Sunday, February 28, 2016

While Death Valley is cerebral...

the Mojave National Preserve is in-your-face blue collar. It's gritty, stark and there's not a lot of amenities. (No hotels, no gas and no stores.) 

I'd guess there's more cattle roaming in the Preserve than people. I was OK with that. I  just had to watch where I was stepping. 

There's 1.6 million acres to explore. It's a land of abandoned mines, four wheel drive roads, lonely mountain ranges, compelling mesas and a campground where the residents almost whisper. It's that quiet. I really liked that part of the Mojave. 

Outside the Preserve but still within the Mojave Desert lies remnants of America's Mother Road-Route 66. 

One day I purchased a night's worth of firewood in Fenner, California. The gas station/convenience store was all that remained of the town. They were cashing in on their Route 66 notoriety. That wood set me back $18. I guess you can say I have money to burn. 

Along Route 66 in Amboy, California the school sits vacant behind a chain link fence. There's no teachers to say "class is now in session." There's no fidgeting students either. Roy's is the only business. I think they sell gas. The cabins were bare shells. 

Now there seems to be more Europeans and Asians who follow what's left of the Mother Road than Americans.
I wonder if those foreign tourists ever think about those Okie Dust Bowl refugees who once took that road to the Promised Land of California only to to find it wasn't so milk and honey after all. John Steinbeck immortalized their plight in the "Grapes of Wrath." It's the Route's sad legacy. 

I'm now in Joshua Tree National Park. It's not quiet, in fact it's kind of nuts. I'll visit a quieter part today. I hope most of the visitors go back to work on Monday. (Those poor snooks). I want the Park to myself. 
OK. I'll share it with a few of you.

Keep following me along!
Cheers with a coffee,

1 comment:

  1. We like the Mojave also. Did you make it to the lava tubes? Pretty cool. Did you know that the town of Amboy inspired Radiator Springs from the movie "Cars".

    Greg and Aiden