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Live In Puerto Peñasco… Never Get Bored

Boo Bar Poker Run Rocky Point 2016
Photo by Beverly Arrowood

I get asked almost weekly, what do you do there in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico to not get bored?  There is a lot to do and in every area where you maybe looking.  As I have said before you can golf, fish, hike, beach comb, go clamming, whale watching, visit the Pinacate Biosphere Visitor Center or go to the craters themselves.
Boo Bar Poker Run Rocky Point 2016
Photo by Beverly Arrowood

One particular thing to do on a week day is go 4 wheeling.  We recently met up with Jose Flores, owner of the BooBar and he talked us into going on the 2nd Annual Poker Run.  So Monday Feb. 9th we all met with Jose at the BooBar to get our shirts, Poker cards and map of where we were going.  From there we went out to the El Golfo Highway junction and fueled up the 4 wheelers as well ourselves.  At this point we have 70 people of all ages and about 26 vehicles of all shapes and sizes. Lots of JEEP’s, sand rails, Razors and 4 wheel pick-ups.  Off we went in a CLOUD OF DUST (literally).  Crossed the railroad tracks and ran along side the tracks for several miles to our 1st stop.  Jose called it an arch, well it was but it was where 2 trees had grown together to form an arch.   Everyone got their cards stamped and spent some time getting to know each other better.  We had our 2 German Shepherds Tucker and Frida bouncing around in the back of the JEEP, so we had to let everyone see them.
Boo Bar Poker Run Rocky Point 2016
Photo by Beverly Arrowood

Off to the 2nd stop and it is a huge salt pit mine on the edge of the Pinacate Reserve.  By this time, most of the drivers had settled into the routine as to who went first  when and where.  Cold beer, sandwiches and snacks and good friends on a beautiful February day… it doesn’t get much better than that. Thirty minutes later we were back  along side the tracks and then had to cross over them or in this case it was JUMP the tracks.  My biggest fear was getting stuck on the tracks and hearing the horn of the train!   Fortunately, we all made it over.  Cross the highway and head to the beach was out next mission.  Half of the group followed Jose and the  rest made a right turn at the highway and were headed north.  It looked like a herd of cattle until they realized they were going the wrong way!
Boo Bar Poker Run Rocky Point 2016
Photo by Beverly Arrowood

Next stop to get our cards punched was on the beach at  the Ejido Aceves.  By now we were about 25 miles north of town.  More beer and snacks.  I think Bill and I were the only ones with wine and wine glasses.  Not being a really good camper, I am off in search of the bano (bathroom) and sure enough I found one where they were making a restaurant.  All the comforts of home, I am a happy camper.  Then one by one we started up the beach in some very deep wet sand to our next stop.  Finally we are at the beach and the pups and I were so excited.
Boo Bar Poker Run Rocky Point 2016
Photo by Beverly Arrowood

When one runs the beach, you normally take the air out of the tires before you get stuck or bogged down!  Not our group!  It was a hoot with vehicles going everywhere trying not to get stuck and have to be pulled out.  Finally we all rallied on a high dry spot after watching the tide come in closer and closer.  When you looked off in the distance the condos on Sandy Beach were barely visible.
Boo Bar Poker Run Rocky Point 2016
Photo by Beverly Arrowood

Our last and final stop before heading back to Puerto Peñasco and the BooBar was on the back side of Black Mountain.  Every “hot dog” tried to go up the hill.. some made it and some not so much.  One of our local realtors actually went up the mountain backwards.  Thinking maybe he has to much time on his hands!  Got our cards stamped and had Jello shots and some other form of alcoholic Jello shots called Apple Pie with a kick.
Boo Bar Poker Run Rocky Point 2016
Photo by Beverly Arrowood

Finally we were headed back to town and couldn’t stop talking about maybe doing it in fall.  Although we didn’t win the Poker Card .. we had the best day ever.  If you Google in Puerto Peñasco you will be able to take our trip without leaving your computer, but you won’t have near as much fun.
Thanks to Jose and “Packman” Macias from Capone’s for thinking this fun trip and those that went along.
Always remember
Life is a Journey… Not a Destination and the Journey begins in Puerto Peñasco

Come down here and go on an adventure with us, we want to show you our city.  Remember there is till time to book your reservations for hotels or condos for Spring Break and Easter. Call: 1-800-997-9431
Boo Bar Poker Run Rocky Point 2016
Photo by Beverly Arrowood

2016 and a little bit of History in Rocky Point

As we soon will be ushering in 2016 and we are complaining about the cold, our hearts go out to those in Texas and some other parts of the South, who have lost so much Christmas Eve as a deadly tornado struck and cut a 40 mile path destroying so many homes and lives.  Hopefully you will have a fun filled but  safe New Year’s Eve and a wonderful 2016.

