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Taben Bridge

I don’t have any pictures of the Taben Bridge. When he left the Army my Uncle Peter was unable to locate the picture. He did tell me the story about the Taben Bridge.

It seems that in the summer (or fall) of 1944 the US Army Air Corps had bombed the Taben Bridge. In the beginning of December 1944 Uncle Peter was briefing several generals (George Patton was one of them). Gen Patton asked him “How long will the Germans last in the Saar/Mosel Triangle.

Uncle Peter told me he shouldn’t have bragged to Patton, but he told him “I know how many belt buckles Jerry has. They won’t last two weeks.”

Three weeks later the Germans were fighting as strong as ever. Patton’s aide told Uncle Peter that the general wanted to see him at 1300 the next day, he needed to bring an explanation of why he was wrong about the Germans being able to continue fighting.

I will look at my files and see if I have anything that might be of interest.

Do you have an e-mail address I might use to contact you?

Thanks,

James R. Elstad

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

Surprising Valentine’s Day Gift That Grows in the High Desert

red blossoms

Vibrant little “fish hook” barrel with big blooms

 

Cactus Thrive in the High Desert

Do you really want to receive a dozen roses that will only last a week? Why not ask for a cactus that blooms for you each year? Just go to your nursery and pick out the prettiest. And as for color, you’ll find a good variety.

Many of the varieties offer different shapes and heights, while others bloom in hues of white to cream to yellow, pink to red to rose. All of them are easy to water and easy to grow in typical desert temperatures.

Another feature that I enjoy is their slow growing nature. You can plant them in a 10″ pot and it will be years before you’ll need to transplant them into a half whiskey barrel or directly into your yard. Many of them can grow for decades, often dropping “babies” or allowing their arms to be cut and replanted for the new generation of cacti. I have a night blooming cereus that is over 40-years-old and has been inside all of its life.100_0756

“Christmas cactus”, known for blooming in winter with bright red or fuchsia colored pointy blooms, can be more temperamental because they are a tropical cactus. They don’t like their roots too wet or too dry. A trick for forcing their blooms is to place them in a closet for a month prior to the holidays. Once out of the dark, they want to herald in the New Year. Healthy and happy plants will blossom all year.

Rusty LaGrange

Last Blog Basket of the Season Draw at Suger Shack

As we sneak up on the last days of December, I represented High Desert Blogging com’s Basket Give-Away drawing Saturday, Dec. 20, at Sugar Shack. This shop is always festive and the owners — mother -daughter team — Debbie and Tonya, always have the coffee brewing.

Tonya and Debbie Got the Sweet Treats at Sugar Shack

Tonya and Debbie Got the Sweet Treats at Sugar Shack

One of the largest baskets of our seven-week drawing, Sugar Shack was so enthusiastic to try the basket give-away that they barely had time to get sign-ins. As people began coming in to get out of the blast of wind at Oro Grande’s new face lifted vintage shops in Old Town, they shopped and sipped and warmed up. Everyone was in such a cheery mood.

 

 

 

I placed all of the Basket Give-Away names in a bag and drew Joel Esparza! Congratulations!!

And the Winner Is...

And the Winner Is…

He only gave an email address so we are hoping to hear from him soon.

In the meantime, I hope shoppers remember that if you’ve stuck for a gift for a teen or a gentleman, candy is always a great selection.

 

 

Sugar Shack Antiques, Collectibles, and Candies will have modified  hours for the holidays so be sure to call (760) 646-0562 or check their Facebook page for updates.

 

Sugar Shack _tonya_02_12202014

 

Our winner, Joel, picked up his basket and enjoyed a great and very sweet collection of goodies from Sugar Shack.

Keep watching for our next basket give-away for Valentine’s Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Happy Holidays!

From Angie and Rusty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seasonal Basket Give-Aways Winner Announced

High Desert vintage shoppers had nearly seven weeks to shop and sign -up for our Basket Give-Away! As it turned out Vintage Gypsies kept a basket on their counter the  longest and receiving quite a few sign-ins.

The basket drawing was held Saturday at Vintage Gypsies with Kevin Moody (pictured with vase full of entries) helping to draw the name. Owners Becky and Kathy stood by as the name was revealed.

Kevin Draws the Winning Name!

Kevin Draws the Winning Name!

Congratulations to new High Desert resident Roxy Cantes who visits the shop quite often. “It’s regular shoppers like Roxy who we love to see come into the store and find just those items that make her house feel like home,” said Becky.

Vintage Gypsies will be open the day before Christmas, Dec. 24th, from 10-4, closing on Christmas Day. Be sure to check their Facebook page for their hours during the holidays.

