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Author: Subject: BIG HORN SHEEP - Bahia de los Angeles
Aqsurfer
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[*] posted on 10-18-2014 at 01:33 PM
BIG HORN SHEEP - Bahia de los Angeles


Hola Nomads,

In early October I led a group of lifeguards to Bahia Asuncion. On our way back to San Diego, we always stop in Bahia de los Angeles to swim with whalesharks and also break up the trip north. We stay at Antonio Resendiz' Campo Archelon. He is a great friend. We also worked together on sea turtle issues with the Grupo Tortuguero and on conservation issues of the midriff island region. He is always looking for ways to help the folks in BLA and protect its flora and fauna. I knew we were in for something special when Antonio invited our group to go on a big horn sheep adventure.

Note: the following is from the ISLA lifeguard trip post.

We had an amazing day! Our group left camp at 5:30am and headed south through the Valle de las Flores (the desert was green, green, green). We saw a lot of birds among the cardon cactus as we continued on towards our first big horn stop along the Sierra La Libertad. Birders this is a treat. Our guides Matilde, Ramon, Chato, and Jorge set up hi-powered binoculars and quickly spotted big horn miles away. These guys are amazing, we thought we had good eyes but the guides did their initial big horn spot with the naked eye. The group then headed out for the charming ranch of Matilde and Andrea where we were warmly received. Everybody then joined in to make lunch – fresh yellow tail tacos with all the fixings and sashimi. The star at lunch was the fresh ranch cheese, oh my gosh it was good. Good stuff all around! Great vibe and fun cooking with the group – everyone had a great time and a fantastic meal. We then set out on a short hike to a tinaja (water hole) in a deep cut canyon. All the guards immediately jumped in the water on reaching the tinaja and then we noted that the walls were perfect for rock climbing. Up we went. Again more fun.

The group then continued our hike up the trail to where the canyon split. Here again the guides quickly spotted big horn sheep. Lorena Santana and her “Barefoot in Baja” crew was with us and her cinematographer Rick along with our lead guide Matilde set off scrambling up the canyon face to photograph/video the big horn. The rest of the group watched from the opposite side of the canyon (very near) and I swear Matilde is so agile he could probably run down a big horn. Great job by those guys on the canyon wall!

If you have never seen big horn sheeep in Baja, I highly recommend it. There are two big horn sheep trips planned in the near future: on October 31 and November 15/16. The cost is $50 per person and includes transportation from BLA, food (amazing fresh yellow tail tacos, sashimi, fresh ranch cheese, etc), big horn sheep viewing, birding, hiking, and guides. All the money goes to the guides, to cover costs, and to help in their efforts to protect big horn sheep. Lets help these guys build ecotourism and protect big horn by going on one of these day trips. Contact me or Antonio if you would like more information or would like to go on a big horn adventure at:

Aaron
aqsurf@aol.com

Antonio
resendizshidalgo@yahoo.com

Next trips are set and space is available:

October 31

November 15/16

I have a lot of Baja experience and really had a great time on this day trip. If you are headed to Baja in the near future I highly recommend it. Support ecotourism.

Peace,
Aaron
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David K
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[*] posted on 10-18-2014 at 02:50 PM
Baja Borregos (Bighorn)


Thanks for the report... Any photos???

Here was our Bighorn surprise visit as they walked quietly by our camp, one mile east of Mission Santa María... one of those magic Baja times!















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[*] posted on 10-18-2014 at 11:08 PM


Have encountered them twice on the old road to Gonzaga Bay south of Black Mountain and before Five Islands...and multiple times while adventuring in the desert southwest. Each time is special...
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[*] posted on 10-19-2014 at 02:49 AM


Allow me to share an old 'river' story about the Desert Bighorn; they were thought to be pretty much extinct throughout the desert southwest and the Colorado plateau area, until the advent of WWII surplus pontoons and rafts, and the first 'thrill-seekers' (adrenaline junkies actually) who started exploring the inner reaches of what's now Canyonlands National Park running the Colorado River for fun, and then profit with paying suckers... oops, I mean clients, to go into an incredibly remote area accessed only by river and by some of the fool-heartiest... I mean, adventurous back-country travelers at the time (early 1950's). There were two herds of Desert Bighorn found in Y-Canyon and Imperial Canyon several miles below the confluence with the Green River; later, wildlife conservationists repopulated the desert southwest from these two herds, bringing them up to current population in the U.S.

