Forty-four years ago I spent a few hours hunting cactus in the Mojave
Desert while my mom and dad fixed a flat on our blue station wagon. I
remember the sand, the heat and the cactus.
Today, the Mojave I am visiting bears no resemblance to the one in my
memory.There are lava formations, jagged, craggy towers of stone, and
even a restored train depot (inset) housing a museum explaining what
the Mojave National Preserve encompasses.
The preserve came into being in 1994 and differs from a national park
in one respect only: you can hunt in a preserve, but not in a park.
We see no hunters. We do see towering dunes that boom when disturbed
(find out why here) and the largest Joshua Tree forest (above) in this
country (more so than Joshua Tree National Park).
We are in and out in a day; perhaps I'll wander back one day because
there's so much more to see.