Off-Road String of Videos (Playlist) Off-Road California Mojave Desert Mountains by Randsburg Thanksgiving 2015
Photos at http://Randsburg.blogspot.com/
Old West Desert Mountain Town at 3,600 feet (1,104 meters) above sea level (in southern California when as many as 2,000 to 10,000 to 20,000 people camp out in cottages and circle up in RV Round-Ups stretching for thirty miles from Randsburg to Johannesburg along US 395 south to California City, east of Mojave, 2-1/2 hours east of a totally different culture in Los Angeles. Off Roaders, Dirt Bikers and 4 Wheelers, love the basin and range with salt flats and endless twist and turn in the higher elevations of sagebrush hills and desert mountains in the warm southern California chaparral.
On the high end of Main Street in "the Living Ghost Town" of Randsburg only local artists show in the Randsburg Art Gallery. Randsburg resident population is not 70, not 50, but recently down to 48 people in the heart of this mountain side enclave of Bohemians living on the cool north slope.
Great views extend over mountain ranges Rand, El Paso and southern end of the Sierras to the northwest layering fifty miles deep into the Sierras at the far north of the Owens Valley greatly valued by many Wild West Hollywood movie directors including backgrounds for John Wayne films.
From the wide balcony of the Cottage Hotel at the high end of town, the northeast view looks over the tops of three mountain ranges advancing into lost desert basin and range, layering in greys from light to dark hiding mysteries of pioneers and prospectors of the Audacious Generation struggling against the Wild West impelled by burning visions inspired by travel guides and drawings of the 1850s overland journals telling wild stories of the greatest migration of people in the history of the world. Some of them pared off on the dry eastern drainage of the Sierras. People such as Seldom Seen Slim and desert homesteaders like the prior generations of Scrappy, manager of the Cottage Hotel, happy to be in the area all her life.
Antique phosphate sodas are thankfully not as sweet as many soda pops today.
In the Randsburg Art Gallery a hand painted map of southern California high desert depicts the highest elevation in the continental USA - Mount Whitney 14,495 feet above sea level in the Sequoia National Forest in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains and a moderate distance to the east-southeast the lowest point in the United States - Death Valley at 282 feet BELOW sea level, too hot and too dry in the summer. In between are military reservations of Fort Irwin desert warfare and armored tank training center, China Lake Naval Weapons Center and Edwards Air Force Base. The map is a fresco 10 foot square. Off map to the northeast in southern Nevada is Nellis Bombing and Gunnery Range and off map to the south is experimental military aircraft development center - Skunk Works, famous since the 1950s with the X-1 to Right Stuff coming together in the X-15.
First Bank of Randsburg was open for six months then failed. Randall Hoot Smith is now the pleasant owner.
Erma Maw - Choctaw Indian Artist.
Scene from Darwin, mining ghost town in southern California. Artist uses as many as thirty layers of paint, many layers use translucent paint.
Randsburg centrally located for hiking in the Sierras of southern Tulare County and eastern Kern County, and also other marvels of the Mojave Desert in southern Inyo County.
Randsburg is about 1200 feet (368 meters) above the much hotter desert floor, hence it is good for overnight stays before heading to Death Valley National Monument or other areas in the Mojave Desert. Only three hours from Los Angeles, Randsburg is also due east of the southern tip of the Sierra.