High in the Baja

In elevation. Get your mind away from the chemical sort of high many of my age dabbled with.

Baja California. What comes to mind? Desert? Seacoast? Lack of roads? A step back in time?

During a visit in 2006, little dabs of all of the above were revealed. But one of the most memorable days involved mountains.

One of the peaks in this photo is likely the highest point in the Baja. It was taken from the base of the observatory on the second highest peak in the Baja.

We drove up from sea level through several climates to reach the visitor area controlled by the University. From here, they did the driving and escorting. I did not experience any problems — well, just one — but the woman with me, very accustomed to sea level, was short of breath.

My problem? Our guide escorted us inside to see the telescope, opened the roof a slice, and permitted photographs. (This was film, I took one or two.) Then he led us up further, opened a door, and allowed us on to the catwalk which circles the building. Heights of this sort are not my friend. I drew a couple of breaths, pulled a little courage out of the air, and managed to go far enough for my companion (the lady short of breath) to step outside. I think I stood with my back against the building. The view was fantastic. (Not enough faith in my balance to take any photos from that perch.)

Tips if you ever visit the Baja. Check out the mountains. Visit the observatory if you have the opportunity.

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