Mojave Snowbird Trip – Chemehuevi Mountains

The what mountains? Amazing how many unknown places there are down here in the Mojave, I stopped on a gravel patch next to US95 and discovered these!

It was so nice at Sand Mine Road this morning I had a hard time leaving and almost stayed another day, but I have a couple of weeks and can get further south with that much time so off I went. The drive through Lake Mead National Recreation Area is fantastic, if you like barren rocky desert with rocky mountains, which I do. I definitely need to get back there and explore a lot more. My intended destination was the Dead Mountains, the BLM web site showed a single camp site north of the wilderness area along a dirt road. What they didn’t say is that the road is really a narrow sandy two track unsuitable for The Caravan. I pushed on trying to find another boondocking spot but there was nothing close, I ended up continuing on south of Needles on US95 and pulled over in the gravel spot.

Biff and I went for a short walk around camp to see what could be found, I found cactus and succulents, he had other interests…

This barrel cactus was about 3 feet tall, no cactus in Wayne County gets that tall (because of the cold)
Biff’s interests were more edible than mine , though he buried this one for later. He also picked up a cactus skeleton and somewhat bemused by it.
A very healthy Ocotillo, about 15 feet tall with the central canes being about 2″ wide.
Ocotillos only get their leaves after a rainfall though they can keep them quite a long time. Most of the time they look like dead sticks standing up in the desert.
The ‘deadly’ Cholla, the pieces jump off and attach themselves firmly to whatever they touch, it is very painful to remove them.
I believe that the little ‘crown’ in the middle of the picture is where the last fruit was, but it could also be the beginning of a flower (experts?)
Some cactus just love rock gardens, these two were about 9″ tall.
Even the normally bedraggled creosote bushes were putting on a show.