Monday, June 18, 2012

Desert Road Trip ~ Part 2

I have mentioned my blogger friend, Graham, who lives in Namibia, before. When he drives through the African desert, he always comes upon the weirdest, most beautiful, most creative stuff, be it junk-art, signs, pottery, branches, rock-art, or an old truck with flowers sprouting out of it, put up along the roadside by the people of Namibia for all to enjoy. You can check out Graham's blog here. On this trip, I decided to see if I could find anything interesting to share. I was surprised at what I discovered, for example, about Mojave, CA, a small desert town 20 miles from here.

There are the signs along the freeway. This one indicates the turnoff to Edwards Air Force Base, where the shuttle would land when weather conditions were bad in Florida. I never saw it land, but I heard it, and the magnificence of those sonic booms is hard to describe and will never be forgotten.

Casinos are allowed on tribal lands in California. Here is a sign for one north of us in the town of Bishop. 

And here is one on our way. My husband drove in here and parked on our way back. He just wanted to see what it looked like inside. Well, it didn't look like much, a group of people playing cards, no slot machines or anything easy like that. It looked kind of depressing, actually, like out of some movie about lost souls. But I like the picture I got, all the blue and white with a dash of red.

This fun sign welcomes you to Mojave, Gateway to Space. Mojave is a small desert town that now has become the place for private flights into space. SpaceShipOne was launched from here in 2004, and Virgin Galactic is working on SpaceShipTwo, a larger craft that will take private passengers into space. I found a pretty good and recent article about the  Mojave space program here.

I have always wanted to take a closer look at this place, the airplane graveyard, also in Mojave. We went off the freeway to take a closer look. I think these are old retired Pan Am planes. 

This is a huge place that I wrote about a long time ago now. I'm sure you never wondered where airplanes go to retire and maybe you are not interested, but believe me, it is worth your while to take a look at the photos here.
Just to give you an idea, here are two of them:

On the way back, I noticed this blue truck and thought it would be a nice photo with the wind mills in the background.

OK, I've always wanted to take a picture of this "find," which rivals the stuff Graham finds along the deserts in Africa. This time, I had my camera and my hubby slowed down along the freeway, long enough for me to take a few pictures. What is it? 

It's a boat! Poor thing, she's been abandoned here. Her name is the SS Minnow, and I wonder where she went in her younger days. Which lakes did she travel on? Did she have sails? Did they catch fish from her stern? I guess this is her graveyard, a bit lonely, perhaps, but I'm sure she's providing shelter and a home for all kinds of critters. After all, nothing goes to waste in the desert. 


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