pixel

More Adventures!

Remembering Herman Hill

By Paulina

Herman Hill

“I’ve got electricity, a hot shower and a television set!” he announced, followed by “Heh heh heh!” that slow staccato laugh that I would learn to love.

Herman Chester Hill was a constant in Bahia de Los Angeles from the late 1980s until his passing on December 6, 2013. When I first met Herman in 1992, it was quite by accident. He was a stranger who saw this mom and her young son walking past his modest home in Guillermo‘s campground. My son had his fishing pole over his shoulder, we heading out to catch our dinner off the Villa Vita jetty. “Come back and show me what you catch” he said, followed by that flirty catch phrase that I would hear him use repeatedly on others, for such things were a luxury in Bahia at that time.

The last thing I wanted to do was go back to that fresh man's house, but my son caught a nice halibut and was insistent. I am glad I listened to my three-year-old boy that day.

Herman has been my Baja dad and my children's grandpa ever since. He has been many things, as I would learn over the past 22 years. Some of his adventures and occupations were believable, others were a bit questionable, and if you knew Herman, you knew not be surprised.

I was not surprised to know that he was a gambler, loving the Keno boards at his favorite casino, the El Cortez in Las Vegas. He was a rocket scientist one day, a census taker the next as he interviewed hotel guests under the palapa at Guillermos. One summer afternoon I had to swim out in the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez to find him under his straw hat, where he was a climatologist that day, as he claimed to be conducting experiments as to how long it took to drink a margarita while floating in the sea of Cortez.

Herman Hill

He was a blue eyed, red headed son, a loving brother, an uncle, a husband, a father. He was a Seaman in the Merchant Marines; he also served in the Navy during WW2. Herman was very patriotic. He never lost the love for his country, as evident every year at his hot dog and apple pie party when the July 4 holiday rolled around. He was an avid miner, a gold prospector, often taking to the deserts around Bahia for weeks at a time in search for gold.

Herman was happy to act as a guide, sharing his knowledge of the ancient petroglyphs, the desert plants and their medicinal uses, how to track and look for signs of animals or areas to avoid. He loved to point out the rock formations, the wonderful “leaverite” that would have his guests elated at holding something valuable in their hands, to laughing as he would then add, “Leave ‘er right where you found it, it’s worthless.” He was a friend to the lost or as often happens in Baja, the stranded. He had an open door, a cot for the night, a pot of beans and something cold to quench the thirst.

Herman loved to entertain tourists with his tales of people and places, his risqué jokes and old Navy songs. Every day was his birthday. He was a storyteller from the beginning. A published author, writing short stories for The Nevadan in the 1970s, as well as his pride and joy in 2008, Baja’s Hidden Gold: Treasure Along the Mission Trail. That book was a work in progress; I can tell you that, after many, many hours of reading his hand written notes under the dim light of his propane lantern after the town electricity had gone out. Many thanks to his friend Roger Silliman (contributor) who was the one to make Herman’s dream a reality, a friend to finally put Herman’s stories of his interesting life, prospecting perils, Jesuit treasure hunting, and local Bahia lore into paperback book form.

Herman Hill

If you visited with Herman during the warmer months, you could find him in the early mornings enjoying coffee with the sunrise, over looking the sea under Guillermo’s palapa. Later in the day you probably sat at his red picnic table on his patio, maybe dodging a few humming birds here and there. You may have joined him in a game of cards, a tour of his garden, maybe a cold beer and a story or two. In the winter, Herman would be warmly closed inside, happy to turn down the volume to the western playing on the TV as you walked through the hanging wooden beads that hung in the door to help keep the dogs and the flies out.

On Friday morning, December 6, 2013, Herman closed and locked that door for what would be the last time. He planned to attend a birthday party in Ensenada on the following day. The accident logbook on the Caminos Federales desk in San Quintin showed that Herman went off the road at Km 199 +100m. Sadly, the accident happened on Friday and was not reported until two days later, on Sunday December 8. We can only hope he did not suffer. From the amount of skid marks at this location, it appears this deadly curve has been a problem for others as well.

Herman was an icon and will be missed by many, townspeople and visitors alike. His legacy has left a mark on in the original mining display from Las Flores, which he helped to construct at the Museo de Naturaleza y Cultura. Herman lives on in our stories now. His family has graciously allowed Herman’s cremains to return to Bahia, to be a part of the history of this beautiful place, where he loved to be.

As he would always sing as I drove away from his house, "Good night Irene, good night Irene, I'll see you in my dreams..."

In addition, I would answer, "Happy Birthday, Herman!"

