Remember, your safety is your responsibility.
The above text is the National Park Service message to you, as you enter Mojave National Preserve. A trip there was the big adventure last weekend. Before sharing my adventure, I want to apologize that I have not gotten back to all comments, and email from the last coffee share. I haven’t had access to the internet this week. I appreciate all comments, and emails a lot, and I am working on getting back to each and every one.
Mojave National Preserve, is a 1.6 million acre park between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, on the California side. It offers amazing solitude, sand dunes, rock formations, Joshua Trees, mountains, canyons, and incredible cactus gardens. Basically a big playground for hikers, and nature lovers. LOL.
I’ve always been impressed by plants (and animals, and people,) that thrive under the most harsh conditions.
It’s a tranquil beauty that greets visitors to this park. Winter is the perfect time to go for hikes in the desert, as it gets very hot during the summer time. I remember driving through Joshua Tree National Park (the neighbor to this park,) in July one year, I literally prayed that I would not get a flat tire throughout the whole drive. My girl was an infant, and even though I had a lot of water (I never travel without water,) and I know how to change a flat, just the thought of having any kind of trouble in that heat felt life threatening. (We did not have any kind of trouble.) I’m big into safety, and being prepared for everything, that said, a visit to the desert during winter time is much more enjoyable. Last weekend was magical.
I’m having the last picture (of the sun lighting up a buckhorn cholla,) turned into a wood print (the photo printed on birch wood,) as a Christmas gift for one of my friends. A few years back when I had an Equine Photography business wood prints was one of my trade marks. It’s very personable. I like how the wood has life in it, making the photo more alive somehow.
LOVE the wide open spaces, and lack of ugly human structures. Getting absorbed in the humble quietness of this enormous desert, feels revitalizing for the soul.
The elevation, and the temperature changes a lot throughout the park. Some of the mountain peaks in the distance was covered with snow.
There is actually no entrance fee to this incredible park, which is highly unusual. There are campgrounds with modest fees, most of them are on a first come first serve basis. You should plan on bringing everything you need (lots of drinking water, and clothes,) and not be dependent on any help with your camping to enjoy a stay here.
My German Shepherd loved our little adventure. I did see a lot of coyote scat (poop,) on several places, so if you have a small dog I would be cautious. If you look at the photo above, and zoom in on Gretchen’s (my dogs) right ear, it wears the marks of her battling of a coyote from our property last summer. She got some scars on her ear, and got one of her nails ripped out. I wouldn’t personally be scared of a coyote, but I would be careful with a smaller dog (as always in wilderness areas.)
Yucca in the wild actually has several edible parts, the sweet fruit (not in the photo) one of the most popular. You can make a very efficient soap of the roots, if you’re into a self sufficient lifestyle. I’m very fascinated of how nature provides everything we need, if we just take the time to get the knowledge. (Could you, would you, be fine without being able to go to the grocery store every week? Or would it be a night mare for you?) The fibers in the stem have long been used for weaving baskets and other items. There’s millions and millions of them here in Mohave, and surrounding desert areas.
I saw the biggest Joshua Trees I’ve ever seen. This one was 25+ft tall. My friend John taught me that they can live to be 700 years! Like WOW! That’s pretty incredible. Imagine if they could talk, what stories they would tell.
I could easily live here. Being surrounded by this beauty is pure bliss. I did not want to leave. As we were leaving a couple parked there air stream trailer on one of the side roads, just as they sun was setting in the sky. It was the perfect picture (that I didn’t take out of respect for their privacy. They were obviously in the middle of a fantastic experience.)
I hope you enjoyed this virtual trip to Mojave. Have you been to this park? Would you like to go?
It’s almost weekend, and I hope you’ll be back for a nice chat over some coffee.