There was no money around that winter except for private contributions raised in a downtown Vancouver watering hole popular with geologists and prospectors. $1000 for gas and $1000 for rock assays...so, they accepted and took the solar panel from the boat, mounted it on the roof of the Grumman postal van, folded the Zodiac into its carry-storage bag and stuffed it onto the fold-down berth at the back of the small interior cabin that also contained two single berths, a two-burner propane stove and tank, a sink with built-in 20-gallon water tank and a bulkhead-mounted wood stove, originally intended for marine use. They said goodbye one rain-sodden November day and caught the Duke Point ferry south.
In Portland, Oregon, they stopped at Powell’s Books to pick up a Baja road atlas. Later, a friend would give them one containing noteworthy sites of geological interest.
In El Cahon, at Sunbelt Publications, they received directions from the resident geologist to the Martin Love Library at the San Diego State University. On the 6th floor, the made a photocopy of an article by R.G. Gastil, a scant 6-pages that included historic anecdote and description of old mine sites located down the east side of the Baja Peninsula. This article, along with three Mexican topographic maps purchased in Mexicali, were the only ‘guides’ they had.
In El Centro, not far from the US-Mex border, she bought ten pounds each of rice and pinto beans with loose American change. She didn’t know it, but these would form the core of their diet for the next several months.
PROSPECTING BAJA: How the Visual Becomes Memory - Part II