We had checked out most of the northern half of the preserve, so we had to at least take a look at the south. Besides, the southern portion had the campgrounds. There is one working ranch left on the preserve and it is located near the base of that plateau. The southern portion is at a higher elevation, so grass is somewhat more abundant here versus sand and Joshua trees.
The roads are sand and gravel once you exit the main two roads through the preserve. You can see dead shrubs and small trees here. There was a fire in the area in 2005, which burnt half of the more northern campground.
This is a short hike to Banshee Canyon, which is near the more southern campground, and closer to Interstate 40.
Interesting volcanic tuff formation. The rock is more brownish then red with lots of holes caused by exploding volcanic gases.
Banshee Canyon. Named for the screaming that the wind makes as it blows through the canyon. No screaming today.
A poor picture, but you get the idea. Hole-in-the Wall.
They used these to hang cattle rustlers. Just kidding, just pull yourself up.
We were not impressed with the southern campground, but it would work for a day or two. The more northern would work for short rigs such as ours for a bit, but none equaled our boondock location. This picture is just a couple miles east of our campsite. I believe this is the Lone Star Mine, abandoned of course.
Those timbers are larger than they look. The main uprights are a foot square and still in very good condition. They are sitting on concrete pads. The slanting grid work extends down into a horizontal shaft.
Miners dug out this solid rock and installed a small track that ran into the horizontal shaft, and then about 50 feet behind me to another vertical shaft. The opening was blocked by a substantial gate. My co-miner preferred staying in the sunlight, she doesn’t get paid much.
Back in the Joshua tree forest. It is eerily quiet here.