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Posts in category Attractions

“Forever Wild Sanctuary” Unscathed from Blue Cut Wild Land Fire

From Out of the Ashes

If you sat spellbound watching the news as the devastating wildfire raced into the High Desert, you were most likely wondering how any thing could survive.

The good news is that many homes and ranches in the Oak Hills and Phelan areas were spared. And where fire encroached deeper into the neighborhoods, fire fighting units deployed men and equipment to stand fast against the blast furnace-like flames. One critical non-profit business that I wondered about was Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary  — their close proximity to the fire and ash.

Defending the Sanctuary

Ready to Defend, a unit of fire equipment is stationed in the neighborhood.

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October Events in the High Desert

Autumn Basket Giveaway by High Desert Bloggers

Pumpkin Autumn Beauty

Fall finally arrived, and Victorville is starting it off with a festival called Celebrating the Spice of Life. It’s Saturday, October 3, from 10:00 am ’til 4 pm at the Victorville Civic Center. Admission, parking, and kids’ activities are free.

Western and country music enthusiasts, you’ll like the Mojave River Trail Days. That’s going on Saturday, October 3 (10 am – 5 pm), and Sunday, October 4 (10 am – 4 pm).

Wrightwood Day Trip

Inspiration Point near Wrightwood

Like chili and salsa? Wrightwood is having a Chili Cook-Off & Salsa event Saturday, October 3, 11:oo am ’til 3:00 pm. Go early and stop by The Village Grind for coffee and breakfast (they have the best breakfast sandwiches!).

Between tasting salsa and chili, take your family over to Beverly’s Books (check out the $1 room for Sunday visits). They have a great selection of books in all kinds of varieties. Take the time to shop at the Cedar Street Craftiques & Collectibles in town (incidentally, Cedar Lodge is located on the first floor if you decide to stay overnight).

lodging in Wrightwood, CA

Cedar Lodge, Wrightwood

Serious about blogging? High Desert Bloggers, a meetup.com group, is meeting Saturday, October 3, from 9:00 a.m. ’til 10:30 a.m. at the new Starbucks across from Costco in Victorville.

If you have an event you want posted on High Desert Blogging’s events page, email it to hdblogging@gmail.com.

 

Joshua Tree National Park Day Trip

Looking for a place in the high desert to take your family on a day trip? Visit Joshua Tree National Park. The park is beautiful and worth taking a day to visit. Overnight camping is available.

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Pack a lunch. There are plenty of picnic tables with nature’s beauty and quiet to enjoy while you eat.

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Don’t forget the grapes and apples! Enjoy nature AND natural organic fruit in the peaceful surroundings of the park. Other than a tourist driving by, there is total quietness.

Plan a picnic at Joshua Tree National Park

Picnic at Joshua Tree National Park

Be careful while hiking or walking near the rocks to take pictures. I didn’t see any snakes on our trip, although I’m sure there are plenty of them at the park. Encountering a lizard as I had leaned back on a rock while my hubby took my picture made me more watchful wherever I walked. Lizards are fine with me at a distance. Running where my arm just was is not far enough away for my comfort.

September is a good time to go to the park. The days are warm, but there aren’t as many triple-digit temperatures. My blogger friend, Rusty, has been a long-time high desert resident and says Joshua Tree Park is also beautiful with snow.

Whenever you decide to take your family on a tour of the park, consider stopping by Pioneertown, about fifteen minutes from Joshua Tree. It was built in the 1940s as an Old West motion picture set. A couple of the Mane Street shops were open when we went, the saddle/leather shop and a pottery place. In fact, I was able to get my leather belt ties redone at the saddle and leather shop.

Old West town, Pioneertown, CA

Pioneertown

 

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The Joshua Tree National Park day trip is only about an hour and a half from the Victor Valley area. Start out early and you can be home before dark, including the Pioneertown excursion to boot.

