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DesertUSA's Reports and Articles

Tales of Lost Shipwrecks in the Desert

Drawing of the Content

Last Voyage of the Content - "Of all creations meant to move men where they will, surely sailing ships are the most majestic. There is majesty apparent in the form, but also in the acceptance of the contest, in the daring to pit frail material and human skill against unlimited and impersonal power. Although the wind still commands wherever it can reach, men have learned that - within obedience - they can win a subtle victory." Harry A. Morton, The Wind Commands: Sailors And Sailing Ships In The Pacific

While roaming the shores of Nevada's Pyramid Lake three summers ago, I unexpectedly came upon the battered hull of a wooden sailboat. By the looks of her, the desert sands had been blowing in and out of her splintered keel for a long time. While I knelt to examine her more closely, a shadow fell across her foredeck. Startled, I looked up, into the face of an old Paiute. More...

Prehistoric People of the Southwest

Pendejo Cave

Pendejo Cave - If what MacNeish and his team discovered during excavations from 1990 to 1993 in Pendejo Cave weathers the storm of controversy it has raised in American archaeology, it will help change fundamental beliefs about when man first appeared in the Southwest and, in fact, in the Americas. It includes not only extinct animal remains, basketry, a pendant, apparent crude stone and bone tools and possibly even human hair, but astonishingly, clay-lined fire pits with apparent human finger and palm prints still impressed in the hardened clay.

From the stratigraphy of the artifactual deposits, MacNeish's team learned that prehistoric peoples had evidently occupied Pendejo Cave at various times over the millennia, the last time, about 13,000 years ago, the first time, a mind-bending 50,000 years ago. This means, if a skeptical cadre of scientists should eventually accept the dates, that Pendejo Cave - this nondescript place in the harsh Chihuahuan Desert - would be among the earliest, if not the earliest, of the known occupation sites in North America. It would be another archaeological triumph for R. S. "Scotty" MacNeish. More...

Candelilla

Candelilla

Desert Candle - The waxy epidermis that helps the Desert Candle conserve water in its desert habitat has made it an important part of the culture of the Chihuahuan Desert. Native Americans used Desert Candle to extract a homemade sealing wax. The plant became economically important in the desert of Texas and Mexico around 1900, when it was exploited to produce commercial sealing wax and phonograph records. Its Spanish name, "Candelilla" (pronounced "can-deh-LEE-ya"), means "little candle." It's also known as the "Wax Plant" in the United States. More...

Plus Roasted Tomato Mole Pie!

Apple Green Chile Pie

Holiday Pies with a Southwestern Flair - The first pie recipe is for an Apple Green Chile Pie topped with toasted pine nuts. Before we get started with the pie recipe we first need to make the crusts.

This recipe is for two crusts, unless you take shortcut of going to the store and trying to find some unbroken fresh frozen crusts. More...

Desert News

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Featured Readers Blogs

DesertUSA is a comprehensive resource about the North American deserts and Southwest destinations. The desert is a wonderful place to enjoy the outdoors and to spend time in recreational activities. You can camp, hike, bike, fish or just explore this unique environment found only in the American Southwest. DesertUSA has information on national parks, state parks, BLM land, and the Colorado River and its lakes. We also have articles about the cities and towns located in or near the desert regions. Use DesertUSA.com as a resource to explore the many adventures that await you in the desert.


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