Monday, March 23, 2009

Going to a Ghost Town in the Mojave Desert

After driving trough the big and hot Mojave desert we arrived in the ghost town of CALICO


was developed in 1881 during the largest silver strike in California. Located at the side of towering King Mountain, the town was named for the variety of colors in the mountain that were "as purty as a gal's calico skirt." Calico boomed during 1881-1896; but the end came to the silver rush in 1896 and by 1904 Calico had become a ghost town.
Today the historic silver mining town lives on as one of the few original Old West mining camps. One-third of Calico's original structures still stand; the remaining buildings have been carefully reconstructed to capture the Old West spirit. Walk Main Street and experience the life of the townspeople; see the blacksmith shop, the old school house, and do a little gold panning of your own.

Tour Maggie's Mine and visit the Mystery Shack, a tilted house that let's you observe water running uphill. You can take a ride around town on a narrow gauge mining train.
Main Street is lined with mercantile stores - from the General Store to the Apothecary. Be sure to pick up a souvenir for family and friends back home.
Calico provides full and partial camping hook-ups, camping cabins and bunkhouses located at the base of town.

After a not so quiet night in a Truck stop place in Wasco we left towards Bakersfield and up into the Tehachapi Reservation area. The mountains there reminded me very much to Irelands endless green hills, very nice!

Two cows in a pretty landscape

Finally, the sun started to shine trough the clouds and put these rolling hills in a beautiful, spooky scenery

A pastoral scene - cows again :)

The Santa Fe Railroad is searching slowly his way trough the hills of the Tehachapi mountains

is a city incorporated in 1909 located in its namesake Tehachapi Mountains between Bakersfield and Mojave in Kern County, California. The area is known for its Tehachapi Loop, Tehachapi Pass Wind Farm, proximity to Edwards Air Force Base, and excellent environment for gliding. A maximum security prison, the California Correctional Institution, also known as the Tehachapi State Prison, has long been located in the area. The population was 10,957 at the 2000 census. As of 2006 the total population of the Tehachapi area is estimated at 35,000 including surrounding areas. The populated places in the vicinity of the incorporated City of Tehachapi include Golden Hills, Old Town, Bear Valley Springs, Stallion Springs, Oak Knolls, Alpine Forest Park, Mountain Meadows, Cummings Valley, Brite Valley, Old West Ranch, Sand Canyon, Keene, and Hart Flat. The Greater Tehachapi Area has a 25-mile (40 km) radius. Tehachapi's Elevation ranges from 3,969 feet (1,210 m) to 7,981 feet (Double Mountain).

The headquarters of the United Farm Workers, a national farmworker's organization that was founded and led by Cesar Chavez, is located 10 miles (20 km) to the west at Keene. In April 2004 the National Chavez Center opened to the public.

The area in and around the city is also known for its apple orchards, though these have decreased in recent decades. Its four seasons climate and rural ambiance has of late attracted retirees to the city. The late actor Jack Palance of City Slickers fame lived on a ranch just north of the Stallion Springs area.

While less than 120 miles (190 km) to the north-east of Los Angeles, Tehachapi maintains a distinctively rural atmosphere. Currently, there are only five traffic signals within or near the city limits. Ranches with horses as well as homes on large areas are common in the areas surrounding the city of Tehachapi. In addition, a number of flora and fauna reside in the area and include the California Poppy (state flower), California quail (state bird), Mojave green rattlesnake, mountain lion (cougar), bobcat, deer, and wild boar to name just a few.

Tehachapi Pass

The east and south area of the Tehachapi Pass has one of California's larger Wind farms, generating electricity. The turbines have been in place since the early 1980s and have been upgraded through the years. The original wind turbines were much smaller than the much taller and larger new version turbines now sited for use. They are easily seen from State Route 58 and from Tehachapi-Willow Springs Road.

In a recent move, Southern California Edison plans to secure 1,500 megawatts (MW) or more of power generated from new projects to be built in the Tehachapi area. The 2006 contract, which more than doubles SCE’s wind energy portfolio, envisions more than 50 square miles (130 km2) of wind parks in the Tehachapi region, which is triple the size of any existing U.S. wind farm.

Barstow is a desert town, located at the old Route66 in California

Once a small mining center and railroad town in California's Mojave Desert, Barstow is located at the junction of 3 major highways -- Interstate 15, Interstate 40 and State Highway 58. It is centrally located in the western Mojave at the entrance to the Mojave National Preserve and is home of the U.S. Army National Training Center, Marine Corps Logistics Base, NASA's Goldstone Deep Space Network and Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad Yards.

All the old Motels on Route 66 - I bet they have seen better times than today!

The same train that we have seen in the Tehachapi region before is arrived also in the Mojave desert

Some people like to collect old junk!

The Little San Bernardino Mountains
are short peninsular range in southern California in the United States. They extend for approximately 40 mi (64 km) southeast from the San Bernardino Mountains through San Bernardino and Riverside counties to the northeast edge of the Salton Sea. The range separates the Coachella Valley on the west from the Mojave Desert on the east. The peaks vary in height from approximately 4,000-5,000 ft (1,200-1,650 m). The range highpoint is Quail Mountain (California), elevation 5,813' (1,772 m). The popular resort community of Palm Springs sits to the west of the range in the Coachella Valley.

After long hours driving we have seen finally our place to go for the night: CALICO, a ghost town in the mountains of the Mojave desert!
(have a look at the collage in the first picture)

Only three miles up to the hills....

Arrived!! And this was the very affordable, small campground for the night - and we were not the only one there

And this was the beautiful view down into the Mojave desert's sandy valley

Hi my friends,

I have to say it again and again:
I want thank you very much for all your visits and comments to my last postings.

Me too, I like the rural landscapes much better than big cities with all the crazy traffics :)
And this country has so much to offer, the landscapes are always beautiful and changing so much to more better scenes than before! I'm very impressed and often overwhelmed about that what I'm seeing!

All the pictures, or maybe 90% of all the pictures I shoot them out from the car while we are driving - it's not often easy to stop and if we would have done that, we would have been never come that far :) and soon I'll show you pictures about "Sin City" - a city to love or to hate... I LOVE it!

Stay tuned with me,
Susanne and David


Anna said...

Susanne how are you doing dear? These are amazing landscapes, I love them, I wish I could tag along with you lol. So powerful. Yet some do collect junk, but that was a lot of junk, lol. Thanks for sharing your adventures, looks like weather been good to you too. Take care, and all the best to David. Anna :)

The Retired One said...

My favorite ones of this posting are the ones with the mist in the hills!

Anonymous said...

Susanne--These posts you are doing are just incredible. I'm sorry if I've said that before, but it's hard to find new words to use. The photos are amazing. Thank you so much.

dcwewetzer said...

Great photos - I lived in Barstow for 12 years - left in 2004. Nice to see the High Desert in your Quality Photos.

Carole said...

Great landscapes Susanne. You do well taking them out of the car window. My hand isn't steady just standing still LOL.

silken said...

what beautiful shots. I bet the ghost town was interesting

Photo Boost said...

You certainly are having a great time. I also love the country side and your ghost town photos are beautiful. Wish we could do the same. some day....

GMG said...

Hi Sue! Sorry for the absence! It has been hard to get some free time... ;)
Hope you didn't get lost in the ghost town... ;)

Now, «The Masterpiece» waits you and your comments at Blogtrotter. You shouldn’t miss it, believe me... ;). Enjoy and have a great weekend!

RennyBA said...

Your photos are breath taking - thanks for taking your time to share!

Happy Weekend from your Norwegian follower :-)

Mari' said...

Great pictures!


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