Good morning and I overslept today!  That’s what I get for sleeping in the bed, rather than my chair.  Although, I did find a great deal out at the “segunda” next to the old Colorado Restaurant.  Both Mikey and I had been sitting in chairs I bought used for the Net years ago, so you can imagine how comfortable they were.  We had to put pillows in back and under us and there was more than one occasion when I fell asleep and slid off the chair onto the floor.  So, I’ve been checking segundas for the last two months.  I asked the guy if he had any small recliner type chairs and I’ll be darned.  Under some blankets in the back room of her little house (the wife sells clothes, etc.) he had these two small recliners.  The segundas (second hand stores) I checked over the last couple of months, wanted an arm and a leg for a used office type chair with arms, so after making numerous trips out and about, I found the two chairs that would fit perfectly in my little house.  He wanted $200 USD for both of them, but I got him down to $2,000 pesos for both.  Now, I just have to move the long table, the television and a dresser and I’m all set.  Photo by Kat Hammontre. 

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A DISTANT DESERT COMMUNITY
by
Bruce F. Barber
Bruce F. Barber, published author of "...Of Sea and Sand" A Drama of Two Living Deserts - available in San Felipe.

Bruce F. Barber, published author of “…Of Sea and Sand” A Drama of Two Living Deserts – available in San Felipe.

      The 1100-miles-long Transpeninsular Highway is a major artery connecting Southern California with business and tourist centers scattered along the Baja California peninsula. But, there is parallel route connecting Southern California with a popular tourist center at its end, too. This one, Mexico’s Federal Highway 5, begins at the international border at Mexicali and leads to the east coast port of “San Felipe de Jesus”.
     While La Paz and Loreto are larger cities, the history of La Paz is anything but peaceful as its name tends to imply. Similarly, Loreto was the historic capitol of the land during a period when 95% of Baja’s original inhabitants were decimated by the newly arrived Spaniards.
     San Felipe, on the other hand, has a more serene history although that may be because it is clouded by an unrecorded past. As far as recorded history is concerned, Francisco Ulloa was the first European to sight its sandy shores during a treasure-seeking voyage in 1539. Hernando de Alarcón sailed by in 1540 and others came via land and sea in the 18th and 19th centuries.
     There are scholars who believe man lived in nearby mountain communities for most of the past 39,000 years. Having read several of their treatises, I believe the matter true although I carry early man’s presence in this region a step farther.
     Believing the ancestors of these early men and women walked across the Alaskan landbridge, once they settled in California’s Imperial Valley and Mexico’s Sierra Pinacate, it is logical to assume they explored the regions surrounding their habitats. My assumption is based on man’s basic understanding of Nature:
1. Rivers flow downhill to end in lakes, seas and oceans, and,
2. Man’s unending need for food (generally available where there is an abundance of water).
     There are, along the greater San Felipe shoreline, numerous shellmounds littered with flakes of obsidian. Of interest to the curious is the fact that each of these shellmounds is directly east of a prominent canyon in Baja’s Sierra San Pedro Martyr.
     This fact suggests to me that local natives made dedicated treks to the shore from their mountain homesites. But, an analysis of any given “trail” to a shellmound involves…
a) descent of the “San Pedro” (at least 10 miles),
b) passage across Valle Chico (10 miles),
c) passage through the Sierra San Felipe (another 10 miles), and
d) a final eight-mile crossing of the eastern bench.
     Whereas these natives lived in communities (ranging to 50 in number), professional studies of them have revealed that they almost never traveled in company with each other. That is, both males and females traveled alone (with but a single weapon on their person).
     Regarding their presence in this southern region, there are pictographs and petroglyphs in several of the “San Pedro’s” canyons, in addition to those in the Sierra Pinacate. What’s more, there are huge drawings in both the Pinacate and the mountains north of Blythe, California.
   First sighted by airline pilots, it was not until one of them became sufficiently curious that these monstrous “drawings” were investigated. Then, it was learned that, rather than drawings, they were characters created by the placement of rocks to appear as drawings when seen from a distance. One set (locally identified as “intaglios“) is but a few miles north of Blythe, California. Another is located in the Sierra Pinacate, about 75 miles east of San Luis, Sonora, Mexico.
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Good morning peeps and a beautiful morning it is.  The weather Saturday was just perfect and we had a great day, after a few mishaps of course, but what’s a day in San Felipe without at least one.  The beach in front of the Malecon was full yesterday, as were most all the restaurants on the boardwalk.  I had intended to write Saturday when I returned, but one thing led to another and I didn’t get a chance to write.  We were hoping to go see Country Fried at Augie’s Jollymon but Mikey wasn’t feeling too hot, so we stayed home.  I sure hope they play one more time before Derek moves to the Pacific side of the Baja which I thought was August 4, but I could be wrong.  As a matter of fact, there’s a very good chance I am wrong.  It’s just a shame to see such a good group split up but I understand.  Photo by Kat Hammontre. 

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