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Photographer's Note

Mojave National Preserve is a splendid desert landscape in a somewhat remote part of California. Although zillions of people quickly pass by it between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, it offers no bright lights (except for campfires) or other urban amenities. But it does offer great views, odd landscapes and even odder abandoned human enterprises.

In the odd landscape category are the off-the-"off-the-beaten-path" lava tube(s). Most of Southern California has been punctured in the recent geologic past by little volcanoes, and Mojave has a small family of them. Lava tubes are formed when the outer surface of the flowing stream of lava cools and hardens. If the lava abruptly stops coming up, the hot lava inside the tube may continue flowing downhill, creating a hollow tube.

This one that we visited is less than 100' long. Several skylights along the way nicely illuminate almost the whole way- although when you're on the top walking around, and you come across these pitch black holes in the ground, it's very unsettling...

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Additional Photos by Phil Harvey (pharvey00) Silver Note Writer [C: 9 W: 0 N: 24] (96)
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