Mercury Rising

Trip Start May 29, 2012
Trip End Jun 30, 2012

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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hot. Like when you realise a second too late that you're standing a bit too close to the fire. That's how hot it is here. Even the wind, especially the wind. Milly's air-conditioner doesn't come close to the required strength to compete with something like this... But we ventured into the Mojave Desert of southern California anyway.

When people think of deserts, images of endless nothingness often come to mind. But we had our eyes tuned to see much more. We had, after all, just departed Bakersfield where we had one of our few urban experiences of the journey. If you’re ever in the area and in need of support for motorhomes and all things camping, pull in to Camping World along the highway. It’s buzzing with activity and happy customers. And extremely kind staff; although they were already only taking bookings for a few days later in the week, they somehow managed to squeeze us into a ridiculous schedule and patched up Milly’s refrigeration situation the same day! And gave her a little oil change while they were at it. We are sincerely grateful to Tracy, Joe and the entire team!! :)

Of course, being in a city, there was an entirely unsurprising call for a stop at Costco before leaving Bakersfield. This time we declined Crackhead’s assistance on that… We also stayed the night at a pretty lux RV park for a change. It was just across from Camping World – swimming pool, laundry and a fantastic bar & restaurant. So with Milly getting a bit of TLC and her three passengers partaking in a bit of pampering of their own, we were in good shape to explore the beauty of the desert vastness.

If you look, I mean really look, you might see why I consider deserts to be among the most stunning landscapes in the world. There’s a whole palette of colours in desert rocks and mountains, not to mention the ancient and enduring stories in their shapes. And then there’s the resilience of the flora and fauna that survive in these extreme scrub environments. We marveled at what we saw from busy highway 40 and were even more in awe of the shapes, sizes and beauty waiting for us in the Mojave National Preserve – Blacktail Jackrabbits all over the place, cholla and pink cacti (!!), and watching a raptor (possibly an American Kestrel) kill a rodent-ish-type thing (too far away and late day shadows for positive ID’s, sorry). In fact, everything about the Mojave and Hole in the Wall Campground was unexpected and I'll take a special set of memories from that part of our trip... Not least of which was the strength of the wind! Wowza… We just started to find some relief in the post-sunset temperature dip (albeit slight) when an incredible wind picked up. It’s not a small feat to make Milly sway but sway she did! In fact, I’d like to say that rocking Milly all night helped lull us to sleep, but it was quite the opposite… Nonetheless, we rose early and I took advantage of some photo opportunities and quiet, pensive moments while catching some sunrise rays bouncing off this remarkable landscape before heading off again.

L xxx
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Marlene Scriven on

LOVE the picture of Millie at Hole in the Wall!!! :) Superb entry, Lisa!! Gosh I had almost forgotten some of the memories!!

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