If we had planned this trip considering only the most efficient route, we would not find ourselves back in Nevada. There are some events that brought us to the West - the RV show in Quartzsite, the fireworks festival in Lake Havasu City, Modernism Week in Palm Springs, a rendezvous with Aussie friends in San Francisco and our ultimate goal - to put the motor home on a ferry and spend quality time touring Vancouver Island. Along the way we inserted a trip to South America that will begin with boarding a plane in Las Vegas. In between these planned events, we have moseyed round, looking for good weather, interesting things to do, in some cases revisiting spots we enjoyed many, many years ago. Occasional encounters with listeners to our RV Navigator podcast have been icing on the cake.
While we were in Quartzsite, we met a campground owner who was giving out special deals to stay at a campground in Pahrump and so here we are. We are paying about the same amount for a week here as we did for two nights in Palm Springs. A deal too good to be true can make you feel wary, but it's beautiful here. We didn’t know much about Pahrump; we read good reviews for the campground. And Pahrump is an easy drive back to Las Vegas, where we will leave the motor home while we travel to Patagonia and Easter Island.
Pahrump was not an easy drive from Palm Springs, a short distance as the crow flies, but we were not flying. As a midwesterner the word “desert” hasn’t meant much to me, but sand and cactus. We spent about five hours today driving through desert and the variety was amazing. Many desert areas have no cactus or sand at all. We climbed quickly out of the Coachella Valley from sea level to 3,500 feet and the Joshua Trees flourished in the high desert. They were topped with white blossoms and beginning to bloom. Then we drove through a dry, flat area where a surprising number of people live. We have no idea what they do for a living. Signs indicated that we were passing ranches, but we saw no cattle or any other signs of agriculture. This was followed by a lush area of plants, all of the desert variety, with grass growing beneath them. It was almost as green as the irrigated golf courses of Palm Springs. Then we came to an area that looked like snow with scattered moist spots. The snow was mineral deposits that had evaporated from the water seeping up from the ground. Then we climbed more mountains. Some looked soft and gently rounded; others were sharp and craggy. Another range looked like it had been shot through by lightening. Colorful lines of varied minerals zigged and zagged through the range. Near Pahrump the land looked sandy and rocky, and the vegetation was sparse and yet we find ourselves camped on a lake, which the locals insist is natural. The lake is full of ducks and fish and people are kayaking and swimming. Who knew?
We’re still not sure how we will spend the week in Pahrump, but the weather is great and it could just be a nice place to chill and stop driving in circles.