Espresso: The Beverage Of Joy

Ah, espresso.  The finest of all beverages.  For those of you who adulterate it with milk or cream or sugar…try it plain.  Honestly.  And not out of a paper* starbucks cup**.  Out of a properly preheated ceramic (or if your budget suits: borosilicate) cup.

I considered putting a picture of espresso in here…but honestly pictures just don’t do it justice.

Prior to hitting the road in 16 feet of trailer I had my morning espresso (or 3…or 4…) made in a proper espresso machine.  It weighs about 20 pounds/9 kg, and there is not a single cabinet big enough to store it in in the trailer.  So I was forced to go without espresso for the duration of the trip.

No.  That isn’t how it went.  Not at all.  Because that would be unacceptable.

I tend to avoid naming names when it comes to products, and have only made exceptions twice that I can think of.  This will be the third time.  Because for those of you thinking “I want to travel around the country in an RV but how will I have my espresso while dry camping in the Mojave?” there is a solution!

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Hiking King Peak in King Range Conservation Area

King Peak is the tallest mountain in the King Mountain Range.  At 4091 feet /1247 meters, it isn’t terribly tall.  But its got near enough to 3,000 feet of prominence (height from the ground the mountain is on to the top of the mountain), which makes it tall enough for me.

We took the Lightning Trail to the summit, but there are 2 other routes that you can take.  Probably more if you’re backpacking.  If you are doing it as a day hike I recommend Lightning.  The trail is well marked and fun.  After reaching the summit we took one of the alternative routes, King Crest North, for a couple of miles and found the going discouragingly slow.  Lots of fallen trees meant it was hard to maintain a stride.

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Making amazing time – but not by choice

So, for those of you paying attention to dates and such, you may notice that:

a) I’m posting less often

and

b) The posts mostly pertain to things that happened a couple of weeks ago.

Well, there are a couple reasons for that:

1) We didn’t do a lot of hiking in California (not dog friendly)

2) We didn’t stay still a lot, so lots of miles covered but not as much time to make an impression somewhere

3) Lots of miles covered means a lot of time setting up and breaking down camp, therefore not lots of time to write.

So, here’s the quick recap:

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King Range National Conservation Area: Or California’s best kept secret

I don’t know how to say this politely.  So, I’ll say it as least impolitely as I can:

I do not care for California.  It is the least dog friendly state I’ve been to on this trip, or any trip.  It is the state with the most parks that include rules to the effect of “no having fun.”

But it has at least 4 things I do like:

1) The Mojave Desert National Preserve

2) Really big trees

3) Highway 1, aka Pacific Coast Highway, aka driving nirvana

4) King Range National Conservation Area.

And it is the last two points that this post is dedicated to.

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Mojave Desert National Preserve

Last week we were staying in the Mojave Desert National Preserve, which as you probably can determine from the name is located within the Mojave Desert.  What this doesn’t really tell you is sheer scale of the Mojave Desert.  It is large.  And I’m not talking Hoover dam large (which I found depressingly small…perhaps it was their unfriendly stance towards four-legged friends that I found small), or Lake Mead large, or Rhode Island Large.  I’m talking bigger than the state of Pennsylvania.

"Mojave Desert map" by Cephas - North America second level political division 2.svgTerrestrial ecoregions of North America : a conservation assessment. Taylor H Ricketts; et al. Washington, D.C. : Island Press, ©1999. xxiv, 485 p. : ill. (some col.), maps (some col.) ; 28 cm. (ISBN 9781559637220). Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
The desert is the bit shaded in green. Because…you know, deserts are green.

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