About Me
My name is Rachel, I live in California, I'm 40, married for 15 years to Sean and have two dogs. My hobbies are my dogs Leo & Ferny, hiking, exploring, enjoying life.

Rob Follett

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Mojave National Preserve
JTNP - Geology Tour
Children's Forest
Calico Ghosttown
Holcomb Valley
Photo Page 1
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Currently Reading
These Canyons are Full of Ghosts ~ Emmett C. Harder
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood ~ Rebecca Wells
The Field ~ Lynne McTaggart
Unfinished Tales ~ J.R.R. Tolkien
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance ~Robert M. Pirsig

The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life ~ Thomas Moore, April 29, 2005
Nine Princes in Amber ~ Roger Zelazny, April 18, 2005
Battlefield Earth ~ L. Ron Hubbard, March 31, 2005
Quilter's Apprentice ~ Jennifer Chiaverini, March 21, 2005
Contact ~ Carl Sagan, March 19, 2005
Eye of the World ~ Robert Jordan, March 14, 2005


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Khiori's Solitude

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings; Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine into flowers..."
~John Muir

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« July 2006 | Main | October 2006 »

August 31, 2006

Joshua Tree

Well, until I get a chance to add this link to the side bar - here it is Joshua Tree blog list I'm putting this up because I notice more people this time of year do searches online for info on Joshua Tree. With the weather cooling, it's a good time to start thinking about a trip!

August 18, 2006

A New Rug

:) Gotta love it!

August 11, 2006

Links anyone?

Technorati Profile

Wheee! More fun online!!

August 09, 2006

Class Reunions

This is just as strange as it can get. I got an email yesterday from Classmates.com about a reunion that's being planned. It's from my graduating class from JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL! Yikes!! We were ...what... all of 14 years old when we left?

But thinking back on it - I had a lot of friends in jr. high school. Many more than high school. Of course, there were some very turbulent years in there. And lots of things I would just rather not revisit or remember. Ugh.

Next year will be my 20th High School Reunion. I think I would like to go. Just to see how folks changed since the last reunion 10 years ago. But even then I only knew one person. And she wasn't a person who was nice to me in high school. In fact, direct opposite. I never could figure out why.

The students I WAS friends with - oh my. Who knows where they ended up. I don't think more than three of us actually graduated. Which is a shame now that I look back. They were truely my friends. I miss them. Let's see... maybe one day they will search their name online and find my blog. I'll list them :)

Well, first. ME! (cause like, yeah - this blog IS all about 'me' afterall ;) ) Rachel Bekgaard. Not that anyone would be looking for me. Usually we all look for ourselves. Unless we are specificially looking for someone else. Ahem. But I digress. Where was I? I guess I'd better go hunt down my high school year book...

*rattles off*

*sounds of doors opening and closing*

*books falling*


*an AHA then Nope That's Not It*

*feet pounding on staircase...*

Ok. Here we are....

Wow. Shawn Smith. Not in my class but two years older. He was really nice to me. I was such an awkward kid. He never made me feel silly or insignificant. Thank you Shawn Smith! I've never forgotten that!

Anne Hamachi. LOL! What a hoot she was. :)
Kim Kalune. I just missed seeing you during college years.
Have to mention Mark Cutsinger. First met him in elementary school and we ended up going to the same jr. high, high school and college together. But for whatever reason really didn't socialize much - although I always considered him a friend.
Giovanni Delarosa. Wow. He did the best drawings. I still have all the drawings he gave me.
Shana Evers. I remember walking home with her and Anne often.
Teresa Hawkins. Such a bright girl! Where are you??!!
Dewayne Konold. Dude?! What happened with you? Where are you today?

Ok. Enough with the nostalgia. I have to get to work in the here and now *sigh*

*edited to add - I probably should mention this. We all went to Narbonne High School, Harbor City California in 1985-1987 ish. We also all had Mr. Lehn's english class - I think. . . *tries to think*

August 06, 2006

hee hee hee

hee hee, more fun than four guys should have on treadmills :D

Mojave National Preserve Part III

The next morning. We broke camp after feeding the dogs.

