We made it to California! Why are we so excited about this? When we left Texas for the first time back in June of 2016, this was our intended destination, but then we realized our tires (and the rest of us) would probably melt while crossing I-10 in the summer heat long before ever making it to the coast. Instead, we changed course and had an amazing journey across the eastern half of the U.S.
Now we’re finally here! And our first stop was to the Mojave National Preserve. We spent most of the winter making our way across the southwest, so we’re well adapted to the desert by now. We know the limits of our water tanks, and appreciate just how much power we can get our of our solar panels in this type of environment. Though it can seem a monotonous landscape at first glance, the desert has a certain charm. It has slowly won us over with its sparse beauty, wide-openness, and incredible sunsets. With this in mind, Mojave National Preserve is an especially lovely bit of desert.
It probably helped that we’ve been chasing the “superbloom” of wildflowers bursting forth across southern California. Though not as exaggerated as in other parts of the state, Mojave was definitely experiencing a bloom. Seeing this landscape enlivened by bright color felt like a special treat.
We did find a free boondocking site, but ultimately decided to pay the $12 overnight camping fee at Hole in the Wall Campground as we needed to fill-up on fresh water and empty our tanks. Despite sharing the campground with a number of other folks, it was a peaceful stay and waking up to the sound of birdsong (and little else) was a wonderful way to start our first full-day in California.
While in Mojave, we took time to do a short hike and explored the volcanic rock formations along the Rings Loop Trail. If you visit Mojave National Preserve, definitely make time for this trail. It’s not long, but it will take you through some neat rock formations and give you some really pretty views of the area!