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Monday, September 11, 2006 12:58 PM

After driving all the way up the Baja, we can confidently report that the entire Highway 1 is drivable in a 2 wheel drive vehicle. There were some washouts, rough spots and bypasses, but nothing major and we made pretty good time. The Mexican government and its citizens had done an amazing job of clearing the roads quickly, but there were a lot of signs that it took a major effort. In Loreto Friday night, we heard from someone traveling South that, as recently as last Thursday, the road had been cut below Guerrero Negro due to flooding in the desert. Loreto still had water across the road just South of town.

The entire Ejido #1 bridge east of Constitucion and Insurentes on the road to Loreto was wiped out, with huge squares of concrete flipped up like playing cards. It will be months before it is replaced. Be careful of the bypass through the washout if it's raining. Same caution for the roads all the up through Santa Rosalia. The ground is wet and the arroyos can fill quickly. Slow down for "nature's topes" left in the vados and watch for the orange cones indicating spots where the roadway has collapsed.

Mulege was devastated along the river. The water had apparently risen to within a few feet of the bridge and you could see the brown stain of the water line up about 12 feet into the palm trees lining the river. Buildings and structures on both sides of the river are gutted. Hope they don't build there again. Life had mostly returned to normal in downtown. The people were grateful for the food we delivered on behalf of Todos Santos. We used the money someone donated to buy tarps for temporary housing. Thanks, everyone, for pitching in! - Alan & Debra (in San Diego)

To all our friends in Todos Santos, In coordination with ASUPMATOMA A.C. (Baja Sur's oldest and most successful sea turtle organization) we are reforming a community based group to work with nesting sea turtles in our region, in night patrols and during the day in the safe nursery. Nursery will be located near the old one in La Cachora. First meeting Wednesday, Sept 13, 7:00pm Patricia Baum's house, "surf shop" calle Rangel near PEMEX gas station. Call coordinator, Patricia Baum at 145-0882 or email teampaty1 (-at-) for more information. All who attended the April 2006 meeting in the casa ejidal with PROFEPA and SEMARNAT are encouraged to attend.

We rescued a poor little abandoned puppy out of the middle of the roadway in downtown Ensenada. She is a cute little brown female with longish fur about 10 weeks old. Possibly a shepherd mix with some golden retriever thrown in? We can deliver her here in So. California this week, or bring her back to Todos Santos next week. We'll try to get a picture later today. Let us know if you're interested. alan (-at-) - Alan & Debra

To anyone who knows Gabriel and Kitzia in La Ribera, and loved their botanical garden LaFortuna: their farm was utterly devastated by the hurricane. They are looking for help to push trees back up in hopes of saving some. It sounds like they lost everything. Their email: siempresemillas (-at-) - Laurel Taub

(NOTE: I just heard this morning from Eddie Dutko, a friend of Gabriel's. Eddie was at Gabriel's yesterday. Gabriel registered winds of 190 MPH at his farm at the height of the storm, indicating that the farm was hit by a mini tornado spawned from the main storm as the eye passed right through La Ribera. Everything there is destroyed. Gabriel and Kitzia are expecting a baby soon so they are in dire straits. - Alan)

Looking for help with the Todos Santos Cat Sanctuary. Do you know of a responsible local boy or girl who loves animals and would like to earn a little money? Needed every morning for an hour or two to do care and clean up. - debra (-at-) - Debra

Hi, I do Reiki, Reflexology, massage... want to barter for food, coconuts, whatever... alegriaunltd (-at-) - Catherine

COMPUTER TIP - As we age, it can become harder to read the small print on some web pages or e mails (sigh). If you have a PC mouse or track pad with a scroll wheel, try holding down the Ctrl key (Cmd key in Mac) with one finger while rolling the scroll wheel. As you scroll down or up, the text will become larger or smaller to suit your preference. - Alan