Saturday, April 14, 2012

It Does Rain in Mojave Desert

Departed Zion this morning with sunshine but we knew that was about to change. An unseasonably cold hard storm that directed us to head south over Mojave instead of North through Nevada.

We bucked 30-40 mph headwinds much of the way on I-15. We turned south to go around Vegas through lake mead recreation area but didn't escape the winds.

As we drove past the Nevada/CA border, the winds picked up.  We were in the slow truck lane with flashers turned on indicating less than 35 mph.  Over the pass we go and the rain began.  It continued off and on, mostly on until we reached our destination for the night near Yermo (just east of Barstow).  Calico Ghost Town is a county park in San Bernadino County 3 miles north of interstate in a sheltered canyon.  Having stayed there last November, we figured it would offer respite from the 40+mph gusting winds.  We had called earlier in the morning to reserve a space only to discover when we arrived that it was double booked!  Uh oh.  What to do?

 The rain had termporarily subsided.  We pulled into an unoccupied space (was reserved) and sought out the onsite park ranger.  Meanwhile we discovered we had parked in the middle of a bunch of people here for off roading activities.  They had their souped up jeeps and OHV's and engines running and gunning.  Quite the chaotic atmosphere in stark contrast to our last visit in November.

Ranger Rod called someone to try to track down the problem but all the offices were closed.  He indicated that the D section was available first come first served.  While it had electricity only, it was rocky.  It was getting colder and windier by the minute. I couldn't walk very well due to sprained ankle so we unhooked Mr. Toad and drove off in search of one of these sights suitable for our needs.  Although we can dry camp with no problem, having electrical is handy.  We had water and had drained the waste tanks.  This turned out (as most do) as a blessing because the D section is up in back in a quiet area.  Well, as quiet as the wind would allow.  We scored a sweet location that was pretty level,  easy back-in and setup and voila!.  We cooked up some dinner, watched a little recorded TV. (Diners, Drives, & Drive-ins) and then retired for the night.  The wind howled and swirled above us and the rain pelted us most of the night.

It does rain in the Mojave.  and it gets cold too.  We are now ready to head for the valley.

Looking west at Yermon.  That's Charli and Mr. Toad.  It rained all night
Ominous Clouds in west.  It began to rain as I limped back from snapping this photo
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