Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

“Heart of the Mojave”

Mojave Desert 1 (8478)

Along the very lonely road between Twentynine Palms, CA, and Las Vegas, NV, we happened upon a sign that simply said, “The Heart of the Mojave”.  We were by it in a nanosecond so I didn’t stop to photograph it, but a later Google search brought it up quickly.  Just a plain brown typical BLM sign that seemed (to me) to be more mysterious than informative.  Does it mean that we had reached the geographic center of this great American desert?  Or did it just mean that this particular area was more barren and empty than the other parts?  I don’t know.  But if I had to, I’d vote for the latter.

This spot, for example, appears to be covered by some kind of salt.  Not a blade or twig growing anywhere.  Nothing.  I’d love to be here with a flat tire when it was 105 degrees beneath a blazing sun.  Although a little ways up the road there was a small gas station selling gasoline for $5 a gallon.  That’s a little steep even by California standards.  Other than that, nothing but sand, the road, and a neverending line of telephone poles.

Mojave Desert 2 (8480)

4 Responses to ““Heart of the Mojave””

  1. John - Visual Notebook

    Doesn’t get much more desolate than that. Though Toadstool Park is in the same realm I believe. For some reason, it’s this kind of landscape that attracts me and I want to visit more than any other. The desolation casts a spell, the breeze can be a soft and beautiful whisper, or a constant roar like a waterfall, silence is defining it places like this.

    • Paul Maxim

      I think “desolate” is the right word, John, although I’m sure there’s life here somewhere. It’s just not visible. And I think that while it’s an attractive place to some (you and I, for example), it’s also a place that would drive many people totally nuts.

  2. Earl

    There’s a certain fascination in such empty desolation. Almost seems like you should be at the edge of something — I don’t know if it’s the beginning or ending edge. A place where you can almost grasp the concept of infinity as you stare down that empty road.

    • Paul Maxim

      To me, it looks like a picture that might have been taken by Curiosity on Mars. When you see images from the Red Planet they don’t look a whole lot different.

      I think I have a “thing” for long, empty roads. Both for photography and for driving on. The only thing you have to worry about is running over the occasional armadillo.


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