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Tag: Short Days and Long Hikes in the Mojave

What is the Mojave Megaphone? | Mojave #6

We'll get to the "megaphone" in a bit. Relax. First - as you'll recall - we fell asleep on our last night in the preserve, under the stars, and in the shadow of the Granite Mountains. We were, however, reasonably near a paved road, and traffic continued through the night - rendering earplugs necessary for a peaceful sleep. And so, when my alarm sounded just a bit after 5:45am in the morning, I was happy to pull those puppies out of my ears and grab the camera - hoping that our little spot on the top of a rise would…


The Thrill of the Hunt | Mojave #5

I awoke not to my alarm, but to the distant sound of a diesel engine. Excited, I hurriedly pulled on my clothes and scampered down the ladder, grabbing my camera and tripod as I sprinted toward the train tracks. "How lucky was I," I thought to myself, not only was there a train at sunrise, but it was approaching from the east - allowing me to snap a photo of the powerful engines with an orange halo of morning. I took a test shot to get the exposure right. Even better, I realized, I could take a video! And so,…


The Devils Playground | Mojave #4

Waking up near Aiken Cinder Mine turned out to be glorious. The calm night meant plenty of sleep, and I was well-rested when I climbed down the ladder to greet the orange line creeping up behind the old crusher. The next hour went by quickly as I walked around the mine site, colors changing constantly as the light and dark battled in the sky. In an already remote place visited by few, this was a time that I knew even fewer ever experienced. The silence of change. The Caterpillar generator still stood guard over the site, a little "off" just…

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Into the Dome Fire | Mojave #3

Unlike the previous night, the wind at the mouth of Caruthers Canyon never abated, making for the worst sleep of the trip. Tossing and turning as the wind buffeted the tent, I was glad when my alarm went off - simply because it meant I could be done trying to sleep. Update: August 2023 The York Fire (wikipedia) (inciweb) has burned through Caruthers Canyon (and more than 93,000 acres), changing the landscape for our lifetimes. I visited again in December 2023, and the aftermath was stunning. An orange glow just poking up over the horizon, I climbed out of the…


Convergence of Canyons in the New York Mountains | Mojave #2

Even sheltered in the pinyon pines, the wind rocked the tent for hours - though in our sleep-deprived state, we barely noticed. Things calmed down significantly after midnight - enough that I removed my earplugs and continued to snooze soundly until my alarm went off at 5:45am. If that seems early, let me explain. This trip - the winter solstice occurring smack in the middle - was one of very short days. With sunrise at 6:30am, and sunset at 4:30pm, our days would be full as we tried to fit in everything we wanted to do. Oh, and of course,…

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A Tough Year at Alaska Hill | Mojave 2020 #1

With just over a week to explore the Mojave National Preserve, our spirits were high as we headed south out of the gloomy Pacific Northwest towards a forecast full of sun and warmer - during the day - temps. We'd made a similar pilgrimage last year and had a great time, an unexpected snow storm making for a unique - if a bit chilly - experience. And so, after 20 hours of driving - and only a couple hours sleep at Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge - we arrived at the north east corner of the Preserve: the Clark Mountains. This would…