If you have ever driven from Los Angeles to Las Vegas you pass by a road with a strange name, Zzyzx. Like many, I have driven by the sign a number of times. But on my last trip, I decided to take that off-ramp, just south of Baker and see where Zzyzx road goes.
The story is a radio personality and self-proclaimed doctor and minister Curtis Howe Springer built is own health resort, on the claims that the mineral water there had rejuvenating powers. But it turns out that Springer didn't own the land and when the Federal Government caught wind of his plan to sell plots for people to build homes on the property was seized, and he went to jail for falsely advertising his miracle cures.
The Feds turned the property over to the California State University system to use as a desert research center. Today you can visit for free during daylight hours and are free to explore the property, so long as you follow the posted signs and don't bother the students and researchers who live there.