29-Mar-2003 -- This was the third and last confluence (see also 28°N 114°W, 27°N 112°W) on our whale watching trip to Baja. The maps indicated this spot 6km south of the paved road to Baja de los Angeles with a dirt road getting to within 3.75km.
We left Baja de los Angeles after breakfast and drove about 65km to the spot where the dirt road to the south was supposed to turn off. The paved road dips into a rather wide wash here and there was no obvious dirt road to be seen. However, we could see a road a little further south climbing out of the wash. So we looked a little more closely and found the road. It did not appear to be used much from this side and grass was covering the tracks. We followed the road (picture 7) until it started to turn west and away from the confluence.
We were now about 3.6km from the confluence and had to make a decision. We had hotel reservations for the night and some other stops planned, so we could not spend too much time. We kind of decided to move on and leave this one for another time when Bob asked me 'Or do you want to have a run at it? How long do you think it'll take you?'
The temperature was perfect with a rather strong wind blowing. Looking at the vegetation (see pictures) and terrain I thought I should be able to do the 7.2km round trip in less than 2 hours. We checked with the others and it was agreed that we'd take a 2h 'break' during which I would attempt the confluence.
I grabbed the GPS, a camera and a couple of liters of water and headed out. Bob accompanied me for a while, but then I fell into a run and soon lost sight of him. I made very good progress with only a few small washes to cross and arrived at the confluence after only half an hour.
It was very quite at the confluence, a spot that hasn't seen many (if any) visitors. The vegetation on the pictures is quiet representative for this part of Baja: boojum, cardon, elephant tree are the larger plants that dominate the landscape.
After spending some 10 minutes at the confluence I started my return trip. Running was a little harder now with the wind in my face, but I made it back in about 35min. When I arrived at the cars no one was to be seen, the cars were locked and no note was displayed. When the others hadn't shown up 45min after my return I started to think about a search, I also looked for any signs of where they could have gone. Finally, after an hour of waiting they appeared from the desert and were surprised to see me back already. They hadn't displayed a note at the cars, because they figured they would be back long before I'd arrive...
I would like to thank my travel companions (see 28°N 114°W
, 27°N 112°W
) for their patience and letting me document this spot!
As we continued our journey home we encountered some really strong wind (Picture 8). We stopped to see if the people in the first truck (top picture) needed help. While we talked to the owner the second truck with 5th-wheel drove by, seeing what had happened to the other guy he went real slow. It didn't help; I watched his trailer being lifted and blown over! I don't recall ever experiencing wind this strong, it was rather difficult to walk. The antenna on my car is also an indication of the wind strength, it only bends like this at highway speeds... A couple of kilometers down the road we passed a semi-truck that had become a victim of the wind.