THE REMOTE MOJAVE
Thursday, April 7, 1870 - Saturday, April 9, 1870
John App is now traveling east across the Mojave Desert from one water hole (spring) to the next. The maps (below) will help show his daily progress in relation to the entire length of the trip. The photos are of sights almost as they would have appeared to him.
Saratoga Springs is probably the best quality spring in Death Valley. Death Valley is the lowest land around and Saratoga Springs is at the bottom of the southern end of the valley. The springs were a primary watering hole for the famous 20-mule team borax wagons during the 1880s since they were on the direct route from the old Amargosa borax works and the alternate route for the Harmony borax works of Death Valley.
Owl Hole Spring is one of the most remote locations in Death Valley. This spring in the Owlshead Mountains provides only intermittent water since the mean annual precipitation in the range is only five inches or less. The mountains here are primarily known for the scenic canyons that are made up of decomposed granite. Within the range there are three usually dry playa lake beds – Owl Lake, Lost Lake, and Wingate Lake.
Salt Spring is along Salt Creek and was the site of a small 1849 quartz gold mine. Mining operations ended and it was abandoned by 1869. John mentions seeing this in his diary entry.
Thursday April 7
Left Saratoga Springs at 8 a.m. had a very pleasant night no wind plenty Grass at the springs. no grass between Leaches Springs and Saratoga Springs. Saratoga Springs on the left Hand Side and close to the road. the lower Lake is poison water. arrived at Salt Spings 20 minutes past 12 n. found water very Salty below the old mill water best ½ mile above the mill in the Gulch near the mine.
Camping place plenty Salt grass and a few willows first wood we Saw since we left Bridgers near Walkers pass. The ruins of an old Stamp Quartz mine is here. Steam Power.
Friday Ap 8
Left Salt Springs at 5 a.m. arrived at Kiota Holes 2½ p.m. Saw the first Indians. Traveled 20 miles.
Saturday Ap 9
left Kota Holes at 5½ a.m. arrived at Clarks Valley 4½ p.m. Traveled about 24 miles this day. all up Hill.