I wasn’t sure earlier this week if I was going to get this post online this week or not. Ignoring my computer most nights this month has been a nice change. Also, when I tentative planned this post and edited the photos in late January, the brainstormed idea was completely different that what I ended up writing up last night.
On our way into California, we passed through part of the Mojave Desert during the late afternoon through nighttime hours.
Sidenote: places that take FOREVER to travel across/through — East to West Texas. The mostly pine covered northern region/panhandle of Florida. And the daggum Mojave. Nothing personal, Mojave, you’re pretty spectacular so long as it isn’t a long and hot driving day!
From the time we left Seligman, Arizona until we pulled in to our hotel parking lot about an hour out from Sequoia NP, it took another 7 to 8 hours of travel, including two fairly quick stops in blazing 106° F hot Needles, California to get something to eat and to find/get gas.
Another sidenote: if you’re traveling into California on I-40 West, stop for gas while in Arizona, you’ll save close to a dollar a gallon doing so. Eastern Cali gas prices are cray cray for lack of a better (read: family friendly) way to put it.
Getting back on track now …
I mentioned the other day about a new National Monument — well, three actually — that were recently established in California. The one in particular that ties in with this post is Mojave Trails National Monument.
The lands in these photographs is that national monument (see the official proclamation here). In the last century, this land has seen troops preparing for war and wanderlusting travelers along Route 66 — as well as those migrating westward during the Dust Bowl era for a better life in California. Even before World War II and automobiles were a thought, this land had already seen so much.
And, thankfully, its now protected for future generations to enjoy.
Spanning 1.6 million acres, more than 350,000 acres of previously congressionally-designated Wilderness, the Mojave Trails National Monument is comprised of a stunning mosaic of rugged mountain ranges, ancient lava flows, and spectacular sand dunes. The monument will protect irreplaceable historic resources including ancient Native American trading routes, World War II-era training camps, and the longest remaining undeveloped stretch of Route 66. Additionally, the area has been a focus of study and research for decades, including geological research and ecological studies on the effects of climate change and land management practices on ecological communities and wildlife.
The BLM will be managing this National Monument (map) — one that I need to go back and visit (preferably during the winter months) for the Parks Passport stamp after spending a few hours viewing it from the air conditioned back seat of my SUV.
Forgive the bug splattered windshield, t’was not a priority to clean it at the last gas station stop due to the aforementioned 106° F outside temperatures.
Also, a confession: these are all smartphone photos. I stashed the cameras away after Seligman and was too tired/lazy to dig one of them back out to take photos later that afternoon/evening.