Friday, December 31, 2010

Lava flow in the Mojave desert

The lava flow wasn't too hard to find- it was about 17 miles east of Baker, just like the guidebook said it would be.  You could see a mass of brown rock lying on the ground where the volcano had dumped it whenever it was formed- I can't remember exactly when, but I think maybe a million years ago?

That's the lava flow on the right:

Finding a way from the road in to see it was another matter.  Nothing is marked- the guidebook would say "turn onto an unmarked road at around mile 17, followed by a right turn onto a dirt track, and look for the inviting-looking spot to park about 0.2 miles down the track".  Thing is, there really were no roads, marked or otherwise.  We found a track that might have been the "road" we were looking for and went down it, and parked when it looked like it was dangerous to go further.

This is the edge of the lava flow, there is a sand wash at the base of it:

This is the surface of the lava flow once you're up on top of it.

Close up of a lava blob:

Here are some more photos of the edge of the lava flow, on the way out.

A rock at the edge of the lava flow, you can see the "wet" flowing pattern in it:

We then went back down the road in the direction we came in.  We had no luck finding the other "road" we were to go down, so we parked the car on the main road and just hiked in across the desert to see the flow at another spot.

Again, that's the lava flow on the right.  Behind it is some mountains.

It's pretty high in this spot, maybe as high as a 3 storey building:

I found it interesting.  It's definitely off the beaten path.

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