2009 Trip Report -DE Rendezvous - Heritage Trail
Trip Report - Heritage Trail
by Neal Johns
We had 12 vehicles signed up to leave Saturday to travel over part of the First Segment East Mojave Heritage Trail. Somehow we ended up with 15 lined up ready to go. The plan was to head for Searchlight via pavement, gas up, and then follow the Heritage Trail back to Nipton. Historian Dennis Casebier had laid out the Heritage Trail more than 25 years ago and published four hardcover books containing directions, history, botany,geology, archeology, and other tidbits regarding the countryside as you drove along the 660 mile 4wd trail. We were going to get a small sample of what was destroyed by the designation of wilderness that cut the trail in over a dozen places.
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After gassing up in Searchlight, we took the old railroad berm road west toward the Crescent Mountains. After a few miles, we turned right toward the old Rex Bell/Clara Bow ranch. You kids probably don't remember these stars of the silver screen, but they were a hot pair then. Clara was known as the "It" girl. She had "It". Marian and I got married 19 years ago in the historic Nipton adobe hotel and honeymooned in the Rex Bell/Clara Bow room. Marian definitely had It in those days, now she has Me; what a bummer, huh? The ranch will be available for tours someday, but not this time. A left turn pointed us toward the Crescents and Nipton again, and the scenery improved as we left the flat Joshua Tree desert and entered the mountains.
At the summit of the trail over the Crescents, I had planned a photo stop but there was just not enough room for all the vehicles to park, so onward we went. Soon we were at the west edge of the mountains and it was time for lunch. After a leisurely lunch, we took the required (due to wilderness) new route through the ghost town of Crescent toward the Nipton-Searchlight highway. Poor old Crescent is now in the middle of a modern mining area and we could not wander around in it. All there was left before the mining was cans, foundations and debris. Now there is a big "No Trespassing" sign and a lot of bulldozer scrapes. Progress?
Shortly we were on the highway and on our way back to Nipton, just a few short miles away. Good trip, good weather, good people.