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. This is me camping on top of La Laguna in Southern Baja. Climbing La Laguna was one of the last things I did before leaving Baja and returning to the United States. I had been living in Baja for about six months at this point. I had explored much of the peninsular coastline, made friends with many of the locals, and met many travelers following similar paths. I experienced my truck breaking down in the middle of nowhere with no money in my pocket, a desert town flooding after a summer storm, two hurricanes including the largest one to hit Baja in recorded history.  I witnessed enormous thunder and lightning storms followed by amazing meteor showers. I observed dolphins; whales and turtles pass by while cooking meals from my camp on my own private beach. I experienced heat and thirst more than I had ever experienced previously in my life. I visited cave art made by people 9000 years ago. I surfed big hollow tubing waves on a level I was not used to from the united states, and I was running out of money, so I decided I would need to return to the United states to re-establish my self. What follow are my adventures from the last three months re-assimilating to life in the US.

This is me camping on top of La Laguna in Southern Baja. Climbing La Laguna was one of the last things I did before leaving Baja to return to the United States. I had been living in Baja for about six months at this point. I had explored much of the peninsular coastline, made friends with a few of the locals, and met many travelers following similar paths. I experienced my truck breaking down in the middle of nowhere with no money in my pocket. I witnessed a desert town flooding after a summer storm. I survived two hurricanes including “Oldile” the largest one to hit Baja in recorded history. I witnessed enormous thunder and lightning storms followed by amazing meteor showers. I observed dolphins; whales and turtles pass by while cooking meals from my camp on my own private beach. I experienced heat and thirst more than I had ever experienced previously in my life. I visited cave art made by people 9000 years ago. I surfed big hollow tubing waves on a level I was not used to from the united states, and I was running out of money. My tourist card and vehicle import permit were about to expire as well. I decided I would need to return to the United states to re-establish my self. What follow are my adventures from the last three months re-assimilating to life in the US.

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I moved in to this casita about three weeks after hurricane “Oldile”. I paid $100 dollars and helped clean up the place after the hurricane in exchange for rent.. It was a pleasant place with a large private garden. I lived there longer than any other spot in Baja. It was nice to have my own bathroom, shower, bed and kitchen. It was tough leaving knowing that I did not know where I would stay or what I would do once I was back in the states. The one thing I did know was that I would be camping in my truck for a while.

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Once again I packed up the old Toyota. I checked the tire pressure, changed the oil, air filter, and fixed a leak in the radiator. I gave away all the stuff that I could not fit, and said goodbye to the friends I made while in Todos Santos.

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I had not been on the road for too long before I ran into a hitchhiker named Cabiri. She was a fellow traveler, someone who has given up the comforts of sedentary lifestyle in order to find something she has not found yet. She was traveling with only a backpack and had been traveling the world that way for the past few years.

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Cabiri was a pleasant travel companion. She was helpful setting up and breaking down camp. We took turns doing the cooking and it worked out quite well. As someone who has traveled much of the desert alone with only my dog for company it was nice to travel with someone else. I love seeing the magic moments provided by spending time outdoors in the desert, and it was nice to have someone along to share them with.

Made it back to the U.S. a couple days before Thanksgiving. I dropped Cabiri off at the airport in San Diego. It was there our travels parted ways. She was headed for the mining camps of cold northern Canada where she could find work as a camp cook and make money to fund her future travels. I decided to stay in San Diego for a couple weeks to try to find some work, a place to live and maybe surf some big winter waves.

Made it back to the U.S. a couple days before Thanksgiving. I dropped Cabiri off at the airport in San Diego. It was there our travels parted ways. She was headed for the mining camps of cold northern Canada where she could find work as a camp cook and make money to fund her future travels. I decided to stay in San Diego for a couple weeks to try to find some work, a place to live and maybe surf some big winter waves. It always trips me out when I return to the United States after having been away for so long. It is like returning to a familiar place, but seeing it fresh again with new eyes.

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After six months baking in a desert, and two weeks of lovely high 70-degree weather in San Diego I decided to cool out at my parent’s house in northern California.

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I spent about five days searching for arrowheads on the banks of lake Almanor with my mom. California is in a severe drought right now, and lake Almanor is at one of the lowest levels it has been in a long time. Lake Almanor is a man made lake. It used to be a big meadow and was home to the Maidu Indians. With the lake at its current low levels people have been finding arrowheads. After four unsuccessful days of searching for arrowheads, I found one on the end of the fifth day. I felt like finding this arrowhead made a connection for me with the original inhabitants of the place I grew up.

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I visited friends living in Chico and spent the day searching for secret waterfalls in the beautiful mesas of Oroville. I felt like I was in a Irish Spring soap commercial.

My friend Al invited me to go fishing. When we arrived at the spot, it was socked in with fog. We took off full speed from the boat launch until we saw a large dark shape approaching us. It turned out to be the opposite shore of the lake. After quick evasive maneuvers we arrived at our destination. As we fished our way down the shore we observed an approaching glowing orb of light. It turned  to be a rare phenomenon called a  “Fog Bow”.

My friend Al invited me to go fishing. When we arrived at the spot, it was socked in with fog. We took off full speed from the boat launch until we saw a large dark shape approaching us. It turned out to be the opposite shore of the lake. After quick evasive maneuvers we arrived at our destination. As we fished our way down the shore we observed an approaching glowing orb of light. It turned to be a rare phenomenon called a “Fog Bow”.

Twas the night before Christmas and my father and I were out in the freshly snow covered meadow shooting night photography.

Twas the night before Christmas and my father and I were out in the freshly snow covered meadow shooting night photography.

