Friday, March 14, 2008

High Desert

Do you remember the movie “Tremors”? I think I found where it could have been filmed – Johnson Valley in the high desert of California, just south of Barstow on the 247. (Side note: Why do Californians put “thee” in front of every highway number?) Here the boulders push up through the earth’s crust like mushrooms from the forest floor. Remember our heroes pole vaulting between rock piles to elude the giant worm monsters? The housing in the area is similar to that in the movie also. It seemed any collection of trailers and rusted trucks, autos and other assorted rusted metal was deemed a ranch although I saw no evidence of ranching as I know it.

As I was driving through the town of Flamingo Heights, I was dismayed when I saw no flamingos. There ought to be a law. Twenty Nine Palms earned it’s name. When the first miners/settlers/etc. came to the area there were 29 desert fan palm trees around the oasis. By 1913 the natives had been driven away and by 1940 the oasis had been overused. The park service now pumps water to the site to make the oasis appear authentic.

I took the side trip through Joshua Tree National Park. Fifteen dollars well spent. March is the perfect time to visit – everything that can bloom is blooming. Everyone was excited to see the Joshua trees in bloom. I have to admit that I saw more Joshua trees outside the park than inside and they were in bloom, too. Joshua trees offer no shade, so the campgrounds are situated amongst the rock formations. They are primitive sites, but only cost $10 – $15. 294,000 acres of beauty.

I am due in Goodyear, AZ on Friday, so I decided to stop early and spend the night in Quartzite. I picked a campground that Woodall’s assured me had wireless internet service. The flat, unremarkable parking lot of a camp ground is packed. There is a Winnebago convention taking place. I had to back my trailer up for the first time and did not embarrass myself. I’ll pack up early and head for the Destiny Phoenix RV Resort. I imagine that it will cost more than the $23 I’m spending tonight, but from the website it looks impressive. I’ll post this a day late after I get there.

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