At the end of January we made a goal to cut way back on our stays in campgrounds and take better advantage of the free camping opportunities found throughout the vast public lands of the West. We’d been missing the peaceful serenity of the wilderness, not to mention the cost of campgrounds was adding up. However, we were quickly learning the major disadvantage to boondocking in remote places. That lesson being that you better pay attention to the weather and plan accordingly or you’re likely to get yourself in to a bad situation.
Case in point…our stay on the playa in Nevada just a few weeks prior.
We’d arrived at the Trona Pinnacles in the California desert having not had any cell signal for the previous four days. It was for that reason that we had no idea we were in the path of a large storm front forecasted to arrive the next night. We had hoped to stay maybe three or four days but the weather caused us to change our plans. We were camped 6 miles down a dirt road and parked on a kind of dirt that would inevitably turn to soup in heavy rainfall. After our playa disaster, we weren’t exactly feeling up to the risk (or the mess).
Now knowing we’d only be staying the one night, we did as much exploring as possible in the few hours before sunset then dedicated our evening to figuring out where in the world we would go to ride out the storm.
The Trona Pinnacles are a unique geological feature located in the Southeastern California desert. There are over 500 “tufas” that formed underwater anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 years ago. These rock formations make for an otherworldly landscape so it comes as no surprise that many commercials and movies have been filmed here over the years.
Had the weather been better, we definitely would have enjoyed a few more days here but it was a great stay nonetheless. Coming up next, our highly anticipated stay in the Alabama Hills!