Sunday, December 12, 2010

Desert Drive

Yesterday I went for a nice scenic drive. I drove BLM and SCE roads across the Mojave desert to see some peaceful landscapes. For the record, these roads all require 4WD and high clearance.

Trilobite Wilderness Area

Just south of I-15, I left Kelbaker Road to drive a BLM route that travels between the Trilobite Wilderness Area and the Clipper Mountains Wilderness Area. Here's a google map centered on the road. Here's a map where I highlited the road in red.

I only saw a couple golden eagles and one hunter in a camo suit that made him look like one of those USMC snipers you see in shows on the Military channel. Sadly, I did not see any wild herds of trilobites grazing on the scrub.

The road is also a natural gas pipeline service road. Some sections are fun and hilly, as you can see below.

Other sections are sandy.

I came across this memorial.

Skeleton Pass

I just have to drive to a place named "Skeleton Pass." I was expecting a very remote and primitive road, and that's what I found. I did not find any skeletons. Here's a google map centered on the pass. I started at the old Danby town site off Route 66 and returned north on Cadiz Road. Last year I was here visiting the Cadiz Dunes. I forgot to slow down for a big old washout and really bumped the car around. The stupid thing is: this is the exact same spot where I did the exact same thing a year ago.

Powerline Road from Pisgah to Johnson Valley

This road skirts the northwest border of 29 Palms USMC base.
This was a really fun road. There were two sections over small mountains with lots of twisty turns. I would never want to drive that in rain or fog, as I'd certainly go over the ledge road, roll the truck and die. But in sunny dry conditions, it's a lot of fun. Here's a map with the route highlited.

The northern end passes along the edge of an enormous lava field and Pisgah Crater. Several years ago I hiked out onto that lava field to find a crashed military jet.

The next shot hints at the twisty road. I couldn't get the twists into any shot. OK, I probably could if I stopped more, but it was too fun to drive and I didn't want to stop.

The sun was reflecting off the powerlines and it looked a little like Christmas tree decorations.

As expected, the landscape views were great.

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