Trends in Writing, The Arts, Regional Events, and High Desert Living

Posts by A Flair For Words

UGH! It’s a Bug!! The Scorpion That Isn’t

High Desert Insects Challenge Your Sanity

It’s a buggy world. If you stop and consider there are more insects hatched daily than there are people living around the world, you wonder why we aren’t up to our ears in bugs.

That buggy world we live in  — especially in the Southwest — keeps us ever watchful to know which bug is a friend and which one is out to get us!

Sun Scorpion 

Sun Scorpion

Long Legs and Scary Looking Mouth Makes Sun Scorpions Similar to Scorpions

 One of the ugliest insects is a night traveler that looks a lot like a scorpion but doesn’t have a stinger or a tail. Light yellow honey-colored  is the “Sun Scorpion” also known as “Wind Scorpion” or “Sun Spider” even “Nina de la Tierra” or “Child of the Earth.” Its more scientific name is a solpugid and solfugid, depending on the books I looked into.

Its head is large and looks like it shouldn’t be able to walk let along race across the ground. When you find it in your home, it’s usually in your bathtub or crawling up a wall. They sneak around at night, falling into tubs and sinks, then can’t climb out. They can grow as large as two inches (5 cm).

The good thing — if there is good thing about weird-looking bugs — is that it’s fragile, more fragile than any scorpion, beetle, or spider. Just swat it with a rolled up paper or a flyswatter and it’s dead.

Sci-Fi Alien Mouth

Mandibles in a Large HEad

Ugly Bug

Before you annihilate it, take a look at its strange head and large mouth parts. Its sci-fi alien looking mouth comes right out of a nightmare. It has four pointy jaws that open and close like a grappling hook in those stuffed toy coin-operated vending machines. Their bald head is actually covered in fine hairs — always on the alert. It helps them feel their surrounding due to their lack of good eyesight. But that’s typical with nigh bugs.

They also have giant fake pincers called pedipalps that look like they could hurt you but they aren’t harmful or even poisonous. They use these strong front arms with the next pair behind to control their prey. When they feel threatened they raise their front arms up defensively like scorpions or tarantulas do. This can make them look more dangerous to predators or even humans. Most solpugids live less than a year so they need to live on the defensive or die early.

Glow in the Dark

The closest bug that looks like a Sun Scorpion is a large, caramel-colored Jerusalem Cricket it sometimes shares its name “Nina de la Tierra” with the sun spider, also found in the Southwest deserts. It has a large head, long legs, moves slower, but is active at night. I’ve only seen two of these in 40 years so they may be more rare today.

 Jerusalem cricket

It’s not from Jerusalem or a cricket

Another way you can tell differences between true scorpions and pseudo-types is to use a black-light and hunt at night. A scorpion will “glow in the dark” while a Sun or Wind Scorpion  will not.

So keep an eye open for those creepy-looking bugs but also take the time to see what they are and how they share the desert with you. Most are beneficial and eat other bugs, so they’re doing you a favor. Really.

Rusty

Unofficial “Bugologist”

Chasing Radio Signals Through High Deserts

Why NASA Looks for High Deserts?

Part III

Space scientists studying around the nation need uninterrupted air and land areas to work in. Signals coming from deep in outer space are so weak that we need to bump up the strength so we can listen and capture the radio waves that planets and stars emit. Then we have to trap the signals so they can be sent to places like Jet Propulsion Laboratories (JPL) in California to be studied.

Dishes move on rails

A series of small dishes capture condensed signals

We often go to High Desert expanses like St. Augustin Plains in New Mexico, Mojave Desert in California, and Eastern Oregon’s high plains to receive the clearest and strongest signals. We need a noiseless and fairly high plain without too much interference.

