Yo, It's Hot in the Desert
Mar 4, 2017
|I pull over and jump out of Gypsy. I want a picture of the entrance to the Mojave Desert. But first, I take a look back at I-40 a few hundred yards away.
I watch the cars, RV's and truckers pass by...fast. How many of them realize what is only 5 miles from here on this stretch of I-40 between Barstow and Needles? Heck, I have been one of them. Three times in fact, I have passed through this same stretch of interstate. I didn't have "time" to detour 5 miles off the path.
Oh what I have missed. Me and the pups just drove one of the most amazing 73 miles from Joshua Tree (actually, 29 Palms) to the Mojave Natural Preserve. Deserted highway with some of the most incredible views I have ever witnessed. I found myself driving like I was an older version of myself...sometimes down to 45 miles in a 55 mile zone because I was so taken with the scenary.
We enter Mojave and head toward the Granite Peak. Upon arrival (literally 5 miles off I-40), the weather is perfect...low 70's. I still have my jacket on. Wow, what a view. I want to hike down and climb some rocks, so me and the pups set out. The national preserve is perfect for us...no entrance fee (I'm quite frugal, you know!) and the dogs can actually get out and roam here (not so much in national parks).
Thank goodness for my big tweezers I have learned to carry with me when hiking with the dogs. The granite peak is a site to see, but it is also a stickers paradise. By the time we get to a place to climb up on some rocks, the dogs are fed up with me. Stickers all over their legs and paws. I feel bad, I really do, but gosh guys...we have to get back to Gypsy somehow and ain't no way I'm carrying you both!
As momma would say, "bless their hearts". So true mommy...they sacrificed a lot for me to take that pic on the rocks, so please enjoy it on their behalf! :)
We finally make it back to Gypsy (Presley is NOT happy with me by now as she just stopped on the trail and decided she was not going to take another step into more stickers). With that behind us, we head down the road another 5 miles to the Kelso Dunes.
MUST SEE! I've never been to Egypt, but this is what I imagine it looks like. Huge, steep sand mounds for miles. These dunes are known for making "singing" sounds. The dogs are in heaven as they play in the soft sand.
I knew we were in trouble though when I see the folks coming and going from the trail toward the dunes. The first group looks dehydrated, tired, and can barely walk (2 of the girls are holding their very inappropriate shoes for sand walking). Another group, all in shorts and tee shirts, look sunburned and breathing quite heavy. Then, as we start to enter the trail, I see a group of 4...long pants, long sleeves, hats and scarves around their faces. What? It is about 80 degrees now.
So, I ask them, "you guys done this before?" Not here, they reply, but in many other desert areas. Okie dokey. I came semi-prepared. I have my long hiking pants on with a tee shirt, sunscreen (always!), visor, and my beloved Salomon hiking boots, and yes, lots of water for the doggies. What was missing? Sunglasses (yeah, I know!), and my light jacket cause the sunscreen wasn't near enough.
It was only 80 degrees, but on the hot sand, it felt like 110 degrees. But, it was cool enough not to burn the pups paws so they continued to romp, play, and stick their noses where they shouldn't (see the pic of Os).
Two miles in and I thought Ossy was going to pass out. I have to admit, I was freakin' hot by that time as well. Walking in very soft, deep sand is difficult. Reminds me of snow skiing in deep powder. I don't do either very well. So, after using Ossy as an excuse to turn back, we headed back to Gypsy. Presley appeared to have forgiven me for my earlier misstep as she was happy as a clam bouncing across the sand.
As we neared Gypsy, I decided to use the outside shower head for the first time to rinse off the sand and Ossy's face. Love this RV...literally has everything I need. One problem. ME! I can't get the hose to clamp into the plug. It looks so easy. UGGGHHHHHHH. Will stupidity ever escape me??
So, after about 15 minutes of frustration and words that should never leave the mouth of a lady (yes, I know what you are thinking...she ain't no lady), I give up and use the ever faithful handy wipes to clean us off.
Back on the road to revisit the scenic 73 miles back to 29 Palms.
I may have missed this experience on my previous journeys down Interstate I-40, but not this time! An experience to remember.
On to more experiences...