Thursday, April 04, 2024

Lake Mohave, Lake Havasu, Joshua Tree, Apple Valley, and points to be determined.

When I last had time (!) to blog, we were camped on the beach at Nevada Telephone Cove on Lake Mohave.  Anders, Dianne, and dog Gunner were there as well.

We hiked up lower Grapevine Canyon, till big rocks blocked our way.

After that, we all moved to Standard Wash BLM area just south of Havasu City.  It appears I took exactly one photo of that spot, despite being there for about a week!

We did lots of hiking in SARA park, as well as the State Park, and visited Don & Donna where they were camped over in Craggy Wash.

We spent some time on the 'island', created when London Bridge was moved here decades ago.  Lots of small, replica lighthouses all over this area.
After Anders and Dianne left for more northerly points, I did my 'annual' hike up to Lizard Peak, on Table Mountain to enjoy the views and exercise.  There really is a table on top!

 The rock lizard, as viewed from Lizard Peak.

Things were picking up with the spring break crowd along the channel in Lake Havasu, but nothing in comparison to how I've seen it in past years.

Mr Bailey keeps growing like a weed, and seems quite content with the mobile lifestyle.

It's that time of year when it becomes necessary to start a migration northward.  Unfortunately, cold weather, wind, rain, and even snow seem to occupy all of the possible routes.  I have no desire to endure those conditions if not absolutely necessary!  With that in mind, I decided to make the best of the situation and spend some time over in the 29 Palms/Joshua Tree area.  As it turns out, Don was camped over there, while awaiting Donna's return from meetings in Canada.

Just approaching the 29 Palms area on highway 62, it appears that someone had just lost part of a load of used lumber onto the highway.  I did my best to zig zag through the debris, but didn't miss it all :-(

I continued on and pulled in beside Don in the BLM camping area north of the park.  It was rather cold and windy upon my arrival, so I didn't even unhook or put out the slides or anything.  That was lucky, as in the morning I discovered two flat tires; one each on the truck and trailer.  We fired up both our air compressors to pump them up enough to go for repairs.  I made it into Discount Tire in Yucca Valley later that day, and they were quick in repairing both tires - at absolutely no charge, as well as checking pressure in all the other tires on both rigs!

Then, back to camp.

The BLM camp area is adjacent to a very large solar facility

And, some of the residents appear to be, ahem, a bit long term!

Successfully repaired two (!) of my vacuum cleaners, despite dedicated and persistent 'help' from Bailey!

"Is that a coyote I see out the window?"

I haven't visited Joshua Tree National Park in a few years, so Don and I went for a quick tour one day.

I took these photos while we were driving, but even though it was mid-week, the place was packed with vehicles clogging up every parking lot, every roadside, with long lines at the gate trying to get in to add to the crowding!  It's certainly a beautiful spot, but with the crowds everywhere, we just kept on driving, right out the other gate :-(

When Donna arrived back, we once again had a social director - which found us at the very quaint Joshua Tree Saloon one afternoon.

The time came to pull up stakes and move on again, but as I did so, I discovered yet another flat tire on the trailer.  That makes 3 out or 4 flats on that side of the truck and trailer - due to that lumber on the road.  Once again, I pumped it up enough to get it fixed - once again at Discount Tire in Yucca Valley.

Still trying to avoid going too far north, our next stop was over near Apple Valley, with the goal of visiting Deep Creek Hot Springs again.

The view from the road shows that even here, in southern California, there is no shortage of snow in the high country!
The access to Deep Creek Hot Springs is somewhat convoluted.  Do NOT try to follow Google's routes or it will take you down some very adventurous, and possibly impassable sand/dirt roads that you will surely regret!  Once you get on Bowen Ranch Road, you will face 7 miles of washboard, ruts, rocks, washouts, and (in season) dust!  The easiest way is to pay a $5/person parking fee at the Bowen Ranch, and drive through some more water holes to the trailhead parking area.  Next, there's an hour's hike, all downhill to get to the springs.  That the 'deep' in the name.  Next, there is a cold, fast-flowing river to cross.  In the past I made it across on rocks, but no more.  Last year someone (possibly the nice folks at Bowen Ranch?) had placed an inflatable raft at the crossing, and you could stay more or less dry as you pulled yourself across on a fixed rope.

But this year, no sign of said raft.  There was a rope across the river that you could presumably hang onto. But the cold water looked chest deep, or more, and there was no way I could be sure of keeping my phone, camera, lunch, and clothes dry while making the crossing, and doing the same on the way back.  Next time, I'll bring a dry bag! I did check a few other places to cross, but they all looked pretty sketchy at best.  There was nothing much to do but head back up the long, steep trail, still carrying all the beverages that should have been consumed on site ;-(

Some others were swimming across, but I was not willing to leave all my valuables and clothes sitting in a pile on the wrong side of the river.

Looks like we are hitting the road northward, trying to go as slowly as possible, while avoiding the worst of the weather!


  1. Bailey has certainly grown into a beautiful kitty kitty. I have to admit I'm too nervous to camp in some of the areas you hang out, but I would certainly like too. Your luck is exceptional ... 3 out of 4 tires!! I can't believe they fixed them for free!!

    1. I've never had a problem. Just use your best intuition!

  2. Anonymous6:52 am

    Agreed, Bailey is a fine traveling companion. Look forward to your great pictures. Thanks for sharing your travels.

    Dale in Texas

  3. Those are areas we've never been to, so we'll add them to our list for the next time.
    Bailey has become quite the traveler and helper as well.
    As long as you stay northwest of the warmer temperatures, the storms won't bother you.
    Stay Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  4. Your travel companion is beautiful.

    1. We think he's handsome; and sometimes a little trouble-maker ;-)

  5. It looks as if Bailey has matured a lot over the winter, and has settled into the nomadic lifestyle! Happy you managed to meet up with friends again. Too bad about the tires, but free is good, a nice tip for the coffee jar would be a nice thanks. Safe travels.


  6. Upriverdavid5:57 pm

    Don't hurry back up here, yet. The weather is being tricky, as usual.
    Two days of temps in the mid 70's and now it's nippy and still snow on Steven's Pass and the North Cascades.
    5 days from now it's looking to be warmer, we shall see, eh?

    1. I'm going as slowly as I can. At least the weather where I am on the coast is improving all week!

  7. Thank you for all the enjoyment I get from your blog with my morning coffee. You and Bailey do have some amazing places you visit. Bailey is such a good camping cat!

    1. Thanks! He seems to be working out well :-)