Geocaching South of Ridgecrest

The site of the Memorial Tribute to the forgotten X-15 Astronaut virtual cache. (78kb) On November 15, 1967 Major Michael Adams lost his life after his X-15 rocket plane entered a hypersonic spin and crashed in this valley north of Randsburg. (48kb) Near the memorial we found this shy horned lizard hiding in the brush. (85kb) Further north along the Trona Road we pulled over to check out the wildflowers. (123kb) Niki photographing thistle sage. (139kb)
06.jpg (184kb) Thistle sage is considered to be among the most beautiful of the Mojave wildflowers. (207kb) 08.jpg (73kb) 09.jpg (70kb) Our next stop, involving a short hike, was to find the location of the Southern Cross Cache. (103kb)
Along the way we got some great views of Ridgecrest and China Lake in the distance. (58kb) Approaching the coordinates of the cache. (65kb) Can you see the cache? (74kb) How about now? (148kb) The cache with its homemade wrench. (141kb)
We're still working on identifying this flower.  Any ideas? (41kb) A seed pod of the unidentified plant. (64kb) Great Basin whiptail lizard (169kb) A sagebrush checkerspot taking a rest from its nectar feast. (116kb) The desert larkspur is toxic to humans and livestock. The Kawaiisu Indians used its dried roots for medicinal purposes. (156kb)
21.jpg (63kb) Close-up of desert larkspur flower. (51kb) As we hiked back to the car, a baby bird began running down the trail away from us. (147kb) It then hunkered down and froze.  This was taken with a telephoto lens so as not to frighten it. (162kb) Another view of Ridgecrest and the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station. (82kb)
An Osprey aircraft on a training flight from the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station. (23kb) Our third find of the day was the East Spangler Hills cache. (121kb) A view from the cache site and the end of our cache quest. (78kb)