California here we come

Mystic of Holyhead (successor to Lynn Rival)
Rachel and Paul Chandler
Wed 30 Oct 2019 17:46
After two nights at the Grand Canyon it was time to head west.  We followed some of Route 66 stopping in Williams and Seligman to admire the memorabilia but found it all a bit tired and underwhelming.  We stayed overnight in a motel at Kingman in quirky rooms with dodgy plumbing dedicated to Marilyn Munroe and James Dean (the rooms, not the plumbing).

From Kingman we crossed briefly into Nevada and then California, taking minor roads in order to visit the Mojave National Preserve.  We drove through one of the densest areas of the Josua tree, which only grows in the Mojave Desert, and on to the Kelso depot, a small oasis built for railroad use and now home to a Visitors Centre.

Joshua tree - a prime specimen

The Kelso Depot.  Still an active marshalling area for the long (up to 3km) trains which use this railroad

Museum displays explain the changes brought by the railroad and the automobile

The National Preserve has a number of interesting geological features including "singing" sand dunes.  We didn't hear them sing but were delighted to see a desert tortoise crossing the track on the way to the dunes.

Why did the tortoise cross the road? . . .

. . . To get to the singing dunes.  Sorry, no sound track.

Rocky outcrops in the Mojave Preserve - pretty much as inhospitable as the dunes.

It was getting late by the time we reached Barstow, back on Route 66 again, to stop for the night at the California Inn.