Eastern Mojave Vegetation Field Notes (Continued)  

Tom Schweich  

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2008 Tour de Swertia albomarginata
Mono Lake, August 2008
Literature Cited
 When I first read the field notes of Annie Alexander and Louise Kellogg, I was fascinated by the descriptions they wrote about the places they went and the plants and animals they found there. By publishing my field notes on the Internet I hope to follow a little bit in their tradition.









Full Size ImageAlexander-Philips Corp.
Full Size ImagePaul Schweich, Alpha Aviation
Full Size ImagePaul Schweich, CFI  
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Paul by a charter flight


1980 Desert Studies Field Trip


Locations: Kelso Dunes. Wild Horse Canyon.
Full Size ImageHiking in the Kelso Dunes
Full Size ImageGolden Eagle in juniper along Lobo Point Road.  

Day 0

If I remember correctly, we were supposed to leave for the eastern Mojave on Saturday, and camp at the Barstow Syncline. However, the weather was bad, and we delayed our departure until very early Sunday morning. Henry was in charge of our van and he is in this photo (the tall person left of center). He must have had us stop at the Kelso Dunes on our way into Lobo Point, as this was one of my first photographs of the trip.

Other articles: Black Canyon Road Hole-in-the-Wall Lobo Point Road in the Valley of Lobo Point Wild Horse Canyon Road s. side Barber Mtn near Banshee Cyn Spur road to Banshee Canyon

Locations: Barber Mountain. Hole-in-the-Wall. Lobo Point. Table Top.
Full Size ImageTable Top as seen from Barber Mountain.  

Day 1 -- Barber Mountain

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Lobo Point Camp as seen from the top of Barber Mountain.
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Matt and Kate check out some tafoni at Hole-in-the-Wall.
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Pause at the southwest side of Hole-in-the-Wall
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Petroglyphs near Hole-in-the-Wall.
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Viewing petroglyphs near Hole-in-the-Wall
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South side of Barber Mountain.
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South side of Barber Mountain.

Locations: Wild Horse Mesa.
Full Size ImageProvidence Mountains from north rim of Wild Horse Mesa.
Full Size ImageTop of Wild Horse Mesa from the top of the north rim.  

Day 2 -- Wild Horse Mesa

Hike to Wild Horse Mesa.

Our route was from Lobo Point camp west across Wild Horse Canyon, up the north face of the mesa, southwards to a rock shelter, then south and east to descend into Saddle Horse Canyon. After a stop at the Ceremonial Site, then we crossed northeast and up the wash back into camp.

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Providence Mountains from north rim of Wild Horse Mesa.
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North rim of Wild Horse Mesa.
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Rock shelter on Wild Horse Mesa.
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Me on Wild Horse Mesa
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Hiking on top of Wild Horse Mesa.
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Massive and columnar jointed welded tuff on the rim of Wild Horse Mesa.

Other articles: Essex Road at Mitchell Caverns Eastern Mojave Climate 32000

Locations: Mitchell Caverns.
Full Size ImageThe south end of Wild Horse Mesa from Mitchell Caverns.  

Day 3 -- Mitchell Caverns

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A little snow at Mitchell Caverns
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The entrance to Mitchell Caverns.
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Mitchell Caverns headquarters at the end of Essex Road.

Literature Cited:
- Hewett, D. Foster, 1956.

Other articles: Hart Mine Road Hart (site)

Locations: Hart.  

Day 4 -- Hart and Vontrigger Hills

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The Castle Peaks north of Hart.
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Mine dump at Hart.
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Looking over a mine at Hart
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Lanfair Valley south of Hart
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New York Mountains west of Hart
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Mining area at Hart
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Open pit at Hart.
In something of a quandary because of bad weather, someone, perhaps John Schaeffer, suggested Hart.

Other articles: Lanfair Road near Vontrigger Hills and Spring

Locations: Vontrigger Hills. Wild Horse Canyon.
Full Size ImageInteresting outcrop across the wash.  

