The main reason we wanted a jeep was to be able to get to some remote places accessible only with four wheel drive. So after our visit to the Sequoia trees on Monday we headed down the mountains to the east headed for Red Rock Canyon, a state park on the edge of the Mohave Desert that has no paved roads but some beautiful scenery.
Red Rock Canyon is twenty-five miles north of Mohave, CA with CA-14 running through the middle of the park. We found the turn for the camping area and visitor’s center (only open on weekends) and took a loop road through the campground to view some of the rock formations.
Below you can see one of the campsites in the park. All sites are what are called primitive camping, as there is no water or electric. The sites have a parking area, a fire ring, and maybe a table.
Across CA-14 is a large parking area with a great view of some colorful cliffs. We spotted a young hiker nimbly moving along the base of the cliff.
A park map we picked up outside the visitor’s center showed a road going through the park from the large parking area, but we couldn’t find it. So we went back out on the highway and finally located it after a few u-turns. It’s just an unmarked gravel and sand lane, perfect to see if this four wheel stuff really works. We shifted into low four wheel drive and headed out. This is a pretty mild trail for most four wheel people but just perfect for a couple of rookies looking to get a bit of experience.
The trail lead back to some open space that provided some great views.
At lasts we hit a hill that would provide a bit more challenge. That nimble hiker we had spotted earlier at the base of the cliff was climbing the hill and agreed to take a few photos.
We bounced a bit and spun a tire or two in the sand and rock, but easily made it up the hill.
We posted a short video of this on Facebook. Click the link below to take a look.
After surviving our first trail ride, we continued south on CA-14 to the small town of Mohave. There is an airport there, the Mojave Air and Space Port, which was the location of the first private spaceflight, the launch of SpaceShipOne on June 21, 2004. In the fictional Star Trek universe, it is the home town of Captain Christopher Pike. The Mojave airport is also known as a storage location for commercial airliners, due to the vast area and dry desert conditions. Numerous large aircraft owned by major airlines are stored at Mojave. Some aircraft reach the end of their useful lifetime and are scrapped at the Mojave aircraft boneyard, while others are refurbished and returned to active service.
In a previous blog we showed pictures of the nearby Tehachapi-Mohave Wind Farm. Mohave is the location of the rail terminal where they bring in parts to build the new, huge wind mills. Below is a picture of one of the three blades used on these large turbines. It takes one entire rail car to transport one of the blades.
Tomorrow we move to a parking are of the Bakersfield Camping World for a three day stay. They need the Jeep for two days to install the tow package, then the motorhome for one day to do the wiring for the brake controller. We’re not sure where we will go next but will probably return to the park we have been in here in Bakersfield for a few days. Then we begin a three day trek to Tucson where we will be attending a Discovery Owners Rally for a week. More on that later . . .