“Gotta find my keys.” That’s my first thought as I wake. I slept soundly last night after being lulled to sleep by a screeching child- a welcome change after lastnight’s adventure, but before tucking into my sleeping bag I realized the keys were missing.
Keys in the ignition, freshly showered I look at my itinerary: Montezuma’s Castle, a place I visited my last trip here, is on 89, but I’d learned of The Red Rock Highway on 179. I opted for the unknown.
The Red Rock Highway is breathtaking!
And it is not just a highway. About every 3/4 miles are parking areas with breath taking views and access to trails to hike into the towering formations of red rocks. You do need to stop at the Ranger’s station for a pass to park long enough to hike or bike (national park pass is accepted)
179 takes me into Oak Creek Village.
There are several jeeps with logos on the side panels and I wonder why so many people would choose this option over taking their own vehicle. Oak Creek is definitely a place to return too.
Ahead the road turns to dirt littered with near Boulder size rocks–hence the jeeps. With no time to hike and my Chevy Aveo, Devil’s Bridge will wait for another day. Next destination: Mojave National Preserve.
I take 89 back to I-17 and the views on this route do not disappoint. I am so near the Grand Canyon that I’m tempted to divert off my path yet again. But I want to save that visit for when my hubby is with me, so I steer past the exits that try to draw me into the canyon.
The desert that slides past me is dry. The only plant life are scattered patches of grass and parched shrubs. Miniature dust funnels appear randomly. There is no one behind me so I slow to try to film one of these miniature dust tornados…but I’m not sure how it will come out through Rocky’s window that is smeared with paw prints.
I’ve finally reached the Mojave Preserve and it is another beautiful desert terrain.
To my left are the Kelso dunes.
The structure is the Kelso Depot and Visitor Center. It’s only open Thursday through Sunday.
I see a sign that indicates campgrounds are 26 miles away. It’s a few minutes befor 5 and I decide not to chance the trip to a campground that I may or may not be able to check into. Instead I explore the Depot. There is an old post office building, a ‘cage’ claiming the title of Kelso jail.
I call the Days Inn- the picture and ratings look good. But when I arrive it is not what I saw in the pictures. I hesitate, but I’m tired and don’t want to keep looking. I drive around to where my room is, but I don’t even go in. I drive back the front desk and tell them I am not staying. I’d feel safer back in my tent at Collosal Cave with the creeper!
Six miles up the interstate I discover a Comfort Inn Suites. This is my home for the night.
It’s nice to be sleeping on a bed, but part of me misses the sounds of night time.