Friday, December 7, 2012

Zzyzx, CA

I have fond memories of Zzyzx from my college days at Cal State Fullerton. I was lucky enough to spend time there during overnight field trips (once for my Plant Ecology class with Dr. Jack Burk, but I think there was a second visit for another class). I remember the feeling of awe of the open desert, incredible remoteness from anything and everything, the strong impression of desert beauty... all emotions I still experience when I get out in the desert.

Technically, Zzyzx is located in the Mojave National Preserve, but just barely. Many travelers will be familiar with Zzyzx because they've seen the exit off the 15 Freeway on their travels to and from Las Vegas. Most will not have taken the time to turn off and explore, which is too bad. It's well worth the short drive... the first mile or so is paved, then another mile or so of dirt, but 4WD is not needed.
Zzyzx has achieved a certain pop culture status as well... the name has been used for two movie titles, multiple song titles (Zzyzx Road) and an album title. The common theme of both movies seems to be dead bodies. I'm not sure why dead bodies and the desert go together in the minds of script writers and film makers, but they do!
On our drive back from Death Valley this week, the sun was just setting as I saw the exit for Zzyzx and couldn't resist taking the turn-off for a couple quick photos. Click this link for more information on Zzyzx: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zyzzyx_Road.
Standing water along Zzyzx Road... very unusual in the desert!
A two image panorama shot... gives a truer view of the beautiful desert vista seen from Zzyzx Road
Three image pano shot... even better for sharing the open vista!
Sharing these beautiful desert skies on Skywatch Friday. Click on the link to see great skies from around the world. Have a great weekend, and hope you have time to take some photos!

27 comments:

  1. That last photo is stunning. Really good DOF and contrast between land and sky.
    Beautiful shots

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great pics. I'll have to remember to stop here on my next trip to that area.

    ReplyDelete
  3. all beautiful photos....hope you can return soon and capture Spring

    ReplyDelete
  4. The sky photos are gorgeous. Just like beautiful paintings.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It has been so long since I was last there, time for a re-visit indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Stopped there a few times on the way North with the dirtbikes. You are so right about people not taking the time to stop and enjoy. Zzyzx road lets you feel all alone even a few hundred yards off the interstate!

    ReplyDelete
  7. is this like a snipe hunt? LOL !


    Aloha to YOU from Waikiki
    Comfort Spiral

    ~ > < } } ( ° >

    > < 3 3 3 ( ' >

    ><}}(°> ~

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great pictures - I image that is one of the more unusual road signs in the world!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    ReplyDelete
  9. Gorgeous skies! Awesome landscapes! Have a great weekend and happy Skywatching!

    ReplyDelete
  10. That'd be quite a scrabble word!

    Beautiful shots. I love the desert.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Where have I been? I've never heard of Zzyzx before, in reality or in pop culture references! I thought you were making it up at first - sounds like something from a Dr. Seuss book! LOL (I love Yogi's comment - imagine at least one of those letters being played on a Triple Word Score block!) :-)

    Your photos are spectacular! I love the colors, and how the clouds are illuminated in the second and third shots. I love deserts and think they're captivating. I learned to appreciate how full of life and beauty they are when I lived in New Mexico. Thank you for sharing these gorgeous photos and introducing me to Zzyzx!

    ReplyDelete
  12. These photos are amazing. With names like "Death Valley" and "Zzyzx" who knew it would be so beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I do recall seeing the Zzyzx exit while traveling and wondering what was out there. How incredibly beautiful it looks in your pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  14. If we are ever out that way we'll have to check this out, if for no other reason than to get a picture of the name. But your photos are the best reason for stopping. All of them are amazing, especially your panorama images.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yes, I've seen that sign several times and I've never explored the area because I'm always trying to get somewhere. Maybe one of these years - I do love your photos of it.

    ReplyDelete
  16. We passed this a few times but you know it's just a quick shot of the signage, never got to explore yet and maybe next time. Thanks always for the visit.

    Prem

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yes I remember passing the ZZyzx road visiting CA a few times when I lived in Las VEgas. You captured some beautiful clouds - love your panoramic view.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow! That looks like a trip! Beautiful sky pics. I have been to DV and Mohave desert and loved the 4X4 drive there!

    ReplyDelete
  19. How gorgeous. Thanks for sharing this story and these images.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I agree, the panorama images is really nice. Great nature. :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. It's gorgeous there! More people should take the drive. And the movies shouldn't be creepy murder mysteries!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Those last two are gorgeous! Well worth clicking on to see them in their full glory.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I like Zzyzx too! I love that area and always smile when driving by the Zzyz sign :) Great desert skies! I miss that area...

    ReplyDelete
  24. Your sky shots are fantastic!! Your photography is always an inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  25. One of those places I've heard about and always wondered what it was really like.

    ReplyDelete