As we sit on the Colorado River in southern California it is time, once again, to reflect on another winter on the Baja. This year brought an entirely new adventure because of our first caravan trip with Baja Amigos.
Mexico is our safe place. That sweet spot we head to when we need to heal weary minds and hearts. When Jim’s sister passed away in 2003 we found solace in Mazatlan. When my mom passed away in 2005 we almost immediately grabbed Ron & Dario and headed to Puerto Vallarta. This fall, rather than take the planned drive around the USA, we knew that a couple of months renewing on the beaches of Baja was what was called for.
Those words, from one of my favorite songs, is an apt description of much of our life and wanderings. A season ending in Baja transforms into a season beginning at camp. Now, as the leaves begin a color kaleidoscope transformation all their own, our seasons will soon recycle and renew as well.
Back at camp in Idaho, the idea of “home” has been on our minds of late. Jim’s parents still ask when we’re “coming home”. We frequently find ourselves in conversations with strangers where they ask where home is. There is no real clear-cut answer. Our official residency, for now, is Portland. We live half of the year in Idaho and half elsewhere. The majority of those we meet simply can not comprehend the idea of a semi-nomadic existence.
Joshua Tree National Park is a treasure. From our first visit two years ago the memories of the spectacular scenery has stayed with us. As the plan for our route north diverged, as they tend to do, the parks of Utah were not to be this time around but that didn’t mean we were going to miss out on Joshua Tree.
It all started with an ottoman. A broken brake fiasco south of Mulege had us pulling into Playa Santispac rather than our beloved Playa Coyote beach. We generally think of Santispac as a place for “big rigs” and all of those who want easy access to Mexico 1 rather than those seeking a bit of peace and quiet. No matter. A night on any one of the scenic beaches of Bahia Concepcion is a dream.
We decided to leave the brake fix until the next morning and then I saw it. The tall blond woman in the RV just down from us had an ottoman. A real life, straight out of a living room, ottoman that she was resting her feet on while reading her book next to the sea. A wave of envy washed over me.
I think I’ve lost track of how many such posts I’ve done. These past 27 months have found us in dozens and dozens of campgrounds across Mexico and the Western United States and feature everything from boondocking beach camps to $100/night RV parks.
We had planned on heading north via Arizona and Utah. Well, plans changed and Oregon was on the radar but we knew what we didn’t want to do was repeat the same route that we have traveled too many times over the last couple of years. By taking the border at Mexicali and heading down some back roads we effectively missed all of the dreaded San Diego/ LA/ San Francisco traffic. We also made a point of trying out some new spots along the way. Camp CDA research and all 🙂
We crossed the border recently~ a 3-hour soul-crushing grind before arriving back in the good old USA in what was our longest, and yet least invasive border crossing in over two years. Los Barrile’s winter entered the history books. As always, it was incredibly bittersweet.
Last week raced by in a blur of activity. Dave & Anne, two of our VERY favorite peeps and our most frequent visitors arrived in Baja. Although they visit the fancy resorts of Cabo often, this was their first trip to Los Barriles and the week was packed with a variety of activities highlighted by wine and waterfalls.