Now for my story!  Many year’s ago, a man most of you will remember, Bobby Unser, owned a home here in Puerto Peñasco.  As luck would have it, he loved to go clamming like we did.  So one Friday, he asked if I wanted to go (as it is always better to go  4 wheeling in pairs) and our friend Karl Blume and I said sure. Actually I think he needed to have someone go along in case he got stuck but off we went to the Bahia San Jorge (3rd Estuary)out past where the Mayan Palace now sits and ran down the beach for about 8 miles.  Within an hour we had 2 5 galloons pails full of the freshest most beautiful clams you can imagine.  Had our lunch and a couple of ice cold beers and were going to head back to Rocky Point.  Well, Bobby, decided we should take a short cut.  I don’t know what I was thinking because a short cut means a straight line back the way we came.  As we wound our way along a 1 lane dirt road, we passed a couple of really old rusty vehicles, stopped at an old well that was very deep and headed up towards Gillespie’s Mine.

Sonoran Desert Reserve
Photo by Beverly Arrowood

I had been to this mine on one other occasion with Mr. Unser (note I am still calling him nice names) and it was scary.  On that trip, as about 16 of us headed down into the mine, I heard a timber behind me crack and stated I was  heading back out for fresh air and said I’ll take you pictures when and if you come out.  I guess they all decided I might be correct in my assessment and came out rather quickly.

Big Horned Sheep

Back to my story, we got to the mine and found there was a man and his 2 sons that were mining GOLD and they would get about an ounce a month.  A lot of difficult and lonely work for so little in return.  However, we found they were very happy at what they found and we gave them a few beers and off we went…. in the opposite direction from where we came.  He said the “short cut” would come out just north of Puerto Peñasco.  I had a brand GEO Tracker at that time so I was not comfortable  with the accuracy of the fuel gage, but assured all was well.  Make a long story short, we came out 10 miles south of the US border.  At this point I had hit the red zone and was no longer calling him Bobby!  He said no problem as he had picked up a piece of old dirty tube and that he could siphon so leaded (GEO takes unleaded) into my new vehicle.  This was just one of our adventures in coming to Puerto Peñasco and I guess why we loved it hear so much.

Sahuaro flower
Photo by Beverly Arrowood

If you went clamming and forgot your rakes, no problem, watch the locals and they dug with they feet.  Lock the Bloody Mary’s and Mimosa’s in the vehicle as I did on another trip with friends from Payson… my name was mud.  As we all headed to the spot, my 2 friends decided this was a spectator sport and headed to the Tracker for drinks, only to find we had the keys.

There is a book called GILLESPIE’S GOLD (The Saga of the Southwest’s Most Incredible Millionaire) by Earl MacPherson.  It is the story of Bernard Gillespie and his adventures when there was only a dirt road to Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. He writes about Gillespie and all of the “encounters he had with bandits, fortune hunters and simple Mexicans who called him their Patron.” There is a picture of him dancing with a beautiful Mexican lady at the Vasquez Bar in Sonoyta and so much history. Some of the old cars we passed by that day were from Mr. Gillespie’s era and I feel so happy to have been able to see it all and pick up old metal rail road spikes that I still have.

Gillespie Gold Book

If you ever decide to drive to Puerto Peñasco, please take at least one trip on the old highway that goes over the Gillespie Dam which was built around 1922.  As you come south on Highway 85, the last road to make a right before heading over the new bridge at the Gila  River and just follow the signs.  You will wind past a lot of agriculture and then cross over the bridge and end up in Gila Bend.  This was the old highway between Phoenix and Yuma.  It may take you longer, but picture yourself crossing that river on a relaxing drive.

Puerto Peñasco, although a young city by Mexican standards, has so much history to it. It is only about 85 years young.   The State of Sonora is itself very rich in agriculture and now mining and of course the fishing and shrimping  industry here in Puerto Peñasco,  It is part of the Altar Desert and is the driest and hottest part of the Sonoran Desert.  It is because until 1930’s and 1940’s when the railroad was built connecting Baja to the rest of Mexico that Puerto Peñasco,  Caborca and many of the other little cities sprung up.  Although the passenger trains no longer come through here we have a great deal of  freight trains hauling everything from cement to cars parts for assembly.

big Sahuaro
Photo by Beverly Arrowood

If you would like to read this book and are here, I will lend it out.  You can check out on Amazon if they have any copies left or go to your local library.

Come down and spend some time with us and earn about your neighbors from South of the border.  It is a safe easy drive and only 4 hours from either Phoenix or Tucson.
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