Winter 2017 Wheels & Keels Roundup 

2017 Wheel & Keels Baja Roundup Photos The way the link is set up, others can add their pictures to it. Might have to have a Gmail account, but I'm not sure.
-Wild Bill

Guy's Photos:
Because of the limitation to 100 photos per album, you will have to click to the first link, watch the slideshow, come back to your mail and click on the second link to access the second slideshow.
Slideshow 1
Slideshow 2

W&K Roster.

For more information or to sign up, contact Gary

1/18/17 Baja Travelers,

Traveler List

It is just (4) weeks until we meet for Baja 2017. For those travelers new to the Baja, you should be taking care of your travel documents and insurance. Also, make sure your vehicle is in top running order. Refer to the previous Baja 2017 Memo #2 for general information or drop me a note if you have any questions.

Baja 2017 has grown to ~ 14 rigs. We will most likely break into two caravans (separated by ~ 20m) with experienced Baja Travelers at the front and back of each group. Of course, we can mix this up each day on the road. This will give everyone an opportunity to meet new friends or gain some insights from the Baja veterans.

Trip planning has continued since the last memo. We want to insure everyone has a rich experience and fun time but without a lot of fixed structure – as that is almost impossible with a group this size. For example, we are working on two different Mexican buffet options during the trip and a big fish fry at Bahia de Los Angeles. A chartered fishing trip is still an option along with a side trip to mission ruins. Many other activities will just happen organically.

One big change is that the kickoff gathering and dinner party will be held at the El Cajon Elks Lodge. There will be overnight parking/camping for the group (no hookups) and a dinner prepared for us by the Elks Lodge! Now everyone can meet together and relax before crossing the border. Many thanks to Tommie (and her lifelong membership) for pulling this off! Set your GPS for the Elks Lodge at 1400 E Washington Ave, El Cajon CA.

Once again, flexibility will be key. In Baja, it is first come first serve and there are no guarantees that a restaurant, gas station, market or RV Park that was open months ago would still be open today. We just make do and adjust which is part of the experience and sometimes exciting. J

Attached is a list of all the travelers, their hometown and rig and where we will be picking them up. It also shows which travelers will be heading back early versus taking some more time in the Baja. We will provide an update at the kickoff meeting.

Have a safe trip down and we look forward to seeing everyone in a month.

Best regards, Gary and Gretchen

1/7/17 Update for Baja trip


W&K Members,

Over 20 years ago, Wheels and Keels was founded on several mutual passions – including travels on the Baja. What better way to celebrate years of fun together than a reunion roundup in Catavina Baja MX.

Although we are in the beginning stages of planning, momentum is already building. Following is what we have so far:

Hello from Sisters Oregon!

Gretchen and I hope that each of you are having an enjoyable summer… and escaping the heat. It is certainly easy for us to think about a cool morning dip into the Sea of Cortez while savoring a sunrise and a cup of coffee. So, with that refreshing thought, there is no better time than to prepare a summary of our Baja 2017 trip. The next 5 months will go by quickly!

Several of you are experienced Baja Travelers. Others have visited the Baja and expressed an interest in driving a portion of the peninsula. And for some, this would be their first trip. The good news: We are planning a trip that should be fun for everyone. Following is a brief summary.


The core trip is planned for three weeks (as many of you have stateside commitments). If you live in the Northwest, plan on departing a few days earlier. We will meet at or near Tommie’s home in El Cajon on February 21st and cross the border the following morning. We are using the 7.9.5 recipe. (Seven days to reach Bahia de Los Angeles from your home; nine days exploring the beaches and five days to return home.) On the trip down, we plan to visit the Baja wine country; camp at a few beaches; explore the desert and Indian artifacts at Catavina; take a whale watching trip and immerse ourselves into the Baja life on the pristine beach of La Gringa. Travel days in the Baja will be limited to about 4 hours. This allows for leisurely mornings while enabling everyone to setup at our destination before happy hour! We travel caravan style and keep in communication via radios. Many meals are shared but we will do this organically. Once we reach Bahia de Los Angeles (which is approximately 400 miles down the peninsula) you will be in serious ‘Manana’ mode although there is always something to see or do. After a few weeks we expect many of you to ‘team-up’ for your trip out. This is an important consideration as Gretchen and I, along with Tommie and Marlene, will be staying in the Baja for another 4-6 weeks. We welcome anyone to hang on with us.

Tentative Schedule
2.19 – 2.21 Travel from your home to El Cajon CA.
2.22 Cross border at Tecate; camp at wine country RV park or winery
2.23 La Jolla Beach south of Ensenada (a short drive)
2.24 RV park or Hotel parking lot in San Quentin
2.25 – 2.26 Juanita’s RV park in Catavina (visit with Ralph and Pat)
2.27 Open – may explore a beach camp South of Catavina
2.28 – 3.9 Bahia de Los Angeles (La Gringa) with side trips
3.10 – 3.14 Travel home


Wine tasting, beach combing, desert exploration, kayaking, fishing and whale watching.

Special Events

Gretchen and I will host our own wine tasting and John and Dolores can be counted on for an exquisite fish taco dinner. Our friends Ralph and Pat (in Catavina) enjoy leading trips to see Indian Pictographs and Tommie and Marlene always cook up an amazing BBQ. We are also planning a ‘Crazy T-Shirt’ contest where prizes will be awarded. Let me know if you would like to contribute to a unique and fun event, game or party.

Rigs, Accommodations and Clothing

A truck camper, trailer or RV is highly recommended. It does not need to be big as most of the time will be spent outdoors. Gretchen and I use ours for just sleeping and cooking. Most importantly, your rig should be in good condition and be recently serviced. Unless equipped, showers will be limited to your creativity and out houses are typical. Bottled water is a necessity in most locations. Keep your packing light as shorts, tees and flip flops are common attire.

A Few Tidbits

Visas: Mexican tourist cards are required and can be obtained via ‘Discovery Baja’ on-line and ahead of time. We will send more information later.

Food: Only start the trip with a few days of food. No need to overload your cooler or refrigerator as markets with good meat and produce are plentiful and inexpensive.

Cell Phone: Phone coverage is available in many of the larger cities. However, you will need to buy a temporary International plan from your carrier to avoid expensive charges. Several of the travelers are Ham Radio operators and can deliver important messages for you in the morning or evening to stateside contacts.

Extras: A first aid kit, meds and small backpack are always handy. I will provide a more complete list later.

Toys: Bring your favorite toys… walking sticks, binoculars, ATVs, kayaks, snorkel etc.


Potentially, anyone on the ‘To’ list


1. Let us know if you are ‘in’, ‘out’ or ‘undecided’.

2. If you are ‘in’, please send us a brief one paragraph biography (where you live, interests, type of RV etc.). This will be a good way to jump start introductions.

We look forward to hearing from you! This should be an incredible trip.

Best Regards, Gary KF7JBG
Gary Matos
C: 503.709.2969

2016 W&K Winter Roundup