[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: Desert Pit Stop | 02-16-2017
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Partly sunny
Partly sunny
62°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
March 26
1821 - SCV (with the rest of Alta Calif.) becomes territory of Mexico during war for Mexican independence from Spain [story]


Commentary by Linda Castro
| Thursday, Feb 16, 2017

Are you planning a trip to Death Valley soon? While there are many great places to visit and interesting things to see in the park, I encourage you to make a stop on your way to the park – and it does not even require that you take a different route.

About an hour north of Baker along Highway 127 lies the town of Shoshone. There are several interesting things to see and visit in this tiny town with a population of 31.

First of all, the town has a museum where you can learn about the area’s geology, environment, people and history, spanning from the time of prehistoric animals through Native American culture to mining, farming, bootlegging and more.

My favorite museum exhibit is an interesting archaeological find: the museum features the skeletal remains of a prehistoric mammoth found near Shoshone. It also carries a great selection of books about the area’s geology, history, Native Americans and natural history, flowers and wildlife. Although this museum is located in an unlikely place, I think it is one of the best museums about the desert.

Dublin Gulch

Another interesting place to visit is Dublin Gulch ghost town. It’s down a short dirt road next to the town’s historic cemetery (which is also worth visiting). In the early 1900s, miners and railroad workers carved out living quarters in the cliffs near Shoshone. The cave dwellings served two purposes: to escape the extreme summer heat and to insulate people from the freezing Mojave Desert winters.

The caves line both sides of a dirt road about a half mile off of Highway 127. The best-preserved caves are on the right side. Most of the cave dwellings have only one room. One of the more extravagant dwellings has several rooms plus a garage. Several caves were heated by fireplaces. Stove pipes can still be seen protruding from the top of the bluff. Most have padlocked doors to keep out vandals. If you take the time to explore the area, you can find several cave dwellings that you can enter.

Dublin Gulch was inhabited off and on until the mid-1970s. Miners, hobos, hippies and derelicts all called these caves home. When one person moved out or died, another moved in.

If you enjoy birdwatching, the town of Shoshone is a great place to do that. The town holds wetlands that attract a wide variety of birds, such as the crissal thrasher and loggerhead shrike that live there year-round, and the yellow-breasted chat and blue grosbeak that breed there in spring and summer. There are several short bird-watching trails throughout the town.

Pupfish habitat

Finally, you can visit waterways that hold a small fish that was once declared extinct. The Shoshone pupfish, a subspecies of desert pupfish that lived in springs along the Amargosa River near the town of Shoshone, was declared extinct in 1970 after repeated surveys failed to find any of the tiny fish. In the mid-1980s, biologists were surprised to find a population of pupfish in a drainage canal that closely resembled the Shoshone pupfish. Those biologists tentatively declared the subspecies “rediscovered” in 1986, although there is a chance that what they found was actually a new population of the closely related Amargosa pupfish.

The researchers behind the 1986 study figured earlier surveys had failed to find holdout fish surviving in a patch of reeds near the outflow of the Shoshone Springs. By the time the fish were found, they had rebounded in numbers and started frequenting more open water near the marsh. Since then, the fish have thrived under the watchful care of Susan Sorrells, the owner of the town of Shoshone. Sorrells has created pathways along the waterways where the pupfish now thrive, so visitors can watch the pupfish “up close and personal.”

Many people drive through the town of Shoshone on their way to Death Valley National Park every year, not realizing the many treasures the town holds. If you have not stopped there before, you definitely should do so.

 

 

Linda Castro is a nature enthusiast and animal lover.  She is the Desert Field Organizer for the California Wilderness Coalition and serves on the board of the SCV-based Community Hiking Club.  Her commentaries relate to California’s deserts.

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

3 Comments

  1. Debbie says:

    always looking for new places to explore! I’ve put this on my list. thanks for the info :-)

  2. Abigail says:

    Drove through here on our way to Death Valley and sadly did not pay attention and missed all this. Will make a point to properly visit next time. Great article!

  3. Debra Martin says:

    I whole heartedly agree, Shoshone is an outstanding stop on any visit to Death Valley, with its rich history and fascinating Geography and Geology!

