Eastern Mojave Vegetation Basin Road - Mojave Desert  

Tom Schweich  

Home Page  (No Preface)

Other articles:
• Interstate 15:   at Basin Road;  

  • U. S. Interstate 15

Literature Cited:
- Laity, June, 2000.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  200004290020;
Full Size ImageVentifact on top of Ventifact Hill  

Ventifact Hill

The easily accessible vertifacts at "Ventifact Hill," east of Afton Canyon, are just a few of the many spectacular examples of sandblasted rocks that are to be found in the east-central Mojave Desert. They have formed in a corridor of wind transport which moved sand from the Mojave River eastward through the Devil's Playground, and ultimately towards the Kelso Dunes. Most of the ventifacts in this region are fossil or relict in nature, attesting to a time of greater sediment availability and possibly higher velocity winds. Today, areas of active ventifact formation are limited to a few hill crests where dune sand is being reworked by bidirectional winds (From the Author's Introduction, Laity, 2000).

Full Size ImageChilopsis linearis "Desert Willow"
Full Size ImageChilopsis linearis "Desert Willow"
Full Size ImageLarrea tridentata "Creosote Bush"  
Full Size Image
Larrea tridentata "Creosote Bush"
This area along Basin Road is the beginning of the "Mojave Sink," where the Mojave River sinks into the sand and gravels. Occasionally the water will go northeast along Basin Road and into the Cronese Basin after passing under U. S. Interstate 15. Here is a combination of three large desert shrubs: Creosote (Larrea tridentata), Mesquite (Prosopis sp.), and Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis ssp. arcuata).
  Junction: Iron Mine Road

The road to the right goes to an operating iron mine. There is a locked gate in the valley between the mountains ahead. However, before you get to the gate is a small dug pond that held water in April 2000.

Literature Cited:
- Reynolds, Robert E., and Jennifer Reynolds, 2000.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 212;
Full Size Image"Rock Nettle" (Eucnide urens) in the Cave Mountain (Baxter) Limestone Quarry  

Full Size Image
Coll. No. 212, Physalis crassifolia
Cave Canyon (Baxter) Limestone Deposits

The metamorphosed Paleozoic limestone has been mined since the Pacific Marble Quarries Company opened operations in 1925. The iron deposits on the opposite side of the ridge have been mined since the 1930's (Reynolds & Reynolds, 2000)

Growing in the rocks and limestone cliffs, I found several "Rock Nettles" (Eucnide urens). My collection Number 213 was taken from this plant.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:   16 Apr 2017;

Locations: Basin.
Full Size ImageCrossing the Union Pacific tracks at Basin.  

Cross Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

Other articles:
• Afton Road:   at Baxter;
• Union Pacific Maintenance Road:   near Baxter;  

  • Afton Road.
  • Union Pacific maintenance road. This road goes down the south side of the railroad, to Crucero Road.
If you have a question or a comment you may write to me at: tomas@schweich.com I sometimes post interesting questions in my FAQ, but I never disclose your full name or address.  

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Date and time this article was prepared: 7/13/2024 8:01:01 AM