Weekend Coffee Share – Adventure In Mojave

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Hi, how was your week? Did your weekend get off to a great start?

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We made a daytrip to California today, to Mojave National Preserve. Maybe you remember my posts from December about this fabulous 1.6 million acres preserve? I suggest we have our coffee right here today. It’s one of those beautiful, sunny and 75 degrees California days. Perfect, just like a country song.

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Are you feeling adventurous? My two girls sure felt very adventurous today. There was no end on the exploring. There’s so much to see!

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Those are huge lava rocks. Our goal with today’s adventure was to explore some lava tubes.

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I’ve spent time in Mojave National Preserve before (it’s actually quickly becoming one of my favorite go-to-spots,) but it was the first time for my daughter. She was thrilled.

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There’s lots of Yucca’s growing in the middle of the rocks. It looks like something from another planet.

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Life in the desert fascinates me.

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Did you notice the beautiful wild flowers at our feet? I don’t know what kind it is? Do you know what kind it is? I need to read up on some desert flora and fauna!

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Are you up for an adventure?

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The stairs down to the lava tubes are kind of steep, but well worth the effort. Watch your step!

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A big adventure! I love doing this sort of things. ..and yes Gretchen came with us down to the cave, I knew you were wondering about that.

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Inside the lava tube.

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Do you need a refill on your coffee? Or maybe an extra flashlight? (There’s extra flashlights in the little pocket, on the outside of my backpack.)

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It always takes some time for my eyes to adjust to the darkness of a cave. I did not go as deep inside as my daughter did, but it was still spectacular.

I hope you enjoyed our coffee in the desert. I sure enjoyed your company. I can’t wait to hear about your week! Please tell me about the things that made you wake up with a smile this week 🙂

Love,

Ms Zen

Valley Of Fire State Park

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We got our nature fix in Valley Of Fire State Park last weekend. It was my second visit, and my daughter’s first visit. She was amazed, and I totally understand why. Valley of Fire is a spiritual place, it feels like you are on another planet. Time stands still. You’re surrounded by infinity.

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The sandstones formations takes all shapes you possibly can imagine, and some more. On top of that they come in all the colors of the rainbow.

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The photo above is right in the beginning of White Dome Hike. Can you see the people coming down the trail? You feel very small and humble in this landscape.

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Transformers was filmed here, along with many other famous movies like; Star Trek Generations, The Professionals, and Total Recall (and many more, including hundreds of car commercials.)

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Part of the movie set of The Professionals with Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, and Claudia Cardinale, is still viewable for visitor that hike the White Dome’s. Seen at the right, bottom corner, of the photo above.

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The park is filled with caves everywhere you look. It’s easy to assume that the first human inhabitants of the area was cave dwellers.

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My German Shepherd enjoyed this visit a lot more than the first visit three months ago, as it was 50 degrees cooler than the last time!

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It’s so exciting to explore the narrow canyons. Valley of Fire is 60 miles north-east of Las Vegas Strip, but as far away from the craziness of the city as you can get. A one hour drive and you’re HERE. It’s surreal.

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We actually saw many horses, and some mules. (And yes, the first thing I did when I got back home was to look at horse ads..) I so want to ride here one day. I’ll add that to my bucket list. I actually stopped a cowboy that was walking next to his horse, and asked him if he arranged rides in the park. It looked like he was leading a group of riders. Unfortunately he didn’t, I would of signed up for a ride in a heart beat.

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My daughter wanted to examine every rock. Literally. I’ll probably purchase a pass for the whole year. I can see us spending many days here; exploring, hiking, taking pictures, and enjoying nature together as a mama-daughter activity.

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My daughter made up a gazillion stories about the rock formations we saw. Many of them including giant people that had a big fight there, and turned into rocks. Very intersting theories.

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Most of the sandstone formations looks so soft and smooth. That’s the work of wind and water. There’s many theories about the interesting colors of some of the rocks. I tend to believe that the colors comes from the metals and minerals in the ground, that have surrounded the rocks, during periods of time when the area have been under water.

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I’m going to end this (very long) post with a close-up of the “old woman”, in the White Dome Family.

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You can see her, right?

If you stayed with me this far, THANK YOU! I enjoyed sharing my latest experience of Valley of Fire with you. Have an amazing week!

Love,

Ms Zen

Toiyabe National Forest – Wild Horses and Burros

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It was my birthday yesterday. I was planning on getting out of the city, and was hoping to experience some high mountain air, see some snow and wild horses. I know.. high expectations. All my wishes came true, and then some.

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I was going to take my daughter on this adventure, but mentioned my plans, and we got company. Which was absolutely wonderful, and I didn’t have to drive myself, and could enjoy the experience even more.

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I wanted to go to Toiyabe National Forest, to the Spring Mountain area, because I knew that there’s several herds of wild horses roaming there. The chances of seeing some were pretty good. It also snowed there earlier this week 🙂 Being from the mountains in northern Sweden, I LOVE snow.

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I apologize for this photo not being crystal clear, I was shooting towards a very bright sun. I was so surprised to see this unusual friendship between a young moose and a mustang foal.

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This is right outside the small off-grid community of Cold Creek (NV.)

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I’ve always been fascinated by eyes, and how loud they speak, if we are quiet enough to listen. They really are the eye of the soul. (LOVE my new telephoto zoom lens!!)

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If I can have experiences like this, only an hour from home, I can handle living in the city a little longer. I don’t have words to describe what it does to my soul. I hope you can feel it by looking at the photos.

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My daughter enjoying lunch, with a scenic view.

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Without a doubt the best birthday so far in my life. I got so much more than all my wishes come true.

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I’ve seen plenty of wild burros these past few weeks, but haven’t had the chance to actually capture them with my camera, until last night.

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This is outside Indian Springs (NV.)

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It was a magical day, filled with joy, laughter, love, photo opportunities to die for, fresh mountain air, snow, adventure, presents, and even a homemade cake and song. When I went to bed I was filled with an feeling of immense gratitude, and love in my heart. . and thank you everyone for all the birthday wishes on social media as well. I am so thankful for each and every one of you being a part of my life.

Love,

Ms Zen