Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Take your choice of Survivorman or Man vs Wild. We absolutely felt we were being put through some kind of survival test today when we visited the Desert National Wildlife Refuge. It is the largest NWR in the lower 48 states at 1.5 million acres, but small in comparison to the ANWR (Arctic NWR) in Alaska which is 19 million acres.

The DNWR is only about 25 miles north of Las Vegas. It is real desert, cactus, yucca, Joshua Trees, sage, and not much more. The temps were in the upper 70's when we headed out towards these mountains on the horizon.
The information we read said it was dirt roads. Huge misnomer! These are rocks, not dirt. And the road only got worse along the 47 miles that we drove across the area. Which, by the way, took almost 5 hours!

About half way into the trip we topped out at about 6,600 feet. The vegetation changed dramatically from the shoulder high yucca and Joshua Trees to the huge Ponderosa Pines. The temps were down to 60 fresh, cool degrees. There was a campground up here with an outhouse. We were thinking that it would be fun to spend a night way back here in the wilderness, but no RV could make it up here, and I don't tent anymore, so guess we won't find out!
The road down the other side was actually rougher and narrower as it wound through the juniper and pinion pines. Rocks, rocks, and more rocks.
The scenery was beautiful, but we were disappointed that we were in a wildlife refuge and we saw no wildlife. Unless you count one roadrunner and about 8 little black birds that we couldn't identify.
Looking back down the road we had traveled, we realized we had started on the backside of those far mountains. It was quite the adventure and I'm hoping we didn't do any damage to the brand new tires on the truck!

1 comment:

Linda up north said...

Wow that is an adventure! Very cool!