Winter in Baja Day 11: A nomad kind of Christmas

Somewhere in the desert west of Mulege //

Christmas Eve kicks off in the best of ways, by gathering around a campfire with 5 friends before the sun has risen.  The desert is cold this morning and bundling up in hats and coats and standing around a fire is a lovely change of pace.

After breakfast we all set out for an exploratory hike following the creek bed that we found behind camp.  We meander for a kilometer or so while delighting in all the beauty and wonder along the way.  On our way back I ask Mark to carry back an organ pipe cactus that has died and left behind a cool skeletal structure lying on the creek bed.  We’d been on the hunt for something to hang Christmas lights from and this might be the ticket.

We all return home in search of shade, the midday sun making for a warm winter day. 

After lunch is when the magic happens.  While Mark & I came wholly unprepared to celebrate Christmas in any way, our friends managed to fit a few odds and ends in to their truck campers to turn our little corner of the desert in to a festive holiday scene.  Darci  strings lights around the organ pipe cactus that has been held upright by an old tire found nearby.  Heather brings out a Christmas blanket to serve as a tablecloth where she places a tiny tree her and Adam had stored inside their camper for the occasion.  While Hannah and Heather decorate the tree, Darci provides a selection of sea shells for us all to choose as our own ornament.  Adam drills holes in the shells and provides each of us with string.  We all write our names and the date on the back and hang them from the organ pipe cactus.  Several strands of twinkle lights are strung between our trucks, red and green balloons are blown up and hung from the lights.  

Come dusk, the lights flicker on and we find ourselves living in our own little homemade wonderland.  Josh & Darci provide ingredients for a peach cobbler and Mark executes it perfectly.  While sitting and admiring our work we agree that this is a top-ranking Christmas for each of us.  How lucky we all are to have found ourselves here, together (a year ago we were all strangers).  

None of this was planned.  A week ago I asked Josh & Darci if they wanted to camp together for Christmas.  Four days ago I asked Heather & Adam if they wanted to join us, they’d never even met Josh & Darci.  Everyone said yes.  I’m so glad they did.

Drone photos taken with the DJI Mini.
Land- based photos taken with the Canon R6.

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We’re Mark & Michele, modern-day nomads perfecting the art of slow, full-time travel.  Our tiny home on wheels and slow-paced travel style allows us to minimize our expenses while maximizing our freedom.  May our unconventional way of life inspire you to design a life that you love.


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