Across the Mojave we go!

Thursday, February 26

Today is a travel day!

“In you go, doodlebug.  It’s time to hit the road!”

1-1-P1020964-002Bridge takes her position as co-pilot by sitting in the doggie bed between the front seats.

“Okay, baby, we’re off on a new adventure!”

It’s about nine miles from our boondock in the Chuckwalla Mountains Wilderness (above) to the entrance ramp of Interstate 10.  I turn west to back-track about ten miles. Then I take the Route 177 exit, north to Desert Center.

I didn’t bother cooking breakfast this morning, and I’m hungry.

I pull into a little store/gas station and buy a cup of coffee and a pastry.  From there Bridget and I head northeast across the Mojave Desert.

1-P1020966This is desert driving as I’ve always imagined.

The road cuts a straight line for many miles across flat terrain.  No one is ahead of us and no one is behind us.  Suddenly a low-to-the-pavement, red sports car flies by.  Where the heck did HE come from!

I poke along at 55 mph.  The Coxcomb Mountains (above) are the western horizon.  Route 177 ends and becomes Route 62 to go eastward.  At the northernmost end of the Granite Mountains we cross Granite Pass at a whopping 1,432 feet elevation.

Bridget is antsy for a walk-around.

“Sorry, honey.  I can’t pull off here.”  For miles the shoulders of the road are loose sand.  Signs appear regularly warning motorists.

Gradually a big truck catches up with us and passes.  It’s a Little Debbie truck! 

A road sign indicates a road to the left is ahead.  The Little Debbie truck pulls into a large parking area.  The Perfect Tow Vehicle follows.

1-P1020968“C’mon, you can get out now,” I tell the Bridge as I grab my camera.

We’re at the intersection with Iron Mountain Road.

Which, of course, goes to the Iron Mountains (okay, Benchmarkers… Find it on the map).

Two truckers jump out. One has a camera, too. We meet at the only structure in the area, a pole with hand-made signs for destinations, near and far.  At the top, far out of reach, is a mailbox.

1-P1020967“I wonder if they get much mail,” the trucker says jokingly.

Having snapped our photos, we stand together, talking and breathing in the pleasant air of the desert. 

I keep an eye on Bridget as she enjoys the freedom to explore around us.

I learn that Little Debbie snacks come from Tennessee to a distribution center in Kingman, Arizona.  Fifty-five trucks haul Little Debbies and Sunbelt granola out of Kingman to warehouses and stores.

1-P1020967-001“We go all over the West.  The truck’s empty now.  We’re coming back from covering the southern California territory.”

We wish each other safe travels, board our vehicles — Bridget is happy now — and resume our journeys.  I wave to the truckers as they drive out of the lot.

Route 62 parallels the Colorado Aquaduct for many miles.

Somewhere around Freda or maybe it was Rice, both blink-and-you’ll-miss-it towns, an oddity appears — The Shoe Fence, as a sign proclaims.  The collection of shoes and what-not extends about four times further than the photo indicates.

1-P1020969When Bridget and I reach Vidal Junction, I park in another large lot.

I had brought my window down and noticed that something didn’t sound right.  I’d better check the hitch area. 

“Well, Bridgie baby, you get another walk-around!”

1-P1020973-001After Bridget has smelled the brittlebush flowers and given them some of her special fertilizer, I inspect the hitch.

Aha!  That’s what I heard! I wonder how that happened.

One of the safety chains has come unhooked!

Hmm . . . .Maybe it was that dip coming out of the other parking area . . . Oh, well.  No harm done.  I hook up the chain and we’re back on the road.

Now we’re approaching the Colorado River on Route 95.

We cross the bridge that leads into busy Parker.  Route 95 goes through town and takes us to Wal-Mart!  I load up on supplies which I put inside the Best Little Trailer.  Route 95 north goes past Bluewater Casino at the northernmost tip of the Colorado River Indian Reservation.

Hoo-boy.  Now we’re in Tourist Country!

Motor homes and park models cluster along the banks of the Colorado, the latter a gorgeous shade of blue today.  Traffic is fast through here.  I stop for gas at $2.59 a gallon (Thank you, Arizona!) and further up the road, going toward Lake Havasu City, I take the following photos of the river.

1-P10209861-P1020979 1-P1020978 1-P1020985 1-P1020977I wonder what those two black things are at the top of that hill. (See photo below, upper right).

1-P1020983I zoom in with my Panasonic LUMIX camera, adjust the focus, and “Got em!”

1-P1020982Turkey vultures!     They have the best real estate of all!


Note: As you may have guessed by now, Bridget and I are on our way to visit Rusty and Timber who presently are camped between Parker and Lake Havasu City. (See post of September 2, 2012, “Rusty and Timber together again!“)

I’ll tell you about our new camp near Rusty and Timber in the next post.


I appreciate every purchase, large or small or in-between.


1-DSCN1269McKenzie River Campground, Oregon — Summer 2012


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