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A Day In the Mojave


10/30/12, Johnson Valley, CA (Coord. N. 34 deg, 22.686 min; W/ 116 deg, 39.846 min)

This was a beautiful day of moving across the sand, rock and brush of the Mojave Desert.

After breaking camp this morning, I topped off the water tank and jugs and started moving east, out of town. At long last, Doc had a day off and the two Belgians were shouldering the load.  For the most part they had an easy pull, but we did pick up about 400 feet in elevation throughout the day.

Unlike many deserts I have crossed, this part of the Mojave is somewhat populated. Even more remote locations have a few dwellings visible, often several miles off the highway.

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Not all structures are meant to house natives of the planet earth. This one appears to offer guest accommodations for visitors from afar! (Only in California!)

The terrain is mostly sand and rock, with desert mountains rising 1000 to 4000 feet on all sides. The soil is very sandy and supports little grass growth. Creosote brush is the most abundant plant life, along with some salt bush and other low growing brush. There are a few cholla and staghorn cactuses.  Every once in a while, a Joshua Tree rises above the desert floor.

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Some Joshua Trees are fairly large.  This one is about 20 feet high and about 15 feet across.

Even though the road didnít have shoulders, traffic was very courteous and several cars stopped so people could chat and take pictures.

After an eighteen mile trek, I settled into a nice desert camp for the night.  I could have driven further, but I had to do some horse shoeing, so I stopped a little early.

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One of the nice things about wagon travel is the variety of views I get from night to night.

As is often the case, I had some visitors after making camp. A mother and her daughter, who have a large ranch up the road, stopped by to visit.

Tonight, both Doc and Bill had an opportunity for a pretty girl to sit on them.  Serenity had a good time climbing onto both.

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This was another nice day in the desert. Tomorrow, I should make the small town of Flamingo Heights, where Iíll stock up on water before continuing on to Yucca Valley and the City of Twentynine Palms.