According to Dr. Seuss, “From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.” Today the Mojo on the Mojave may not be funny and he may be confusing, let’s see if you find him at all amusing.
Many people know that the Mojave Desert lies mostly within the High Desert of the Southwest United States, which means that the elevation is higher than other deserts, and that this desert also gets an occasional snow. There are areas of the High Desert that like to be called by different names. These areas are also known as the Hi-Desert or High Desert but that’s not all; the Hi-Desert is also known as the Morongo Basin, and the High Desert is also known as Victor Valley and Antelope Valley. Most businesses in these areas follow local traditions, but not all do. An example of the businesses in the Morongo Basin that do follow a local tradition are: Hi-Desert Star, Hi-Desert Medical Center, Hi-Desert Water District, Hi-Desert Nature Museum, Hi-Desert Air Conditioning, Hi-Desert Cultural Center, Hi-Desert Airport and Hi-Desert Tire.
My research into the evolution of this naming convention, or lack thereof, has come up empty but I suspect that it was to differentiate the Morongo Basin, communities like Palmdale, Lancaster and Victorville, from the rest of the Mojave Desert. To make it more confusing, Oregon has its own High Desert which is no part of the Mojave Desert.
Both the High Desert and Hi-Desert of the Southwest have Joshua trees that naturally grow within their borders, but the Oregon High Desert does not. The Mojave National Preserve is in the High Desert and it has Joshua trees, yet a few scientists claim they are a different species that grow more short and stubby. Then there is the Mohave Desert, ohhhh never mind.
So the next time you drive through the Mojave Desert, pay attention to the signage and the Joshua trees and it may give you a clue where you are.
Can you identify the different deserts in the photos below? Your choices are:
- High Desert near Lancaster
- Hi-Desert near Joshua Tree
- High Desert in Oregon
- High Desert in the Mojave National Preserve
Click your mouse on the picture below to find out.
Take It Easy – Mojave