Saturday, September 06, 2008


So we are on our way back from a conference and we are traveling through the desert between Baker and Barstow California. Anyone who has traveled that road very much recognizes the road sign to Zzyzx. Thor and I have past that road sign for the past 50 or so years on every trip to Vegas and beyond into Utah. He has been out to the hot springs before, looked around a bit, but I never have. Today we decided to wander out and see what was still out there.

Once on the road there is sign that tells you you are about to enter The Mojave National Reserve, actually BLM land currently managed by Cal State University and used for a Desert Studies Center. yeah. The road sign also informs you that it's a short 4 mile trip down a narrow, but paved, well except for about 100 yds (that looks as if it constantly is being washed out) road to get to a Visitor's Center. More on that later.

We had gone about half way and saw an icon sign that indicated big horn sheep. Both Thor and I said that we would love for that to happen, but it was 11:00 in the morning, and no way had that ever happened to either of us -when we look up and walking slowly out of the tall reedy marsh were a herd of them!

Their leader seemed a tad more concerned than the group and he made his way quickly up the steep rocks and turned as if to say "Hey, you idiots, those are people! Helllo! Danger danger! Get up the hill!" Most of them just mozied across the street and a few even waited for us to catch up so they could get a good look at us too! Let me tell you; you probably have seen big horn sheep if you have seen a sign indicating they are around. THEY ARE INVISIBLE! Once they were on the rocks, if it weren't for their snowy white bums, we would never have noticed them. Thank goodness for snowy white bums.

So we snapped away and went on to the Visitor's Center. At the end of the road there is another sign that instructs "invited guests to park, walk to the Center and check in, and all public vehicles and visitors to park in the lot over there--->." Um, o.k. How do you interpret that sign, can uninvited folks go to the Center too? Or just park and use the potty? We got out, took a short walk (in the 100 some degree heat) and decided that today probably wasn't a "visitor" day. Oh well. Back in the car and off we drove.

Lucky for us the mountain goats or big horn sheep or whatever it was we saw the first time out were still on the hillside, white bums showing and we took in a few more photos. Great side trip.

add to sk*rt


The Pea said...

I have always wanted to turn down that road. Thanks for sharing what is there!

S'mee said...

Same here, but usually, by the time you (or I or anyone else) is that far one more side trip seems like torture! SO there you go! Thanks Pea!

The Hobbit said...

Oh my s'mee,this is something I have never seen. How beautiful are they. Taking a break from the canning and popped in to see what you are up to.You sure have seen alot this month .Thanks for letting me in on all this gorgeous scenery.

S'mee said...

Oh Hobbit! They were so great! Especially the stragglers who refused to go up the mountain! You can see a couple of them were just so curious (that one looks a bit snarky, but hey, we *were* intruding!) I was SO EXCITED!!! I am so glad I had my camera!

You and the canning! Wow. You have actually motivated me. I am not sure I will gear up to it this year, but between you and the Geek, Wow!

Alison Wonderland said...

I'm always amazed at animal's camouflage. You look at them on their own and you think how could I not see them, but you get them into their natural habitat and they really do disappear.

S'mee said...

That is amazing to me too Alison! Even in these photos you really have to look to see some of them. If I put up the uncropped versions it would make it like Where's Waldo for long horns!

Kristy said...

That is so cool! I have always wondered what there is down ZZYZX Road. It is nice to know.

S'mee said...

Ah Kristy! I was just telling my sis about your blog. I love your blog! I love that you always have a positive spin and a gratefulness about your life. Fabulous, good writing, good message. Too bad it's private, but I wouldn't change that either. I just think you have a great message to share. Thanks!