Wednesday, August 22, 2012

2012 Mexican 1000 - and back again - part 1

The race ended with two nights at the Cabo Azul Resort which was relaxing and much too nice.

When it was time to go we took Rhonda to the airport and the rest of us headed north.

This was a tradition of my dad's.  Drive to the starting line, run the race to La Paz, and then turn around and drive back.  It's a great testament to my family's love of Baja and the durability of the Toyota Land Cruiser.

We needed to stop in La Paz to check on some of Mary's friends and on the way we swung by Rancho Leonero.

Now a hotel, when I was a kid Rancho Leonero was the house of a family friend, Gil Powell.   In 1974 Gil passed away and the house was eventually sold and turned into a hotel.  My parents drove by it at some point and hated it.  They described it as too fancy and exclusive and not the "real Baja."  So Mary and I were a little surprised when we turned down the dirt road and saw the hotel.  It was really nice.  A series of rock bungalos and Gil's house had been converted into a bar/restaurant.  Even though it was much much larger it kept some of the spirit of the original place.

We wandered around the hotel and into the bar where we ran into Tom Swift and his son.  They had raced the Stroppe Edsel and were spending a couple days at Leonero to recover.  We hung out and chatted and had a beer..

I found these photos on the Rancho Leonero site.  We got our first Lab from Gil.

As a kid I spent hours snorkeling around the far rock, looking for eels.
Mary spreading some of dad's ashes
Even though we really wanted to stay at Leonero, eventually we headed to La Paz where we realized we'd missed Mary's friend.  So we stopped had dinner on El Malecon and decided to stay at the same hotel we stayed on the way down.  It was on the northern edge of town and we'd miss the La Paz traffic the next morning.

our adventure continues here

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