19 August 2011
Leaving Flagstaff in the early hours of the morning and seeing that I would be driving past the Mojave Desert on I-40, I decided to make a pit stop while on my way back home to Long Beach. I heard there was a short hiking trail just 30km off the main highway and after Google mapping the location, I took my detour into the desert. Again, my GPS didn’t help me much and all I could rely on were the route markers once inside the Preserve.
There was no one in sight and I was running on a quarter of a tank of fuel. The nearest petrol station was another 60km to the west on the I-40 and it felt as though I was driving forever, more so because I kept glancing at my petrol gauge that was gradually getting lower. I knew if I had to run out of petrol here, I’d be screwed. In my rear view mirror, I could see the cars and trucks on the highway in the distance, running parallel to the road I was on – signs of human life getting smaller and smaller.
Finally after what seemed like an eternity, I saw the American Flag fluttering in the distance and two cars parked near a small cottage. I had arrived at the information center. Apart from the park ranger, there was another German tourist inside asking the ranger about snakes and scorpions… I think I was more worried about dehydration and running out of petrol at the time but nonetheless, I took the trail map and headed towards the Hole(s) in the Wall…