On the many trips from Bakersfield to Las Vegas, I began to notice a road with a unique name. A few miles past Baker off the I15 is Zzyzx Road. I used to joke it got its name from all the leftover letters no one wanted to use and didn’t give it much thought beyond the distance it took to drive away from it.
Although I’d never taken the time to see what was at the end of the road, I thought in honor of the last letter of the A-Z Blog Challenge, I’d do a bit of research. I have to admit I was surprised at what I found.
It seems Zzyzx is a place formerly known as Soda Springs. Pronounced Zye-Zix it’s the home of California State University Desert Studies Center and open to the public.
Originally, in the 1940s it was a health resort built next to the western shore of Soda Lake. The entire area is part of the Mojave National Preserve; one of the National parks. Although the lake is now dry, visitors can walk around the area and see Lake Tuendae.
In 2006, the road was featured in the thriller movie Zzyzx Rd where the dead body of one of the characters was supposedly buried. The area is quite desolate, so it would make sense to hide a body there. I’d never heard of the movie until today and apparently not many other people had either as it didn’t get very many good reviews. But don’t take their word for it. Find the movie, check it out and see what you think.
So as this A-Z Blog Challenge winds down, I learned something new today. Next time I travel to Las Vegas, I’ll head down Zzyzx Road and look for Lake Tuendae. Take a few pictures of the desert area and enjoy my stay at one of the national parks nestled away on a road with a distinctive name and quite a history to match it.