Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mojave Desert, Nevada

After two great weeks in San Diego, we drove back the five hours to Las Vegas. We decided to drive back and stay one more night rather than jump on a plane right away. I don't think the kids would have done too well with that.

Traffic was horrendous driving into Las Vegas on a late Friday afternoon. We weren't sure how much time we'd have, but we decided to take a detour through the Mojave Desert and try to hike some sand dunes. We'd heard that the place we were stopping at had the third largest dunes in the United States.

Well, we didn't start hiking until almost five and didn't want to get stuck out in the desert at night, but we were able to hike pretty close to the highest dunes you can see in the picture above. We had a great treat as soon as we got out of the car when we watched a desert tortoise make his way across the road. He even let the kids pet him - sort of.

We live in the suburbs of Chicago, so needless to say we never have it absolutely quiet at home. I think it was the first time in my life that I understood what absolute quiet really meant! 

For a desert, it was breathtakingly beautiful. We saw two other people on our hike, so it felt like the desert was ours. Steve and the kids had a blast sliding up and down the dunes. Jared did wind up twisting his knee when he decided to run full force down one of the dunes. I'm just thankful it happened right as we were headed back anyways, and it stopped hurting after a few days.

We wished we could have spent much, much more time in the desert. We love to be in nature and away from crowds of people, so this last little adventure of our trip was food for our souls.

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