b'CAMPSITE VISTASMemor y Lane and the 78 Baja Runeffort, I placed a small classified ad in human resources, business plans or in- Everyone was laughing. Adversity cre-the Good Sam magazine, Hi-Way Her- surance. That was our company cul- ates memories.ald, and waited to see if we got any vol- ture. If we came up with an idea (and TherunbeganatthetipoftheSue unteers. Of course, we did. After all, our Art liked it) we just went with it. Such peninsula in Cabo San Lucas, with Jayreaders were RVersalways up for an was the Baja Run. Rubino taking the first one-hour leg.Bray adventureandtotallyinterestedin Mike and Stu in their Family Wagon, Today, Cabo is a bustling tourist townhelping others. Whats more, my col- five Good Sam families from all over the withhuge,marqueehotelslinedupleagueMikeSchneider (whoatthe country in their RVs, 10 CSULA runners along the road. But back then it was lit-time was editor of two of the companys (includingCoachLough),andfour erally a tiny fishing village with a mostlyI must admit that during the nearly RV publications and later became CEO CSULA drivers29 strangers in alldirtroadgoingthroughtown.Jays40 years that I worked for the Good Sam and president of Good Sams parent met in San Diego and began the drive teammates lined those streets (alongClub I received some wild and crazy company, Affinity Group) decided he south to the tip of Baja. Roads in Baja with a few locals), wildly cheering himphone calls, particularly in the early and his brother, Stu, would accompany 40-plus years ago were not what they on. The team then hopped in their sup-days. Im convinced that whenever a the group as wagonmasters and write a are today. For example, on the second port RVs, waiting for their turns. Eachcall came into our switchboard and no road test cover story on a 1979 Dodge dayoftheirjourney,heavyrains ofthe10runnerswouldrunforanone was quite sure where it should go, Royale II Family Wagon for one of those washedoutpartoftheroad.Un- hour, rest for nine, then run anotherit was marked Bray and sent to me. company magazines, Van Life& Family daunted, the runners formed a human one-hour leg. It was non-stoplegsOne of the more interesting calls ar- Trucking. assembly line, standing knee-high in went both night and day, and severalrived back in 1978 from a gentleman We had a capable and athletic run- rushing water piling rocks along the nights drivers went without sleep whennamed Jeff Lough, identifying himself ning team. We had support vehicles ravine so that the caravan of rigs could their runners were scheduled for nightasthelong-distancetrackandfield and drivers. Jeff had somehow man- pass through. runs. For four long days, the RV driverscoach at California State University Los aged to obtain the support of the Mex- Stu Schneider, now an attorney in dutifully ferried their runners to theirAngeles (CSULA). He had concocted a ican National Tourist Council which LosAngeles,recalls, Mymostvivid next starting point, leapfrogging theirpretty wild-haired scheme where his was providing teams of Angeles Verdes memory of the Baja Run was when our way north up the Baja peninsula.10-man track team was going to run a orGreenAngels,agovernment- fearless leader, Mike, had to turn over Mikesmagazinearticlementionsnon-stop relay up the rugged 1,068- funded fleet of mechanics and high- the RV reins to me and my sole job was how the fourth runner in the relay, Melmile Baja peninsulaa feat which had way guards to escort our group up to act as the driver, leader and navigator Magson (more about Mel later in thisnever before been accomplished. And and down the peninsula. And we were of the six RVs along the Baja trail while column), drew the killer hill, north ofhe was looking for a group of volunteer overflowing with excitement and en- we were headed towards a small town. Santa Rosalia, and how two of his team-RVers to come with them to provide thusiasm. Having a great sense of direction and mates sat in the bed of a pickup trucksupport vehicles and to help him reach Company life was different in 1978. feeling totally in command of the situ- in front of him, yelling encouragementthegroupsgoalofgettingintothe The Good Sam Club, Trailer Life and ation, I had to make one simple deci- as he ran up the hill in the early hoursGuinness Book of World Records (as it ourothermagazineswerepartofa sion. Should we turn right or go straight of the morning. After he completed hiswas known back then). family-ownedcompany,comman- andbypassthatlittlesection?Fear- run, Mel said Im not sure I would haveThe next thing I knew, Jeff was in my deered by Art Rouse, an adventurous lessly, I had everyone turn right; and it made it without their help. Just know-office, overflowing with enthusiasm for entrepreneur who liked nothing better was like leading lambs to the slaughter ingtheyweretheremademepushhis project. And the enthusiasm was than to shake things up. We were allthe RVs could not maneuver around harder.contagious. Not really expecting to get very young and we didnt really worry this small town. It took us more than 30 Exhaustedbutstillpumpedwithmuch response but wanting to help the about details like liability, attorneys, minutes to figure out how to get out. adrenalin,theteammadeittoSanDiego. Whether a runner or a driver,each was so tired they could barely talkto congratulate each other, but theyalso had memories to last a lifetime.Being part of the historic Baja Runwas a truly incredible experience, Mikerecalls. Fromtheperseveranceandathleticism of the CSULA runners whobravedallsortsofelementsintherugged Baja terrain to the warm, familyfeeling that my brother and I experi-enced caravanning with the Good Samvolunteer hosts, it was indeed memo-rable and something that comes alongonly once in a lifetime.Over the years, I got to know many ofthe Baja drivers, and of course heardmany of the tales of the adventure fromMike and saw many of his pictures. Inever met any of the runners.But fast forward 30 years. Its 2007and I meet a charming Englishman at awinetasting party in California. He in-vites me to dinner. As were discussingour lives and what we do, I mention mywork in the RV industry. He remarksabout his amazing experience with RVsand RVers, as they had provided sup-port vehicles for him when he was partof a Cal State LA relay team running theBaja in 1978!HisnameisMelMagson.Andin2010 I married him.Its a small world.Sue Bray is well known in the RVcommunity,primarilyduetoherworkasexecutivedirectoroftheGood Sam Club. In 2009, she was in-ducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame.When she retired in 2012, she startedherownconsultingbusiness;visitwww.suebray.com. WCM20 -August 2020Woodalls Campground Management'