Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Randsburg, Coso Junction, Red Rock Canyon State Park (CA)

We gassed up the Roadtrek before leaving the “big city” of Barstow, CA, on 25 April 2019 and drove west on Highway 58 before heading north on Highway 395. After crossing from San Bernardino County into Kern County, we stopped for a visit in the old gold mining town of Randsburg. There were 70 residents per the 2010 U.S. Census; and according to the town’s Wikipedia page, it relies on tourists but only opens on weekends and holidays. Since we visited on a weekday, the only business open was a tavern, which we chose to forego. It was nearly 100°F; so we left Peaches in the Roadtrek with the generator and A/C going. After checking out the exteriors of the cool historic buildings on the main drag, we continued driving north.

Randsburg Historical Marker. Photo by Virginia.

Randsburg general store. Photo by Margaret.

Randsburg business. Photo by Virginia.

The landscape along Highway 395 varied between chaparral-covered flat desert and lava rock-strewn hills for many miles. Once we reached Inyo County, we happily noticed farmland, trees, and snow on several peaks of the Southern Sierra Nevada. Margaret and I had talked about several camping options but ended up parking and staying several nights in Coso Junction where there was a huge flat area to park, a convenience store, and a good cell phone signal. We spent many hours during each day catching up with photos, the blog, and other online tasks. Margaret was able to map the remainder of our trip in California, too. In the evenings we ate simple meals, watched more Bosch episodes, and did some reading.

The Roadtrek at Coso Junction. Photo by Virginia.

The Eastern Sierra Nevada. Photo by Virginia.

 The Coso Range. Photo by Virginia.

One of the places we had considered camping was Red Rock Canyon State Park, but we ended up skipping it on our way north for some reason. So, during our stay at Coso Junction, we decided to backtrack the 50 or so miles and stay for two nights. The drive south on Highways 395 and 14 was beautiful!

 The foothills of the Eastern Sierra Nevada. Photo by Virginia.

The weather was blessedly cool, and there were thunderstorms for much of the way. We arrived at the park at 1:00 p.m. on April 29. Even though the stormy weather continued, we were able to level the Roadtrek and get settled in without getting wet. The park is self-check-in, which meant driving through the campground to find the campsite we wanted before heading back to register. Margaret used her Senior Interagency Pass for a 50% discount—two nights for the price of one! (Yippee!) On the way in, Margaret and I both exclaimed about how perfect the many washes would be to ride horses in. The years of riding are behind us both, but the memories are happy ones.

[If you have trouble viewing this embedded movie, 
you may view it directly on YouTube here:]

Near the entrance of Red Rock Canyon State Park. Photo by Virginia. 

Entrance of Red Rock Canyon State Park. Photo by Margaret.

Ricardo Campground at Red Rock Canyon State Park. Photo by Virginia.

The Roadtrek in our campsite by the cliffs. Photo by Virginia.

The erosion-carved cliffs at our campsite. Photo by Virginia.

That first night I made a delicious skillet dinner (Tofu Cubes & Veggies Over Spanish Rice).

 Dinner on our first night at Red Rock Canyon SP. Meal and photo by Virginia.

The next day I went for a stroll around camp and went again later in the morning with Margaret and Peaches. Dogs are allowed everywhere here on park grounds but must be on a leash. So we all enjoyed our walk on the nature trail. The weather was cool (about 70°F) and calm in the morning; but gusty winds kicked up later in the morning, which meant staying in the Roadtrek for the remainder of the day. Margaret finished reading the book, Be a Nomad Change Your Life by Robin Barrett; and I continued reading the latest thriller by Tami Hoag titled, The Boy. We were very glad we decided to drive back to Red Rock Canyon State Park; it was worth the extra miles!

 This trail was marked well and an easy walk. Photo by Virginia.

Joshua trees along the Desert View Nature Trail. Photo by Virginia.

A bright pink cactus bloom along the Desert View Nature Trail. Photo by Virginia.

Margaret's dog, Peaches, aka the Lizard Hunter! Photo by her auntie, Virginia.

A good read, and a great view. Photo by Virginia.

NOTE: Clicking on the photos in the post will open them in a larger view (recommended!). If you want to see more photos of the beautiful places we've shared, we have them in this Flickr Collection: Over the Hill Sisters Photo Collection.


Amy L said...

Sounds like a great trip so far. Sorry about all the internet troubles!

Virginia Hill said...

Thanks, Amy! It will be three weeks on the road this Sunday, and we’ve been without cell service for much of it. We’ll develop ways to have catch up time, which should average out our down time with the time online.