Yesterday we left our California home at 5:00 a.m. and made an early morning drive through the Mojave Desert on our way to Las Vegas. By the time the sun came up we had made it through the LA area and continued on I-15 through the desert enjoying the scenery and the abundance of Joshua Trees.
The Mojave Desert is the driest and smallest of the North American deserts and is considered a rain shadow desert because the mountains surrounding it block precipitation. The former community of Bagdad, California once went an incredible 767 days without a drop of rain.
We made a washroom stop in Baker, California and saw the world’s tallest thermometer. When I saw the thermometer I thought is was neat but I didn’t realize it had this title or that it was famous until I was reading about the Mojave Desert on the internet … thus the reason I didn’t take a picture. I did read that the thermometer was responsible for capturing the highest temperature ever recorded in North America, 57ºC in 1913!
We came over a small hill and saw this sight.
Hubby knew right away that it was a mirror farm, probably from all those Discovery Channel shows that he watches and that I fall asleep to:-) A quick search of the internet showed we had passed the Ivanpah Solar Farm whose 170,000 mirrors power 140,000 homes in California.
There are three 450-foot towers with massive boilers at their tops. The boilers are the point where the sunlight from the mirrors is focused. When the boilers are turned on the intense heat from the sun turns water in steam, which runs the turbines and creates electricity … pretty amazing!
Shortly after the solar farm we could see the Nevada state border. It wasn’t hard to tell it was there since there was nothing but desert and then abruptly a line of casinos 🙂
Until next time …