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Our Wonderful Christmas Dinner 2012

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I can’t imagine a Christmas dinner in a more beautiful place with better people. It honestly does not get better than this!

On Christmas day we had a big “family” get-together of all the vandwelling folks who are camping with us. There were a total of 16 including myself. We were a truly motley crew!! We were a broad range of ages and backgrounds. The youngest was in her 20s and the oldest was in his 70s, but the majority were in their 50s. There were 5 women and 11 men and we came from 13 different states.
Just like Thanksgiving, Steve did nearly all the cooking and, as usual, did a really great job of it! We had:

  • Turkey (cooked in foil on the barbecue)
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Gravy
  • Yams (I brought those)
  • Green Bean Casserole (Thanks to Judy for bringing those!)
  • Green Salad (Thanks to Sayward!)
  • Potato Salad (Thanks again to Sayward!)
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Dinner Rolls and Butter
  • Apple and Pumpkin Pie with Cool-Whip


That’s Michael (enjoying a cold one) and a very happy Judy!

But I must tell you the big hit of the party was Michael! He brought 3 gallons of egg-nog and the alcohol that goes with it. I think the spiced Rum was the most popular, but you can’t go wrong with beer either!

Steve enjoying the fruit of his labor!

You might be wondering how one guy cooked up such a delicious feast, but boondocking in the desert out of your van doesn’t have to be a sacrifice. Steve makes it look easy! Everything was canned except for the potatoes which were instant, and yet it all tasted really good. So he was able to cook it all on his Coleman 2-burner propane stove very easily.
I bought a 15 pound turkey and Steve let it thaw and de-boned it. To cook it he laid a bed of onions on a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil and then laid the turkey over the top of it and seasoned it to taste. Finally he sealed the aluminum foil and got it ready to put in the “oven.” He had already started the Weber Go-Anywhere Barbecues (he has one and I brought mine over) and preheated them on the High setting for 15 minutes. He laid the foil packets with the turkey in them on the grate and closed the lid on them. With the lid on, it essentially becomes an oven. He turned the heat down to half way between Low and Medium and left them to cook for 45 minutes. When the turkey went in, he started preparing the rest of the meal. His timing was perfect because everything came out hot and delicious at the same time!

Bryce and plate full of cheer!

Where we are camped is in a really large open area. But one side is along a gully that has quite a few nice trees in it and some of us liked it best over there. Steve and a two of the other guys (Bryce and Joey) set up camp over there and dubbed it “Man Camp”. Since Steve was doing the cooking we held the party in Man Camp and they generously provided a fire and very good company! And yes, I can tell you, they are indeed Manly Men!!
All in all we all had a great time and enjoyed great food, great company and all in a beautiful and wonderful natural setting. Life doesn’t get any better than that!!
I hope you enjoy these pictures (thanks to Sayward for most of them!!). The setting really was just as beautiful as it seems and the company was even more wonderful than the pictures can show!!

Steve and I loading up!

Heaping it on!

Standing in Line.



  1. MichaelinOK

    Good for you, and for the others, in that you’re enjoying the holiday season with good savor, in community and in nature–and sprinkling your feast liberally with the peerless spice of freedom.
    With many others I say: Perhaps one of these Christmases I’ll break free and make it out there myself.

    • Bob

      Michael, we all know how to eat an elephant and take a journey of a 1000 miles; what are you going to do this week to make a life of freedom possible?

      • MichaelinOK

        Thanks for the challenging and encouraging reminder.

        • Bob

          I need to thank you Michael, you were the inspiration for the 1-1-2013 post!

  2. Kim

    What a feast! And I bet it tastes about 100x better out of doors.

    • Bob

      Kim, you are so right. Being in nature makes everything in life taste better, especially food!
      I wish I could tell you it is going to be much warmer here than there. It may be, but it may not be. So hope for good weather but come ready for cold. January is the coldest month and February will be much better. See you soon! Bob

  3. Steve & Zeke the Mountain Dog

    It was my pleasure and shear delight to cook this Christmas dinner… I think back to this last Thanksgiving and this Christmas at all the happy souls, the smiles, and the laughs we all shared and file them all in the great times folder I keep in my mind…
    I hope all had a grand and memorable Christmas and a very happy New Year…
    PS Bob did not mention our great furry friends Zeke, Homer, Kate, Cassie, and Sprocket who all got a special treat from me this Christmas day… There was bowls, pans and plates to be licked clean and left overs to be had by all… No animals where left out of this chore…

    • Bob

      Steve, I can’t thank you enough for all your work making such a great meal for everybody. I am very glad you are my friend!

  4. Steve & Zeke the Mountain Dog

    I forgot to give massive Kudos to Bob, as this would never have been possible without his financial support… His out of pocket support made this Christmas special for some as they ventured out to meet us leaving little or no money for any Christmas cheer… We both have sponsored some great people, who in turn will repay or will pass it on in turn, But this never would have gotten off the ground without Bob… Thanks Bob, or should I say Santa, for bringing a memorable Christmas to us all…

    • Bob

      Thanks Steve! Your giving heart is a great example for me. Bob

  5. Calvin R

    Sounds like a great feast and a crowd to match.

    • Bob

      It was indeed Calvin! Bob

  6. Tim McDougall

    Wow! That looks like a fantastic feast. Nice to see you all had a great Christmas dinner and great fellowship. Those pictures truly show a wonderful “Family Moment.”

    • Bob

      Tim, “family” is the right word. We are not blood, but we have a connection that is in many ways deeper. Our hearts beat with a common love of freedom and travel. We weren’t born into this family, we chose it. Bob

  7. cedric

    why is it sooo cold there? everyone is in layers. I thought the whole point of going south was to stay with the warm weather. brrrrrr

    • Bob

      Cedric, that’s a good eye! It was cold that day. I wish I could tell you that the Arizona desert is warm in the winter, but it is not so. It is surprisingly cold. You have to go into Mexico to stay much warmer. The end of December and January are the coldest months then it gets warmer starting in February.
      But it is all relative, days are generally clear and in the high 50s or low 60s and nights are in the high 30s. That is MUCH warmer than most all of the country. At least it isn’t a foot of snow or constant rain!!

      • linda

        Glad to see you are fine and had a clean and cheery Christmas. I have trouble keeping my environment clean without running water and trapped. Forgot to ask you -any illegals out there that you may be running into? the news has it that the desert is full of them.
        Your group looks like all american.
        A relative lived in West Texas near Kerrville and had the illegals walking right up to her home and she had to feed them…..(cheaper than getting killed)

        • Bob

          Hi Linda, I have spent a fair amount of time in the desert near the border and have never seen any illegals. I have, however, seen hundreds Border Patrol agents! I once camped near a major canal the illegals liked to follow and we had INS agents through several times a day. They would often stop and check on us. Most of us have very little to fear from illegals, they aren’t here to hurt people, they are just looking for a better life. I do not want this to become a political thread!

  8. Trisha

    It was a super wonderful Christmas all around! Thank you Bob and Steve!

    • Bob

      Thank you Trisha, I am very glad you were there!

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