Well as all things come to an end, my stay with my parents was over and I decided to return to warm southern California to bring in the New Year. With my truck still loaded with camp gear from Baja, I decided to skip the crazy new years party and decided instead to opt out for camping in the desert by myself. It turns out that the desert had just received three inches of snow the night before. Anyone who knows the Borrego  desert well knows it is very rare for the desert to get this much snow. When I arrived the whole desert was white with not another person in sight. I took the first dirt road I found and started searching for a campsite. I ended up finding a little turnaround spot at the bottom of a trail-head that led to some hieroglyphs. It was there I met this dude who was camping a ridge over on a dry lake bead. He invited me over for a few beers for new years eave. it turns out he was into Peruvian shamanism.  It was an interesting way to bring in the New Year.

Well as all things come to an end, my stay with my parents was over and I decided to return to warm southern California to bring in the New Year. With my truck still loaded with camp gear from Baja, I decided to skip the crazy new years party and decided instead to opt out for camping in the desert by myself. It turns out that the desert had just received three inches of snow the night before. Anyone who knows the Borrego desert well knows it is very rare for the desert to get this much snow. When I arrived the whole desert was white with not another person in sight. I took the first dirt road I found and started searching for a campsite. I ended up finding a little turnaround spot at the bottom of a trail-head that led to some hieroglyphs. It was there I met this dude who was camping a ridge over on a dry lake bead. He invited me over for a few beers for new years eave. it turns out he was into Peruvian shamanism. It was an interesting way to bring in the New Year.

So now after seven months of living the gypsy lifestyle of living on the road, sleeping in my truck and staying with friends and family, I have once again replanted and started growing roots again. I am renting again and am once again employed, although somewhat temporarily, which I prefer. I now have the time to pursue projects that I could not pursue while living on the road. I have decided to get into chainsaw artistry. I will keep you all updated on how this is going.

So now after seven months of living the gypsy lifestyle of living on the road, sleeping in my truck and staying with friends and family, I have once again replanted and started growing roots. I am renting again and am once again employed, although somewhat temporarily, which I prefer. I now have the time to pursue projects that I could not pursue while living on the road. I have decided to get into chainsaw artistry. I will keep you all updated on how this is going. If you like my photography I have included a bunch more photos from this post below.

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A big north swell arrived last Thursday. Multiple peaks breaking left and right with a slight offshore breeze. With the start of the north swells comes cooler temperatures. The water temp is still warm, but no more sweaty nights. Anyways, here is a local ripper Martin dropping into a big right bomb. My friend Emilia was kind enough to volunteer to take photos with my camera so I could get some shots of myself surfing. All the shots in this entry were take by Emilia Cagnoni

A big north swell arrived last Thursday. Multiple peaks breaking left and right with a slight offshore breeze. With the start of the north swells comes cooler temperatures. The water temp is still warm, but no more sweaty nights. Anyways, here is a local ripper Martin dropping into a big right bomb. My friend Emilia was kind enough to volunteer to take photos with my camera so I could get some shots of myself surfing. All the shots in this entry were take by Emilia Cagnoni

This was my first wave that morning. It was a big left coming right to me. I called this dude out of the wave cause I believed he was going to drop in on me. The slight hesitation caused me to be just a little late. You can see my trying to push my board under the lip of the wave in this shot.

This was my first wave that morning. It was a big left coming right to me. I called this dude out of the wave cause I believed he was going to drop in on me. The slight hesitation caused me to be just a little late. You can see my trying to push my board under the lip of the wave in this shot.

This is me going backwards over the falls of the wave. This is a bad spot to be in especially since the wave is breaking in shallow water covering a pile of basketball-sized rocks. There is a short feeling of calm weightlessness before the violent punishment of the impact zone. That shook the cobwebs out of my sleepy mind.

This is me going backwards over the falls of the wave. This is a bad spot to be in especially since the wave is breaking in shallow water covering a pile of basketball-sized rocks. There is a short feeling of calm weightlessness before the violent punishment of the impact zone. That shook the cobwebs out of my sleepy mind.

My next wave was another last second air drop, that I was just barely able to keep the nose of the board above the surface of the water barely avoiding doing a superman dive.

My next wave was another last second air drop, that I was just barely able to keep the nose of the board above the surface of the water barely avoiding doing a superman dive.

Later on I dropped into this monster. Had I been a better surfer, I would have been up underneath the lip of this wave getting barreled. As it is, I swung my bottom turn to deep. I was able to get around this section and set myself up for a nice ride. Had this been a hollower wave I would have been destroyed.

Later on I dropped into this monster. Had I been a better surfer, I would have been up underneath the lip of this wave getting barreled. As it is, I swung my bottom turn to deep. I was able to get around this section and set myself up for a nice ride. Had this been a hollower wave I would have been destroyed.

My last wave that morning was a fast right that took me across the whole beach.

My last wave that morning was a fast right that took me across the whole beach.

It is definitely paradise here, but you can still see signs of the hurricane. It is so nice to have someone take photos of me. Usually I am behind the lens. Thank you Emilia for the photos. She also got some good shots of some local rippers.

It is definitely paradise here, but you can still see signs of the hurricane. It is so nice to have someone take photos of me. Usually I am behind the lens. Thank you Emilia for the photos. She also got some good shots of some local rippers.

This is probably my favorite shot from the whole day. This is Martin dropping in on a really pretty wave. The morning light sets it off nicely.

This is probably my favorite shot from the whole day. This is Martin dropping in on a really pretty wave. The morning light sets it off nicely.

Here is another very dynamic shot of Martin doing an off the top turn.

Here is another very dynamic shot of Martin doing an off the top turn.

Here is my friend Carlos dropping in on a big bombing right.

Here is my friend Carlos dropping in on a big bombing right.

