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Graham Mackintosh Baja Books

.....Exploring the Spirit of Baja California

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Into a Desert Place
Marooned With Very Little
Nearer My Dog to Thee
Journey With A Baja Burro
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Journey with a Baja Burro





Soft cover, 6 x 9 inches, 360 pages, 38 color photos, $16.95

For your personally signed copies of Journey With A Baja Burro:
Send $16.95 ( includes tax and shipping to US addresses) to:

Graham Mackintosh
P.O. Box 1982
Lemon Grove, CA 91946


(Make checks payable to Graham Mackintosh)





Now Available on Amazon Kindle:



Also available on Barnes and Noble Nook




This account of walking six months in Baja California with Misión, my pack burro, comes straight from my heart-and perhaps a little from his heart, too. Our journey, which began on the border at Tecate and ended 1,000 miles later in Loreto, brought me moments of joy and anguish. Make allowance for my laughter and tears…and my seemingly wild imaginings; they go with the territory and the experience of being alone in such a wilderness. The winter of 1997-1998 was, in one sense, a wonderful time to make this trip. It coincided with the biggest El Niño on record. On the west coast of North America that meant persistent and perhaps unprecedented rain. In spite of the difficulties and dangers posed by the storms, Misión was able to enjoy a rare abundance of water and grazing, especially in the parched CentralDesert region of Baja. The same journey would be a very different proposition in a year with more normal precipitation.



From an overland trek down the trail of the padres, exactly three-hundred years after the establishment of Baja California's first mission at Loreto, springs Graham Mackintosh's book, Journey with a Baja Burro.


As well as a tribute to the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Loreto Mission, Journey with a Baja Burro is also a celebration of the dramatic beauty of Baja, the importance of wilderness, the depth of the relationship between the author and his burro companion, and in spite of the author's explicit questioning and rejection of Christian dogma—especially that held by the Catholic missionaries—it is, in the end, a record of a powerful spiritual, perhaps Christian, experience and a moving tribute to the courage and character of the early Baja missionaries.





After writing Into a Desert Place…Mackintosh returns with this account of his 1000-mile journey by burro from the California border to the oldest established mission in Loreto, located in the southern part of the Baja peninsula. Along the way, he describes the land, the people he meets, the missions he visits, and his travails with the burro. The book is well written and generally keeps the reader's interest.—Library Journal


…a fascinating historical account of the establishment of Baja California’s missions, and…the record of one man’s quest to challenge himself physically and spiritually.—The Journal of San Diego History


Splendid reading! Graham Mackintosh's arduous treks through Baja are sweaty, physical metaphors for a fine writer's lifelong pursuit of the infinite. Journey with a Baja Burro is an earthy-spiritual quest worthy of the old padres themselves.—Gene Kira, author of King Of The Moon


Two hooves up! In this gripping narrative, Mackintosh recounts the logistical and emotional challenges of his remarkable entrada while transporting the reader deep into the peninsula's rugged wilderness and its rich mission-era history.—Bill Evarts. Award winning Baja photographer, and author of Torrey Pines: Landscape and Legacy


Mackintosh has the uncanny ability to take you with him step by step on a lively adventure through Baja, mixing history with daily recollections. He has also managed, early on, to inject enough tension into the story—the recalcitrance of an obstinate burro and the concerns of a new bride felt abandoned—to drive the story forward and maintain its legitimacy as a page turner. Better than most, Mackintosh has done his homework. It is a wonderful book, even better than his first (Into a Desert Place), thoroughly enjoyable, well edited and a joyful read for anyone who wants to know and understand that terribly fickle lady called Baja.—Fred Hoctor, Baja Editor, Western Outdoor News


You’ll love this wonderful text because it’s full of humorous, colorful historical vignettes and spiritual insights. Mackintosh…is an engaging and enchanting storyteller.—Palo Alto Daily News

In Journey with a Baja Burro, adventure traveler Graham Mackintosh returns to the remote desert setting of his previous book in his expedition a thousand miles from the U.S. border south to Loreto. He and his burro follow the trail which leads to most of the mission sites along the way; his humorous first-person account will intrigue a wide audience.—Internet Book Watch

This wonderful adventure held this sentimental "ass" spellbound and joyfully teary-eyed from start to finish. We defy any reader to remain dry eyed while the author struggles manfully himself to keep too much sentiment from the closing pages as he has to bid his beloved burro farewell. As we travel with Mackintosh and Misión, we realize there is a lot more to a donkey than we could have ever known. If you haven't already, you absolutely must read this incredible story. Mackintosh is a spiritual person in the best sense.—The Gringo Gazette









Happy that all was ready for the trail, I was exchanging smiles and handshakes and saying my good-byes to everyone when Misión suddenly collapsed in a pathetic heap! Half a dozen jaws went down with him.

Journey with a Baja Burro





Descent to Rio San Antonio—foothills Sierra de San Pedro Martir



It had stopped raining by the time I got back. While changing into dry clothes outside the tent, I felt a bite on my neck. I reached up and grabbed a tick, which I crushed between two stones. Hoping I wasn't about to succumb to some horrible fever, I checked my T-shirt and found two more which were similarly dispatched.

Journey with a Baja Burro



As we went up, we entered an area of sparse, stunted junipers and pinyon pines. Behind us there was a terrific view of the granitic core of the San Pedro Mártir rising almost sheer from the floor of the San Isidoro valley. The wind turned cold. I put on a jacket and tried to stay in the sun. It was so high that, where there was shade, the ground and any little pools remained frozen all day. Otherwise the surface was typically broken, angular red rock embedded in mushy clay--a most uninviting place to camp.

Journey with a Baja Burro




Hitting the bar at Cielito Lindo





Highway checkpoint




The Governor and the Franciscan President arrived... May 13, and Serra was so impressed with the beautiful valley, he opted to found his first mission in the Californias, the only one in Baja founded by the Franciscan order. Serra celebrated Holy Mass and dedicated the mission to San Fernando Rey - King Ferdinand III of Old Castile - patron of the Franciscan college in Mexico City.

Journey with a Baja Burro










Baja's Central Desert





Genaro - my guide at Mission San Borja




After the rains - desert carpeted with wildflowers



I found myself playing the kind of "what if" game I had played on Cuchama. What if there is a message in the caw of a crow, or the flashy fluttering of a phainopepla? "Look for it. Seek it. Assume it. Believe it."

Journey with a Baja Burro




He seemed appreciative of my efforts. After he drank, he leaned his head against mine as if he could sense my lethargy and was trying to infuse me with some of his vitality. Looking at his priceless, mischievous burro expression made me feel better. "What a comfort you are, old buddy."

Journey with a Baja Burro







Journey's End - Loreto