Saturday night, that's what we did. Jason and I loaded Indy into the H3, threw on our hiking boots and headed out of town. We drove halfway to Vegas, and stopped at the Calico Ghost Town as they were closing, just in time for the spectacular sunset. Then we checked into the Motel 6 in Barstow (not super classy, but clean, cheap and Indy friendly!) and had an awesome Mexican food dinner.
Sunday morning found us hiking 3 miles at Afton Canyon in the Mojave desert (Afton Canyon is called the Grand Canyon of the Mojave). Next we drove further on highway 15, grabbed a quick lunch in Baker, and headed back into the Mojave. First we drove into Kelso, and then up to Hole in the Wall, where we went on a short 1 mile hike on the Rings Trail and climbed up out of the Slot Canyon (with Indy - he's quite the rock climbing dog!).
Then we headed to the Kelso Dunes - the 3rd tallest Sand Dunes in the United States.
If i needed to physically exhaust myself to match my state of mental and emotional exhaustion, Kelso Dunes were the place to do it. We started the hike at 3:30, giving ourselves enough time to climb the mile and a half straight up in deep sand to the top in time for the sunset. The Kelso dunes won the battle - apparently we went up the wrong way, for when we reached the last stretch, it was too steep to climb - for every step, you slid back two. Still, exhausted, we found a great spot to catch the truly majestic sunset before hiking the mile and a half back (still in deep sand) in the dark and the cold. Well worth it, but we wish we would have conquered the full dunes. Maybe we'll try again someday.
Either way, I needed the sheer physical exhaustion to help me cope and remind me of how good life is.
Not to mention the fact that Jason and I have committed to getting out of town at least once a month so he can shoot photos. Plus, it's so healthy for our marriage just to get away and be together. We had so much to talk about - and we had a great time together.
Hopefully we'll get back out of town again soon!