Mojave Road: West to East

Carol and I joined a bunch of friends to run the Mojave Road eastbound, starting in Afton Canyon and running to the river. We deviated from the Mojave Road at Marl Springs, and bopped down the pole line to visit the Kelso Depot, and then returned to The Road through Cedar Canyon.

Desert Longhorn Sheep in Afton Canyon.
Desert bighorn sheep in Afton Canyon (no, this is not a diorama).
An old, buried boxcar in Afton Canyon, just below the train tracks.
An old boxcar in Afton Canyon, buried just below the train tracks. Right about here.
The Mojave Riverbed runs thru Afton Canyon, flowing away from the Pacific.
The Mojave River runs thru Afton Canyon, flowing away from the Pacific.
A train running northbound through Afton Canyon, on its way to Las Vegas and beyond.
A train running northbound through Afton Canyon, crossing the Mojave River at Basin, CA.
Stopping to regroup after passing thru Afton Canyon.
Stopping to regroup after passing thru Afton Canyon.
One of the Tacomas was two wheel drive and experienced problems in the soft sand, providing lots of amusement for the rest of us.
One of the Tacomas was two wheel drive and experienced problems in the soft sand, providing lots of amusement for the rest of us.
Crossing Soda Dry Lake.
Crossing Soda Dry Lake.
Stopping to sign in at the Mojave mail box.
Stopping to sign in at the Mojave mail box.
The Frog Pond behind the mail box.
The Frog Pond behind the mail box.
At Marl Springs, we deviated from the Mojave Road, running down the pole line to Kelso, to check out the newly-renovated Kelso Depot, now a BLM visitor center.
At Marl Springs, we deviated from the Mojave Road, running down the pole line to Kelso, to check out the newly-renovated Kelso Depot, now a BLM visitor center. NPS: “Civil engineers working for the railroad in Los Angeles drew up the plans for the ‘Kelso Clubhouse & Restaurant,’ in 1923. The building would include a conductor’s room, telegraph office, baggage room, dormitory rooms for staff, boarding rooms for railroad crewmen, a billiard room, library and locker room. Construction started in 1923 and the depot opened in 1924. Originally, the restaurant and telegraph office each had three shifts, operating around the clock. This continued through the boom years of the 1940s, when Kaiser’s Vulcan mine caused Kelso’s population to grow to nearly 2,000.” The Depot is right about here.
The telegrapher's office in the Depot.
The telegrapher’s office in the Depot.
The Beanery in the Kelso Depot still serves food. They also make an unbelievable banana shake.
The Beanery in the Kelso Depot still serves food. They also make an unbelievable banana shake.
Carol manages to relax in the Kelso waiting room.
Carol manages to relax in the Kelso waiting room.
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Old graffito at Ft. Rock Springs. There's also numerous Indian petroglyphs nearby.
Old graffito at Ft. Rock Springs. There’s also numerous Indian petroglyphs nearby.
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Sunset in Lanfair Valley, the location of our Saturday night camp.
Sunset in Lanfair Valley, the location of our Saturday night camp.
Igniting the campfire in Lanfair Valley.
Igniting the campfire in Lanfair Valley.
The ruins at Ft. Piute Springs.
The ruins at Ft. Piute Springs, located right about here.
The Mojave Road elevation profile from Afton Canyon, with detour to Kelso, Lanfair Valley and ending at highway 95.
The Mojave Road elevation profile from Afton Canyon, with detour to Kelso, Lanfair Valley and ending at highway 95. Click to embiggen.

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