For a while now, Wesley and I have wanted to explore the Mojave Desert for the longest time. Last year, we did go camp out in the Mojave Desert, but we didn’t have time to really explore the areas that we wanted to. A few weeks ago in January, Wesley and I along with our adventure buddies Brandon and Anneka headed out to the Mojave to explore for the weekend.
We headed out pretty early Saturday morning to try and maximize the sunlight we had for the day. Since we were coming the Los Angeles/Orange County area, we took the 15 Freeway to the Mojave. Our first stop was Zzyzx and on the way there we stopped at a truck stop in Yermo, California. But this was not just any truck stop… this was probably the BEST and cleanest stop I have ever been too! It’s called Eddie World and I was so amazed. I was very impressed and they had all the candy in the world and so many food options… in the middle of no where! So, if you’re ever traveling on the 15 either going to Las Vegas or where ever… STOP HERE! It’s so worth it.
After spending too much time and too much money at the truck stop, we were finally back on the road to Zzyzx. When you exit Zzyzx Road, you take the road all the way to the end and you get to the old mineral springs resort. Zzyzx’s former name was Soda Springs and was the home of Zzyzx Mineral Springs and Health Spa founded by Curtis Howe Springer. The site now is being used by the Cal State University for desert research, but when we were there it felt abandoned because there was no one there and the olds spas were still there. We walked around the the area and checked out the old springs and the pools of the facility. Behind all of the buildings was the dry lake bed. We found old chairs in the lake bed and hung out and took in the beautiful views of the mountains and the blue skies. After, we headed towards Baker and stopped to get some food.
From there, we headed to the Mojave National Preserve. Our first stop was the famous Mojave Desert Lava Tubes. These lava tubes have a natural opening at the top of the tubes and draws in natural sunlight and gives a great effect. After gawking and admiring the tubes, we headed towards Aiken Mine. From the old abandoned mines were so much fun to explore. We walked almost the whole area and checked out the abandoned buildings that were there. It was amazing to see all of the old equipment and trucks that were just left behind. It felt like they just up and left things just as they were.
After we spent sometime at the mines, we headed back to the main road and headed towards Kelso. We stopped at the Kelso Depot to check out the old train station and to eat lunch. After a quick stop, we headed towards the Kelso Dunes. The dunes were a pretty cool sight to see in the middle of the desert. We walked the dunes for a short while and then headed back to the main road. As the sun started to set, we headed towards Pisgah Crater, where we were going to camp for the night. This crater was so cool and not what I was expecting. We got to camp on the crater and was surrounded by black sand and amazing views. We ended our night around our camp fire having great conversations and having a great time. The next day we hung around Pisgah Crater and checked out the lava fields and the crater itself.
Although we got to see a lot in one weekend, we only scratched the surface on exploring The Mojave National Preserve. We are hoping to go back again and see the rest the desert has to offer. Hope you enjoyed this post!
Today was President’s Day here in the United States and I decided to do a solo day of exploring in Downtown Los Angeles. Since it was just me, I didn’t want to drive or pay for parking so I hopped onto the Metrolink and took it down to LA Union Station.
Union Station is the central nerve system for Los Angeles’ transportation. You can catch the subway or a bus from here and it can take you anywhere from Azusa to Santa Monica to Long Beach. From Union Station, I wanted to get to Pershing Square out in Bunker Hill area of downtown. You could either take the Red or Purple Line and I just so happen to catch the Purple Line. Once I got to Pershing Square, I headed towards Grand Central Market. Grand Central Market is filled to brim of delicious foods, drinks, and good feels. I’ve been there a few times, but never on my own. Most people go there to get Eggslut, but since I’ve tried it before, I headed to Jose Chiquito. They serve diner style foods along with great Mexican food. I decided to get the BTA Omelette which includes bacon, cheese, tomato, and avocado! It was delicious! After eating my filling breakfast and taking some Instagram shots of Grand Central Market, I headed towards Blue Bottle Coffee. I’ve seen this place all over social media, so I was curious. It’s a boutique coffee shop and I got the iced cold brew, which was pretty good, but a little pricey. The shop itself was super cute, so I took my time with my coffee and took more pictures inside.
