Panorama scene at 11260 x 1200 pixels – Best viewed LARGE
It’s just barely dawn on a hundred-thousand year old lake in the Mojave Desert of Southern California. In the distance, water is strangled out of a forming rainbow. There is the pungent smell of damp sage filling the warm breeze. A Mojave Green slithers along the ground as you struggle to see in the early morning light, carefully pondering your next footstep as it could be your last. Alien rocks of calcium carbonate rise 140ft in to the air like some ancient eroded cathedral city…and yet something is very familiar about his place. Just then someone yells "ACTION!!!". A man in a futuristic space suit falls from behind the towering rocks, rolls, gets up and runs across to another rock, firing a make believe laser at an unseen foe.
Welcome to Trona California, and one of my teenage stomping grounds. Yes,
you have probably seen this scene before as it is a popular Hollywood set for a dozen sci-fi movies, commercials and TV shows. It’s been seen in many. It is a wonderful place to photograph but few will visit. It is way off the beaten path. Trona is all but a ghost town these days and will likely pass in to history as many other mining towns have. There is still life there, pulling valuable chemicals out of the mush of a dry lake bed. You may pass though the town on the way to Death Valley National Park but there is little reason to stop in the town itself. The foul chemical smell and constant cannon fire that prevents waterfowl from landing in the caustic lake will drive your weary gas foot to push on though. The only real attraction is the Trona Pinnacles several miles south of the town. If you do vist, take water, drive carefully. Even the Verizon man doesn’t tread here. The desert can be dead serious and it is a long walk from the Trona Pinnacles to the main road should you get stuck in the sand or have a flat. But if you can visit, early morning or late evening is best.
© Darvin Atkeson
Tagged: , Trona , Pinnacles , California , Mojave , Desert , Panorama , Hollywood , Movies , Star Trek , Darvin , Atkeson , Darv , California Photographer , Park , California Photography , ABigFave , platinumphoto , USA , U.S. , America , 美国加州 , カリフォルニア州 , 캘리포니아 , LiquidMoonlight.com