Spring Break in Mexico, Part 5

After we left the observatory, we descended the mountain to just west of Rancho Meling, then turned to the north. The road was in great shape the few miles to Rancho El Coyote and then after that, it got … rough.

Road to San Felipe

Road to San Felipe

Not too long after we passed the ranch and had been dealing with some woops and ruts we ran into a military group in a wash. We asked the way to Mike’s Sky Ranch and then they proceeded to point us in the direction opposite the one I thought we’d take. Fortunately, my map showed both forks eventually meeting up again and continuing towards Mike’s.

The road eventually crested a pass although at points along the way, the road was pretty rough. Somehow photos of rough roads never really do them justice:

Following Baja 500 tracks

After the pass, we cruised along a plateau before dropping steeply into Mike’s Sky Ranch. Did I mention we did our mild rock crawling on these tires?:

Bald tires

Once we left Mike’s (where it appeared no one was around), it didn’t take us long to reach Mexico Highway 3. We made a brief stop at a convenience store to get a drink and some snacks to tide us over until we reached San Felipe. Embracing adventure, when a hitchhiker waved at us, we pulled over and gave him a ride to the junction with Mexico Highway 5 where he continued north to Mexicali and we turned south to San Felipe. Although he didn’t speak much English and we didn’t speak Spanish, we were able to communicate that we’d just gone hiking (he asked us if we were “scouts” and it took awhile to figure out that he was thinking along the lines of Boy Scouts) and that he was a heavy equipment mechanic.

Driving down the coast, I found myself staring longingly up at Picacho del Diablo. I hate not reaching goals and this one had stymied me for the time being. I can’t wait to get down and try again.

In town, we sought out a hotel so we could get a shower (nothing like $70 hotels on the beach!) and then set out in search of food. And pineapple drinks. And food. And strawberry daiquiris.

Pineapple drinks

Tacos, San Felipe

It felt really good to be on the water. I got a touch of food poisoning (ha, a touch) but I will never quit eating street food. It’s too good. (In fact, I didn’t even really slow down on eating it for the duration of the trip. Just kept trying to throw down the calories!).

The next morning, we continued to Algodones where we availed ourselves of the affordable dental checkups, grabbed some more street food, stayed in the nicest $50 hotel room I’ve ever seen and drank margaritas in its courtyard as the sun went down to savor the last of the southern warmth.

Rather than immediately cross back into the States, we drove east on Mexican Highway 2 towards Sonoita. I had my first real Mexican burrito from a vendor in San Louis Rio Colorado and before I knew it, we were in Sonoita crossing the border into Lukeville.

Colorado River near Los Algodones, Mexcio

Border Fence

After a quick stop in Ajo to say hello to old friends, we drove all the way to Kayenta, Arizona before calling it a night.

Each and every time I go to another country, I savor the experience and this was no exception. One of the amazing things about living in the southwest is that Mexico just isn’t that far away. I look forward to more adventures!

Travesia: Jeeping In Mexico

At 3Up Adventures, we always are on the lookout for something exciting and unique to try so when Forrest’s coworker invited us to join an off-road jeep run in Mexico, we went. We arrived at the designated meeting place an hour early, signed up, and waited. Neither of us speak any Spanish but we managed to make a few friends.

Travesia, February 2013

About an hour after we were supposed to meet, things got started. As we started to move out of the gas station, sirens began to blare: we were getting a police escort down the highway through the heart of Sonoyta. As we drove through town, I waved back at the “spectators” enjoying the “parade.”

Traversia, Sonoyta

South of town several miles, we turned west and our trip started for real. It was exciting to drive through a Sonoran Desert that showed it was further south with a different variety of plants. Eventually, we turned off the road and headed cross country, up sand dunes, and through washes. F enjoyed showing off the capabilities of our jeep!

Traversia, Desert Road

Traversia, Donkey

TJ in Mexico

Traversia

We made camp around three and then went out to play in the sand dunes some more. We’d brought along food for dinner but our hosts wouldn’t hear of us not sharing their feast: we had a yummy bean stew and carne asada tacos. It was delicious!

Jeep, Traversia

Jeeps, Traversia

Jeep on Sand Dunes

Jeeps

Sunset

Sonoran Desert at Sunset

Camp

Jeeping friends

3Up Adventures. Family

Cactus of the Week: Senita

Senita

Senita Cactus
Pachycereus schottii

I hadn’t seen a Senita in the wild until we got to Mexico. While driving through the desert, I kept wondering what was up with the “hairy Organ Pipes,” once I got out and took a look, I realized they were a totally different species.

The Senita is another tall cactus (like the Saguaro and the Organ Pipe), measuring between 10′-20′ tall. They grow in large clusters, up to 100 stems. Their stems are hexagonal and waxy looking with a heavier concentration of spines at the tops of the stems that give them that hairy or shaggy appearance. The spines at the top of the stems are also longer than those at the bottom.

Senita

Senita

Senita