There's an enigmatic allure to Baja California, Mexico. It's another world—one that is stunning and largely untouched by development, but also one where you're no longer in the safe, squishy confines of the U.S. and instead in an area where emergency services are not merely minutes away. Baja has somehow survived the onslaught of urbanization and industrialization and remains a paradise for those who make the journey.
When most Americans hear "Baja," their minds jump to thoughts of race trucks. But as every racer knows, Baja has so much more to offer. The thin peninsula stretches down into the Pacific Ocean, offering some of the most incredible and beautiful undeveloped coastlines in the entire world. Baja supports just over three million people—most of whom can be found in the northern border towns of Tijuana and Mexicali, and in Ensenada. Between there and the southernmost resort destination of Cabo San Lucas lie some rural villages, a few towns, and a whole lot of open desert and beaches. It's understandable why a few crazy Americans who knew Baja's secret decided to record how fast they could boogie down the Baja Peninsula more than five decades ago. Can you imagine what a test of mettle that was back then?
More than half a century later, the Baja 1000 is likely the most famous off-road race in the world. To win this race, you need drive, determination, skill, and possibly most important: An incredible team of Baja-loving people backing you up. And these folks aren't just there for the free tacos. Pit crews and chase teams—the people behind the driver—are the unsung heroes of off-road racing who put in countless hours and lots of their own cash to help support a race effort and achieve a goal. There is little payout in off-road racing, but the Baja experience, knowledge, and camaraderie gained there is no price on that. And many of the teams don't just race together; many of them, like Cameron Steele's Desert Assassins crew, head back to Baja again and again to enjoy the places they race through and to give back to the communities that support their off-road racing.
Cameron Steele and Bullet Proof Diesel
Bullet Proof Diesel (BPD)—famed for bulletproofing 6.0L Power Strokes—is a company that has been adding some major support to not only Cameron's race effort and trips, but also to the Baja communities. The BPD crew has been heavily involved in the Rip to the Tip, Trail of Missions, and other programs that bring gifts, supplies, and funding to Baja locals that can use it. The trips have turned into an excellent way to give a great experience to all who attend and at the same time help make a positive impact in Baja. And while the BPD crew loves heading out with the dirt bikes and Raptors, they wanted to set up an adventure a bit more tailored to their forte—a Diesels in the Desert trip. This not only included awesome accommodations, a number of beach stops, whale watching, mangrove exploring, and meals at different venues all around Baja, but also a lot of diesel truck-friendly trail time!
Inaugural Diesels in the Desert Trip
The trip that they designed was, essentially, epic. We spent six days zooming through the Baja desert, maxing out suspensions (more than once), visiting missions, viewing whales, dodging cacti, accidentally getting caught in a parade, and generally exhausting ourselves every day. Some very experienced Baja pros put their heads together to design a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for whoever joined, and we were honored to be part of the inaugural trip. If this sounds like fun to you, contact Bullet Proof Diesel or the Desert Assassins and see if you can get in on the next trip!