Weekly Smile – The Desert Around Las Vegas


My weekly smile this week goes to the fact that my book The Desert Around Las Vegas – A Guidebook To Amazing Day Trips In The Mojave Desert is now available on Amazon! It’s the result of more than a year of hard, fun work. There was blood, sweat and some tears involved. I basically spent all my free time exploring the Mojave Desert around Las Vegas, while taking notes and thousands of photos, that I afterwards spent hundreds of hours of editing, and then designing the book, to now be able to enjoy the result. I had the help of an amazing editor, Ken Decroo. I am very grateful for his help!

The Mojave Desert with its smell of sage, million-dollar vistas, wildlife, and beautiful cacti, has been luring humans to explore within its boundaries for centuries. The desert can be  hot, brutal, and very dangerous with  venomous snakes and spiders. If you are planning a visit to Las Vegas, and know that there will be some time for adventures outside the city, maybe you are asking yourself some of these questions: If I only have a few hours, where do I go? How do I stay safe while I experience the deserts intense beauty? Can I bring my children? Is it dog friendly? Are there restrooms available? What time of the day should I visit? If I want to see wild horses, where can I go?

For me, it was more or less a forced move to Las Vegas that made me explore the desert outside. You see, I am a country girl; to move to the city was a huge change for me. I started to spend all my free time in the desert: hiking, reading, and playing with my camera. When the weekend arrived, my daughter, my German Shepherd, and I would head out to Red Rock Canyon, Spring Mountain National Recreation Area, Valley of Fire, Death Valley, or Mojave National Preserve. Spending the weekends exploring these places kept me sane during that first year living in Las Vegas.

My colorful guidebook will get you there well prepared, knowing what to expect, but your imagination is the only limit to the experience you will have! You can expect to be blown away by each destination’s beauty and uniqueness.

Excerpt from the preface of The Desert Around Las Vegas – A Guidebook To Amazing Day Trips In The Mojave Desert, by Maria Jansson.


Thank you Trent for hosting another week of smiles 🙂 What makes YOU smile this week? Share some of your smiles!



Silent Sunday


Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area


A week ago on our way to Arizona we stopped and had our lunch at Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area.


My daughter immediately notice this door in the mountain, and before chewing our last piece of our lunch sandwiches we are off exploring this site.


Turns out it is a very small room, with a fire ring in the middle. Which could of been pretty cool if it wasn’t for all the broken glass every where. The view from the parking lot was nice, and I can recommend a stop there.

We learned that this place is a very popular spot for boondocking (park your RV for free.) There’s plenty of room, and a restroom at this stop. There were several RV’s boondocking there when we passed by. Some of them locked like they’ve been there for a while. I looked at the map for some of the hiking trails in the area, and I bet it could be fun to explore more in the winter time. Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area is located a few miles outside Kingman (AZ,) and has about the same (hot) temperatures as Las Vegas (NV.) I can see why people with an RV choose to stop, due to the convenient location right of the highway, and the fact that it is free.

Have you ever tried boondocking? Is it something you enjoy? It was a while ago since I did it, but I did enjoy pulling up on beautiful BLM land and stay for free for a few days. When my daughter was a baby I did that a lot. We discovered many amazing places along dirt roads in both Arizona and Nevada this way.

How is your weekend so far? I got many responses after my last post, where I mentioned that we are moving to Sweden shortly. I’d like to say that there is a lot to think about, and organize, but we are doing good. We are excited about this new chapter. I spent a lot of time this weekend selling things we can’t bring on Craigslist, it’s going pretty good. I hope you are enjoying your weekend!