Getting to Darwin Falls is kind of a two-part adventure. The first part being the last few miles of the drive to the trailhead. It's a bumpy, rocky road that takes you through some pretty canyons and washes. The second part of the adventure is the hike to the falls, and I enjoyed that a lot more than the first part. Wasn't quite as jarring to my internal organs....Read More
The Mojave Desert
The Mojave is a desert of wind, temperature extremes, Joshua Trees and solitude. When most people hear the word ‘desert,’ images of tumbleweeds, rattlesnakes and bleak desolation typically come to mind. In reality, the Mojave is anything but a wasteland. Amongst the sand and sagebrush lie many places of beauty and wonder, and of historic importance. Some are the result of time and the elements, some are the result of man and his efforts to live in the Mojave, both in recent and prehistoric times. Let’s go see what we can find.
The Tufa Towers at Mono Lake, another place I'd always wanted to visit after seeing them on an episode of Huell Howser's California Gold. Click HERE to see the episode that inspired me to visit Mono Lake. While I didn't have a Ranger-guided tour as Huell did, I enjoyed exploring the lake at a couple different spots on two different days.Read More
Established in the early 1860s, Benton was born with the discovery of silver in the nearby Blind Springs Hills and White Mountains. Also known as Benton Hot Springs, the town thrived for a few short years. As is the tale with many mining towns, when the precious ore gave out, so did the town. Folks moved away and buildings were left for nature to reclaim.Read More
The best laid plans are often subject to the weather. I had planned on hiking the one-mile loop trail to Heart Lake in Mammoth, and also to wander around the remaining buildings of the Mammoth Consolidated Gold Mine which are right near by. It snowed the day prior to my arrival, but I was still able to make it to the Coldwater campground parking lot which also served as the trailhead to both of the places I wanted to visit. Fortunately, the old buildings from the mining camp are located quite close to the parking area, so I was able to visit those without too much difficulty. And while I did attempt the trail to the lake, the snow on the ground effectively hid the trail (and it was cold!); that hike will have to wait for another day.Read More
I had just left the neat little ghost town of Ruth's Camp and was heading north on the Trona Wildrose Road. My plan was to stop at Ballarat and then continue north, connecting with CSR 190 and thence to Lone Pine to spend the night. I made it as far as Ballarat, where I discovered that the road ahead was closed due to being washed out during the most recent flash floods. Ballarat now had my full attention.Read More
I imagine there are probably hundreds of unmarked graves in the Mojave Desert, the final resting places of prospectors and others who traveled across the sands in search of their golden dreams.Read More