Thursday, February 3, 2011

Been longing for the Mojave National Preserve lately.

This post updated at 11:11am pst on 2/4/2011.

The last couple of days have been a little hectic. Yesterday I took people
from the Princess cruise ship to LAX, and for 11 hours today I did another
airport shuttle. Lots of people, lots of traffic, and tons of stress.

I found myself day dreaming about where to go when my weekend comes, and
these are a few images that came to my mind- from the Mojave National Preserve.
This would be a great place to go. In the area of the Mojave National Preserve that burned in the 2005 Hackberry fire, I wonder if the plant life has recovered?
Has the park service or the rancher taken down this old and historic windmill?
Windmills like this brought water up and usually dumped it into a water tank, often open which cattle and the wildlife there drank to their fill on hot, scorching
desert days.
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I wish time travel was possible because I would settle for going back and walking this old homestead again near Nipton, unfortunately it was removed either by the rancher or the park service a few years ago.

I hope the rancher removed it for reuse, this is a preserve, including man’s
historical traces, and it would be a travesty if park employees were responsible
for its’ loss from the scene.

I remember walking here that cold and windy winter day, seeing the snow on
the hills in the distance near Castle Peak, and thinking about how life must have been at this time. The buildings and equipment were made of old, weathered wood and tin, and just fit right into the landscape at this end of the
Ivanpah Valley. Would God, I could go back.

But this peaceful scene will never be seen again in these parts, I fear.

My apologies for my maudlin thoughts and longings, folks.

Here is another scenic view I long to see again, looking out toward the beautiful
Kelso Dunes.
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As posted here before, this scenic spot, perfect to park your rv or just
to put up a pup tent, is located up near the Vulcan Mine off Forshay
Pass Road, and not far from Kelso Depot, but bound to be cold and
windy in February, perfect weather to keep people away and to have
this campsite all to yourself!

Another place I would like to hang out again is the old Globe Mine Road.
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Just imagine you are kicking it here, downing an ice cold Arnold Palmer
iced tea or a Sioux City Sarsaparilla, enjoying this view and waiting for the
mile long freight train to pass by behind you.

Of course, no visit to the preserve is complete without checking out the
Rock house at Camp Rock Springs, site of the old army outpost from the
19th century. At one time it was called the most desolate army assignment,
a place I am sure you will actually find has a rugged beauty and appeal, if
I could only convince some of you to bypass the theme parks for a day or
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A little secret, don’t tell anyone, this is where I took my “virtual backporch” photograph.
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For many years, this old stone house has stood here, and it has been
restored by the park service. One day I hope they will allow folks to go inside,
I would really like to check it out.

There are so many places to go and visit in the Mojave National Preserve.
It isn’t an easy trip as it is about 200 miles+ from Orange County so I can’t
afford to get out as much as I would like. But as their little radio station with
park info near Baker says and I paraphrase loosely here- you can never fully
explore this place. It would take a lifetime and would be well worth it.

Now let me put in a plug for my friend who just made another trip to the preserve in November 2010 and now has a trip report up for the week here for the camping and cycling adventure and great photography. In case you
think the morongobill is exaggerating, go check it out. Let me also add that he
points out that several of the places visited or ridden through will one day
be a different looking landscape, covered with heliostatic mirrors. Look now
while it is unspoiled, folks.

Re-hiking the Teutonia Peak Trail but would be a great idea for an afternoon.
Last time I hiked it about a year ago, there was a little snow on the ground and
the wind never quit blowing, but what a memory. Go here for the trip report with photos.

Folks, I just thought I’d share these memories with you.

Maybe one day we will meet on a trail somewhere.

Vaya con dios.