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6-17-09 004_edited-1-2
Desert Plants

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10/18/12, S. Haiwee Reservoir, CA (Coord.  N. 36 deg, 23.608 min; W. 117 deg, 58.423 min)

As I continue my southward trek, Iím now encountering several species of desert plants, normally seen in the lower deserts of the Southwest. It was a relatively short day, of travel as the lads and I decided to call it quits, fifteen miles further down the road.

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Iíve now moved to a latitude similar to that of Las Vegas, NV. With the current altitude of 3600 feet above sea level, Joshua Trees began to appear in the landscape. They are a welcome change from a sea of sagebrush and salt bush.

South of Owens Lake is the town of Olanche.  Spotting some nice shady cottonwood trees and some green grass alongside the road, I pulled the lads over for an early lunch.  Later, at a gas station in town, I finally flushed the last of the super-chlorinated water from the wagon water tank that I put in it while in Independence, CA.

As I continued south out of town, the landscape began to appear more like a desert.  The Sierra Nevada Mountains are lower and not near as rugged as the peaks farther north. I also spotted my second desert plant, creosote brush. This hardy desert plant dominates the flora in the lower deserts of the Southwest.

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Creosote brush is now competing with Salt Bush and Sagebrush as a ground cover.

I had a great idea for a camping spot tonight, but things didnít exactly go as planned.  About 3:30 pm, the lads and I were starting to get a little pooped, so I looked for a place to pull off for the evening. The GPS showed a road leading back to the Haiwee Reservoir, so I thought it might be a chance to once again camp near some water. After navigating my way around a cattle guard that required me to unhitch the team and roll the wagon across, I started down the road.

About 1/2 mile down the road and still a 1/2 mile short of the Reservoir, I found that the road turned private and had a locked bar across it. Retracing my steps halfway back to the highway, I made camp alongside the back road and called it quits for the night.

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With an adequate supply of wagon water, a bale of alfalfa and a place to lay down, the Amigos could have cared less whether I made the Reservoir or not.  They were just happy for some good feed and rest.

In retrospect, things worked out okay.

Tomorrow morning, I have to re-negotiate my way around the cattle guard before I continue my journey southward. Oh well, at least I have a morning chore to get my blood flowing.