“You can’t see anything from a car; you’ve got to get out of the goddamn contraption and walk, better yet crawl, on hands and knees, over the sandstone and through the thornbrush and cactus. When traces of blood begin to mark your trail, you’ll see something, maybe.”
Edward Abbey would surely roll-over in his (illegally dug, hidden somewhere in a desert) grave if he saw us driving through the desert in our “contraption”. The Sportsmobile enables us to find some pretty amazing places we might otherwise never see – without crawling through the thornbush.
After leaving our Alaska traveling friend’s home near Bend, OR we began our solitary trip down the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada range to the deserts of southern California. Rough itinerary? Death Valley National Park, the Mojave National Preserve, and the Joshua Tree National Park. Fall in the desert should be warm and dry with few tourists.
We quickly crossed the high (cold) desert of western Oregon, Nevada and California’s eastern Sierra to get down to Bishop, CA – and relative warmth (70F).
Death Valley National Park
Big Pine to Saline Valley Warm Springs
Big Pine was our launch-point to come into Death Valley via the northern Waucoba Springs road and into Saline Valley. It took about 3.5 hours to cover the 55 mile trip.
All alone in the Alabama Hills
In 11 months of #VanLife, we’ve come full circle. This is the exact campsite where we spent last Thanksgiving with our friends Chris & Chris – but this time we’re all alone.
Death Valley – Cottonwood and Marble Canyons
Furnace Creek, Furnace and Greenwater Valley
From Furnace Creek we will top-up fuel, have lunch at the fancy lodge, then head down the Furnace Creek Wash Road through Greenwater Valley. Our plan is to explore some old mine camps, find a nice place to camp for a night or two, then exit Death Valley out the southern exit near Shoshone.
Greenwater Valley – Death Valley National Park
The Mojave Preserve
We jumped out of Death Valley to the south and headed right for the Mojave Preserve.
The Mojave Road
With a Jumbo Rocks site reserved at Joshua Tree NP the next day we looked off-road for some primitive sites near Granite mountain and Granite Pass to spend one night.
Time to reenter society. Time to plan our Baja trip with Chris & Chris in a month. Time to get ready to go to Mexico! What will we need for this? A month relaxing in an RV resort of course. Wi-Fi. Amazon delivery. Grocery stores and wine shops nearby. Movies to catch up on. Restaurants. A rental car for getting around easily. Check, check and check.
Thus ends our solo desert sojourn. Now we’ll spend the next few weeks getting ready to travel down Baja California with our friends Chris & Chris.