Baja and Back Again

Solo for 16,000km in a VW Golf TDI, exploring the vastness and chasing the whims to eventually spend months kitesurfing in the Sea of Cortez.

The one way distance between Vancouver BC, and La Ventana in Baja California Sur is about 3800km. Somehow or another though, there and back again became a 16500km journey... Safe to say I'm pretty damn happy to get out of a car and sit down. 

After a stint in northern Alberta I cruised into Montana late in October to chase the seasons; leaves that were green, the geese and the sun. After about ten days of blasting around America (through Montana, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California) I crossed the border into Tijuana, Mexico. Cue trying to learn Spanish on your own and somehow sleeping inside a Volkswagon Golf (believe it or not there's 6' of room to be found...). I managed to pick up two mini vans to convoy with that had BC plates and -surprise- two German couples driving. Exploring with them they helped take my mind off the wind as we fished our way down the coast, eating everything we came across and camping for free -and alone- on beautiful and remote beaches.

A few nights of laughter later I found myself in La Ventana. I spent the first ten days sleeping on a beach north of town with nothing but the moon and the stars reflected off the Sea of Cortez. It was so hot that I'd go to bed at 7pm (don't judge!) and wake up around 4am, spend two hours waiting for sunrise, watch it, lounge for a half hour, and then to pack up the tent and beat it into town to find shade before the Baja sun roasted my already scrambled brains.

My dad and brother surprised me a few days later and showed up in a truck packed with dirt bikes. A month of glorious madness and kiting ensued (mountainous swell, high winds, shore breaks, 8km downwinders, hopping over sand dunes to kite perfectly flat shallow lagoons) before my better half met me down there. Which meant it was time to start driving home... 

Ten days later we were headed back up the Baja, through California, Oregon and Washington and home to the great white north. Though they're mainly cactus colour, here are some moments from there and back again. 

Zoe checking out the view in Joshua Tree, California.

Death Valley, and a sign that continues to make me cross eyed.

Badwater Basin, in 'The Devils Golf Course' the hottest place on earth -Death Valley, California.

Just another terrible sunrise over the Sea of Cortez, Baja. Free beach. As taken in camera.

Before you get too excited, this is what most of the drive looks like...

Yeah, it's pretty dry.

Full moon in La Ventana!

My little brother is shredding bikes pretty hard these days...

While also looking epic.

Yay, mountains!

Dr. Suess' cacti wonderland.

I can't take credit for this one, last morning in Baja sharing the shipwreck view from my first night alone in the Baja. Photo: Renée.

Yosemite Valley before 4" of snowfall chased us out and on our way north.

Mother nature always has a way of humbling us. Redwoods, northern California.

And before we knew it, we were back on Mount Bruce with the best view of Mt. Baker around. Back in the lands that ground us.