Sometimes you just need a place to stay the night and we’ll always choose BLM land over a rest area or truck stop – those can be so noisy with semis coming and going. Out West, BLM land is plentiful and this spot was actually quite scenic, even though we were barely off the highway. One downside to this spot was all the trash around the site. There was a mattress and old tires, lots of broken glass. We collected the smaller items that we could in an effort to leave the site better than we found it – an important way we can help ensure that these lands stay available for us all to enjoy!
It surprised us to learn that the Desert National Wildlife Refuge – just about 30 minutes north of Las Vegas, Nevada – is the largest wildlife refuge outside of Alaska, at 1.6 million acres! Much of this is inaccessible of course but we enjoyed getting our ‘new’ Nissan Xterra, Frida, out for some 4x4ing to take in the sites. You don’t have to go too far down Mormon Well Rd. to reach the Yucca Forest, which is super impressive, but the road is definitely rocky and you’ll want a high clearance vehicle to do it.
As you might know from our previous St. George post, Brad had gotten our new car all set up to be towed behind the motorhome…except that when we went to hook up and leave, none of the lights were working on the car. This meant another week in town so he could troubleshoot the problem but it also meant we got to spend a little more time with family.
Our time in St. George was full of many firsts for me: learning to drive a manual, going mountain biking, and playing pickleball, but I’d have to say rock climbing was definitely the most epic ‘first’. Brad’s sister Julie and brother-in-law Riley are outdoor lovers, and avid mountain bikers and climbers. We’d been dropping hints that we’d love to go climbing with them sometime and during this visit to St. George we finally got our chance. While Brad had been climbing before it was over a decade ago so we were stoked to have such experienced people taking us!