Category Archives: Road Trip

05-03-22 – Canyonlands National Park


I set off on a road trip that would include driving Shafer Trail and Potash Road through Canyonlands National Park. When I made it back to pavement I raced over to the southern entrance to take in the Needles District and go to the end of the road, with a quick stop at Newspaper Rock.

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Canyonlands National Park is an American national park located in southeastern Utah near the town of Moab. The park preserves a colorful landscape eroded into numerous canyons, mesas, and buttes by the Colorado River, the Green River, and their respective tributaries. Legislation creating the park was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on September 12, 1964.

The park is divided into four districts: the Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze, and the combined rivers—the Green and Colorado—which carved two large canyons into the Colorado Plateau. While these areas share a primitive desert atmosphere, each retains its own character. Author Edward Abbey, a frequent visitor, described the Canyonlands as “the most weird, wonderful, magical place on earth—there is nothing else like it anywhere.”

Source: Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canyonlands_National_Park

05/01/22 – The High Road/Jungo Road/State Route 49


Former State Route 49, also known as Jungo Road, is an unimproved road from County Route 447 (former State Route 34) near Gerlach east to Winnemucca via the ghost towns of Sulphur and Jungo. It crosses the Kamma Mountains northeast of Sulphur. Most of the route runs parallel to the Feather River Route, a rail line originally built by the Western Pacific Railroad. In addition to an access for the ghost towns, the road also is an access for the Black Rock Desert from the East.

Although still commonly referred to as State Route 49, the dirt road is not maintained by the Nevada Department of Transportation. It was eliminated as a state route as part of a Nevada state route renumbering project that began in 1976. The highway last appeared as a state route in the 1980 edition of the official Nevada Highway Map. Today, the portion of the road within Humboldt County is designated County Route 55.

Source: Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nevada_State_Route_49

05-01-22 – Fly Ranch Geyser


I’ve been waiting to visit the Fly Geyser for well over a decade, and I finally got my chance! This beautiful feature is on private land and can only be visited by attending a nature walk hosted by Friends of Blackrock. Do Not Trespass! The poor decisions of others resulted in access being denied to everyone for many years.

Fly Ranch Nature Walks

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Fly Geyser, also known as Fly Ranch Geyser is a small geothermal geyser located on private land in Washoe County, Nevada, about 20 miles (32 km) north of Gerlach. Fly Geyser is located near the edge of Fly Reservoir in the Hualapai Geothermal Flats and is approximately 5 feet (1.5 m) high by 12 feet (3.7 m) wide, counting the mound on which it sits.

In June 2016, the non-profit Burning Man Project purchased the 3,800 acres (1,500 ha) Fly Ranch, including the geyser, for $6.5 million. The Burning Man Project began offering limited public access to the property in May 2018. The geyser contains thermophilic algae, which flourish in moist, hot environments, resulting in multiple hues of green and red, coloring the rocks.

The geyser has multiple conic openings sitting on a mound: the cones are about 6 feet (1.8 m), and the entire mound is 25 to 30 feet (7.6 to 9.1 m) tall. The Fly Geyser is the result of man-made drilling in 1916, when water well drilling accidentally penetrated a geothermal source. The temperature of the water exiting the geyser can exceed 200 °F (93 °C).

Source:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fly_Geyser

2022 Road Trip – Roadside Randomness


For my 2022 birthday I took a road trip through Gerlach, NV and onward to Moab, UT. Here are some things I saw along the way.

04-04-22 – Jawbone Canyon


Jawbone Canyon is a geographic feature in the Mojave Desert and a Bureau of Land Management area located in Kern County, California, 20 miles (32 km) north of Mojave on CA 14. The area is a popular destination for hikers and off road vehicle enthusiasts.

Europeans first settled in the canyon around 1860—naming it Jawbone because its shape resembled a mandible—and the trail was used as a trade route from Keyesville into the Piute Mountains (not to be confused with the Piute Mountains of the eastern Mojave Desert). During the Kern River gold rush, several gold mines operated in the canyon; the most successful of these, the St. John mine, yielded nearly $700,000 worth of gold between 1860 and 1875. The Gwynn mine, on the Geringer Grade, ran six claims yielding a total of $770,000 worth of gold and quartz before ceasing operations in 1942. Mining continued throughout the 1940s, mainly focused on rhyolite and antimony.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jawbone_Canyon

03-28-22 – Red Rock Canyon State Park


Red Rock Canyon State Park features scenic desert cliffs, buttes and spectacular rock formations. The park is located where the southernmost tip of the Sierra Nevada converge with the El Paso Range. Each tributary canyon is unique, with dramatic shapes and vivid colors.

Historically, the area was once home to the Kawaiisu Indians, who left petroglyphs in the El Paso mountains and other evidence of their inhabitation. The spectacular gash situated at the western edge of the El Paso mountain range was on the Native American trade route for thousands of years. During the early 1870s, the colorful rock formations in the park served as landmarks for 20-mule team freight wagons that stopped for water. About 1850, it was used by the footsore survivors of the famous Death Valley trek including members of the Arcane and Bennett families along with some of the Illinois Jayhawkers. The park now protects significant paleontology sites and the remains of 1890s-era mining operations, and has been the site for a number of movies.

