When the desert calls, you have to go. Mr. S and I decided to brave the predicted temps of 117 degrees in Baker and head out that way to wander around in the Mojave Preserve. We left the I-15 pavement on Halloran Road at Yucca Grove (now permanently closed down) and headed toward Halloran Springs. Our plan was to visit a few mines and just explore what there was to see while working our way south to some higher elevations for the night. Mr. S has been exploring the preserve for many years, but managed to find a new place or two. I saw a lot of territory for the first time. On Saturday, we explored around the Hartman and Standard mines and then headed south past the Valley View Ranch again toward the Kelso Cima Road. Our plans changed when there was a very long train blocking our access to the area around Burro Springs, so we headed further south and checked out the Mid Hills Campground. It was open for business with about a half dozen campers, but it really shows the effect of the fires. All the facilities have been rebuilt, but it will be a long time before the area recovers. We kept going to a spot that Mr. S knew about to the southeast and camped on a hill overlooking the valley to the west, the Kelso Cima Road, and the railroad tracks in the distance. The altitude of the camp was just over 5600 ft, and it cooled off quickly after sunset. We made an early camp and enjoyed the talk and the scenery as the sun went down. The temps dropped to a very mild and breezy low 70s after sunset and it was great sleeping weather. We watched the crystal clear Milky Way overhead and the thunderstorms on the horizon. The lightning strikes to the north and east put on quite a light show. On Sunday, we continued our journey southward in a little more humid weather. I had never been to Hole in the Wall, so I got a guided tour of the canyon. Very interesting and unusual place -- I'll be going back to do some hiking when the weather cools down. We spent a while exploring the Bonanza King Mine and the nearby area. Still quite a bit of machinery and equipment around the mine and someone has spent some time cleaning up the remaining room of one of the mine buildings nearby. There was a building with very elaborate stonework to the south of the mine where we figured the mining community would be. Very interesting area -- I'll need to do some research and go back again so I can understand the history of what we saw. On the way to I-40, we explored some side trails south of the Colton Hills and found some potential campsites that are off the beaten path in a scenic area that didn't seem to get many visitors. The temperatures weren't a problem, the camp was great, and the Mojave Preserve was beautiful -- and, best of all, we had it mostly to ourselves.