XXYZX: History of an oasis

This is the story of a very special place, an oasis in the desert known historically as Soda Springs, which many today call Zzyzx. As with any oasis, the powerful appeal of this place is the water, flowing sparkling clear and abundant. Water means life on the desert, relief from burning thirst. It means a cool drink at a shaded pool, a haven on a scorching hot day. Soda Springs is a desert oasis in this classic sense, perched on the western rim of Soda Dry Lake playa in the East Mojave Desert of San Bernardino County, California. Looking south from the highway community of Baker on Interstate 5, the oasis of Soda Springs is just visible at the base of the Soda Mountains, a small patch of green against a stark, dry landscape of white, grey and brown.