A Weekend Exploring The Mojave National Preserve

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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!


2017 April Adventures: Denver, Mojave, & Palm Desert

April has come and gone in a flash! April was filled with catching up with an old friend and exploring the desert with some familiar faces. Keep reading to see what Wesley and I were up to during some of the weekends in April.

Denver, Colorado: In early April, I went to go visit my best friend who recently moved to Denver for school. I was so excited to see her because the last time we saw each other was during Christmas time. When I was planning my trip out to see her, I made no real plans but to just hang out with her. Although, I did want to see the Red Rock Amphitheater and that was it. The first day that I got there we hung out at her apartment and caught up and at night we went out to dinner at a local restaurant. The next day we took our time to go out to the Red Rock Amphitheater and took in the sites and views from the theater. We then headed out to the Celestial Seasonings tea factory and took a tour of the factory. It was pretty cool to see how to the tea was made and how it was packaged. After, we headed over to Boulder Colorado to see what the cute and quaint town had to offer. We had lunch at the cutest tea lounge I’ve ever been to and walked around the downtown area. During my last day, we headed to downtown Denver and spent some time at the Botanic Gardens. The gardens were so beautiful and all of the flowers were in bloom. Later that night I headed back home to Los Angeles. It was a quick weekend trip out to see my best friend. All I wanted to do out there was to spend time with her and to catch up with her, which we did! Hopefully in the near future I could go out to see her again!

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Mojave Camping: Yes, we went camping… again! I’m not sorry! WE LOVE CAMPING! Anyways, we headed out to the Mojave early Saturday morning to meet our friends who had already been camping since the night before on Friday. When we arrived, it was a huge campsite! There were about 40 people in our group, which is the largest group I’ve ever camped with. Also, there were a lot of rattle snakes in the camp site! 😦 Thankfully, we had a few brave souls who were willing to take of them. During day, a small group of us went out to off road and to explore the desert. While out, we explored a few caves and small and deserted homes. My favorite cave was one that was dug out by ONE MAN and took him 38 years to complete. We went through the cave and at the end of the cave trail was a beautiful view of the valley. At night, the camp organizers fed us with Hawaiian BBQ and Korean BBQ… it was so amazing and so tasty! Everyone at the camp site were so gracious and so nice. Although we were only out there for one night, it was so a lot of fun to meet new people to explore a new area.

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Desert X – Palm Desert: At the end of the month, our camping buddies joined Wesley and I to the Palm Desert to check out the last day of the Desert X installations. I had been wanting to check out the art for a while, but of course, I wait the last minute to actually plan to go. Desert X was a really fun experienced. All of the art is scattered through out the Palm Desert from Coachelle Valley to Indio to Palm Springs and so on. The organizers of  Desert X only provide a coordinates of where the art is located. It was kind of like a scavenger hunt. We checked out most of the art, but because it was the last day… there were a lot of people! But, I had expected it already. My favorite installation was the Mirage house. Its was a house covered in mirrors, both inside and out. It gave a pretty cool effect and looked like the house wasn’t really there. We took our time looking at the art and enjoyed ourselves during our time out in the desert. I’m really glad that we were all able to go out together and see the art before they were gone.

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April was fun month of exploring and catching up with old friends and making new friends. We are already well into May and I have some excited things that are coming up. Both May and June are going to be filled with some travel and weddings! So I’m excited to share those at the end of month. Thanks for reading… Till next time 🙂