pipe that goes from Arroyo Grande to the La Fortuna gold mines, 40 miles north of San Felipe. The power lines go to the well at the end of the pipe. The access road leaves Mex. 5 at Km. 107... just south of La Ventana.

    In ~6 miles you come to the water and power lines... ~6 more miles is the end in Arroyo Grande. The Baja 1000 course was in Arroyo Grande, heading south.

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    It is pretty slow going in anything but an off road racer in Arroyo Grande, for ~5 miles to where it turns east out of the arroyo.

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    The desert is beautiful...

    Like all my other Baja trips, this one has me wanting to go back... just to experience it one more time!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!
     
  2. Jan 5, 2012 at 12:05 PM
    #2
    cc350

    cc350 Buckeye Member

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    Very nice!!
     
  3. Jan 5, 2012 at 12:59 PM
    #3
    Gregero

    Gregero TRD: Trail Ready Development

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    So amazing to just imagine that whole area completely filled with sea water. It's mind blowing. Awesome paleontology, David! That kinda stuff is very interesting.
     
  4. Jan 5, 2012 at 4:31 PM
    #4
    Anteupp

    Anteupp Mega Member

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    ohh man i was waiting for pictures of the food! probly my favorite thing in baja! well that and the women :D
     
  5. Jan 5, 2012 at 5:08 PM
    #5
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yah, I am sorry I didn't take any photos during the party... It was really good stuff... and fresh steamed clams with butter and lime and salsa or whatever you like! 100 dozen butter clams with all the fixens... yum yum!
     
  6. Jan 5, 2012 at 5:34 PM
    #6
    mikesdoublecab

    mikesdoublecab LT Chase Truck

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    that was awesome!
     
  7. Jan 5, 2012 at 6:42 PM
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    MonkeyProof

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    so here's my ignorant question of the day..

    with all of the on going drug cartel wars, mayhem, and mass murders south of the border. how safe is it to travel to Baja? i don't want to get kidnapped for ransom and have one of my ears chopped off and sent home in a shoe box with a note demanding money
     
  8. Jan 5, 2012 at 6:44 PM
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    KenLyns

    KenLyns Lord of War

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  9. Jan 5, 2012 at 11:21 PM
    #9
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Bad stuff happens every day in Los Angeles, yet people go there without thinking twice (well most do). Baja California has some urban areas where crime happens (Tijuana, for example)... but do you see anything urban in my photos? We don't camp or four wheel in cities... we also are not in the drug or law enforcement business which is where the bad stuff is between. If I am going to live in fear and let some rumors or false information stop me from doing what I love, I might as well be dead. I feel more safe and alive in Baja than anywhere else... and can't wait until I go back.
     
  10. Jan 6, 2012 at 12:15 AM
    #10
    MonkeyProof

    MonkeyProof Power Top

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    sorry, but there absolutely is no comparison between the everyday bad stuff that happens in L.A. and the everyday bad stuff that happens in Mexico. :facepalm:
     
  11. Jan 6, 2012 at 10:41 AM
    #11
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    What everyday bad stuff??? In Mexico, everyday is good (where I am at)... Just how many Americans do you think were killed in Mexico in a year compared to how many Americans were killed in (just) L.A. in a year? You odds are a hundred times safer in Mexico than L.A., one city vs. an entire country. It is a myth that Mexico is dangerous for tourists. It is dangerous for Mexicans in the drug business or the police business.

    As I tried to say above, if you camp in downtown L.A. you could become a victim... just as easily as in downtown Tijuana or Juarez. WHO CAMPS IN A CITY??? Baja California is a 700 mile long peninsula and cities are a tiny part of a great place.

    That's okay, I try and share the beauty of the other California with you who haven't gone there to show you what you could also enjoy. Put it down if you feel threatened in some way, but you shouldn't. I have been camping in Baja since 1965 and started going alone when I was 16 in 1974. If it was really dangerous, don't you think something bad would have happened in the over 40 years of trips there???
     
  12. Jan 6, 2012 at 10:55 AM
    #12
    OffroadToy

    OffroadToy This ain't Dodge City, and you ain't Bill Hickok

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    Thanks for sharing... great pictures and post David!! :cheers:
     
  13. Jan 6, 2012 at 11:19 AM
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    MonkeyProof

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    don't get all defensive you weirdo..all i was asking was this..how safe is it to travel to Baja? i get it..that Baja is safer then the rest of Mexico. i'm asking this because someday i'll taking my own trip to Baja.
     