4.7 112 Reviews
  • user logo
    Charles Gee
    From logo

    Incredibly fast and painless. Paid about $180 for a month of coverage. It was easier than going on line.

  • user logo
    Chyla Nava
    From logo

    Great, easy to use service. I haven't had to file a claim (and hope I never have to) but the online portal is very easy to use, and it's...

  • user logo
    Kierian Kuklok
    From logo

    I have been a customer for years and when I really needed them they stepped up in every way. I had a freak accident to my car and they...

  • user logo
    Lourdes Montoya
    From logo

    Easy, fast, and affordable.

  • user logo
    Aj Cornejo
    From logo

    Reasonable prices and we thought best chance to actually get results if we needed them.

  • user logo
    Adrianna Dorsey
    From logo

    Great company, great prices, and even better customer service. We've lived in Baja for 7 years and have used them for the past 6years....

  • user logo
    Gary Counts
    From logo

    So convenient and easy to navigate thru the online process. I'll never use any other Mexican insurance service!

  • user logo
    Joey Digiovanni
    From logo

    Easy to work with 😉. Always courteous and helpful. Have used them for all trips to Mexico. Easy website to navigate

  • user logo
    Jolene Bibian
    From logo

    Shauna at Baja Bound was AWESOME!! We had specific questions about how to quote the policy based on our vehicle type and she was super...

  • user logo
    Rebecca Newell
    From logo

    Great service!

  • user logo
    Maria Elena Smith
    From logo

    Easy and affordable.

  • user logo
    Mehdi Fahid
    From logo

    I reapplied for my Baja Bound Mexican car Insurance yesterday and I spoke to Ms. Shauna. This lady processed my application quickly and...

  • user logo
    Benjamin Driebe
    From logo

    Absolutely fantastic, I already forgot her name because I have a terrible memory but the woman that helped me on the phone was wonderful,...

  • user logo
    richard carr
    From logo

    fast replies and great price!

  • user logo
    Juan Zuniga
    From logo

    I just would like to know if you guys are going to update the fastpass direction any soon, during the month of January the lane changed to...

  • user logo
    Richard Schweiger
    From logo

    Very professional, very helpful, great policy, I couldn't be happier with Baja Mexican Insurance, the friendly smiles and ease of it all in...

  • user logo
    Ryan Frisby
    From logo

    We use them every time we travel to Mexico. Luckily we have not needed their services yet but getting insurance through them is quick and...

  • user logo
    Jan Muhammad
    From logo

    I need a tourist visa for maxico I'm from pakistan help me sir

  • user logo
    Tracy Moore
    From logo

    Very easy, quick, and professional

  • user logo
    robert kepper
    From logo

    They are very good . There website doesn't show you need a title to bring a vehicle across the border.I was stopped and told I had to...

  • user logo
    Edilver Martinez
    From logo

    Our go to Baja car insurance, everytime we take a visit down south . Usually it's for a day trip either for a quick getaway with the family...

  • user logo
    Daniel “Dan M” Markofsky
    From logo

    Third time working with Baja Bound and they made it easy! Thanks!

  • user logo
    Steve Bender
    From logo

    Have never needed to use the insurance fortunately but the website always works great. Can buy a policy in about a minute.

  • user logo
    Jose Paez
    From logo

    Had a great experience getting insurance at Baja Bound, before I always stoped at the border to purchase my insurance, not anymore. By the...

  • user logo
    JUSTINE SERRANO
    From logo

    I purchased insurance through them & CHUBB for our trip to San Felipe. Unfortunately, we had to cancel due to our vehicle having an oil...

  • user logo
    Christian Minor
    From logo

    Team were on point, provided inside information, prices were great and they had my proposal already in the system when I called back....

  • user logo
    George
    From logo

    Excellent customer service

  • user logo
    Kellye Pummill
    From logo

    Fast and easy!

  • user logo
    Jennifer Toups
    From logo

    Baja Bound is and has been my go to Mexico insurance company. The website is extremely easy to use, keeps all your info for a quick...

  • user logo
    Cesar Lopez
    From logo

    Very convenient, great price !!

  • user logo
    Louis Schneidman
    From logo

    I had an awesome experience with Baja Bound. Family owned and highly personal, top notch customer service. I have total peace of mind...

  • user logo
    Phil Noble
    From logo

    If you’re looking for Mexican Insurance that you can trust and feel good about while traveling in Mexico, you’ve found the right place....

  • user logo
    Jeff Bunker
    From logo

    Great coverage options . Price buy and print policy , very quick and easy , highly recommend them when driving in Mexico

  • user logo
    Burrell DeVine
    From logo

    Easy to navigate and very competitively priced! I had to call in and add an additional day, they couldn't have been any more pleasant to...

