This is the spot on the planet where the Mojave and Colorado Deserts meet and it is isolated. The elevation – at about 3,000 ft. – caught me by surprise.
I slid into a sweet BLM spot about a mile off I-10, giving me much-needed Wi-Fi, cell service, and superb 360-degree views. Thanks to Jeanne for the co-ordinates!
There are only a few rigs here as Cottonwood Campground is only 3 miles away, inside the Park proper.
I was talking to John close to sunset last night and witnessed the cliffs opposite the setting sun light up. Quite literally, as seen in this unedited pic.
See, dear, now you know why I gasped. And then followed it with squealing.
After one of the quietest nights I’ve ever experienced, I made it to the Visitor Center in time for a Ranger Talk.
The focus was desert plant life and its various practical values. For example, when you find yourself wandering the desert without water, the Barrel Cactus will provide abundance (if you can manage to open it up like a coconut). Peculiar to this region, the spines are a lovely bright pink.
Scientists have found no reason why nature created the Cholla. Apparently, its sole purpose is to inflict a pain that will linger. We all agree it’s quite attractive though.
Later, I hiked up to Mastodon Peak.
Along the way, I take the opportunity to do my Neil Armstrong impression.
There was promise of some rock-scrambling, which sounded like fun. But that only occurred near the peak.
The seemingly iron-clad rule about having an audience around when one looks one’s most ungraceful and asinine was broken this day; the trail was almost deserted. So, for a summiting photo, this will have to do.
From the top, you can see the Salton Sea some 12 miles distant.
As happens on my travels, this thought is in the back of mind: my femur could snap like a twig quicker than you can say “out-of-network health care".
But it doesn't and it didn't!
BTW, the weather is perfect – full sun, high 60’s. And my solar panel is doing its miraculous thing.