Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Desert Solitaire - California BLM Style

View from one of the many 4WD roads in Jawbone

Wow, look at all this space, not another rig in sight ...  and it's free!  As I have mentioned before, I am not a huge boondocker, I am actually kind of a RV Park snob.  I like RV Park full hook-ups, level concrete pads, wifi and a hot tub to put my feet in.  I will stay in Walmart Hiltons, rest areas & truck stops when traveling between destinations but usually only do so for a couple days at a time.  I don't think I have ever just gone & camped in the middle of nowhere, by myself with no cell, wifi or TV service on purpose until now.  Its actually kind of an adrenaline rush .. kind of a .. stepping out, scary but exciting kind of feeling.  I am actually within view of a paved road, but I am 3 miles from the main road which is Hwy 14 north of Mohave, CA.  



Just a partial view of the spot we were in!
I am in the Jawbone Canyon OHV Recreation area, where yesterday (Saturday) the place had been packed with Toy Haulers, dirt bikes and dune buggies.  I have pulled in on Sunday afternoon and the place is empty.  No rigs between me & the highway and one or two rigs at that are at least two miles further into the canyon.  The dispersed camping site I am in could hold 6 - 7 rigs.

It is kind of weird to look around and just see nature and no people for hours.   I am a pretty social person and very used to having neighbors in rigs usually less than 20' away from me at all times.  There is always someone to wave at or say hi too.  Not here... just me, Dog and the desert.  I should sit and write, read or take a hike or _do_ something but instead I decide to just be.  Just sit & take it all in, the silence, the flowers, the shadows on the mountains from the changing position of the sun.   I let my mind drift to Edward Abbey's "Desert Solitaire" and ponder the differences between here and Utah.  I watch all the phases of the sunset and finally head in when it starts getting cool.  The moon is out tonight and is very bright so not as many stars as I hoped I would see, but I find the moonlight a bit comforting.   
Poppies at Jawbone
My mother has always told me that if I stay out in the middle of no where that someone will come and get me.   I always assure her that no one wants to drive 40 miles from the nearest town to come and get me.  She is more likely to be ‘gotten’ in the city than I am 40 miles out of a town.  None the less...  I listen carefully as I sit and read, ready to act if I need to.  I hear nothing, not a bird, coyote, wind, nothing .. it’s kind of weird but I am liking it.  Maybe this boondocking thing isn’t so bad.  Now if the axe murderer doesn’t get me overnight I might try this again!
Alas, we lived to see another day, sightsee in the canyon and stay another night.  :-)

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