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Life, Part 3

In the Desert

What to look for
In the Desert!

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The Pioneers

Join us in the desert, and see for yourself what desert life is all about.

Part III

Desert Part  [1]   [2]  [3]

   Being concerned about the present and futue of our water supply in the desert is okay, but what about our forefathers. Back in the early to late 1800's they traveled through this desert area and thought of it as a part of hell. No water for 100's of miles and nothing in sight except maybe - their wagon or horse trail, with no end in sight.
Desert Trail

Desert Part  [1]   [2]  [3]

   Many of these early explorers died of thirst or from Indian attacks or just plain stupidity. A lot of them took off into the wild unforgiving desert and lost their way; only for someone later on to find their bones, and try to piece together a story of what happened. This still happens today! If your not sure about travel in the desert then please visit our SAFETY page to get familiar with the necessities you need to make an exploration into this wild and desolate ecosystem.

Minerals

   Gold, Silver, Copper, Lead, Iron Ore, Uranium, and a host of other minerals can be found in the desert. Many of the pioneers who came out West were looking for minerals. Not very many were looking to live in the desert or homestead there because it was just not feasible (no water). But when they found gold they found a way to get the water or have it transported in.
Gypsum Deposit
   Some towns are in the most unlikely places. Some are ghost towns today, others are still thriving. Some are still thriving because of a supply of minerals in the area. If your thinking about being a prospector then visit one of the deserts listed here. There are literally 100's of people that visit the desert every Winter just to metal detect in some old mining area, or remote corner of one of the deserts here. Above is a large deposit of gypsum we found in a mining area. These deposits are the result of the evaporation of Sea water or Salt lakes as they dry up. At one time the desert was a different kind of place. Think about the petrified forests that now exist in the desert!

Hazards

Hail Storm
Fire in the Desert
   Hail Storms. They come up very fast; like this one did and last for only a few minutes. This one caused a flood that completely closed the road we were on and made leaving impossible. See the SAFETY page for more info.
   Sand Storms. We had to wait for over an hour for this one to recede enough to keep going on our journey. They are always accompanied by violent gusts of wind.
   Fires. When you look at the desert you think - how could this burn? Well along the washes where there is brush and trees it's a disaster waiting to happen. And it's hard to get into these areas to put the fires out, So be careful!

Humor in the Desert?

   No the heat's not getting to us. What does this have to do with knowing about the desert and where they are and what the desert is like. Everything! This typifies what people who live in the desert feel like and how they react to life in the desert. In the summer here you have to kid about it; or it will get to you.
                                                Hope you enjoy this!

You know you're in the Desert in the summer when  -----

1.  You no longer associate bridges (or rivers) with water.
2.  You can say 110 degrees without fainting.
3.  You eat chilies to cool off your mouth.
4.  You can make instant sun tea.
5.  You learn that a seat belt makes a pretty good branding iron.
6.  The temperature drops below 95, you feel a bit chilly.
7.  You discover that in July, you can drive with only 2 fingers on the steering wheel.
8.  You discover that you can get a sunburn through your car's window.
9.  You notice the best parking places are determined by shade, not distance.
10. Hot water now comes out of both taps.
11. It's noon in July, kids are on summer vacation, and not one person is out on the street.
12. You can get 3rd degree burns opening your car door.
13. No one would dream of not having air-conditioning.
14. Your biggest fear when having a bicycle wreck is - "What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death."
15. You realize that asphalt has a liquid state.

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