Here is another shot of Carlos stalling it up to get barreled on this left.

Here is another shot of Carlos stalling it up to get barreled on this left.

This is Stosh. His sister was filming him this day. Stosh was catching left after left and landing huge Arial maneuvers. I am sure they got a ton of great footage that day.

This is Stosh. His sister was filming him this day. Stosh was catching left after left and landing huge Arial maneuvers. I am sure they got a ton of great footage that day.

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Another beautiful baja sunset.

Another beautiful baja sunset.

1.1.This is the farm that I have started taking care of after the hurricane. What you are looking at is the outdoor kitchen. There used to be a pallapa above the table in the center of the photo. The storm blew it down. That is what those posts in the foreground are from.

This is the farm that I have started taking care of after the hurricane. What you are looking at is the outdoor kitchen. There used to be a pallapa above the table in the center of the photo. The storm blew it down. That is what those posts in the foreground are from.

1This panoramic shot was taken from up on the hill that is above the farm. The farm is in the lower right quarter of the photo. They grow coconut, papaya, and lime trees on the property, and the rest is unplanted. The growing season is starting right now here. From this photo you can see how close it is to the ocean. On this particular day I could here the waves exploding on the beach all night, and from the hilltop I could see glassy barrels down on the beach. I decided to grab my board and go check it out.

This panoramic shot was taken from up on the hill that is above the farm. The farm is in the lower right quarter of the photo. They grow coconut, papaya, and lime trees on the property, and the rest is not planted. The growing season is starting right now here. From this photo you can see how close it is to the ocean. On this particular day I could here the waves exploding on the beach all night, and from the hilltop I could see glassy barrels down on the beach. I decided to grab my board and go check it out.

2When I got there my friends Carlos and Tacho were already out, and it was big. They were the first ones out that morning. This spot reminds me of the north shore of Oahu, only with no one there. Here is Carlos paddling alone out into the lineup.

When I got there my friends Carlos and Tacho were already out, and it was big. They were the first ones out that morning. This spot reminds me of the north shore of Oahu, only with no one there. Here is Carlos paddling alone out into the lineup.

1. This is a sequence from the first wave he dropped into. The waves here are top to bottom so you usually need to make an airdrop if you want to catch the wave. Carlos makes the drop into this 12 foot tube.

1. This is a sequence from the first wave he dropped into. The waves here are top to bottom so you usually need to make an airdrop if you want to catch the wave. Carlos makes the drop into this 12 foot tube.

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1. Tacho takes the prize for biggest wave of the day dropping into this bomb.

1. Tacho takes the prize for biggest wave of the day dropping into this bomb.

2. This wave looks to me like something from Tahiti.

2. This wave looks to me like something from Tahiti.

1. Here is another sequence of Carlos on a huge wave.

1. Here is another sequence of Carlos on a huge wave.

2. I have a lot of shots of Carlos getting barreled, but those are not the most interesting photos because all you see is the wave. You cannot see the surfer, so you have no way of judging the size of the wave, or even if there is a surfer in it. In this photo you can just see the tip of his board.

2. I have a lot of shots of Carlos getting barreled, but those are not the most interesting photos because all you see is the wave. You cannot see the surfer, so you have no way of judging the size of the wave, or even if there is a surfer in it. In this photo you can just see the tip of his board.

3. After getting barreled he launches into a huge air.

3. After getting barreled he launches into a huge air.

4. What an epic wave. He drops into a huge top to bottom wave, gets barreled, and the launches into a huge 360 air. Any one of those things would be an all time best for me, and Carlos is doing this every day.

4. What an epic wave. He drops into a huge top to bottom wave, gets barreled, and the launches into a huge 360 air. Any one of those things would be an all time best for me, and Carlos is doing this every day.

After surfing we go to the skate park to eat some carne asada, have a beer, and check out the photos of the days surf. The park is huge. I have never seen a park this size.

After surfing we go to the skate park to eat some carne asada, have a beer, and check out the photos of the days surf. The park is huge. I have never seen a park this size.

Here Manuel is dropping into the 12 foot bowl. There is an extra 4 feet of drop around the corner.

Here Manuel is dropping into the 12 foot bowl. There is an extra 4 feet of drop around the corner.

Here he is getting vertical in the 360 bowl. So in conclusion, if you want to surf 12 foot barrels by yourself, or would like to skate the largest park I have ever seen by yourself, all you have to do is find your way to this secret spot.

Here he is getting vertical in the 360 bowl. So in conclusion, if you want to surf 12 foot barrels by yourself, or would like to skate the largest park I have ever seen by yourself, all you have to do is find your way to this secret spot.

1.This is me the morning after the hurricane Odile. The hurricane hit sometime in the middle of the night. It was the strongest hurricane ever recorded in Baja, and the 15th strongest ever recorded in world history. What did I do in preparation for this hurricane you might ask? I went surfing in the morning and caught fun waves. I then came home and started a 10-hour marathon of “Game of Thrones”. I watched the whole first season. In that time I drank three Ballenas and a little mescalito. As I lay down to sleep in my tent, my thoughts were not on the hurricane headed my way, but instead they were swimming with the plots of the Lanasters and the Starks. I think subconsciously I knew the hurricane was coming and I was enjoying the last hours of electricity and cold beer before they would be gone for a long time. It was also good I went surfing cause my favorite spot was about to change drastically.

