Well so far this trip has been nothing short of incredible. Each day is better and more adventurous than the last and blowing our minds. Thankful for a husband that is constantly pushing the boundaries and getting us both out of our comfort zone.
After crossing the border we headed to Bahia Kino, a beach town that had a decent size RV Park, a beach and was close enough that we could make it in one day. Knowing we were going to meet up with some friends in Puerto Peñasco just a few days away we didn’t want to venture too far south only to back track the same distance again. After exploring Kino a bit we decided we would slowly work our way up the coast towards Puerto Peñasco and stop in some of the fishing villages along the way. I found what seemed to be a really neat camp spot on iOverlander in a town called Puerto Lobos and wanted to stay there a few nights. Weeelllllll, little ole Chinookie Dookie had other plans. About 50 miles out of Kino we lost power, the truck stoped charging and we were 200 miles from an actual town. The coastal road from Kino north was very desolate. When someone says it was in the middle of no where, this is what you picture. Side note: we were also cutting it way to close on fuel. The alternator had gone… So, my genius husband hooked up the solar panel to the battery and we made a straight shot for Puerto Peñasco, arriving just before dark. We spent a total of 5 nights there, most of which the hood was up and Ken was elbow deep in the engine. What should have been just a simple alternator switch out turned into quite the ordeal, the part store had given us the wrong part. There was a “mechanic” working on the RV parked next to us that kind of inserted himself into the project and ended up making things way worse. The plugger inner piece of the new (wrong) alternator didn’t seem to fit just right and the “mechanic” shoved them together with the battery still hooked up, causing sparks and our entire (well almost entire) electrical system to fry. So bye bye tachometer, bye bye stereo, 12v charger, and bye bye a few other things I can’t remember. All in all it was a bit of a mess and we needed the right part in order for it to be fixed properly. We decided that because we were so close to the border the most responsible thing to do was shoot back up to Scottsdale and have it fixed, so that is what we did. It was nice to hit the reset button for a few days back at the parents house. Shower, laundry, Costco, and a truck that worked.
Honeymoon Take 2:
There are very few things we have planned out but we knew the Copper Canyon was making the list, we know we are meeting Chuck (Ken’s brother) and Tasha (Chucks wife) in Cancun on Jan 2, and we know we should be home sometime in early April to start prepping for our upcoming season. Other than that, it will be day by day planning.
1st up: Cascada Basaseachi.
Cascada Basaseachi was amazing. All expectations met. There was an overlook with short and steep trails that lead to other overlooks giving you different perspectives of the canyon and the waterfall. The drive into Casacada Basaseachi was our first real taste of what the small winding roads would be like. We had been staring at them on a map only imagining how shitty (but in a good way) they could be and now it is our reality and still doesn’t feel quite real. We have also since learned that we haven't seen nothin’ yet…
Next stop, Creel and the Copper Canyon.
Creel was just a place for us to pass through, stay the night and hopefully get a shower. No shower, but the town it self proved to be a lot cooler than we had hoped. Took a late night bike ride into town after having a hot feast of refrigerator stew, had a drink in town at the fancy bar, street tacos, and a good night sleep. Yes, we had two dinners. The next morning we decided to make a “quick” stop at the near by hot springs because well, as we learned, we will both do just about anything for a hot spring. This quick stop turned into an all day affair. A 1 hour mission on a sketchy, winding dirt road brought us to a parking lot with a big sign saying “do not pass go, do not collect $200”… So we hiked. It was about a 30 minute hike down the canyon in the most serene setting you could possibly imagine. About a .25 mile before the hotsprings we were greeted by a less than friendly skunk. Who knew skunks were so aggressive? The dogs had a nice little meet and greet and then were lightly dusted by a stench that will forever haunt the inside of my nasal cavity. Ken tried to shoe it away and was also lightly dusted by the same stench that will forever live on everything he was wearing. After about 15 minutes we were able to sneak by. The hot springs were completely abandoned, no sign of life to be seen. There were about 5 different pools, all different sizes and different temps ranging from luke warm to luke warmer. It was a blast, a really nice refreshing break. Made it back out of the canyon in about an hour with no skunk run ins and headed straight for the Copper Canyon.
Being one of the only boxes we were looking to check, we had big expectations set for Copper Canyon. Holy smokers were they met. We rolled into the park just as the sunset colors were falling on the canyon. Parked the truck, grabbed the camera and headed for the railing that butted right up to the edge of the cliff. Silence. Jaws to the ground, and a lot of blinking. It was real, we were finally there and it was incredible. No fancy words I try to put down will really even come close to how amazing and overwhelming the view and complete setting were. Night fell, we took our photos, wandered the park with the pups, ate dinner and made some cocktails. After around 7:30pm, we were the only people in the park. Well, us and the security guard, he was on the other side of the parking lot playing on his phone. We had the whole place to ourselves, no rules. It would be the equivalent of having the Grand Canyon all to yourself. After the first cocktail we were yelling into the canyon listening to our echoes and throwing rocks down to see how long it took to hit bottom. After the second cocktail we graduated from rocks to really big rocks, like the size of two basketballs.. Somehow Ken managed to get one on his shoulder and we timed how long it took to hit bottom. 7 seconds, if you were wondering. After shot putting rocks into the canyon under a full moon, we settle into the camper for the night.
Breathtaking beauty from the canyon aside, it was one of the best days either one of us have ever had and that is saying something because we both live extremely blessed lives. Every single day brings a new adventure, new problems to solve, different lessons to be learned. Traveling is learning. You learn about yourself, your partner, different cultures, language, the list could go on and on. Traveling is important, it helps you grow.
Where to go next?
After a bit of back and forth of which direction to go next we set our sights on Urique, a small town at the bottom of a canyon with a population of about 1,000. The drive through the mountains and down the canyon was unlike anything either of us have ever experienced. Both of us have driven through Mexico once before; Ken in a truck/camper set up and myself in an car. So we knew what “holy shit roads” felt like and were looking to take the road less traveled. Well we found a whole different level of “holy shit roads” in the drive to and from Urique. It was the kind of day that you just don’t explain the details to your mom. We arrived to our cute little camp spot we found on iOverlander around 4pm, it was stunning. It was as if we passed through the gates and entered a lush jungle oasis amongst the dusty desert. There was a perfectly flat camp spot, an amazing garden that we could pick from as we pleased, full access to a kitchen, a wood fired hot shower and the dogs were gated in and could roam around as they are used to at home. We spent a few days here, I stocked the fridge with veggies from the garden, edited some photos and wrote a bit of this very blog while relaxing in our hammock. Meanwhile, Ken was off riding his bike around the town exploring.
There are only two roads out of Urique, the shitty road we came in on and an even shittier road to a smaller town a little further south. After discussing it with the groundskeeper, we decided on the less shitty of the two and went back the way we came in. From here we will be taking an iterior route and heading in the direction of Zacatecas, at least thats the plan today :)