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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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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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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The People's Guide to Why Your Car Won't Start

Steve Rogers and Carl Franz wearing sombreros.

editor’s note: El Codo is a retired lead acid battery design engineer and battery performance tester You don’t need any tools or mechanical “savvy” to do this diagnostic. Print this page out. Fold it, and stick inside the glove box. If you turn the key and your car plays possum, calmly sit back and breeze through this diagnostic checklist. Let’s Diagnose! If you turn the key and the starter motor whirrs but does not start the engine, it means the […]

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Historical Photo of the Week: On the Road with Steve Rogers

family in van

Our friend Tia just sent me this stellar photo. This pretty much sums up my childhood growing up in a van down by the river. This particular van was named Zebu, after the white humped back cows you sometimes see along Mexican roadsides. I (the toothy child) am sitting on my bed, an oblong plywood box that doubled as a storage compartment. Note the sweet roof rack, the sacred cooler in the foreground, the lucky “God’s eye” hanging from the […]

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Awesome Photos of Motorcyle Trip Across Mexico, Circa 1981

Illustration of restaurant from vintage edition of The People's Guide to Mexico

    We recently received an email from a reader, who politely requested to use an original illustration from The People’s Guide to Mexico in a blog post he was writing about his 1981 motorcycle trip from Canada to Mexico. Carl wrote back and told him “sure” and asked him to send us a link to the post. I must admit that I didn’t expect to have my mind blown by an awesome trove of photographs. As some of you […]

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Baja Roads, Towns, and Beaches: El Codo's Baja Travel Update

The coast of Baja.

The Baja California peninsula is more convenient to visit than ever. To many PG travelers the most important question is: “Can I still camp there on the beaches, safely?” With the exception of the northern Pacific coast beaches, (Tijuana to El Rosario) the answer is an unqualified “Yes!” More than a thousand miles of wide-open beaches await the wilderness camper.  Baja Car Permits and Tourist Cards If you want to venture much beyond Ensenada or stay longer than 72 hours […]

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Mushroom Season in the Sierras.

San Juanito, Chihuahua, Feria del Hongos 2013

While It’s Monsoon Season in the Desert, It’s Mushroom Season in the Sierras. Rain! The water of life! Dry throat-parching dust turns to luscious greasy mud. People who have been lethargic all summer come alive and start to smile. Struggling plants that look like weeds become towering corn plants with fat fuzzy ears as big as your forearm. Tenuous little blue flowers on slithering stringy vines bring forth a bonanza of beans. And underground a quiet revolution is brewing. Overnight, […]

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Road Trip Round-Up

Super Star

  If you are new to this site or have only been getting occasional transmissions, you can read all the dispatches from our recent two month road trip to Mexico here. For me, some of the highlights of the trip were the tortas, the burritos, the chiles, our visit to the amazing Oaxacan food market, and eating fresh fish with our excellent friends on the Pacific Coast. Oh you want something that’s not food related? Will mezcal do? Also…our random […]

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