Full-time RVing is a wonderful way to live. Days on the road can be full-to-the-brim with adventure and new experiences and great people and generally make you feel amazingly, truly, alive.
Those kind of days get a lot of publicity because they’re exciting and people love hearing about them. What doesn’t get shared so much on Facebook, Instagram, in blogs, and on YouTube channels are the days and weeks between that are, well, rather a lot like real life.
My last travelogue left off on March 16th leaving the gorgeous Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, CA. This post picks up eight days later on the 24rd. What happened in the intervening week? A whole lot of nothing much. I motored south on 395 and found a little-used OHV area near Ridgecrest, CA to boondock on and escape the worst of the Spring Break rush. During that time I buckled down on the website redesign (coming soon!) and did the responsible, adult things that allow me to take other days off to have the lovely adventures you all enjoy reading about here on IO.
Okay, with that little dose of reality explained, back to the adventures!
March 24, Saturday
Following my usual pattern, I left Ridgecrest behind yesterday to spend one night at a full-hookup RV Park to take care of the tanks, laundry, charge all my devices fully, and other chores before starting the next boondocking stint. This time it was Newberry Mountain RV Park. These days I often skip mention of these brief pit stops (see aforementioned explanation), but this one I’m writing about because it’s a pretty cool place.
It’s tiny, only 18 sites (with four big dry-camping spots too), but the grounds are well manicured, the showerhouse/restrooms are cleaned several times a day, the pool is spotless, and there are two really cute ponds in the center in it. The water is a brilliant blue/green that looks dyed, but there are fish in it and this morning the place is teeming with ducks. A real treat for an overnight stop and $33 with Escapees/Xscapers membership, I recommend it if you’re driving through.
After breakfast, I hop back on I40 and motor north of Barstow to Owl Canyon Campground to meet with my friend Joni who’s on her way west to LA for a conference. This campground costs $6 a night and is dry camping, but for that you get a picnic table with pavilion, a grill, a firepit, and plenty of space.
Joni arrived yesterday and staked out site #16 which is at the back of the second loop with a clear view of the cell towers in the distance, it’s the only spot with reliable Verizon signal unboosted.
It’s a cool little BLM campground. The rocks here are very colorful, there are Joshua Trees on the hillsides, and to the south you get distant mountain views. We have dinner together and talk until sundown.
March 26, Monday
Yesterday morning Joni and I toured Rainbow Basin in Bertha, and then she went on our way. I decided to stay two more nights because this place is worth it.
Right from the campground starts Owl Canyon Trail, which I hike late this afternoon as a break from work.
The color are incredible! Sadly they don’t show up well on camera shaded by the lowering sun. The trail follows the dry creek bed (I’m sure it’s not dry after a rain) and is rocky and difficult in places. Sometimes the stone looks soft and melted.
In other places it’s in layers like sandstone. Pinks, oranges, yellows, and greens are all common.
There are also two spots where the canyon narrows into the slot, and it’s in the second one that I’m forced to turn back where large boulders have clogged the slot. The walls here are really cool, a softer stone with other rocks embedded in it. It’s very crumbly.
Often it’s the unexpected stops that I enjoy the most while RVing. There’s just something special about finding a place on accident and being pleasantly surprised.
March 27, Tuesday
Today I leave Owl Canyon and move on to Mojave National Preserve, just a short drive east on I40.
I’m a bit concerned that I’ve come here too late as the cold snap that drove me south to Ridgeland after Lone Pine has broken and towns around Mojave are expecting highs in the upper 80’s, even low 90’s. Fortunately, there turns out to be quite an elevation gain between Barstow and the preserve, and it’s lower 80’s here. My spot tonight is just south of I40 off of Kelbaker Drive. It’s a pretty small boondocking area, there’s one big lot usually taken by overnighters just off the pavement, and just past that is a little loop, which is where I set up camp.
Look at those cliffs! Being from the relatively flat midwest, I never tire of mountains. The moon is waxing and I catch it near sunset over some distant peaks.
Oh yes, this spot will do just fine.