Posts Tagged ‘hotel costa baja’


Tailhunter Mexico 2011 452

For all of us…our affinity for the outdoors had to start somewhere and with someone!


Originally Published the Week of January 23, 2014, in Western Outdoor Publications

As I write this, I’m in a motel room in downtown Denver.  We just finished our first day at the Denver Convention Center for the International Sportsmans Expo.  It’s annual  the big fishing, hunting and outdoor show.

We have our booth here every year promoting our fishing operation in La Paz and there’s several hundred other booths here as well with operations ranging from Canada to South Africa and the Amazon River to South East Asia.

Last week we were in Sacramento at a similar show.  From here we zoom off down the highway to another show near Seattle.

And so it goes for 3 months of the year.  A different show in a different part of the  country every week.  This year, eleven cities.  Fifteen thousand miles of driving.   Talking to thousands of fishermen, hunters and travelers and outdoor folks.

In many respects, these shows are a gathering of tribes.  There’s  outfitters and fleet owners.. .guides and captains. . .mountain climbers and deep divers. . .hunters and gatherers.

They’re a unique blend of the last of the outdoor frontier people who make their livings at the whims of nature.  In some ways, the best of the best.  You have to be well-above the norm to make a go of taking others out on the mountains, plains, jungles, rivers and oceans of our vast planet.

I’ve been at it now some 20 years.  Others have been at it 30 and even 40 years and it takes a pretty special individual…some would even say nut or knucklehead to have lasted that long.

Many of us have known each other for many years and during these several months of shows, it’s good to re-connect.  Find out about each others’s seasons and families.  Who survived another season.  And who had to fold up their tents.

But, it’s great to see our Baja and Mexican compadres.  Yes, even our competitors.  There’s the folks from Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.  Our amigos from the East Cape, and Loreto, Ensenada and San Felipe.  Cedros Island and points obscure, but each in their own way ecking out a living south of the border.

But, I noticed something else.  We’re getting older.

The first generation of resort and fleet owners like the Chuy Valdez’s and the Bobby Van Wormers of the East Cape…Tony Reyes of the Tony Reyes Fleet…and so many others, have either passed on or have given way to the 2nd generation of owners.

And many of those operators themselves are getting longer of tooth as well.

And I don’t see too many to follow.   The next generation doesn’t seem to be there to fill in the ranks.

As a matter of fact, as I stand in my booth and watch the hundreds and even thousands of visitors pass by or stop to talk,  I see a lot of seniors.  I see a lot of older guys…guys like me.

I don’t see many below the age of thirty!

I don’t see many kids at these shows.  I don’t see many teens.  Often, if I see a family, it’s a dad with the family in tow.  Mom and the kids trail behind while dad gets to have a day to shop.

Mom and the kids honestly look like they’re rather be at the mall or anywhere rather than trailing dad, but they’re indulging him.  Just like so many dads wait patiently for wives and moms buying shoes or kids trying on clothes.

The kids themselves often have noses buried in smartphones and thumbs tapping away as they walk down the aisles.   They show little or no interest in the marlin trips; backpacking outfitters;  white water rafting adventures or scuba diving boats.

It’s too bad.

I would venture to say that almost all the the vendors working in their booths and most of the visitors walking the aisles.share a commonality.  They share the fact that somewhere back in the day, an adult showed them how to tie a hook…how to aim a gun…how to build a campfire…how to pitch a tent or ride a wave.

Simpler times.  Grand times.  The BEST of times!

That’s where it started.  With an adult.   A father, grandfather, uncle or brother.   Scout or church leader…even moms!  And we don’t have that anymore.   That commonality is gone among the youngsters.

Parents are too busy these days just trying to keep things together.  Or the facilities or open spaces you that were so easy for you and I as kids just aren’t there or as abundant…or as fun.  I’m talking about the beaches, boats, rivers, mountains and wilds that you and I just took for granted as kids.

Conversely, kids are different too.  You and I often played in the outdoors because that’s just what we did.  We didn’t have the distractions now of social media, cable TV, techno toys and so many other things that fill the lives of our kids.

If we weren’t already headed outdoors, Mom was kicking us out the door with a , “Go play outside and don’t come back until dinner time.  Stay outta the house!”

So, we grabbed our fishing rods, our skates, our hiking sticks, our bikes, our bb-guns our tennis shoes…and we went out and got dirty!  The outdoor world wasn’t the scary place it can be now.  We also didn’t have to travel across town to find quality places to play.  The outdoors was often right off the back porch.

It was what we knew.  It’s what made us.

If you have a chance, find out about one of these outdoor shows in your community.  Bring the family or the kids.  Do it TOGETHER. Take the time.  You only get once chance.

That’s my story!

Jonathan signature



Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter-international.com.  They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is riplipboy@tailhunter-international.com  or drop by the restaurant to say hi!


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