Looking for Water

The reason I want to take another Roadtrip through the desert is that I still know barely anything about it. Growing up in the woods and living in the mountains had always made me curious about the desert. Until I saw desert in real life back in the 90s on our first Extreme Roadtrip out west, there were many things I didn’t know about it. I didn’t know there were mountains in the desert. I mean other than the mesas, balanced rocks, and other fantastic geological formations in the world of roadrunners and coyotes. I didn’t know about the high desert and the low desert.

1997 - Petrified Forest National Park

1997 – Petrified Forest National Park — photo by DK Sanders-Weatherford

I didn’t realize that people who live in the desert don’t have grass in their yards. I knew there wasn’t a lot of grass out there in the desert, but I had never put it together. After driving through there, I now know that many people living in the desert decorate their yards with cacti and old west pieces. Some have Joshua trees.

I couldn’t imagine water in the desert, lakes or rivers, but sometimes I would dream of a desert lake. Sometimes I wonder if I’m looking for that lake. I use the Google satellite map to look for water, lakes in the middle of rock landscapes and rivers running through sand and scrub.

Today I was gazing at my map markers and noticed that I have a big gap out in the southern California Mojave. So, I zoomed down.

Pisgah Lava Tubes on the Google map

Pisgah Lava Tubes on the Google map

I saw what I thought was a body of water, a desert lake, but as I zoomed down more, I realized it wasn’t water, but some sort of black dirt. It turns out it’s a pile of volcanic rock, and there are lava tubes there. What’s a lava tube? I guess I need to go there and find out. From what I can tell, it’s like a cave. The ones I found are the Pisgah Lava Tubes. I’ve saved it to the map.

About a hundred miles to the east, I see another dark area, and this one is water, Mojave Lake, a wide spot in the Colorado River. Then I glance to the east and see the town of Santa Claus. Planning the trip at Christmastime compels me to save that on the map also. It’s in Arizona.

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