03 March 2018

Where the Hell Am I? ...Lava Tubes in National Mojave Preserve California

It started out with, "Where would you like to go Saturday?"

Most of the time I ask the question and let Mike take the lead, doing the research on where we should go adventuring next. He loves the hunt for the next interesting hike, whether it be a hard one or something easy to traverse.

He also uses the app All Trails.

Today we headed to California, down Interstate 15, stopping in Baker to grab some lunch, use the bathroom, and buy a lottery ticket.  Of course we have to buy a ticket -we don't have the Powerball in Nevada.  Once I won $391.

Baker, CA is famous (or infamous) for having the tallest thermometer in the world and for the Mad Greek Café, which was feature in the movie "Play it to the Bone". It's also home to Alien Jerky, which looks cool but it's just regular beef jerky.

Anyway...after our pit stop we head east on Kel Baker Rd, a nice paved road that we eventually have to leave and turn onto a dirt road.  Those of you that have cars can certainly take it on this road, but you might come to regret it since lava rocks gradually encroach onto the road.

If you've never seen lava rock, it's pumice...basically black, porous rock that is lightweight but is usually a bitch to walk upon since it likes to roll.  I'll warn everyone to be mindful of your footfalls so you don't twist your ankles.

Follow the road all the way down and you'll see a small sign pointing toward the lava tube. A small parking lot is at the end.  It's only about a hundred feet to the fork where you should take a right, and be careful of the holes.  These holes will be where you'll be walking underground.

After taking a quick detour to the base of the nearby extinct volcano that Mike has affectionately dubbed "Beth's Boob", we decide that hiking it will have to wait another day.  When we leave the dirt road, instead of going immediately back to Interstate 15, we head south east to a town called Cima, where all that's there is a mysterious train depot where many cars were parked.  Where does the train go? And where did all these people come from?

Along our way back to Las Vegas, we stop by The Mojave Cross, a memorial erected to honor those
who gave their lives in war.

So ended our short, but fun adventure through part of the Mojave Desert.

To see the video of today's adventure. click:

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