Because It’s There

Theresa, Shadow and Darby with the Providence Mountains looming behind

Why did we climb that mountain?  Because it’s there.

Today in Mojave National Preserve we experienced one of our most exciting, enjoyable, memorable and dangerous hikes so far of our trip.  Sitting in our RV at breakfast, we looked out the window and saw the massive Providence Mountain range to our west.  “How about we hike to the top of that ridge today?” I asked.  “Sure, why not!” replied Theresa.  There’s something especially cool about walking outside your RV and right into a hike without having to drive somewhere.



Hiking route up the Providence Mountains

We climbed 1,060 feet atop the north ridge of the Providence Mountains.  It was a 4.4 mile hike that took us 3-1/2 hours.  There were no trails and no marked path.  We studied the GPS to determine the best route, as shown above.



Shadow and Darby inspect the lava tubes

It was a tough hike up sharp volcanic rock, with many interesting caves and lava tubes along the way.  Darby and Shadow had to inspect every hole and crevice for little critters.  They didn’t find many, though we did see a jackrabbit and bull steer with a small calf along the way.  We made sure the dogs didn’t chase after them.



Theresa carefully navigates her way along the edge

The hike got harder and steeper the higher we climbed.  Although the temperature was in the upper 50s, there was a cold 30 mph wind pushing us against the hill.



Darby rests before the final ascent

Darby rested in lava tube before our final ascent, which required scrambling over steep rocks a thousand feet above the valley floor.  The dogs did great, though at one point Shadow cried out because he was scared.  Theresa had to lift him up into my arms so I could carry him over the final precipice.  This was a really scary part of our hike, and our pulse was racing.



Looking south from the top of the Providence Mountains

Once we were on the top, we were rewarded with spectacular 360-degree views of the Mojave National Preserve.



Darby and Shadow inspect another hole atop the mountain; our RV is marked with a red arrow in the distant background

From the peak we could barely see our RV, marked with a red arrow in the photo above (click on the photo to see a larger version).  We love roadside camping all alone in Mojave National Preserve with not another soul for miles.



Roadside camping all alone in Mojave National Preserve

Fortunately we have a zoom lens on our camera. 



Theresa, Darby and Shadow ponder the hike back down the mountain

Yikes, now we have to climb all the way down the mountain and hike back to our RV!  No problem as long as we are all together.

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