Thursday, September 23, 2010

Desert sojourn, day 14

Warning sign on the border of the Marine base

Today for the first time I did not take a walk in the morning. I slept in a little, then worked a little on my book, then had coffee while I started work. Then I knocked off at 4:00 pm and went in Christine's 4-wheel drive out the same road I had tried to go on last weekend -- her vehicle is more suited to the desert roads than my Volvo sedan. We drove across the mesa on the other side of the valley, all the way to the border of the Marine Corps base. (See the map from a few entries ago.) Then we turned west and drove along the border of the base, past a small mountain called Goat Mountain, and out to Giant Rock.

Giant Rock is worth a story on its own, and many have written it. Here's one version, emphasizing the New Age strain that is abroad in this area. (Not far away is a structure called the Integratron. We'll go to the New York Times for an illustration of that; interior here.) It's been the scene in the past of rave events in the 1990s, and more recently as a rallying point for off-road partiers. When we arrived, there was only one pickup truck, with a couple of guys drinking beer, one of them taking a rifle out of the back of the truck. They didn't look hostile but there's not much to do at Giant Rock if you don't have beer and guns, so we turned around and went back to civilization, passing through Landers and arriving back in Joshua Tree.

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