Here is a detailed look at the road, from the mission back to Santa Ynez. It is a series of short, steep cliff climbs plus the big Widowmaker climb.

The bog, ahead… thank goodness it is dry this trip!


We stop just before the Widowmaker climb to gather our nerves (and remove a broken shock mount and its shock from Tom’s Tacoma). Photo from Debbie.
Good morning, Widowmaker!
Here we go! Debbie’s Jeep is right behind us.
Not everyone makes it up the Widowmaker! Rudy takes a photo of a wrecked Cherokee from some years before.
Ed takes a couple runs at it and finally climbs up Widowmaker.

Here comes Rudy!

One final look to where my blood was spilled, in 1999… Adios Widowmaker, adios.

What proved more difficult than Widowmaker were the additional steep ledges we had to climb.

Tom has gotten so far ahead of the group, we stop at the top of this long series of climbs, park and wait, and wait, and wait…

We hear the Cherokee couldn’t climb one of the grades pictured above and they had to build up the road.

It’s not over, yet!

There’s that boulder I photographed yesterday.
The final climb to the peninsular divide. Here the road is not level and your driver’s side is much higher than the passenger!
I watch the group come up to the divide.


Blue palms are a favorite of mine, along with the boojum trees. I have taken photos at this location in 2010 and 2007. Hardly any change can be seen over those 15 years.
Here is where the newer arroyo road (we are parked on) meets the original road, about 4.3 miles from Santa Ynez [using the older road] and 5.6 miles from the divide: 29°46.310′, -114°39.637′. The newer, arroyo route is a little bit longer drive but well worth it to avoid the big gully and rest of the rocky original road.
View looking towards the mission, ten miles from this junction.
Close up of the junction, on the Avenza Maps App, for the Benchmark Maps Baja Road & Recreation Atlas.

We take a lunch break at the junction…

Miriam tells us a funny joke from Ecuador!

The arroyo route is a big improvement over the original route we took the day before!


Photo from Debbie
Photo from Debbie
Nearing Rancho Santa Ynez.
Coming out from the road to the mission, we find a big caravan of giant motorhomes arriving at the Santa Ynez camping area.
The 1 kilometer road from Highway One to the ranch was once paved to the ranch and the airplane landing field. Now, after nearly 50 years, the asphalt on each is pretty-well-worn.

We go back to Cataviña to buy some ’emergency’ gas and air up the tires.

This is the Km. 180 post, midway between Cataviña and Santa Ynez.
A new gas station has been built at Cataviña, but it has yet to be open for business.
This is the alternative gas station. The vendor here drives 76 miles to El Rosario to fill several jerry cans and only adds about $1.50/ gallon to the cost. Today, that is still cheaper than most gas stations in California!
Yes, we are indeed ‘Baja Bound’!
Tom’s Tacoma gets its tires aired up at the tire shop next to the gas sales. We dropped the 32 psi to around 20 psi for the off-road drive.

Cataviña to Coco’s to Rudy’s Place is next…

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