Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Walk In Paradise At Planet Mars, in Planet Earth, California

A walk in paradise?
Or a walk in planet Mars?
Amboy Crater National Natural Landmark

Or a walk in paradise at planet Mars, yet not leaving planet Earth? More so, not even leaving the state of California.
Hiking at Amboy Crater National Natural Landmark, in Amboy California, gives a mixed feeling of awe and wonder, between the temporary
and the semi-permanent;
between life
and non life;
between the exotic beauty of this planet Earth 
and planet Mars.

Amboy Crater is a 246 ft ancient North American cinder cone, and accesible by a friendly trail from the east side of the crater. The trail from the parking area to the base of the crater starts flat, it is more like walking in paradise with all the sunflowers extending to the horizon and gets thicker near the crater. It is awe-inspiring to see how nature turns this part of the desert into a paradise after a wet season.

Walking along the rim of the crater, and inside the crater, sure did feel like being in another space, no surprise that this crater together with two other locations, Anza Borrego Desert State Park and North Iceland were all used to test the Mars rovers.  
 Amboy Crater has been used as a Mars field analog study area for decades, because it displays in a relatively small area a wide range of volcanic and eolian landscapes very typical of many locations on Mars. As with the Borrego test, the goal will be to log in excess of 10 km on the rover." -  ( ). 
The crater and lava field were designated a National Natural Landmark in May, 1973. Much of the hike from the east of the crater to the breach in the west side of the crater is flat,
then changes to moderate slope, 
and goes steep and slippery in some parts to the top of the crater. However, there are several access to the top of the crater, with the gentlest slope on your left side when you enter the breach from the west side of the crater. Once at the top of the crater, you can walk along the rim to learn and experience more of the geological features from one side of the breach to the other. But be very careful especially on a windy day 
Notice Rim of the Hat Flips Upside Down due to Strong Wind
since some parts of the rim is too narrow and steep in both directions. But walking along the rim rewards you with a view that is really so unique, a sight that we very seldom see and experience. How often do we see the blending of black lava field, patched by purple and yellow wildflowers, stretching to the salty white lake bed bordered by chocolate colored mountains?
Not often, unless we take the time to head out to the unique beauty of the desert and immerse in its surreal wonders. Hiking at Amboy Crater at the height of wildflower bloom in spring wonderfully felt like a walk in paradise at planet Mars, 
yet not leaving planet Earth.
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  1. You had so many adventures in so many different landscapes! In the vastness, you still captured the little caterpillar in a photo to remind us little creatures we might have missed. Nice contrast!

  2. In God's nature, beauty abounds! Spring is the best time to do this adventure! This is what blogging is all about, sharing...and thank you. Will remember Amboy.

  3. This is stunning! I've traversed lots of this great state, but haven't been here yet...gotta visit.


  4. This is such an amazing place! I would love to take a walk there! : )

  5. I love this post!
    Such a diverse vegetation and landscape!

    Thanks for sharing this

  6. that's impressive betchai, I wonder whether you do travel for a living? it must be great!

  7. What a wonderful with such diverse stages! You're my adventurer! (Did I say that before?) :-)

  8. That land of Mars really interesting. You are so blessed to visit s o many awesome places betchai! :D

  9. Bethchai, it's beautiful Beth, so much wonderful places to discover and interesting too!

    love the colors Beth, specially the last pci of the white flower, thanks for sharing with us your adventure Beth in Mars, California ;)

  10. This is so a fantastic place for adventure and fun !! So green and full of beautiful flowers..Would love to see in person some day..Thanks for the virtual tour..GReat post..Unseen Rajasthan

  11. Actually much prettier than Mars!
    Have you been on the highway leading from Grand junction Colorado to Denver?
    That site looks as desolate as the moon.

  12. Wow, what an amazing landscape. I am so glad you share your travels, as it helps me make a list of more places to visit!

  13. very well composed, i like the idea of using mars, earth and paradise =)

    that trail is very unique...the contrast makes a big difference in how you feel about the place

  14. Fascinating contrast of beautiful wildflowers and dry crater. Interesting that Amboy Crater was used to test the Mars rovers.

  15. You are the ultimate adventurer to say the least. I am always amazed as to where you have journeyed. These photos capture the contrasting places you have been and the beauty in all of nature no matter where or what it is. Simply amazing.

  16. You are now more like an adventure, traveling in Mars, OMG!

    Such a wonderful experience..

  17. Those pics are awesome, almost surreal.That crater looks so gigantic!How hard was it to slope down?I can't imagine.

  18. thanks a lot everyone.

    @ JH, I am a teacher, so, no, i don't travel for a living, but i do sometimes for R and R.

    @ Whitemist, yeah, been there from Denver to Grand Junction, just did not get the chance to post and share some of my old travels. Hopefully, next time, thanks for reminding me of the beauty of that place. i would love to go back to colorado again someday.

    @ Rochelle, haha, I almost was sitting or sliding on some parts, easier to go up than down.

  19. A nice place for a walk and to explore.

  20. What an interesting place. I love the very last picture, the white flowers, they are different.

  21. do you have ropes in your backpack, beth?

  22. Beautiful geographical locality in nature. It shows we don't need to travel far to acknowledge earth's gifts of life. Lovely captures. :)

  23. Such an interesting place. It must be an amazing feeling to be there. I think I might be slightly afraid to walk along that rim on a windy day though.

  24. your post make my heart year for travel. $ year until my daughter goes to high school and I can start thing of doing a little bit of travel for myself again.

    The crater looks really interesting, I would love to walk in one to get the feel of the vast empty landscape.

    The wildflower picture reminder me of the Victorian High Country (Australia) only a few short hours away from where I live

  25. Miss Beth,
    I like this post, filled with wonderful pathways to just meander and to walk freely by...

    Wonderful, wonderful pictures!!!

  26. My partner and I really enjoyed reading this blog post, I was just itching to know do you trade featured posts? I am always trying to find someone to make trades with and merely thought I would ask.

  27. I have found a very economical way to visit Mars.

  28. It must just be fantastic to hike in such places.


  29. Back here and being awestruck at the beauty of Earth!: )
    p.s. gee still have not gotten my blogging mojo back: )

  30. What I like about the pictures from places like this that you share is that there is such a variety of nature to see.