Enjoying our camper for another year brought us once again to our favorite beach and friends at Escondida on Bahia Conception'. As expected it was wonderful. Baja had been hit with a terrible hurricane and Mulage was pretty much flooded out. But the people were recovering and all of our favorite shopping there was in order by the time we arrived.
We camped at the beach for the entire time in Baja that year. We had gone to the bottom and really enjoyed it there. BUT this year we wanted to just plant ourselves, take the camper off and explore the back country. And that we did.
Our friend Jens stayed with us quite a while and took us around the outside of Bahia Conceptions peninsula. This place was rugged and seemingly UN touched. However, as usual, there were the ever present fish camps. Poor Sea of Cortes. The fishermen have just about wiped out the fish. They have these scraper boats the drag the bottom killing everything in their path. Then any fishing inside of Conception Bay is supposed to be only for subsistence. We witnessed much waste and the continued illegal “selling” of this so called, “subsistence” fishing. This year we purchased no sea food in protest.
Kayaking around the wee islands was still wonderful and a treat to see any fish at all. In years past we'd seen whale sharks. But this year none. We could hear and see the dolphins. A rare treat was a turtle surfacing and quickly submerging. They still fish turtle and they are becoming quite rare. Plus the beaches they nest on are getting so much vehicle traffic that destroys the turtle nests. Yes, our third winter there and we'd learned so much more about the Baja. It is commendable that Mexico set aside the Whale sanctuaries in the 70s. However, with more development of the beach front, and the never ending influx of people, this once remote paradise is getting “loved to death.”
On the way to the Baja we got another chance to meet the family in San Clemente. VERY fun once again. While there we got to the San Diego Zoo and LaBrea Tar Pits. We met Carl's long time radio buddy Dick, K6AU. Earlier on the way south we explored Crater Lake and Yosemite National Parks. The Maraposa sequoia grove on the edge of Yosemite was amazing and mysterious shrouded with fog. More hot springs were dipped into. Umqua in Oregon and the east side of the Sierras were special treats. Mono Lake was spectacular and so unusual. The Hot Creek area near Mammoth held many hand built pools of various sizes and temperatures. This place will see us again.