The Cortez Chronicles

In search of solitude in a raging world . . .

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Dugan: San Felipe

(1) Sent: Friday, September 03, 2004 12:22 PM
Subject: San Felipe, et al.

Thanks for passing the website along; we always like to have new readers. Sandi must be on the west coast. Tell her to be sure and leave us a note in the guestbook. And if she has an adventure or excursion she'd like to share about the area I'd be happy to put it on the web.

We've been in San Felipe many times, starting back in '66 and most recently in 2002. In '66 we had the misfortune of driving to Punta Estrella, a short distance south of San Felipe, via a two-cowpath road through deep sand. We got stuck many times and spent most of the trip digging the Ford station wagon out of the sand. It was a great trip! (as any is when it makes you forget about everything but the moment). Then we had to drive down there in '69 on a whirlwind 24-hour round-trip to tow a friend's VW Bus with a broken drive-shaft all the way back to Phoenix. That beach is still known among our Mexico-going friends as 4-Wheel Drive Beach, despite that today there is a string of hotels there and of course a paved road into it. While our friend was waiting for us to arrive there in the park in '69 he heard a loud crack -- and a kid playing nearby fell out of a tree and had broken his arm. All the kids ran off in a hurry with the one kid's arm dangling at a 90° angle from where it should have been. Speaking of Yuk.

If Sandi lives on the west coast, ask her if she's ever been to El Golfo de Santa Clara, near the mouth of the Colorado on the Sonora (mainland) side of the Cortez. South of El Golfo it's still relatively primitive. You can go about 40 miles on the beach to a point on the north side of gigantic Bahia de Adair which has long been known to us as "Pothole Beach" -- named for the "caldrons" that are exposed at unusually low tides, which contain many colorful fish and other sea life. Pothole Beach is accessible to Phoenix only from Puerto Peñasco, via a vicious, deceptive 70-mile road that follows a railroad track around Adair, through a wind-blown Sahara-like area covered with shifting sand dunes. Sometimes you can 4-WD through on a relatively well-defined road with ease, and two days later you can't see any evidence of a road at all. If it weren’t for the railroad track, it would be a good place to loose your bearings and die. Anyway, El Golfo and south is very near California and a great getaway for Californians who are tired of looking at people and don't mind camping in the sand with no facilities. There's an article on the website by dad about going with us to Pothole Beach, and another about bailing out some gringos who ran out of gas and drifted in when we were camped there about eight years ago.

Hang in there,

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Larry K. Fox


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