Favorite Places – Trona Pinnacles:
At one time, geologically speaking, not long ago, the Mojave had many large lakes fed by water from glacial melting. The Pinnacles show the most obvious evidence of this with its tufa towers extending to where the surface of the water once was.
The Mojave High Desert is one desert rather than a series of separate entities- That we are the same through the diversity that binds us. By becoming aware of our combined identity, we may be able to appreciate, and better understand issues affecting our Mojave Desert on a holistic level. In this presentation we meander back and forth across the Mojave Desert in photographs to illustrate this concept.
I’m not sure about the composition of the Kelso Dunes in the Mojave Preserve. The link I provide in the following states that the dunes are from different sources, stacked together. Now, I have a freind that seems more than knowledgeable about these things, and he told me the dunes were made primarily of rose quartz. That he had taken a microscope to the dunes once and examined a sample of the sand grains. He told me these grains of sand were curiously perfectly spherical, and that may account for the ‘booming’ quality of the dunes.
Maybe they are from several different sources as the link claims. I’m not a geologist or expert in eolian forces. It’s all interesting to me, but for now I’ve chosen to run with saying the dunes are composed generally of rose quartz. Why? Well, because it sounds cool, and, because I can.
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in 1857 Col. H. Washington came through the Johnson Valley surveying the San Bernardino Baseline and documenting the biology of the desert. The party saw an old woman at the spring, most likely left behind with the children while the rest of the clan were in the mountains hunting game and gathering pinon nuts. By the time the surveyors made it to the spring, everyone was gone. They named the springs, Old Woman Springs.
“… But there was never any but Winnenap’ who could tell and make it worth telling about Shoshone Land. And Winnenap’ will not any more. He died, as do most medicine-men of the Paiutes.
Where the lot falls when the campoodie chooses a medicine-man there it rests. It is an honor a man seldom seeks but must wear, an honor with a condition. When three patients die under his ministrations, the medicine-man must yield his life and his office.”
Bob Reynolds, the one-time earth sciences curator for the San Bernardino County Museum and lifelong explorer of the geology and paleontology of the Mojave Desert is the only dude I know that has had a mineral named after him–reynoldsite.
In this shot Bob is talking about fossil deer tracks and how they may have come to be at this undisclosed location in the Mojave Desert millions of years after they were made.
Geology icon immortalized with mineral:
“During my absence one of my Indian guides who had been imprisoned was released by death and the other was kept in the guard house at night and at hard labor during the day having the menial service of the guard house to perform. I took a convenient opportunity to speak to the Father in his behalf he told me he would do all in his power for his release.”