Return to Todos Santos, Mexico

Ten beautiful days back in Todos Santos, BCS, Mexico, proved restorative, nostalgic, and productive. Photos + words.

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Todos Santos Music Festival. Death Cab for Cutie. Santa Cecilia. John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin. David Fricke from Rolling Stone Magazine. Dharma Talks. Todos Santos Writer’s Workshop. Cerritos surf. Late night music jam with old friends and family. Fish tacos, ceviche, everything covered in lime. And arroyo running. Lots of arroyo running. Todos Santos in Southern Baja remains one of my favorite spots on the planet. Great trip south of the border this time, packed with inspiring people and events.

A synchronized sunrise run was organized around the world by my running sponsor Territory Run Co. so a dear artist friend and I went out for a hunt.

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Jackrabbit crosses the path as we start up, start in, start out. A swerve left. A swerve right. Sandy paths, fishtailing feet. Go. Go. Go. The sun is making things pink over there, over in the Sierra. Hurry.

Down the arroyo. Technical. Watch that prickly stuff—ocotillo, pitaya dulce, torote, cardon. Baja wilds have teeth; they bite. Catch a toe, take a fall, and you bleed.

Go faster. Sun about to crest. That knife-edge ridge above the cactus canyon is where I want to be for sunrise. Cross a wide arroyo choked in sand. Common to see coyote here. None today.

A climb. Colin behind me with a long stride, a graceful gait, an adjunct art professor from Bennington College, Vermont. Solid man.

Climb. Climb. Climb. Up the ridge we make it, only to flare off a pair of white-dotted birds. Rustle in the bramble right of my ankle. Once saw a six-foot rattler here. Only the wind this time. Onshore, 25 mph today, Colin tells me.

We reach the ridge of awe. I smell torote peel, like cinnamon. There’s my heart beating. There’s warmth. There’s red. There’s orange. There’s that fiery reminder that all things in nature reset. Everyday. The sun rises, and us with it. Bees nearby, too, have risen to collect pollen by the pound next to us. Industrious bastards.

Awe. Reverence. Simplicity. Migration. I think of my home in Missoula where ice fringes everything. I recognize my privilege to be here in Todos Santos, Mexico. And I’m grateful to my core for this place, this moment, this friend, this sun.

We keep noticing. We keep attending. The great dawn helps us attune and attend with its shadow and easy light. We descend through hundred-year old cacti that look like stampeding elephant legs and return to van, to coffee, to family, to life.

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59 thoughts on “Return to Todos Santos, Mexico

  1. Wow. Nice Nick Nick. Loved sharing it with you and I love even more reading your thoughts and hearing your depth of feeling for Todos Santos! We have memories from there to last life times. Thanks for putting those memories into beautiful prose which we can revisit over and over again. Xoxo Geeg

  2. Poetic and vivid Nick. Loved the frickin’ cameos in your opening! Runnin’ writin’ and rockin’ keeps us young, or youngish in my case. Flow on.

  3. Pingback: Photo Essay: A Sunrise Run in Baja California – bdeducationblog

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  5. Hello. Thanks for this. The photos are excellent and I enjoy your prose. I like, specifically, your fragment sentences. Fuck. Grammar. Dude. lol. Really though. You’ve got a new follower.❤

  6. Pingback: Return to Todos Santos, Mexico – mijanbdblog

  7. Pingback: Return to Todos Santos, Mexico – Jumzle it

  8. These pictures are amazing! Try to take some in Hawai’i. I lived there for two years while my father was deployed and the sunsets were always purple and pink clouds with a deep, burnt orange sun with a sky that faded from orange to a dark, sparkled blue.

  9. I have been to Baja California. My favorite place was this hike next to Loreto, Baja California. It was called the Swimming Hole. Beautiful, it was a natural pool that looked like the locals were taking care of.
    Gorgeous pictures!

  10. Pingback: Photo Essay: A Sunrise Run in Baja California | k8397

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