the long way south - chapter 5

It’s not just a season, summer is a state of yes. Yes to fresh air. Yes to friends. Yes to adventure, always. Here are ways to keep that feeling alive all year long.

Like summer itself, all summer vacations come to an end. Dodge the post-vacation blues by packing your calendar with backyard potlucks, weekend hikes and backpacking jaunts.

The friend's last meal togetherBaja Map
Cheers to 15 memorable days on the road in Baja. Cheers to overcoming fears. Cheers to the next adventure. Photo by Ali Vagnini.

Cassie, Adriana, Luz and Karen ended their trip by sharing a home-cooked meal back in Los Angeles. The city that Karen now calls home. They swapped family recipes and toasted the trip that inspired them to chase their next big thing. For Cassie, it’s spending four months in Ethiopia. For Adriana, Luz and Karen it’s focusing on making the outdoors a more inclusive and diverse space through their organizations, LatinXHikers and Get Out, Stay Out.


What does it take to set up
a backyard potluck?

Back in LA, the four friends gathered for a potluck
to cheers the end of their trip.
A home-cooked meal is always best enjoyed outside with good friends. Photo by Ali Vagnini.
Caption: Grill? Check. Backyard campground? Check. Good food? Check. The four friends know how to throw a party. Photo by Ali Vagnini.

The four friends brought their family to the table through
recipes passed down to them, from Momma Abi’s
three-ingredient tortillas to Papi’s guacamole.

Luz's Mom's Garbanzo Bean Salad Recipe
Momma Abi's Green Avo Salsa Recipe
Adriana's Papi's Guacamole Recipe
Momma Abi's 3 Ingredient Flour Tortillas Recipe
• Juices of two limes
• 1 Yellow onion, chopped
• 2 Cups chopped tomatoes
• 1/2 Bunch cilantro, chopped
• Crumbled feta cheese (optional)
• 1 Can garbanzo beans
• 1 Can black beans
• Salt and pepper

Rinse beans, chop veggies and mix everything together.This salad is a great side for any summer potluck.a div block.
• Salt
• 1 Large avocado
• 1-2 Cilantro stems
• 8-10 Chiles serranos
• 17 Tomatillos milperos

1. Peel tomatillos and rinse chili peppers.

2. Place chili peppers and tomatillos in a large pot of water and bring to a boil, let boil until tomatillos are soft (About 7 mins).

3. Place tomatillos and chili peppers in a blender (do not add water), and pulse 5 times.

4. Dice whole avocado and chop up cilantro.

5. Remove tomatillo's and chili peppers from blender and serve topping salsa with diced avocado and cilantro. Salt to taste.

6. Enjoy!
• 1/2 - 1 White onion
• 3-4 Ripe medium hass avocados
• To your taste, lime, salt
• 2-3 Roma tomatoes - I scoop out the innards so the guac will not be watery
• 1-3 Jalapeños - I leave the seeds in because I like it hot.
• 1 Bunch of cilantro - you can never have too much of this.

Dice all ingredients. Place a handful of onion, jalapeños and cilantro into the molcajete (about 1/3 of each ingredient). Use the pestle to ground up these ingredients until the onions are clear and it's a paste like consistency. Cut your avocados and dice them onto the paste. The easiest way to cut an avocado is by using a butter knife. Next, put your tomatoes on top of the avocados. Sprinkle sale directly on the tomatoes. Add the remainder of the onion, jalapeños, and cilantro. Now, use wooden spoon and a spatula to fold and toss the contents bringing the paste from the bottom into the mix. Do not smash. We like out chunky. Finish off by adding lime and more salt to your liking.

Serve with warm homemade tortillas, tortilla chips, or tostadas.
Best eaten immediately.
• 2 Cups of flour
• 2-3 Cups of water
• 1 Cup of maseca (instant corn masa flour)

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix dry ingredients. (Two parts flour per one part maseca)

2. Add warm water until a soft dough forms, dough should not be too sticky. If dough becomes too sticky, add more flour.

3. Separate dough into multiple small dough balls.

4. Roll out small dough balls into thing circle using a rolling pin coated in flour

5. Once dough is extended to a resemblance of a tortilla place in a flat pan (comal) to become a golden brown on each side. (tortillas will most likely not be perfectly circular).

6. Enjoy! :-)

Backyard camping

No backyard? Consider throwing a camping-inspired party or potluck on your rooftop, balcony or at a nearby park.

• Leave room for s’mores.

• Citronella is your friend (mosquitoes be gone!)

• Plan games so you’re not tempted to go back to your screens inside.

Keep the summer
adventure alive

• Two words: photo wall

• Throw a backyard get-together with your travel buddies

• Discover the nooks, crannies and whoa-inducing spots in your own area.

• Start dreaming up your next trip. Not sure where to start? Check out REI Adventures.

The Co-op Wanderlust Shop

Because your future is an open road.
Shop the Wander Collection

From start to finish

Not ready to say goodbye to Baja?
We understand. Relive the trip one last time.