Zzyzx, California

Friday, 3rd April 2009 by

About half way between Los Angeles and Las Vegas you might spot an unusual exit sign on Interstate 15, directing you towards the delightfully unpronounceable Zzyzx Road.

If you were to take the exit, you'd find Zzyzx Road to be rather long, and very boring. So boring in fact, that the Street View car gave up having only recorded the first short section.

But the length of Zzyzx Road might well have been a deliberate ploy to keep people stumbling upon what lies at the end...

Up until 1974, travellers that persevered on Zzyzx Road were rewarded with arrival at Zzyzx Springs, a hotel and spa set up here amongst the hot springs in 1944 by crackpot quack and radio evangelist Curtis Howe Springer.

Mr Springer may have named his hotel so as it would always be alphabetically last when the authorities scoured the phone book for wrongdoers - as the whole operation was run completely illegally.

The property was never Mr Springer's, and he never obtained permission to build here, so it's surprising that Zzyzx Springs managed to remain squatting here for 30 years before he was eventually kicked off the land.

Today Zzyzx is the site of the Desert Studies Center in the Mojave National Preserve which "provides the opportunity for individuals and groups to conduct research, receive instruction, and experience the desert environment" (Official site).

Thanks to Tim Derby, XF and Alan.