I looked at my friend and sighed, it had been a long week and I felt like escaping and I said to her “Do you want to go on an adventure?”
“When?” she asked anxiously.
“Soon…” I said with the a subtle half smile.
A week later and were hitting the road. Traveling up the long and straight 395. We were just outside of the city of Adelanto, when we started to see the desert in its rarest fashion; completely covered in wildflowers. We quickly pulled off to the side of the road and anxiously greeted the wild blooms. The floor was covered in yellow and sprinkled here and there with the occasional purple and orange. The flowers reached out as far as the eye could see, in all directions. It was magical and surreal. It brought out a joy in me that I haven’t felt in a while. I almost wanted to lay in the flowers and make snow angels in them, but I didn’t want to destroy their beauty for a few seconds of pleasure. After a few more moments we were back in the car and out onto the road.
It was nearly five p.m. when we reached Ridgecrest and we needed to stop for a couple of much needed supplies; such as chips, firewood and beer for the evening. We had the option of continuing further north in hopes of seeing more wildflowers or start heading east to the Trona Pinnacles, and we decided to go to the wildflowers the next day. So we were off to the Pinnacles to set camp and have a much needed and deserved dinner.
As we pulled up to the Pinnacles the afternoon light was hitting them just right and I swear there was a sense of awe as we bared witness to the spectacle. There were only a couple of cars in the area were we decided to make camp, but it didn’t appear they were going to be staying for the night. It looked like we were going to have the Pinnacles all to ourselves for the night. As we set up camp and began to start cooking, the wind picked up, with a vengeance. It blew out my MSR Pocket Rocket and bent my Eureka tent almost flat. I knew if we didn’t find a way to break the wind we would have to move everything to the other side of the Pinnacles. Which in retrospect might have been a better choice, but instead I just moved the suv to block the bulk of the wind. It worked out pretty well but it still made cooking difficult to accomplish. Still I was able to make some al pastor tacos with rice and get the camp fire roaring.
Later the wind died down and we enjoyed the warmth of the fire and the view of the milky way above us. It’s humbling really, to look up and see so many stars. Knowing how big and far away they are. To realize how long it takes that light from the stars to reach our eyes. Nothing else can make you feel so small in such a good way. You feel at peace basking in the dim glow of the night stars, or at least I do. I swear the view of the stars out here, in the middle of nowhere, is worth it’s weight in gas alone.
The next morning we enjoyed some omelets for breakfast and broke camp. We then went and hiked and explored among the Pinnacles. At one point I climbed up to the top of one of the pinnacles and sat there enjoying it’s perspective. It is something so opening and humbling, just sitting up somewhere high and enjoying the views. There is just something about being in that moment. The silence, the beauty, the peace, it’s all up there, just waiting for you to discover it. After spending time walking amongst the giants made of tufa. We decided it was time to leave this alien landscape in search of new adventures.
As we drove out of the dusty bumpy road, I found that we kept looking back. Looking at the pinnacles rising out of the flat desert land. Defying time, and nature. It was inspirational, and I felt much better about things. After all time changes everything, but sometimes what it leaves is something that can be beautiful. Maybe if I can only learn one thing from the tufa, it’s that it’s okay to weather. Just let time and the elements weather the bad stuff, and I might be surprised with the beauty it leaves behind.