Mojave Desert - True Facts, Legends, & Lies

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Lost Gold!

Red Rock, Garlock & Lost Gold

Red Rock Canyon is the result of the grinding together of two geomorphic regions, the Mojave Desert and Great Basin. This uplifting takes place along the Garlock fault, which is what is known as a left lateral strike-slip fault. This means that the far side of the shot is moving to the left, and the part I’m standing on is moving to the right (slowly ). I believe the actual faultline is running somewhat through the middle of the shot.

The Garlock fault is the geologic dividing line between the Great Basin Desert, which extends from here north and east encompassing Nevada and western Utah. The Mojave Desert geo-range extends from here south and east to the Baja of California and east to the Colorado River. Botanically, I’m in the Mojave though, and the vegetation series extends north about 150 miles. However, immediately to the west is the Sierra Nevada range (southern).

The haze in the Cantil Valley beyond is the evaporate lifting from Koehn dry lake as it rained rain two days before. Somewhere in the area of the shot there are two caches of 1800s lost silver and gold. The silver was washed from a stagecoach that got caught in one of the canyons during a flash flood and was never found. Charlie Koehn’s lost stash of gold nuggets and jewelry is presumed to be buried in the valley, or foothills. He went to prison for trying to bomb a judge that had ruled against him in a lawsuit. He died in jail, but not until after he had tried to tell his best friend where his gold was. His buddy never found it.

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