It's our 4th day hanging out in Spangler Hills. The lack of things to do is causing me to look further from home in order to find something exciting. Forty miles north of here is the natural formation of fossil falls. Pack your stuff and grab the dog, let's roll.
Eli has grown quite accustomed to sitting in the Jeep and takes a quick nap to get ready for the hike. I swear, he's the only dog I've ever seen close his eyes and sleep sitting up for a few minutes at a time. Less than 45 minutes later and we arrive at our location.
Spewed lava rock makes it feel like we are back int he Mojave. Broiling volcanoes lined the back of the Coso Range hundreds of thousands of years ago. They erupted molten lava across the landscape and created cinder cones sharp jagged rocks. Their activity was quieted by the ice age and the Sierra Nevada's to the west were used like an ice tray in the freezer. During the subsequent thaw, trillions of gallons of water ran down the mountains and formed most of the valleys and riverbeds still seen today. One of those riverbeds was cut from a solid lava bed creating the spectacular dry falls that can be hiked for the adventurous visitor.
The hike out to the falls was less than 1/4 mile. We failed as dog parents and left Eli's water and bowl back in the jeep. It's hot and he's thirsty. So we improvise and let him drink from a plasitc bag. Good enough for him.
On the way out we pass by a close cinder cone. This one is still being mined today. Cinder is used in the construction of roadways and sidewalks. Another use is for that oh so fabulous decorative lava rock. Do me a favor. If you still have any of this ugly ass rock in your house get rid of it. Even if you cover it in dirt and don't plant any grass, it'll still look better than the rock.
It's back on the road and south towards home. With time to kill I pull over to snap some pictures of a few local things.
This place is now damn near a ghost town. All 17 people in town have a collective total of about 4 hubcaps on their cars. Down the street I can spot a junkyard but the place is locked up and all the lights are off. What a shame. Looks like an amazing place to take a walk.
Back to Roo in the early afternoon and I'm already bored. Katie is slumped into the dinette bench watching TV. Well... guess I can go beat on Shirley.
I figured being the last day in the hills we should make it count. Once I returned to the RV Katie points out some new pinstripes on Shirley. Guess that's the price you pay to drive to a mine shaft in the desert. Oops.