My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Stopover at Mojave National Preserve

April 23, 2017

I had three stops before I got to Mojave National Preserve.  The first was not photogenic.  The second was at a motel before I toured the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.  The third stop was to camp at the Preserve. I got to the Hole-in-the-Wall campsite about 10:00 P.M. only to find the camp site was full.  So I started down the dirt road that was supposed to be OK for two wheel drives. I soon found a side road that didn't have a no camping sign and set up my tent under the starry sky. I was pretty tired because I had spent the morning touring the museum and taking a quick peek at Saguaro National Park. So I was soon deeply asleep under the bright starlight sky.

 I woke up the next morning to see the crescent moon rising near the morning star in the early dawn. I jumped into my clothes and added a sweater and started taking pictures. I was camping in a little wash which  also made a good path to travel and look at the wildflowers.

 I continued finding new flowers around the visitor center, a few miles away. And I was able to get a camp site for Monday night.

Boondocking in Mojave National Preserve

These flower bloom as soon as they clear the ground

Closeup of the flowers in the above picture

Bees love this bloom

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A little vine 

These tiny flowers made a gorgeous ground cover

Cactus bloom

View of part of the caldera near the Visitor Center

Clift detail near the Visitor Center

This looked like the mountain boulders were puzzle pieces

I took a road trip because it was too hot and bright to want to hike.  I passed the sand dunes and and interesting area full of Joshua trees.

The end of a rocky outcrop

A closer view of the tunes

Bee in flower

Joshua Tree

Lots of Joshua trees

Interesting rock formation

 I got back to camp at dusk and soon went to bed. I was awakened at 1:30 A.M. by a high wind that continued to get higher, finally smashing my tent down on me.  I decided I needed to leave before my tent broke down so got dressed and backed the inside of my tent. I had left my socks hanging outside my tent door and could only find one of them. So I put that one in my pocket and just put my shoes on to load the car. Then I had to leave the tent staked out until I had the poles down and put away.  I also had to hunt for the tent bag with the tent cover and extra stakes inside it, because it had blown away. Put I got all packed up and then finally found my sock.  Then I realized I had left two 2-quart water bottles on the table and they were gone. The wind had blown them to the ground.

Then I ran into cold weather and decided to take a little detour and go to the coast before going north. I spent the night in Monterey before realizing I should have been north of San Francisco if I was going to get to my friend's house in Portland at the agreed on time. More on that later.

But I'm spending more time traveling and taking pictures than I have time to edit and put into blogs. I'll catch up again in a few weeks.

Currently I'm in Portland visiting a fellow volunteer I met when I worked at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. I will visit at least one of my old bosses who has moved to Washington, then will visit another friend I met at Malheur and who comes to visit me every year.