Wednesday, December 17, 2014

to Joshua Tree

Early in the morning we pack up, dump, and hit the road out of Death Valley.  Our intended destination is a free boondocks just north of Joshua Tree NP, so we have several hours of driving ahead. Just outside the southeast side of the park, we spot a dirt road with a mound of gravel across it and several sets of tire tracks going over the mound.  The road leads to a patch with ol' Beat-It-To-Fit-And-Paint-It-To-Match Van, a vintage Airstream, and a few other RVs stealth boondocking, making me wish we had known about that spot a week ago.  But our campground had flushing toilets, and the meaning of life is a flush toilet.  

Now you know.

After going through a ghost town, we pass the Mojave Desert and begin to notice that every vehicle coming toward us is pulling an enormous triple-axle 5th wheel with words like "Mountain Slayer" and "XXxX ATTITUDE XxX" splattered across the front.  More and more white boxes with moderately threatening names pass us, until at last we see the nest.  Like ants streaming from a mound that has been splashed with water, hundreds of these beasts are trying to leave an OHV convention, all at the same time.  

We are passing a BLM OHV Recreation Area, just after Thanksgiving weekend.

Arriving in the town of Baker, CA, we fill up with gas, get some fast-n-nasty food, and get out of Dodge.  Baker seems to be the kind of town that gets used and left.  There are bars over all the windows (including Dairy Queen), graffiti on nearly every surface, and gratuitous amounts of trash on the sides of the road. The whole town has the air of a large and busy gas station.

Then we pass Zzyzx Road, and I get the feeling that even the town planners have given up.

The wind is really howling by the time we reach Yucca Valley, but our destination is only a few more miles up the road at a patch of BLM land north of Joshua Tree.  Searching for the intersection of Cascade Road and Broadway, we turn left onto a sandy dirt road.  Bumpity bump we go for three miles, seriously second-guessing our choice of boondocks, with no sign of Broadway.  Oh wait, there it is.  Hand written and nailed to a telephone pole.  Neat.

We find a spot in the desert, unhitch, and enjoy the view as the sun goes down.  

We are right next to a giant solar farm

The whole night we hear gunshots, but nobody is screaming, so we are probably safe.

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