I was born and raised in Kentucky. Hated the desert when I first came through here in 1960 with family on the way to California. The desert's dry heat started in New Mexico, carried over all the way through Arizonia and the Mojave Desert and was a little better in the valley of San Bernardino. My siblings and I had trouble breathing this dry air. Plus no air conditioning in the car. About five years later, got a day job with a company named Rain for Rent, sprinkler pipes and irrigation systems. The day job took us from Riverside, CA. to an alfalfa field outside Daggett, CA. It was late July, if I recall and it was 114 degrees. We had to dismantle an irrigation system, load it on a truck and haul back to the company. I thought I would die, seriously! I swore that day I would never come back to the Mojave Desert. Plans change! In 1966, I obtained a civil service job with the Department of the Navy.....Marine Corps Base, Barstow, CA. yes, in the middle of the Mojave Desert! As of this year I have lived here in the Mojave Desert for 47 years. Yes...47 years. As they say here, "the sand gets in your shoes".

    
The Mojave River flows, first street bridge, Barstow, CA. (top)
                                                                        Sand Dunes, Stove Pipe Wells area, Death Valley N.P. (lower)

 So, it was no surprise to me when I read the following article published in the Desert Dispatch: 

National Geographic counts Mojave Desert among world's top beauty spots

National Geographic this summer named the Mojave Desert one of the 100 World’s Most Beautiful Places.

The special edition also included places such as Paris, the Great Wall of China and the Amazon Rainforest to its list.

“Far from the madding metropolitan crowds of Las Vegas and Los Angeles that surround it,” the article stated, “the Mojave Desert offers the balm of silence and solitude.”

“It is a world little touched by humans,” it continued, “save for the odd crumbling mine or homestead, but one which nature adorns with the beauty of the Joshua tree and spring’s brief-lived wildflowers.”

“It should also serve as a reminder of the difficult task and duty we all face in protecting the pristine conditions of our desert for future generations to enjoy.”   (End)

Colorado River, Needles, CA.

The desert has its share of heat, dry desolate areas, we are away from the metropolitan hubris, but only a few hours from the beach, or Las Vegas, the Colorado River, and but an hour from 5000 foot Big Bear Lake and just a bit further to Lake Arrowhead. One just needs a healthy respect for the nature of the area, there are many beauties in this isolation, and a lot of historical.The early mornings and evenings are great, and an occasional thunder storm is enjoyable. 

Sawtooth Canyon (top)                                                  Charcoal Ovens, Death Valley Mtns. (lower)