Roadtrip #6A - The CA Mojave Desert and back

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For Spring 2012, this 6-day excursion covered 1800 miles over most of the vast ranges, valleys, and cities of the Mojave Desert in the Southwestern US.
  1. The first sight of this road trip is (once again) the highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada, including Mt. Whitney (off to the right).
  2. Mt. Whitney is the highest peak in the contiguous United States. Also visible are its cousin needle peaks to the left.
  3. For fans of U2's Joshua Tree album, this is what remains of the actual tree used on the cover. Loyal followers have come out here to leave tributes...
  4. The plaque by the U2 Joshua Tree is a play off one of the album's song titles.
  5. A plastic bin with a number of tributes left inside for all future-comers to see is sheltered within the safety of the U2 Joshua Tree's limbs.
  6. Even wooden plaques were made and left by the U2 Joshua Tree.
  7. This stretch of Hwy 190 in the Panamint Valley of Death Valley NP is one of my favorite places for pics.
  8. Hwy 190 starts ascending Panamint Range, where Death Valley awaits you on the other side.
  9. At the north end of Death Valley National Park, you can find Ubehebe Crater, the remains of a volcanic explosion from long ago. Winds in this area...
  10. You can take a tour of Death Valley Ranch (aka Scotty's Castle), also at the north end of the National Park.
  11. The tour lets you view the interior grounds of Death Valley Ranch (Scotty's Castle).
  12. There was plenty of room for the guests to listen to Scotty's "stories" in Death Valley Ranch.
  13. Guests had luxurious places to stay at Death Valley Ranch (Scotty's Castle)
  14. The music room in Death Valley Ranch (aka Scotty's Castle) had shutters for their huge pipe organ, which actually still plays for the tourists.
  15. In Death Valley National Park, you can get a glimpse of Devil's Cornfield, bushes that grew above the once-existing sand dunes and now have left the...
  16. In the distance, Mesquite Sand Dunes can be found in Death Valley NP. You can also hike to the top of them if you're feeling adventurous.
  17. Plenty of artistic angles to take in front of Mesquite Sand Dunes in Death Valley NP.
  18. One of many spectacular sunsets from the Best Western hotel in Ridgecrest, CA.
  19. A hidden jewel on the outskirts of Ridgecrest, CA is the Trona Pinnacles National Natural Landmark.
  20. The Trona Pinnacles National Natural Landmark sits in what used to be a huge lake, where these structures grew freely underwater.
  21. The Trona Pinnacles National Natural Landmark are not rock, but made of hardened columns of tufa.
  22. Ghost towns like this one in Randsburg, CA are usually fun on the weekends, but during the week, don't plan on finding anything open except this...
  23. This was quite a mass of Joshua Tree near Red Rock Canyon State Park in California.
  24. The rocks in Red Rock Canyon State Park in California may remind you of a mini Bryce Canyon.
  25. The power of water is apparent in Red Rock Canyon State Park in California.
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