Romero Family and Dan Blanchard

Sometime in the late eighties my wife and I took a break from raising small children and headed to Baja Sur in search of a new route for the company I was working for at the time. We expired the area by the sea many times, but not by land. Thus, this was a land-based research project with the purpose of exploring the peninsula’s eastern shore. By vehicle and via hiking … it was an extraordinary trip for us. 
By pure luck I was introduced to Trudy in La Pass who told me to seek out Alijo Romeo who had a ranch outside of Agua Verde, south of Loreto. The rugged dirt road to Auga Verde was nearly impassable with several trucks and cars at the bottom of the steep gorge it traveled along. Two crossed along the path signified the death of loved ones as they made this passage. 
After a full day of travel off the highway we ventured back from Agua Verde.This is where we found Alito and his young family. We stopped, talked and learned that he was the rancher we had been given the name of but only after bing offered a full fish dinner on the deck of their small remote home. We sat at a two-person table with linen and shade on the deck and were thrilled with the connection. Later we talked to family members via our broken Spanish and some English from them. At the time, the idea of a pack trip on Burro’s was discussed, as he was seeing that this could help supplement the ranch. Eventually this turned idea altered into three-hour mule rides in the deep valley near Agra Verde. It was years later that we met again via a small boat in Agra Verde and hatched the plan for the upcoming winter season with the Safari Spirit, our first boat to travel in the Gulf of California. 
Since then, we have been very connected, like family really. It is a very tough life in this part of Baja. They are dirt poor but have a vibrant family and life. We have been fortunate to be able to help when a multiyear drought struck, when fire destroyed the tack room and all their saddles. We have had several “go fund me” efforts over the years which our guests have embraced. This year we gave them a 70HP outboard to aide in the summer fishing that takes place outside of Agua Verde. 
For me, it’s like coming home to be with the family. I make it down at least once per year and we all find ourselves in tears with reunions hugs. Someday I hope to bring the entire family to Alaska to celebrate our life together. 
– Dan Blanchard . UnCruise . June 29, 2024.