The story of the westward expansion is the story of the railroads. Beginning in 1862, the Union Pacific Railroad sought expansion opportunities along the western coast of the United States. To secure a foothold into California the railroads must cross the Mojave Desert and the depot in Kelso was crucial to accomplish this goal. Located at the junction of Kelbaker Road and the Kelso Cima Road, the Kelso Depot stands in testimony of the technological progress of the nations trains.
There was never a point in time that I was not aware of Joshua Tree’s. Growing up in Southern California, they are a common site in the high desert and after all there is a National Park named after them. Many nights I have spent camping in the national park and asking my dad about the Joshua Trees. They are just so weird. Their limbs twisted in the wind. They thrive in the harsh desert environment, yet don’t offer much shade. The are a symbol of the desert southwest, and perhaps would be THE symbol of the desert south west if not for the saguaro cactus.
Davy Gilia (Gilia latiflora) also known as Hollyleaf gilia and broad-flowered gilia is a flowering plant commonly found in the open flats or sandy areas and can carpet the western Mojave Desert. The wild flower grows at 2500 to 4000 feet in elevation and grows to reach about 18 inches in height.
The plant features a small five leafed flower about one inch across which is purple in color and features a white throat.
Typically a Southern California Flower, the Davy Gilia has been observed in southern Nevada in the areas surrounding Rhyolite and Beatty, NV.
Located in Caruther’s Canyons of the New York Mountains, Camp Phallus is named for a “unique” rock formation visible from the campsite. This is a primitive site, no posted sights, just a series of short trails to isolated sites, each of which can support several vehicles.
A beautiful place to camp and it offers cooler temperatures during to summer months due to its 5500 ft of elevation.
Called the Grand Canyon of California, Afton Canyon and the Afton Canyon Campground offer amazing access to the Old Mojave Road, surroundings areas and an excellent spot for astronomers to view the night sky.
Afton Canyon Campground is in the heart of the Mojave at 1640 feet in elevation and is a great place for birding and wildlife due to close proximity to the Mojave River which is briefly above ground in this area.