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
Related Content
RECENT COMMENTARY
Friday, Mar 24, 2017
The ACA woes are long-standing and obvious, and addressing them is long overdue. Both political parties need to face reality and unite for corrections. Democrats offer nothing but criticism and fright, while some recalcitrant Republicans obsess with killing the ACA immediately. Both are foolish.
Thursday, Mar 23, 2017
Many flowers are pollinated by insects, so there is nothing unusual there for the poppies, which are indeed fertilized by insects. What is more unusual is the kind of insects that play an important part in doing this job. It seems the actual pollinator is...
Wednesday, Mar 22, 2017
Despite Trump’s lies, tens of millions will lose insurance, huge premium spikes will hit older and middle-class Americans hard, and low-income children and the disabled will have their health care taken away.
Friday, Mar 17, 2017
Fifteen California community colleges have the option to offer bachelor’s degrees as part of a pilot program created in 2014 by Senate Bill 850, which sought to provide more educational options to help high school graduates get the training required to enter a competitive job market. Senate Bill 769 by Sen. Jerry Hill would expand the pilot program and allow community colleges to offer multiple bachelor’s degree programs in areas where the CSU system is unable to meet the need.
Thursday, Mar 16, 2017
One of my favorite destinations in Death Valley National Park is located in Wildrose Canyon, where you will find what are believed to be the best known surviving examples of charcoal kilns in the western states - plus a great hiking trail and campground.
Wednesday, Mar 15, 2017
Having practiced pharmacy for many years, I often find myself talking to people about their Medicare prescription drug, or Part D, plans. A first step to correcting problems is always to contact your drug plan. If that doesn’t work, you can file a complaint.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1821 - SCV (with the rest of Alta Calif.) becomes territory of Mexico during war for Mexican independence from Spain [story]
1889 - Castaic School District established [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, an anonymous tipster helped lead deputies to a stolen vehicle arrest. Plus, some junior high students got to try their hand at welding. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, March 24, 2017
The New Heights panel for May will discuss how to build a home studio at a free panel discussion on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Centre.
May 3: New Heights to Discuss Setting Up a Home Studio
As Tax Day nears, many seniors may get calls or emails from people identifying themselves as Internal Revenue Service or Franchise Tax Board agents – but, in reality, they are crooks looking to make a quick buck.
Seniors Beware: That’s Not the Taxman on The Phone
An anonymous tip to L.A. Crime Stoppers led to a stolen vehicle arrest Thursday night, deputies said.
Anonymous Tip Leads to Arrest of Stolen Vehicle Suspect
California Credit Union has partnered with four school districts in the Santa Clarita Valley in a new “4th Grade Book Buy Program” aimed at encouraging young readers. Through the program, California Credit Union donated 900 books to 36 public elementary schools in the Castaic Union School District, Newhall School District, Saugus Union School District, and Sulphur Springs School District.
California Credit Union, SCV School Districts Partner for 4th Grade Book Buy Program
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is very proud of one of LASD's own, Ms. Sandra R. Enslow, our Graphic Arts Coordinator and Lead Forensic Artist.
LASD Employee Wins American Academy of Forensic Sciences Field Award
More than 2 million poisonings are reported each year to poison centers across the United States, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Half of those calls involve children under 6 years old.
Five Ways to Protect your Child from Household Poisons
“Dust,” a collection of Western-themed large scale paintings by contemporary, figurative painter Jorin Bossen, will be on display in the gallery at The MAIN in Old Town Newhall starting Tuesday, April 4, 2017.
‘Dust,’ a Western Themed Art Exhibit, Comes to Old Town Newhall
Castaic/Val Verde Crime Report: Week of March 13, 2017- March 19, 2017
Crime Blotter: Petty Theft, Vehicle Theft in Castaic, Val Verde
Stevenson Ranch Crime Report: Week of 03/13/17 to 03/19/17
Crime Blotter: Vehicle Burglary in Stevenson Ranch
The ACA woes are long-standing and obvious, and addressing them is long overdue. Both political parties need to face reality and unite for corrections. Democrats offer nothing but criticism and fright, while some recalcitrant Republicans obsess with killing the ACA immediately. Both are foolish.
ObamaScare | Commentary by Betty Arenson
1922 - Wyatt Earp's wife thanks William S. Hart for defending her husband's honor [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, a Castaic man accused of domestic violence and murder against his wife has pleaded guilty.. Plus, Castaic Union School District is looking for new members for the Measure QS Citizens Oversight Committee.. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Thursday, March 23, 2017
