Harper Dry Lake: A Marsh Most Mellow

Harper Dry Lake bed in the Mojave Desert was the site of secret flight test programs conducted by the Hughes & Northrop aircraft companies during the 1940s, including the first flight by an American rocket-propelled aircraft. Howard Hughes tested aircraft and built a hangar here. Years later, it was decided Harper Dry Lake was the best place to launch the space shuttle’s heir apparent, the Lockheed Martin Venture Star.

Harper Dry Lake Marsh, near the tiny community of Lockhart, California, is practically a stone’s throw away from the world’s second largest solar farm facilities.

Despite environmental challenges, peaceful Harper Dry Lake Marsh remains an enduring host to a wide variety of migratory waterfowl…

The Mojave Desert wears a coat of many colors. Both majestic and mysterious, Rainbow Basin is notable for miles of fantastical and beautiful shapes of rock formations, its fossil beds and geologic wonders.

Don’t expect a Skittles rainbow though. You will enjoy its varied palette of natural hues but it’s subtle and changes throughout the day with shadows.

Surprises await just off the beaten path. Park your vehicle to the side of the road and go for a walkabout. Hiking Owl Canyon offers many discoveries, such as lava tubes, dry water falls and…

Welcome to our second installment in our continuing series.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Captain has turned on the Fasten Seat Belt sign.

We hope you enjoy your flight with us as we return to the magical, majestic and oftentimes mysterious past.

We’ve added a few surprises along the way. It’s a short flight so don’t expect candied peanuts.

Buckle up, buttercup. It’s going to be a heck of a ride…

“There ain’t no sin and there ain’t no virtue. There’s just stuff people do.”

—John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

Perhaps no dusty desert town from the 19th Century exemplified Steinbeck’s quote better than Daggett, California. Shootouts, saloons, hangings and frontier justice, the old town had it all, and so much more…

Have you ever wondered what it used to look like in the Mojave Desert in yesteryear? When ingenuity and pure desert grit was king? Do you want to learn secrets the desert has to tell?

Please join us for Part One of many trips through time illuminating the Mojave Desert’s amazing past and present. Trip the light fantastic with us–the desert way…

We were lucky enough to follow along some of Union Pacific steam locomotive Big Boy 4014’s historic journey as it passed through the Mojave Desert from Colton, California to Cheyenne, Wyoming for restoration. Much to the delight of railfans like us, Big Boy’s first scheduled stop was at scenic Mormon Rocks in the Cajon Pass.

Big Boy’s next stop was The Harvey House Railroad Depot in Barstow, originally known as the Casa del Desierto. It was Big Boy’s first visit in 50 years. Would the bittersweet reunion be its last?

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