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By Miriam Raftery


February 8, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – It is with great sadness that we report the death of East County Magazine’s “Baja Blog” columnist Susan Mahalick, 60.  She passed away at the University of California San Diego Medical Center last week following an illness.


Susan was also the author of My Gold Coast Baja: A Practical Guide, a primer for visitors and those considering moving to Mexico.  Her writing career included articles for the,, San Diego Red, and writing for the Secretary of Tourism in Baja.


According to her biography on, she lived in nearly every major region of the U.S. before visiting Baja and falling in love with the region. >She settled in La Misión in Baja, Mexico, where she lived for over a decade.  She wrote extensively about the wine region in Guadalupe Valley, as well as Rosarita, Ensenada, and other areas, sharing the many delights that she found in her travels.



Raised in Middlesex, New Jersey, she held degrees in geology and geography from the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO.  Her first career was in geological drafting. She later worked in computer technology before finding her calling as a writer, sharing her Baja discoveries and zest for living with readers around the world.


You can read more about her book at and hear our radio interview with Susan Mahalick at

You can view her “Baja Blog” columns at

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Thank you, Miriam.

It's so important that in addition to looking at the rich and notorious, we recognize the regular folks who have figured some things out, and you do that....There was a time in my life that I too, brought up in the stodgy northeast, discovered Baja. It was a time when I was not a "spring chicken" and, shall we say, financially challenged. But I had read Graham MacIntosh's book on walking 2,000 miles around Baja (partly) with his burro Bonnie, and I had a thousand dollars for a VW camper bus. So I and my "Bonnie" took of from northern California, my son's house, south. I discovered by the time I got to the grapevine that my Bonnie used a lot of oil, really a lot. So I stopped at a gas station, bought two cases of motor oil (a quart for every 40 miles) and headed south. After crossing the border, I pulled over on a back road, to add some oil. .....A car pulled up, with four young men. I had heard about the dangers -- what comes next? .....Then the friendly driver's face looked out at me and asked....Can we help you?...CAN WE HELP YOU?...I enjoyed many wonderful trips down to "the Baja" after that, sometimes helping others, but more often being helped by others (VW owners understand). ...Thanks again, Miriam, and R.I.P. Susan Mahalick.