Legends Rally Sea to Sky September 25th-29th, 2019
Legends Rally Sea to Sky is one of our favorite loops because we get to experience a little bit of everything Baja has to offer. From the pine forest northeast of Ojos Negros, to the rugged San Pedro Martir mountains around Mike’s Sky Ranch, to the stunning stretches of beach along the Pacific coast, Sea to Sky is a complete tour of Baja.
The September 25th-29th Legends Rally started out in classic fashion with a delicious welcome dinner by off-road chef Drew Deckman. As the rain fell at Horsepower Ranch, honorary Legend Sal Fish introduced timeless Baja stories while the freshly acquainted group tasted tequilas, wine and Agua Mala cervezas. The participants, from all walks of life, were able to get to know each another as well as shake hands with the guides and crew that would be leading them on this spectacular adventure.
The Deckman welcome dinner was fit for kings – Kumiai Oysters, Yellowtail Ceviche Tostados, Lettuces from the Garden, Whole Roasted Goats on the Cross, Salsa Bar, Ranch Beans, Tortillas and Cheese Platters. As everyone ate their fill, the anticipation of the journey ahead became as apparent as the excess of libations consumed. The majority of the participants had never ventured into Baja, let alone traveled the many miles we were about to run in a UTV.
Day 1 of the ride began nice and early from Horsepower Ranch, which lies just a few miles outside Ensenada. After a traditional breakfast we hit the trails that begin near this famous off-road ranch. As we rallied our way east past Ojos Negros, we traversed some of the most iconic and heavily raced trails in Baja. Within a few miles of riding, the participants realized they were in for a couple of really special days. The lead guide car, driven by Matt Martelli, set the pace through the pine forest as Sal Fish rode shotgun. At 80 years young, Sal’s energy is infectious and is totally in his element while off-roading in Baja. His list of accolades and adventures could fill the pages of multiple books or a Hollywood movie script.
As the group cut their way across the peninsula and headed south, they would eventually test their skills on the infamous Goat Trail. The steep granite grade, known for danger during many off-road races, is a right of passage in Baja and was successfully traversed by the entire Legends Rally group. Roads like the Goat Trail give the participants a sense of confidence that can only be attained by challenging one’s self. Lunch was endless tacos just a bit further south in the small town of Valle de Trinidad. After lunch, we headed into the Sierra San Pedro Martir Mountains and stopped by Mike’s Sky Ranch for a quick break. Mike’s Sky Ranch is steeped in off-road history and a must see for anyone making the trek to this area. After some more technical riding, the group finally made their way to the rustic Rancho Meling. Day 1 concluded with another amazing dinner by Deckman and the participants sharing their new experiences over drinks.
Day 2 began with coffee, bacon, sausages, fruit, homemade whipped cream, eggs, tortillas, salsas, and empanadas all prepared by Deckman and his team. As the guests prepared themselves for this next day of riding, the guides packed coolers and double checked vehicles for fuel and last minute mechanical issues. Once we departed Rancho Meling, we passed by Rancho Coyote and hit some of the most technical trails we would encounter on the journey. The descent out of the mountains is littered with water crossings, rocky trails and abundant native wildlife. The group handled the rough terrain well and we eventually said goodbye to the mountains. Views of the Pacific Ocean and long stretches of coastline welcomed the guests, for some their first chance to ever drive on an actual beach. We played in the sand until sunset then made our way to Hotel Paraiso in Colonet for the night. As expected, there was food, drink and even the singing of happy birthday for one of the guests.
On Day 3 we headed north along countless miles of beach until a broken belt and flat tire slowed our progress. Even with the mechanical delays, there was still enough time to check out a tidal blowhole as well as a quaint winery called El Chocolate before lunch. Just a little further up the road, a tremendous feast was served at the beautiful MD Vinos. This winery enjoys stunning views of the vineyards and an opportunity to taste some of the best local Baja wines available. After the food and tastings we headed east, back into the mountains, making one last push towards Horsepower Ranch. Sea to Sky Day 3 concluded with a final decadent dinner by Deckman and drinks in the cantina.
It’s often hard to process an immense journey like this in real time and takes a little while to fully appreciate what was experienced. The Baja scenery, the wonderful people, the food and drink, will all be memories for a lifetime. Thanks again to GSP XTV Axles, Zero1 Off-Road, and Sal Fish for making this adventure truly remarkable.
For more info go to www.thelegendsrally.com