[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
Sunny
Sunny
79°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
April 26
1906 - Bobby Batugo, World Champion Mixologist in the 1970s, born in The Philippines [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, Apr 21, 2017
It is a hallmark of a civilized society to manage its waste appropriately. However, it is the hallmark of a morally civilized society to do so without exploiting its most marginalized members and making them bear the burden of detrimental health effects when they are the least likely to be able to defend themselves.
Thursday, Apr 20, 2017
Curtis Howe Springer was a self-professed medical doctor and Methodist minister, but he did not hold a license to be either. He was a radio evangelist in Pennsylvania in the 1930s, and he used that platform to convince his faithful followers to move to Zzyzx so they could begin a utopian way of living with an abundance of miracle cures.
Friday, Apr 14, 2017
Managing chronic diseases can be difficult, to say the least. You often face multiple visits to one or more doctors; you must take multiple drugs at different times on different days; you have to make extra trips for tests. It can all be a bit overwhelming.
Friday, Apr 7, 2017
One would think Trump has done at least one or two things right; after all, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
Wednesday, Apr 5, 2017
If politicians attend dinners where they are honored by business concerns that also contribute to their campaign funds, and then the politicians come out in support of that business, well, how does it make our politicians look? The landfill promised our community of Val Verde it would be closed by now, but instead it wants to double in size, becoming one of the nation’s largest.
Monday, Apr 3, 2017
Our City takes caring for the environment seriously with not just words, but with action. I invite the entire community to join me in attending the Earth Arbor Day Festival, where going green is fun and easy!

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station needs the public's help in identifying individuals wanted for questioning about a theft that occurred at a Magic Mountain Parkway business.
SCV Sheriffs Need Public’s Help in Identifying Two Wanted for Questioning
1906 - Bobby Batugo, World Champion Mixologist in the 1970s, born in The Philippines [story]
In a press conference held at the Henry Mayo Center on Tuesday, speakers including Henry Mayo Emergency Room Dr. Tracy Lawrence and Cary Quashen, executive director of Behavioral Health and Henry Mayo and director of Action Family Counseling, discuss the recent spike in drug overdoses across the Santa Clarita Valley.
Press Conf.: Officials Discuss Spike in Drug Overdoses (Video)
California State University, Northridge will confer honorary doctorates on financial journalist William C. Griffeth and substance-abuse educator Michael Watanabe, president and CEO of Asian American Drug Abuse Program (AADAP).
CSUN Giving Honorary Doctorates to Substance-Abuse Educator, Business News Anchor
Careless motorists as well as riders get special scrutiny as the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department aims to improve motorcycle safety.
LASD Looking to Improve Motorcycle Safety
The FDA is warning consumers to beware of products claiming to cure cancer on websites or social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram.
FDA Warns Consumers to Beware of Fake Cancer ‘Cures’
The College of the Canyons women’s volleyball program invites boys and girls ages 9-14 to participate in the 2017 COC Volleyball Camp, with two sessions running in July.
COC Athletics to Host 2017 Volleyball Summer Camp
America’s Job Center of California invites residents to connect with new employers, find a new career path or get back into the workforce by attending the Hiring Fest on Friday, April 28, 2017, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the College of the Canyons University Center, located at 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road.
April 28: Get Hired at the AJCC Hiring Fest
With warmer weather on the way, motorcycle riders will be gearing up and taking to California’s roadways.
CHP, OTS Promoting Motorcycle Safety Throughout May
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today called out the U.S. Department of Education for abdicating its responsibility to millions of student loan borrowers and their families across the country.
A.G. Becerra Discusses Student Loan Serving Reforms
Senator Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley, Monday urged Governor Jerry Brown to reconsider his support of legislation hiking the gas tax and veto Senate Bill 1.
Wilk Urging Governor to Veto Transportation Legislation
The College of the Canyons men’s basketball program invites boys and girls ages 6 to 14 to participate in the 2017 Howard Fisher Cougar Basketball Camp, with two sessions running this summer.
COC Athletic Department to Host 2017 Cougar Basketball Summer Camp
Bridge to Home, SCV homeless service provider, gave a Humanitarian Award to Yaniv Rokah, Director of the internationally acclaimed documentary movie "Queen Mimi" at the Cowboy Breakfast Fundraiser in Newhall on Saturday.
