Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Somewhere in Latin America
8. Kicking It With Coco
Cocoís Corner is a must location as you near the Ďborderí of Baja North and Baja South. Itís a historical marker, and museum of sorts, for both adventurers and racers alike. Itís off the east coast of Baja a ways in-land and can be found along the route for the Baja 500 & 1000.
Iíve seen the pictures, heard the stories, itís time to meet the man himself. Hopefully heís there, as thereís no guarantee that he ever will be.
Heading south on Mex. 3 down the coast from Puertecitos the landscape gets more and more baren.
Not much growing out here. No need to worry about rain...whatís rain?
Mmmmm Sea of Cortez, still havenít met the guy though. Cool sea, man.
This roads really good, but whereís the dirt I heard about? My bones need a good rattling.
There she rolls.
Passed this guy on the way to the last stop before the road to Cocoís. Is it a camper, is it a van, is it a offroad rig? Sweet vamper rig.
He caught up at the last gas station.
Cool rig man.
Juan is from Nevada and cruising around Baja with his dog, Duke. He says all of it is for Dukeís comfort.
Meet Duke. Duke, is chill.
Iím Hungry. What can I eat? MORE TACOS!
Fart fueled up and on the road. Vamos a Cocoís.
The road out was decent, not super technical but a blend of hardpan choss and stretches of sand and silt. The scenery was stark, harsh, and cutting. Donít want to break down.
Sometimes you get two roads side-by-side to pick from. Like a Ďchoose your own adventureí ride. Ride the hardpan choss stuff for a while to get good a shooken up. Then switch to the soft sandy silty stuff for a butter-smooth ride, but much less traction though. Keeps things interesting.
Road climbed and fell at times, dropping into small valleys where water would come crashing through taking out the road. Itís the desert, the floor doesnít absorb anything anymore, so when it rains, it alllll turns into rivers. Speaking of water, didnít I have two water jugs on the back of my bike? Damnit, one must have rattled loose on the road somewhere. Of course it had to be the only one with water in it. Cocoís got water probably right? Just donít break down.
Thereís a lot of stuff reflecting sunlight up ahead. Is it a mirror? Are those beer cans strung along fences? Ahhh this must be Cocoís Corner. As I get closer a small blue ATV comes out to the road to see whoís coming and welcome whoever it is in. Hola! Su nombre es Coco, correcto? Shit, who am I kidding, Jobius guy without any legs on a quad in the middle of a desert, itís got to be him.
Welcome to Cocoís Corner.
This place is like a Mad Max oasis in the desert. Cars, trailers, race scraps and memorabilia everywhere.
And lots of panties.
We chit-chat for a bit and I ask if itís cool for me to camp here for the night. He says of course, you buy something to drink and you can stay in one of my trailers. Take your pick!
Well shit, Iíll buy some beer then. Several please :-)
Oh, and Iíll take this one, por favor.
This is a funky place. I like funky.
It was just him and I there so I got to kick it with him all night. We had some beers, shot his gun off into the desert, and chatted in broken spaníglish about the crazy people and things that have gone on here over the last 23 years heís been living here.
Heís a character for sure, and at 73 (?) itís pretty amazing that he subsists out here all by himself still. His history out here is a tale of great fun, excitement, and good people. Sadly though itís also a story of great hardship, not in just the lifestyle (which he seems very happy living) but in the price you pay when people want to take advantage of you. Over the years heís lost both his legs to health complications, forcing him away from racing, and into the city for periods of time leaving his home vulnerable to vandals and thieves. People stealing everything from his tools, equipment, and vehicles to his caches of much needed water and food. He even had his beer art sculptures dismantled for the money that could be had from recycling the cans. Thousands of cans and many hours lost. He has rebuilt it twice, and twice it has been dismantled while he has been away for health reasons. He said that he doesnít have the energy to build it again.
We brought the chairs out to an open area to watch the sun dip behind the mountains. He said on ridgeline you can see the facial profiles of family members and friends that have already passed away. I asked him how long he thinks heíll be able to stay out here. His tone shifts to positive gear and he chuckles. He looks at me and asks ďHow long do you think youíll be alive? Nobody knows these answers. Neither do I. Every day I wake up and realize that Iím still alive, I am thankful to be here. I say, thank you for this day I have been given.Ē
After the sun went down it was time to go to sleep. I told him to think about anything that would be helpful to have another hand for around the place. In the morning we can get some of it done. I didnít want to be insulting, he sure is fucking capable, but an extra set of hands makes light work.
I slept like a rock in his trailer.
Plenty of space for me and my stuff too.
Plenty of interesting characters have slept the night in this trailer. Some of left their marks, providing interesting stuff to read.
Pretty primo view for sunrise from my bed too.
Even got to sleep next to my lady.
In the morning we fixed one of his quads tires, got the front wheel off his big rig, and relocated some solar lights that needed to be adjusted.
Before I left I swapped out my old plate for my new one that I had been carrying since I left Seattle. I nailed the old one to his wall and signed the book, making my mark along with all of the other travelers and racers to have done so before me. Heís now on his 7th book.
Thanks for letting me chill for a bit Coco, it was a pleasure.
Unfortunately when I was leaving my camera started to take a shit on me and appeared to be breaking. I have no photos for the rest of the day to Mulege. I first met up with Mex. 1 and took it South, then southwest to Guerero Nego, then back east crossing through San Ignacio and Santa Rosalia before getting to the coast and into Mulege. I will also say that if one is in Baja and getting tired of the dry desert, DEFINITELY stop in San Ignacio. Itís small, chill, and a literal oasis in the desert with big palm(?) trees lining the main street if you turn into town. Then, the road to the coast? Well that is just swell and very pretty. So far it is my favorite road in Baja in terms of aesthetic beauty.
The beauty must have fixed the camera (for now?) because itís now working again. Welcome to Mulege Mr. Ginger. Sweet.