I’ve always had a fascination with the desert something about the vast, wide-open space really speaks to my spirit. But my favorite thing about the “middle of nowhere” is that for a place so desolate and seemingly devoid of life, the desert actually hides all kinds of weird and fascinating secrets! Here are five of the weirdest and unexpected things I’ve stumbled on in my travels.

An abandoned swimming pool full of what appeared to be hot Windex! It actually turned out to be an old hot springs resort, and whatever minerals are in the water keep it a preternatural (and honestly kinda freaky) shade of blue.

A collection of towering, rusty Rube Goldberg-looking metal behemoths way out in a field in eastern Utah, which I initially assumed to be some kind of abandoned carnival ride from Chernobyl…but which Google revealed to be an abandoned solar farm that was really more of a tax shelter than a viable energy producer.

A huge, mysterious chunk of iron atop a rock outcropping in the Mojave that, because of its odd shape, was presumed to be a megaphone meant to amplify some kind of alarm. But after testing it out using an old-fashioned 1940s air raid siren, my friends and I found it ineffective — and thereafter found out it was actually just an elaborate drum installed by a wacky desert-loving musician!

What I thought was an abandoned motel on the CA/NV state line….but as I crept down the long hallway, I noted none of the rooms had baths — and that the room at the end was covered in floor-to-ceiling deep-pile shag carpeting, with a heart-shaped hole cut in the floor where a Jacuzzi tub had clearly once sat! This was no motel — it was a brothel!

A lonely lighthouse casting a gentle glow on a scrubby hillside overlooking the beleaguered town of Hinckley, CA — aka the town that Erin Brockovich helped get justice for all the cancer-causing hexavalent chromium that, thanks to the state utility company, had long polluted the groundwater! The sight of a lighthouse in the middle of the desert was surreal for sure.

Sarah Jane Woodall, aka Wonderhussy, is a wandering, wondering fool most often found at ghost towns, natural hot springs and strange abandoned places in the middle of nowhere. You can follow her travels on YouTube at Wonderhussy Adventures.

Watch Bob’s video with Wonderhussy here.

Do you have 5 Things about the nomadic life you want to share? Experiences? Wisdom? Tips? Stupid jokes? And do you want to make a couple of bucks? Write it up, include any relevant pictures, and email it to editor.crvl@gmail.com