Across the street from Grand Central Market is Angels Flight which is a short cable car the runs up and down Bunker Hill that has been around since the 1900’s. I took Angels Flight up to the Museum of Contemporary Art. I was hoping to spend a few hours at the museum, but they renovating over half of the museum so I only spent 30 minutes. Since I had a lot more time to kill, I decided to head down to Walt Disney Concert Hall and Grand Park. With the curved lines and reflective materials, I took my time to appreciate the architecture of the concert hall and took a bunch of pictures. After, I headed towards Grand Park and to LA City Hall. I was hoping to explore the observation deck, but since it was federal holiday I knew it would be closed and it was.
After, I headed back up towards to concert hall and to the US Bank Tower to experience the OUE Skyspace at the top of the tower. The OUE Skyspace gives you panoramic views of the downtown. Also featured there is a see-through slide you can ride on the side of the building from the 70th floor to the 69th floor. The views from up there are so breathe taking. After gawking at the view for a few moments, I headed towards to slide. At first I was pretty nervous since its all see-through, but once you ride it it’s not bad. The slide is so short, you barely have anytime to look around. After the slide, I spent another hour up there and admiring the view. It was amazing.
Afterwards, I headed towards 7th Street and Metro to explore the area. I thought the walk to be further, but it was pretty close and easy. I checked out a few shops and ended up near the big Macy’s and ended my day with a nice coffee. Since my fiance works in downtown, I met up with him and we headed home together. Overall, my day went pretty well and it was so easy to get around on foot and by the metro. I would highly recommend the train and subway to anyone since it’s so easy and convenient to get around without a car! Hope you enjoyed my post and hope you got some inspiration to check out Downtown Los Angeles. There’s still so much more to do in Los Angeles and I hope to explore it soon!
Hey there. It’s been a while. I haven’t truly updated this blog since August. Since then, Wesley and I had a few adventures. Although it’s nearly the end of the year, I thought I would do a recap of the last few months. By the beginning of next year, I am hoping to do a year recap of 2017.
September: Arizona Trip – Tonto National Monument & Saguaro National Park
During the Labor Day weekend, Wesley and I went to Arizona to check out Tonto National Monument and Saguaro National Park. We left Southern California early Saturday morning to make it to Tonto National Monument at a decent hour. We arrived about 6-7 hours later around 12 PM. When we arrived it was about 112 degrees, but it didn’t feel that hot. We decided to hike the short walk up to the cliff dwelling. We took our time going up the short incline and enjoyed the views and vistas of the area. There were huge cacti surrounding the area. This national monument is very small, but so amazing. I realized when we arrived that sometimes the smallest national parks/national monuments are the most special. Since there weren’t that many people at this monument you got to experience the place entirely. You got to truly reflect the history of the monument. Also, you could talk to rangers one on one and ask questions you might not be able to ask when there are a lot of people in the parks.
The next day we went to explore Saguaro National Park. The national park is split into to two one being East and the other side being the West Side. Both parks have driving trails that take you into the heart of the park and give you great views of the cacti and the landscapes. This has to be one of my favorite parks because of the calm that the park gave me. I loved being surrounded by the giant cacti and absorbing myself in the environment.
October: Big Bear and Oktoberfest
In mid October a group of our friends headed up to Big Bear for Oktoberfest. Wesley and I left for Big Bear Friday afternoon. Usually it would take us about and 1 and a half hours to get there but, traffic was so bad it took us about 3 and a half hours to get up to the mountains. We finally arrived and made ourselves at home at our cabin. Since traffic took so long, we were too tired to go out for dinner and decided to order some good ol’ pizza. Later that night, some of our other friends arrived. The next day the rest of our friends arrived and we headed out to Oktoberfest at the convention center. Oktoberfest up in Big Bear is small, but full of a lot of spirit. After we got our drinks, we decided to dance the night away with the live band in the beer hall. It was so much fun! We all hadn’t been together for a while and it was great to catch up with everyone for the weekend.
About a month ago, Wesley and I went to Arizona to explore Tonto National Monument and Saguaro National Park. I made a short video of our short time out there. Enjoy!!