Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mojave Lovin' December 2012!

Well, hello Throwback Thursday! How convenient for you to stop in at the very moment I am reminiscing. 
Do you all remember two years ago when we went camping in December? 
Oh-what? I never blogged about it? That's right, I didn't. What was I thinking? 
Well, lucky for you, I have a handy dandy time machine right here! Hop on in! 
(John keep reading this is where the sci-fi stops...promise.)
We'll travel back to December 2012.
John mentioned he wanted to drive through the Mojave Trail now that we had a big ole four wheel drive vehicle that fit the four of us.  I asked him more about it and he explained it was an old postal route and had been a large part of what we envision as the wild, wild, west.  Think desert and cowboys and indians.  The only way to ride this particular trail, you had to have four wheel drive, so as you can imagine, it was my husband's dream vacation. And mine too. (Just kidding, but I figured it would make a good Christmas present if I pretended! :) ) 
Long story short: we took the plunge and did it! 
I was proud of myself, I was really weary of the prospect at first, but I let it grow on me and through a lot prayer and stored up love for that man of mine- I kept a smile on my face and we had a good time.
It was SO much fun.
We were heading down to San Diego for Jordan and Kristen's wedding so it just kind of worked out perfectly.
It is recommended that you take about 5 days to get through it all.  We did it in two! That is just how we roll.
Standing in front of the AZ sign like good tourists!

We decided to make a pit stop at the Hoover Dam. It was magnificent! After a long drive, the kids danced and ran and we enjoyed the Nevada sunset.

By the time we reached the desert it was pitch black, which was kind of a bummer because we missed a lot of the historical sights at the beginning.  We did manage to see an old homestead that looked mighty freaky by the light of our head lights.  The windmill creaked and the girl from The Ring came out of the well. Except not really. Except it wouldn't have surprised me. Apparently this was where the last recorded shoot out was! Cool, right?  We had a lot of fun. The terrain was pretty crazy. We used our little guide to read off coordinates, type it in the GPS and drive a half mile, only to do it again.  We went this way all night. It was kind of cool. 
looking up coordinates

Johnny was excited!
Around midnight, we stopped driving to set up camp. When stepped out of the car, we were bombarded with millions of stars!  It was breath taking.  We set up the tent and after about thirty minutes of all of us shivering in the snow, we opted to keep going (So we'd make lousy pioneers! No news to me!)  Apparently deserts aren't ALWAYS warm.  
We pulled over at 4:00am and tried to get some sleep. I watched the sun rise over the desert and while everyone slept, I got my first real look at the desert.  It was spectacular. God is great, let me tell you. 
By the time everyone woke up we realized we took a short cut by accident and missed about 90% of the sites we were aiming to see.  Whoops. We couldn't help but laugh at that. And hit the steering wheel. 
We got outside to explore a little:
Cute Caity.

Johnny wanted to rock climb with his dad.

There is the flag pole with a ceramic frog garden and mail box we drove by, it was kind of cool and so we took like a really flattering picture.
(of all of us!) :)

Sally! She did so good on this trip!

The kids thought it was the funnest adventure ever.

We pulled over and decided to make a fire and have some breakfast and play a little bit. This was my favorite part.  John was so busy with finals and everything, it was so nice to take a step back and enjoy time with just the four of us for a little bit, completely away from the world in the middle of no where. And come to think of it, William was there too! Only he wasn't much more than a little peanut- heck, I didn't even know he was there yet!  So exciting.

Caity flying a kite

This mud was trick-y! From all our research, there was a very likely chance we would get stuck on this last stretch we were nervous but it was one of those, "Can't go under it, can't go around it, gotta go through it" sort of moments.  So on our last tank of a gas and a prayer we dug in through that mud, and oh my word- we survived!

The kids climbing rocks

At the end in the California entrance there is this big puddle you have to drive through.  John had Caity drive through it on his lap, this is the picture- you can't see her, but you can use your imagination!

We made it! 
Two years later, it is one of my very favorite memories. 
It took 15.00 of quarters to get all the mud out from under Sally! We had that much fun!

We got into La Jolla, California and stayed at the really nice hotel John's parents booked for us.  It was so nice to relax and sleep in the warmth of our room.  We walked the beach the next day and enjoyed beautiful California weather.

Then we got to go to Jordan and Kristen's wedding!

Johnny was pretty enamored by Kristen and to this day she is probably his favorite person to see!

I love this picture of the siblings!

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