The Mojave

Winter is the time to explore the hot places. I had a few days open, so I decided to check out the Mojave. First day, headed out 93, turned right at Nothing.

Camp near Six Mile Crossing.
PBBJ and PBR! (Didn’t have bread, improvised.)

Heard about a Bra Tree up on Christmas Tree Pass. Didn’t find it. Plenty of Christmas trees though, and a marshmallow yucca.

Mojave Preserve / Castle Mountain National Monument

Drove down through the Mojave National Preserve to Kelso, for maps and info. The Visitor Center is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Today is Tuesday.

Got all set up to draw – make art! – and then it started raining. (But not before I was remembered that I can’t draw fer shit.)

Drove out to the Kelso Dunes. Did not walk out to or climb actual dunes. Ate lunch.

Drove on down to the Amboy Crater. Found out it was a hike from the parking lot. Did not actually walk out to or climb Amboy Crater.

Saw a red Miata on the Kelbaker Road.

I went to the driest desert in North America and for long stretches of the day it was raining too hard to see very far beyond my truck.

Drove to Twenty Nine Palms…12 miles in, about 2 miles south, then the same 12 miles, in parallel, back east. Got gas.

Camped out along the edge of the Sheephole Wilderness. Listened to the Desert Oracle by the fire. The episode I picked, Ken talked about seeing a red Miata on the Kelbaker road north of Amboy.

Camped along an ex-railway somewhere near “Styx”. At some point after dark a convoy of vehicles, some with emergency lights flashing, went down 62 in the distance.

Weird shit in the Mojave.

The top sign is useful. The bottom sign implies that there is something in Rice, something that might be useful if you are low on gas, oil, or water. There is not.
See notes below.

There are several odd things about the “Flooded Road Closed” sign situation. First, I found these signs after haven driven said closed/flooded road from the other (sign-less) end. Second, the road was not, technically, flooded. Had been, at some point, but wasn’t. And that flooding could have been, it seems, last week, or last decade. Also somewhere along the road a truck was stuck in the mud. I hooked up a chain and pulled him out. He told me to tell his pal, coming up behind him, that he was late.

Overall just a weird situation. And then there was this if you look to the left…

Last major stop on this little trip was the Blythe Intaglios, which I am slightly amazed to realize I only learned about in my mid-forties. Had no clue we had our own Nazca lines right here just across the AZ/CA border!