Wednesday: (04/06) Granola with bananas for breakfast. It was cloudy when we got up and started sprinkling lightly after breakfast. We readied to roll and stopped by for tank duties before we left. By then it was actually raining. We didn't hook up the toad until we got down the hill into toe=wn and also stopped to fill our drinking water bottles before hitting the road. We turned at 29 Palms and headed up to Amboy then turned onto old Route 66 to Essex where we headed North and across I40 into the Mojave Preserve. We were disappointed to learn that the Mitchell Caverns State park was closed. One of the budget cut causalities.
We continued on to Hole In The Wall where we had intended to camp anyway. We picked a nice spot and settled in. The light to moderate rain that we had from when we left our camp at Black Rock CG continued after we arrived at our new camp. We did venture down to the Visitor Center for a look around but mostly we relaxed at camp. It looks like we're in for rain the until Sunday so hiking may not be great but will probably still be done. Lou fixed our lunch on the road. ham and jalapeno cheese roll-ups with carrot sticks. For dinner she baked some corn bread with salsa and corn kernels. It was served with sausage. We'll be here at least a couple of days. We enjoyed 60mph+ winds all evening and until after 2am. The wind blew away the clouds so no more rain. We noticed a rock cowboy on a nearby hill (above right).
Thursday: (04/07) Pancakes and sausage for breakfast. We had a nice morning, no wind but it was cold, about 36 degrees when we got up.
Lou and I started a hike on the Ring Loop Trail but she had to turn around right away as we came to some rocks you climb down on steel rings. Above left is the start point as you go down about 10 feet through that slot on the steel rings shown on the right. there are several such passages before the trail returns to normal.
Hole In The Wall's Ring Loop Trail below the steel rings.
The hole In The Wallk namesake rocks.
I continued for the 6 mile Barbar Peak Loop Trail and it was nice, all but those three sections with the rings when you start.
I was surprised to see a gate on the trail. The preserve still has active cattle ranching as part of their operating plans.
I saw the dried dead plant on the left along the trail. I finally can easily see why it is called a "broom" plant. The dead yucca plant on the right made me think I was seeing a goose for a moment.
Not much in the way of flowers here. More Indian paint brush, left, and a nice weed on the right. I was back to camp by noon for lunch.
After lunch we drove out to about the middle of my morning trail on a 4x4 road. Lou got to see part of my morning sights. We took a drive on some of the other jeep trails then on out the Black CanyonRoad, the one we came in from the highway on, to look at the Mid Hills campground. Unfortunately, it is in an area that was burnt in 2005. We returned via Wild Horse Road to camp. But just before we got home we took another jeep road to where my morning trail started so Lou got to see the Swiss cheesy rocks that were just below the rings.
Now we're back to high winds and rain tonight but should be only 40mph winds that end about 11pm. More winds and rain are expected over the next couple of days. But that won't matter. If the government shutdown occurs they will close the campground and we'll have to be gone by Saturday morning. If the weather is good (no winds) we may depart tomorrow. If we have high winds we'll just hang around and move out of the campground to the side of the road elsewhere in the preserve when they throw us out of this campground.
Lou fixed macaroni and cheese, stuffed portobello mushrooms and some fresh spinach and some leftover corn.
From our campsite the hills to the East turn golden just before sunset each evening.
Friday: (04/08) We rattled and rolled last night but the winds seemed less severe. We awoke to no winds and light snow, a snow drizzle. It melts immediately after contact with anything since it's only 32 degrees. One hill to the North had some residual snow on it. Our 4166 foot elevation is a little different than the lower desert. Lou had warmed leftover potato salad for breakfast while I had beans and wieners. By 10am it was snowing pretty good and cold but not winds so we decided it was time to leave since the park will likely closed Friday night and it will likely be snowing or raining all day today and tomorrow. Lou started some beef stew in the pressure cooker slow cooker before we left. We left by 11am and headed toward Bullhead City, Arizona (aka: Laughlin. Nevada).