  • user logo
    Nereyda Torres
    From logo

    Me gusta la asuguranza porque la puedes comprar por un dia y te asegura en Mexico por el tiempo que vas ya sea hasta por mes (Translated...

  • user logo
    james whitmer
    From logo

    Best insurance I've had so far

  • user logo
    Rail1riders
    From logo

    Quick, easy, well designed website and not just for Baja. Good rates for temporal residente gringos. We’re not living in Jalisco. Printed...

  • user logo
    Matt B
    From logo

    I always use Baja Bound to source my insurance while traveling to Mexico. Fortunately, I have not had to file any claims. I do appreciate...

  • user logo
    Refugio I. Rochin
    From logo

    Excellent online and by direct phone. Spanish and English with proven response to questions. Website is very informative about driving in...

  • user logo
    Kelly Carney
    From logo

    Yara is very helpful and explains everything. Love working with companies like this.

  • user logo
    Slumdog Gump
    From logo

    Changed some money. Good rate and friendly people.

  • user logo
    Jeff G
    From logo

    Went down to TJ June 11 2020 No problems going into TJ but the way back was a ordeal 6 hours in line to get back into the USA but no...

  • user logo
    don letson
    From logo

    Great renewal process, if only south Dakota would do the same for car registration.

  • user logo
    len buckholtz
    From logo

    SIMPLE, STRAIGHTFORWARD. OLD GUYS LIKE THAT. WILL DEFINITELY USE IN 6 MONTHS IF STILL RUNNING AROUND THE WILDS OF BAJA.

  • user logo
    Susana Judd
    From logo

    Easy, quick and fair prices. Easy to deal with if needed.

  • user logo
    Seismic Waterfinder
    From logo

    Very excellent service, needed insurance for Mexico, price was fair. The custumer service rep was Yara

  • user logo
    Nicolas Dervé
    From logo

    Very good ans very fast. We hope all will ben good if we need it.

  • user logo
    Blake Glassco
    From logo

    I will never drive south of the border without Baja Bound in my center console. I was in an accident a couple hours south of Ensenada and...

  • user logo
    JohnPaul Gemelli
    From logo

    Baja Bound could not have made it an easier ... also, I made a mistake and called them having to leave a message ... but, they called back...

  • user logo
    Jeff Brandt
    From logo

    so far so good, however I have read good things about them

  • user logo
    Sengoz N
    From logo

    SERIOUS.

  • user logo
    Kenneth Trass
    From logo

    Getting a policy was simple, Provided more than provider for price comparison.

  • user logo
    Esther Valencia
    From logo

    Super easy to purchase just the coverage you need when crossing the border in your own car. I especially appreciate the fact that I was...

  • user logo
    Larry Cottingham
    From logo

    Great service, very helpful people there.

  • user logo
    Luis Cortes
    From logo

    Easiest way to purchase insurance when traveling to Mexico. I have used their service for the last 7 years and it only gets easier and...

  • user logo
    j dougher ty
    From logo

    EZ Peasy insurance purchase. Great service every time I've used them. Had to cancel one time when my travel plans went away - no problem....

  • user logo
    Paul Niehouse
    From logo

    Extremely easy to acquire a policy. Many options available. Reasonable rates.

  • user logo
    Colin
    From logo

    Super-easy and instant. Very happy with initial purchase.

  • user logo
    Howard M Elster
    From logo

    2nd year with Chubb. No problems

  • user logo
    Cyndee Congrove
    From logo

    Great customer service, quick, friendly staff helpfully answered all questions, very patient with my learning curve on a new product. Would...

  • user logo
    Art Eugenio
    From logo

    I've had Baja Bound insurance for more that ten years now with thousands of miles logged in Baja. Fortunately, I've only had one fender...

  • user logo
    Gabe Matthews
    From logo

    Where do i start..... you dont know you have good insurance until you have to actually use it. I have had Baja Bound INS for over 5 years...

  • user logo
    keith berkley
    From logo

    Been going to baja for 45 years. This is best insurance company i have come accross.

  • user logo
    Ryan Perkio
    From logo

    I have been using BajaBound Insurance for 15 years - multiple trips per year. Their website is easy, their coverage is great, and the...

  • user logo
    RaMon McBride
    From logo

    I have not had any claims thus far so rating is based on ease of purchase.

  • user logo
    Larry French
    From logo

    By far the best service for Mex insurance in Baja. They are personally there for you if you have problems south of the border.

  • user logo
    Tudor Thomas
    From logo

    Baja Bound makes buying insurance for going south of the border as easy as it gets. The website is the easiest I have used and the staff...