A Desert Oasis

The Palm Desert in southern California is home to Palm Springs and famous as a golf resort and winter oasis. It is also the home to Indian Canyons. It is not a national park since the park is on an Indian Reservation. In 1876 and 1877, the U.S. Federal Government created a deed in trust to the Agua Caliente people of 31,500 acres for their homeland. The tribe takes care of the park with assistance from California.

There are many different hikes and canyons and it is worth the short drive from Palm Springs to see the wonder of a desert oasis. We were there after a heavy rain and it was lush and green but also some of the trails were washed out.

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A Desert Oasis

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Mountain Textures

My cousin in Los Angeles seemed confused when I told him we were planning to drive to Las Vegas for a couple of days. Oh he understood the occasional need to go to Las Vegas but couldn’t imagine why anyone in their rights mind would drive instead of fly. Especially when I told him we had done the drive before. He has lived in Los Angeles for all of his life and can’t say Desert without putting the word stinking in front of it. He looked at me with confusion when I asked him what to see in The Mojave Desert.

For me, every terrain offers unique challenges and opportunities. Every time I am in the Desert I find the photographic challenges to be unique and also rewarding. It is too bright, too stark and kind of boring. However those very features provide unique opportunities. The drive is hot and tiring but worth it as long as you never stop in Prim Nevada.

This image was taken at Red Rocks outside of Las Vegas.

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Mountain Textures

Beautiful Barstow California

Not every place in California is beautiful. However even the Mohave Desert that runs between Pasadena and Las Vegas has some beautiful and unusual spots. Barstow however is not one of them.

It lies about halfway between the two cities and a lot of people stop there for gas, food, and Alien Beef Jerky. It is a town famous for UFO sightings.

Around town you will notice drawings of aliens and strange men drawn on deserted buildings. There are many of them. This is an abandoned gas station on the outskirts of town. In my opinion, it’s best to drive through Barstow and stop at Peggy Sue’s Diner.

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Barstow CA

Mountain Textures

<a href="http://https://www.blm.gov/programs/national-conservation-lands/nevada/red-rock-canyon”>Red Rock Canyon is a National Conservation Area and managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

The texture of the different rocks and the structure of the mountains make this a truly interesting wild west terrain. I wonder if the shallow cave has been used for shelter for man or beast.

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Mountain Textures

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

<a href="http://https://www.blm.gov/programs/national-conservation-lands/nevada/red-rock-canyon”>Red Rock Canyon is a National Conservation Area and managed by the Bureau of Land Management. It is not a National Park so like Bears Ears National Monument to the east it can easily be unprotected by arrogant and greedy politicians.

However In this snapshot of time it is still beautiful and pristine. It looks like the real west at every turn. There is a 14 mile scenic drive and many hikes and rock climbing opportunities.

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Red Rocks Canyon

Red Rocks Canyon

Purple Haze

I have visited Las Vegas many times but usually on business and never made it very far from the strip. This time we finally made it to Red Rocks National Conservation Area.

Considering the greed and corruption of our current government I suggest you go quickly before they start, fracking, digging or otherwise destroy this beautiful wilderness. It is truly a magnificent area for climbing or hiking and if your not in the mood the 14 mile scenic drive will provide an easier way to explore the beauty of the area. This purple bush caught my eye. A splash of color in the wilderness.

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Purple Haze

Death in The Desert

The saguaro cactus species is native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, and the Mexican State of Sonora. It can grow to be over 40 feet and can live up to 150 years. They grow their first “arm” at 50 years of age

In 1994, Saguaro National Park, near Tucson, Arizona you can see thousands of these. Every now an then you will see a dead one. Wind, insects, lightning and old age are the natural enemy of the desert monolith. This one looks like it was struck by lightning and suffered a tragic death.

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gallery.

Death in the Desert