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Outcrop beside the wash.
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Windmills beside the wash.
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Along Lanfair Road between Hackberry Mountain and Vontrigger Hills.
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Hiking group in west edge of Vontrigger Hills.
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Rock shelter near Vontrigger Spring.
Vontrigger Spring and vicinity.

Other articles: Lobo Point Road near Barber Mtn in the Valley of Lobo Point correlation of rock units

Locations: Barber Mountain. Lobo Point. Table Top.
Full Size ImageMatt and Lobo Point in the morning.  

Day 5 -- Lobo Point

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Faulted ash bed on Lobo Point.
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Lobo Point Camp from Lobo Point.
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Fault on the northwest face of Lobo Point
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Ash bed used to correlate rock units on Lobo Point
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Lunch group.
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Table Top from the small cliffs on the north side of Lobo Point
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Lobo Point from the slopes of Barber Mountain
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Cliff at base of Barber Mountain
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Ash bed used to correlate rock units on Barber Mountain
Free day at Lobo Point for projects.

Locations: Wild Horse Mesa.
Full Size ImageWild Horse Mesa in the early morning.  

Day 6 -- Going Home


Other articles: Bald Hills Road at unnamed road

Locations: Redwood National Park.
Full Size ImageWaiting for the shuttle to pick us up in RedWood National Park  

Backpacking at Redwood National Park.


Locations: Lassen National Park.
Full Size ImageField trip to Lassen National Park.  

1980 Lassen Field Trip

Looks like this field trip might have been to Lassen National Park.






April, 1981



1981 Desert Studies Field Trip


Other articles: Caruthers Canyon Road in Caruthers Cyn

Locations: Caruthers Canyon. Rock Spring. Watson Wash.
Full Size ImageWatson Wash at Camp Rock Spring.  

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My house is your house

Other articles: Paulina Lake Road 17000 18000

Locations: Big Obsidian Flow Trailhead. Paulina Lake.
Full Size ImageFishing in Paulina Lake.  

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Big Obsidian Flow trail.

Full Size ImageRachel with giant sunflower.  


Other articles: North Highway Mesquite Spring Campground
Full Size ImageGood-bye photo at Mesquite Spring Campground.  

1981 Death Valley Field Trip

One of my many rainy trips to Death Valley.

I think this was one on Roland Gangloff's trips. The first night was at Rhyolite, where we pitched camp in the oncoming rain, and went into Beatty for dinner. At the time, there was only the Exchange Club, that was casino, restaurant, bar, and Greyhound bus stop. There were packages piled up around the front door that had just come in on the bus. I remember having Thanksgiving dinner here, but not whether it was Wednesday or Thursday night. We took this station wagon through Titus Canyon, ripping a hole in the muffler at one point. Then camped in the rain at Mesquite Spring Campground. That day or the next day we visited Ubehebe Crater and Scotty's Castle. We also had a flat tire and discovered that we only had one of those new little donuts with a 35 mph speed restriction. The garage at Furnace Creek was open on Sunday, but we had to wait quite a while while they struggled to inflate some giant 4WD tires for the person ahead of us. With out tire fixed, we exited through Death Valley Junction and Baker for the drive home.





Full Size ImageRachel, January, 1982  



Full Size Image“Rachel learning to ride a 2-wheel bike. Oakland 8-14-82”  

August 14th

Rachel learning to ride a 2-wheel bike. Oakland. 8/14/1982.

Full Size Image“Matt, Jacob & Rachel before opening gifts Christmas Eve, 1982.”  

December 24th

Christmas Eve, 1982

Full Size Image“Paul, Tom, Cheryl & Rachel having breakfast Christmas Day, 1982.”  

December 25th

Christmas, 1982






1983 Desert Studies Field Trip


Other articles: Globe Mine Road near Summit Spr Rd Winkler's Cabin Road Winkler's Cabin (Site)

Locations: Globe Canyon (Upper). Winklers Cabin.
Full Size ImageField trip stop at Winkler's Cabin in April 1983.  

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Where we left the cars in Globe Canyon.

