Much of the country is currently experiencing frigid weather, but Kelly and I have managed to essentially dodge the dangerously brutal cold. In fact, wandering around Joshua Tree National Park today, she and I momentarily forgot the Polar Vortex was even a thing.
Despite the government partial shutdown closing many areas of Death Valley National Park, Kelly and I did manage to find a few places that remain open and accessible for hiking.
The Mesquite Sand Dunes and Mosaic Canyon we’re easily accessed from our campground and brought us two contrasting experiences.
I’ve never been the off-roadding truck/Jeep type. Rather, I’ve always viewed my truck strictly as a ultitlity – something that carries me and my belongings safely from somewhere to somewhere else. Definately not a vehicle for pleasure.
This view of mine changed somewhat the other day when my buddy Gus convinced a few of us to go explore Death Valley’s Titus Canyon with him. It turns out, driving the trail was was pretty fun and I can see how people get hooked driving and exploring deep into a canyon. The canyon is absolutely stunning and my stock truck did just fine on the trails.
Kelly had a miserable time – way too much bouncing around he her.
The entire time I kept thinking to myself I would have much rather experienced the canyon from my mountain bike – doing so would have really been fun.
And, while the above photos Gus took are great, just image how cool they could have been had he captured me on my bike.
Anyone visiting Death Valley can expect to see military jets training overhead.
Those willing to hike to the top of Star Wars Canyon will be rewarded with the incredible vantage of viewing the planes from above as they descend into the canyon, rolling and twisting as they pass.
My friends and I sat at this point for hours watching.
Ahh … back to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It’s been a long time coming.
Having returned her long term rental car after work, Kelly arrived to the trailer Friday night signifying that our visit to Half Moon Bay was over. Seven weeks after we arrived, we were finally free to resume what has become to us a ‘normal’ way of life. With urgency that cannot be explained, later that evening we finally got the hell out of the Bay Area, and in the process began what will be a realignment to our previously planned 2017 travel route.
We didn’t get too far that night – 90 minutes of driving was all. But symbolically we made huge strides. Once again we were mobile. All that mattered as we pulled into a Camping World parking lot for the night was that we were moving towards greener pastures – no more RV park, no more daily commutes into the office, no anchor keeping us stationary.
Our destination was the town of Lone Pine, a sleepy little community nestled into the bosom of the southern Sierra Nevada mountains. As we awoke Saturday morning 400 miles lie between where we were and where we wanted to be. Covering that amount of distance in a single day has become nearly unfathomable for us, however in this case, the push seemed like a fair trade off considering the raw beauty that awaited us.
As you can see in the picture above, we’ve done just fine for ourselves. Our BLM boondocking spot provides us with all we could ask for, especially when considering the cost is free. We’ll sit here for a week, then hopefully sync up with a few friends further east. Until then, this is location will be a fantastic place to call home.
Nevermind all the dirt she brings home or the 24 hours of sand in her poop, Lilly loves the ocean. For nearly two months, our daily walk passes by steps descending to the beach. Lilly know that once her paws reach the sand, only 50 yards separate her from the Pacific – the place she can chase sticks and dig. A mad dash to pure joy.
Every time we approach those steps, Lilly looks back at Kelly and me with hope that we will grant her wish – a chance to frolic on the beach. Far too often for her preference, and with no shortage of guilt on our part, we walk past the steps, continuing along an asphalt path.
As I begun preparing the trailer for travel mode earlier today, I could not help but find it disappointing on my part to deny Lilly one final visit to the beach. Today we are leaving the coast and I have no idea when we will be back, no real guess when Lilly will again taste the salt water. I do not know when I will have another opportunity to watch the sunset glitter over the water as she and I play fetch. Realistically it could a year, perhaps longer.
Of course I had to take her. It’s possible I had more fun that she did today.