We are driving into the Mojave Desert.
Looking around, there is not much vegetation, dry mountains around us, and 57 minutes with no other humans in sight.
These are Joshua Trees, also known as yucca palms.
There is a national park featuring Joshua Trees. Very tall mountains add to the feeling of isolation.
A town on the horizon. This is Kelso Depot and Visitor’s Center.
The visitor’s center is not open yet this morning, so we just look. From the mid 1940s until 1985 this was the jail for Kelso.
A 2 cell, strap-steel jail to confine drunks and other unruly individuals for a night or two. The jail was originally west of Kelso Depot on the far side of Kelbaker Road. That rascal, Soapy Smith Duck, better be careful…he may have to stay in jail in Kelso, California. Kelso Dunes are the largest field of eolian sand deposits in the Mojave Desert. They cover 45 sq. miles and reach heights of 600 feet. Humans can walk to the dunes and climb to the top. The dunes were formed 25,000 years ago.
Well, mom, let’s go.
OK Ducks. Let’s walk a little way in the sand, but not to the top of the dunes today. Leaving Kelso Dunes, we pose for a photo with these wildflowers.
Remember, wild flowers in the desert were the reason for this road trip. We are out of the Mojave National Preserve, but still in the Mojave Desert. We like these trees with the bright orange.
We are not sure, but we think the lower plants turn orange when they die, and blew into the tree. But it is pretty. The Mojave Desert does have vegetation, but not very tall.
We like the harsh look of the desert.