Trona Pinnacles chosen as the place to view the Full Lunar Eclipse on October 2014
The Trona Pinnacles are an unusual geological feature in the California Desert National Conservation Area. The unusual landscape consists of more than 500 tufa spires (porous rock formed as a deposit when springs interact with other bodies of water), some as high as 140 feet (43 m), rising from the bed of the Searles Lake (dry) basin. The pinnacles vary in size and shape from short and squat to tall and thin, and are composed primarily of calcium carbonate (tufa). They now sit isolated and slowly crumbling away near the south end of the valley, surrounded by many square miles of flat, dried mud and with stark mountain ranges at either side.
I made the mistake as a newly, to enter the park from the south end after I had entered the Pin coordinates on my google map app. Of course, not to my surprise, there was absolutely no phone reception in the area and I had astutely rented a sports car to enjoy the drive north (about 200 miles). The Pinnacles are not visible from the south end and all I saw were 3 different dirt roads marked by the state park. One of them read Pinnacle road so I naturally opted for this option. Unfortunately, the car I was driving was not the type of vehicle you would see along these roads. Certain areas read “Road Closed” or “Illegal to pass” but I was so determined to find these damn piles that I kept on driving through creeks and boulders until I arrived at a railroad crossing, which I had to illegally drive through until finally, across the bend, I could see a few of these elusive pinnacles. From the distance, they didn’t look like anything special, but when I finally arrived, and being there all by myself, I felt I had stepped onto another planet.