Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Camping in Baja


One time we were camping in an old abandoned mission in Baja Norte, in the Sierra San Pedro mountain range, and in the morning, I awoke to find the canyon wall glowing in the early morning sun—filled with petroglyphs, and padres' marks—curly Spanish crosses from the 1760s. We arrived at dusk the night before, set up camp in the dark, and hadn't seen the ancient graffiti. Astounded, I gathered the top of the air bed to my body in a big hug, to revel in the sight, only to discover the small rounded rocks beneath my arms began to move on their own: a family of scorpions, seeking warmth, had moved in beneath the air mattress during the night. I believe some rather primitive an ancient form of screaming and dancing ensued on my part. John, who was still asleep, leapt up in a warrior stance to meet the enemy at his feet.



Note bene: It's a good thing the scorpions were cold-blooded, therefore sluggish, as we most likely would've been stung had they been more nimble, and we were way offroad on desert backroads miles and miles from civilization. Mexican scorpions pack a lot more venom that our northern woodland scorpions.

I think it was Misión San Fernando Rey de España de Velicatá, which means the petroglyphs were probably from the Cochimí Indians. All that survived were the foundations and walls and a small cistern and dam down below the canyon. I wish I had paid more attention to the petroglyphs, but I was distracted.

Ruins & Rock Art: San Fernando Velicatá & Cataviña the only problem is that Cataviña is near Highway 1. We were miles from nowhere, having come from Laguna Hanson  (aka Laguna Juárez) the Juárez ,and the San Pedro de Martir range on rutted dirt roads. This was back in the mid 1980s, so there was no GPS, nothing was marked. We just went, with little to guide us other than old books on camping in Baja. It was a fantastic trip. I never tired of the weather-worn granite outcroppings—like the Alabama Hills on steroids.



One time we were camping in an old abandoned mission in Baja Norte, and in the morning, I awoke to a canyon filled with petroglyphs, and padres marks from the 1760s. Astounded, I gathered the air bed to my body in a big hug, only to discover a family of scorpions had moved in beneath the air mattress during the night. I believe some rather primitive an ancient form of screaming and dancing ensued on my part.

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