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Author: Subject: Turkeys on the beach!
canoe4me
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[*] posted on 12-16-2017 at 09:53 PM
Turkeys on the beach!


This is a mildly delayed trip report from Thanksgiving 2017. Its also my first trip report. We spent a week in Baja looking for tacos and solitude and secluded spot to cook a turkey. We found it!! We drove to Cabo last year for christmas but spent so much time in the truck that we needed to go back for more time outside. We camped every night out in the desert with a roof top tent and ground tent.

We (family of 5 with three kids 12, 9, 7) crossed in Mexicali took 5 to San Felipe. Mexicali welcomed us to Mexico with the ominous smell of raw sewage. Fortunately it was not an omen. We stopped for dinner on the malecon in San Felipe as the sun set. We picked a taco joint at random before breaking all the rules and driving south in the dark to Bahia Gonzaga. We did not let the little guy in the background of the restaurant picture take the wheel!

We camped out in the desert on a dirt track to the west of the highway south of Alfonsina's and were wondering in the dark why the dirt track was so torn up in some sections. In the morning we realized that we had driven across the Baja1000 course.

I'll try to post one day (or segment) at a time in what seems to be normal for this site.




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[*] posted on 12-17-2017 at 06:15 AM


Put them alll in one thread. Just keep adding to it because they get lost in the shuffle otherwise. Or not.



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[*] posted on 12-17-2017 at 08:57 AM


Keep it coming, love trip reports....
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[*] posted on 12-17-2017 at 10:00 AM


Need some more! How did you end up cooking the turkeys? In the pic in San Felipe it looks like the wind was blowing pretty good.
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[*] posted on 12-17-2017 at 10:59 AM


Day 3

We continued south on 5 through the construction to Coco's corner. I must be kinda dense but I don't really get why this place is so special. Perhaps traveling with a family and having to explain another mans fascination with giant (and tiny) underpants to your 12 year old son is a little awkward.

I had planed on finding some solitude south of BOLA near Punta Ballena but a late night Google Earth mission showed some interesting beaches to the north of BOLA. I was able to follow a track back to the BOLA road via the Playa Amarga. I have been using the NatGeo Baja maps which show no road in that area but we decided to at least try to follow the road. Some searching of the internet and this site showed a little info about a beach called Ensenada Alcatraz. This would be our primary goal and if the road was impassable we would try the Punta Ballena area.

We fueled up in BOLA and backtracked to the playa Amarga. The dry lake bed turned out to be amazing for Onewheel riding. The Onewheel is an electric skateboard with a single go cart wheel. The road then climbs a pass that is very reasonable and drops into a wash. There was VERY deep sand and I deflated my tires to 18 psi and had a few worried moments but no real problems. I used the wonky Toyota Crawl control sand mode and I guess that helped?

After a few miles of sandy wash you get out onto a coastal flat with a few sandy wash crossings but no other major problems. I was worried about tidal mud flats but there were none of any consequence.

We were able to drive right up to a huge white beach which did have rocks at low tide. We then camped there for the next 3 nights.

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[*] posted on 12-17-2017 at 11:31 AM


Looks most excellent so far!



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[*] posted on 12-17-2017 at 12:27 PM


Looks like you found a great place, with the cleanest bathroom in Baja. Just hope they were marked ladies and gentlemen!!



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[*] posted on 12-17-2017 at 02:29 PM


["There was VERY deep sand and I deflated my tires to 18 psi and had a few worried moments but no real problems. I used the wonky Toyota Crawl control sand mode and I guess that helped?"]

I'm not sure David K knows about that Toyota control system. But if it works for you great.

Love the pictures and report so far.

I think you were at the beach at Bahia Guadalupe. If so there is a shine at the south end near the beach at the fish camp against the hill.

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[*] posted on 12-17-2017 at 02:37 PM


Crawl Control is a cruise for low range and works with MultiTerrainSelect which is basically adjustable A-TRAC so it is a good thing!
Where is Day 2, or is that when the report begins?
Keep it coming canoe4me!





[Edited on 12-17-2017 by David K]




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[*] posted on 12-17-2017 at 05:05 PM


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[*] posted on 12-17-2017 at 07:57 PM


Day 4/5
I'll break this up into hikes/beach time and the Thanksgiving fest. This post is not about thanksgiving.

(OK so day 1 was mostly the w-word that has no business on this forum followed by many hours of driving in the dark from Carson City to Ridgecrest. I'm bored typing that part and am only including it per special request.)

As I mentioned we are from Carson City and our typical beach is at Lake Tahoe. None of us know much about the ocean. We took a paddle board and even though the water was much warmer than Tahoe the ocean floor beyond about 3 feet deep was covered with dinner plate sized bat rays? Sting rays? We were not taking many chances. The kids are typically crazy about swimming and while they did ride the paddle board in the morning until the wind came up, we largely stayed out of the water. We did find a carcass of a hammerhead shark that was bout 3' long and that also discouraged the kids from getting too wet. We do know about the shuffle etc. but beach combing and hiking seemed more popular with the kids.

This beach does not see too much traffic so we were all able to find sand dollars and the kids all made shell collections.

We hiked up to the fisherman's shrine on the hill at the east end of the beach and to some dunes in the valley east of that. To the west of the beach we climbed a hill to get a view and found some type of Native medicine wheel. There was a circle of rocks 10 meters in diameter made of rocks. There was a somewhat isosceles triangle of rocks about 3 meters per side in the center with three smaller circles at the tips of the triangle that blended with the outer circle. Some of the rocks were larger than 1 person could comfortably move. I tried to google native rock circles and medine wheels of Baja but could not find anything that looked like what I found. Near that area there were many old shells at the top of the hill. We did not have too much time to fully explore the hilltop because dinner was in the oven.

