Day 2: El Golfo to Canyon de Guadalupe


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The Trip

The objective of the day was to get from our camp on the beach about 30 miles east of El Golfo to Canyon de Guadalupe. From the camp, we drove west along the beach back to El Golfo, then north on Son40, then to BCN 4 west to Mex Hwy 5 and north to Mexicali. From Mexicali, we took the toll road by-pass west to the turnoff for Laguna Salada and Guadalupe Canyon.

Despite the high winds, the camper was quiet and we slept well. I awoke at dawn and was able to get this shot of the sunrise over the Sea of Cortez from the tailgate of my truck. Note the distortion of the sun's disk by the ducting of light along the surface of the sea giving the sun a "flat tire" shape.

We had a light breakfast of coffee and danish rolls and then we broke camp. Above, we are parked in front of the fish camp that is just west of our camp site for a photo-op.

The fisherman on the porch of the camp just watched us as we did our photo shoot. Note the fiberglass pangas that are common to fishermen in the Sea of Cortez.

A group shot, less Bill. From the left: Randy, Kathleen and Kai.

With the tide out, the beach is wide. Note that the damp sand extends all the way to the foot of the cliff. We had to traverse several headlands on our trip back to El Golfo.

On our return down the beach, the pelicans had spotted a school of fish in the shoals near the beach. The birds circle until the exact correct moment and then they dive head-first to catch the fish. You can see the splash from one of the dives.

An abandoned fish camp east of El Golfo.

When the tide goes out, it is a long, long way from the beach to the water. Pichacho del Diablo, the 10,000 foot peak in Baja, is on the distant horizon, perhaps 80 miles away.

Rats!! Kai developed a leak in his high pressure air line. Here he gives the truck a close visual inspection in an attempt to resolve the problem. In the end, he could not repair it and just drove it home with the air leaking as it did not impair safe operation.

One must keep their priorities straight. This fellow has purchased a satellite TV dish, but still has a pit toilet in the backyard.

These two young locals tried to hit me up for cash at the restaurant. I told them "sin trabajo, no hay dinero" (without work, there is no money) and offered to take their photo instead. We ate at El Delfin and had a great meal of whole fried fish, beans, chili rellenos and tortillas. Yummy.

Sheet metal pigs we encountered at the toll booth near Mexicali.

Randy's truck disappears into the mirage on Laguna Salada.

The flowers on the bajada were in full bloom providing a carpet of yellow and purple flowers.

Wind caves eroded into the cliffs to the west of Guadalupe Canyon. These cave areas hide indian petroglyphs that we would visit the following day.

This is the water crossing that is required to get into the southern camp sites. The water is not deep, but surely must look intimidating to the fellow in the Ford Escort that followed us up the very rocky trail. The owners put a rocky bottom on the crossing to help prevent folks from getting stuck.

On the left is Adam, the camp owner's son. The owner is in the center. At the right is a backpacker who is heading up the canyon to spend the night. We would pass him coming out the next day at the waterfall; he told us that he saw cougar tracks in the sand up canyon from our position. Adam told me that he has taken Guadalupe Canyon onto the web and can be seen at

A view of the palm trees that were damaged by the fire at the camp site. Adam advised that the fire was intentional and was set while the owners were out of the area. They have re-built most of the camp, but the trunks of the palms remain fire blackened and will likely remain so forever.

Kai relaxes in the very hot water of our hot tub with an awe-inspiring view of Pico Guadalupe in the background. Some of the palms were spared the fire.

The large group hot tub at Guadalupe Canyon.

We get settled in camp for alcohol therapy, hot water and dinner.

We had a great night. Randy grilled tri-tip steaks and we topped it with wine, cocktails and a soak in the hot tub. Next morning, we would hike up the canyon to see the cascada (waterfall) and then look for indian petroglyphs in the nearby canyons on our exit from Guadalupe Canyon.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2008, all rights reserved.
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