After wet winters, the park’s floral displays are stunning. The beauty of the desert, combined with the geologic features make this park a camper’s favorite destination. Wildlife you may encounter includes roadrunners, hawks, lizards, mice and squirrels.

Source: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=631

03-20-22 – Jawbone Canyon


Jawbone Canyon is a geographic feature in the Mojave Desert and a Bureau of Land Management area located in Kern County, California, 20 miles (32 km) north of Mojave on CA 14. The area is a popular destination for hikers and off road vehicle enthusiasts.

Europeans first settled in the canyon around 1860—naming it Jawbone because its shape resembled a mandible—and the trail was used as a trade route from Keyesville into the Piute Mountains (not to be confused with the Piute Mountains of the eastern Mojave Desert). During the Kern River gold rush, several gold mines operated in the canyon; the most successful of these, the St. John mine, yielded nearly $700,000 worth of gold between 1860 and 1875. The Gwynn mine, on the Geringer Grade, ran six claims yielding a total of $770,000 worth of gold and quartz before ceasing operations in 1942. Mining continued throughout the 1940s, mainly focused on rhyolite and antimony.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jawbone_Canyon

03-05-22 – Jawbone Canyon


Jawbone Canyon is a geographic feature in the Mojave Desert and a Bureau of Land Management area located in Kern County, California, 20 miles (32 km) north of Mojave on CA 14. The area is a popular destination for hikers and off road vehicle enthusiasts.

Europeans first settled in the canyon around 1860—naming it Jawbone because its shape resembled a mandible—and the trail was used as a trade route from Keyesville into the Piute Mountains (not to be confused with the Piute Mountains of the eastern Mojave Desert). During the Kern River gold rush, several gold mines operated in the canyon; the most successful of these, the St. John mine, yielded nearly $700,000 worth of gold between 1860 and 1875. The Gwynn mine, on the Geringer Grade, ran six claims yielding a total of $770,000 worth of gold and quartz before ceasing operations in 1942. Mining continued throughout the 1940s, mainly focused on rhyolite and antimony.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jawbone_Canyon

Note: These images were taken with the Samsung S22 Ultra, which I have since returned because I find the images over-processed, but I’m posting them as a review of that device, and because this was a new-to-me area.

02-27-22 – Anza-Borrego Desert State Park – Fish Creek Wash


Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a California State Park located within the Colorado Desert of southern California, United States. The park takes its name from 18th century Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and borrego, a Spanish word for sheep. With 585,930 acres (237,120 ha) that includes one-fifth of San Diego County, it is the largest state park in California.

The park occupies eastern San Diego County and reaches into Imperial and Riverside counties, enveloping two communities: Borrego Springs, which is home to the park’s headquarters, and Shelter Valley.

The park is an anchor in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve, and adjacent to the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.

The great bowl of the surrounding desert is surrounded by mountains, with the Vallecito Mountains to the south and the highest Santa Rosa Mountains to the north which are in the wilderness area, without paved roads and with the only year-round creeks.

The park has 500 mi (800 km) of dirt roads, 12 designated wilderness areas, and 110 mi (180 km) of hiking trails. Park information and maps are available in the visitor center. The park has Wi-Fi access.

The park is around a two-hour drive northeast from San Diego, southeast from Riverside or Irvine, and south from Palm Springs. Access on the east-Coachella Valley side is via County Route S22 and State Route 78. Access on the west-Pacific Ocean side is via California County Routes S79. S67 provides access through the high and forested Laguna Mountains, such as in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. These highways climb from the coast to 2,400 ft (730 m) above sea level, then descend 2,000 ft (610 m) down into the Borrego Valley in the center of the park.

A popular site to hike to near the visitor center is Hellhole Palms, a grove of California fan palms in Hellhole Canyon near Maidenhair Falls.

Source: Wikipedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anza-Borrego_Desert_State_Park

02-20-22 – Red Rock Canyon State Park


Red Rock Canyon State Park features scenic desert cliffs, buttes and spectacular rock formations. The park is located where the southernmost tip of the Sierra Nevada converge with the El Paso Range. Each tributary canyon is unique, with dramatic shapes and vivid colors.

Historically, the area was once home to the Kawaiisu Indians, who left petroglyphs in the El Paso mountains and other evidence of their inhabitation. The spectacular gash situated at the western edge of the El Paso mountain range was on the Native American trade route for thousands of years. During the early 1870s, the colorful rock formations in the park served as landmarks for 20-mule team freight wagons that stopped for water. About 1850, it was used by the footsore survivors of the famous Death Valley trek including members of the Arcane and Bennett families along with some of the Illinois Jayhawkers. The park now protects significant paleontology sites and the remains of 1890s-era mining operations, and has been the site for a number of movies.

After wet winters, the park’s floral displays are stunning. The beauty of the desert, combined with the geologic features make this park a camper’s favorite destination. Wildlife you may encounter includes roadrunners, hawks, lizards, mice and squirrels.

Source: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=631

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Rock_Canyon_State_Park_(California)