I tried standing in the center of the triangle with my arms up and in various other position and even tried to get into a lotus position but I did not feel any extra cosmic energy. I'm probably just not a true believer.

We saw a few fishing boats but otherwise we had the place to ourselves.
We did see and hear coyotes at night.

My wife might hangout on a beach in a lounger for the rest of her life but I have vacation ADD and with so much Baja to see we could not stay too long. I'll post about cooking the turkey on the beach next.





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[*] posted on 12-17-2017 at 09:17 PM


I will be in BOLA for a few days in March on my moto and would like to check this out. Would this be north on the road past La Gringa? I'm thinking its the same way as the window rock trail that I hope to ride?
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[*] posted on 12-17-2017 at 09:28 PM


Quote: Originally posted by advrider  
I will be in BOLA for a few days in March on my moto and would like to check this out. Would this be north on the road past La Gringa? I'm thinking its the same way as the window rock trail that I hope to ride?


Adv,

We did not take the road north of La Gringa. We turned north off the highway about 30k west of BOLA. The road we took crosses a dry lake then climbs over a pass before descending to Bahia Guadalupe area. I have read that a road north of La Gringa does or perhaps did exist. It went to an old mine and then perhaps down to our beach. I have seen some maps that show the southern portion of Bahia Guadalupe labeled as La Gringa but most modern maps show La Gringa as immediately north of BOLA.
I don’t know anything about the window rock trail.
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[*] posted on 12-17-2017 at 09:43 PM


Got it! Just the info I was looking for, I think I know how to get there, thinking I can is half of the fun and makes for an adventure. Keep up the good report and good on you for giving your kids memories of a life time. ....

[Edited on 12-18-2017 by advrider]
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[*] posted on 12-17-2017 at 11:40 PM


Great report. I too was not impressed with Coco's corner decoration. BUT Coco himself is a legend - so loved by many.

Beautiful photos. If we didn't already live here, they would make me want to move here quickly.




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[*] posted on 12-18-2017 at 09:55 PM


Day 5 Cooking the Feast!! My family wanted a traditional thanksgiving this year so we traveled to a foreign country and made a feast in the wilderness.


I'm not a chef and have no business in a real kitchen so I have to cook outdoors. I fervently believe that food tastes better when you are camping so a little extra effort making meals pays off big!!

I have cooked a pig in a pit while I lived in Kentucky but never a turkey. Pit cooked meat is really good and really easy. Any neanderthal could do it.

The first part is the hardest. Dig a pit much bigger than your meat. There were only 5 of us so we only cooked a 1/2 turkey that we bought pre-marinated from the local grocery store back home. We smuggled the turkey into Mexico in a cooler. It started frozen and was thawing nicely by day 5. I dug the pit and lined it with stones. I did not get stones from the beach but rather dry stones from the desert. Apparently if the stones are water saturated they can explode like pop-corn. The stones hold the heat and release as the coals cool. We made a trip in the truck to load up with wood where a wash met the beach. We stuck with the really heavy dense wood that we found. Ironwood? Wood in Baja seems either really dense or really light. We picked the heavy stuff and it made fabulous coals. I broke it up with rocks like any true caveman. (my wife thinks I might be first generation to walk upright.)

If you have a lot of meat you need more wood and time in the oven. I cooked the pig overnight but I figured 7-8 hours would be fine for the small turkey. (somewhere on the internet is a formula for pound per hour) I got up early on thanksgiving and made the fire and let it burn down to coals. I then shoveled half of the coals out of the pit, shoveled in a layer of sand. The turkey was sealed in two oven bags followed by several layers of heavy duty foil and finally I wrapped up the package with wire with a long tail. The tail helps pull the turkey out of the dirt. The turkey then gets covered with more sand and then the rest of the coals. Then all of the coals get buried with more sand.

Now it's time for a hike! After the turkey had cooked for 6 hours we started making the rest of the meal. Scratch made dressing/stuffing, smashed potatoes, gravy, creamed green beans and rolls round out the meal. I then dug up the turkey and it was perfect! I highly suggest real shoes when digging up hot coals. No carving the pit cooked turkey. The meat was moist and fell apart like pulled pork!

We planned to eat on the beach at sunset. The wind was stronger than previous days but otherwise the meal was perfect. Pilgrim hats courtesy of my fourth grade daughter.




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[*] posted on 12-19-2017 at 03:33 AM


That’s livin!



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[*] posted on 12-19-2017 at 04:01 AM


Awesome. Great looking meal.
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[*] posted on 12-19-2017 at 07:24 AM


Thank you for the continued adventure family story!
Perfect Baja camping experience.

Food for personal consumption is not illegal to bring into Mexico, so no laws were broken. Only when there was Mad Cow hysteria was beef forbidden.

I almost will guess the rock formation was made by New Age (Hippy) campers many years ago?

The road to the La Gringa area and the El Toro copper mine do not cross the mountains to Bahía Guadalupe/Ensenada Alcatraz.
Taking the Agua Amarga dry lake road (Km. 38) is the way. They are included on my maps I am making this month, posted here:http://forums.bajanomad.com/viewthread.php?tid=88227

Thanks for the trip report... Well Done!




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[*] posted on 12-19-2017 at 09:38 AM


We did the same this year for Thanksgiving on Playa Enscondida. Came out perfect as well.
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