the mojave national preserve

18. boulders, birds, turtles, milking monks, dunes, and a joshua forest in the Mojave D.

Filled the 5 gallon water jug and bought a six and a sandwich in the little town with the big thermometer of Baker. It read 98.

The Mojave National Preserve is the 3rd largest mass of parkland in the U.S. and it has:

the largest joshua tree forest of The Earth, the largest dune fields of N. America, lava flow holes, fields of volcanic rock, boulder fields, land tortoises, lizards, and flowers, birds, cats, cacti.

Kelso, CA had been a little gold and iron mining town in the 20s. When the mining faltered, the place sunk to ghost town status. As of 2006, the old depot has been restored and the Southern Pacific still rails through. The station houses the Mojave Preserve's visitor center. The surrounding structures, the post office, the bank, remain untouched.

I bouldered about the rounded monoliths, the teddy-bear cholla, the lizard laiden yuccas, the purple prickly pears.

Then drove the gravel drive to the 750 feet Kelso dunes dunes in the late of the day light.

this link carries a short national park video, you can hear the dunes sing and crumble:

The hole-in-the-wall made a grand quiet and vacant campspot. A few aqua and purple stripped RVs and I. The camp settles below a steep rock-face pocked and pitted with the cavernous openings common to the area. In the a.m., I filmed the ground squirrels, lizards, and some birds flirting about the yuccas.