Mojave National Preserve - Return to North Ranch

Sun rises over our Bouse boondock camp
Wednesday, February 11; Granite Pass Bdock, Mojave NP; 48 windy all night
Thought it might be the elevation or being near the pass itself that caused our windy conditions overnight, but, as we found out later in the day, it was windier than normal throughout a wider area around us.

Regardless, we slept well, woke late, and enjoyed the morning. Don’t have far to travel today… maybe as far as Parker and find a BLM camp out west of town.

Being on Granite summit, it’s just a short ways south on Kelbaker Road to I-40, which we took east. At Needles US-95 heads south, a roller-coaster up and down road if there ever was one. I’m sure they used a couple more miles of asphalt than they would have had the roadway been flat. I know, it’s to allow the desert washes to drain… but it was entertaining to say the least.

US-95 south of Needles. Roller-coaster surface. (Click to enlarge)

US-95 intersects with CA-62 at Vidal Junction… our path was east on 62. Clued in by some good friends who camped out here on BLM land in the past, we located the area but kept driving into Parker for lunch and a few supplies. With errands wrapped up we popped back and found an agreeable spot next to a deep wash.

And the wind blew.

The official weather guessers were predicting a general reduction in the wind as the afternoon progressed. But we didn’t feel it. As we toasted the setting sun (kind’a a ritual with us) gusts were still blasting the side of the camper. Didn’t sense any abatement, in fact it felt like it was getting stronger. Online we found local reports of gusts to 30 or more. And remember, the top part of our camper is soft-wall, which can make it sound worse. Hmmm. It's not that it wasn't bearable at all... we could have managed. But it wasn't as comfortable as we'd prefer.

Enough is enough. If we don’t have to be here why should we stay? We have wheels. So within 5 minutes, literally, we were buttoned up and back on the road. Destination? Not sure. We’ll first knock off the 40 minutes or so it takes to get to Bouse, take a reading on the wind, and decide from there.

When we got out of the truck in Bouse… almost no wind at all. Perhaps a very slight breeze. Possibly, being on the other side of the Plomosa Mountains made a difference? At any rate, we drove a few miles into the desert and found a spot just off the highway and not far from our favorite Bouse boondock.

It took exactly 4 minutes and 38 seconds to get set up again, resumed where we’d left off, and sat outside for a while enjoying the brilliant light show above. What a difference a few miles makes.

For the day: 187m; odo 20553, Bouse Bdock 33.843, 114.047, elev 1200; v. quiet and calm.

Thursday, February 12; Bouse Bdock, 52 sunny. V. nice morning.
After breakfast at a (the?) Cafe in Bouse headed back to homebase. Once again, the last week or so was exactly the kind of exploring and traveling we like to do.

For the day: 104m; odo 20656; back to North Ranch base

Slightly Better than Most