3rd – 4th October 2018
Echo Bay (Nevada) to Afton Canyon Campground (California) 192 miles
Whoah, what a great night. A bit of a sluggish morning for us all, though. That’s what you get for having too much “fun”! The beautiful desert skies, full of stars, you just can’t beat it. This morning, we all had our nuts and berries, and a couple of coffees, and while we sat enjoying the peace, we had a visit from a very special local. A little Roadrunner. He was a curious guy, and although wary of us, was pretty friendly. If we got too close, he would just sprint off. How cool!
This guy is a Greater Roadrunner, and can do 20 miles an hour. He is actually a Cuckoo, and can fly but prefers to run. He is one of the few predators of rattlesnakes. You gotta love this bird.
After chatting some more with Carsten, about his route, we decided to head back a bit and take a look at the Valley of Fire State Park. Carsten was going to camp there the night, so we gave him a lift, and it was another fantastic surprise for us. What a totally prehistoric area. Just completely unexpected. Another Wow!
We stopped to take a look at some petrified logs. Millions of years old, the looked like rocks, until you focused on the patterns.
The camping ground looked great. The first one that had proper shelters at each site, oh and a little chipmunk friend.
We enjoyed the red rocks with Carsten, then said goodbye again. He is heading to where we have just been, only he’s cycling it. Tough guy, and so great to have caught up again. For us, now, it was Las Vegas. We’ve decided we don’t need to hang about, but we do need to drive this beast, right through the centre. Poor Will, it was a nightmare! I just took video, he went all white knuckles and stress sweat. There were roadworks, heaps of cars, traffic lights, and narrow lanes. But, he got us through, we saw a few of the iconic Chapels, Mega Casinos, and of course the Trump Building. Well, let’s get the hell out of here.
Carsten was happy with his shade and chipmunk, so we carried on.
We spotted this car, all covered up, incognito. What? Why? Weird! Then our first glimpse of Las Vegas.
Yeah, lots of glitz and glamour, but not as impressive during the day.
Now we are on the preparation to dropping off this beast, we have two more nights. So we are just smashing along the I15. It is wall to wall heavy haulage and fast cars. We’re driving through the Mojave desert, so it is pretty baron, aside from random hotels and casinos along the way. A strange site to behold. I have downloaded Wikicamps USA, and found a camping area a good distance from LA. So we head there. It had good reviews, and said it was suitable for all vehicles. Hhmmm, the road in was rough and rugged, really a 4X4 track, but again Will managed to get this Motorhome to the group camping area, then called it quits. Madness, he said, this is Madness!
But what a great spot in the desert. All to ourselves. A storm moving around us, it tried to rain, but it couldn’t quite get us. It was a good spot for our last bush camp.
The storms make for stunning photos, and the rumble of thunder and a few crashes of lightening got us inside quick.
Afton Canyon to Bonita Ranch RV Campground 116 miles
Back to the Interstate, and just smashing along to LA. It was a gorgeous morning, after a windy night. The beast was rocking like a boat all night, and I found it quite soothing. In the morning the wind dropped for a while, and once we chugged back over the rough old Afton road, and rejoined the idiots on the highway, it picked up again.
Zoom, zoom, zoom! Not much else.
There really is nothing to see on the Interstate, and not many places to stop for a break. So we didn’t. As it wasn’t a huge driving day, and we wanted to have time to clean up and repack our gear, we’d booked an RV park just out of LA, and an “easy-ish” drive to the drop off point. We turned off the interstate, to head to our park, and decided we needed a break and some food. There was a couple of petrol stations and food outlets, right there, so we tried to find a park for the giant beast. Nope, nothing going, and as we came back around, we needed to go left, but we could only go right. Aargh, bugger. Some quick Googling, and crisis averted. We headed off to a shopping centre nearby, with a huge parking lot, and had ourselves some Mexican, and bought some dinner.
Getting to the RV Park was simple from here, and we found ourselves in the San Bernardino hills. It looked a bit different than the other mountain areas we’ve seen so far. More rocky and more shrubs than trees. The RV park also had good reviews, but maybe they got free accommodation or something. It was pretty run down, and dodged as hell. But they were friendly and helpful, and we got our stuff sorted. No phone reception, no Wifi, so everything blog related, family coms, etc, Will have to wait. Fair enough, Will is buggered from the stressful driving, and I’m just buggered. An early night, for an early morning. Tomorrow it is all happening.