It’s mid-January and the weather has been absolutely gorgeous – like, pinch myself, I am so lucky to live here, gorgeous! In January! (Point me back to this Editorial when I start complaining about the humidity come August.) The sun is shining, there has been a slight breeze most days, and the temperature is hovering right around 80°. So, what better time to hit the beach and go exploring? There’s a stretch of beach between Rocky Point and El Golfo de Santa Clara that’s 30, maybe 40 miles, of absolutely gorgeous, pristine beach that can only be accessed 4×4 or boat, though I have been witnessed locals driving the entire stretch in 2WD’s and never getting stuck – not once! It was supposed to be about 84° that Friday so I grabbed a friend (who grabbed burros at Reggie’s…I forgot to ask for a fritter, dang – though a good friend would’ve known, right?), some shell bags, sunscreen, supplies, and 1 of my 2 Great Danes (the youngest and likeliest to survive a day of 4x4ing) and headed out for some fun in the sun.
We drove about halfway to El Golfo on the Coastal Highway and then dropped down onto the beach. The tide was on its way out so we were able to get around a couple rocky point’s and cliffs that you can’t get around when the tide is high. We were headed to the lighthouse that sits on the other side of a large estuary. The stretch between El Golfo and Rocky Point is a great area for camping and I often see families pulling full-size trailers and groups of guys in campers who set up camp and fish all day for days on end. I’ve camped out there for a week before with my friends Pat and Les (RIP) Foss who used to go all the time. My first Great Dane and their 3-legged Chihuahua ran the beach all day while the guys went out catching crabs and Pat and I went up and down the beach shelling on our ATVs. We would head out in the morning after breakfast, come back in time for a crab lunch, only to head out again until dinner time. We did this for a week straight. Great times! Great spots for camping or just hanging out for the day – love to find these hidden gems.
So, there were a few estuaries we had to cross to get to the end: As the tide goes in and out, the water carves out a pathway usually leaving a bit of a dip, or sometimes a little cliff or a giant trench. If you’ve run the beaches along the Sea of Cortez, you are well aware of the obstacle courses the high tide fluctuation leaves at times. You get to running a good speed down the beach and come upon one of these trenches or dips and brakes get slammed, gear goes flying, and front ends get bounced, and sometimes broken. I actually “lost” my Chihuahua in my backseat gear hitting one of these beauties. (We eventually found him alive and unscathed – I think he was even smiling.) I have not-so-fond memories of someone launching our sandrail off, what turned out to be more of a cliff than a dip, and we ended up in the drink (thanks Frank!). As you may’ve guessed, I misjudged the last estuary dip, gear went flying, we caught some serious air, and ended up soaking the interior of my truck since the sunroof and windows were open. My co-pilot was kind enough to reach back and grab Nero, saving him from a possible concussion. (I think people who have had children have this instinct, me, nah, I just held on and tried to catch my hat as it flew off. Good times!) Needless to say, we had some causalities in the bed of the truck. No airbags deployed, no damage incurred, so all was good! There was not a soul in sight except for two coyotes munching on a stinky whale carcass. We had a great day, the weather was perfect, and it was well worth the day it took me to clean out my truck.
Get out and explore! Sure, there are tons of things to do in Peñasco as well as places to explore, but I encourage you to check out areas north and south of the city. There are lots of places you can get to just day trippin’ such as El Golfo de Santa Clara, Santo Tomas, Desemboque, Puerto Lobos, Salinas Peninsula, Playa San Jorge, the Pinacate Craters and Gillespie’s Gold Mine, just to name a few. Grab a friend and go follow a trail – there are lots of maps and Google is a pretty good resource. If you want some organized desert fun, join in on the Boo Bar Poker Run on Monday, January 8th. It is a super fun 4×4 run through the desert. You can join the run for free, but I encourage you to play a poker hand for $25 since you get some swag, and the proceeds go to charity. If you’re new to town, you’ll meet a lot of people who know the area and who like to go out and have fun in their 4×4 vehicles.
A couple days after I wrote the above, it started raining, but we needed the rain, and my roof didn’t leak, so I’m not going to complain. Now that the storms have passed, February is shaping up to be a great month with lots of sunny days. Restaurants are having Valentine’s Day Specials so be sure to make reservations at your favorite restaurant. Most places are offering multiple seatings since they are still operating at a reduced capacity and social distancing and all that. As of this writing we still have an 11pm curfew and you need to wear a mask until you are seated at your table – so keep that in mind when taking our sweetheart out…mostly the 11pm curfew. I must admit that I have skidded home a few times right at curfew – it’s easy to forget when you’re out having fun. I can tell you that it takes about 15 minutes to get from the top of Competition Hill to my garage at the ranchito. Good times!
Everything is open in Rocky Point and we are happy to have you come visit. You can still enjoy all of your favorite activities and whale watching season has officially begun. The Mermaid’s Market is open on the 1st and 3rd Saturday’s of the month – lots of great shopping, local artists, and delicious food – so go check it out in the Shrimp Plaza across from City Hall on the corner of Fremont and Benito Juarez. Superbowl Sunday will no doubt be busy so be sure to call your favorite haunt and see if they are taking reservations – or get there early and grab your seat. Events are still constantly changing so our Facebook Page is the best place to keep up to date with the latest.
Sorry to end this Editorial on a sad note, but in less than two weeks we have lost three great Rocky Point friends: Bill Bingham, Rocky Point resident and friend to everyone, and the guy who looked like he never aged a day past 50; Marlin Kuykendall, a long-time treasure of Rocky Point and former Mayor of Prescott; and Kord Klinefelter, owner of Kord’s Auto Care/Napa Auto Parts in Ajo, AZ. All three of these great guys have been assets to our community and will be dearly missed. We would like to send our deepest condolences to their families and friends.
Please come to visit Rocky Point and patronize our local businesses – let our advertisers know you saw them in the Rocky Point Times Newspaper. Remember not to speed through Sonoyta (40 kmh) and while Covid is still a threat, they would prefer you do not stop and drive straight down to Rocky Point – we are here to welcome you.
Feliz dia de Amor y Amistad
Happy Valentine’s Day