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About Bajabrent

In the beginning there was the Baja and flying--a turning point in my life-- that regardless of what has happened, I have to return to where it all began...God Bless Baja and God Bless America for making it possible to refresh the beauty below the border...and so the saga begins...'A LONG LONG TIME AGO, I CAN STILL REMEMBER... HOW THE MUSIC USED TO MAKE ME SMILE.. (american pie)

 

THIS IS NOT MY BEAUTIFUL HOUSE THIS IS NOT MY BEAUTIFUL WIFE, HOW DID I GET HERE??? (talking heads)

 

In 1995 my 34 year old wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. A year later we had liquidated our businesses--- her's a modeling agency, mine a law practice--- sold everything else: lakehouse, cars, boats, club memberships and packed the scraps into a 40 foot fifthwheel. And just like the Beverly Hillbillies, we were off!  But our mission was different. We were off to Baja,  to enroll my sick spouse in alternative cancer therapies available only  in Tijuana and Rosarito Beach, thanks to the FDA. 

 

Although we originally anticipated 4 days of travel, the cold, snow, ice, blizzards, mountains, deserts, thunderstorms, washouts, breakdowns, pushed us to 10 days. Then came the treatment(s). 

 

After several months in countless clinics and therapies, and  the battle was a loser. Diane through all her bravery and strife had been stricken with the worse of worse forms of breast cancer...I thought I could save her--perhaps my arrogance---but she believed that too...until the end we believed...but alas she passed away in January 1997. 

 

In spite of the love of my wife, my family and my God, I found myself---alone--- in Mexico and disinterested in returning to my previous life, including my litigation practice.  It just didn't seem to be all that it had formerly become: OUR LIFE before cancer. I'm sure many you can relate. 

 

As I suffered through the grief of losing my  soul mate, my gracious friends at Baja Seasons, had made it possible for me to park the 5th wheel in the southwest corner spot: RIGHT ON THE BEACH... complete with grass yard, deck, outdoor fireplace and THE PACIFIC OCEAN breaking in my front yard!   I awakened each morning to the splendor of the magnificent Baja Beach and quieted in the evenings for the tranquil tequila sunsets. 

 

 

I JUST WANT TO FLY....(sugar ray)

 

As the days went by, I watched paraglider pilots flying off the La Salina Ridge immediately east of Baja Seasons.  One day I ventured over and introduced myself to Steve, Eric, Peter, Curtis (a guy who flew with one leg) and Brian .  Each was from a different part of the world, with the exception of Brian.  Brian was not only my age, but also grew up 10 miles away from me in central Ohio.  We became instant companions...What's more, Peter, Eric and Brian were each qualified Paraglider instructors who ran a flight school right there at La Salina Ridge. Flying was an everyday mission...

 

For the next month, we would meet daily for the excursion up the 700 foot mountain along a switchback that the group had built (including Curtis).  Each day I would listen and watch them as they prepared to launch. Ever so often I'd walk to the cliff's edge, stand and look down and an old Van Halen tune would roll through my mind (you know I lost a lot friends there baby, ain't got no time to mess around) and would murmer "with all that has happened, what do I have to lose?"...Fatalistic? maybe so, ....But one thing was certain, my life had changed--- forever---and this was the way it had to go  and I was ready...

 

Thus, on February 22, 1997 Eric took me tandem for the first time.  That was IT!  I was hooked.  Over the next 8 weeks I took various tandem flights with over 15 different pilots.  Paraglider, Hanglider, Ultralight, Paramotor---you name it, if it had a passenger space---I went up!

 

In May of that year, I got my first paraglider, took lessons and my life changed forever!!! I became a PILOT.  Just practicing law, flying became an obsession.  Twice a day in the summer---once a day---but longer flights--- in the winter. 

