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"The Devil's Road" Main Expedition, Day 55

April 22 ( Sierra San Pedro Martir)

Two coyote pups ran through our camp this morning! I was sitting next to the fire waiting for the water to boil for my coffee. I didn't even have time to get the camera before the pups disappeared into the rocks. JT was still asleep and again I felt that we missed an opportunity to get some wildlife on camera.

We met a group of women at the ranger station while on the way down to the lookout. They had just been there and took pictures of four condors. Our excitement rose as we made the 10-kilometer drive and secretly hoped they would still be there.

We were once again met with empty skies and no condors in sight. We were left holding the cameras, scanning the horizon, and sweating profusely under the Baja sun.

The road system through the park is very limited and most of the park can only be accessed by foot. Both JT and I were not up for a long hike carrying the camera equipment with "hopes" of seeing a condor, so we settled for a leisurely drive.

The Sierra San Pedro Martir is an amazing place and is home to a wide variety of plant and animal life. The breeze softly blows through the trees and immediately reminds me of the Sierra Nevada.

JT and I had a long talk while sitting around a roaring campfire later. Our attention was on how we can tell the story of the California condor without any footage of a wild bird. JT has been called "the magic man" by several of his clients for his ability to pull off a difficult job. He assured me that he has a few ideas and suggested that I not worry.

"The Devil's Road" Main Expedition, Day 10

Mike's Sky Ranch to Sierra San Pedro Martir

Last night three older dirt bike riders came into the rancho after an attempt to get to the observatory. They made it within tree miles of the paved road to the national park. Their assessment of the condition of the road was that it was extremely rutted, very rocky, and seriously steep in areas (and did I say very rocky?). To attempt that road on our heavily ladened bikes (more than twice the weight of theirs) would be "nuts." So, we made the command decision to take the long way around. The risk was too high to attempt it. 

Sierra San Pedro Martir Observatory

Sierra San Pedro Martir Observatory

We set off with the rest of the Bruce detachment back to Mex Highway 3, then off to Ensenada, then south to San Thelmo where we turned east to head up the 100 km road to the national park. In all it was a 250-mile day in the saddle. Rounding one curve, we almost ran over a very large (at least a meter long) rattle snake. What an opportunity to get some great photos of the snake. JT used all of his camera attachments and implements to get the right shot. 

We arrived at the national park entrance just before dark, picked out a campsite, and did the mad scramble to collect firewood to build a fire. With snow patches all around, we were very cold and got the fire roaring in record time. The temp had dipped to 2 degrees Celsius and was dropping fast. It would be a cold night again. 

Hidden Gems Film Club presents a sneak peek screening of "The Devil's Road: A Baja Documentary"

 

SPECIAL "SNEAK PEEK" RECEPTION with the filmmakers of "The Devil's Road: A Baja Documentary” (In Production)

Saturday, February 25th | Aptos Branch Library

SCHEDULE:

4:30PM - Doors Open
5:00 PM - Screening
6-6:30PM - Q&A Session with the Filmmakers!
6:30-7PM - Reception with Light Refreshments

Please join the Santa Cruz Public Libraries’ Hidden Gems Film Club for a special sneak peek screening of “The Devil’s Road: A Baja Documentary” presented by Broken Wagon Films. Audience members will also have an opportunity to meet the team of documentary filmmakers in the midst of their filmmaking process.

In “The Devil’s Road,” local Santa Cruz filmmakers tell the story of over 100 years of ecological change on the Baja California while retracing the steps of renowned American naturalist Edward Alphonso Goldman — a relative of three out of the four production team members. The diverse geographic features of Baja California — from inhospitable desert, to high mountains, and picturesque coastlines — comprise a distinct ecoregion that is home to a number of endemic species, found only in Baja. Who is Edward Goldman and why is he important? What is the importance of Baja’s biodiversity? Is human activity tarnishing this unique place?

Come and learn about Baja’s natural history and its global significance, and the documentary filmmaking process.

Bring your questions for a special Q&A session with the filmmakers after the screening! Seating is limited. Light refreshments will be served.

Learn more about the project at www.brokenwagonfilms.com or follow the crew on Instagram and “like” us on Facebook.

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