Six miles of dusty washboard dirt road takes you from the two lane highway to another world. You may not recognize the Trona Pinnacles but you have all seen them many times. Planet of the Apes, Star Wars, The Lost World, Jurassic Park, and many other films were shot here using these unusual geologic wonders as a background to create the illusion that they were filming on another planet. The pinnacles were formed underwater in Searles Lake and left to stand alone when the lake dried up some 10,000 years ago. They truly are majestic and when you are close you do get the feeling you are surrounded by something unearthly. Many folks blow right past this place on their way to Death Valley never even suspecting that they exist. We made a day trip to see them and it was well worth the effort. The attached pictures are just a few of the dozens that we took as everywhere you look there seems to be another postcard perfect scene to capture. We stayed much longer then we planned and we had the whole place to ourselves for the entire morning. An F-18 doing tests at nearby China Lake made a
low and fast pass through the valley reminding us that we were not far from civilization and I wondered what this place must look like from the air. It has be "one of those" flyby sites that everyone in the pattern comes to see at least once. From there we drove to the California State Park at Red Rock Canyon. It is a very nice little park with easy access but once you have been to Sedona all other red rock canyons pale by comparison. Not a wasted trip but not somewhere I would go out of may way to visit again. Last night we were treated to a full moon rising over our campsite and we sat outside in a slight breeze as the temperature cooled from the afternoon high of 90. Tomorrow we head to Death Valley for a two day trip that includes tent camping for one night. We brought all the stuff with us and we are excited about "camping" again. Or maybe we just don't remember just how painful it really was and we need a refresher course on why we spent all this money on a fifth wheel. We'll see.