San Diego to Cabo.
So what does the entry from May 25 mean exactly?
The translation is this: Justin DeShields and Bryan Morales, two friends with a love for surfing and Baja, completed a 1,000-mile journey in which they hiked and traveled by standup paddleboard down Baja California from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas.
For years, the two surfed and camped along the Baja coast in mostly solitude. With a grant from National Geographic to produce a documentary film, they set out on a crazy 111-day journey, part of which was documented by NatGeo Television Producer J.J. Kelley.
Some of their inspiration came from Graham Mackintosh, who 30 years ago left England and walked 3,000 miles through Baja California for two years. He wrote about his adventure in the book “Into a Desert Place.” DeShields and Morales talked with Mackintosh before setting out on their expedition to get some pointers on traveling through Mexico.
The first part of the trip was captured beautifully in a 2 1/2-minute video created by DeShields using only his phone. “The quickest camera to draw is always my phone,” he wrote. “It captures candid moments better than any camera in our arsenal. This video … gives an honest, frank, and fun view of what life was like for us hiking down the Baja Peninsula.” Take a look:
More highlights of their adventure can be found on the What is West Facebook page. Here’s a sampling:
A naked sunset dip in the ocean.
Hiking the coast through Fox Studios Baja, where movies such as the “Pirates of the Caribbean” were filmed.
Being self-reliant for food and water while hiking about 200 miles of coastline with no main road.
DeShields waking to find a coyote with its teeth sunk into his sleeping bag.
A gnarly trip through the mountains without following a route and with cactus ripping up their legs.
Standup paddleboarding despite nasty winds and sightings of a 14-foot great white shark.
A week of paddling with 20- to 30-knot winds, 6-foot swells, and flipping boards.
Catching a cabria for dinner using a 40-pound test line wrapped around driftwood.
As you can tell, it was a crazy trip, and we’re pretty sure we’ll be hearing more from DeShields and Morales about it. Sounds like it ended on a great surfing note, too.
“We traversed the peninsula once more, but we drove this time,” the adventurers wrote in a post on Facebook on June 10.
“With our two buddies and an Explorer stacked with surfboards, we made a celebratory visit to San Juanico. Just in time. South swell hit hard. And we scored: Longest rides of our lives! Thank you Baja for a beautiful four months.”