In this Part III look at high deserts, we can say that St. Augustin Plains is remote and clear enough to try new studies. It sits about 50 miles west of Socorro, New Mexico and about 20 miles west of Magdalena. The Very Large Array (VLA) is a series of small satellite dishes running on a closed system of rails on the ground in a specific pattern. With many small dishes working together, a stronger concentrated signal can be captured. https://public.nrao.edu/tours/visitvla

many dishes are better than one

Dishes move to one target signal in space

The flexibility of a rail system also allows the pattern on the ground to adjust to new studies. You can take your family to see the public tours most of the year, watch the system working, the souvenir shop, and other historical displays.

At St. Augustin Plains wild antelope still roam the plains. They don’t seem to care if people get out of their vehicles to take photos. Here you can learn more about radio astronomy and the role the Very Large Array (VLA) and other NRAO telescopes play in current research.

What is Radio Astronomy?

 We see the world around us, because our eyes detect visible light, a type of electromagnetic radiation. Objects on Earth and in space also emit other types of EM radiation that cannot be seen by the human eye, such as radio waves. The full range of all radiating EM waves is called the electromagnetic spectrum.

Radio astronomy is the study of celestial objects that give off radio waves. With radio astronomy, we study astronomical phenomena that are often invisible or hidden in other portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Radio Astronomy Reveals the Hidden Universe.
Since radio waves penetrate dust, we use radio astronomy techniques to study regions that cannot be seen in visible light, such as the dust-shrouded, busy center of our Galaxy, the Milky Way. Radio waves also allow us to trace the location, density, and motion of the hydrogen gas that constitutes three-fourths of the ordinary matter in the Universe.

Partnerships: How We Study Earth From Space

The primary objective of DSCOVR, a partnership between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Air Force, is to maintain the nation’s real-time solar wind monitoring capabilities, which are critical to the accuracy and lead time of space weather alerts and forecasts from NOAA. http://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/DSCOVR/

The satellite was launched in February and recently reached its planned orbit at the first Lagrange point or L1, about one million miles from Earth toward the sun. It’s from that unique vantage point that the EPIC instrument is acquiring science quality images of the entire sunlit face of Earth.

Nation’s first operational satellite in deep space reaches final orbit

June 8, 2015 — More than 100 days after it launched, NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite has reached its orbit position about one million miles from Earth.

Earth From DSCOVR

First Full Spectrum View of Earth

Data from EPIC will be used to measure ozone and aerosol levels in Earth’s atmosphere, cloud height, vegetation properties and the ultraviolet reflectivity of Earth. NASA will use this radiometry data for a number of Earth science applications, including dust and volcanic ash maps of the entire planet.

In addition to space weather instruments, DSCOVR carries a second NASA sensor — the National Institute of Science and Technology Advanced Radiometer (NISTAR). http://www.nasa.gov/earth Data from the NASA science instruments will be processed at the agency’s DSCOVR Science Operations Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. This data will be archived and distributed by the Atmospheric Science Data Center at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

So without the wide array of remote high deserts, NASA wouldn’t be able to gather as much data from space, use it to understand radio waves that give us measurements to study, or the ability to share the data with our technical scientists here and around the world.

Rusty

Just What Are Those Astronaut Dudes Doing, Anyway?

Part II: A Viewpoint  of Deep Space From our High Desert

As we enter 2016, and sit smugly in front of our big screen TVs enjoying the latest “spinoff” of a comedy show, have you ever wondered how the Earthly industries that create the things around us actually happened to be in our homes?

Have you ever thought about what goes into the items you buy? Did NASA ever spinoff its own stuff? Have you ever wondered “What are those astronaut dudes doing up there anyway?”

Wonder no more. After years of taking a backseat to modern inventions from deep space labs affecting our daily lives, NASA has finally taken an Open and Shared attitude. Tooting its own horn…

What New Inventions and Adaptations From Space Are We Using Today?

Our world has changed by the giant steps of technology since the first man-flights began. Next time you actually remember to get out of your recliner and go stare at the night sky for the current fly-by of the International Space Station, you might think of these:

VEGGIE-GROWING IN SPACE 

Space food

Photos of the Ground Zinnias’ Harvesting inside the SSPF

 

Zinnia plants from the Veggie ground control experiment at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida were harvested Feb. 11 in the same way that crew member Scott Kelly  harvested the zinnias grown in the Veggie system aboard the International Space Station on Feb. 14—Valentine’s Day.

