Here is the final leg of our journey from Joshua Tree. Our travels had led us to Mercy Hot Springs! A great way to end a trip.
Let’s include the full trip route once again for reference:
Our Trip Route: Joshua Tree Map (Please note, the section down Bardoo Trail Canyon is estimated on Google Maps. Do not follow this route when you are out on the trail. A better map of that trail is located here: Bardoo Canyon Trail).
The last morning in Joshua Tree was nothing less than amazing. A little less tequila the night before** led to an earlier rise, and a great sun-soaked beginning to a great day. (No tequila was consumed by the Girlfriend Unit. This is an important detail in her world because she does these “personal improvement/health” challenges. Psssh. Whatevs.)
We were up before the sun hit the rocks.
Makes you feel alive don’t it?
It was a big travel day! Corrie and I decided to be among the first to rise and roll away from Joshua Tree. We had miles to cover! The sun rose fast, and I started to get that uneasy feeling we were burning daylight. You know – when the smell of the new day starts transitioning to full daytime and you aren’t so alone as the critters and folk start rising. It wasn’t long before we had our gear well on the way to being packed.
On the way out we stopped by a couple of the landmarks and learned a bit about the mines in the area. Silver Bell Mine was visible from the road.
We enjoyed our slow-roll through the desert, and stopped a few times to take in the sights and snap a few pictures.
The desert vistas never cease to amaze me.
It wasn’t long before we were on the 10, then through LA for a quick visit with one of Corrie’s hippie friends, and finally I-5 headed north. Now, you will notice there is a void of pictures from Coalinga, Los Banos, and the like. It was a solid day of travel. OK, OK, just one. Picture a lot of this:
Towards the evening, we were in Steinbeck country and the grasslands were beautiful as we turned off the highway and headed toward Mercy Hot Springs.
We had reserved a campsite at Mercy. If you get a campsite instead of a cabin, you still have access to all of the facilities at a much reduced price tag. A good way to go if you are equipped for it. Its a bit claustrophobic but you are there for the fancy hot spring tubs – not the wide open spaces.
Corrie has as pattern of sitting and reading at night when we go camping. I do not understand this.
After preparing dinner, we soaked in the hot spring tubs by the pool. The hot spring water is routed through plumbing and the tubs are set alongside the pool. Its quite nice.
The next day, Co-Pilot guided us up through the central salad bowl and I got to see a part of California I had never traveled (in addition to Joshua Tree). It was quite beautiful.
A rig with 1,000+ more miles on it!
No traffic…except for the father – son team towing a broken down car with an old piece of hose. (True story.)
Just before we got to the back side of Hollister, we made the last gas stop of the trip.
We finally got home at just around 2:00 PM. We kept the very last leg simple so we could get home, unpack and get ready to reenter civilization by going back to our “day jobs”.
Thanks for following the journey! More trips to come!
Corrie’s Takeaways From Traveling With Michael:
Don’t put your water bottle in the little space behind the e-brake (Ever). Don’t hog all the cup holders. If it rattles or makes noise in the back seat, it might go flying out the window. Beef jerky is a vegetable. Red Bulls without sugar are confusing and are not to be trusted. What’s so great about bathrooms and running water? It’s not a proper slow roll until ALL the windows are down and your arm is leaning out the drivers side door. Sun block spray is f*cking cold on your back and should never have been invented. Pack enough food for 3 weeks no matter what. Cold hot dog, corn tortilla and spinach with hot sauce is a complete meal. And never, ever question the driver. Even if he’s going the wrong direction.