Mojave, Mohave, Moave - beauty in the desert

Trip Start Jul 04, 2012
Trip End Jun 04, 2013

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Where I stayed
Hole in the Wall campground
What I did
Cima Dome, Rock Spring, Hole in the Wall Trail, Joshua Tree forest
Kelso Depot, Kelso Dunes

Flag of United States  , California
Friday, November 30, 2012

After leaving Death Valley, we took a quick side trip to Las Vegas, the city of.....?!  As we were only a couple of hours from the bright lights, we decided to check out Vegas and ended up staying at Sam's Town RV Resort and Casino.  Not on the "Strip" but an easy free shuttle bus away from the overwhelming action that Vegas is known for.  The only thing worthwhile speaking about was our evening out to see Cirque du Soleil's Mystere.  Incredible performances by talented acrobats left us trying out moves in "cirque du reiter" (no one was hurt.....!!!).  After 5 days of too much noise, visual clutter and expense, we hightailed it out of there and on to Mojave National Preserve.

We began our visit by driving into the preserve on a long, lonely and barren road into Kelso Station.  An important railway depot in the desert for the Union-Pacific Railroad, this lifeline gave access for miners, ranchers and settlers since 1924.  Our base for a few days was at the Hole in the Wall campground where we enjoyed several Ranger talks and walks.  The boys once again earned their Junior Ranger badge while learning about the ecology, history and geology of the area.  We enjoyed several drives and hikes out to natural springs, canyons and basins.  The highlight  wildlife encounter was seeing a juvenile tarantula up close!  Mojave N.P. has the honour of containing the world's largest concentration of Joshua trees.  These Dr. Seuss-like plants are actually not trees but yuccas, a succulent plant that enjoys the cold,dry, higher elevations that the Mojave desert offers.

For the last couple of nights we boondocked near the Kelso Dunes - sand dunes that are 700ft high.  Of course, we thought it would be wonderful to climb these dunes, but did learn a valuable lesson - going straight up the side is no good -  poor Rene learned that lesson!!  However, we did get to the top eventually and enjoyed terrific views.

The beauty and quiet of the area is wonderful, and if you have the time and want to get off the beaten track, check this area out.

Next blog entry: Back to the West Coast!
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joannevera on

I've been catching up with you guys via your blog , really enjoying it. Dan and I are retiring by Xmas 2014 and we'll be hitting the road, too. Reading about your adventures is making me itch to get out there! I totally get wanting to high tail it out of Vegas and get back to silence and natural beauty.
Enjoy yourselves!

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