Full Size Image“Rachel in our backyard, May 30, 1983.”  

May 30th

Visit to Granada Hills.






Other articles: Bonanza King Rd Bonanza King Canyon Lobo Point Road at the camp site in the Valley of Lobo Point Summit Spring Road at Summit Spr at Latham Sh at Providence Mine

Locations: Bonanza King Canyon. Lobo Point. Providence Mine. Summit Spring.
Full Size ImagePost-hike rehydration.  

1984 Desert Studies Field Trip

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Waiting for dinner.
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Roland Gangloff at Summit Spring
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Solitary horn coral in Bonanza King Canyon
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Scott, Linda, and Julie look for trilobite fossils in the Latham Shale.
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Looking for trilobites in the Latham Shale
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Group in front of a powder magazine.

Full Size Image“Rachel, Tom & Paul as we were getting ready to leave Oakland.”  


Visit to Oakland.

Full Size ImageMatt Schweich, November 1984  


Other articles: CA Hwy 190 Stovepipe Wells Indian Ranch Road 30000 Saline Valley Road in Nelson Range

Locations: Nelson Range. Panamint Valley. Stovepipe Wells.
Full Size ImageMerritt College van in the snow.  

1984 Saline Valley Field Trip

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Snow scene along Saline Valley Road.
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Camp site at or near Warm Sulphur Springs
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Group picture before leaving Death Valley
I think I picked up the van and we had people assemble at my house on 33rd Avenue, leaving Oakland in the early afternoon.

We planned to make one stop in Bakersfield at a grocery store, just because people might need to stock up. This was a good plan because person did not bring any food at all. Let's call him Ron. I think his explanation was that he had asked his roommate to get him some food, but his roommate did not go to the market, or something like that.

Olancha would have been our place to turn off of US Highway 395 in the direction of Saline Valley. As we approached Olancha, it was starting to snow. We had dinner in Olancha, at the Ranch House Cafe. It continued to snow heavily while we ate dinner. We decided we would not try to drive into Saline Valley that night. There were a couple of motels in Olancha, but they were both totally dark, either full or not operating. We could not tell. We drove on to Lone Pine, where we stayed in the Lone Pine hotel. I think the women got the hotel rooms with a bath. Ron and I roomed together with a shower and bath down the hall.

Thursday (Thanksgiving) morning we left for Saline Valley. The road good through Lee Flat, with the snow either melted or packed down. However, as the road got steeper, we started losing control of the van when the snow was about 6 inches deep. Of course, because it was a rental van, we did not have chain. We did not make it to the pass above Grapevine Canyon.

As a group, we thought maybe we could go into Death Valley. So we drove back down to Highway 190. Ron was driving, and a little crazed because he needed credit from the class to ... ... do something ... maybe, graduate. He was going way too fast down Darwin Grade, So I had to tell him to slow down. He didn't take it well, and decided to drive 20 mph; kind of like an ass.

So we went into and across Panamint Valley. It was cloudy but no rain. We drove past the past the Road Closed sign. It was starting to rain at Towne Pass. We started down the grade and it was raining really hard by the time we got to Emigrant Wash. I don't think there was any running water in Emigrant Wash. But then the road turns east across numerous washes. The first a little water, then the next wash a little more water, then a wash lot of water. Looking at the map now, we must have been really close to Stovepipe Wells. But we didn't know that then, and decided to turn back. There was a 5th wheel behind us who could not turn around at that spot. I have no idea what they ultimately did.

Now what to do? Somehow, we decided to get gas and supplies and camp in Panamint Valley. So we drove to Trona. It was breezy, but otherwise sunny and bright. We bought gas and water and then headed back for Panamint Valley.

We found a place to camp in Panamint Valley on Indian Ranch Road near Warm Sulphur Spring. This is where we spent Thursday night.

Friday morning, it was still cloudy, especially to the north and east. So, we decided to stay here. I don't remember the process, but it seems that we made the decision as a group. Ron was desperate to go into Saline Valley, I think because he needed class credits. We had a discussion about keeping a journal and turning it in to get credit.

