Saturday, February 22, 2020

Mojave National Preserve

Last weekend, since the military was on a 4 day weekend, we decided to pack a picnic lunch, load up the car and drive out to someplace we haven't been before - the Mojave National Preserve. 

Our first stop took us to the Kelso depot. The depot opened in 1905 and was a train station for the Union Pacific railroad.  The depot is still there and is now a visitors center, museum and gift shop.   What was really cool is that while we where there, a train did pass through (but of course did not stop as it's no longer a depot) so the kids got to watch it come by.  

After watching the train, we headed inside the visitors center.

The museum inside was really neat and showcased flora and fauna found in the preserve, as well as the various types of rocks that can be found, including igneous rock from the past volcanic activity that occurred in the area.

There is also a large section of the museum dedicated to the Union Pacific railroad, the depot itself and the town of Kelso, which is now a ghost town.

Ashleigh brought her camera with her to take photos and videos for her upcoming youtube channel.. LOL

There are a few remenants of the town of Kelso, including the stockade outside.  Of course both Charles and the kids had to have a picture of themselves in the stocks.

The kids in front of the old Kelso Post office.

From the Kelso Depot, we headed south to the Kelso Dunes to do a bit of hiking.  The sand was super soft and swishy and after a while, we decided to take our hiking boots off and just hoof it barefoot.  It felt so good.

We found a great sand dune that was perfect for rolling down, so that's what they decided to do, with Dad leading the charge.  They had sand in every crevice available but they had a blast rolling down the sand dunes.

After the dunes, we headed north to the Cima dome which has the largest forest of Joshua trees..  I've lived in the Mojave now for 9 years and I have never seen so many Joshua trees ever!!  It was pretty impressive.

At the Cima dome, there is also a cross dedicated to those who died in the various wars.  Originally, i believe it was suppose to be World War II veterans but was later rededicated to include all of those killed.

The Mojave National Preserve is a good sized park with lots of things to see, such as a lava tube and underground caverns.  We didn't have time to see all of the park, but quickly determined that we would definitely have to go back again soon (although first, we will be going to Death Valley next month).

Afterwards, we headed to a lil eatery called Peggy Sue's 50's diner located in Yermo California.  Just from the facade outside, we knew it was going to be a neat place to stop and have a bite.

 Inside had lots of music and movie nostalgia from the 50s, including sculptures of Elvis and James Dean and with old music playing while we ate.

Charles even ordered a Cherry Phosphate soda which uses phosphoric acid to produce a sour flavor.  They also offered a soda called Green River, which we had never heard of .  We looked it up and found it is a lime flavored soda originally created in 1916.

Charles with his Cherry Phosphate soda

Alyssa ordered some sort of Open Faced Burger with Chili on the top

The southern gal in me couldn't pass up a Chicken fried Steak with gravy

Before we hit the road, everyone checked out the 5 and Dime store and then hit the restrooms.  In the Women's restroom, we found a rather interesting situation!!

Luckily, it was just a mannequin but definitely left for a rather funny photo opportunity ;)

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