So far this summer has been one of exploration, discovery, and new possibilities at Rancho La Bellota. After having just finished a busy Spring season, we thought everything would slow down in the summer, just as it does every year during the dry summer heat. Surprisingly enough, a slight rise in temperature didn’t slow us down at all.
We’ve had many visitors come to the ranch this summer. I have to say, coming from one who doesn’t like the heat, it really hasn’t been that bad. Our guests enjoyed the ranch, the horses, the scenery, our friendly Blue Heelers, and most of all a chance to disconnect from their busy schedules for a while, and that’s what it’s really all about.
In the areas of exploration, and discovery, as I mentioned above, Raul and I just returned from Southern Baja on an exploratory trip to see the Baja California Big Horn Sheep who dwell in the mountains there. The Big Horns are a phenomenol animal who have lived in the arid mountains of Southern Baja for thousands of years. Although they were hunted in the past, authorities, and ranch owners alike are working to preserve the Big Horn population so visitors can view their amazing habitat, and catch a glimpse of these majestic animals.
Big Horns live high on the mesas, and during the heat of the day they hide inside the shady areas of caves and crevices. During the early morning hours, or late in the afternoon is the best time to see them.
Ramon Loya and his wife Margarita, are the owners of Rancho Huertita. This charming couple invited us to their home in Southern Baja so we could see for ourselves the unique habitat the Big Horns live in and hopefully catch a glimpse of the animals themselves. The overall idea of this trip was to explore the possibility of creating a summer destination for our guests at his ranch.
Ramon has great pride, and respect for the beautiful animals who live on his property. Because the Big Horn live high up in the mesas of the mountains surrounding their ranch, it requires some hiking, or a good 4 wheel drive vehicle to reach specific areas where they dwell. Yet with a good pair of binoculars, or Ramon’s telescope which he kindly provided for us, we were able to see far into the distance, high up on the mesas where the Big Horns were quietly grazing.
Rancho Huertita is also an oasis. Although they are in the desert, their natural water supply, which comes from an underground source is never ending. Ramon explained to us that the Indians of that region often settled their for months at a time because water was so abundant. He has quite the collection of arrowheads, and metate grinding stones which he and his sons have found over the years.
This trip is also a phenomenal hikers paradise for those who love to hike. There is something about the Baja desert which captivates the heart, and floods the soul with peacefulness, wonder, and tranquility. Maybe it’s the enormous Cardon cactus, some of which stand as tall as 20ft with a trunk the size of a giant oak tree. The Cirios trees are beautiful in their own right, tall and thin, their leaves sproutiing out at the top like giant carrots stuck in the sand.
Our trail guide Antonio, led us on various excursions on foot, and Sr. Loya by car as we set out in search of the Big Horns Sheep. Esther, Antonio’s wife described her husband’s daily excursions which start bright and early in the morning. His charming, and well worn back pack is packed with supplys and ready to go. She said he’ll walk in the mountains for hours, sometimes all day, and not return until nightfall. I’ve never seen anyone in such prime physical condition, and so in love with the land he lives in.
We’re very grateful to the Loya family for their kindness and hospitality which by far surpassed what we expected. We are now discussing the logistics, and details which would enable us to include the Big Horn Sheep Expedition as a summer trip for hikers, explorers, naturalists, and Baja enthusiasts, Rancho La Huertita is truly a remarkable treasure hidden within the blooming desert of Baja California. What could be better than that?
Right now, Raul and I are taking a small breather as we prepare for the upcoming fall season. A very small breather if you know us well! August is here, and it’s time to promote the Laguna San Ignacio Whale Tour, that’s my job. The dates for 2016 are, Wednesday, January 13th to Monday, January 18th. This year Raul said he wanted to spend his birthday in San Ignacio. Maybe we can arrange to have a cake while we’re there?
I’ve done some major adjustments to our website. Yes, I’m webmaster now. I’ve included the link for the whale tour which will take you directly to our new webpage where you’ll find an itinerary of the trip, pictures, and testimonials from our previous trip. If you would like further information such as costs, and/or to register for the trip please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
That’s the news from Rancho La Bellota! Hope you enjoyed our news letter, and if you have any comments or questions we’d love to hear from you. Otherwise, we’ll see you at the ranch!
Warm Regards to all,
Raul and Caroline
Baja Rancho La Bellota