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  1. #1
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Mojave Never the Same

    I spent 3 winters camping in Mojave 1970's

    Inside the Chocolate Mt USAF Gunnery Range

    No camera

    and now more than glad I took none

    as my memories and the subject is best in memory

    I saw and learned the wonderful desert as we drank warm beer, rode bikes and our DIY dune buggy

    We quickly learned to always have 2 vehicles just in case

    The VW was a stripper, bare bones, a steering brake. I flat towed it from Chicago. It never failed even when it lost a wheel

    I slept under the stars, glasses on to see incredible stars

    and USAF jets practicing at night, they knew we there

    Same place Patton trained his desert tanks, we saw the tracks

    found tiny bits of a Jet as it had crashed strafing an ancient bridge

    I think of that pilot often

    saw UFO's chased by USAF that could never get close nor maneuver those crazy 90 degree turns and accelerate way faster

    Also saw touch and go USAF right beside a road, over and over

    I know this is a repeat post, so what!

    My memories will follow me

    at that time I could not have made images to match my memory

    A real horror was finding burned out tall palm trees in an oasis

    One oasis had barbwire, a severe and convincing sign, "Trespassers will be Shot." It was public hand

    We carried paper Geological maps which were a great help

    Got shot at in totally empty land. I wanted a snow plow to bury the druggies

    I had to quickly get our 11 people in 1 van, lights off and escape at midnight

    next day they were still shooting, but not at us

    my new 1977 Pickup had a 45 bullet hole

    We moved camp much farther away and into the Patton Tank Tracks

    pictures would have been worthless, I did not have the skill

    I like my adventure memories

    I was NRA for a long time, now I don't show or tell
    Tin Can

  2. #2
    Joe O'Hara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Marlton, NJ

    Re: Mojave Never the Same

    Interesting memories. That's good.

    One thing about the desert, you see strange people there, and strange things tend to happen. There are very few people there, but strange people seem to be drawn to it. I remember the end of Aron Ralson's book, "Between a Rock and a Hard Place", when his friends (who have gone to collect his abandoned equipment, and arm) see a dead hawk near the puddle of water he drank from after escaping from the slot canyon. Ralston had reported seeing a hawk fly over the slot where he was trapped every day at the same time.

    If you stay there long enough, you might become strange yourself, I think.

    I always loved the quiet of the desert, and the way time seems to have slowed down there. It is interesting to be able to hear a bee, or a beetle, 50 or 60 feet away. I never spent a night there. I wish I had. At this point I probably never will. But I have other memories.
    Where are we going?
    And why are we in this handbasket?

  3. #3
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SF Bay area, CA

    Re: Mojave Never the Same

    Most of the paved roads at least in Death Valley are now back open after previous flashflood damage two years ago, although the upper route is still snowed shut, which was ironically the only way in earlier in winter. One extreme to another there. Horrible flood damage and washouts have been occurring these past two weeks many places in California, but especially in the normally arid regions. Today could be bad in SoCal. There could still be a spectacular wildflower display some of those places in April. Due to our exceptionally cold March, the typical flower season seems to be a whole month late. Any travel is the mountains is still tantamount to suicide.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    San Joaquin Valley, California

    Re: Mojave Never the Same

    One never knows exactly how dangerous the desert can be until the SHTF on a trip.
    "I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority"---EB White

  5. #5
    Alan Klein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    New Jersey was NYC

    Re: Mojave Never the Same

    Most prophets and religions came out of the desert and people who frequented there.

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