In the years that I’ve known Tom, more often than not we’ve spent Thanksgiving in the deserts of California and this year was no exception. Rather than the traditional over-the-river-and-through-the-woods-to-grandmothers-house, we have developed many other non-traditional friends and we had a lovely Friendsgiving celebration.

Our friends the Santanas have a wonderful video of it here that I hope you watch. That’s it – no need to write any further!

But I’ll expound, because that’s what I do:

We’ve been camped on a plateau with a group that has grown larger almost daily. Our group – the Boondockers, is a fun and active group. And full of non-traditions. When the weather report predicted strong winds and rain on Thanksgiving Thursday, we said no problem – we’ll celebrate on Wednesday – and have a second celebration on Friday. As full-timers, we know how to roll with it.

But first another day of group exploration while the weather holds. We took a jeep trip out to see the Pumpkin Patch. We drove out there last year – so this year we took the paved road and met up with the off road convoy. It’s always a strange sight to see what looks like a garden of round rocks – in the middle of nothingness.

We also stopped at the Shelf – to take a quick hike up to the fossilized ridge.

That was the last sunny day for a while. Storms were definitely moving in.

The next day the masterminds of the group organized an ingenious setup of clams and pop ups. No way was bad weather gonna keep this group indoors. They even added lights and pulled together table decorations – including some leftovers from the Pumpkin Patch gig.

Then it was all about the turkey. Shout out to Jim for cooking a beauty that deserved this attention:

The weather held out while we all stuffed ourselves. Good food plus good friends equals fun times.

College daughter Jessica was able to come and stay with us over the Thanksgiving break, so she was with us to enjoy our second day of feasting, followed by a fun game night in our terrific shelter.

She also joined us on a road trip with with Mark and Patsi to visit another large Xscapers group gathered by Joshua Tree National Park.

I don’t know how their Thanksgiving dinner went, but they had a pretty awesome bar & grill setup!

We drove through the National park and braved the chilly weather to climb on a few rocks.

We even found some rock climbers to watch. But with snow on the not-so-distant mountains, it was time to head back.

We were able to enjoy a few more days of campfires and celebrations.

We even had a bike day. About half of our group have electric bikes, so the other half of us rented electric bikes in Borrego Springs. Even after taking a couple of spills, I we had a blast.

We went on an off-road trail, then rode past a lot of the sculptures in town before finishing up at the bar.

Now it’s time to start thinking about going our separate ways. And Christmas. Janet surprised Tom with a live tree she picked up in town because he was so sad about forgetting to pickup our one Christmas decoration from last year.

Happy Travels!

Peace & Love, Joy