While the Mojave Desert is large (124,000 square kilometers or 47,877 square miles), it is not a static place. The variety of terrain and plant life is surprisingly rich.
The drive through the California desert from Needles to Barstow is 144 miles, and there really aren’t any places to stop in between. We made our plan. We decided to do the drive in the morning before the sun was too hot, fill up the gas tank before we began, and have ample snacks and drinks in the car. Oh, we also had our road music ready, and the volume was set to high (our old car is noisy). Off we went, and here is a bit of the scenery from the passenger window: