P90706KTrona is not as obscure as it seems. I would have needed to zoom in a bit more for it to appear on ‘Google Maps’, but it is there, just to the northwest of what seems to be a big crater of some sort in the middle, right where the map is labeled ‘Searles Valley’. You might have seen Trona before, from more flattering, or at least more realistic perspectives, in movies such as ‘Star Trek V’, ‘Planet of the Apes’ (2001), ‘Land of the Lost’ and ‘Holes’.

Earlier this morning, I posted an old brief article from March 21, 2018, Na2CO3•NaHCO3•2H2O. It was about some of what I find to be appealing, or at least compelling about Trona. Please excuse the euphemisms, such as ‘flattering’ for ‘realistic’, and ‘appealing’ for ‘compelling’. I happen to be rather fond of Trona, even though I have never been there before. I find that I appreciate it more as I learn more about the Community there.

Suddenly, Trona is in the news. A moderate earthquake occurred just west of town two days ago on the Fourth of July, and a stronger, although still ‘moderate’ earthquake occurred just yesterday morning. There were a few significant foreshocks, and the countless aftershocks, some of which are quite significant, will continue for a long time. Most of the damage was in Ridgcrest to the west, but only because there is more to damage there.

Earthquakes are nothing new here. We all know that they are more common here than in most other places. At one time or another, many of us here have experienced a moderate earthquake such as these. Of course, that does not make earthquakes any easier when they happen. Cleaning up the mess, repairing damage and recovering from an earthquake is a long process.



Trona – This is an old brief article that I wrote about Trona back on March 21, 2018. Trona seems like a rather obscure place only because not many of us, even in California, have heard of it. We are certainly hearing about it now that it happens to be the closest town to the significant earthquakes in the Mojave Desert yesterday and on July 4.

Tony Tomeo


That is what this seemingly disorganized jumble of letters and numbers represents; the chemical formula for the mineral known as trona. It is what a certain small town in the very northwestern corner of San Bernardino County is named for. Trona is one of a few minerals mined and refined there. Apparently, not much else happens there.

Trona the town is about as out of the way as one can get in the contiguous United States of American. Death Valley to the northeast at least gets tourists. Not much flora survives in the hellish summer heat and caustically saline soil. The athletic field at Trona High School is famous for being grassless dirt. Even the now defunct golf course was dirt. Roofs are more important for providing shade than for keeping the four inches of annual rainfall out. A leaky house is more likely to petrify before it rots…

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