Last Friday I drove the Palen Pass Trail in the Mojave Desert. It appears in Massey's book of southern California trails. It was fun to get out and about. The weather was nice with temps in the mid 70s and a little breeze. I basically took the long way to Blythe.
First, I stopped off at the aqueduct to snap some photos.
Then I walked around a bit at the old site of the Coxcomb Camp, part of the Desert Training Center. This is one of the camps where George Patton trained his troops for the Africa campaign in WWII. Here's a google map centered on the site. I didn't find any unexploded ordinance, but did find the remnants of walkways that ran between the tents. This site has photos of the camp during that time period.
The road headed east up the bajada toward Palen Pass was sandy in places (up to 4 inches deep) but that's no problem. The challenge is the many washouts and dips that require slowing a lot and having high clearance.
I saw this rock arrow beside the trail. It points east, which matches the "E" in rocks at the tip of the arrow. I have no idea what this is about.
More on Palen Pass in an upcoming post.