Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cadiz Dunes

After leaving the well positioned gas station at Vidal Junction, I headed west and drove up Cadiz Road, a long graded dirt road that connects highway 62 and Route 66. The section of road south of the dunes was smooth and I was able to go 40 mph. The stretch north of the dunes is scarred with washouts that the average street car might not get past. Daylight was fading and I was rushing to reach the dunes, where I planned to camp. When I arrived, it was dark and I couldn't see any dunes.

I decided to sleep in my car. That's the first time I've done that in the rover and it was amazingly nice. With the 2nd row of seats down, I could stretch out on the flat surface. I used my self-inflating sleeping pad to improve the comfort over the knobby rubber cargo mat. The 2nd moonroof is ideally positioned to offer a great view of the night sky, which was only a moon partially obscured by clouds. Here's a photo of my setup. The temperature dropped to 35F so it wasn't bad at all.

Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. The next day was totally overcast and morning temps were below 40F. This hosed my original plan to snap some great sunrise photos of the dunes. Note: the photo at the top is not mine. I found that online, and it triggered my interest in visiting these dunes. In the morning light, I drove to the end of the sandy road I parked on, right to the base of the dunes. There's a handy turnaround there and plenty of places to camp. This area is officially called the Cadiz Dunes Wilderness Area. Note: I used the road on the NW side of the wilderness area, not the one on the SE side. Here's a google map centered on the turnaround.

I decided to skip an extended hike across the dunes, and instead walked out a short distance to take a few shots. It was cold. I was wearing fleece mittens. It looked like the dunes were maybe 400 feet in height. On a warmer day, I'd love to hike around on them.

Along highway 62, east of Cadiz Road, is the site of an old railroad stop named Rice, and the site of a former WWII army aircorps training center: Rice Army Airfield.

I looked for the famed Rice Shoe Tree, but couldn't find it. As the linked page explains, the tree burned down and the fence has taken its place.

Also along highway 62, I pulled off to take some photos of the Colorado River Aqueduct.

Lastly, I noticed that people have been lettering the railroad berm that runs beside highway 62.

1 comment:

Ian said...

Thank you very much for this excellent post. I will be heading to Cadiz this weekend.