On Sunday morning we headed to the east end of Afton to check out a couple 'sites of mystery' in the desert. This old mine camp had incredible walls made from gathered rock. There was no 'glue' to stick these rocks together - they were just put together like a complicated puzzle.
Looked like an old rail line coming through here
The best ruins. I found one reference to this place being called 'the Chinaman's Wall' but I don't know how accurate it is. I'd love to learn more about this place!
The steel from the old rail is gone, supposedly taken for WWII
The incredible stacked walls. Imagine finding and organizing rocks that fit so perfectly together.
Lots of talc - but this was it, so I don't think this was a talc mine. I'd be interested to find out what was mined here.
Probably what our trailblazer will end up as someday
There are some buried rail cars next to the tracks, supposedly from an old derailment. It looked like someone had dug into one from here...
And here's the roof. Notice the tracks right there. The tire tracks are from the mojave road which runs right next to the railcar.
The mojave road runs along the wide sandy canyon here. Pick your difficulty!
Sheep just off of Zzyzx road. They were far up the mountain and I just noticed one because the white butt stood out against the dark rock. I'm pretty pleased with the shot - it was taken as a quick handheld shot with my 18-200mm lens extended all the way to 200 mm.
The sheep see me, even though I'm quite a ways away
At the end of Zzyzx road is a resort, now a Desert Research Center
The pool at the Zzyzx resort
Those hills are where we saw the sheep on the way in
Lunch! The Mad Greek in Baker. Overpriced but yummy. Later in the week I had the Gyro Omelet for breakfast and it. was. AWESOME.
Next we headed into Mojave to visit the Cow Cove petroglyphs. This 'X' was in the road at the exact spot we needed to leave the truck and go on foot to the 'glyphs. Thanks, anonymous helper!
Big Joshua Tree
At Cow Cove
This was the first glyph I saw. Counting something, maybe?
The glyphs here were incredible. Everywhere I looked they were covering rocks. By far the best glyph site I've seen, in quality, quantity, and variety.
Petroglyphs - many abstract patterns here
Insect? Rain or river?
This panel was in bad light but I really liked it and had to include the photo. I think the squiggles are water. The dots are corn. Is the other an apple? A mortar tool?
This is one of my favorites. I see so many things in this glyph that I'm not going to even guess what it means.
Look carefully at this picture and you'll see a glyph on almost every rock! It was amazing.
A sheep. Not many human or animal figures here, most of the cow cove petroglyphs are abstract.
Bowling ball or God of Death? You decide.
The end of the Cow Cove ridge
Zoomed in on the outcropping. It's covered with panels of petroglyphs!
The prominence at the end of the ridge, covered with glyphs