Day 322 – Baja, 2012, Rest of Day Five

9:22 p.m. Friday, La Paz, Baja California Sur – 849 miles from Ensenada on Highway 1 plus all the miles driven to and from the pits.  We began our day 8:00 a.m. on Thursday.  Our team has finished, we took second in our class.   So proud of the effort made by all to make the trek and follow through to finish.  For us, it was an uneventful race, some minor mishaps that kept us out of first place, but nothing serious, blown fuse, etc.  For some other teams, it wasn’t as nice.

Baja is like the wild west, crazy shit happens and when things go bad, they can go very, very bad.  Early on race day, a chase team was in an accident near San Felipe, one man died, another woman was seriously injured and transferred to Scripps in San Diego.  By the description it reminded me of the accident on the Rubicon last summer that took the life of Rachel Anne Gray.

Yesterday a class one car was fueling at RM 835 when the car and the chase truck both caught fire and burned to the ground.  The driver and the fuel man ended up in the emergency room at Loreto.  Those were the only major incidents we heard, but there were plenty of minor ones.  Our prayers and thoughts to all affected by these accidents, the victims and families, the responders and emergency personnel.  Hug your family and friends close and remember that “I love you” can never be expressed too many times.

There were also some funny things that happened to some of the teams that would only happen in Mexico, a trophy lite truck was impounded by the federales yesterday when the tow vehicle wrecked off the side of a cliff outside of Mulege.  One of the BC Challenge cars rolled in the race course, reports are that the police detained the driver (rumor has it our friend Jessi Combs was in that car- they probably just wanted her autograph), two of our friends were scammed at ATM’s in Ensenada by guys that told them – after they had put in their PIN, that the machines were out of money – then walked them to another one around the corner while their buddies withdrew the cash.  Another guy was fined $50 per shell for shotgun shells he had in his truck after his last hunting trip – they finally settled on a $100 bribe and let him go.  All of these things really happened, this is the lawless west, anything goes.  The right way to look at it, is Caveat Traveler, Traveler Beware – This isn’t the US where you have more than your share of rights, you’re on your own down here.

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