  14. Jan 6, 2012 at 11:35 AM
    #14
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Just how many times do I have to repeat myself (I'm the weirdo?) to you? I think you are going to jinx yourself by hyping up the myth of banditos, mafia, crooked cops to the point you will be in fear the entire time, and you will have a terrible trip. Best you stay out of Baja, something bad COULD happen!

    I have a web site that is full of trip photos and links to other Baja sites, anyone interested in a back country Baja adventure should check it out to help decide where they should go based on interests: http://vivabaja.com
     
  15. Jan 6, 2012 at 11:44 AM
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    friction

    friction Well-Known Member

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    LOL at the weirdo debate...and very nice pictures. Looks beautiful.
     
  16. Jan 6, 2012 at 11:45 AM
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    jackhart

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    that is pretty cool. i have always wanted to go visit baja, seems like one of the more unique places on earth. that, and i like places that are not mobbed with tourists. i have been to oaxaca mexico, ran some very barren areas of incredibly beautiful beachfront (away from the resorts) and seeing these pics of baja reminds me of them a little bit.

    my company has a plant in nogales, mexico. we invite our customers to the plant all the time (as it is a state of the art assembly plant, we are really proud of it). some of them are afraid to visit for fear of being kidnapped, shot, killed, etc. based upon what they see and hear on the news from time to time. i personally have never been afraid to go there, but i think there are stories from time to time of innocent people being shot at and killed. personally i think the odds are quite low, and the same could happen to you walking down virtually any city street in america.

    anyway, keep taking trips, and keep taking pictures. i enjoy seeing them.
     
  17. Jan 6, 2012 at 11:50 AM
    #17
    T@co_Pr3runn3r

    T@co_Pr3runn3r XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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    Cool trip & photos......
     
  18. Jan 6, 2012 at 12:02 PM
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    TMW

    TMW Well-Known Member

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    The killings in Baja (TJ area) and other parts of Mexico are highlighted in the press with US government warnings about travel and this has created an alarming feeling amongs those who may want to go. The Americans and Canadians who have been going for many years continue to go. As with anywhere you travel you need to be aware of your surroundings and act accordingly. The killings have been between drug gangs for control and between the gangs and police and military. In Baja it is mostly the area around TJ and Rosarita Beach. When it has affected Americans it has occured late at night usually between midnight and 3am. Generally speaking cross the border in daylight and move further south and travel during the day. Night time has it's own set of problems such as cattle on the road since most of Baja is open range. The roads in many areas are narrow and that's being fixed but takes time.

    I suggest for your first time going to Baja to go with some one who goes there on a regular basis. A great time with an added security feeling is during a SCORE off-road races. There are many racers and support people from the U.S. and the Mexican police are in greater force in the cities where the race is held. One drawback is the hotels may be full especially in Ensenada and San Felipe. In May NORRA will do the Mexican 1000 from Mexicali to Cabo. In March, June and Nov. SCORE has the 250 in San Felipe, 500 out of Ensenada and the 1000 race. This years 1000 goes from Ensenada to La Paz, a beautiful city and capital of Baja Sur. Most major cities have cell coverage and to call the U.S. dial 001 area code and number. We have 911 for emergencies and in Mexico many places use 066.
     
  19. Jan 7, 2012 at 12:48 AM
    #19
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jasmine, perhaps you are new... so excuse my gruff answer to Monkey, but I have posted many many Baja trip reports with details on how to get places, where I camp, etc. and it is repeating because this isn't the first exchange I have had with members here about this.

    My trip (as detailed in the post) was down and back on Hwy. 5 (Mexicali to San Felipe and beyond, plus a side trip into the desert from Km. 107).

    The fact that I posted a trip report here (again) pretty much makes it clear it was totally safe and fun... If something bad happened to me, I wouldn't be able to tell you guys about it and show the fun photos, now would I?

    Now try and have a good life and stop letting the media control your life!
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  20. Jan 7, 2012 at 12:52 AM
    #20
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tom, glad to see you here... ! If you search, you will find photos of you and your brother when you joined us searching for the lost mission in Baja, last April!
     
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