Last Day For Civil War Battle at Calico Ghost Town

Audience views Battle

Perched above the battle lines

Calico Civil War Days

Soldiers confer over their best plans for attack

Calico Regional Park

Civil War Ladies stroll down Calico

Have you traveled out to Calico Ghost Town today? The weather, this weekend, is made for a terrific family outing to this historic region. Our family arrived there Sunday just before the first Civil War battle engagement began at 11:45 a.m.Calico Ghost Town is a San Bernardino Regional Park that sponsors several historic events throughout the year. To help with the authentic look, re-enactors dress and camp within the Main Street’s many nooks and spaces with their items for sale or just for display.

But what makes it more realistic are the skirmishes fought in the dry ravines. If you find a high perch overlooking the battlegrounds, you’ll see how the Union forces planned to way lay the Rebels. The skirmish was short-lived and of the four wounded, all four were capable of sneaking out of their captor’s grip and rejoining their own units.

 

 

After the battle, we climbed the rocky path that skirts around Main Street and headed for some refreshing ice cream. Then it was off to listen to banjo musicians as we trekked up canyon to the Little White Schoolhouse.

 

Stark white School house

Stark white School house

 

Calico makes a good effort to pave general access routes but not all trails are ADA approved for wheelchair accessibility. It’s open daily from 9a.m. to 5p.m.

The top of the canyon and across the wooden bridge gives you the best overview of this silver mining town of 1881. Nearly 127 years ago, prospectors searching for silver turned the region into a boomtown, producing over $86 million in silver, $45 million in borax, and a population of 1,200 spending their hardscrabble money in 22 saloons. With over 500 mines and glory holes, it didn’t take long until the boom went bust in 1907.

 

The three generations in our family had varying interests, as you can imagine, so we had to save Maggie Mine Tour for another time. We did visit The Candle Shop, The Print Shop, The Leather Shop, Glassworks, and the Sweet Shop, Lane’s General Store, and the newly opened Fine Arts and History Gallery where my granddaughter had to have her face painted.

 

On Display

On Display

Educational displays include the rope making tools and the Blacksmith’s barn. If you do get the itch for gold, there’s always the Gold Panning demo.

We all had a good time. Hope you did, too.

Rusty LaGrange

Calico Ghost Town Hosts Blast From the Past: Civil War

Battlefiled reenactment

Civil War soldiers march into battle

For 3 Days Only You Can See Re-enactors Fight on Battlefield

Would you like to see how the soldiers in the Civil War of 1860s had to deal with the acrid smoke, the loud cannon fire, the heat, and the bugs? Head on over to Calico Ghost Town north of Barstow off Interstate 15 at Ghost Town Road.

This annual salute, Saturday Feb. 14 through Monday Feb. 16, lets visitors feel the booming blasts of the cannons. It’s like you are there! Watch regiments march across the High Desert battlefield. Listen to President Abraham Lincoln give his address to the brave soldiers.

Go to http://cms.sbcounty.gov/Portals/1/CivilWar2015.pdf for the events and schedules.

This is an event for the whole family — with candle making, ceramics, rope braiding, lots of great food, and shops to wander through. Take your camera and capture the sights and sounds of your children when they meet cowboys leaving the saloon, their spurs clinking on the boardwalk, riding on the silver town’s railroad. Live dramas and fun children’s craft activities are also planned to entertain.

Too many things to list here but there are detailed schedules to download in PDF format.

 

Calico Ladies

Wives Often Followed Their Officer Husbands

 

 

All weekend activities:

Face Painting–Hanks Hotel

Make your own candle – at

The Candle Shop

Make your own medallion – at

The Pottery Shop

Blacksmith Demonstrations – at The Smelter Building

Rope Making—Next to The Smelter Building

Civil War craft activity for kids — at Town Hall

 

Hope you get a chance to visit this colorful reenactment panorama.

Adults are $10.00; Youths age 6-15 are $6.00; Young Children age 5 & under are free.

