About Us

The Pack Family Journal is a place where we gather text and images of our lives, adventures and travels. This is a very personal site, written openly and honestly. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I Am Not a Religious Man, But I Am a Thankful Man.

Thanksgiving is the best holiday of the year for Rachel and I, we think getting together with the people you love and eating and drinking too much, and laughing until you pass out (Tryptophan or Alcohol induced), is the best time you can have with loved ones. Halloween was cool as a kid, I just can't my groove on for it as much anymore. New Year's is great too, you get a chance to start again, and none of us get those enough.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

My Name Up in Lights...so to speak.

Big or small, bright or dim, it is always fun to see your name up on the marquis. This summer we had to chance to play with a ton of great musicians. On this night, we were in Playa de Tijuana and were happy when we arrived.  The funny part is that I am Sixx Pack, but the band is Wild Pack, and even funnier is we never got to play that show because JL Blues had a problem and postponed the show. We did however meet another great young musician Juan Navarro. Just a few weeks later we all had another chance to play together at the Blues Against Hunger in Valle de Guadalupe.

We look forward to playing back in Tijuana again. In January, we will be touring with Los Corsarios del Blues from Mexico City. The goal is to tour all of Baja from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas. Like most tours, it requires a minimum of participants to be able to do the tour. So, we are working on a secondary tour that does not require any minimums, touring northern Mexico; Rosarito, Ensenada, San Felipe, Puerto Penasco, Tijuana.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Angel of Perpetual Hops and Barley

I'm a believer! I have my very own "Angel of Perpetual Hops and Barley" and pictures to prove it, Never fails, just as my cravings start to get the best of me, my Angel pulls me up from the ashes with the tastiest brews.

Today started out as a regular Mexican Pilsner kind of day, and then I get a text message from my "Angel of Perpetual Hops and Barley" that says I have a surprise on the porch. Oh yah baby - three tasty ales and 2 bottles of Saki! As if the heavens opened and dropped them there.

And not unlike those other angels; you know, the ones that receive wings on the chime of a bell. Well, I can assured you that when I open my angelic gift....with the pop of a bottle cap this sinner is gonna indulge in a heavenly cervesa!!!!
 Muchas gracias!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Love Trixy and the Booty!

When Chet and Mary came to visit a few weeks ago, Mary gave us a amulet she'd made...this morning as Trixie was sunning herself, the amulet (called the "booty" - above the green crystal is a pirate's head) over her head cast sparking green reflections about the room. See the amulet above Trixie's head.
Thanks Mary.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Fat and Happy and Fat and Happy

Mama Bears Pizza - Sunday Breakfast
Fat and Happy, fat and happy. You gotta understand, Sunday breakfast is like church to us. We almost never go out to restaurants, because the other six days of the week, we eat only veggie/fruit smoothies and either veggie salad, soup or pasta in the evening. Even on the 7th day, that same rule applies all meals but breakfast...SO...as you can imagine breakfast on that 7th day - ALL BETS ARE OFF.

Even when we're in San Felipe, every Sunday we go to Rachel's mom and dad's and I cook breakfast for the whole fam-damly. And mom and dad can eat like their daughter! It's what we do. Thus far, hands down the best breakfast we've had in Ensenada has been Mama Bears....Victor's in town was second, so far.


I used to go to plays almost weekly when I published a pop arts magazine in Seattle during the 90's. And although I was heavily into the music scene of the day, I was never into musicals. However, I have to admit that all summer while sitting in Punta Banda, Baja California, Mexico we have begun writing a musical, a blues rock musical more specifically.

Last year, while spending the summer in the exact same location, we produced our first blues rock album and enjoyed the experience incredibly. This year we thought of doing the same thing, but instead began writing our first musical. The script is not yet complete, but the story is almost completely flushed out. I must say, and I'm sure Rachel would agree, the story would be one of the things I am most proud of, ever in my life; next to scoring Rachel. And although I'm not proud of everything I've done - not in a long shot, I am proud of many things I've accomplished in my crazy life.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Our Two Favorite Boys

Our two favorite boys...my (Sixx's) son Troy Pack, and our grandson Shaddon Pack! Love those boys! Miss em both mucho!

