Gallery: 4-Day Family Adventure Travel to Puerto Lobos, Mexico

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puerto lobos mexico family beach camping
Firing baloon rockets on the beach in Mexico is just one item on the list of things to do once you're here

At first, you think there's absolutely nothing to do at these little seaside fishing villages on certain empty stretches on the coast of Mexico. In one sense, you're right. No restaurants, no stores, no hotels. That's kind of a frightful thought, too, because I had talked a few friends to pack up thier kids and their dogs and their toys into their pick-ups and Land Cruisers and follow me to this, this . . . magical place at the end of a very long washboard dirt road. So, it had better be good.

"It'll take all day to get there," I promised (or warned). And then even I started to have my doubts about this being a good idea. The wheels were in motion, and they'd all bought in. The assurance of a new experience in a new place was just too much; a big empty beach, warm water, safety, unending blue skies, far more space than the kids could possibly explore (try as they might), fireworks, good friends, warm nights. So we were going. I over sold it. Maybe I lied a little bit.

We caravaned, meeting at a Cracker Barrel after breakfast, and drove for hours. And more hours. Across the inernational border, through small towns and small cities, through Federale checkpoints. At sunset, we'd finally reached the turn off the highway and onto a poorly bladed dirt road. It casts off into the horizon over a small mountain range and then drops to the coast. It's a heck of a drive, but after 10 hours, enough is enough. I had way underestimated how much time it would take us. Potty stops, gas stops, wrong turns, checkpoints, and the prospect of a five-car caravan take their tolls on the clock.

A near-full moon rose in the east as we motored down the dirt road and at times glistened on the very distant waters of the Sea of Cortez when they were visible. If nothing else, the view was tranquil and exciting and not anything we could get if we'd stayed home.

By the time we arrived at the small assortment of palapas on the beach, we had been driving for 12 hours and were way past due for a meal. If my friends hated me for it, they didn't say so. Still, we got to work setting up tents and stoking a fire under a bright moon on a clear Mexican night sky of spackled stars. We got to sleep to the slight wind coming off of the water and the lapping sounds of the sea. We each slept in until we felt like getting up, and that's a special feeling.

What happened for the next couple of days is revealed in this set of 50-some photos.

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