Today was just one of those magical days. You set off on one adventure and then you find out that something even better is in store for you. Since both Steff and her kids (Adios 3) and Jack and I are hanging out in Puerto Escondido waiting for our Captains to return, we decided to have some fun. Well truthfully, Steff decided to have some fun and she invited us along for the ride. Glad she did. We set out in a small rental car for the San Javier Mission which is about 32 kilometers out of Loreto, up into the Sierra de la Gigantes mountains.
It was 32 kilometers off the main road , and only half of it was paved. We were a little worried starting out since the Budget Rental representative was a little hesitant when we told him our plans. But Steff is a woman not to be deterred, and off we went.
Honestly, the road was not that bad, but when we hit the 20 miles of dirt roads, things started to get interesting. Up, up, up we wound through the canyons, past a couple of remote ranches, and through some spectacularly beautiful countryside. We saw caballeros (cowboys) on horseback, free ranging cows and goats, and lots of cactus, rocks and empty land. But our first indication of something special going on was the tricked out motorcycle that blew by us with driver decked out in fancy protective clothing. The next clue was when we passed two men standing by a fancy truck in the middle of nowhere who started laughing when they spied us and told us that they were a check point for the Baja 1000 race. I didn't really believe them. The final clue was when we reached the San Javier Mission and met the driving team of contestants #601 with the driver J.T. Taylor, his back-up driver and one of his road crew. (J. T. is the one with the mustache.) For those of you not in the know, the Baja 1000 is one of those crazy off-road races that started back in the late 60's. It has morphed into something entirely different since then, but basically teams of drivers in different vehicles (motorbikes, dune buggies, big trucks) race off-road through the Baja Peninsula with the help of big money sponsors.
After that, the afternoon became sort of funny. On our way back down the mountain we passed a couple different Baja 1000 contestants who were practicing on the road. I can't imagine what they thought, contestants in one of the roughest motorized off-road land races in the Americas when they were passing two Moms and 3 teens in a small sized Budget Rental car. Go Team Budget!!!!