Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The things you see driving thru the desert......

Sunday we packed up and left Twentynine Palms, CA and headed northeast towards Laughlin Nevada. This route called for a long drive thru the desert on mostly two lane roads. As we left Twentynine Palms, the last sign said "Next services...100 miles". We were full of diesel, fresh water and groceries so we felt pretty good about making it at least 100 miles!
We used to think that a long drive thru the desert landscape was a long, boring drive, but no more. We have come to love the desert landscapes with the ever changing mountain backdrops. The colors change as the position of the sun and clouds change, giving the mountains hues which vary from bright gold, pink, and orange, to subtle shades of blue, purple and lavender.

It seems there is always something to ponder about as you are driving. The wild, pink Sand Verbena were plentiful on the roadsides and throughout the desert as we drove thru the flats below Sheepshole Mountain.
In addition the Lupines tinted the desert floor lavender, and White and Yellow Primroses were blooming large and bright along the road. It was a nice farewell to our wildflower search and made for awful pretty terrain!:)

Later we came to a "traffic calming" on Route 62....now this is just a little two lane road meandering thru a vast desert flat, so we wondered what in the world was happening up ahead that required the deputies to slow us down. Turns out someone was lost in the canyon and they had the Search and Rescue Horseback teams out, searching and hopefully, rescueing. There were at least five San Bernadino County Sheriff's rigs pulling horsetrailers, and quite a few "deputy horsemen" heading up into the canyon. Since Dougie doesn't have a horse trailer (not to mention horses) in his inventory of Richmond County Sheriff's vehicles at home, we got a chuckle out of the deputies on horseback. Sure hope they found the lost folks!!!

Another interesting sight was the manner in which people write their names with stones along the sides of the railroad track as it winds thru the desert.

We had never observed this custom before...at home they may write on the rocks with spray paint as you get into the mountains of Virginia...but not in the Northern Neck.
Many people had gotten quite creative with the design and color of the stones, and it continued for many miles; as far as the tracks followed the road. We took several photos, not of the best quality, but we are easily entertained so found it interesting.

On Saturday we drove down to Palm Springs and Palm Desert. It is a lovely drive, dropping from about 3200 feet altitude in Twentynine Palms to 489 feet in Palm Springs. There are dramatic snow covered mountain tops in view for most of the drive. The first peaks were the San Gorgonio Mountains, part of the San Bernardino range, at 11,502 elevation!

As we arrived at Palm Springs, the San Jocintos peaks were in view, behind the neverending windmill farms.

The temperature was in the mid 70's and it was balmy and sunny....we can easily see why people flock to this area in the winter!

After a few days in Laughlin we will head on to Las Vegas for the Nascar race (Escapees HOP) and after that we will be heading East!


Dee & Jim said...

What awesome pictures!! You're going to the race. We saw the track when we were out there two years ago and hopefully once on the road we'll go to the race. Please let us know how you do with the Escapees, HOP.

Anonymous said...

Interesting blog Beautiful photos