This last weekend we were supposed to be going down to Baja for the SCORE San Felipe 250 race that has become so much of a tradition for us. Years of amazing trips with the very best people….
But not this year.
Due to some evil virus and the hysteria surrounding it, SCORE had to cancel (or at least postpone for now) what has become one of the consistent highlights of our travel year.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, the noted Swiss American psychiatrist postulated that there are 5 stages of grief. According to her they are Denial, Anger, Depression, Bargaining, Acceptance.
I had to work my way through all of them;
- Denial- “No @)&#)$* way they would cancel the race! Desert racers are too hard core to succumb to this *&^%$#@#$%^&* !”
- Anger- “Those weak @%$^ mother *&^% F’ers. How dare they do this to me. I say F#$%^& them, I’m still going racing” (Till they threatened to close the border) And I angrily snapped at everyone I came in contact with for days. (Sorry to my work peeps! Shout out! Still love you all)
- Depression- I was so sad I couldn’t eat or drink for days. Ok, yes, I could but I was still super sad doing it. I contemplated finding sad people to talk to as that sometimes cheers me up. Instead I had to spread my unhappiness to anyone around me by inserting my lamentations into random conversations. “I just got a new puppy, he’s so cute” to which I would respond, “I was supposed to go to baja”. (Again, sorry work peeps! I know, dick move.)
- Bargaining- If you let me go to Baja, I will be nicer, pick up my toys, brush my teeth, make my bed…. Nope, that is how a kid bargains during their grief cycle. For a moment I was even willing to bargain with how many people I thought it would be OK to loose to the virus so I could still go. Yep, not one of my finer moments although oddly enough, not one of my worst. Was that it then for the Bargaining stage of grief? NOPE, my dumb ass went and bought a new truck. That’s how healthy, well adjusted, mentally stable adults’ bargain during grief cycles.
- Acceptance- So I thought to myself, I better knock this shit off before I end up with a new boat, dirt bike, street bike… Mostly I needed to knock it off before Bonny got tired of my Boohoo’ery and tells me once again to “suck it up Buttercup”, especially since she is grieving as well. (BONNY, I love you! Thanks for putting up with my shit for so long with the strength of Magnús Ver Magnússon)
So, Baja for the SCORE San Felipe is out. I’m a big kid. I can wait till next time. I can do without the sand, surf, street tacos, thundering engines, Mariachi music, bacon wrapped shrimp. Barely but I will survive. (Insert the “I will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor song into your head as you read the rest of this.)
But after all the stages of grief and my masterful recovery, and now aided by a new truck, what do we do with ourselves and our still scheduled time off? The hysteria, the panic, the rampant ignorance, and the full blown over the top knee jerk reactionary obliviousness raises its ugly head as a barrier to many possible options. When families distance themselves from family based on hysteria, fear, and media demonization. What do you do when the world goes crazy, people fight over toilet paper, hospitals are quarantined, and everyone is told to socially distance themselves (which really means they are told to go home and f^&% off)?
Well if you’re us, YOU GO CAMPING!
Now at this point it’s important to note that we were not the only ones planning on going this year. Big shout outs to Jerry and Chelsea, Joe and Sarah, Justin and Candice who were still able to join us for the weekend. And Tom (Mike) and Donna for coming out for the day.
Sorry to Gregg and Kim who were locked down in Commiefornia.
So, Jerry and Chelsea knew of this place we could still go that was close to local but far enough away to not be local. Out in the boonies but still accessible. Had dirt for dirt biking and driving the Honda, had a river to go check out, and some amazing scenery. Unfortunately, before I could go, I had to go buy a new 5th wheel hitch since the old one didn’t drop right in quite like the sales guy at Van Chevrolet told me it would.
So, we loaded up the Cyclone, hooked up to the new truck, and headed out to the desert. About an hour and a half later we were pulling into a great little spot along a dry wash with shade trees and access to thousands of miles of rideable trails. Trails of various types provided challenges when we wanted them, or smooth sailing when we didn’t, with most of them ending somehow down on the banks of the Gila River.
Over the next 6 days we rode and explored every day. Had some great fun with great company. Tons of laughs and jokes. Took thousands of pictures and hours of videos on our new Gopro Hero 8 & Max cameras that we purchased just for Baja.
We ate great every meal with an over abundance of food eagerly thrown in from each family and cooked on our Blackstone Griddle or dutch ovens over the campfire. We took naps, slept in late, hung out by the fire, and played games like tag and duck, duck, goose.
We explored the Coke ovens and the rustic train tracks and bridges.
We had a great time for sure. Again, big thanks to Jerry for bringing a spare dirt bike. It’s been a couple of years since I have been on one. I was rusty but enjoyed the hell out of it.
Given the current massive increase in people stuck at home bored who might want to invade this quiet, tranquil piece of desert, and the fact that it wasn’t our spot and we don’t want to have it over ran, we are not going to give directions. Suffice it to say its somewhere along a river, south east of the metro phoenix area about 100 miles. I will give you a hint, It’s right here!
Was it everything we know Baja to be? No! Was it a great time of its own merits? Yes! Thanks to everyone who went, we truly know how to make the very best of an unexpected change. Sorry Jerry but now we know your secret spot, its now our secret spot as well.
If any of you have great secret spots, let us know, we are always looking for exciting new places for future trips. Even if you don’t, let us hear your feedback. Till next time!