Mojave Desert online
September 2, 2010 11:35 AM   Subscribe

Desert Gazette, "Mojave Desert, True Facts Legends and Lies". With links to other sites about the Mojave, including the excellent Digital Desert. Stories of life and death in the desert. The blogger, Walter Feller's photographs. About the Mojave Desert.
posted by nickyskye (11 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Many years ago, I was helping some frineds move from Santa Barbara to Atlanta, with some sightseeing along the way. The very first night of the drive, our UHaul broke down in the Mojave Desert, on I40 just past Ludlow.

We were able to walk back to Ludlow to call a repair truck, which came out and fixed the battery. We noticed we were low on gas, and figured we'd just fill up at the next exit, right? Nope, no gas there, and we had to do a multi-point turnaround, in a UHaul with a car trailer, on a small road with very soft shoulders. Man, that was tense.

We didn't know how far it was to the next exit, and figured our best bet was to head back to Ludlow. Yup, ran out of gas on the way (it was something like a 60-mile round trip between the two exits, I think). That's a lonely stretch of road, I tell you, and dark. I remember walking back off the road a bit to pee, and finding rattlesnake warning signs.

The guy who finally found us and gave us some gas was an old desert guy who thought I was putting him on when I told him that we didn't get that many stars back in Atlanta. Couldn't imagine such a thing, and I think he got kind of mad at me for trying to play him for a sap or something.

We rolled into Needles around dawn.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:00 PM on September 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

Cool. I lived in Mojave (the town, in the western part of the desert) as a kid because my dad worked in the aerospace industry there. My mom never really took to the desert (neither did I) and we moved home after about seven years. But I'll never forget some of the wacky shit out there - the Roy Rogers museum in Victorville, beer bottle houses in ghost towns, my Russian ballet teacher in Tehachapi, the King of Toilet Seat Art in Boron. Thanks for the memory jog!
posted by CheeseLouise at 12:49 PM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Eats, shoots and leaves.
posted by uni verse at 1:08 PM on September 2, 2010

I lived on Mount Charleston for three very formative years as a kid--I really need to go back and visit, either in the spring or the fall. Thanks for the links!
posted by rivenwanderer at 1:40 PM on September 2, 2010

Spent some time in the Mojave back in the '70's and these links capture it perfectly. Despite the heat, the cold nights the scorpions and other delights I actually enjoyed it - and it was great preparation for the work in other deserts later on. Neat post, thank you!
posted by speug at 4:33 PM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

I lived in the High Desert (the part of the Mojave above Palm Springs/Desert) in Joshua Tree for three years back in the early 90's. House backed up against the (at that time) Joshua Tree National Monument. If I could find work back there, I'd move in an instant. Best place I've ever lived because it's the most honest place, ecologically, you can be. The desert is the most beautiful place I've ever been, because of the harsh honestly of the environment and the very suble beauty that you have to become atuned to finding.

Plus, it's the only place where you can take a nightime drive cross country shooting guns at nothing and nobody calls the cops on you.
posted by legweak at 4:35 PM on September 2, 2010

The Ice Cream for Crow video by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band was shot in the High Mojave Desert near Lancaster.
I love this area.
posted by dougzilla at 5:28 PM on September 2, 2010

Really a useful post, it made me remember a lot of thongs. I remember being taken on long car trips through the Mojave.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 6:13 PM on September 2, 2010

Great links, nickyskye, thank you. One of my best vacations was a week split between Anza Borrego and Joshua Tree ... so totally different from new England, I just loved the desert landscape and palette. I wouldn't mind spending more time vacationing in the desert. But I did worry about snakes and scorpions!
posted by madamjujujive at 8:33 PM on September 2, 2010

The palm spring
posted by hortense at 12:48 AM on September 3, 2010

Lived at Edwards Air Force Base from 79-82 as a teen. Still have a love for the high desert. Amazing landscape.
posted by davidmsc at 1:47 AM on September 5, 2010

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