February 16, 2014 – It has been a very memorable last few days for the group on Baja with temperatures unseasonably high and winds surprisingly light. It appears that the winter, such as it is on Baja, is officially over, and for the record is the warmest and driest on record across both states (Baja California & Baja California Sur). Just prior to rolling into Loreto on Valentine’s Day it was 91F or 33C at 10:30 am in the desert, fortunately the cooling breeze from the Sea of Cortez helped later in the day as we went to Del Borracho for lunch and then walked about vendors alley in Loreto. I would be remiss if I did not mention that getting the big As into the Rivera Del Mar RV park took all my WagonMaster skills. This was like putting a jigsaw puzzle together however it all worked out. That evening some went out for dinner, others stayed (like us) at the campground and kicked back as the air cooled off in the evening.
We had lots of fun on the beach at Playa Santispac reconnecting with many snowbirds that we had seen a month earlier including Kathy & Gord, George and Dale & Steve. We also saw Larry & Linda and Don & Sandy which we have not seen for a couple of years, always great to meet familiar faces and remember Baja day’s gone bye. I do have to say one concern I have is the hostility exhibited by a few on the beach for anyone dropping onto the beach for a short stay, particularly those of us in the RV Caravan business. The truth is the beach does not belong to them, or us, it is a Mexican beach. Some of these folks already have 3 times the beach front space staked out that is required and then maintain other RVers should give them even a wider berth. What is up with that?
Back to the fun we all had. Most everyone used both the Kayak and Paddleboard, and a couple went swimming and fishing. Our good friends Bruce and Marion graciously organized the firewood as always and we had a fantastic potluck, I am still full! Rod & Barb cooked breakfast on the 2nd morning on the beach, a very tasty version of heuvos rancheros and Rod also strummed his guitar and sang a couple of songs around our evening fire which went well into the night. We are sure most would have been happy to remain in Bahia Conception for the duration of the tour, but we have places to go, things to do and many more Baja experiences to enjoy.
Yesterday we were off to San Javier the 2nd oldest mission of the Californians, over 300 years old. Although the paving project was completed a couple of years ago to the end a couple of tropical storms and hurricanes have ensured the journey remains exciting and continues to be an adventure! Lisa continues to take a pass on San Javier, I guess once was enough! Marvin & Shelley opened up their house for our Fiesta Dinner, this does not happen much these days so when it does it is really a special evening, what a great couple! Miguel & Martin were fabulous as always, folks really had a wonderful time. Neigbours Roy & Angela and Paul & Jeff joined us and they are always lots of fun. As we were about to leave Marv & Shel’s house, Paul & Jeff invited us over for a look at their Casa. What a pad! And before you knew it some gals were in the pool and the hot tub and Rod joined in as well, great Baja memories for sure.
Today we are off to Ciudad Constitucion and Palapa 206, with any luck Nigel’s car will be operational.
Did you know? (Part 3 continued)
As it turns out, the defining actions in Baja occurred AFTER the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on February 2, 1848 which ended the war and Baja was not included in the land successions to the U.S. During the 18 month battle for Baja, President Polk, Commodores Stockton and Shubrick, and Commander Montgomery promised that Baja California would become part of the United States. In turn many of the residents of Baja California had anticipated being annexed by the United States, along with the Alta California Territories. There was significant support among many in the population for the U.S. occupation and when the American troops withdrew later that summer 130 Mexicans were evacuated as refugees, back to Monterey, (Alta California).
The United States had originally offered $25 million dollars for the land later seized in the Mexican American War. In the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo Mexico lost half of its territory to the United States and in return received $18.6 million dollars in restitution. The war served to provide the United States with two important Pacific Ports; San Francisco and San Diego. At the time the pueblo of Los Angeles was so small at the time it was in fact insignificant.
For Mexico losing half the country changed forever the geo-political dynamic of both North America and the west; however the war served to provided a unifying factor to the states of the country that had been missing since the independence movement 4 decades earlier. In terms of casualties approximately 1700 Americans were killed in combat, another 11,300 died of disease and about 4100 were wounded. The Mexican losses were estimated around 25,000 of which about 2500 were civilians.