Mojave Preserve – Jan 2016

The risk (really now, is there a risk?!?) to posting again about a place you have been before is remaining engaging, relevant and fresh. Of course that presumes you were ever engaging, relevant or fresh. I’d be thrilled with one out of three.

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Hiking the Rings trail

We revisited the Mojave National Preserve for five days and enjoyed it thoroughly. Was it better – or worse than last year’s visit? I don’t know! That’s one of the beauties of getting older – you can’t remember sh*t!  Clearly one of the better things about this year is we had friends Chuck and Susan join us for a few days.

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Desert flowers

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One of the characteristics of the desert is clear skies and lots of opportunities for stargazing. We had a beautiful moon as well that lit up our campsite.

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Moon lighting

Now I get that living for a few days in a most remote campsite, in a typically uber harsh weather environment, bizarre plant life, with barely any cell phone coverage, the closest store of any kind hours away, and no services other than a spigot to a well for water, is not everyone’s cup of tea. But for us it was very therapeutic. The views in every direction from our campsite were extraordinary. The skies at night were clear, providing great views of the stars. Daytime temperatures hovered in the high ‘50’s or low ‘60’s, which was fabulous weather for taking hikes into the desert and surrounding hills.

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Rich array of desert plant life

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Being the desert that it is, once the sun set, temperatures dropped quickly – probably into the high 30’s or low 40’s. We found that even though we brought campfire wood to burn, once the sun set we tended to climb into our trailer to hunker down for the night.

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Petroglyph of Bighorn Sheep

We encountered a few living/breathing things along our journey, but the elusive Bighorn Sheep remained (for us) elusive, other than the petroglyphs of Bighorn Sheep left behind by people perhaps thousands of years ago. The desert jackrabbit is amazingly fast when it runs and hard to get good pictures. Cattle are much more cooperative to the amateur photographer, and trail evidence would indicate they are moderately well fed on the plants and grasses available to them. And birds are relatively cooperative, particularly if they think there is food at the end of the rainbow.

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Evidence

The desert remains fascinating for its creatures and plants – being sufficiently adaptive to survive in this insanely harsh climate.

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