First week on the road.

Don't dawdle; Get to the sun!

Well, that was my thought as I zoomed down I-5 towards Southern California. For my first winter trip, I was concerned about going through mountain passes pulling a trailer so I thought the valley would be a good bet.
WRONG! Traffic was hideous (Seattle bad!) with everyone driving way to fast and tailgating and cutting-in. Nothing like trying to navigate by gps to an unfamiliar location in the dark, pulling a trailer, with folks speeding all around you - I white-knuckled for almost 2 days! Oregon had heavy ground fog and California had 'air stagnation' which is, I guess, the politically correct term for a heavy brown layer of smog that stung my eyes. Next year I'll brave the mountain passes!

A couple highlights though:

Stopping for gas in Roseburg, OR (you can tell you're in the country when . . . ) I saw a Mom with a baby on one hip and a pretty big pistol on the other!

Driving over Mt Ashland in heavy ground fog in the late afternoon, the light was beautiful! The light alternated between a lovely golden hue, pink and finally a really unique cool blue that reminded me of the blue I've seen in glaciers. Crossing Shasta Lake, there was a huge, full moon against the dying light.

Two days later, my first real Boondock!

Dove Springs, OHV, North of Red Rocks Canyon State Park on Highway 14. I arrived on a Thursday and it was blessedly quiet, sunny and peaceful. I even had Joshua trees! I spent a couple of days there while I visited the BLM Horse and Burro facility near Ridgecrest, and spent a lot of time soaking up the sun. Saturday morning at 1:00 AM I was awakened by the sound of off-road vehicles buzzing up and down the road – time to leave this camp!

Aren't they cute!

Next stop – Death Valley National Park!

The biggest national park in the lower 48, DV is also one of the hottest places on earth (at least that's what all the T-shirts in the gift shop say). In July, 1913, a temperature of 134 was recorded, and that was in the shade! Ground temps can go over 200. This time of year, the highs are in the mid-to-high 70's with lows down around freezing.

My first glimpse of Death Valley

I drove in on Hwy 190 from the west over the Panamint Mountains – very steep and curvy road! I spent several days at Stovepipe Wells CG enjoying the perfect weather.

Mesquite Sand Dunes are just a short bike ride from Stovepipe Wells, I had fun on the dunes there and took lots of photos for Japanese tourists.

I also hiked Mosaic Canyon – a beautiful slot canyon for the first little bit and then it opens up to a wider canyon.


  1. I'm officially jealous! I'll just have to live vicariously through your photos and blog. Glad you're getting some sun and warmth. Enjoy and may the electrical issues be solved.

    1. so far, my taping the plugs together is working well. It really is surprisingly beautiful and peaceful here (big, open spaces, absolute silence, and sun).


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