When some people hear the word Mojave, they may think of snakes, centipedes, or spiders. Maybe even cactus, sand, and desolation. But lovers of the Mojave well know its charms, perhaps more difficult to discern in July but here nevertheless. In March, I traveled to the Mojave National Preserve with 11 former students to learn about this varied landscape. What we found more than anything else was the unexpected. Sand yes, but snow too. Cactus and other desert vegetation but all growing next to some pretty fantastic rocks. The weather was challenging but all good things have a rightful price.
Pyroclastic rocks are exposed here and have weathering into fantastic shapes.
tafoni textures permeate the rocks. These features begin to form long before the rock is exposed to erosion. Groundwater moves through the ash flow and can dissolve some of the silica. No hole is created at this time - only pockets of weakened rock. Some of the dissolutioned silica is redeposited adjacent to the weakened areas. When the rock is exposed to erosion, the weakened areas form holes while areas with extra silica cement surround them!
The Hidden Reality", by Brian Greene, that talks about parallel universes and the possibility that there are many other universes - some that may be just like this one. Sand dunes have a way of making everything seem big.
jointing. As the weathered debris was plucked from the mountains, it could not travel far in the dry desert and the reaming granite mass became buried in its own debris! The Cima Dome.
Joshua trees in the world. And my friend and botanist Orlando Mistretta says it is a subspecies too, The Jaeger Joshua (Yucca brevifolia jaegeriana)
pluvial at this time.
This canyon became so narrow, you literally needed a flashlight to see in it. Thank you to Dr. Meek for meeting with our group in the desert to share his expertise on Lake Manix and its history.
This is a long blog and I'll end it here with a picture of the Providence Mountains, looking southeast from the Cinder Cone area. It was great trip with challenging weather but the Mojave National Preserve is worth a visit. Bring a geologist with you!