Saturday, April 06, 2013

Desert Drive


After over a month of being sick, I was finally well enough to get out of the house so I went for a drive in the desert.  The fresh air was great.  The weather was great.  

I drove some powerline and fiber optic cable service roads starting around Needles, CA headed northwest.  Practically all of the utility service roads in this part of the state have been signed as BLM open routes.  That's good.  For the most part, they're easy.  Every now and then there are short sections with boulders, or deep soft sand, and there are plenty of washouts and winter rain runoff gullies.  High clearance is definitely recommended for these roads.

Some of the ocotillo and yucca were in bloom adding color to the landscape.



One of the roads services a new natural gas pipeline.  This is the shallowest pipeline I've come across.  Much of it is under a berm along the roadside.  Maybe they saved money by not burying it very deep.



Some of the roads I planned to drive were a bit disused and a bit dodgy, so I changed my route during the day.  


It helps to be flexible when driving these roads.  Some of the ones on my map have even been closed by the BLM, but there's always another nearby.

I saw a lot of mine adits.  



And some cattle.


One of the old mining sites I came across is the Leiser Ray Mine, north of Goffs.  A large foundation still remains at the site.  From the little I could find online, I think the mine was active in the 1890s producing gold, silver, lead, and copper, then again in the early 1900s producing vanadium.  Here's a google map centered on that site.



I also came upon an old ranch house site where I found 4 concrete foundation slabs.  Whoever lived there had a great view.  Here's a google map of that site, just inside the Mojave National Preserve.




I probably took too many photos of the windmill.  Here's a few.


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