From Lucerne Valley travel 13.3 miles east of the 4-way stop at the intersection of Old Woman Springs Road (Highway 247) and State Hwy 18 towards Landers / Johnson Valley. Head North at Bessimer Mine Road turnoff from Old Woman Springs Road. It is a rough, graded dirt road. .6 miles (6/10) from the pavement is the start of the fenced protected area located on the east side of Bessimer Mine Road.
.8 miles (8/10) There are only a few signs. They don't say what the fenced area is supposed to be protecting. The fence is two strands of wire, not barbed.
1.3 miles (1-3/10) from the pavement you can see a few of the smaller rings. In this picture two rings are shown. One is very close to the road. These rings have some open spaces between the bushes. The winds have moved sand around these bushes creating a raised mound.
It doesn't look like much from the road. If you don't look closely the rings go unnoticed.
These all started with one main creosote bush. The shoots come out the edges and during periods of drought the center of the bush wilts and eventually dies out and decays. These bushes are all experiencing severe drought right now, Oct. 2002. We have not had much rain here for the past few years.
Because these stands of Creosote offer some shade and cover there are many critters making their homes in the protected area under them.
Well, I believe I found it. I say this is the largest creosote ring in this protected area and I believe this to be the King-Clone; the largest and oldest Creosote ring in this valley.
The shape is an oval, in this picture it extends past this photo on each side.
The life is barely visible in these bushes. But they are alive. As I walked around this huge oval, I saw more and more how such a unusual shape could have been created. Since I have been in the desert I have seen firsthand how the cycles of weather shape this area. We may get substantial rain one or two years in a row and then several years with little or no rain.
The winds blow the sand and the sand builds up around the bushes offering some insulation from the fiery heat of the sun. Most of the rings are ovals. The winds traditionally blow west to east in this valley.
I measured approximately 40 feet from one end to the other.
This is one big ring. I read where this ring is all from the same plant and pieces of dead wood have been radio-carbon dated to be over 9000 years old.
No green leaves but the stems feel healthy. This entire area is very dry after the hot dry summer.
The life should be revived after the next rainfall. I'll come back and take more pictures then.
These Creosote bushes, in a nearby valley not far from the Creosote Rings, have been getting more moisture. It is visible in all the surrounding vegetation. There are no Creosote bush rings in this area.
Looking closely you can see there are some green leaves. These bushes are not drooped and the centers are not dying out. I wonder if the occurrence of the Creosote rings are in direct relationship to the lack of moisture in the area or the elements in the soil or a combination of the two.
Here you can see the fruit or seeds of the Creosote bush. This bush appears to receive abundant moisture.

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I hope you have enjoyed this tour. Watch for the next one.
Frank Rodrigue