Saturday, August 23, 2014

Upcoming Event - BorregoFest 2014

October is near and it's time to start planning for Outdoor Adventure USA's biggest annual event for October 10-12, 2014. Join us in the Anza-Borrego Desert for 3 days of camping, 4x4 trail runs, and hiking. We will also be offering Amateur Radio License testing on Sunday for all levels from 10:00 AM to noon. The "not to be missed" pot luck dinner and campfire will be on Saturday evening.

This is a family friendly event and an opportunity for us to meet the family members we never get to see on the trail and a chance to make new friends.

This year we will be located at the Butterfield Ranch Resort, located just outside the Park boundary. The Ranch is equipped with full hookups for RVs, plenty of tent camping, showers, and a well stocked store. For more information on all of the events, including, 4x4 trail runs, camp directions, Ham Radio testing and to sign up, click here

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Flashback | Mojave Road, January 2009 - Part 3 of 3

Morning of our third and final day. Before heading out I was able to relight and enjoy the fire for a bit.

Ahead the trail passes between Cowhole Mountain and Little Cowhole Mountain before crossing Soda Dry Lake.

Soda Lake along with Silver Lake are what remains of the large, perennial, Holocene Lake Mojave. The waters of the lake, now with no outlet, evaporate and has left alkaline evaporites of sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate. Back near camp there were signs along the trail saying that Soda Lake was impassable. Everyone waited at the edge of the dry lake while another rig and myself made our way cautiously across the dry lake to check it out.

Soda Lake is located on the southern side of Interstate 15, and can be seen at the Zzyzx Road interchange and the Oat Ditch bridge, as well as the Soda Lake bridge (signed as the Mojave River) looking south from Baker.

Crossing the five mile wide Soda Dry Lake can be an adventure in itself. The monument it is a large pile of rocks that visitor's out of tradition add a rock to it on their way across the dry lake. There is a plaque in the center of the rock pile that makes up Traveler's Monument. It was formed as each new passerby added a rock. A plaque on the monument reveals a secret that only Mojave Road travelers are to know. I won't tell, so don't ask.

On the trail again and passing through the Rasor OHV Area.

Mandatory shoot of all the rigs under the Union Pacific trestle over the Mojave River wash.

There is always water in Afton Canyon, and it is one of three places along the Mojave River where there is year-round surface flow. The presence of this water in Afton Canyon is extremely important for wildlife.

"Afton Canyon Natural Area is located 37 miles northeast of Barstow along Interstate 15 between the Afton Road and Basin Road exits. Afton Canyon is designated as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern to protect plant and wildlife habitat, and to preserve scenic values of the riparian area within the canyon. Early western explorers passing through this area included Jedediah Smith, Kit Carson and John Charles Fremont. The route following this road, known as the Mojave Road, is a rugged 4-wheel-drive scenic tour running from Fort Mojave on the Colorado River near Needles to Camp Cady near Harvard Road."

All too soon it seemed, our trip came to and end. Passing through Afton Canyon Campground and followed the graded dirt road to I-15 is where we aired up and said our goodbyes.