When you get a call from your friend and he says, “I am planning on riding my motorcycle with a group of guys from San Diego through the Baja Peninsula to Cabo San Lucas and back, do you want to come?” The only answer is, YES, followed up with a more emphatic HELL YES. But … I followed that up with, “there is one small problem I don’t ride motorcycles and … oh ya, I don’t have a motorcycle.”
Immediately, the friend, Dave responds simply with, “borrow one.” Okay, an inexperienced rider borrows a motorcycle to ride to Baja and Back. Sounds dangerous, wait … is dangerous the right word? Sure dangerous and/or irresponsible, reckless, and/or dumb, any of those will probably work. But whatever you want to call it, I knew that people that say yes to once-in-a lifetime opportunities like this always have an interesting story to tell. Baja and Back is now mine and I am privileged to add it to my life story.
Traveling to Baja and Back I met a dear friend, Eric Hill, which some of you may know from The Bachelorette. He is no longer with us as he passed away several months after our adventure in a paragliding accident in Utah. I cannot look back on this trip without thinking of him and how his approach to life has changed mine, and it has the possibility of changing yours. His passion for travel and his love for people were apparent upon meeting him – and I think Baja and Back is a true tribute to his spirit of adventure and showcases his ability to live every moment to the fullest.
Eric was and is the most memorable part of Baja and Back for me, but there was loads of impromptu moments and amazing people along the way that made this a trip of a lifetime, a trip that we as 10 friends will talk about for years. We refused to stay in conventional hotels and opted for a more cultured experience by staying in vacation rentals at every stop except for one, where we camped out. In fact, one of my favorite moments of the trip came from a HomeAway.com property owner. He mentioned having seen whale sharks in the bay earlier that week and suggested we take an excursion in search of them. Sure enough, he was right and we got up early the next morning and lucky for us we caught up with some whale sharks in the bay of Bahia de Los Angles. I had no idea how big they are! Swimming next to a fish that can swallow you whole without noticing is one nerve-racking experience but it even more surreal and unforgettable.
The decision to ride to Baja and Back on a borrowed bike may have been reckless considering my riding experience. However, taking the opportunity to do something new, even though it was uncomfortable, lead to meeting new friends, seeing the beauty that is Mexico and lead me to a new love in life, riding motorcycles. I will ride as a means to travel and to meet new people ever chance I get. That being said, I hope to meet you on the open road, and if we’re lucky you’ll be on two wheels. Let’s ride.