Tuesday, April 24, 2007

4 of 4: The Old Mojave Road

Last weekend a crew of us went out to drive the Old Mojave Road.

Our fearless leader, walking on water, who I called "meat hooks" because he has the biggest darn hands EVER. They were the size of my head, I'm sure of it.


We followed wagon routes that seemed impossible - but had clearly been used a lot in the 1800's - grinding wagon wheel grooves into the bedrock (one more prominent to the left, and the other just beneath the boot tip on the right).


We also frequently got "the little engine that could" unstuck from places, trying to not let it lose too many bits and pieces (although, in the end it did). Watch it being pushed out of a wash here. And below, how it earned the new name of "the yellow submarine".





At Indian Hill aka Indian Well aka Indian Spring - a big pile of rocks covered in petroglyphs - we set up camp the first night. I found a nice level spot up in the rocks to spend the night while everyone else went down into the wash below. This was great until 3am when I heard a crew of coyotes shrieking (howling) and sounding like they were just on the top of my hill...


We tasted Joshua Tree fruit. I don't recommend it. Licking it, it sort of tasted like cucumber - that's as far as I went (despite tasting it being my idea) - for some reason almost everyone else actually bit into it, and they were all spitting and gagging and trying to find antidotes in the form of trail mix and gum. It was pretty funny. Well, for me anyway.


We explored an amazingly intact mine, that was run from 1914-1926 for limestone and iron, what appears to be a plank road is the remains of the rail line. It went on forever! We were duly impressed by the size and lack of vandalism at it.


Easily one of my favourite spots was Rock Spring - named for obvious reasons - there was an astounding quantity of fresh water here in this little oasis in the deep desert. The scene was surreal. It was, for one year, a military outpost to protect the US Mail!!!

To see more from my trip click here.

7 comments:

Dawn said...

My favourite part about the car tow is your gnat laugh right at the part where the car looks like it will be flooded...

gnat said...

yeah - I shoud have warned about the impending shriek!!!

Lulu said...

I was just about to say the same thing. I would recognize that laugh anywhere.
Now why on earth would someone take a bug on a field trip through the desert??

gnat said...

we all asked the same question on the morning of day 1... but by day three we knew the answer was CLEARLY for enterainment purposes.

Thomas said...

I just got back from the Mojave road. Your pictures look just like what I saw a few hours ago and yesterday.

Did you get the little yellow car through the sand of the OHV area after soda lake? What a crazy interesting idea to pull the little car that could along :) Actually, most of the road is pretty tame.

Kilometres said...

I concur with the girls' comments. The laugh as the wave threatened to engulf the bug was pretty great.

gnat said...

uhhh - thomas (whoever you may be who has stumbled on my blog) - yeah - the OHV post soda lake involved much pushing of little yellow bug (most of the road was pretty tame, and the not tame parts were made incredibly entertaining by bug exploits)