Over 40 years later a fairly large isolate herd in the Lime Ridge Anticline of the San Juan River system just east of Mexican Hat, Utah were studied at length by a team (husband and wife, and assistants) and blood-tested and DNA tested, and found to be indigenous also. They'd survived as a small group through the 'slaughter' of many large mammals from easy and over-hunting, much like Elk and Bison, and in the same canyons a few tribal sects of the Navajo had escaped Kit Carson and the American Government's pogroms on their tribe.

I've had the pleasure of many, many encounters with both the Rocky Mountain Bighorn in Dinosaur National Park on the Green River, and the Desert Bighorn throughout Canyonlands since 1977 (my first look-see), and have a few pics framed on my frontroom wall; my favorite was the RM bighorn in the Main Salmon canyon taken right outside my tent from less than 10' away grazing on the dew-covered grass at first light... what a way to wake up! I've sat on the groover in the morning with 2 huge rams casually strolling by at the same distance, not caring about my business, and me enjoying theirs. Once watched a couple of moms teaching their two kids how to rock-hop between boulder-to-boulder in Gates of Lodore Canyon, and a miss would have been fatal. And speaking of, a fellow 'rat' once was hiking a long, precipitous trail around a long, precipitous rapid (Hell's Half Mile) on the Green, high up on a steep talus slope, and came face-to-face with a large ram coming in the opposite direction; they both stopped and stared, the ram slowly lowered his head, and my friend decided to surrender his place on the trail. No blood was spilt or skin shredded, but a lifetime of storytelling around the fires.

Too cool critters, too cool pics. Thanks for the re-memories!!:coolup:




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[*] posted on 10-19-2014 at 07:25 AM


Hey Aqsurfer, I will be staying in the cabin at Campo Archelon Nov 23-29. I wonder if this, or an other eco-excursions, are available on the 25, 26 or 27. I will be there with my parents and they love this kind of stuff. Is there much walking? Thanks.

[Edited on 10-19-2014 by briantroy]




These endless lands and unique waters are not simply soil and sea. These elements of earth and water are as much a part of me as my blood and organs. And the people that populate this corner of the world lift my spirit to heights that allow me to see what is truly important; The beauty of life. And that is the essential gift.
– B. Florez, Mission of Souls.
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[*] posted on 10-19-2014 at 08:02 PM


Hola Briantroy,

I just sent the folks in Bahia de los Angeles an email asking if they can accommodate your group on Nov 26/27. There are a couple of great day trips/eco-excursions available. Edit - Go to the museum in town. It is fantastic. First, I highly recommend a boat tour. I always go with Joel Prieto. He is a great friend and a very experienced boatman. Second, a nice day trip up to Mission San Borja. The road up is a bit tough but the mission is beautiful. You can go solo or Antonio can help you secure a guide. Third, the big horn adventure. The other folks that have contributed to this thread have done a great job describing how very special this experience is.

Regarding the hiking: Our first spotting stop was on a dirt road - no hiking. Fifteen big horn were spotted with aid of high power binoculars. Our second encounter was after a 1,000 meter hike of moderate difficulty. The eight big horn were spotted on this very close encounter, approximately 300-400 meters away. I am sure that the guides will be able to accommodate your parents physical ability and still provide a great experience. In fact on our trip, we just missed 17 big horn that were on the hillside above the ranch prior to our arrival. Matilde had the pictures time stamped to prove it.

I hope that something works out - it is really special. Also, wake up early, drive back up the road to the hill/viewpoint above the bay and watch the sunrise over the most beautiful bay in all of Mexico.

Peace,
Aaron

[Edited on 10-20-2014 by Aqsurfer]

[Edited on 10-20-2014 by Aqsurfer]
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[*] posted on 10-19-2014 at 08:23 PM


Aaron,

Thanks for your posts. I want to check this opportunity out as well. I knew back in the day Chato was part of a big horn project, but didn't know he was still active in it.

On a side note, I'm just curious, did Chato wear shoes on your trip? He is a great guy.

P>*)))>{




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[*] posted on 10-19-2014 at 08:37 PM


Hola Paulina,

Yea I think everybody was zapato'd up. A couple in guards were in chanclas.

You are right, Matilde, Andrea, and all the guides are a great group of people. Son muy sinceros. Their hospitality was wonderful and a big reason for a great trip. Hope you can go.

Many years ago I helped in the donation of a 4x4 to the grupo borregero.

Peace,
Aaron
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[*] posted on 10-19-2014 at 08:48 PM


Aaron,

Do you have photos of your trip that you can post, or a link to a photo site?

Thanks,
P>*)))>{




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[*] posted on 10-19-2014 at 08:49 PM


Hola David,

Thank you for posting those great photos. I did not have a camera with me but I will ask the other guards for some and try to post them.

Our experience was just like you said "one of those magic Baja times!"