This is me the morning after the hurricane Odile. The hurricane hit sometime in the middle of the night. It was the strongest hurricane ever recorded in Baja, and the 15th strongest ever recorded in world history. What did I do in preparation for this hurricane you might ask? I went surfing in the morning and caught fun waves. I then came home and started a 10-hour marathon of “Game of Thrones”. I watched the whole first season. In that time I drank three Ballenas and a little mescalito. As I lay down to sleep in my tent, my thoughts were not on the hurricane headed my way, but instead they were swimming with the plots of the Lanasters and the Starks. I think subconsciously I knew the hurricane was coming and I was enjoying the last hours of electricity and cold beer before they would be gone for a long time. It was also good I went surfing cause my favorite spot was about to change drastically.

2.These are the two dogs I pulled out of the storm and put into my Toyota.  After falling asleep, I woke up to my tent blowing around wildly.  I ignored the problem for a while telling myself the tent was still up and I was still dry. This went on for 20 minutes until I started feeling wet. I turned on my headlamp and saw that there was a small storm going on inside my tent, and it was moving in ways I never thought possible for a tent. I decided that I was going to have to try to move into my truck. I opened a tiny slit in my tent door and stuck my head out. It was an instant sand blast in my face. I crawled the rest of the way out and found my first shoe. It took me about five minutes to find my second shoe all the while getting sand blasted and soaked. I could not see anything through the water, sand and dirt flying around. I grabbed my dog Hunter and carried him to my car. River the male German Sheppard was already outside my tent and I put him in the tent as well. I went and found Ember the female German Sheppard who was leased up and hiding under another car and threw her into my car. I then went back and grabbed all the electronics and brought them to the car. I then crawled in soaking wet with two wet German Sheppards and a wet Chihuahua.  I rolled up the windows and fell asleep. The funny thing is I was never worried or was scared the whole time. I knew that everything was going to be fine.

These are the two dogs I pulled out of the storm and put into my Toyota. Before all that I was sleeping in my tent. I woke up to my tent blowing around wildly. I ignored the problem for a while telling myself the tent was still up and I was still dry. This went on for 20 minutes until I started feeling wet. I turned on my headlamp and saw that there was a small storm going on inside my tent, and it was moving in ways I never thought possible for a tent. I decided that I was going to have to try to move into my truck. I opened a tiny slit in my tent door and stuck my head out. It was an instant sand blast in my face. I crawled the rest of the way out and found my first shoe. It took me about five minutes to find my second shoe all the while getting sand blasted and soaked. I could not see anything through the water, sand and dirt flying around. I grabbed my dog Hunter and carried him to my car. River the male German Sheppard was already outside my tent and I put him in the tent as well. I went and found Ember the female German Sheppard who was leased up and hiding under another car and threw her into my car. I then went back and grabbed all the electronics and brought them to the car. I then crawled in soaking wet with two wet German Sheppards and a wet Chihuahua. I rolled up the windows and fell asleep. The funny thing is I was never worried or was scared the whole time. I knew that everything was going to be fine.

You might ask how did I become responsible for two German Sheppards? Well, I am sup-leasing a place from a Mexican surfer named Carlos who is taking care of the place for an American guy who is not there. The two dogs are the American's. Three days before the storm hit Carlos tells me he is leaving for a while. He is going to ride a bus 12 hours north with his surf board for a contest in Abre Ojos. He only has enough money for the ticket north and nothing else. He says he has to win the contest so he can get money to head back south. It turns out he got first place in the contest. This is a picture of him the night the storm hit in Cancun. It did not reach Abre Ojos till the next day, and there was only a little wind and rain there. It would be another 12 days until Carlos would make it back to Todos Santos because the roads got washed out.

You might ask how did I become responsible for two German Sheppards? Well, I am sup-leasing a place from a Mexican surfer named Carlos who is taking care of the place for an American guy who is not there. The two dogs are the American’s. Three days before the storm hit Carlos tells me he is leaving for a while. He is going to ride a bus 12 hours north with his surf board for a contest in Abre Ojos. He only has enough money for the ticket north and nothing else. He says he has to win the contest so he can get money to head back south. It turns out he got first place in the contest. This is a picture of him the night the storm hit in Cancun. It did not reach Abre Ojos till the next day, and there was only a little wind and rain there. It would be another 12 days until Carlos would make it back to Todos Santos because the roads got washed out.

3.Upon waking up, this was the first sight I saw after emerging from my car. The trees are bent sideways, frozen as they were during the strongest point in the storm. My rearview mirror is bent sideways covered in storm debris. The roof has blown off the outdoor kitchen and my water jug has blown from inside the kitchen to right in front of my truck. Luckily it was still full of water and not broken

Upon waking up, this was the first sight I saw after emerging from my car. The trees are bent sideways, frozen as they were during the strongest point in the storm. My rearview mirror is bent sideways covered in storm debris. The roof has blown off the outdoor kitchen and my water jug has blown from inside the kitchen to right in front of my truck. Luckily it was still full of water and not broken

4.As I get closer I see the chair from the kitchen, and another 5 gallon water bottle. Luckily it was also still full and not broken. Next to that I see my propane refrigerator with the propane tank still attached. The lid was broken off on one side, and all my produce was soaked in green hurricane water. The propane connection was loose from the storm and all the propane leaked out during the night. There was another propane tank attached to the oven. I took that one and hooked it up to the refrigerator and it fired right up.

As I get closer I see the chair from the kitchen, and another 5 gallon water bottle. Luckily it was also still full and not broken. Next to that I see my propane refrigerator with the propane tank still attached. The lid was broken off on one side, and all my produce was soaked in green hurricane water. The propane connection was loose from the storm and all the propane leaked out during the night. There was another propane tank attached to the oven. I took that one and hooked it up to the refrigerator and it fired right up.

5.When I enter the kitchen I see the wind has blown away almost everything that was in there. I see the bottle of mescalito made it. The microwave is gone, but the cord is still plugged in. The refrigerator is on the floor. Luckily I had all my dry food inside the oven to protect it from the dogs.

