We had three perfect days in Baja California with Tiberio and Suzanna Esparza a few weeks ago. Four-wheeling in “side by sides” through the mountains and deserts of Baja, including a trip through the Parque Nacional Constitution de 1857, we had a rough and tumble time and ended our first day at the famous Mike’s Sky Rancho, an icon of off-road racing. We had the place to ourselves but enjoyed all the physical reminders — stickers plastered everywhere and t-shirts hanging from the ceiling — of the Baja racers for whom this place has been a haven for many years. The second day, Tiberio’s vehicle broke down in La Independencia and the four of us piled into our (actually also Tiberio’s) Razor and rode back to La Rumorosa, where Tiberio had left his truck and trailer. Since the rear passenger seats had been removed from the Razor to provide cargo space, Suzanna and I sat in the back on our duffel bags, resting against our backpacks. Our plan was to take the trailer back to La Independencia and fetch Tiberio’s broken Arctic Cat and get back to the Esparzas’ home in Holtville, California late that night. But as we drove through the Valle de Guadalupe, Baja’s wine country, the enchanting Encuentro Guadalupe presented itself just after sunset and lured us in. We ended up staying in their luxurious Eco-Pods that night and enjoyed their amazing food and wine for dinner and breakfast. The next day we reluctantly left the wine country and returned to La Independencia to load up the side by side. We returned to the United States through Mexicali and were entertained during our long wait at the border by vendors of food, drink and souvenirs, and even some young men climbing over the border fence. Not that they intended for anyone to see them.
Tiberio and Suzanna were amazing hosts and have a wonderful talent for turning lemons into lemonade. Thank you, Tiberio and Suzanna, you bring joy and light to the world!
Day One Gallery
Day One Gallery (continued)
Mike’s Sky Rancho and Beyond
Encuentro Guadalupe Gallery