Archive for January, 2007

Another Wonder… Mitchell Caverns, CA.

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

 Have you ever been suddenly elevated through your senses from your surrounding? Left speechless and at the same time feeling like some gears have just disengaged in your train of thoughts?

This is what happened yesterday as we arrived at the Mitchell Caverns…

Back in Tenty Nine Palms the traffic noises at the Park woke me up early, just in time to look at the skies realizing that we are near one of the busiest Airport in the world with zillions of planes coming in and out.

Final doings… making sure all the water containers were filled and off we went…

The road from Twenty Nines Palms to Amboy is a must, fairly steep uphill using much fuel!… and once reaching the crest, the view was just breathtaking… I think these coming days I should just do away with adjectives describing the sceneries to come… I will run out of word!… maybe you can make your own… The haze was present, it all looked surreal… vast and immense!

Amboy intersect with “Old National Trail Highway”… you know the road… good old Highway 66. I needed to go East, but seeing “Bagdad” a bit westward on the map, made a left instead.

Bad road… bumpy and cracked… but I was determined to stop at the Bagdad Café where this movie was filmed… maybe you can refresh my memory… We pass Amboy Crater on the left, a Natural National Monument, drive and drive and no Bagdad! Something is off… how could that be? We arrived in Ludlow instead, another two gas station town and no one has ever heard of it.

But they have heard of the Bagdad Café… which is even further West in Newberry Springs before Barstow!… and why?… I still have no clue, maybe the town went defunct and they moved the Café… so we have to backtrack. Forget the Café, it is getting a bit late.

Camp in Mojave? or at some BLM land outside of the Preserve? Back on 66 toward Essex this time, a right toward a town called “Cadiz”… which I found out only exists on the map and through signs… half a dozen ones, very Artistic… end up being a farm on a non maintained road.

This is BLM land I need to emphasize… this is not a Park!

This is not Big Bend or Anza Borrego where if stuck you are just about 100% sure someone will come by eventually… This is vast and immense land with no end and a week could go by before any soul, beside yours… will come by.

Trails and trails… hundreds of miles… did I say most of it “hard packed”… big smile here!

I figured that I am exploring the area right now and I decided to get into the Mojave Preserve instead of camping here.

This mountain caught my attention, definitely one that has risen in the past as at some point those layers were horizontal, but not today. What a great explanation… right?… sorry about my lack of knowledge regarding all the past geographical rocking and rolling… I know some facts but mainly enjoy the views!

I am so hyped up by now, since we have descended into Amboy with views of Mojave, that I started thinking what is it that fills me up with such passion toward an area versus another?

And I realized that it is beyond the geography, beyond the colors, the peaks and the valleys…

it must be the Spirits wandering, the mental correlation, the exchange of senses in Mojave which already has filled my thoughts with such excitement! A well being comfortable presence with over a million of acres at my reach! How lucky we all are to have all this free land to explore and live on.

We are entering the South side of the Preserve and Essex road takes us to Mitchell Caverns…

Other campsites are indicated but that is where I want to go. The Granite Mountains I am thinking have to be the backdrop of the camp. If you look closely, in the middle, starting at the base of the mountain, you can see the road we are going to take going up, with no clue where the camp would be.

The roads narrows, almost just a one lane road, up and up changing gear to finally even first gear.

Looking ahead it disappears and I am still wondering where this is going? Finally a Ranger Station, with a little house, a parking lot… I have not paid any attention to the view, this is where campers park. No one is around and number 1 is available… Yes, THIS IS my spot! First row seat to a wonder of the world that should have been numbered… I have my own picnic table… my own grill and water… bathrooms across the lot… primitive camping?… not quite but I will take it!

I could actually sit in the camper and take pictures all day!!!…

 It is just breathtaking and no one else is here to enjoy it!… I don’t understand… too busy commuting the freeways… paying off the new car payment… the new house mortgage… the Armani suit to impress the co-workers? What has happened… where did it all go wrong when this lays in front of me… free to the taking… a simple medicine of life with only the frills and thrills of one’s sensory perceptions!

Today I will also visit the Caverns. It takes a couple hours, Spirit will wait in the truck… he does well in it, it has turned out to be his little home! Generators are allowed from 10am to 8pm… Only one ranger here!… this is the most isolated Park Station from anywhere in the USA!…

We already talked a bit as, you have to be of a certain mind to want this job!… Like mine!!!

Hopefully tomorrow we can ride to Needles where a good connection will allow me to post all of this… including the pictures!

You be well… we are!

Ara and Spirit!