Photography . . . Travel . . .

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Desert Road Trip - Day 1

I am attending an annual Mortgage Bankers Association conference, which is being held this year in Las Vegas. I thought it might more fun to drive from San Diego rather than fly, since I could take a few scenic detours (and a lot of pictures) along the way.  At Barstow I turned on to I-40, then got off the Interstate at Kelbaker Road so that I could drive through the Mojave National Preserve. I followed Kelbaker Road up to Kelso, where I toured the restored Union Pacific station, then took Kelso-Cima Road to Cima, then from there continued on Cima Road back to I-15 and Las Vegas. It felt good to get off of the Interstate and on to Kelbaker Road, heading north.

After several times pulling over to the side of the road to take pictures like the ones above, I finally got to the restored Union Pacific railroad station in Kelso. I had seen the twin of this station, in Caliente, NV, a few years ago, but it's pretty run down and surrounded by a chain link fence. The National Park Service has done a really nice job of restoring this station, and it now serves as a visitor center. They have even recently restored and reopened the old lunch counter. The sandwiches are actually pretty good.

I think that the old Kelso post office has seen better days.

From Kelso I headed for Cima, then from Cima turned north to link back up with I-15.  Kelso-Cima Road follows the rail line, and a train just happened to come just as I had stopped for some pictures.

Here's a shot looking south towards the Provident Mountains from Kelso-Cima Road. Yes, that is snow. From what the ranger said, I should have been here a few weeks ago, there was a lot more.

The worlds largest Joshua Tree forest is located along Cima Road between Cima and I-15. I passed through there just as the sun was setting.

I arrived at the Mandalay Bay Hotel at about 6:00PM, having left home at 9:30AM. The conference runs through Wednesday evening. On Thursday I'll head for home, but plan to take at least 2 days, with lots of exploration in the desert along the way.

Click here to see lots more pictures from the drive from San Diego to Las Vegas.

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San Diego, California, United States
About me . . . When I'm not working I like to be out exploring and photographing. I do this blog just for fun, and to be able to share these images with friends. I hope you enjoy viewing these images as much as I enjoyed creating them.

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Header image: Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, Cibola, Arizona. End image: Downtown San Diego, California skyline from Coronado Island. Profile picture: Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho, by Heather Baiamonte.