At this New Heights Workshop, digital market expert, Sheri Candler, will walk filmmakers through the important process of audience identification with emphasis on where to find an audience (both online and offline) and the key tools available to filmmakers to capture their audience’s attention and compel that audience to watch their film.
April 12: New Heights Workshop to Focus on Marketing Tips for Indie Filmmakers
Castaic resident Amy Juico had the lucky ticket Wednesday night that won her a brand new 2017 Chevy Cruze LT from AutoNation Chevrolet Valencia.
Castaic Woman Wins ‘WiSH’ Car from AutoNation
Retirees ages 62 and older or those looking to retire soon, are invited by the American Family Funding, a division of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation, to dine and be apart of a workshop where they can learn how a reverse mortgage can provide access to home equity without the monthly payments.
Discovering Reverse Mortgage for Homes of the Elderly
Shiver me timbers, be ready to set sail for Bunco Hidden Treasures on Saturday, April 1: bring your matey and enjoy an exciting afternoon of Bunco, snacks and a raffle at the The Centre in Santa Clarita.
April 1: Special Olympics Hosts Pirate Themed Bunco Tournament
Valencia's very own Flyers Jr. A Hockey Team, once again had a successful end to the league, by remaining at the top with a 40-9-3 record that is good enough for fourth place in the league and the second place in the whole western division.
Free Admission Offered for Valencia Flyers Jr. Hockey Playoff Game
A Castaic man accused of domestic violence and murder in a deadly attack against his wife pleaded guilty, an official with the District Attorney’s Office reported Thursday.
Castaic Man Accused of Domestic Violence, Murder Takes Plea Deal
NorthPark Community Church will be hosting a variety of events for the week leading up to Easter Sunday.
NorthPark Community Church Hosts Easter Events
Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) introduced a bipartisan bill on Wednesday that would assist women start and grow their own small businesses. This legislation would improve federal program for female small business owners.
Knight Authors Bill to Support Women Entrepreneurs
Disabled veteran-owned businesses have had a $250,000 cap when bidding for California contracts through a streamlined bidding process, weakening their ability to compete with their big business counterparts.
Acosta Introduces Bill to Help Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses
The single-family home median price for the Santa Clarita Valley in February came in at $535,000, up 0.9 percent from 12 months ago and off 4.5 percent from January’s median of $560,000.
Single-Family Home Prices Rise Almost 1 Percent Compared to Last Year
Many flowers are pollinated by insects, so there is nothing unusual there for the poppies, which are indeed fertilized by insects. What is more unusual is the kind of insects that play an important part in doing this job. It seems the actual pollinator is...
Poppy Surprises | Commentary by Evelyne Vandersande
1886 - Film director Robert N. Bradbury born in Washington state; launched John Wayne's career in Placerita Canyon [watch]
After a solid start to the year in closed escrow sales, low housing inventory, eroding affordability, and rising interest rates mildly pulled back pending sales on a year-over-year basis in February, the California Association of Realtors said Wednesday.
Calif. Realtors Report Weakest February in 3 Years
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, the reward for information leading to the suspect involved in the hit-and-run death of a 15 year old girl has been increased. Plus, job seekers can head out to this upcoming Hiring Fest. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Rio Norte students Emily Yago and Khara Bigham are semi-finalists in the National Scripps Spellebrity Video Contest.
Help Send Rio Norte Students to National Scripps Spelling Bee
The Castaic Union School District is seeking four new members for it’s Measure QS Citizens Oversight Committee.
Castaic USD Seeking New Members for Oversight Committee
No. 10 College of the Canyons split a home doubleheader with Riverside City College on Saturday, winning the first game 14-9 and falling 6-4 in the second affair.
No. 10 Canyons Splits Home Doubleheader with Riverside City College
Children spend too much time in front of a screen and too little time exploring nature and having in fun the great outdoors. That imbalance can contribute to bullying, illness, depression and attention deficits.
April 3: CSUN Lecture to Explore ‘How to Raise a Wild Child’
Medical examiners identified the remains of a woman found dead near Golden Valley Road in early March as a 26 year old Tarzana resident.
Body Found Near Golden Valley in March ID’d
Annual tuition for resident undergraduate students will increase by $270 and will generate $77.5 million in net revenue for student success initiatives including Graduation Initiative 2025.
CSU Trustees Approve Tuition Increase
Despite Trump’s lies, tens of millions will lose insurance, huge premium spikes will hit older and middle-class Americans hard, and low-income children and the disabled will have their health care taken away.
Trumpcare Fails | Commentary by Bryan Caforio