East Cape Transformed Thanks to the Rain
By Dawn Pier
The East Cape desert has been transformed. We’ve finally received much-needed rain following a four-year drought; what was once a mixture of grey, brown and beige, has exploded into a verdant landscape unrecognizable as its former self – our Baja desert runneth over with the green of trees, grasses, vines and flowering plants. Add to that a smorgasbord of buzzing insects, singing birds and fat, content livestock. But I shall let the photos speak for themselves.
We had three separate rain events this summer and total rainfall amounted to approximately 23 inches so far (we could still get more!) with variations slightly above and below that throughout the East Cape. The only downside of all this rain is that the roads, the Palo Escopeta and the Coast Road were destroyed by run off crossing and eroding them to the point where they were impassable for many days immediately after the rain. Now they are open, but travel times have increased significantly. I have never seen the roads as bad as they are now. Not even in 2006 after Hurricane John dumped 18 inches of rain on us in 36 hours.
Here’s just one example of what results due to all this rain: The other day, as I drove my ATV south along the Coast Road, a couple in a rented jeep flagged me down. I stopped and they inquired, “Are we almost at Cabo Pulmo?” I couldn’t help but chuckle and informed them that there was a good 30 kilometers of bad road still to go. The husband looked crushed, the wife somewhat incredulous. “Do you think I’ll make my 10 o’clock SCUBA diving reservation?” asked the husband from behind his pained expression. I looked at my watch it was 9AM. Under normal circumstances he would be there just in time, but with the roads they way they are, they probably still had another two hours of bone-jarring, agonizingly slow travel before reaching their destination. I told them not to worry because the good people at the Cabo Pulmo Beach Resort would be sure to take care of them and if he didn’t make the morning dive, they’d surely be happy to take him out that afternoon. They thanked me and continued on their bumpy way.
If you’ll recall from a previous post of mine here on Baja.com, there’s no telling when the municipality will get out here with the graders and backhoes. Nevertheless, slowly but surely, private citizens are getting out and fixing the worst spots so that trucks with good clearance can get through, but if you’re in a hurry or need to meet someone at an appointed time, until further notice I recommend that you don’t take the Coast Road. And before you go, be sure to brush up on how to survive a drive on the East Cape.
East Cape is one of Baja’s most idyllic natural areas. Find out more about visiting and staying in the East Cape!
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