This is a prospecting journal recording a trip that began mid-November when J… met geologists in Vancouver over pints of beer, burger and fries at a Pender Street pub while rain deluged outside. J… proposed a regional geological survey of northern Baja ranges along the east coast of the peninsula as far south as the border between Baja California Sur and Norte. They listened: he came away with $1000 US upfront for gas and travel expenses and $1000 US towards rock assay of samples brought back. The purpose and impetus for the trip were created. Neither of us has attempted anything quite like this before.
We begin preparations immediately. Into the van go necessary tools - long-handled spade, heavy plastic sample bags, and addresses in Mexicali and Tijuana for government offices that might supply topographic and mineral claims maps, pictures of the ground we have to cover.
On the rear wheels of the former Canadian postal van, our transportation and base camp, are two new Toyo truck tires; on the front, Michelins from the GMC Blazer replacing the ones on which we travelled 11,000 kilometers the previous year. Last year`s route maps, the wood-water-fish bucket, two red two-gallon water jugs, the grate for fires and fish. All last year`s dive gear, the new spear gun and a heavier wetsuit. In the rain drowning Nanaimo, we mount the solar panel from the boat onto the roof of the van.
I worry about being able to walk long distances in the heat. I add my old Doc Marten 1460 leather boots and put a pad of moleskin in the first aid box. The library includes Dick`s Guide to Baja Geology by Minc, Tom Richard`s Prospecting manual and a publication from the Nanaimo geology office, a rock ID book and the Spanish dictionaries. J…`s acoustic guitar. A roll of rice paper and my Chinese ink and brushes.
Behind us, we leave advice and internet comments. There is still a long way to go…two borders to cross. In the end, the only way to know is to go…
I haven`t remembered yet what I`ve forgotten…
NEXT WEEK: A Long Walk Over Uneven Ground: What do we intend to look for