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| Neal and Marian Johns | Trip Reports

2009 Trip Report -DE Rendezvous - Heritage Trail

Trip Report - Heritage Trail
Rondy Saturday
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.