May, 1999 Mur and Dave to Santa Maria and Gonzaga

This adventure took us to the ruins of last Jesuit mission established in Baja, before their expulsion from the peninsula by royal order. The only 'road' in is 15 miles of what could easily be the toughest in all Baja! It begins at Rancho Santa Ynez, near Catavina. We were fortunate to get to the ruins and back out in six hours! Three days later we approached from the Gonzaga Bay side, and got within 3 miles of the mission. We took a side trip to Las Palmitas oasis and later enjoyed a swim in the main Santa Maria canyon. Finally, we flew over in a Cessna for a photo recon of the area! Enjoy the pics!

On the road to Mision Santa Maria

Palms, boojums, and bad roads....The Best of Baja!

On the peninsular divide, 10 miles east of Santa Ynez.

Baja Mur (in blue) and I stop for the view of Punta Final, on the Sea of Cortez.

Road is all rock!

Between the peninsular divide and the mission the road base is natural granite.

The 'Widowmaker' grade on the road to Santa Maria

Only 'locos' drive beyond this point! Most people park here, then hike the last 2 miles. Not us, on the return climb out, we both wiped-out here. Baja Mur and I became 'Baja Blood Brothers'!


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