Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread: Baja Whales

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Valley of the Sun - Mesa AZ
    Posts
    120

    Default Baja Whales

    Got back earlier this week from an amazing trip to Baja with 3 of my kids, my brother, and 2 of his kids ages 9, 7, 6, 4, and 3. I say that to hopefully inspire some of those ExPo dads out there with younger kids to take them on a journey they'll never forget. Interestingly enough it was exactly 2005 miles round trip door to door and thus...My Baja 2000.

    It was the Fall 2010 issue of the Overland Journal that really cemented it for me. I had been to Baja several times and knew there were tours to see the whales, but the Baja Whales article really made the trip seem tangible, and I knew I wanted to take my kids someday. Spring break and some forced vacation seemed to line up perfectly and so we were off.
    Preparations weren’t extensive…although I was pulling a Conqueror Base Camp with all my camping/cooking gear. Stock 100 Series Land Cruiser , Baja Rack, a set of MaxTrax for insurance (and they worked great!), and some Scepters to make sure we made it through some of the long stretches.
    photo(3).jpg
    This was in Puertocitos where we planned to refuel and were on empty...good to we brought our own!

    We crossed outside of Yuma in Algodones and continued on through San Felipe and Puertocitos. The road beyond Puertocitos is being paved and is absolutely beautiful. Some of the nicest in Baja without tolls. It’s a slow process but they’ve made it until about 15 miles north of Gonzaga Bay and Alfonsia’s. We spent a few nights on the gulf side and then crossed over and headed for Laguna San Ignacio. The town of San Ignacio is honestly one of the most charming little towns I’ve ever been too, especially in Baja. It’s an oasis in all aspects of the term, and there are plenty of locations there in town to stay should you choose, but we were planning on camping at Kuyima. The road out to the lagoon is also being paved, but still had about 20 miles of dirt to cover. The camping facilities were excellent; they have both cabins and camp grounds, very friendly staff. We chose Kuyima for the facilities and because they offered significant tour discounts for kids. But be warned that the Pacific Coast winds can be mighty strong; some campers in ground tents didn’t get much sleep. We did fine, but the trailer was rocking pretty good.
    DSC_8578.jpgDSC_8667.jpg
    East vs. West

    Whales: We woke up the next day to a pretty chilly morning. Tours typically leave at 9 am and it was still pretty windy. Because our group was so large and with so many kids, (we didn’t know how long they might last out in the cold) they offered to take us out later once the first tours had returned and we’d have the panga to ourselves. (Again, VERY accommodating.) So we broke camp and let things warm up a bit before we set out. Words can’t describe the experience. Humbling, awesome, emotional, exciting, beautiful… Hopefully a few pictures can add some idea of how remarkable it was to have been a part of this experience, and to have shared it with my kids. The young calves are just so curious and the opportunities to interact are amazing.
    DSC_8846.jpgDSC_8948.jpgDSC_9037.jpgDSC_9088.jpgDSC_9137.jpgDSC_9140.jpgNana.jpg
    Last edited by Safado; 03-25-2012 at 08:20 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Valley of the Sun - Mesa AZ
    Posts
    120
    After that it was back to the gulf side for some RnR in Bahia Concepcion. I had never been down Baja that far and decided to check out what most refer to as the Jewel of Baja. It was definitely worth the drive. Green and Blue waters and beautiful sandy beaches.
    DSC_9208.jpg
    We purposefully decided to pick a formal campsite as we’d already gotten stuck on one remote beach. Heavy trailer and mall tires wasn’t a winning combo with all the cargo we had. But even still, our snowbird and world traveler neighbors were great company. Kids played with their dogs and rode in their kayaks. The town of Mulegé is close by for restocking on food, fuel and the required souvenirs. We happened upon a vendor that actually invited us out to a cock fight that evening. When in Mexico! Right?! It was impossible to “blend in” with 5 little kids, but now we can check that box as well. Both sides of the PETA spectrum in one expedition to Baja!
    DSC_9238.jpg
    It doesn't end well for the one on the ground.

