A visit to Randsburg, California is a visit to the past, when the mining camps of the Mojave were boomtowns and gold was being dug out of the hills. The community has survived the many perils the desert mining camps faced, and some of its residents still work the land for its hidden riches. It is a living ghost town, a working mining town that likes having some -- but not too much -- company. There are no stop lights, gas stations or malls here; just an unpretentious, quiet little town that enjoys its place in desert history. More...
The first time I saw the Bisti Badlands - those phantasmogoric formations of earth and stone in northwestern New Mexico's high desert lands - snow clouds shrouded the sky from horizon to horizon. They bleached the land of color, leaving it a deadeningly dull gray. A raw wind swept out of the north. Horned larks flashed in front of me like bits of tissue in a hurricane, only a few feet above the ground, disappearing into growths of desert grass.
The Bisti - the Navajo word for badlands - lay as cold and morose as a Matthew Brady photograph of a Civil War battle scene, with corpses littering the field. I wondered what forces of nature had created the Bisti. It was eerie, more a dreamscape than an actual landscape. More...
Traveling the Mojave Road isn't a picnic. It's a 2 or 3 day excursion, best made in convoy with other 4-wheelers. The trip begins on the shore of the Colorado River, at an elevation of 500 feet; at mile 54.8 you'll be at the head of Cedar Canyon at an elevation of 5,167 feet. During the winter you could hit a snowstorm. In summer it could be 120 degrees, or a summer thunderstorm could bring heavy rain, hail and lightning. Any time of the year, you're a long way from help and city comforts. More...
Charlie Goodnight, a legendary cowman and rancher of the high plains of northern Texas, east-central New Mexico, and southeastern Colorado. He was the first to drive a herd of longhorns up the Pecos River, opening the route as a cattle trail in 1866. He expected to sell his livestock to military posts, the Fort Sumner Navajo and Mescalero Apache concentration camp, new mining operations, and startup ranches. He hoped to reach markets, not only in northern New Mexico, but on up into Colorado and Wyoming. More...
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