LAND MINE REMOVAL

Rather than blowing things up in war-torn countries and causing huge holes in the ground, The Demining Device flare uses a battery-triggered electric match to ignite and neutralize land mines in the field without detonation. The flare uses solid rocket fuel to burn a hole in the mine’s case and burn away the explosive contents so the mine can be disarmed without hazard. (Spinoff 2000)

FIREFIGHTING GEAR

Firefighting equipment widely used throughout the United States is based on a NASA development that coupled Agency design expertise with lightweight materials developed for the U.S. Space Program. A project that linked NASA and the National Bureau of Standards resulted in a lightweight breathing system including face mask, frame, harness, and air bottle, using an aluminum composite material developed by NASA for use on rocket casings. (Spinoff 1976)

TEMPER FOAM MATTRESSES

As the result of a program designed to develop a padding concept to improve crash protection for airplane passengers, Ames Research Center developed a foam material with unusual properties. The material is widely used and commonly known as temper foam or “memory foam.” (Spinoff 1996, 2008)

NEW MARKETS SPUR OUR ECONOMY

Astronaut in Space

More people are signing up for Astronaut School than in many years

Space exploration has created new markets and new technologies that have spurred our economy and changed our lives in many ways. This year, NASA unveiled two new complementary interactive Web features, NASA City and NASA @ Home, available at www.nasa.gov/city. The new features highlight how space pervades our lives, invisible yet critical to so many aspects of our daily activities and well-being.

HERE’S SOME OTHER SPACE-TECH ITEMS:

Did you know that many of the things we use today weer first developed by the space lab techs and experiments that became our life-improvements?

Enriched Baby Food, Portable Cordless Vacuums, Harnessing Solar Energy, Refrigerated Internet-Connected Wall Ovens, Improved Radial Tires, Anti-Icing Systems, and Infrared Ear Thermometers, just to name a few.

Did you know that there were 136 Space Shuttle flights where they developed ways to deal with space problems that we never heard of? Those travels also helped scientists in the International Space Station to learn how to transport men and supplies efficiently.

We don’t use shuttles anymore due to other countries taking on the task of moving men and cargo to the International Space Station – we’re looking at Mars, as you know, but the problems of long-term travel in space is a whole other matter.

As we gear up for living on a Mars environment, we are using the Moon to get answers faster. More on that in Part III.

To learn more you can go to :

https://spinoff.nasa.gov/Spinoff2008/tech_benefits.html

Rusty LaGrange

Space Between Our Mutual High Deserts is Deep

Deep Space Complex, Goldstone CA

A sunset like none other through Goldstone Dish

Many readers have been asking me personally how the High Desert is so important to our economy or its versatile history over the years. While it’s true that most think of the desert as a dry expanse of sand and nothing lives in it, we can blame that on early Hollywood movies and mid-century TV westerns. We know that contrary to those first impressions, the desert is vibrant with wildlife, fields of flowers, cacti, and the people who see it as their home.

The link between what the High Deserts in particular around the nation — and there are more than one –offer to the economy covers a lot of industries. Without wide open deserts in Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico and California, we wouldn’t have a territory to experiment with deep space satellites, radio astronomy, radio telemetry or space telescopes.

Goldstone Complex near Bartow CA

Daylight in the Mojave Desert, Goldstone complex

Part One –

Space industry is a general term that can be split into three parts: manned flight, scientific testing, and deep space. The wide open spaces of our Southern California High Desert promotes terrific radio and satellite signals coming and going. The clear air, lack of cities with street lights, and the reduction in noise levels riding on the airwaves, make the desert a perfect place for doing experiments in sending and receiving amplified signals out to Deep Space crafts that have reported their findings automatically since the 1960s.