Knocking on La Salina Cantina's Door

THANKS LA SALINA CANTINA. It was a really fun jam last night. I t was our first time there and we like places with a chill feel. 

A good crowd and it very cool to have our friends Lou Pando all the way from Punta Banda play a set on drums, and Arthur Cardenas all the way from Tijuana sit in for all 3 sets on lead guitar, including singing "Knocking on Heavens Door" to close out the night - never played that tune before, it was a lot of fun. I do wish it was a bit warmer outside, looks like there is a really cool patio and stage outside. Maybe in the future we can do a show there during the summer. 

Always great to see our friends come out to new venues. Oh yah, and we will doing WILD PACK WEDNESDAYS there all this month from 6-9PM. Thanks Jeanne and Jesse. Come out and join us, comes with a free spaghetti bolognese dinner, garlic bread and even topped with Parmesan cheese...seriously, you buy a beer or any drink and it comes with a FREE dinner - that was really good. I guess we'll be eating spaghetti this month. In any case, it was a fun first date for us at La Salina, next Wednesday will be date #2...I'm going for at least first base...see you there! 

P.S. Thanks for the pic Oscar, now I see what the rest of the band is doing while I'm playing...you're taking pictures and Rachel is making faces for you.


Copper Canyon Trip 2016

Sixx (John) says - I am so excited, our first tour of the season. We are finally going to Copper Canyon for a couple of weeks next month. It's taken two years for Rachel to put this tour together for Baja Good Life Club. We have a big group of folks from Baja taking the ABC bus to Los Mochis, where we'll meet up with our guide for a trip through Copper Canyon on the amazing train. Check that off the bucket list.

Remember Follow Your Heart

REMEMBER - Our good late friend Steven Forman (RIP) said to us once...

"No matter what is said about you, no matter how many times it's said, no matter where it's said, and no matter who says it. You must stand up in the face of it, remember who you are, and follow your heart!"

We did not always agree but this we did agree 100%! We always follow our hearts!

Miss you Steven!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Thank You Mommy!

Today is my Mommy's Birthday! My Mother Joyce Reid Lawrence is the best mom ever. She is the always there for me in good and bad times.


Your birthday is the day I remember
all the wonderful things you do.
Time will fly; each day goes by,
and I've forgotten to say, "Thank you."

Thank you for teaching me strength,
to have confidence while I grow,
for helping me through my biggest challenges,
and for teaching me what I know.

Although our paths may be distant,
and we spend so much time apart,
remember you are the one
who made the essence of my heart.

I will love you until my last breath, 
this I know for sure, 
as you have always made me loved
and so I will love you forever - Thank You!

Thursday, July 21, 2016


When I was in my 20's I was run over by a car and crushed. Broke most bones in my body, was even declared dead. Now 30 years later, I am in constant pain, everyday all day. I have never taken anything for pain. My incredible wife Rachel uses a small wooden device to rub out the knots, usually twice a day. I have been in pain so long, I am somewhat acclimated to it. I've also never taken pain meds, because I'm also scared of dying due to doctor incompetence, or getting yet another addiction.
In any case, the reason I freakin' LOVE MEXICO is because this last week the pain in my shoulder has become almost unbearable, and difficult to raise my arm. It was time to give in and see a doctor.
After breakfast, Rachel and I stopped by the doctors office. He gave me a quick exam of the usuals, then examined my shoulder. He prescribed me 2 different pain killers and 1 supplemental, non-painkiller that is used to support one of the others. Blah, blah, something to that effect. Then he escorted me to the pharmacy.
Less than 20 minutes total in time and only $150 pesos for the checkup ($8 US dollars), and the 3 medications were $235 pesos ($12.65 US dollars). I Freakin' Love Mexico! I still hate french fries for my breakfast potatoes, and I still hate when sausage is replaced by hotdogs. But other than that.

