Just leaving Joshua Tree National Park. Camped out under the stars last night amid the big rocks and a sky so clear that if you watched closely, you could spot satellites. I wasn't even going to put the tent up but my site was home to numerous kangaroo rats and the little suckers aren't exactly shy. One kept coming up onto the rock that I was sitting on while I ate and he was the second-boldest little critter I ever saw as he tried to get the food while I was eating it. The boldest one came by a little later and actually nibbled on my hand as I sat in front of the fire reading my book. That was enough to convince me to put the tent up. The last thing I needed was to wake up in the morning with rat bites on my face. Cute little suckers though.
As if to affirm that the tent was. A good idea, about the time that I tired and turned in, coyotes started barking/howling on both sides of me, and they didn't sound far away. Yeah, tent. Good idea.
Today, it's a drive up through Mohave and into Henderson, NV. I'll spend my last travel night in style in a cheap casino room and at least be able to fly out tomorrow night freshly showered.
Oh, and Hoover Dam. Gotta see that before I go.
Rental SUV is still running, but it's making more than a few funny noises now. Ran it for thirty miles in 4WD on old mine roads in the park yesterday and scraped bottom more times than I cares to. No dents or other damage that they can put back on me though, so life's good. Those little Jeep Liberties are pretty nifty--good mileage and good off-road performance.
Time to roll before it gets too hot. More later if I can find wifi.