This weekend we took an adventure like no other. My parents had been planning this trip for a long time and we were finally able to take it.
In the Mojave Desert there is a Road that used to be used as an old “road” that used to be traveled by American Indians to get across the desert. It was also used as a mail route for a few years in the 1800s. Today this road can be traveled by 4-wheel drive vehicles over the course of a few days.
Thursday night we packed up the Jeep with survival gear, extra fuel, and extra water to prepare for our weekend adventure. Friday morning we left the house to meet our friends Scott and Jeri and their twin 5 year olds Tyler and Josh. We wanted to be on the dirt road for a few hours before sun down to find a place to camp for the night. You can camp almost anywhere along the road and we planned to camp Friday night and Saturday night.
Friday we drove over a lot of Rocks. As we had never taken the jeep on this kind of off roading before we were excited to play around and see what it could do. After a couple hours on the trail we reached Fort Piute and decided it would be a good place for camp. We set up camp and went exploring a little. Scott, Jeri and the Boys were going to be sleeping in their tent, my parents planned to sleep inside the jeep and I positioned the jeeps 15 feet apart so I could string my hammock between them. I was excited as this was my first night using my new hammock.
Penny Cans (Toll Road)
After eating a delicious dinner we lit the camp fire and sat around it just hanging out. I love camping and camp fires may be my favorite part. We made brown bears, listened to owls, and stared at the stars. That night I slept in my hammock. Soon after going to bed the wind stared to pick up. If you have ever camped in the desert you know that the wind can be really strong out there. I soon found out that my hammock was great in the wind. My bug net blew around a lot and with a huge gust I would rock a bit but for the most part my hammock just hung still. The only thing I worried about was animals coming to sniff me in the middle of the night. The strong wind also made it a little colder. I had prepared for the cold by layering a wool blanket and yoga mat beneath me. (a big problem with hammocks in cold butt syndrome.) With only my sleeping bag on top of me the wind made my toes cold. Next time I will remember another blanket for the top. One amazing part about sleeping in a hammock is that you have a full view of the stars all night long. I was mesmerized by the beauty of the stars and being able to see them from bed.
Making Brown Bears
The Sunrise that morning was amazing! Sunrise is definitely my favorite part of any day. I have been known to get up early just to watch the sunrise. There is something even more magically about watching the sun rise over the desert, especially when you are laying in a hammock so close to it. After everyone was up, my dad started the grill to make breakfast burritos. Camping with my parents we always eat well! After breakfast we packed up camp and headed out for more adventures on the trail.
Saturday took us over some rough road. I was able to drive a little bit and most of my parts were filled with off camber driving and being tilted at 15-20 degrees. One part driving down this really rough patch I did switch and make my dad drive. I would have been able to drive it but in all honesty I didn’t want to be talked about as the girl that scratched, dented, rolled… the jeep. I figured if someone was going to do it, it needed to be him. He did end up scrapping the running boards pretty bad and there were a few moments where we were worried about making it through. Thankfully Scott was driving in front and we knew if he made it through we could too.
We passed the old school bus and car, and the mail box. Saturday night we made camp in a new location. At camp we did some shooting, both with guns and archery. Soon after shooting the wind started to pick up as usual in the desert. We ate dinner as the wind continued to pick up strength. As we ate we started to get worried about how strong the wind was getting. Scott and Jeri realized that the tent was not going to hold if the wind was any stronger. We started working on solutions for the night. After contemplating driving home in the dark we decided to move the jeeps in front of the tent and tie the tent to the jeep. With the jeeps positioned to block the tent I was unable to have my hammock up and ended up sleeping in the back seat Scott and Jeri’s jeep.
The Mail Box
My hammock hung before we had to move the jeeps for the wind
It was nice having kids to chase my arrows for me 🙂
Teaching the boys how to shoot the bow!
The tent hooked to the Jeep
The Rock Pile
After Surviving 40 MPH winds, the sun finally rose. Sunday was the last day on the trail. We drove to the rock pile to drop off our rocks, drove through some strong wind in the dunes that made it difficult to see, and drove through deep water. Finally we reached the highway and made our way to Peggy Sue’s Diner for lunch. I have always wanted to stop there!
This trip was a really fun experience and I’m glad I was able to experience it. I felt so dirty and ready for a shower when we got home. All the dirt, sleeping in weird places, and the peeing in the desert definitely felt like Ragnar training. So while we didn’t get our training runs in we still got some training! Ragnar is next weekend and now I am in total Ragnar mode!