As we planned our trip, we found ways to drag out goodbyes. It seemed like there was always another party, family get-together, or meet up with friends in our near future. While most of those events came and went before our final departure, one last hurrah remained- a foray just south of the border to see the 49th annual Baja 1000.
In all our time travelling farther and farther from home, it was a nice feeling to know we'd be meeting up with my brother Jordan and friends from the life we left behind. We were excited to see familiar faces, and to share a small part of our new lives with a few of the people we love.
Taylor and I ran down into Mexico a few days before we were scheduled to meet up with everybody. It was our first time there and we wanted a chance to get our bearings before crossing the border with our four rig cheering section.
On a recommendation from another of Taylor's fellow Rebelle Rally competitors, we made our way to a remote stretch of lonely, rocky beach right at the tail end of the 1000's first 100 miles. The only road in or out winds through a series of classic Baja fishing villages and also happens to be the racecourse. Even on our scouting trip we saw plenty of action as the teams pre-ran the route.
We actually met up with everyone back in California where Taylor and I took advantage of fast internet and easy shopping for things like new cell plans and shocks for the truck (because baja). We all headed South to get setup along the course before the race started on Wednesday. I had done diligent and exhaustive research online and seen the 16th listed as the starting date. This was technically correct. Kinda.
From Wikipedia (the obvious authority on everything) "The SCORE Baja 1000 is an off-road race that takes place in Mexico's Baja California Peninsula....The 2016 round will be the 49th SCORE Baja 1000, occurring from November 16–20 over an 800-mile loop both starting and ending in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico."
Turns out, the 16th was the date inspections began. Nobody actually left the starting line until Friday (which makes a lot more sense in retrospect), but none of us realized this until we were already established in camp.
At least Cliff printed out a schedule, we sure would have been disappointed the next morning. While I was pretty embarrassed for doing such a poor job organizing our get together, we could have spent an extra few days in a much worse place. We were all planning to spend about a week together in Baja, what difference did it matter what side of the week the race actually took place in?
We all had a great time catching up, playing in the tide-pools, driving the course, eating tacos, and of course, watching the race. We were sad to see everyone go back to the states, but it was great exploring Baja with a fun crew. We miss everybody, but it turns out we've got another last goodbye.
See you all at Christmas!