It was getting dark (so early!!) as we hit the dirt again, passing Coco's Corner. Uli jumped down in the sandy wash next to the rocky road and I decided I was tired of eating dust, so I kicked up my speed... and I'm pretty sure he did too! He backed off and I passed him on the rough road at 70 MPH! It was fun to get some speed on the Baja 1000 race course in a Jeep overloaded with camping gear.
I really wanted to run thru Calamajue Wash, as I fell in love with that drive last year but we were running short on daylight and skipped it. I really feel like we missed out and regret not making the time to run thru the canyon, it's beautiful. We ended up at Gonzaga Bay and decided rather than camp, we'd see if there were a couple rooms available at Alfonsias and sure enough, there were! They were even serving a Thanksgiving dinner in about an hour! We got comfortable, had a meal that was less seafood and more like home. We slept well, but Uli and Cindy were kept up by noisy neighbors. In the morning I headed out for a walk with the camera and soaked up the sun and sights.
We had yet another amazing meal for breakfast (shrimp omelet? Yes please!), dumped our extra gas in the tanks and headed towards to San Felipe. The road outside of San Felipe crosses many Vado's which are deep washes where the water crossed the road... a few of them are steep and you really have to slow down. I was having fun with them and after hitting one of the biggest ones, I saw something fall off the roof rack, hit the asphalt and tumble into the brush.... it was one of my Front Runner Wolf Pack storage boxes! I had forgotten to tie it down after putting something away, it made it quite a distance before falling off. We turned around, expecting to see a broken box and dry-food stuff scattered all over, but the lid stayed on and the box was fine. I was very impressed... we were probably running around 60-65 MPH! Great build quality Front Runner, thanks for building tough products guys!! We made a stop at Catherine's' parents place, walked on the beach and then headed into town for one last shrimp taco before starting the long drive home.
While we were beachcombing, a group of dirtbikes blasted by us on the beach and Uli and I both turned into giddy little kids.... so JEALOUS!!!! I'm looking forward to the day I ride dirtbikes down there.
The drive back to Colorado wasn't fun, with the late start getting out of San Felipe put us in Mexicali in the dark, which was crazy-busy and sketchy. Then the road we were taking to the border crossing was closed so we got rerouted and eventually found the crossing. We pushed onto Needles, CA for the night and while we drove into Utah we ran into snow. You have any idea how hard it is, when just days earlier we were swimming in the sea?! We made it home with a grand total of over 3,300 miles on the Jeep!
The Jeep was perfect, other than being overloaded and top heavy. I had too much weight up high and at higher speeds you felt it. The suspension was taxed pretty hard, but having the additional travel really helped with the rough roads, higher speeds and heavy loads. I didn't even have a chance to use any of the recovery gear that I brought, let alone engage the lockers!
I've got to say that I couldn't have made this trip without my wife Catherine, she spent her younger years exploring Baja with her family, they know the area pretty well and her Spanish is pretty good. I know a little Spanish, but without her help I'd be lost.