Bridge to Home Gives Humanitarian Award to Film Director
Canyon Country Crime Information and Public Safety Report for the Week of April 10-16, 2017
Crime Blotter: Grand Theft Auto, Aggravated Assault in Canyon Country
1891 - President Benjamin Harrison stops at Saugus Depot, dines at Tolfree's Saugus Eating House [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, we look back at the 2017 Cowboy Festival. Plus, the first Measure E bonds have been sold. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Monday, April 24, 2017
As part of National Volunteer Week, which runs from April 23 to 29, 2017, the city of Santa Clarita thanks the thousands of volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to the community.
City of Santa Clarita Thanks Volunteers during National Volunteer Week
Join HandsOn Santa Clarita for a night of poker, prizes, a silent auction and great food all while supporting this organization on Friday, May 5 at The Paseo Club.
May 5: Cinco de Mayo Charity Poker Tournament for HandsOn Santa Clarita
Last month (March 2017), Welcome to My Life won an NYICFF (New York Children's Film Festival) Audience Award for children (between 12 and 17 years old).
CalArts Animator Wins NYICFF Audience Award
Laura Zucker announced her plans to leave her position as Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission on July 31, 2017.
LA County Arts Commission Exec. Director to Leave Position
The first bonds from Measure E, the Santa Clarita Community College District $230 million general obligation bonds approved by voters in June 2016, were sold on April 12, yielding $50 million to assist in funding a new parking structure at the college’s Valencia campus and two new buildings at its Canyon Country campus.
First Measure E Bonds Sold, Yield $50 Million
Upcoming arts and culture events in the Santa Clarita Valley.
SCV Arts Upcoming Events
Detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Missing Persons Detail are working together with South Pasadena Police Department in seeking the public’s assistance to locate a missing critical child, Andressian, Aramazd Jr.
LASD, SCV Search and Rescue Looking for Missing Boy
As part of National Bike Month, the city of Santa Clarita will host a week of bicycle-focused events and activities leading up to and after the world-class cycling race, Amgen Tour of California, presented by AEG.
City Hosting Free Bike Week Events Leading to Amgen Tour
Agenda for the City Council Committee Development Committee Meeting on April 25 at 4:00 p.m. in the City Hall, Mural Room.
April 25: City Council Development Committee Meeting
The Rotary Club of Santa Clarita and The Newhall Rotary Foundation graciously donated $2,700 to assist with the cost of re-flooring the Val Verde Samuel Dixon Family Health Center.
Rotary Club, Newhall Rotary Foundation Join Efforts to Remodel Val Verde Health Center
Sam Hilliard delivered a game-tying double in the ninth inning, but for the second straight day, the Lake Elsinore Storm won in walk-off fashion, 7-6, in 10 innings on Sunday afternoon at The Diamond.
Jethawks Force Extra Innings, Fall in the 10th
Valencia Crime Information and Public Safety Report for the Week of April 10-16, 2017
Crime Blotter: Grand Theft, Burglary in Valencia
Saugus Crime Information and Public Safety Report for the Week of April 10-16, 2017
Crime Blotter: Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Grand Theft Auto in Saugus
Castaic/ Val Verde Crime Information and Public Safety Report for the Week of April 10-16, 2017
Crime Blotter: Domestic Dispute, Grand Theft Auto in Castaic, Val Verde
1962 - SCV residents vote to connect to State Water Project, creating CLWA [story]
1986 - COC board votes to allow Argentine cliff swallows to nest forever on sides of buildings [story]
1974 - Gov. Ronald Reagan speaks at dedication of COC's first permanent building, the William G. Bonelli Instructional Resource Center [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, a social media post by a Valencia High School student sparked alarm. Plus, we round-up some great events happening in Santa Clarita this weekend. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, April 21, 2017
The Santa Clarita Public Library has recently named Matthew Hortt as City Librarian. Matthew Hortt will be working with the city of Santa Clarita overseeing programming and operations for the Santa Clarita Public Library’s three branches in Canyon Country, Newhall and Valencia.
Santa Clarita Public Library Welcomes New City Librarian
In an off-market transaction, Colliers International has negotiated the $69.5 million sale of Gateway Village Shopping Center in Santa Clarita.
Valencia L.A. Fitness Shopping Center Sells for $69.5 Mil.