The Voyager 1 and 2 space crafts, launched the summer of 1977, used as their fact-finding mission intensive cameras to fly by the planets and probe into deep space. They had an approximate life span of six years – they’re now going on 37 years. However, when it comes to battery life, Voyager 1 has a leg up on the iPhone (and just about any other consumer electronic, for that matter). The spacecraft has a plutonium power supply that boasts an 88-year half-life, meaning we’ll stay in touch for years.

The Voyager space crafts will be the third and fourth human spacecraft to fly beyond all the planets in our Solar System. Pioneers 10 and 11 preceded Voyager in outstripping the gravitational attraction of the Sun but on February 17, 1998, Voyager 1 passed Pioneer 10 to become the most distant human-made object in space.

A diagram of Heliopause concept

Voyager is near the outer edges of the known universe

The Heliopause

While the exact location of the Heliopause is not known, it has been estimated that Voyager could reach this entry into interstellar space 10 years after crossing the Termination Shock. The heliopause is the demarcation of where the Sun loses influence in space as it touches the outer edges of the Universe. It’s a concept still being studied. (Voyager 1 entered interstellar space on August 25, 2012.) As of September 2013, Voyager 1 was at a distance of 18.7 billion kilometers (125.3 AU) from the Sun. Voyager 2 was at a distance of 15.3 billion kilometers (102.6 AU).

Sharing Data –

So, to keep tracking these spacecraft deep into the unknown, there are only three quiet and remote desert locations in the world where the signals can be captured. All three are desert-like, provide clear skies avoiding traffic, city lights, and noiseless skies. One is here in California’s Mojave Desert at Goldstone (Deep Space Network) near Barstow. The others are near Canberra Australia and Madrid Spain. Although they aren’t true dry deserts like ours, they provide the environments for good signals and transmissions.

Voyager probe

Unmanned Voyager launched in 1977

The Deep Space Network (DSN) supports NASA and non-NASA missions that explore the furthest points of our solar system. The DSN has these three ground stations located approximately 120 degrees apart on Earth (120 + 120 + 120 = 360). This is to ensure that any satellite in deep space is able to communicate with at least one station at all times. The ground stations also communicate with satellites in order to initiate course corrections, provide software updates, and alter the way scientific observations are made.

In Part 2 I’ll share information about the New Mexico High Desert called St. Augustine Plains and the Very Large Array that moves on short railroad tracks.

Rusty LaGrange

Hospitality in the Old West Found in Woman’s Home Manual

Home HInts for New Wives

The Hearthstone book helped newlywed wives carry out daily chores of 1886

It was easy for me to think that recipes from the Old West or Civil War Era, were found in every relative’s cookbook from the turn of the century. But the truth is, cookbooks, like the ones we use today, weren’t really on the shelves until about 1920s. No one really had money for the luxuries of buying recipe books. Few had even thought of creating one.

Since I’m an Old West historian, I found that the tastes of the country and city folks coming out west brought with them their skills of cooking. Simple foods required simple instructions. Recipes were handed down on loose pieces of paper, in a handwritten letter, or even stuffed in the pages of a family bible.

More Folklore Than Formulas

And what became our list of specific ingredients followed by detailed instructions began as loosely expressed directions – more folklore than formulas. Many cooks substituted the ingredients with what was on hand. While salt, sugar, and flour were staples, and herbs were gathered out the back door, not many had saffron, ginger, and exotic flavorings like we have today.

Home Hospitality starts in 1886 Hearthstone Book

Early Women’s book for Household Hints

A pinch of salt, a dram of tartar, a ladle of pork fat. Well, those measurements made recipes so different that not one cook could copy the flavors. After years of secret recipes for cobblers and pies, jams and jellies, breads and compotes took blue ribbons at the county fairs across the country, tying down the ingredients into a cookbook was pure industrialization.