Peace,
Aaron
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[*] posted on 10-20-2014 at 01:48 AM


I was eleven years old when the family packed into the 1979 Dodge van conversion (complete with shag carpet, captains chairs and the old steel Coleman ice chest). We drove all day that first day and stopped for gas at Punta Prieta. The Pemex was out of unleaded gas and the attendant wasn't sure when the truck would arrive. Aside from the Pemex, there wasn't much of anything there except a few small houses, a church and a soccer field. We camped near the soccer field, ate Beanee Weenies from the can and I had never before, nor since, seen so many stars.

In the morning the truck hadn't arrived so we took a detour toward Bahia de Los Angeles. To this day, our family still talks about the view we saw coming over the hill and looking down upon those waters. The other day, when I told my parents I wanted to do a Thanksgiving trip to Baja, before I could even get it out of my mouth, my dad said "You want to go to the bay we saw that first morning." I was blown away. He had read my mind and kept the same memory.

Punta Prieta is kind of a running joke in my family. It was an introduction to Baja and let us know that having a good time and special moments isn't about having everything you want. Instead, its about spending time with family and making the best of what you have. Eating Beanee Weenies from a can with family and under those stars is something I will never forget.

We spent the day on the bay and headed back to Punta Prieta that afternoon. The truck still hadn't arrived and the attendant said it could be an hour or a week. Dad filled up with leaded gas and we hit the road south. We crossed to the mainland on a ferry from la Paz and I vomited the entire time. The catalytic converter on the van might have burned out, but the stars and view of the bay remain pristine in my mind.

[Edited on 10-20-2014 by briantroy]

[Edited on 10-20-2014 by briantroy]




These endless lands and unique waters are not simply soil and sea. These elements of earth and water are as much a part of me as my blood and organs. And the people that populate this corner of the world lift my spirit to heights that allow me to see what is truly important; The beauty of life. And that is the essential gift.
– B. Florez, Mission of Souls.
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[*] posted on 10-22-2014 at 06:16 PM


Hola Briantroy,

Thanks for sharing that great story. It reminds me of the special times that I and my family have had in Baja. They include that great trip to Cabo in '69, surfing some great waves, visiting family in Baja, fishing with my old man, exploring the peninsular ranges, my first gray whale hug, my conservation victories, the list goes on. The latest was the big horn trip. I hope that you and your parents can go.

I am meeting with Antonio on saturday and I will ask him about Nov 26/27.

Peace,
Aaron
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[*] posted on 10-27-2014 at 09:55 PM


Right on Aaron. Let Antonio know we are still down for the cabin.



These endless lands and unique waters are not simply soil and sea. These elements of earth and water are as much a part of me as my blood and organs. And the people that populate this corner of the world lift my spirit to heights that allow me to see what is truly important; The beauty of life. And that is the essential gift.
– B. Florez, Mission of Souls.
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[*] posted on 4-21-2015 at 05:25 PM


What a great trip! Will this be offered later this year? Fall thru Spring?

Would love to go. thank you for posting.




\"Probably the airplanes will bring week-enders from Los Angeles before long, and the beautiful poor bedraggled old town will bloom with a Floridian ugliness.\" (John Steinbeck, 1940, discussing the future of La Paz, BCS, Mexico)
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[*] posted on 4-23-2015 at 02:23 PM


Hola Whale-ista,

Yes there will be more trips available this fall. Also, if folks are interested, there may be opportunities to help big horn during the summer months. The big horn group in LA Bay work to set up tinajas (watering holes) to help the big horn survive the summer.

If anyone is interested in a trip or helping out, please get in touch with me via U2U or if you are in LA Bay contact Antonio at Campo Archelon. As other have noted in this thread, it is an amazing Baja experience.

Peace,
Aaron
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[*] posted on 4-24-2015 at 09:30 AM


I've been traveling to Bahia for almost 40 years and have never seen a big horn sheep. I must check this out.



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[*] posted on 4-24-2015 at 12:04 PM


Got a nice shot of these desert bighorns - I inadvertently snuck up on them in Afton Canyon. I'm guessing they were only 20-30' away from the truck. We had a minute-long stare-off, then they bounced away.





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[*] posted on 4-24-2015 at 10:33 PM


Thanks for posting Aaron... when I visited Campo Archelon in March, Tony shared these pictures with me, posted here to help illustrate your adventure... I'm so looking forward to going along.




Tony Resendiz and donated suburban used on the trip



Hard to imagine a better experience for $50... and what a worthwhile ecotourist project.




















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[*] posted on 4-24-2015 at 11:26 PM


Cool!



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[*] posted on 4-25-2015 at 09:28 AM


Beautiful!
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