The Amargosa Opera House

Recently, on a whim, my wife and I loaded up the jeep and opt to just explore the desert West of our home town of Las Vegas. Our original intent was to drive to the winery’s in Pahrump, Nevada and then drive up the visit the town site and mines of Johnnie, Nevada. The best laid plans were for not, when we discovered that the mines of Johnnie, Nevada are located on private property.

The Arargosa Opera House is located in Death Valley Junction, California.
The Arargosa Opera House is located in Death Valley Junction, California.

Honoring the wishes of the Johnnie mine site property owners, we opted to do some exploring. We headed easy through the small town of Crystal, Nevada and drove past the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Sadly, again we were turned away due to a Government Shutdown which prompted the Federal Government to once again, close outside. <sigh>

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I think, therefor I HAM

A family friend of mine has long been an advocate of amateur or HAM radio. Growing up, I remember distinctly going to his house and seeing his home HF radio set. Before the time of computers, his radio dominated the room and all of the dials, microphones and keys reminded me of Dr. Frankenstein laboratory. When I was about 10, my father loaned me a testing manual to get my HAM license. I simply recall the book was very thick and there was a lot of wiring diagrams in it. This was a bit intimidating to me and the requirement to learn Morse code quickly stopped any ambition that I had to get my license.

Skip ahead about 20 years, and I found myself working for a video game development company. There, I had to good fortune of working with some of the smartest people whom I still call friends. Three of them had their HAM Technicians License which allowed privileges on the 2M ham band. At the time, I didn’t even know what that meant, but they quickly informed me that the license no longer requires you to learn Morse code.

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The Hole in the Wall Ring Trail

The Hole in the Wall Ring Trail is a short is a 1.5 miles loop trail around a hill top and through a slot canyon in the Mojave National Preserve.  The trail it self is well marked and very easy going, with the exception of 1/4 mile at the north end, through a slot canyon.  Rings are bolted into the rock to serve as hand holds and give the trail its name.

The Ring Trail is a short fun little hike in the Mojave National Preserve.

The Ring Trail is a short fun little hike in the Mojave National Preserve.

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California Juniper ( Juniperus californica )

The California Juniper ( Juniperus californica ) is a common tree found in California, western Arizona and southern Nevada at medium elevations between 2,460 – 5,250 ft.  Commonly growing 10 and 26 feet in height, the grayish shredded bark Juniper may reach a maximum height or about 33 feet, although this height is rare.  Growing up in California and frequently camping in the Mojave and High Sierra, the California Juniper has frequents my memory and photographs.

A Juniper bush decorates the Mid Hills Campground in the Mojave National Preserve.

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