I happen to own an original The Hearthstone, Or, Life at Home: A Household Manual Containing Hints, by Laura Carter Holloway written in 1886. It has a small section of recipes almost added into the book as an afterthought. It calls for wives to be good hostesses, caregivers of the ill, managing the household’s daily chores, how to care for a baby, and how to make bread. It’s much more than that. Easily I can spend hours perusing its pages for recipe nuggets.

Here’s an easy sample of an old-time recipe:

MISSISSIPPI CAKE: One pint of the best yellow cornmeal, a pint of buttermilk, two tablespoons of melted butter, two eggs, a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of Saleratus. (saleratus: Sodium or potassium bicarbonate used as a leavening agent; an early term for baking soda)

       That’s it. No cooking directions, so it’s presumed that a wood stove is used and 350-375 degrees is an average temperature if using an oven. This recipe could also be created in a Dutch oven over an open fire. No cooking time is given so it may be cooked until brown, or even until the surface springs back when touched. Dutch oven cooking would usually include a lid with a lip that held 8-12 pieces of hot charcoal.

So there you have just a taste — pardon my pun — of some of the earliest attempts at sharing a family heirloom from the kitchen. i’ll be returning each week with more historical recipes and insights into the frontier kitchen and Old West hospitality.

Simple Tools to Stay Calm After a Car Accident

Our Guard Goes Down When the Sun Comes Out

Although the worst of the heavy traffic during holiday shopping has simmered down, there still are days when traffic is heavier. Our weather patterns cause drivers to forget that rainy days need more driving care. Even dry days during winter can be more hazardous than you might think.

Two Drivers Two Cars

Minor Car Incident

It’s like our guard goes down when the sun comes out. But a defensive driver is keenly aware at all times. Watch for sporadic drivers cutting in and out of traffic, regular rise in traffic near schools, and intersections near shopping malls.

Tools to Use

Your handy camera in your cell phone is an easy tool to use if you do have an accident. Take a photo of each part of the car’s damage. Take several. Then be sure to take photos of the other driver’s car. Are there witnesses to the accident? Ask them to give you their information for the report. Keep a pencil and paper pad in your glove box at all times.

camera on your cell phone

Take a photo of the evidence

Exchange information with the other driver (when possible) during the time waiting for the police or deputy to arrive. Be sure to ask for name, address, phone, type of vehicle, model, license plate, and how many people are in the vehicle.

This sounds so simple but after an accident you may not feel like standing, talking or recollecting the situation. People react differently to stress and adrenaline bursts. Even a simple bumper mishap can cause drivers and passengers to freak out, hyperventilate, or feel very upset. Some riders may not even know they’re injured until after the burst of adrenaline has faded.

Stay Calm For Everyone

calm man

Staying Calm will help other stay calm too

Remembering to do these simple tasks can sometime escape your mind. Try to stay calm while others around you may be very upset, even yelling or crying. By keeping your own emotions in check you can maintain a more calming environment around you.

Emotions at an Accident

Emotions Run High

When the person of authority arrives — police, security, deputy, ambulance — be sure to get some form of ID from them. Often deputies will give a business card with contact numbers or even an incident report number for follow up with your insurance agent.

Summarize Your Day

When you get home and feel more at ease, it’s best to sit down in a quiet place and write out the complete incident as you recall it.

 

What time of day, the weather, how the accident happened, how you were involved, what you felt, what you did afterward, who you talked to, and if you feel confident remembering all these details a month later. shocked girl

By writing everything down early, you won’t be so worried about what you do remember when asked by your insurance agent. Our nation runs on vehicles so it’s just a matter of time before you are involved in an accident. I hope your experiences are minor and without injury, but if it happens just knowing these simple tips will make the experience easier to live with.

Rusty LaGrange

Use Luminarias for Old World Charm

A contemporary design and a magical glow

A contemporary design and a magical glow

This time of year the crafty and creative minds abound. You see decorations that look like a craft wizard fabricated them — and usually overnight. But you think “it would take me weeks to do that.” And the expense! Who has that kind of money?

Luminarias are Old World

Old World Charm to line your walkways

 

Sometimes the cleverest ideas come from Old World history.

