North American Narrow Gauge; West of the Rockies (including Canada; Mexico).
elminero -- Interesting tip on LIDAR. I did some Google searching but did not find any indication of high resolution imagery of the Soda Lake berm area we are interested in. This project of ours in nowhere near a big enough or professional level effort to justify any special work like that. But when we go down there if we get some quality time with the national monument rangers that'll be a good question. Earlier today I was toying with the idea of taking some crude surveying equipment with us to see if we can identify an old railroad bed. In the Google search I came up with a nice aerial photo of the clay dune area that attracts my interest. ....... Ed Weldon
In this time of year in 2006 I worked along Temblor Ridge and in the Carrizo Plain doing roadway surveys for the BLM. I would characterize the "plain" or valley as being dry grassland country, not desert and I don't remember there being any camping locations. Open fire would be a real hazard. The headquarters is at the north end, to the west of Soda Lake and is at an old ranch site. There are a few other former ranch sites that are off limits but otherwise the whole valley is open with a good road that runs the length of the valley from highway 33 up to the headquarters and then paved up to highway 58. The area around the lake is boggy at this time of year and some of the old roads are impassable. As I recall there was a road into the northeast part of Soda Lake from over by the fault and off of highway 58. I don't think that this was a good road as it got very soft once you made it to the lake area. That is the only place that I remember seeing any remains and there were a few boards lying around and the remains of a loading area. I was told that they used to mine the soda salt there. Nobody said anything about a railroad operation, but I was with the BLM from Bakersfield. You might find housing in Taft, but we worked out of Bakersfield and as I recall there wasn't much to McKittrick or Fellows.
A asked Larry Vredenburgh at the BLM Bakersfield office about Carrizo Plane narrow gauge and he sent a link to a photo at USC...