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California City, Spring Break & Dirt Bikes… Oh My!

“If people focused on the important things in life, there’d be a shortage of dirt bikes.”


 Last week, our kids had their Spring Break from school.

I don’t recall break ever being this early before but we’re more than happy when they have days off. Vacation days means options. We LOVE to camp and have many outdoor hobbies so we try very hard to take advantage of the time they are free.

We all get a bit stir crazy when we don’t get out and unplug. We’ve been so busy, over dinner one night it was voted that dirt bike riding was WAY overdue and with that the wheels where in motion. Flying by the seat of our pants on a last minute whim always works out for my dang Prince, he’s far luckier than the rabbit your charm came from. ;) I on the other hand, am Murphy’s Law in motion. I promptly decided that injuring my rotator cuff on the arm I use all the time would be OH so much fun and totally compatible with motor sports. Good Times! Sniff… sigh… I hurt. :(

My Prince is our mechanic in residence so the kids bikes are kept ready to go. He’s our Handsome One Man Pit Crew/ Riding Coach.

We have found that the ONLY way for us to be able to run when the opportunity presents, is by being prepared.

We have all of our camping supplies in HUGE duffel bags and rubber bins on one large wire rack with wheels in our garage. In an emergency or just a last minute trek, everything we need except food can be wheeled right into our truck. The rack is awesome! We found it at Costco http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11670614&whse=BC&topnav=&cat=4541&hierPath=1671*&lang=en-US we have a few of these racks and I think they are a must to keep a busy garage manageable and prepared. If all of your stuff is in one place, you might get out and go more often. It’s a trick that works for us. We’re outdoor people but it doesn’t mean we have to be uncomfortable! :)

Dog. Check. 1,2,3,4,5 kids… yup, we had our “Bonus Kid” with us too. She’s K’s friend, our neighbor and we think she’s a pretty special young lady too. Check. Food, snacks, ice, water, juices, wood, fuel & Toys… Check for all! Of course, My Handsome Prince leading the merry parade in the box truck ahead, jamming his iPod and guess who was driving the truck of… “Her foot is touching ME!!” cries of injustice. I think I actually prefer the madness really, eh, crank up the Bangles or The Beatles and suddenly even the best of eye rollers can’t help but sing along or at the very least zip it. A Sheila Easton song came an and they all collectively sang along almost in unison… I couldn’t help but have flash backs of having to listen to The Carpenter’s up and down this blasted state at every vacation or time off of school. I offered to change it but they objected and then sang along to the Billy Joel song that was next.  I may have already scarred them. I’ll start saving for therapy. ;)

There is snow in the mountains and the weather outside is a beautiful 75 degrees. I LOVE Southern California!

 

We were heading about 2 hours from home to California City to ride in the Mojave Desert. The early Spring months are so comfortable weather wise. Remember, Mojave is the high desert and during the summer months it can get well beyond 100 degrees. Death Valley is only 65 miles away… it gets HOT and/or Frigid. Our trip happened to come right after a light rain so it help to keep the dust down just a little bit and we couldn’t have ordered better weather.

There isn’t much out here in the desert. A major fast food chain here and there. Lots of land for sale. Crumbling signs, structures and boarded up businesses. Luc pointed out that it reminded him of Radiator Springs in the Disney movie Cars. Like the road picked up and everyone left. Wind Farms… you can not miss the wind turbines during the day and their flashing red lights blinking at night are sort of hypnotically comforting.

Wind Farm

 

 California City is the 3rd largest city by land area in California But there are less than 14,200 people that live there. Being the resident dork of the family I thought it was cool to find out that we were technically going to be riding on the 20 Mule Team Trail area where the teams of mules would pull the Borax mined in Death Valley to the closest railroad in Mojave.

Why does 20Mule Team Borax sound so familiar?

 

Goofy, you read about it on my Homemade Laundry Soap Posthttp://justalittlenutty.com/he-compatable-homemade-liquid-laundry-detergent/ if you haven’t, you should. :)

I use Borax quite often, making my own laundry soap and using it as a cleaning product so I thought it was a nifty little fact.

Welcome to California City!

 

 We as we drove through town, the kids were shocked at how sparse the life out here is. There is one main street that seems to contain a little bit of anything one could need to be happy in a small community but not a drop more.

We crawled out of the sleepy little town, past the Tortoise Preserve and to our goal… the middle of NO WHERE! No where is a nice place for a family with a variety of ability levels to be able to ride. There was NOT a soul in sight. A beautiful 75 degrees, the best day we’ve had in a long time.

So peaceful!