We Walked up Surprise Canyon fan and saw there was a road from the south end of the fan. Then past Chris Wicht Camp, we hiked a mile or so up the canyon, past the narrow place where the road was washed out.

Saturday, decided to try Death Valley. We packed up and got in the van. I'm not sure how we got there, because it was afternoon when we arrived at Stovepipe Wells. Perhaps we went up Wildrose Canyon to the charcoal ovens. Regardless, there were a lot of vacant campsites in the campground at Stovepipe Wells. The two black women and I decided we would go to the restaurant for dinner. I wish I could remember their names. They were both delightful company. One of them had just picked up the phrase "no problem." She was a City of Oakland social worker. But I learned it from her, and from then on, pretty much everything was no problem.

An old guy was playing pedal steel guitar and singing really old time western songs, with two young guys for backup. He took quite an interest in us, as I expect we might have been an interesting sight. We talked about our trip, failure to get into Saline Valley, and what we did instead. His pedal steel playing and singing was really good, and he made repeated snide comments about his backups having no clue.

A couple of us had the idea to sleep out in the sand dunes. It must be a popular thing for people to try, because there was a ranger waiting for us, who sent us back into the campground.

Sunday morning, we went back to the restaurant for breakfast. After packing up, we drove home. I assume we went out of the south end of the valley, through Baker to Bakersfield and then up the San Joaquin Valley.

As we neared Oakland, several passengers were asking to be dropped off at their house on the way into town. But we didn't do that. We went to my house first. Then we cleaned the van. People who left their car at my house were able to go home. Then I drove around Oakland taking people home. That way, I didn't get stuck cleaning out a dirty van on Monday morning.


Full Size ImageSchweich family in 1985  



Full Size ImageBob and Vera Shaw
Full Size ImagePaul and Bob.  
“Vera & Bob Shaw when they visited us in January, 1985. Bob is 75 and Vera is 77 years of age” – Lydia Schweich

“Paul & Bob Shaw. I read a book on photography which said it is better in a photo to have people doing something, rather than having them lined up as a firing squad. So that is why these are looking at the book. Granada Hills, CA. January, 1985.” &ndash Lydia Schweich

Full Size ImagePost-lunch photo.  
“Ivan, Lois and Henry Keene, and Paul standing, and Olga sitting on the rocks, near Reuben's Restaurant, on Harbor Island, San Diego. Coronado Bridge in the background. February 1985” – Lydia Schweich


Other articles: Lobo Point Road in the Valley of Lobo Point

Locations: Lobo Point. Table Top. Woods Mountains.
Full Size ImageHiking in the Woods Mountains  

1985 Desert Studies Field Trip

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Afternoon in camp.
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Ed ('nuff said)
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View off the east side of Table Mountain.

Full Size ImageBrownie Troop #33, February 14, 1986  




Other articles: Lobo Point Road in the Valley of Lobo Point

Locations: Lobo Point.
Full Size ImageMe, Scott, and Julie at breakfast.  

1986 Desert Studies Field Trip






Full Size ImageRachel Run Rainbow Sun  


1987 Desert Studies Field Trip


Other articles: New York Mountain Road. at Golden Quail Mine

Locations: Golden Quail Claims.
Full Size ImageExploration at the Golden Quail Mine  



October, 1987


Other articles: Cedar Canyon Road Government Holes

Locations: Government Holes.
Full Size ImageGovernment Holes, October 1987.  

Field trip to the eastern Mojave with my dad.






1988 Desert Studies Field Trip


Other articles: Lobo Point Road in the Valley of Lobo Point Wild Horse Canyon Road Spur road to Banshee Canyon

Locations: Hole-in-the-Wall. Lobo Point.
Full Size ImageRachel and three women at Hole-in-the-Wall.  

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Rachel in the door of our tent.
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Medicine Wheel at Lobo Point.
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Medicine Wheel at Lobo Point.
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Date and time this article was prepared: 10/20/2019 10:00:27 AM