When I enter the kitchen I see the wind has blown away almost everything that was in there. I see the bottle of mescalito made it. The microwave is gone, but the cord is still plugged in. The refrigerator is on the floor. Luckily I had all my dry food inside the oven to protect it from the dogs.

I spend the rest of the day finding, fixing and cleaning things like this dish-washing rack.

I spend the rest of the day finding, fixing and cleaning things like this dish-washing rack.

The skate bowl in the back yard has turned into a pool, or more accurately a pond.

The skate bowl in the back yard has turned into a pool, or more accurately a pond.

All of my gear was blown into one corner of an unfinished cinder block house. Luckily almost everything was still there. It was all pretty wet and dirty, but it was all still there. One of my tent poles broke and all my sleep gear was soaked in green hurricane water, but it all dried out and was able to be fixed. My surfboards spent the night blowing around the room. One got messed up, another is fine, and my red board got one ding in the tail. The board bag is done.

All of my gear was blown into one corner of an unfinished cinder block house. Luckily almost everything was still there. It was all pretty wet and dirty, but it was all still there. One of my tent poles broke and all my sleep gear was soaked in green hurricane water, but it all dried out and was able to be fixed. My surfboards spent the night blowing around the room. One got messed up, another is fine, and my red board got one ding in the tail. The board bag is done.

This is the tarp that I put up to cover the windows on my place. It took about an hour to remove this from the barbed wire

This is the tarp that I put up to cover the windows on my place. It took about an hour to remove this from the barbed wire

10.In the morning I go to use the bathroom, which was full of mud, and I flip the light switch. Ohh? No electricity. I grab for the toilet paper. It is a big wet spit wad. I walk out into the front yard and see why there is no electricity. The hurricane blew down 90 percent of the power lines.

10. In the morning I go to use the bathroom, which was full of mud, and I flip the light switch. Ohh? No electricity. I grab for the toilet paper. It is a big wet spit wad. I walk out into the front yard and see why there is no electricity. The hurricane blew down 90 percent of the power lines.

12.This is a picture from before the storm. You see a happy dog, happy trees, and a full roof on the kitchen. If you look closely you can also see a palapa up on the hill, which is not there anymore.

This is a picture from before the storm. You see a happy dog, happy trees, and a full roof on the kitchen. If you look closely you can also see a palapa up on the hill, which is not there anymore.

This is after the storm.

This is after the storm.

This is the view from on top of the place I am staying before the storm. Notice all the green plants on the right and left side of the photo. Also notice the vine growing on the building in front.

This is the view from on top of the place I am staying before the storm. Notice all the green plants on the right and left side of the photo. Also notice the vine growing on the building in front.

Notice how much thinner the plants are on the left side and how all the trees on the right side are different. Also notice the vine on the building is gone.

Notice how much thinner the plants are on the left side and how all the trees on the right side are different. Also notice the vine on the building is gone.

This is a photo taken before the storm of the farmland by the place that I am staying. Notice all the green on the pasture in the center of the photo.

This is a photo taken before the storm of the farmland by the place that I am staying. Notice all the green on the pasture in the center of the photo.

The storm blew all of the green away. The crazy thing is that now as I am writing this two weeks after the storm, a lot of those plants have already came back. Threes that had all their leaves blown off have sprouted all new ones. Things that I thought were dead are actually still quite alive.

The storm blew all of the green away. The crazy thing is that now as I am writing this two weeks after the storm, a lot of those plants have already came back. Threes that had all their leaves blown off have sprouted all new ones. Things that I thought were dead are actually still quite alive.

This is a photo that I took before the storm of my favorite surf spot. It was also the photo taken when I was camping on the beach before the previous storm, Hurricane Norbert I think it was called. It was the storm where a wave came through my campsite in the night and I had to pack up and leave.

This is a photo that I took before the storm of my favorite surf spot. It was also the photo taken when I was camping on the beach before the previous storm, Hurricane Norbert I think it was called. It was the storm where a wave came through my campsite in the night and I had to pack up and leave.

This shot was taken after the storm, of my favorite surf spot. All the nice sand has been replaced by Baja moon dust. If you don’t know what Baja moon dust is, it is super fine dust that flies up in the air when you walk or drive through it. You can’t tell from the spot, but there is a whole new beach in front of the old beach. There is about and extra fifty feet of beach now.

This shot was taken after the storm, of my favorite surf spot. All the nice sand has been replaced by Baja moon dust. If you don’t know what Baja moon dust is, it is super fine dust that flies up in the air when you walk or drive through it. You can’t tell from the spot, but there is a whole new beach in front of the old beach. There is about and extra fifty feet of beach now.

This is the reverse shot of the last one. You can really see all the green in the farmland.

This is the reverse shot of the last one. You can really see all the green in the farmland.

This is the after shot. This area got hit the hardest as far as I can tell. I think a lot of the wind focused here. It was also the epicenter of two earthquakes that happened during the storm that were caused by so much wind running into the mountain range.

This is the after shot. This area got hit the hardest as far as I can tell. I think a lot of the wind focused here. It was also the epicenter of two earthquakes that happened during the storm that were caused by so much wind running into the mountain range.

This is the before shot of an abandoned restaurant on the beach in front of the surf spot. There is a man named Ishmael who lives inside. You have to pay him 30 pesos a night if you want to camp on the beach, and he will watch your car for you. Ishmael was here when the storm hit. The place has no window or doors, and it floods when the waves get really big. It was also the center of the two earthquakes, and it is right next to a giant arroyo. He must have had one crazy night.