 

Rusty

Race Across the High Desert … on Foot

racers support   runners at stage 01    It takes nearly 10,000 volunteers to make the Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay a real challenge, and yet not many people even know about it. To cover the grueling 120-mile foot race through some of the most desolate stretches of high desert, runners must create their 20-member teams with physical endurance, perseverance, and ability to support their participants within a 24-hour time frame.signin volunteers

The Challenge Cup is a relay pitting runners not against each other as much as against the worst the desert can toss at them. Scores are based on times for the legs of each section — some only four to five miles in length and the toughest  with 10.7 miles — but must be completed by the 24-hour maximum deadline. In the past some teams were disqualified because they couldn’t keep up. Extreme weather, heat strokes, and blisters take out many.timing table recorder

What makes this race unique is the fact that only law enforcement personnel can race and you must be invited to help in the support roles. Not everyone can enter; not all can help. LA Police Officers Chuck Foote and Larry Moore created this crazy race 30 years ago, based on the format laid by LAPD Metro Division´s “Death Valley Relay” ending in 1985 — a seven-year stint of running through the Devil´s Graveyard.

Strong interest has grown each year to include not only California and Nevada divisions but other states and even other countries. Japan, Sweden, Germany, UK, and Canada coordinated their teams and flew in for the honor of racing. For more details visit: http://www.bakervegas.org

The foot race begins in Baker, California, at 8 am, climbs through the higher elevations to Shoshone, the Gateway to Death Valley, then veers right through a narrow canyon, across Chicago Valley, and into Pahrump, Nevada. Once passing through town, racers then begin the long climb up the grade toward Las Vegas. In this section,Volunteer Sandee in Comm Center all runners are in the dark wearing flashing vests to warn motorists that they are sharing the road, their added protection is provided by their follow support vehicles. As they clear the crest of Mountain Springs Pass, the lights of Las Vegas prod them on to the finish line at the Las Vegas Hotel Convention Room.

Just looking at one Stage, where a baton is handed off to the next team runner, as many as 200 people can swarm there. They stand in excitement waiting for their runner to arrive, prompted by a trained team of Amateur Radio communicator volunteers who announce each runner coming in. The support teams also include the registration of current teams, a medical contingency, race officials, and the growing numbers of team race supporters and their families. Once the current racers have moved on, all of the support volunteers move on to the next Stage. Volunteer Virginia in Comm Center

Volunteers who are assigned to man one stage for the complete 24 hours, will have been awake throughout the evening, well into the early hours of the next morning. My husband and I have helped in several of the assignment teams, whether it was in Shoshone, or race headquarters, or camped long the highway offering our radio support. We are now Lead Ham Radio assigned support for Stage 14. We’ve be involved for more than 17 years.

As old-timers we still find it fun, tiring, exciting, and enthusiastic to see all the teams milling around waiting for their teammates to break through the chute and hand over their batons. We even recruit new volunteers to invest their time so others can take breaks or even skip a year of service. The race officials also make it more efficient at stages by promoting the newest timing gear and computer-assisted scoring to make our jobs much easier.Friends at dinner

Although the dates of the race tend to shuffle from March to April, next year’s race is now set for March 28th. Reservations in motels and camping resorts are already filling, and surely the teams are gearing up for the 31st year. It’s just another one of those strange desert traditions — one in which we are honored to assist.

Rusty LaGrange

Paddle Auction – April 6th in Wrightwood – Fundraiser for Snowline Players!

PaddleAuctionApril 6thauction.jpgCome enjoy appetizers,baked goods,beverages, and shopping, all while being entertained by our expert auctioneer as he puts the shoppers in a frenzy!Admission is free!

Wrightwood Community Center 1275 State Hwy 2, Wrightwood, CA 92397

View items from 5:00 pm -6:00 pm, Auction begins at 6:00 pm

All proceeds from the auction go to support the Snowline Players, a non profit community theatre group, and their productions.

The Diary of Anne Frank Play in Wrightwood – April 19 – April 28

If you love the theater and want to see an awesome performance, put this amazing Play on your calendar now!

 

The Snowline Players will present “The Diary of Anne Frank” adapted by Wendy Kesselman and written by Francis Goodrich and Albert Hackett. This is a drama based on the story of a young girl who lived during the Second World War and personally experienced the holocaust. Anne Frank and her parents and sister lived in Holland where her father had a factory. They were forced to live in the attic of the factory because they were Jewish and their lives were threatened by the Germans who occupied Holland during the war. Living with then was another family, the Van Daans and their son Peter and a dentist, Mr Dussel. They were also at risk because they were Jewish. Mr Kraler and Miep, a young woman, both worked in the factory and brought food and news to the attic residents for all the time they were living there.

