Today we start our 4 month stay at Palm Creek Golf and RV Park at Site 1513.
Some of the new construction in the park is a relocation of the ball diamond and 24 new pickle ball courts.
Today we did some shopping and some sightseeing.
But first the wash beside our campsite.
Other campsites at the BLM land.
Then Blue helps me tighten a few loose bolts.
Then Blue talks me into a ball throw.
Then off to be tourist.
Way back in the day, before he was the president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis had the hot idea to import camels from the Middle East and use them as beasts of burden for the army in the American Southwest.
A Syrian trainer by the name of Hadji Ali accompanied the first caravan of camels. Like many immigrants in Arizona, it seems (SEE: The Lost Dutchman of Superstition or Chink Smiley of Tombstone), he was given a different handle and instead called "Hi Jolly."
Hi Jolly went on to lead camels through the Mojave Desert, even saving people from attacking Native Americans. Apparently he drew his scimitar and cried, "Bismillah!" (or "In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful!"), to which the Natives quickly retreated.
When the camel project was inevitably left forgotten following the eruption of the Civil War (it was also determined that camels and U.S. soldiers or their horses didn't get along very well), Hi Jolly continued living in the area until his death in 1902.
He is buried beneath a pyramid of various kinds of local stone, topped with a camel's silhouette (that looks much like the one imprinted on the cigarette packages) in Quartzsite off the 10 Freeway, and down a short dirt road.
Hi Jolly was actually one of two Middle Eastern caretakers imported for the project - the other being Greek George (you see what I mean about the name changes?) - however, GG was hanged for supposedly aiding a criminal and was not granted a grave marker as grand
End of the day. ( Blue MUST bury his bone)
Then the sunset.
This morning we first go to Kelso Depot Train Station.
Located 34 miles southeast of Baker, Kelso Depot began operation in 1924 and served as train station, restaurant, and employee housing on the Los Angeles and Salt Lake route of the Union Pacific Railroad. Today, it is Mojave National Preserve's primary information center and museum.
Kelso Depot has been a town in the past.
Then off to the KELSO DUNES.
About 42 miles southeast of Baker (7 miles south of Kelso Depot), then 3 miles west on a graded dirt road, Kelso Dunes were created over the course of 25,000 years by winds carrying sand grains from the dried Soda Lake and Mojave River Sink. Nearly 700 feet high and covering a 45-square-mile area, they are among the tallest and most extensive dune fields in the United States.
Then off to Cinder Cones & Lava Flows
About 16 miles southeast of Baker, Kelbaker Road traverses a 25,600-acre area of lava flows and volcanic cinder cones thought to range in age form 10,000 to 7 million years old. In 1973, the area was designated as Cinder Cones National Natural Landmark.
Then a short drive to Baker, California home of the worlds largest thermometer.
Cima Dome & Joshua Tree Forest
The near-perfect symmetry of Cima Dome rises 1,500 feet above the surrounding desert and provides ideal habitat for the world's largest concentration of Joshua trees. Although the top of the dome is located west of Cima Road near the Teutonia Peak Trailhead, this unusual geologic feature is perhaps best seen from a distance.
Back to the campground in Hole-in-the-Wall campground.
First we walk Blue
Then off to the park headquarters to plan our stay at Majave.
1 mile round-trip.
This is a easy hike around the hill to and through Banshee Canyon were things get a bit interesting as you get to use rock embedded metal rings to climb up to the picnic area then return to Hole in the Wall Information Center. Teri and Blue walked 3/4 of the way and then returned for a 1.5 mile hike. I took the short cut up the rings into the canyon.
On the easy part there are petroglyphs all over the place.
Then the rock with the holes start.
Then I am on my own with the rings.
Start of Banshee Canyon.
Blue starts to chicken out and eventually refused to climb anymore rocks.
The first set of climbing rings
Looking down after the climb
The second set of rings.
Then the view from up top when Teri and Blue joined up with me.
At this spot there is water and with water come graffiti. This is from the Infantry stationed at this spot in the 1800s
Then some very early graffiti called petroglyphs
Water in the desert
Our ranger did an excellent job explaining the history in this area. We walked about a mile in 2 hours and had an excellent time.
This is the view past the water.