The Mojave Road
We traversed the Mojave road with six vehicles over a three-day period. Chuck, Cindy and Abby led the run. Club members,
Barry, Lydia, Ron, Barb, Paul and Lisa joined them. We also had two guest vehicles in attendance. David and Mike were in a
Chevy Blazer; Ken brought two boys in his Izusu trooper.
Three of us slept under the stars on Thursday near the trailhead. We met up with the rest of the group for breakfast
at the Avi casino on Friday morning. We traveled as far as Midhills campground on Friday. On the way, we took a hike over
to see some grooves cut into solid rock by the wagon trains of the 1860’s. The trail was easy in a 4x4 but was a matter
of life and death to the early travelers. We stopped at two natural springs. As usual, Abby found the muddy water irresistible.
At least having a wet dog in the Jeep, Chuck had someone to blame for any unpleasant odors that occurred. The higher elevation
of Midhills along with the Pinion pines provided a great camping experience (the restrooms were a welcomed feature also).
Saturday morning we explored the fascinating terrain of Hole in the Wall. It is truly amazing the variety the desert
has to offer. We continued on toward Little Cow Mt. Chuck had been telling us about the rare Mojave toads. Sure enough, he
was right. We found about a half dozen, ranging in size from just a few inches to one that was estimated at 20 pounds.
I was thoroughly enjoying the trip. I was however itching to use the Jeep a little more aggressively. I managed to
get some space in front of me so that I could do a little “jeep speed” action on one of the sandy stretches. Well,
I should have been more patient. My little joy ride cost me a brand new tire when I slid into a rock with my sidewall (according
to the club sheriff, it was the only rock within 50 miles).
Prior to setting up camp we headed into Baker for fuel and food. The world’s tallest thermometer read 103 degrees.
We spent a little extra time at the Bun Boy taking advantage of the AC. Many good laughs were had around camp. I’m not
sure if the jokes were that funny or if the heat was getting to us but we were having fun. Tents were optional that night
as the weather was beautiful once the sun went down.
We had collected a bunch of rocks on Saturday. Sunday we stacked them by the plaque on Soda Lake. From there we went
to the back gate of ZZYZX Rd. We received a guided tour of the area ranging from the 1800’s to present day. We had hoped
to explore the lava tunnels on Saturday. Instead we encountered “wilderness” signs prohibiting mechanized travel.
Fortunately during our tour on Sunday we learned the area is still open, we must have just missed the proper road to access
the lava flow.
Thanks to the Shaners for a great weekend. Paul