Before I start today’s post, I’d like to express my sincere thanks for the kindness you all have shared with me this past week since the passing of Millie. I knew she was one well-loved dog out there in blog-land, but honestly was amazed and touched by the outpouring of comments, emails, and phone calls. It seems she left a hole not only in my heart, but in many of yours as well.
I spent last week mostly consuming myself with work. I’m currently volunteering at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico for a few months, and it’s been a perfect place to begin healing—surrounded by caring fellow volunteers and lots of amazing wildlife to watch and learn about. I’ll start posting more about this place soon, but first wanted to finish up and share the final few posts of our winter Baja trip, as our last week there was pretty amazing!
Hans, Ursula, Millie, and I returned to Bahía de Concepción at the beginning of February for a few nights of beach boondocking on our way back up the Baja peninsula to the U.S. After seeing the photos from my original stay here, Hans and Ursula were eager to experience Baja’s Best Beachfront Camp for themselves.
Our Saturday morning drive from Loreto was uneventful except for the brief pause to let a couple goats cross the road…ah Mexico!
Soon, the gorgeous Bahía was in view. On this rare “still wind” day, the surface water was like glass. Ursula got some wonderful shots as we drove Highway 1 hugging the shoreline.
While El Coyote and other camping beaches looked tempting….
our hearts were still drawn back to the biggest and best-- Playa Santispac. We quickly made our way down the entrance drive and returned to almost the exact same spot where Millie and I had camped before.
By mid-afternoon, just as we were finishing set-up chores, the clouds rolled in to give us a rare site on the Baja…a thunderstorm!
It left as quickly as it arrived though, and we returned back outside to enjoy the end of the day.
Our sunset happy hour was cut short, though, by one more fast moving squall. This one even more dramatic, and quite a great show to end the day!
Earlier in the afternoon, the fish vendor lady had come by with a bag of gigantic freshly-caught prawns. Ursula knew just what to do with them…grilled shrimp on the Bar-B! What a great dinner for our first night on the beach.
The next morning started with some lingering, pretty clouds at sunrise.
But soon, I had the Sea Eagle inflated and Millie and I were on our way to re-explore the bay with its gorgeous colors and abundant wildlife.
As the row of RVs came back into sight, Millie stood up at the edge of the bow. She could no longer restrain herself—it was time for a swim! With my final “o.k.,” she jumped overboard and we raced each other back to shore!
As Millie continued to entertain Hans and I with her swimming, Ursula decided she’d like to climb the big hill behind the beach. So Hans armed her with the camera and a walkie-talkie, and up the hill she went!
Ursula got some fantastic photos from way up there!
Our final day was consumed by more paddling and dog swimming. I wasn’t sure if this would be Millie’s final swim, but knew it would probably be her last “great” day of swimming, and boy was it ever! As I started throwing her toy in the water, another Yellow Lab came running down the beach to join in the fun.
It turns out, her name was Karma, and she was a 9-year-old Lab from Portland traveling with her surf-loving owners in their vintage VW bus. Karma would always jump in the water ahead of Millie, but was so sweet, she would always give Millie the honors of retrieving the toy.
I am certain that Millie remembered these couple days at Concepción as fondly as us humans did. A place of pure magic and serenity that will now forever hold a special place in my heart.