Saint Good Adventure

San Judas de Tadeo

  As usual on a border crossing day, I woke up with a mixture of excitement and dread. Excitement at the thought of Mexico and dread at the thought of dealing with customs agents and paperwork. From my late father I inherited a phobia of police officers and other government officials, which means that I work myself up into a state every time we need to cross an international border. As it turned out, my sense of foreboding was not […]

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Baja Reaches for the Stars–How to Hike Picacho del Diablo

Picacho del Diablo, Baja.

Text and blisters by Mike Huckaby Baja’s high point is a fun endeavor and an obvious destination for Sea of Cortez kayakers, mountaineers of all stripes, and beach goers frolicking in San Felipe. Four-wheelers love to spin sand on the road to the trail head, and naturalists love the inviting freshwater pools near the trail head. What’s not to love? Stately cardon and the umbrella canopy of ocotillo dot the beautiful Baja desert. Robin’s egg blue skies meet the immense […]

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Book Review: Narcocorrido by Elijah Wald

note: Click on links for music. Would you rather listen to gangster rap, country music, or polka?  If you cringed in horror at any of the three options, well, brace yourself. If you answered, “All three!” then you probably already know your Tigres from your Tucanes. Whatever your musical tastes, the blood-splattered accordion-happy world of the Mexican narcocorrido is a fascinating place to visit. In Narcocorrido: A Journey into the Music of Drugs, Guns, and Guerillas, folklorist and musician Elijah Wald explains […]

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From the Archives: An Eight-Year-Old’s Travel Journal, 1987

Map of baja drawing

Churpa writes: While researching for a memoir of my childhood on the road, I’ve been digging through old family photographs and journals, and I found this very detailed illustrated travel journal that I started when I was eight, in 1987. The journal is canvas-bound with a sweet splatter paint design on the cover, and spans from November 1987 to the spring of ’89. It covers two long trips, from Oregon to Baja to Guatemala and back again. At the time, […]

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Oaxaca Camping Update

Vinage image of fantastical trailer and camper

  The San Felipe Campground is closed yet again because the landowner wanted to put the property to other uses. Luckily, the camp proprietors found a new property and are opening the Oaxaca Campground, located just off the Pan American Highway near KM marker 17 east of Oaxaca. Their website is still in the rudimentary phase, but does give contact info. We look forward to checking it out. There are also limited spots potentially available at the Overlander Oasis in El […]

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Overlanders

hippie family in van

My dad and I were not allowed to touch the van during the packing process. My mother was in charge, and we were the heavy lifters, hauling plastic tubs of spices, boxes of books, boxes of wine, tool boxes. Tina instructed us to set everything by the back doors of the van. She would crawl underneath the plywood bed, on her hands and knees, visible only by the bottoms of her sneakers. It was my job to stand waiting while […]

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Safe to Caravan Through Sinaloa?

reader writes: Hi there, We are planning a trip as a caravan to Navidad Mx. I’ve never driven past Monchis before. I am a little uneasy with all I have herd of driving into Sinaloa. We would leave from Nogales to Navidad. Any advice? Thank you, TLG Churpa answers: I drive this route nearly every year, and have never had any problems. Don’t drive at night, use common sense, pay attention, and try not to exude an attitude of fear. […]

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Stop the Itch: The Secret for Treating No-see-um Bites

Winter months are the season for no-see-um’s, or jejenes. Jejenes love brackish water and  thrive where lagoons and streams empty into the ocean. At sundown, Jejenes start their hunt for exposed flesh. Rains and extra high tides create breeding pools, or “charcos.” Within three days there will be a large hatch of hungry Jejenes. I chicken out and flee before they hatch.  DEET plus Pennyroyal Oil is an effective deterrent. THE ITCH. Pure agony lasting several days. The single treatment […]

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Dancing with the Devil: Climbing Baja’s High Point

Picacho del Diablo

The attempt of Picacho Del Diablo is not a summit to be undertaken lightly. The map shows a 13 km trail, so you practically have to figure thirteen hours of route finding. But first, after just thirty minutes or so of hiking from the east side trailhead, you come to the most ingenious cow-excluding device known to geologic engineering. There is a little two foot waterfall into a turquoise blue pool about three feet deep. Yes, it’s only five feet, […]

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Carl’s Travel Light Packing Suggestions

An envelope says "par avion"

      Editor’s note: For additional recent musings on packing, click here. Suggested Items: o Strong, comfortable running or walking shoes, with non-skid soles o Several pairs of sock. We prefer cotton. o Two pairs of slacks (denim is too heavy) o Women: dress or skirt (easily washed and packed) o Two shirts or blouses (long- or short-sleeved but modest) o Sweater, lightweight o Jacket (lightweight) or windbreaker o Rain jacket or compact umbrella (rainy season) o T-shirt or […]

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