Once we were loaded up, off we went.

A view of the camp ground. Fire pretty well swept the place clean. The poor rabbits had no hiding places. They were all over the place. And equally - poor Leo was just beside himself wanting to chase them. The deer were no better off.

The morning was very nice - temperaturewise. We planned to make the most of the cool morning.

A view of the landscape as we left via Wild Horse Canyon Road.

Oh and never ever ever say "I wonder where that road goes" with Sean in the car. Cause you'll find out! We followed this one off shoot for a while. Got out to walk around a bit. Leo found lots of lizards.

Evidence of mining activity up on the walls of the canyon

Solo pretty well refused to get out of the Explorer for the rest of time in the canyons. The desert pavement rocks hurt his feet. Leo found that just a minor inconvienence. Especially with the prospect of finding more lizards.

We walked the last little bit of the trail that we were following. It led to a burned out mining camp. Here is a picture of a dead tree with a Paper Bag bush in recovery.

What was left of the cabin.

And a grave marker.

The mines are only allowed to stay active as long as the claimant maintains and improves it every year. You can see someone has been there and is actively mining. No, I didn't enter.

Leo found a natural spring there at the mine ruins. And after a bit we left to go back to the truck and to Sean and Solo.

We made our way back to the main road to continue on out. We were running low on gas so decided to make it to the closest gas station. More on THAT in a bit :mad:

Anyway, last looks at Wild Horse Canyons

Sean put the anti-sway bar back on the truck. Then aired up and we were on our way to the gas station about 35 miles away.

We did make one last stop. This time we went to Providence State Park. It is within Mojave National Preserve at an elevation of probably 5000 ft. It rises up out of the desert floor. The view is amazing. There's picnicking, camping and a cavern there. We just took piccys:

Finally we left the park and headed toward a gas station. It was in a town called Fenner. And basically that's all that's there. A gas station and store.

As we pulled in I noticed the price. Omg. Now I realize that yeah yeah yeah, ya'll in Europe are paying money outta yer ying yang for gas. But here it was like 80 years at 19 cents a gallon so the price of gas going up is a major PITA. We pay about $3.39 here in the mtns. Flat lands are more around $3.27. But there in Fenner?? In the middle of fricken NO WHERE - this station was charging $4.79!!

We paid 15$ - enough for three gallons and enough to limp over to the next town over to pay $3.20. I had seen that gas in Barstow was $3.19 so only put in enough to get us to Barstow. Once we got into Barstow we filled it up. Funny thing was at that very moment our bank was calling our house to see if the card had been stolen and disabled our card! :eek: Luckily we didn't use it any more and got it reinstated the next day. So for you travelers out there - apparently if you use your atm card on gas three times in one day they have a policy to disable the card if they don't talk to you. :mad:

And The End! We got home safely. Lived happily ever after. And are currently planning our next trip. I wanna go to Pismo Beach!!

Mojave National Preserve Part II

Conitnuing on with the story.... :)

Our next stop had us at the Kelso Depot. It was an important stop along the rail for the desert community during its day. Build in 1912 or so then 'moderized' in 1923 it was about to the razed in 90's. It was saved and made into a visitor's center - it only reopened in Oct of 2005.

The view the depot has:

Again, there were abandoned buildings around. Perhaps one day they too will be restored and opened for visiting.

We left the park via the north - got gas in Baker. Stopped to look at part of the Mojave Trail (a 135 mile 4x4 road for hard core enthusiasts - we'll be doing this trail next year I think) We stopped at the Depot again - Sean went in and talked with the ranger there. She recommended we go to the Mid Hills Campground. Long drive. About an hour away. But off we went. It was certainly worth it.

