By Sandy O’Hare
Karen and Chuck Aldridge, good people, good friends who first visited Puerto Peñasco (aka Rocky Point), simply because of an article about Mexico in a Sunset Magazine. For as long as Karen could remember, a subscription t o Sunset had been a tradition in her family home. Her mother always kept the latest issue sitting on the coffee table in the living room of the family home in Berkley, California. When Karen was about 12 years old, her family moved south to Anaheim, making it a not-too-long drive down to Baja Mexico for day shopping trips, which they did as often as they could. That was her introduction to Mexico.
Many years in the future, Karen and Chuck together continued the “Mexico Tradition”, and drove from Anaheim to Cabo San Lucas at the southernmost tip of the Baja, in 1989. That memorable trip was just one year before their 1990 move to Arizona, where Karen pursued her schooling, in 1994, to become a nurse.
In all those interim years, Karen had kept up the other family tradition of continually subscribing to Sunset Magazine, as her mother had all those years. One month, in 1995, the magazine arrived in the mail showcased Mexico. Specifically, Rocky Point. The article which Karen noticed right away, was all about the magical mysteries of the tidepools along the shore of the Sea of Cortez in front of the Playa Bonita Hotel on Sandy Beach. To this very day Karen remembers exactly how impressed she was with the article and the wonderful photos. Instantly she wanted to experience for herself the magic. She showed the magazine story to Chuck and it wasn’t long before a trip “south” was planned.
The couple fell totally in love with Rocky Point. It was the friendliness of the people, the beauty of the town with its wonderful sights and magnificent colors that made Rocky Point really special to both of them. Taking hundreds of photos, during their mini vacations from Cottonwood, Karen was inspired to have everyone see and enjoy her pictures of her awe-inspiring sunsets on the Sea of Cortez. Her photos of the beautiful beach scenes, bright sunrises, colorful shops and kind people needed to somehow be shared. It wasn’t long before Karen came up with a plan. She could compile her stash of photographic memories, and create a calendar! The Rocky Point Calendar was born in 2009, just like a baby, the new calendar took months and months of heartfelt tireless work from both Karen and Chuck. The calendar is the result of a complete, entire love of all Mexico, especially Rocky Point. Anyone fortunate enough to have met these two people can feel their total commitment to our town. Talking to them for a few minutes can transport you instantly to their enthusiasm. Right now Karen and Chuck are squeezing into their lives as much of the sand and sea pleasure as they possibly can on their as-many-as possible visits to this beach town. Their trips south must be well planned around Karens work as a dedicated hospice nurse. But being “Almost There” means that just this week, the couple has listed their Cottonwood home for sale in order to fulfill their dream of living fulltime in Rocky Point by end of this year, 2011. The two beach lounges under the palapa belong to Karen and Chuck Aldridge, proud creators of the Rocky Point Calendar and two of this towns most ardent supporters.