Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rainbow Basin National Natural Landmark

We arrived in Barstow, California on Monday. Where our home is now parked there is absolute silence; no chugging trains, screaming planes or roaring motorcycles-  just blowing sand. We arrived here when some cold front was moving through, so the first day was spent in our home with windows closed. At night we have had to run the furnace to prevent our pipes from freezing. We are in the Mojave Desert, at 2,000 feet elevation. One local told us that he remembers when it snowed in August. The sun was out yesterday but a cool wind was blowing. I was comfortable in a heavy sweater which I had bought in Alaska. We drove to Rainbow Basin and took an 8-mile loop road which offered us some good views of rock walls which are in the shades of red, brown, green, and white.
While I kept commenting on the beauty surrounding us John was silent. It is amazing that after being married to him for 35 years I still forget that he is color blind! He just does not see what I see. One other aspect of the rocks impressed me, and that was the rock formations.  Over millions of years the earth's crust had a lot of shifting and upheavals. Looking at the huge inclined slabs of rock in the basin, it was possible for me to imagine the massive upthrusts of those rocks- what an amazing testimony to the powerful forces of nature!
Rainbow Basin is north of Joshua Tree National Park, which John and I visited two years ago. It is also located in the Mojave Desert. I suppose, then, it is not surprising to see those trees in the basin. The trees provide a refreshing bright color of green in contrast to all the dry gray and brown shrubs around it. This area has not received any large quantities of rain for quite some time.

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