This is the before shot of an abandoned restaurant on the beach in front of the surf spot. There is a man named Ishmael who lives inside. You have to pay him 30 pesos a night if you want to camp on the beach, and he will watch your car for you. Ishmael was here when the storm hit. The place has no window or doors, and it floods when the waves get really big. It was also the center of the two earthquakes, and it is right next to a giant arroyo. He must have had one crazy night.

This is the after shot. You can kind of tell from this photo how much more sand is on the beach. You can also see, where a bunch of debris from the arroyo washed in.

This is the after shot. You can kind of tell from this photo how much more sand is on the beach. You can also see, where a bunch of debris from the arroyo washed in.

This is the tree that I camped under during the previous storm when the wave chased me off the beach. In hindsight, I am really lucky that I was not here for this storm. It makes me realize how foolish it was of me to have taken the first storm so lightly. I need to choose my camp spots with more care, and follow the weather more carefully

This is the tree that I camped under during the previous storm when the wave chased me off the beach. In hindsight, I am really lucky that I was not here for this storm. It makes me realize how foolish it was of me to have taken the first storm so lightly. I need to choose my camp spots with more care, and follow the weather more carefully

This shot was taken just a little ways down the beach for the abandoned restaurant. This was the mouth of the arroyo.  All this debris is cactuses and trees that got washed down the arroyo. Someone that built to close to the arroyo lost this Jet Ski. I have to walk through this now when I go surfing.

This shot was taken just a little ways down the beach for the abandoned restaurant. This was the mouth of the arroyo. All this debris is cactus’s and trees that got washed down the arroyo. Someone that built to close to the arroyo lost this Jet Ski. I have to walk through this now when I go surfing.

The same guy who lost the Jet Ski also lost this car, and the front of his house.

The same guy who lost the Jet Ski also lost this car, and the front of his house.

So what have I been doing the last two weeks? I have been finding, drying and cleaning all my gear.

So what have I been doing the last two weeks? I have been finding, drying and cleaning all my gear.

I then waterproofed it.

I then waterproofed it.

I then sealed it up in a nice tight package.

I then sealed it up in a nice tight package.

Under those condiments is a half cooler of Dorado. My neighbor caught a bunch before the storm, and I was the only one with a propane refrigerator to keep it cold. He also gave me a bunch of papaya and mangos that blew out oh his trees. I would have to say that my diet has been better after the storm.

Under those condiments is a half cooler of Dorado. My neighbor caught a bunch before the storm, and I was the only one with a propane refrigerator to keep it cold. He also gave me a bunch of papaya and mangos that blew out oh his trees. I would have to say that my diet has been better after the storm.

When I got here I thought I found paradise. I was only here for about two weeks before the storm hit. I had found awesome surf, new friends, fast reliable Internet, electricity, a regular bathroom and a nice kitchen for the first time in two months of traveling Baja. I was talking with the neighbor about taking over his farmhouse until December. In exchange I would help him with the work and I would learn how to farm. The storm blew all that away in one night. I can’t complain. I did not loose anything too important, and I am well set up for this disaster. I still have water for showers and cooking. My solar works to keep my laptop running, so I can keep watching Game of Thrones. My cooler still keeps beer and food cold. The one scary thing is there are a lot of people with no money at all, and they are growing more desperate as time goes. A lot of them depend on money from tourists, and there are no tourists, and there probably will not be for some time to come. It is still paradise; just the wind blew all the leaves out of the trees. I see progress every day. People are rebuilding, nature is growing back with much strength, and the people will find a way to survive.

When I got here I thought I found paradise. I was only here for about two weeks before the storm hit. I had found awesome surf, new friends, fast reliable Internet, electricity, a regular bathroom and a nice kitchen for the first time in two months of traveling Baja. I was talking with the neighbor about taking over his farmhouse until December. In exchange I would help him with the work and I would learn how to farm. The storm blew all that away in one night. I can’t complain. I did not loose anything too important, and I am well set up for this disaster. I still have water for showers and cooking. My solar works to keep my laptop running, so I can keep watching Game of Thrones. My cooler still keeps beer and food cold. The one scary thing is there are a lot of people with no money at all, and they are growing more desperate as time goes. A lot of them depend on money from tourists, and there are no tourists, and there probably will not be for some time to come. It is still paradise; just the wind blew all the leaves out of the trees. I see progress every day. People are rebuilding, nature is growing back with much strength, and the people will find a way to survive.

Oh yeah, one final thing. This happened on my way to use the Internet in Todos Santos. I went to check out a surf spot I had never been to before when I drove into Mexican quicksand. It is a layer of hard sand on top of soft wet mud. I did not have a shovel, and I tried to dig out by hand. The mud smelled awful and had a bunch of thorny bushes in it. The sun was so hot and we did not bring any water. Carlos who was with me called his amigo to come help us out. Some electricians who were working on downed power-lines near buy gave us some cable to try and pull out with.  We hooked it to Tachos car but it would not budge my car. Tacho proceeded to try the let slack out and get a running start to yank it out method until it broke hi car. He would start his engine, but it would shake a bunch and barely run. Now we have to un-moveable cars because of a careless mistake on my part. He called his mechanic, who came out with his whole family. The brought us ice cold water and soda. The mechanic found out it was something having to do with his fuel line and was able to rig something up, but Tacho was going to need a new part, which would cost about 50 dollars. We then hooked both Tacho and  the mechanics truck up to mine. The two of them started pulling and my tires were spinning and after about 10 seconds it yanked me out. It ended up costing me about a hundred dollars to make everyone happy that helped me out. The day was shot, my truck was covered in smelly mud, and I just wanted to go home. It is times like these that I have to be real careful and avoid costly mistakes like this. Hopefully lesson learned.