A simple idea that was practical back then is just as practical today. Case in point, the simple light from a luminaria. The charm of these outdoor candles come from as far back as the age of the Pharaohs. You might think it was the Spanish – Latin influences that prompted Mexican cultures to use them for commemorative events or for lining the paths to a family cemetery. You would be wrong.

We think of them as a décor item for the Holidays. Although that’s true, other holidays enjoy the radiant décor, too. When masses were conducted in Mexico, often an evening procession would be led by altar boys carrying lanterns on long canes. Once a long procession arrived at the church or an arranged location, luminarias would be placed along their walkway so no one would stumble or walk on the grave sites or the offering placed on the ground.

Modern luminarias can be made with metal or PVC pipe

Modern luminarias can be made with metal or PVC pipe

Luminarias, as simple as placing a votive candle into a paper lunch sack weighted down with an inch or so of native dirt or sand, have been used throughout history in a variety of ways. Easter candles are often placed on the altars but also as a colorful attractant to guide people to their church. Fourth of July celebrations use luminarias along a shoreline, in a park or along pathways. Many times floating lanterns limb into the sky — these are luminarias with a helium balloon or a sack tied up-side down. The hot air is trapped allowing it to rise into the night skies. Luminarias are used during October’s Halloween events and on porches to add a bit of scary lighting to a dull porch.

Since the glow of a simple candle can take on the shape of a large bag or jar, its brightness subdued yet its light travels very far in its defused state.

Luminarias are made from brown paper, reused grocery sacks, empty glass jar, tall tins with punched holes to let out light, pumpkins and gourds, and even small ceramic pots. As a modern version of this candle, PVC water pipe can be used with small drill holes placed in a pattern just like the punched tin.

Glass jars with a votive candle, a bale handle, and an etched surface is charming

Glass jars with a votive candle, a bale handle, and an etched surface is charming

As long as the wind cannot disrupt the flame, and the light and heat can escape, the luminaria can be placed on steps, in driveways, lining sidewalks, atop walls, and roof lines, creating a path, or any number of uses.

Let us know if you see any luminarias this season. Just drop us a comment.

The Simple Things: Family and Less Shopping

I usually can keep tabs on new trends that are a bit more global. The High Desert may be removed from the hustle of LA city but we are still a  savvy bunch. But when the shift in store and restaurants choosing to shutter their doors for the Thanksgiving Holiday began to be a fast-growing trend, I was shocked — even flummoxed.

Arriving in Barstow.  Photo By Jonathan Cobb

Go on a Family outing

People were actually taking advantage of  The Simple Things in Life — like settling down in a sofa with the kids rather than plopping down in a folding chair in front of Best Buy. There has always been a national undercurrent of those who refuse to fight in line, fight at the counters, fight in the parking lots over their “valuable items” of choice. I just saw on the news a mom rip a “great sale item” from the arms of a little kid. Really!?! Have we come to that?

We often forget that we used to go on family outings just for the day. Some families would donate their time at soup kitchens or make a donation to a worthy non-profit foundation. And others would host an elderly person who didn’t have more family to visit with, or couldn’t travel to be with relatives.

double rainbow_01172015

Enjoy a change with a hidden surprise

These Simple Things still happen but now they have taken on a different symbol of thankfulness, one of tradition, and breaking into the shopping madness that has somehow defined our holidays.

So, I must applaud the single-mindedness of folks who stand firm and denounce Black Friday; the corporate offices of those “big box” stores who refused to open and made a statement and stuck to it. And I must recognize the little cafes and smaller establishments here in the High Desert who see the value of sharing time at home for one day, rather than causing all the angst compounded in a week’s worth of guerrilla shopping.

Wouldn’t that be a blessing in disguise if, over the years, Black Friday turned to Gray Friday, then Smoky Friday, Ghost Friday then just plain ol’ Friday?

 

Rusty LaGrange

If you like what you see here then please check out my website at www.rustylagrange.com

and “coming soon” my digital magazine: VintageWest magazine, for Southwest enthusiasts.

