Tuesday, October 08, 2019

US95: Desert Duo

Driving north on US95 through Yuma, AZ, this morning, I was struck by two things: 1) I was deep in the Sonoran Desert (possibly in the Colorado sub-region), and 2) there is a vast amount of irrigated farmland in that desert. I suspect they're getting the water from the Colorado River, or what's left of it after everyone upriver has taken their share. Continuing north, the road is a typical two-lane affair.

On the left below is an overview map of the deserts for reference. On the right is a customs and border patrol checkpoint. I clearly didn't fit the profile, because I was waved right through.

About 100 miles north of the border, US95 joins I-10 for a brief climb over a mountain pass and a drop down to cross the Colorado River into California. The road then breaks off to the north, parallel to the river and moving through the heart of the Mojave Desert. Still a two-lane affair, the road almost constantly goes up and down small elevation changes. I don't understand all the geology, but I think it has to do with the desert once being the undulating floor of an ocean.

Another 100 miles north, US95 crosses into Nevada and becomes a very high-speed divided four-lane highway into Henderson, NV, where we have stopped for a rest day tomorrow... Stay tuned!

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