Zzyzx – Abandoned Desert Oasis

Zzyzx, formerly Soda Springs, is an unincorporated area in the Mojave Desert. The word "zzyzx" is named as such by Curtis Howe Springer because he wanted it to be the last word in the dictionary. A skim through his Wikipedia page quickly paints a picture of the kind of person he was. He opened a spa in the area but later got into multiple legal disputes with the government, and the spa eventually became abandoned.

As a part of a road trip back from Las Vegas, we stopped by Zzyzx to see what it's all about. After a couple days in one of the most famous, dense, and artificial cities on earth, it was especially surreal to suddenly be in the middle of nowhere. When we arrived after driving a few minutes from the Zzyzx exit on the 15, there were only two other cars in the lot. We quickly found a true desert oasis. After Springer was evicted from his spa, Zzyzx had been turned into a site for Cal State students to study the geology and biology of the Mojave Desert. Even though there was a camp site with dorm rooms, no one seemed to be around and it was absolutely silent. There's something magical about places that can make you forget where you are, and this was definitely one of them. If you ever make the drive to Vegas and see the Zzyzx Road sign, don't hesitate to make the exit!

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