Wednesday, November 14, 2012


All too quickly, the weekend passed and our time in the Darwin area came to an end. The town of Darwin was everything that I expected and less. The area around Darwin was everything that I expected and more. Much more.

We drove through town late in the afternoon on Thursday, on our way to a campsite located just east of town. The town itself is literally an inhabited ghost town, one that is home to 43 people according to the 2010 census. The number of abandoned dwellings outnumber occupied homes, I suspect there are more that a few people living in the myriad of old trailers and campers that are parked throughout the town.

Our campsite ended up being on a level area buried in the Darwin Hills. It overlooked a wash which dropped into a canyon that led into the Darwin wash. One had to be careful when staggering out to pee in the dark. The first step was a long one. Of course we could have walked to the south and peed in relative safety. What fun is there in that?

We were camped at the 4800 ft. level and a cold front was passing through. It was cold and windy. The temperature was in the mid thirties as we set up camp, the wind was howling.

Looking at the sun going down, I was sure glad that I was sleeping in an RV, rather that in a tent.


The Darwin Hills are much like Swiss cheese, there are holes everywhere. You kind of have to watch where you walk.

 Along with the holes come the remains of the mining operations, it's obvious that restoration and reclamation were words not in the vocabulary in early 20th century mining.

Places like the Darwin Hills appeal to me on several levels. The landscape presents color and texture found very few other places. The vastness of the open desert, the beauty of the space and the historic component all add up to present an interesting photographic palette.

The military competes with us for space in the desert. Three huge military complexes take up vast amounts of space, much of it historic, most of it beautiful. Sadly, they want to take up more of it.

The desert has it's own kind of diversity. Elevation, micro-climate and water change the desert vastly over relatively small distances.

It's amazing what a difference a little water makes.

I am not sure, but I am pretty sure that these are the toughest goldfish in the world. I have heard several different stories on how they came to live in China Garden Spring, by a friend of mine has been seeing them in here since the early '70s.


Again, either you like the desert or you don't. I didn't learn to appreciate it until my mid '20s or so. Dirt bikes and jeeps have allowed me to see parts of it that I would never have seen otherwise. For that I am grateful.

I have many more images from this trip. My next post will be about some of the mines that we explored and the images of them.

Thanks for reading,

A refreshed Schmoe

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