Saturday, February 11, 2012

Changes in Scenery. Changes in Greenery.

The desert has been a wonderfully new, different and especially warm (considering temps in the rest of the country) experience this winter.  But we have been getting the itch.  No, this isn’t due to our current bathing status. 

We just thought that maybe a completely different location in a completely different area (read: NOT DESERT) would be a great idea for a bit.  So, after helping Lou and Dale get their solar system all hooked up, we headed out for San Diego!  What could be more new and different than the beach, the ocean, the big city?  Awesome! 

This is where we would normally write about all of the great things we saw and did in San Diego. 

And this would be were we write that, even though it was technically less than a days drive away, we’re going on several days and we still haven’t seen the beach, the ocean or the big city.

And THIS is where we explain ourselves…

We started out on highway 62 heading west.  Not long into the drive we started noticing that the scenery was already changing.  The mountains were more jagged and the desert area more green and varied.  Distracted and shunpiking quite slowly, as usual, we started noticing all sorts of stop worthy things.  People say that Route 66 is the road to travel but we’re not so sure they didn’t mix it up with Hwy 62.


IMG_1011Desert Graffiti… created out of rocks (some colored with paint) was found along the bank of the rail road tracks.  It stretched for miles and contained everything from Love to God to School Logos.
IMG_1017When this station started burning down, some guy took off so fast he left his wheels behind! This is the only thing remaining of the town of Rice.  A couple of movie scenes were filmed here in 2010.
IMG_1020The shoe farm.  A barbed wire fence containing many, many, many, pairs of shoes (and a few other unmentionables). History: This started years ago as a shoe tree in which people on their way from L.A. to the Colorado River would hang their shoes (not for any particular reason).  Tree burned down in 2003 and now there is this.

IMG_1033Guess these folks liked their shoes too much to leave them behind.
Cannot imagine needing these in the desert. 
Perhaps that’s why they were left behind.
And for my family back in PA
(and a few stragglers, you know who you are, in GA)
If you’re going to make a relatively meaningless tribute in the desert essentially consisting of trash…  you might as well make it patriotic.

Moving on down the road a few miles we came across yet another peculiar item.
IMG_1037 IMG_1038
On the corner of somewhere and 62 is this pole with directions and mileage to random locations. We would have contributed a sign, but we couldn’t list the mileage to ‘everywhere’.  Besides, you just can’t beat Drunken, WY!

Next up… a few more miles down the road… the Desert Lily Sanctuary.
A random pull off that seemed to lead to nowhere actually led to a field where nothing was.IMG_1040It appears that the lily is supposed to bloom in ideal conditions.
The wet spring months so the sign says and it was neither wet nor spring.

So, off down the road we went.  After a few miles we started noticing that the fields were all purple and eventually pulled over to get a closer look.  Walking past some suspicious looking items.  A bag of human hair cuttings and a piece of bone that looked to be a femur (not kidding)… we got to the good stuff… IMG_1072 Purple for miles…  then…  there it was…
In the middle of all of that purple, on the run and escaped from the sanctuary designed to protect it… we caught up with the rare, protected and apparently elusive…
  Desert Lily!

Eventually, we were forced away from our Shunpiking to drive a few miles on the Expressway toward our evening destination.  We saw maybe one flowering bush and nothing else of interest like that we had discovered on Hwy 62. Thus, confirming, yet again, our resolve to take the back (more charismatic) roads of this country whenever possible.