Safety gear is a MUST! Do NOT ever be tempted to hop on a bike or quad without the proper gear… that could be the crash that was your last! I don’t care if your only going 5 miles an hour, your head is too precious to not protect with a helmet that has not been dropped or crashed before.

Why?

If you were banking on one item to keep your brains on the inside, would you chance it to something that may or may not be safe? Start with a good safe well fitting helmet, gloves, goggles, chest protector, boots… as their ability levels improve so will their additional gear. Please think before you ride. Dirt Bike and motorcycle riders know why a dog hangs it’s head out the window of your car and it’s a freakin rush! Your flying across the earth, the world spinning by in a blur, faster and you only have seconds to react to any challenges or problems. Crashing is a real part of riding… It will happen to the best of em, you can take that to the bank! Being smart, educating yourself and  your loved ones as to the proper safety guidelines the is the ONLY way to help insure that you will have a fun and safe day out on the bikes. Accidents happen. When they do we’re confident in the equipment that we maintain for the children, will be the difference between death/ serious injury and just a trip to the ER or band aid worthy boo boo. These kids are raised with respect for motorcycles and dirt bikes and know that it’s a privilege to ride.  Bikes are a blast! Saftey First, ALWAYS!

People who enjoy keeping their toes, do not ride in flip flops folks! Just sayin’. You have cute toes, keep them covered while riding.

 

Go Luc! See it’s fun!

 

Man down! Washing out on rocks happens to everyone bud! So maybe it’s a little bit painful too.

 

For a long time K was our only rider. Now she can trail ride with the Handsome Prince. She was thrilled with her new to her bike.

K gone riding!

 

Min is our oldest and truly the spitting image of me. It drove her around the bend when K passed her in size and strength. She’s determined to catch up to her sister riding. We have no doubt she’ll be running with the big dogs in no time!

Mini on the 50

 

 Kenzie was always our underdog, the dark horse. Honestly, she’s more of an indoor kinda gal. I can respect that. She is a rule follower, a cautious nervous Nelly and heavens forbid you ask her to pee outdoors… I think we may have to medicate her to do that again. Sweet thing, she’d rather be washing her hands than rolling in dirt. She was born mothering everyone and everything. Never did we expect to see her take to dirt bikes like she was born to do this.!?Huh… kids never cease to shock my socks off!

Great Job Kenzie!

 

High Five for Kenz from My Prince and some advice. :)

 

Every time we go out, their skills improve, we all learn something new, we have fun and we build some awesome outdoor memories. Oh my holy, do we have some fairly awful stories that now we retell and laugh harder and harder each time. We put the fun in dysfunctional it seems. We once went on a camping trip on a beach that ended with us packing up in the heaviest sand storm. Months later we were at Parent/Teacher Conferences when one of the teachers pulled a short story with pictures out and handed it to me to review with a smirk. It was titled “Where did my toilet tent go?”. I wanted to turn to slime and slip out of the room. My face must have given my horror away as she burst into laughter.

We have so many kids it makes sense to bring a portable toilet with it’s own privacy tent so I’m not hoofing people into parts unknown at 3 AM. I had an encounter with a bat, a scary fruit moth that felt as big as mothman and just ewww, I’ve seen too many movies to send kids in there. Well, our fateful trip that ended in sand storm. When we had gotten back to camp from the dunes the toilet and tent had blown away to parts unknown. We looked but I’m not kidding the wind was so bad it might have been 1/2 to Santa Barbara by then.

I’m sorry if you were hit by the toilet.

I thought about the person that made that find.

I promise the new toilet is secure and it shall never happen again. Snicker. HAHAHAHAHA! Then we got outed in the best 2nd grade essay I’ve ever seen. Oh My!

I love the desert in the Spring Time!

There is something so beautiful and mystical about the desert. It was the breath of fresh air that I needed to ground me again and remind me why we work so hard… for moments like these. Being the bump on the log with the bum wing gave me the opportunity to really slow down and just enjoy today, this moment, the people that I love so dearly. Watching them learn, conquer and explore is such a gift. Seems like this growing up is stuck on fast forward. However, the children assure me that no, time is dragging by to them. Perspective.

Of course there’s more to come from our trip to Cal City.

Riding dirt bikes isn’t the only thing to do in the desert. ;)

If you have the opportunity to get out and get back to a form of nature and activity that you enjoy… DO IT! Make Plans Today! Make an opportunity, plot a day trip or go for a hike. Take up geocaching! I really want to try that. I keep hearing it’s addicting for someone like me who enjoys hiking and the out doors. Sounds like grand fun!! Active is such a great goal for the Spring Time. The weather is nice so get out and be inspired!

Wishing you a big deep breath of fresh air too,

Meg xoxo

Our Dirty Happy Desert Dog

 

 


 

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