Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Mojave National Preserve
Left Bakersfield this morning. There was some rain in Bakersfield last night but it was just overcast this morning.
I hit showers at the base of the mountains on Highway 58 and snow flurries started just above Caliente and continued through Tehachipi almost to Mojave.
It was mostly clear on the desert East of Mojave but there was a steady tail wind so driving wasn't bad, possibly even good. I got 10 mpg with the tail wind. Amazing! Stopped in Baker at the information center and picked up a couple of trail guides and talked with the ranger. I headed South into the preserve to Kelso then back North toward I15 stopping for the night in a nice Joshua tree forest at Teutonia Peak.
It was almost dark when I arrived and the road was washed out so I had to back out the road and camped on the shoulder of the highway. There's not much out here except lots of open space. Most of the interesting stuff in the preserve seems to be more accessable from the I40 side.
The only things on the I15 side are the Kelso Train Depot (a beautiful Spanish style depot which is being renovated and will open soon) and the joshua trees. There are roads connecting the two sides but some aren't for RV's and I didn't want to go too far South since my current destination is Las Vegas. I'll catch the other side on the return. There is a place called "Hole In The Wall' a bunch of water sculpted rocks, and the Mitchell Caverns, a limestone cave.
Boy, it gets cold here. It got down to 20 degrees last night. It was 22 degrees when I stopped, and 21 degrees when I got up. This is at an elevation of possibly 5500 feet. When the sun isn't shining, it's cold. The sand crunches when you walk on it due to the recent rain and freezing weather. My ears don't like the freezing wind here.
Last night I was working on computer projects and my Internet went down. I couldn't get it to work, the antenna controller seemed to be dead. It wouldn't work in the morning either. Fortunately it parked the dish before it gave up.
I took some pictures and petted some nearby joshua trees before leaving.