Friday, July 15, 2016

I'm Just Saying...The Tuba

Okay, maybe not go. Not completely anyways. I know there is a time and a place, and an application that works. We have dear friends Pancho and Sal of the RioSamaya Band and Sal makes her accordion speak beautiful melodies over Pancho's warm Spanish guitar tones. It works and it's beautiful. But sometimes, they do not go together well...in long durations. Rachel and I have lived in Baja for more than a decade now, and during that time we have been involved in music, seeked it out in many cases. We even attended the Mariachi Festival in Rosarito and became big fans, and even produced our own Latino Music Fest and love almost all of it. We even started understanding some of the differences and styles.

We have also learned in that time, that Mexicans know how to party. Oh yah, and they do it naturally; a couple of family members or friends get together, add some food and cervesa and the party is started. Grandparents to kids and everyone in between, and the parties can go until 6AM. I wish my family did that when I was a kid. I must say finally after all this time...there is one I really don't like. Makes me picture evil clowns and nerds and without pointing fingers or ears, it sounds like Barnum Bailey and contains tuba and accordion. I really don't know the exact style, because some styles I do like also contain these instruments. That's just me. My musical tastes have always been left of center anyways. So what do I know, I also dislike rap, edm, and any heavy metal band with a singer that sounds like they are expelling a hairball, or any song without a guitar solo. Although, those dudes on the accordions can shred. I'm just saying.


From John (Sixx) - After living 20% of my life in Baja, I have only had a handful of friends make their way south of the border. Most have been either scared by the media in the US or their bound by the societal grind of the US, in any case few have ventured. My lifelong and dear late friend David Cybulski and wife Karin, their family and friends, Glen Rhoades and his son Kyle, Shannon Smith and now friends from my troubled teens times Johnny Sarena and Tracy Griffin. Of course we'll be throwing a party!

Walk - Run!

Everyday Rachel and I go for a walk. Last week a bee keeper moved onto the hill just off the road of where we walk. Today we were attacked and a bunch of bees chased us a distance. I was stung 3 times, twice on the forehead and once on the calf, and Rachel was stung inside the nostal. Her nose is red and my forehead throbbing, but we actually increased our workout by running, so it wasn't all bad. 
At Campo 7 in Punta banda Baja - July, 15 2016

Monday, July 11, 2016


For the most part, Rachel and I are vegetarians, 90% of the time. But on occasion, we become what some say is a flexitarian. Usually, when there is a sushi bar or some really good seafood, or possible at Thanksgiving, we might share turkey with the family, but other than that..vegheads all the way. 

However today we flexed big time and had some incredible, yellowtail tuna machaca made with carrots, green olives, onions, peppers and spices, and topped with cabbage, cilantro, tomatoes.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Baja Walk 2012

The Baja Walk 2012
On May 12 of 2012, John and Rachel Pack embarked on the journey of their lives. The Baja Walk 2012 was a great adventure that you never would expected. The rugged terrain, the harsh weather, the unexpected hardships – they contributed to an outcome neither of them could have ever anticipated. The most astonishing occurrence was related to John’s health. Even though he had always been an avid hiker, he was caught by surprise when the injuries made by the car accident he had in his 20s came back to him. This was caused by his heavy 80 lbs. backpack which was later on replaced with a cart.

=== The Baja Walk 2012 Book is coming soon! ===
Walk Away Cancer - Join the Baja Cancer Walk 100

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Rock the Walk - No More Holiday Sickies!

Finally coming back from a holiday sicknesses. Today we both were feeling good and went for a great six mile walk, we even took the girls with us and we still kept a 17 minute mile. We still have another 6 weeks before we will walk 100 miles. I think we'll be ready. 

It helps to have a good soundtrack when walking, as a matter of fact, I find it difficult to walk without music. Usually of the heavier or rocking variety. Today's soundtrack was awesome and I kept having to give it to Rachel, so she can listen to whatever got me pumped up at that moment. Today it was Rainbow with two of my favorites Ritchie Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio, love that classical sound. plus some Social Distortion and Michael Schenker Group