 

REACH FOR THE SKY (Social Distortion)

 

As '98 became '99 and as '99 rolled into 2000, all the other local Baja pilots had disappeared.  I routinely met other pilots, many of which had come from all over the world. And indeed, I shared my knowledge of the ridge and the other local flying spots.  For the most part, however, I flew solo. Hour after hour, day after day, week after week, month after month and eventually year after year.  Hundreds of hours flying by myself....well not exactly by myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                 

The BIRDS have always flown with me. I can't remember ever flying without them.  Hawks, vultures and on rare occasion an eagle will pop out of nowhere....but none so curious and friendly as the family of ravens who soar the ridge in synchronized majesty. 

 

I can recall the earliest days on launch, before I flew, watching two parent ravens caring for their 4 offspring.  Eventually the 4 had to leave the nest and fly from the cliff...They stumbled out one by one, the last nudged by mama.... and they took awkward flight. 

 

Almost immediately, a new pilot such as myself back then, marveled at their speedy development. Within days they were soaring like pros.  And within months I began to soar with them.  I often take food to them, bread, fruit, trail mix, and they would soar in close over launch....sometimes no more than 5 feet and hang...just hang there and call to me.   I know they know me, my wing, and my flying patterns. Int he mornings, they  fly to my beach house and soar too and fro in front of the patio calling to me to come play.  Those who think they're stupid birds, are simply ignorant...watch, read and learn about these creatures. They are amazing animals

 

Curiously, unlike what I have read and learned, the ravens seem to get along  well with the local pairings of hawks as well.  This peculiar harmony works well for a paraglider pilot.  These birds show  where the thermal lift is and of course, I take full advantage of their showmanship whenever possible.  I love these birds of La Salina. They show me how to "Reach For the Sky"

 

As I enter my 9th year of flying, I recall so many experiences, of being aloft for hours. Most recently--- the longest I know of at the ridge-- 4 hours and 31 minutes without touching ground.  A flight I experienced January 5 of 2005.  I remain even more committed, than ever before, to paragliding and helping others experience the beauty of this sport in the Baja. 

 

LA SALINA 2005

 

As 2005 unfolds, it is without question that my journey has finally returned me to La Salina Del Mar of Baja California Norte Mexico. I do not believe this to be per chance.  Development pressures are now narrowing down to this last undeveloped beach area. Perhaps the only one of its kind between Ensenada and Los Angeles California.  Having worked with many real estate development entities in my previous life (as a lawyer) I am keenly aware of what the future may hold. 

 

My sights are on La Salina, and what can be done to protect the quality of life and the beauty of flight that many of us know and share there.  I would hate this beautiful beach area to turn into an overdeveloped mess like TJ, Rosarito Beach or the Cabo San Lucas (downtown).  There is still time to make an impact, and promote this area as an outdoor sportsperson paradise!  If you've read this website I think you can appreciate the unique nature of this opportunity and the quest of Bajabrent...the Moondoggie... and my friends who share this aspiration...

 

LA SALINA 2006

 

2005 Brought forth a whole crop of new pilots and old flying friends to La Salina.  With the Beach club in full operation there is no doubt that the future is at hand and others share in this dream. I especially enjoyed flying with the San Luis Obispo Flying club, the various Salt Lake fly gods from Superflyinc, guys from Denver and all the locals from San Diego. A special note about the terrible loss of our flying bud Alan Chuculate, in November of 05.  He was a La Salina flying hero for all the years I have flown here.  Losing Alan is like losing an icon, not to mention a good friend, and man we had some great plans for here!  My heart goes out to Mary as well. I know how hard this must be for her. God Bless you Mary.

 

This year I hope to put together a fly in for the fall, because its time for a rebirth of the flight park.  We desperately need a local flying club that can sponsor these events and help work through the Ejido to protect the integrity of the ridge and its beauty and the protection of our flying companions: hawks, ravens, eagles, vultures and falcons.  In the end, we owe it to future generations to protect some of these monumental flying areas for everyone's enjoyment.

 

email: bajabrent@flylasalina.com

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