i definitely appreciate this place for what it is. however... there were a few aspects of our visit that, i gotta say, made me a little sad. granted, we had limited time (only half a day), and it was winter, so i'm sure there was much less color than you might find in the spring. we also had the pleasure of talking with a ranger at the depot, who lamented the following:
--the closing of many state parks, including the caverns here at mojave, which he said had already been graffitied, and which we had wanted to see. :(
--the stupidity of people who have depleted mojave's desert tortoise population by taking them home as pets, where--duh--the tortoises don't survive. :( :(
--the prevalence of people speeding through this area on their way to and from vegas, getting ticketed at an average speed of 110mph and causing accidents and deaths. :( :-| @$)(#$&#)&$!!!
hmmm, that conversation may have helped set my mood...
but what we did get to enjoy was the world's largest and densest joshua tree forest, which was pretty cool. joshua trees are so weird & freaky looking, which of course makes them appealing to me. and then we saw the kelso dunes, which were kind of a letdown after our breathtaking experience at the death valley sand dunes. we hiked for quite a while, but didn't gain much altitude. i would've liked to get up higher and to hear the booming of the sand when you jump (look it up). the views of the mountains around the dunes were fancy, tho.
the ranger had also advised us that our little rental car wouldn't do too well on some of the other roads, so this is what we were limited to.
like i said, i appreciate it, but don't have a desire to go back. i'd rather spend a week in death valley.