This play has great character development as we see through Anne’s diary how each individual handled living in such a small environment, Anne wrote all their everyday happenings in her diary. She was a spunky girl of 13 in the beginning. She looked at their confinement as an adventure. The part of Anne is played by Emily Dieckman. Her sister Margot, a shy , retiring girl , is played by Anna Flynn. Ron Frank and Charlie Sorenson play Mr and Mrs Frank and the VanDaans are portrayed by Michelle Schneider and Ted Puffer. Peter, their son, is brought to life by Timothy Eaton. Miep is Kirstie Acosta, and Mr. Kraler is Dave Meyers.

Great cast, very moving, and with Ron Frank’s monologue at the end, there won’t be a dry eye in the house.

Hint to general public: If you haven’t seen Ron Frank, Michelle Schnieder, Ted Puffer, or Emily Diekman perform, here is your chance. We have renown talent locally grown. Tickets are very reasonably priced.

Anne Frank will be performed in the Wrightwood Community Building behind the Blue Ridge Inn on Park Drive in Wrightwood CA.

The building stage is being transformed into an attic by Tom Westhoff, Bruce Mortimer, and Larry Wilson. Performances are Fridays, April 19 and 26 at 8 pm. Sat. April 27 at 7:30pm Sunday April 21 at 7:30pm and Sunday April 28 at 2:30pm

Admission is $8.00 for adults, $6.00 for seniors and youth.

For information on buying tickets in advance call the director Lora Steinmann at 760-249-3171. Tickets can also be bought at the door on the day of the performance if they are available.

Spend Some Time at Your High Desert Museums

LUCERNE VALLEY OUTDOOR MUSEUM

 Our town enjoyed great weather and a number of events this last  weekend. From Motorcyle clubs raising funds for our local FFA students to Garden Club Plant Sales and a two-day Powwow, Lucerne Valley had everything going.

So my daughter, Chelsea, and I opened the Lucerne Valley Museum. We took advantage of the increased number of visitors in town to share our town’s outdoor collection. We counted 30 on Saturday and 19 on Sunday. Not bad for a venue of mining and agricultural equipment.

You see, we don’t have an indoor museum like most towns… we just haven’t been able to afford it. But whenever we can, we dust off the counters, sweep out the spider webs, and share our valley’s rich heritage with anyone passing by.

The Muller Family view displays from the porch

Some indoor displays with Chelsea LaGrange

We’ll be opening the Museum on a regular bases, once the weather cools off. Our tentative schedule may be the last Sunday of every month… if weather permits. We’ll post the hours here later. Entrance is free and families or groups may make  appointments to see the Museum by calling CSA 29 office 760-248-6048 or

760-248-6777.

High Desert Day Trip to The Bottle Tree Ranch on Old Route 66

The Bottle Tree Ranch

This was a spur of the moment Day Trip in the High Desert.  I love doing things at the spur of the moment.  On Monday while John and I were out doing some errands out in Apple Valley we decided to see if we could find the Bottle Tree Ranch.  First, we wanted to make it to Linda Marie’s Treasures in Oro Grande, CA before she closed at 5:00pm.  After we were finished visiting with her, we discovered that the Bottle Tree Ranch was just down the same National Trails Highway about 6 miles!  It is on historic Old Route 66 in the Mohave desert.

We heard that it is open to the public all of the time and if Elmer is there, he will come out and talk with you.  So off we went.  Elmer was there and what a treat to get to visit with him.  He gave us the grand tour and even invited us into his home.  What an amazing artist he is.  If you want to read more about our awesome High Desert Day trip to The Bottle Tree Ranch and see some amazing photos of things that Elmer Long has created visit Marti’s Muses and Marvels Blog

We highly recommend taking time to visit the Bottle Tree Ranch and meeting Elmer Long, the man that created this unusual for of art.

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