Desert Solitude – Cougar Buttes & Joshua Tree

It’s Friday.

Girlfriend is out of town. Friends are busy. Long day at work and mentally drained  from dealing with people after a long week. Yet, don’t feel like sitting at home wasting a killer spring night.

Out of the corner of my eye I spot one of our camp totes, just getting refreshed after last weekends trip on the Mojave Road.

It clicked.

Loaded up the 12v Waeco fridge, totes, firewood and dog. Mounted the tablet, did a quick equipment/inventory check and headed towards the high desert.

Solo.

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I’ve been camping all my life. Grew up in the desert. My Mom has pictures of me in a crib out in Glamis in the 80’s. Even though my second home seems to be in desolate areas, I’ve never done it alone. I left on a high, but as the drive went on I began to second question myself. What if it’s scary out there? What if there’s desert pirates? Animals waiting to eat me? I laughed, and continued on, thinking about the movie “The Hills Have Eyes” the remainder of the trip.

Stopped in Hesperia along the way, picked up a quick dinner and last minute supplies and finally came up with a choice camping spot for the night. Cougar Buttes in Lucerne Valley. One of my favorite camping spots when I was younger.

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Arrived in the small valley greeted with the sight of others getting the last bit of desert before the heat sets in. Drove around a bit before finding a nice spot amongst the rocks and a fire pit ready to go. Turned the truck off and stretched, let the dog out to do her business and opened a ice cold beer. Despite being alone, the desert wasn’t scary, there wasn’t pirate nor animals stalking about. I felt relaxed.

At home.

Finished my beverage, put on a new playlist that was waiting on Spotify and set up camp. This truly is the beauty of the roof top tent, less then 5 minutes and bed is ready.

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With the Tepui setup, finally got to sit down and relax. No one to entertain. No conversation to take place in. Kind of nice! Sat around and watched the fire, neighboring camps and vehicles play in the area.

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Lucy wasn’t too keen on vehicle driving by

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Time to call it a night.

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About 5:30 a.m, someone decided it would be a good idea to ride around on their 2-stroke dirt bike. It was enough to wake me up and peak outside to make sure everything was ok.

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Managed to squeeze in a few more hours of sleep and awoke to a beautiful morning. It was getting warm, fast, so snapped a few pictures and took down camp before it got too hot.

 

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The new Fiskars axe works great! Big enough to split, small enough to make kindling and fit in the camp tote.

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Couldn’t be happier with the new BFGoodrich KO2’s.

 

Left Cougar Buttes with a full day ahead of me. Not wanted to go home quite yet, I decided to cut through Joshua Tree and hop on the I-10.

 

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Made quick work of driving through the park, couple stops and a small section of dirt road.

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Lucy enjoying the road trip

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Last stop before heading home.

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Looking back, it was a great experience. Would I do it again? Absolutely, and look forward to it.

But in my opinion, nothing beats being somewhere remote with that special someone and a great group of friends.

Until next time!

By | 2017-01-19T15:43:17+00:00 May 15th, 2015|Trip Reports|0 Comments

About the Author:

Desert explorer. Photographer. Vehicle enthusiast. In constant pursuit to find something new. Mining history buff.

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