Oh yeah, one final thing. This happened on my way to use the Internet in Todos Santos. I went to check out a surf spot I had never been to before when I drove into Mexican quicksand. It is a layer of hard sand on top of soft wet mud. I did not have a shovel, and I tried to dig out by hand. The mud smelled awful and had a bunch of thorny bushes in it. The sun was so hot and we did not bring any water. Carlos who was with me called his amigo to come help us out. Some electricians who were working on downed power-lines near buy gave us some cable to try and pull out with. We hooked it to Tachos car but it would not budge my car. Tacho proceeded to try the let slack out and get a running start to yank it out method until it broke hi car. He would start his engine, but it would shake a bunch and barely run. Now we have to un-moveable cars because of a careless mistake on my part. He called his mechanic, who came out with his whole family. The brought us ice cold water and soda. The mechanic found out it was something having to do with his fuel line and was able to rig something up, but Tacho was going to need a new part, which would cost about 50 dollars. We then hooked both Tacho and the mechanics truck up to mine. The two of them started pulling and my tires were spinning and after about 10 seconds it yanked me out. It ended up costing me about a hundred dollars to make everyone happy that helped me out. The day was shot, my truck was covered in smelly mud, and I just wanted to go home. It is times like these that I have to be real careful and avoid costly mistakes like this. Hopefully lesson learned.

So I decided to stay in Baja and not head over to Mainland Mexico. I met this dude Troy surfing up north and he told me about a spot he was renting for the month of September. He said it was north of Cabo San Lucas, that it was real nice, and that I could split rent with him for the month. it sounded nice to take a break from the road. So I headed towards Cabo and went to the spot where he said the house was. There was a nice break, but it was kind of crowded, and pretty touristy.

So I decided to stay in Baja and not head over to Mainland Mexico. I met this dude Troy surfing up north and he told me about a spot he was renting for the month of September. He said it was north of Cabo San Lucas, that it was real nice, and that I could split rent with him for the month. it sounded nice to take a break from the road. So I headed towards Cabo and went to the spot where he said the house was. There was a nice break, but it was kind of crowded, and pretty touristy.

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So I found the house and it was pretty nice. It has a nice big roof deck, with a great 360% view. The only problem was Troy was not there. I spent three days camped behind the house waiting for him. I sat through two crazy thunder storms. Lightning was crashing all around me, and the rain was coming down strong. The rest of the time I spent sweating in super hot humid tropical air.

Since the dude wasn't home, and I had nothing else to do I decided to head up into the Mountains af the Sierra de Laguna.

Since the dude wasn’t home, and I had nothing else to do I decided to head up into the Mountains af the Sierra de Laguna and do some camping and hiking. I also wanted to experience a thunder storm up in the mountains. I found out later it was very good that I didn’t.

For being the desert, it is very tropical here.  More rain that I have seen in a long time. It reminds me of what the jungle must be like.

For being the desert, it is very tropical here. More rain that I have seen in a long time. It reminds me of what the jungle must be like.

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Because there are a lot of lakes and stagnant water here there are many bugs. I could only spend one day here. It was too hot, too humid, and way too many bugs.

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Check out these little magic guys. Don’t worry, I would not just eat any mushroom I find on a cow patty. I test them out on my dog first. Just kidding. I would never give my dog mushroom that I don’t know are safe.

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So after leaving the Mountains I decided to check one more surf spot before heading to La Paz to catch a ferry to the mainland. It turned out to be a good idea. The waves were huge and perfect.

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This is local ripper Carlos getting covered. My pictures don’t do his surfing justice. This guy caught barrel after barrel, and was doing progressive airs in between.

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Another one of Carlos.

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Here is one of him making a drop into a death bomb. He made the drop but did not make it out.

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Here is a Canadian Hina tearing it up in waves that scared the shit out of me.

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Here she is dropping into another bomb. Who knew Canada had surf?

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As the day went on the waves got to big to surf. The surfers left the beach. It was just me and one local caretaker staying on the beach for the hurricane. I spent all day sipping tequila watching the waves get bigger and bigger in complete awe.

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By the evening the wave were bigger that I have ever seen. They rumbled the ground when they broke.

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I placed my camp on fairly high ground that I was assured would be safe from water. Around 7:30 my dog Hunter started barking. I realized he was barking at the waves that were getting slowly closer to my camp. I told him don’t worry. We are safe here. 10 minutes later water rushed though my camp. I was a little groggy from sipping tequila all day, but I quickly threw everything inside my truck and decide to leave. The only problem was the road I came in on along the beach was completel under water. I tried to go out a back way but it was locked. I found a safe spot to camp for the night. When I got into my car everything felt wet and hot. My dog was soaked and I had to keep all the widows up cause it was raining madly and the wind was crazy as well. That night during the few time I fell asleep I had nightmares of giant tidal waves and mutant storms. The next day I made my way out the back and headed for the hills.

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So I found a spot to rent. It is not the one I was planning on, but I think it will be a nice spot. Here is a sneak peak of it. There will be more pics next post.

 

Well after Marco from Marco's transmissions had spent two days going through my whole transmission he came to the conclusion that the transmission was not the problem.  He said the problem was with the transfer case. I asked him what I should do. He told me to take the car bach to San Diego. After a few repeated attempts with my poor Spanish I was able to get him to suggest another mechanic. The mechanic was Senor Moreno, and he was located in a town North of Constitution call Insurjentes. I was able to limp my car there just barely. I found Senor Moreno's shop and told him the problem.  He started work right away and started feeding me cervesas. This is Senor Moreno in the white shirt.