We stopped at the Hole In The Wall visitor's center. Yes, that's the name! :D The ranger there was really nice and had us bring the dogs inside the gift shop while we all talked (I would have stood outside in the porch with them)

Due to a large fire that went through the area on June 22nd of 2005 (my birthday :D ) the camp ground was basically deserted. We had the whole place to ourselves. Being that it was Aug 1st probably had something to do with it too. ha

Doggies: "Where's Dinner???"

and the view from our camp site:

And the Long view - looking toward Las Vegas:

And. Night falls.


During the night we were visted by many coyotes. Leo and Solo barked them away.

August 05, 2006

Mojave National Preserve Part I

We hadn't been out in several months and the camping bug was biting hard. So we decided to turn our eyes north to the desert. The weather had been wicked hot for weeks and suddenly we had a cool spell. We packed our truck up and off we went!

We didn't see any snakes. We also didn't see any tarantulas or scorpions But we did see MANY jack rabbits. Some cows. A deer.

In the Mojave desert there are sand dunes but also scrub lands and pinyon pines in places.

Where we camped it was about 5000 ft (I think).

The Kelso Dunes:

Here's the view off the back side of the mountain as we were leaving. The Cajon Pass was fogged in - but just above the highway. It looked really neat and made for a coolish travel through the area.

And the temperature if you don't believe me:

I took a shot into the back of the Explorer. Leo hates hates hates traveling. He only does it because he knows he gets to one-two-three-zoom once we get whereever it is we are going. Lucky for him, we made a lot of stops.

I didn't get a picture of it - so you'll just have to take my word for it. As we left Hwy 15 and entered Hwy 40 inside Barstow there was a sign on the side that said mileage to different places. Like Needles 130 miles or whatever it was. There are usually three of four places listed. The furtherest mileage said "Wilmington, NC 2554 mi" lol

About 1/2 way there we passed the Pisgah Crater off Hwy 40. Yes Usti. Not only do deserts have trees - they have volcanoes too

We traveled a bit of the old Route 66. It was the crappiest road ever. Even worse than our mtn roads. The asphalt was all eaten up by the desert heat.

We stopped at Lavic Road to look for gem stones. I found a bunch of really pretty rocks while there. I also called my mom on the cell phone to wish her a happy birthday and get her uber jealous I was out playing in the geology :D Yes, my family is strange.

We stopped in Ludlow for gas. At this site there is a ghost town. So I got a few pictures of the abandoned buildings there.

Ludlow Garage

Ludlow Diner

Ludlow Home

Ludlow Motel

We stayed on old Rt 66 and our next stop was at the Amboy Crater.

The Crater

It was super hot at the crater so we didn't stay long. It was almost a bit much for Solo. Even Leo sought shelter from the sun under this picnic area.

"Maahhhhh, it's HOT!"

You'll notice that Solo looks nice and cool. He's hogging the A/C.

I put away the camera for a bit. We stayed on Rt 66 then went north on Kelbaker Road. Before getting into the National Preserve - we took a side detour onto a dirt road. It quickly became a SAND trap. Thank GOD we didn't get stuck! Scared me half to death. Not so much the getting stuck part. That's the one thing that truely frightens me. Probably because we got sand trapped once already. But Sean aired down the tires and we made a hasty retreat.

Our next stop was the Kelso Dunes (piccy above). It was very neat but we didn't stay long. Sean and Leo ran the trail while I stayed back at the car with Solo (too hot for him). Here are some pics that Sean took for me:

One view:

Another view:


And tracks in the sand:

Arg! I haven't been updating lately :(

Ack. I feel really bad that I haven't been updating in so long. And I have been doing so much in the meantime! So lots and lots and lots of things to talk about, once I get around to putting all my thoughts and pictures together.

Let's see.... there was my birthday at Disneyland

then a trip to Huntington Library and Gardens...

And just recently we went on a camping trip to the Mojave Preserve...

So as you can see, I've got a lot of stuff to get going. Oh yeah, and I've updated all the pages with some new stuff. AND I have all kinds of new ideas for the site. I just need to get going on them!!! *runs in circles and falls down*

Another web site concerning the Mountain Communities of the San Bernardino mountains. Thank you for visiting :o)

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