Mojave Road

The Cultivation of Life's Felicities

So Others May Share in its Euphoria

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The Mojave Road is an all time favorite for exploring the historical back roads of yesteryear.  A truly exciting adventure for the entire family.  The Mojave Road is a 138-mile road once traveled by the pioneers of yesteryear.  Much of the trail still runs along the original road, with slight deviations as you cross the more developed areas or where cattle ranches have leased land from BLM.  The trail is broken up into segments or stretches that bring you to springs or water holes along the way.  Our pioneers of the past were gracious enough to plot out these thirsty retreats so you and I, should we ever need it, could have water.  The road begins or ends at Fort Mohave on the Arizona boarder and the other end doesnít take you to the old fort (Camp Cady) described in the book.  We ended up at the Mojave Road Boys Camp.  The fort was probably named after the Mohave Indians in the area, which cause a lot of ruckus back than.  The first leg of our trip took us over to the many prehistoric pictographs.  You have to get out and walk a little but well worth the hike.  I took lots of pictures here just in case we loose these precious artifacts.  The trail is very mild and at this point almost seems like you can drive it by car.  We continue west to Fort Piute and set up camp.  The remnants of this fort are still here.  Weíre investigating the area when we here the rustle of the tall reeds in a small canyon near by.  We walk over and see this large bull foraging in the dense foliage.  The natural spring still delivering plenty of water here.  We donít pay to much attention to our four-legged friend and finish up with our evening meal and clean up duties.  The next morning we leisurely got up, cooked breakfast and got our gear packed.  Then I heard Mark make some kind of comment about the bull.  I walked up towards the fort and there he stood blocking the exit.  I donít think he appreciated our overnight stay.  We made all kinds of noise to get him to move, but he just held his ground.  He was pissing me off.  So I charged at him making dumb bull sounds and he skedaddled.  It was just dumb luck I guess.  Anyway we left by way of the old gated road that runs south along the foothills towards the high-tension line to where it intersects the Mojave Road.  Many little washouts along the route, which was much better than, back tracking to the road.  Would have been nice if the original trail existed that went over the mountain.  Anyway we get back on track and start driving through the Joshua forest.  We drive into a deep trench section of the road and canít see the horizon. My F-150 keeps riding up onto the sandy wall itís so narrow.  We exit the sandy sluice and continue our journey westward.  We begin climbing in elevation as the vegetation changes from a Joshua growth to a more juniper / pinyon pine environment.  We are now getting ready to enter Rock Springs and Government Holes, which were the next watering holes in our journey.  Still ahead of us was Marl Springs.  We chat to one another on the CB and decide to make our next nights stay in the wash sheltered from the elements by this huge wall of lava rock.  This was the area we had to lock our hubs and lower our tire pressure.  The sand was so dry, loose and deep that as soon as you touched the throttle the vehicle dug in.  It was bad.  We finally got going and find ourselves crossing the pavement and down a washed out section of the trail.  I try to straddle the rut and get myself straightened out, but it was no good.  So I just took the best line and kept on going.  Soon we arrived at this wonderful wetland area where the spring is flowing out into the sandy wash.  We were saddened by the amount of traffic (hoof prints) and cow pies that littered the ground.  The smell was foul and the flies swarmed into a feeding frenzy to anything that moved towards them.  This is a reminder of the how much damage the cattle do.  We managed to hike back into the canyon beyond the stench and flies.  It did offer nice views.  We migrate around to by-pass the mess and head off towards the Soda Lake.  We pick up a couple nice sized rocks and start our trek towards the rock pile in the middle.  Once there we read in laughter those sacred words from the mysterious plague.  We added our rocks to the rocky throne and we're on our way again.  The soda flats were moist, but solid and did not cause us any problems.  Beyond this area are awesome canyons of sandstone and sedimentary columns.  Wonderful and beautiful watching the landscape change as we traveled down the old riverbed.  The road was a little touch and go here.  Much of it changing from the constant evasion of water rushing down out of the canyons and flash flooding.  Lucky for us the weather has been the best.  As I said before we are trying to get to Camp Cady and are unaware that the structure is gone.  We go further and further down the canyon.  We drive through gates, opened fences, through side roads, but nothing could be found.  We eventually got out of the wash and drove through a Boys Camp nearby.  All and all it was a great trip and would like to do it again at a slower pace.

What area of the trail did you like most?  Drop us a line and tell us about it.

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Friday, January 02, 2015

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