    The trip back was an adventure all its own going from the beach in the morning to snowy roads that closed the pass from Tecate to Mexicali in the evening. We opted to turn around, rather than wait in the snow on the mountain pass, and cross in Tecate and fought the same snow storm on the US side. We were literally the ONLY vehicle driving on Highway 8…both directions. It wasn’t until we descended from the clouds and snow that we realized the 8 was also shut down, but somehow we had snuck in in the middle. What an adventure.
    snow.jpg
    Snow and ice.

    We’re already planning the return trip.
    Last edited by Safado; 03-25-2012 at 08:18 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    59
    Awesome. I can't wait to get back to the US and start exploring again.
    Ryan
    2012 Toyota 4Runner Trail Edition | 2011 Corvette | 1999 Tahoe (Donating to Sister)
    KC2VQG - Army Communicator
    Facebook | Twitter
    Stationed @ Ft Drum, NY | Deployed to Afghanistan | On Orders to Ft Leavenworth, KS

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ormond Beach
    Posts
    139
    WOW! Is that picture of the stars real? WOW! Thanks for sharing.
    Ben Hedrick
    Projects:
    2014 Rubicon Xpo Adventurer
    2005 4.0L AEV Brute (Red)
    2011 6.4L VVT SRT8 HEMI JKU Rubicon-sold
    2010 6.1L HEMI JKU Rubicon-sold
    2007 5.7L HEMI JKU Sahara-sold
    2002 4.0L Jeep AEV Brute-sold
    2003 6.4L Jeep AEV Brute (White)
    www.BenHedrick.com
    http://hedrickspeedsports.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Santee, CA
    Posts
    2,139
    Nice trip, can't wait till my grandson is a couple of years older and joins us...we leave Saturday morning for 8 days of R&R in Baja!
    Crew dog, Dust Junkies Racing, Three time Baja 1000 Champions, Class 1700 (Jeepspeed)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ozark Mountains
    Posts
    4
    excellent post--fortunate kids!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sandy Eggo
    Posts
    1,231
    That is truly awesome.

    Having seen the whales in Laguna San Ignacio, I completely understand the experience. And it will be something your kids will never forget.
    San Ignacio is one of our favorite towns in Baja as well!



    Congrats on your trip.

















    Curious though, why does your trailer say USAR?
    Robb
    KI6OVI
    1994 fzj80-sold : 1970 fj40-sold : 1998 UZJ100
    1995 SMB 4x4 Diesel EB (keeper...for now)
    Bella Adventures


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Phx, Az
    Posts
    4,851
    Great write up and excellent pics...
    Good on ya' for getting the young one out into the wide world and giving them that kind of experience, they will be talking about it for years.
    I love Baja and it is always nice to hear about someone else having a good time, just goes to show why I don't watch the news or listen to the naysayers.
    cigar smoking, wilderness first responding, ham talking night nurse who is overland certified and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.....
    now everyone say "so what where have you been lately?"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Valley of the Sun - Mesa AZ
    Posts
    120
    Quote Originally Posted by blupaddler View Post

    Curious though, why does your trailer say USAR?
    It's a long story...bought it that way from the original seller who had re-badged it Urban Search and Rescue to try and sell them to that market. Originally planned on "restoring" it back, but not my top priority...but it does get a lot of questions.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Valley of the Sun - Mesa AZ
    Posts
    120
    Quote Originally Posted by 1leglance View Post
    Great write up and excellent pics...
    Good on ya' for getting the young one out into the wide world and giving them that kind of experience, they will be talking about it for years.
    I love Baja and it is always nice to hear about someone else having a good time, just goes to show why I don't watch the news or listen to the naysayers.
    Exactly, I can't tell you how many crazy looks I got from people when I told them I'm taking my kids to Mexico. Granted...there's violence...it's not made up. My advice, spend as little time as possible in any of the major border towns, and enjoy the rest.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •