What I learned in Baja…A Guest Post by Mary McHugh (aka Fredsmom). Upon returning from the San Felipe 250 – my first and hopefully not last trip to Baja with the Quad75Dezert teams – one of the first questions many people asked is “Did you have a good time?” “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” I want to scream back! To say the least, I had a fantastic time! Their question is usually followed by, “What was the best part about the trip?” You could start off with the fact that the 100A team won! But, being in Mexico was a lot more to me than that. Don’t get me wrong, it felt absolutely amazing to play even the smallest role in helping the team to victory, but going to Baja was an experience in itself. An “adventure” you could say.
Never being one to stray too far from home, this was my first trip out of the US. I’ve been to Canada, but that doesn’t count. They speak English! I certainly came with come concerns in the back of my mind. Though once in Mexico, I found it’s a lot safer than the news makes it seem, the language barrier isn’t that big of an issue, and you can really have a great time.
Here is some of what I learned in Baja:
- The average American’s digestive system is NOT designed to consume nothing but spicy Mexican food for days on end. I still have heartburn.
- Road signs in Mexico are merely suggestions. Nearly everyone does double the speed limit at all times.
- There are four, nasty, deep whoops at RM218. Jorie found that out the hard way.
- If you get lost in the desert pre-running at night, your friends will come find you. Only after they go to town for more beer.
- There’s nothing more confusing than a Mexican grocery store.
- Don’t expect your rental house to come with a blender.
- Jorie makes the best Bean Enchiladas!
- Check your sleeping bag for scorpions. Thankfully I did not have to find this out the hard way. I did spot one in the garage though and it made me a little paranoid.
- A Can-Am Commander will go 70mph…before it overheats and goes into Safe Mode.
- I LOVE MACHACAS! It’s a shredded beef burrito, and I probably spelled that wrong.
- The tide goes WAY out in San Felipe.
- If company comes for dinner, cook at least twice the food you were planning on.
- Do NOT take unsolicited directions in the desert. 4X4ing through the desert does sound fun. Just not on race day in someone else’s truck.
What really was the best part of being in Mexico? After a long, hot day pre-running in the desert, nothing beats grabbing a case of beer and heading towards the taco stand with your friends. You re-live everyone’s day, talk about tomorrow and plan for the big day. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it was going to be south of the border, and coming back with a win made my “adventures” even more memorable.