"If not now then when?" I texted my long time friend and frequent partner in crime, Dan, one night in late January. The text was part of a conversation discussing a trip to Baja that started when I decided to quit my job last summer and had continued in the background. During the fall, we procrastinated, going back and forth about safety and timing. Three weeks in the Northwest around the holidays cured me of this deliberation and shortly after New Year's I decided that I was going. By myself if need be.
My phone vibrated.
"Baja? yeh, you're probably right. Lets talk in the AM."
"Sounds good. I'm serious though, when are we going to have this much time?"
The next morning, Dan called, and based on the speed that he started talking when I picked up, I knew he was coming.
"Dude. I'm in. We have to go. By the way, you'll have no idea who I'm with right now," Dan blurted in one breath.
"Lundin!" (Inspired by the character Cody Lundin on Dual Survivor, Dan and I started calling our friend Trevor, Lundin, based on his naturalist tendencies and actions on a backpacking trip on the Lost Coast.
"No way?! That shithead has been stonewalling me for months. It was like pulling teeth to get his information for The Burning House book."
"Yeh I know, I haven't seen him since November. He keeps saying something about planting trees on BLM land for a month straight and then an intense fling with some girl. Sounds like BS to me. Anyways, he's down to go to Baja."
"Fuck Yeh. When can he leave?"
The next night, we rendezvoused at a parking lot within earshot of the constant activity of Los Angeles International Airport. Hugs and high-fives were exchanged as we transferred gear from Dan's Toyota onto the Syncro's racks. Planning for a month-long trip to a place none of us had been and heard relatively little about, we packed the Syncro with a full spectrum of camping gear, six surfboards and enough fishing spears and snorkels to equip the cast of Thunderbolt.
"Do you think the swell is building?"
Three hours of excavation.
"Long, workable rides"
Crossing the border in Tecate shortly after sunrise the next day, we had nothing to expect. A constant flow of bad news from Mexico and handful of mixed anecdotes from people's journeys in Baja left me on edge and weary of any police car or person walking by the Syncro. We stashed money throughout the car, hid our passports in inaccessible places and only drank filtered water. Slowly, these concerns lifted and within a few days, we were in the swing of things in Baja.
Here are some more links,