This is the daddy of all off-road races: the Mexican 1000. It started exactly 50 years ago by the National Off-Road Racing Association, the first sanctioning body dedicated to off road racing. The first event began in Tijuana and finished in La Paz, while this 50th Anniversary running would start in Ensenada and finish in San Jose del Cabo 1,264.10 miles down the peninisula. After leaving Ensenada, racers passed through San Felipe, Bay of Los Angeles, Loreto, and then La Paz before the dash to the finish. Start to finish took five days, if you were lucky enough to make it.
Day 2: San Felipe to Bahia de Los Angeles (221.00 miles)
Day 3: Bahia de Los Angeles to Loreto (396.70 miles)
Day 4: Loreto to La Paz (293.30 miles)
Then the Shinola hit the Westinghouse. The #250 drove into a Grand Canyon-sized rain rut which hurdled them off the road, breaking tie rods and the rack-and-pinon steering. One of the #250’s rescue trucks hit a cavernous pothole on Highway 1, which fatally damaged its steering. At 10:30 pm, we received a text from Zak asking us to help in the rescue effort — we were looking at a four-hour commute to the Pacific side of the peninsula. Meanwhile, only minutes before the start in Loreto, the #55’s starter failed causing a one-hour delay in starting the race, knocking Zak from around fifth place to near 25th.
A mile from the finish, the driver’s-side rear brake caught on fire, and neither Zak or Josh were aware of it until they arrived on the podium and a hundred guys came running at them with fire extinguishers. The COPS Racing #55 finished sixth in class and 15th overall.
Cameron Steele cinched the overall win in his Geiser Trophy Truck — congratulations to all!
Our excuse to be in San Felipe was to attend Hobie Cat’s Midwinters West Regatta. With the exception of a 30-minute chubasco, the weather was perfect. This photo was taken from Highway 5, Camino del Sur, south of town, before there were houses in the area. Here’s what a near-by location looks like in 2009 in Google Street View.
This is the largest vehicle I’ve ever seen in my life.
I met this American resident of San Felipe one Sunday afternoon on top of the dunes behind town. He was driving a 1950 Chrysler Crown Imperial limo which he’d dropped onto a Chevy Silverado 4×4 frame (the frame had to be lengthened by three feet).
It’s spring and the weather is warming – the only sane thing to do is head south to Gonzaga Bay in Baja for a long weekend. Carol and I went with KT and Steve and Cece and Maddy and Ali and we all had a great time playing in the water and exploring the desert. Our base camp was a couple palapas at Playa Grande.