Sunday, March 13, 2011

Zzyzx Road: The Road Trip

Zzyzx Road!

First off, it's pronounced "Zi-zicks," rhyming with "Isaac's" and not "physics." Ever since I took my first drive down I-15 to Los Angeles or San Diego, which is getting way too close to 20 years ago, I've wondered what's down the Zzyzx Road exit. I took the trusty Mitsubishi with me on one last road trip, for it, because I heard the road wasn't all that paved:

Pshaw. Except for one small stretch of pavement, probably less than one-half mile long, the road is paved in that not-too-durable asphalt over dirt that fairly common to middles-of-nowhere everywhere:

The first part of the road winds around a dry lake bed. Professional photographers are able to use light and shadow to make dry lake beds, with their white, frost-like covering, into artistics things of beauty. I am not a professional photographer. I am not able to turn this view into something that appears to be a thing of beauty, even though, in actuality, it was:

Soon enough, just a short five-mile drive off the interstate, you reach this, the Checkpoint Charlie of Zzyzx Road:

Well, not really. It's not much of a checkpoint. It's unmanned. Just a gate that can be closed. What's on the other side of the gate? The old Zzyzx Springs resort, a fully-functional retreat that was operational for a few decades centered around WWII. It was confiscated by the federal government in the early 1970s. It now lives as the Desert Studies Center for the California State University system. No particular campus; it's administered jointly. And there were students there, more than a dozen, doing studenty-researchy things at the intersection of Chub Street (named for a desert fish that lives on the ponds on the site) and the grandiose-ly named (tongue in cheek, got to be) Boulevard of Dreams:

This is the Boulevard of Dreams:

It's even got a playground. This is another perspective, south to north, looking down the Boulevard of Broken Dreams (you know it should be called that):

Actually, the area around the old grounds is very nice, even charming and beautiful, in a post-apocalyptic last-outpost sort of way:


State of the art recreational facilities available to the resort guests:

There are two ponds on the premises, the one closer to the old grounds is much much nicer:


See those black specks on the pond? They're real live ducks. This is a wetlands, officially. You might be able to see them a little better this picture, but it was tough to get much closer:

At the end of the Boulevard of Dreams, is this grove of trees:



The abandoned boat really adds to the post-apocalyptic feel of the place. Anyway, time to head back to the interstate:

The End.

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