Sunday, April 28, 2019

Mojave National Preserve

The Mojave National Preserve is on the way to Utah, or at least it is if you stop by Amboy Crater on the way.  We wanted to see the desert sunflowers at Amboy, and then try a few hikes from Michel Digonnet's book Hiking the Mojave Desert.  We accomplished both.

Amboy had a few areas with nice patches of sunflowers.  Not as good as it can be, but enjoyable.

Evening Primrose
Sand Verbena

Along the way, ok, it was in the wrong direction, we swung by the Cleghorn Wilderness to see the flowers, nice, but past peak.  

Mojave National Preserve is huge, and once again we only saw a very tiny part of it in the two and half days we spent there .  This time we did a couple of hikes in the Granite Mountains and one in the Providence Mountains.  We will be back.

ebird list

Our first hike was to the Sheep Corral.  Visualize, if you can, a boulder field labyrinth, placed below ground level.  We wound our way, through and around, occasionally popping up to ground level to see where we were at.

Desert Bells, lovely.

Bob makes it look easy.
Not so easy on crawling under the boulders.

I thought this was a Linanthus, but I might be heading down the wrong path.  Any ideas?

Our next hike had us exploring the southern part of the Providence Mountains.  It started out being an out and back along an old road, but somehow morphed into an off trail mountain traverse.  We wouldn't want life to get boring!  We ended up calling this The Biting Cholla Loop hike.

Yes, Bob got bit and more than once.

Next up was Lake Mead National Recreation Area.  We swung by as I read that there were flowers blooming,  We didn't count on it being so pretty.

Just when we thought the flower show might be ending, we rounded a corner and WOW!  A life flower and the scenery.  We didn't expect it to be so interesting.  The Silverleaf Sunray is an endemic restricted to the Lake Mead area.  Other lovely gypsum soil plants occur.  We missed them.  Guess we will have to go back and look harder.

Lake Mead complete with bathtub ring, and the donkey trail that peters out and leaves us on a ledge.