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What it's Like to Drive the Mojave Road

When Tim first started talking about doing the Mojave Road, I simply smiled because of course he has had a lot of crazy ideas. That’s why we have been fulltime in our Motorhome for 15 years. We had a Dodge Journey and we had taken it more places than anyone should really be taking a SUV, that was made for the highway. It was a great little car, and it took a lot of abuse from us. When it finally died with 145,000 miles on her, Tim came home with a trail rated Jeep Cherokee. It was tango mango in color, which is this beautiful coppery color. She was so pretty. “Now we can go anywhere,’ he said. Suddenly my pretty car was being buffed up. Winch, lift, new front bumper, roof top tent, bigger tires, and his talk of doing the Mojave became more of a plan. I still wasn’t feeling it. I mean out to the middle of nowhere, alone, surely that is not safe. He was talking to a city chick who had never camped in a tent in her life. When he had brought me out west from NY, I really loved it, but I was still a newbie. Well Tim is like a hurricane to be reconned with and before I knew it we were headed to the Mojave Road. All alone with 2 Miniature schnauzers shoved in among the camping gear. I had no idea what we were doing. To add to my fears, it was storming, thunderstorms and wind and cold. All I could imagine were flash floods and dying.

Entering the Mojave is like entering a new world. It is amazingly beautiful. It has this way of taking you in. Your senses become overwhelmed, and you get kind of lost. I was terrified, yet I felt safe, protected, and welcome.

The Mojave Road is an east to west road that runs approximately 150 miles across the Mojave Desert and the Mojave National Preserve. It was first traversed by Native Americans in the 18th Century and used for transport and trading of goods with other tribes. It was then used by Spanish Explorers, Pioneers, Settlers and the US Military. There were military forts established along the way to protect key water sources.

Though the road itself is relatively passable by most high clearance vehicles, there are some areas of rougher terrain that can get you in trouble. You must also remember that you are in the desert where daytime temperatures can reach 120 degrees and drop 40 degrees as soon as the sun goes down. There are occasional flash floods, though water is mostly sparce. It can be dusty, rocky, there are water crossings, dry lakebed crossings that can be very muddy. Deep areas of sand to get through. It is full of cactus and wildlife that can sometimes be very unfriendly. Things in the desert, poke, bite, sting, prick and surprise you. But the beauty and the wonder that this place shows you is worth every risk you are taking. It is diverse. One minute you are on flat rocky ground, and next you are surrounded by the most amazing Joshua tree forest you have ever seen. You can go from sand to a high, rock covered mountain. There are forts and old mines and quirky frog and gnome collections. Old, abandoned homes that make you wonder just what kind of strength a person needed to build a life out here.

The first time we did the Mojave, like I said, we were alone. We had no idea what we were getting into and quite frankly, not very much about camping out there. That’s why we started Looney Jeep Adventures. To show people what we have learned over the years off-roading in so many places. Yes, there is safety in numbers. Yes, it helps if there is someone to help you make that first move. Maybe you just want to enjoy the company of others. What ever your goals are, we want to show you the beauty of nature that can only be enjoyed off road.

Your vehicle, your stuff. What better way to


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