The Colorado Traveling Ducks Visit the Mojave Desert

We are driving into the Mojave Desert.

Mojave National Preserve

Mojave National Preserve

Looking around, there is not much vegetation, dry mountains around us, and 57 minutes with no other humans in sight.

Low vegetation in the desert

Low vegetation in the desert

These are Joshua Trees, also known as yucca palms.

Joshua Trees

Joshua Trees

There is a national park featuring Joshua Trees.   Very tall mountains add to the feeling of isolation.

Tall mountains add to isolation

Tall mountains add to isolation

A town on the horizon.   This is Kelso Depot and Visitor’s Center.

Kelso Depot and Visitor's Center

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.

Kelso Jail with Soapy

Kelso Jail with Soapy

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.

A path to the Kelso Dunes

A path to the Kelso Dunes

Well, mom, let’s go.

Let's walk to the Dunes

Let’s walk to the Dunes

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.

Wildflowers

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 like the orange here

We like the orange here

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.

Mojave Desert. Rather barren

Mojave Desert. Rather barren

We like the harsh look of the desert.

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