Well after Marco from Marco’s transmissions had spent two days going through my whole transmission he came to the conclusion that the transmission was not the problem. He said the problem was with the transfer case. I asked him what I should do. He told me to take the car back to San Diego. After a few repeated attempts with my poor Spanish I was able to get him to suggest another mechanic. The mechanic was Senor Moreno, and he was located in a town North of Constitution call Insurjentes. I was able to limp my car there just barely. I found Senor Moreno’s shop and told him the problem. He started work right away and started feeding me cervesas. This is Senor Moreno in the white shirt.

While I drank cervesa after cervesa with Senor Moreno, his two sons tore piece after piece from beneath my truck. Moreno would consult from time to time and keep me updated on the progress.

While I drank cervesa after cervesa with Senor Moreno, his two sons tore piece after piece from beneath my truck. Moreno would consult from time to time and keep me updated on the progress.

Well after four days of solid labor from four different mechanics this black ring was what caused all the problems. I really don't know what the problem was with this ring. It was a little scratched up, but because of it my truck would not move. Overall the whole episode only cost me about $600 US dollars, for the tow, two days in a hotel, a transmission mechanic spending two days going through the transmission, and Senor Moreno and his sons spending two days fixing the transfer case. In America I would have been looking at $2000 dollars at least.

Well after four days of solid labor from four different mechanics this black ring was what caused all the problems. I really don’t know what the problem was with this ring. It was a little scratched up, but because of it my truck would not move. Overall the whole episode only cost me about $600 US dollars, for the tow, two days in a hotel, a transmission mechanic spending two days going through the transmission, and Senor Moreno and his sons spending two days fixing the transfer case. In America I would have been looking at $2000 dollars at least.

After four days dealing with mechanical problems I decided to head to the beach and wait for surf.  I heard a large hurricane was on the way. While camping on the beach I met Dario. He is holding a fossilized Megaladon  tooth that he found on a nearby mesa. A Megaladon is a giant shark, three times the size of a great white.  This area of Baja is filled with amazing artifacts like this he told me.

After four days dealing with mechanical problems I decided to head to the beach and wait for surf. I heard a large hurricane was on the way. While camping on the beach I met Dario. He is holding a fossilized Megaladon tooth that he found on a nearby mesa. A Megaladon is a giant shark, three times the size of a great white. This area of Baja is filled with amazing artifacts like this he told me.

While camping on the beach I partied with these guys one night. They are business and architectural students from Ciudad de Constitution. I snapped this picture right before I left the beach cause I could see the Hurricane was just across the bay heading my way. I wanted to head for higher land.

While camping on the beach I partied with these guys one night. They are business and architectural students from Ciudad de Constitution. I snapped this picture right before I left the beach cause I could see the Hurricane was just across the bay heading my way. I wanted to head for higher land.

This is what a Hurricane looks like that is head right for you.

This is what a Hurricane looks like that is head right for you.

I snapped this photo just as the first wind hit. If you look closely you can see it just blew my table over, and it is starting to whip up a dust storm in the distance. I had just enough time to take down my awning, and cover my refrigerator and stove, grab the dog and jump into my truck before the rain started coming down.

I snapped this photo just as the first wind hit. If you look closely you can see it just blew my table over, and it is starting to whip up a dust storm in the distance. I had just enough time to take down my awning, and cover my refrigerator and stove, grab the dog and jump into my truck before the rain started coming down.

I quickly fell into a deep sleep, and when I woke up, I had that feeling like I had no idea where I was or what time it was. The storm had cleared and left another spectacular Baja sunset.

I quickly fell into a deep sleep, and when I woke up, I had that feeling like I had no idea where I was or what time it was. The storm had cleared and left another spectacular Baja sunset.

With the Hurricane comes the hurricane surf, and it did not disappoint. There were double overhead clean barreling wave after wave. Well worth the wait.

With the Hurricane comes the hurricane surf, and it did not disappoint. There were double overhead clean barreling wave after wave. Well worth the wait.

Here is a detail of one of the waves. You can just make out the peck that is the surfer. Once again I was using the wrong lens for the job, but you can get the idea.

Here is a detail of one of the waves. You can just make out the peck that is the surfer. Once again I was using the wrong lens for the job, but you can get the idea.

The road in was washed out by the hurricane, but Tyler from Santa Barbra still made. He drove his truck through 4 foot deep water that almost swept it away to be here for the waves.

The road in was washed out by the hurricane, but Tyler from Santa Barbra still made. He drove his truck through 4 foot deep water that almost swept it away to be here for the waves.

Right now I am unsure what I want to do. I am in La Paz, and am thinking about taking the ferry to Mainland Mexico, or going to Todos Santos in Southern Baja. I have been invited to split an apartment there with another surfer for September. I am going to think about it.

Right now I am unsure what I want to do. I am in La Paz, and am thinking about taking the ferry to Mainland Mexico, or going to Todos Santos in Southern Baja. I have been invited to split an apartment there with another surfer for September. I am going to think about it.

Yesterday it poured harder than I have ever seen for about a half hour. That's all it took to flood the whole town. I had to make my way through this brown river past children who were pointing and laughing at me and adults to polite to point and laugh. Apparently they have never seen a gringo in these neighborhoods carrying a little white chihuahua through the middle of a flood. My truck is worse than the mechanic thought, so it will take another day to fix it. I wanted to sleep at the garage to save money, but the junkyard dog that guards the place does not like me, so one more night in a hotel.

Yesterday it poured harder than I have ever seen for about a half hour. That’s all it took to flood the whole town. I had to make my way through this brown river past children who were pointing and laughing at me and adults to polite to point and laugh. Apparently they have never seen a gringo in these neighborhoods carrying a little white chihuahua through the middle of a flood.

flood small 2

My truck is worse than the mechanic thought, so it will take another day to fix it. I wanted to sleep at the garage to save money, but the junkyard dog that guards the place does not like me, so one more night in a hotel.