Dining Out — Diner Guider

 One who Dines Out has a Family Event

Dining Out is Often a Family Event

We introduced “DineR – GuideR” just before Thanksgiving to help families find holiday meals. Since then we’ve decided to share other good dining experiences that you can find in the High Desert.

We’ll add to and update this list as a general guide for restaurants that have a standard American cuisine. As the list grows we’ll define other categories in foreign-themed cuisine.

The Coffee Bean Cafe features “The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf ” inside the roomy Green Tree Inn. Their recent remodeling has given the landmark Inn a facelift. The menu as well as the restaurant have changed. Find it at the corner of Palmdale Road and Greentree. 14173 Green Tree Blvd, Victorville,  760-245-3461 x 414

Marie Callender’s traditionally is known for its Americana flavors. Their specialty has always been a variety of homemade pies. Their Victorville location is: 12180 Mariposa Rd., Victorville, CA 92392, phone 760-241-6973. Don’t be surprised to wait in line to get a table. The dinner is very popular. While you’re waiting you can always buy a delectable  Marie Callender’s pie-to-go.

 The cozy cottage restaurant of Mimi’s in Victorville is open daily. Their signature  cranberry muffins can even make your own muffin tops — the one over your belt-line — look tiny in comparison. You can call in to Mimi’s at (760) 244-6888 and their address is 12032 Amargosa Road, on restaurant row in Victorville.

 

The Diner Guider is brought to you by HighDesertBogging.com

Any questions contact: Rusty LaGrange. www.RustyLaGrange.com

A New Feature This Season: DINER GUIDE-r

Your  favorite restaurant could be just down the street or clear across town. The list is growing as the “foodies” in the High Desert weigh in with their choices across the Internet and inside their favorite food blogs.

Same here. You can stop by and see some of the High Desert’s restaurants, cafes, diners, and out-of-the-way comfort food places — whoever knew grilled macaroni would become so iconic — just by checking out our Diner Guide-r.

But we can’t do it alone.

Let us know what your favorite place is to dine. We”ll be listing places to eat from drive-thrus to takeout to gourmet restaurants. We won’t be selecting any based our taste-buds — only by what we hear and read.

It will be a list of places you just gotta  try for yourself. If I were a gourmand, I’d be 600 pounds and not a nickel to my name. So we’re relying on you to share and be fair. Help us develop our Diner Guide-r. We might even have a few dining gift cards to  toss into a drawing.

To start the list:

Johnnie D’s has been around for over 30 years. There menu is mainstream American with a good variety of large portions on their dinner plates. Breakfast is a big draw as well. The place is just west of Apple Valley and Bear Valley roads. They offer selected menus for Seniors Over 55 so the restaurant is a favorite among the silver-haired crowd.

Johnnie D's near Home Depot

Johnnie D’s near Home Depot

Burger Depot

Burger Depot — for 36 years

While we’re thinking about great places, my granddaughter, stopped by to add her favorite spots to eat. One was Burger Depot, a little place with only a few tables, an efficient drive-thru, and their theme inside is the history of trains.

David and Karen Mount, the sole owners, have served Lucerne Valley customers for a little over 35 years. “The food is amazing,” my granddaughter says.

She’s quick to note that the other best place to eat in Lucerne Valley is Cafe 247, right at the intersection where Hwy 247 makes a turn northward. The menu has not only pizza and breakfast burritos with gravy, but it also has for a new addition jalapenos poppers.

In the Middle of Nowhere -- Cafe 247

In the Middle of Nowhere — Cafe 247

She says her dad loves them, but she won’t try them yet. “They’re hot!” The business is under new management since April, and the hours have changed for the winter. If you come out for the quiet ride into the desert, be sure to call ahead 760.248.6088.

Well, that’s enough to start the restaurant list. Let us know, in Comments below, what and where your favorite place to eat can be located.

 

Rusty LaGrange

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