If you didn’t come to Puerto Peñasco last month you sure missed out on one absolutely gorgeous month. Perfect weather – not too hot, not too cold, very little wind, the whales, dolphins are out and lots of fresh, clean air. We are still a little slow for this time of the year, but I have no doubt you’re all saving up and we’ll see a big increase in tourism starting this month. Plus, we have a lot of events starting this month, so the town is for sure going to be very busy.  And some more great news…we finally got triple confirmation from Lukeville CBP that our border will now be open until 10PM EVERY Friday starting this month. The border is open so please spread the word because some maps and websites still list it as closed. Normal operating hours are 6AM until 8PM and until 10PM now every Friday. Woohoo! And now with the recent widening of Hwy. 8 through Sonoyta, Sunday and Monday traffic will hopefully move a lot faster. As of this writing they are still working on widening so there weren’t any markings. Traffic patterns seem to dictate one lane going south (after you clear customs) and two lanes coming north, but it looks wide enough for 4 lanes. Hopefully by the time you read this they will have painted the stripes – my guess is 2 and 2. There is still one tiny section near the border where it looks like they will have to remove some sidewalks so that the 2 lanes coming north will be continuous and we won’t have that “merging” problem as you get near the border. There are 2 distinct lanes going through the inspection area, so it looks like that’s in the master plan. And they are working like mad on new buildings so it will be exciting to see what it all looks like when completed.

This month starts Spring Break which draws tons of college students and families from all over the U.S. with most being from Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and California, so there will be plenty of action around town. A whale watching trip is a must-do (appx. $50 USD more or less) and so worth it! Sunset cruises are about half that price and so relaxing and beautiful…plus you get free drinks!! Most likely every cantina in town will be having live music or something fun to do so be sure to make the rounds. Taxis are abundant around town and especially at the resorts so be sure to utilize them and save yourself some grief. Yes, Mexico does have laws against drinking and driving. The taxis are clearly marked, and you should always ask the cost of the ride before you get in as rides in town are much cheaper than those from Sandy beach to town.

Big shout out to Shawn McConnell and the Funkalicious Volleyball Tournament which is in their 16th year and holding their 31st event next month in front of Las Palomas Beach Resort. He was kind enough to send me some great cover shots! They are anticipating 50 teams and 220 players this year and you can get your team registered and more info. at funkbeach.com. Spectators are always welcome and encouraged and it runs all day on the 13th.

Also, shout out to Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers for supporting our humble little paper by advertising their 25th Anniversary of Circus Mexicus. What a beautiful ad, huh? Hope they have t-shirts and stickers for sale at the concert! Marco wrote a great article on RCPM – so be sure to read that. Roger is a local homeowner and business owner, and his former band was The Refreshments – who didn’t love them!? I’ve often talked about attending and bartending their first concerts at the Sunset Cantina – up on the roof – lots of fun! Hard to believe it’s been 25 years! RCPM is a great band and their music appeals to everyone so don’t be shy about coming out and meeting new friends.

On a final note, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument has a Visitor’s Fee of $25. I stopped in during the Lukeville POE closure to follow up on some rumors and get some info. about road closures and was in the visitor’s center speaking with the rangers when I noticed a sign regarding the fee. Long and short… if you pull off the asphalt anywhere within Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument you need to pay a $25 Visitor’s Fee. This includes visiting the gift shop and visitor’s center, checking out the campgrounds, pulling off to take photos or stopping to use their wonderful restrooms (they are wonderful). I used to purchase the annual park pass for $80 because I did a lot of off-roading and exploring in the area and love to visit Quitobaquito Springs, but I hadn’t reupped it in a couple years. The annual pass is good for any national park within the U.S. (up to 4 passengers I think) so it is well worth it. I used it when I went to the Grand Canyon, and it paid for itself. Anyhoo, the fee caught me by surprise so just wanted to pass along the info. If you haven’t been to the visitor’s center or driven around OPCNM, you really should take the time to do so. You can read more about the annual national park pass online. Have a great Spring Break and Semana Santa and we will definitely see you at the beach!!