Anywhere But Here: Baja Blast

Photograph Baja, Mexico city from above

We’ve taken Gunner to Mexico before, highly recommend it. But left to his own wandering devices seems he made his way to the coast.

Over to you, amigo.


Can you really think about going to Mexico without hearing James Taylor’s voice in your head? I can’t. Although, he claims that he’s never actually been, and it really makes me enjoy it less. The song that is, not the country. I love Mexico. I’ve been quite a few times, once with the very magazine I’m writing these words for. I’m sure they’ll link the video I shot on our visit to the fine folks at Don Julio here. But that trip was to Guadalajara, in the heart of Mainland Mexico. These words are, on the other hand, about Baja. Not a different country technically speaking, but a world of its own, you know, like, Florida. Don’t @ me Texans. 

The best single word to describe Baja is raw, though you’ll have to take my word for it, as these photos don’t fully encapsulate its rough edges. Most of these photos were taken in a Mexican tourist town, a few hours south of the border. For my first international trip post-pandemic, I flew to San Diego, commandeered my cousin’s car, and my cousin, and drove south until we found an empty right-hand point break. The rumors we’d heard about the border being closed for our re-entry were very much false but to be honest, I could think of worse places to be stuck as the world was still semi shut down.

Oh, and a note on the “tourist town” I was referring to earlier. This was not an American tourist town in Mexico, like Cancun or Cabo. This was a Mexican tourist town, in Mexico. Very different. When I was in Spain I got lucky, picked a dot off of a map, and found a city full of Spaniards on vacation, with very few foreigners like myself, it was the best stop I made on that trip, there are photos of it in another installment of this series for the internet detective types. Ever since I’ve sought out similar cities in various countries and well, again you’ll have to take my word for it, but I suggest you do the same.

 It’s 2022 and we’re still trying to convince Gunner not to take photos while driving moving vehicles—but the best-laid plans and so on. The Anywhere But Here series follows the exhaust fumes of somehow-unscathed photographer Gunner Hughes through adventure and misadventure across the country( and sometimes other countries). Usually finding the backwater towns, roadside religions, old-salt locals, cash-only dive bars, and much more character than you might see off the main highway.