We left a message for Roxy hoping she will be able to drop by the shop before Christmas to receive her basket of goodies!

 

 

Happy Holidays!

From Angie & Rusty

Only 6 Days Left for Sugar Shack’s Basket Give-Away

With only 11 days before Christmas, shopping ideas might be just what you’re looking for. A gift of a bygone era — as in collectibles and small antiques —  can brighten anyone’s holiday. We have so many vintage and antiques in the High Desert to choose from.

 

Vintage, Antiques, and Candy

Sugar Shack

What if you are searching for a gift for children or teens and venturing into an electronics store is a bit overwhelming? Why not try candies and confections instead? I don’t know of anyone who would turn down candy!

Right now Sugar Shack, one of the newest candy shops  on Route 66 in Oro Grande, is stocking its shelves with the scent of peppermint and chocolate. There’s more, of course, but those are my favorite flavors. They offer sugar-free candies, too.

Even better is the Autumn Blog Basket Give-Away continuing with the latest entry basket at Sugar Shack. It’s crammed with everything: some candy, a number of collectibles, handmade and crafty items, and I think I saw an antique, too. Their basket drawing is set for Dec. 20th. Nothing to buy. No tickets. No charge at all. Just stop by and sign up. Winner will be notified by phone and email. Winner doesn’t need to be present. it’s High Desert Blogging’s way of thanking our High Desert community for supporting our efforts for the past 3 years.

Some of their regular shoppers at Sugar Shack come in just for their morning coffee and a pastry. The shop also offers a collection of antiques and handmade crafts, and collectibles — I saw “Betty Boop” collection looking at me from the shelf. As Sugar Shack grows, mother and daughter owners, Debbie Justice and Tonya Edwards, will expand their line of goodies. They currently house three vendors who offer the handmade goods.

Betty Boop is alive and well and living at Sugar Shack

Betty Boop is alive and well and living at Sugar Shack

Sugar Shack collectibles, candies, and antiques open early 6 am Monday through Friday and close by 5 pm. On weekends they open 10 am until 5 pm. Their new store number is (760) 646-0562.

You can find out more about them and some daily specials on Facebook. Go To: www.Facebook.com/sugarshackHD

Stop in and say “hi” to Debbie and Tonya, get a hot mug of coffee, and let your sweet tooth do the shopping.

 

Rusty LaGrange

 

High Desert’s Autumn Blog Basket Give-Away Ends Saturday Dec. 6th

By this Saturday, we’ll have the final winners of the “Autumn Blog Basket Give-Away.” Have you signed-in? Anyone is eligible to win if they stop by at these listed Vintage and Antique shops around the Victor Valley. Earlier, shops sponsored to hold baskets which were filled with a variety of collectables, antiques, foods, and specialty items for the season. No obligation to buy. No tickets. It’s a free drawing offered by bloggers from High Desert Bogging.com to shoppers who enter their names and e-mail addresses. We just wish to give back to the communities who have helped our High Desert blogging group grow.

So far, Find Your Ps and Qs Antiques in Victorville has gathered 135 entries. Vintage Gypsies in Apple Valley already received 40 entries, and another 45 signed-up at The Desert Cottage in Hesperia. See the asterisk for current stores awaiting the drawing this Saturday. Winners need not be present to win.

The first baskets were given away in November but due to the overwhelming interest in hosting new baskets, the second give-away continues until Dec. 6th. What are you waiting for?

High Desert Blogging  “Autumn Basket Give-away” Victor Valley area sponsored shops:

1.      * Vintage Gypsies, 21880 Hwy. 18 (across from Molly’s Country Kitchen in Old Town), Apple Valley, CA

2.      * The Desert Cottage, 15451 Bear Valley Road, Hesperia, CA

3.      * Find Your Ps and Qs Antiques, 15080 7th Street, Suite 11, (near Gridiron Pizza) Victorville, CA

4.      Linda Marie’s Enchanted Treasures, 19222 National Trails Hwy., Oro Grande, CA (past basket host)

5.      Salvaged & Tattered, 19248 National Trails Hwy., Oro Grande, CA (past basket host)

  Let us know if you won a basket. We love feedback!

Rusty LaGrange

Last Few Weeks Left of Fall Harvesting Before Freeze

If you are working your Fall Garden, it’s just about time to do the last harvesting before the freeze. Temperatures in the High Desert have been swinging lower at night. Then I came across this scarecrow that couldn’t scare a fly. Her days are over. But she’s still cute.

A Softer, Gentler “Shoo-crow” in the Morning

This can't be a scarecrow, so it must be a shoo-crow

This can’t be a scarecrow, so it must be a shoo-crow

What self-serving crow would take flight in fear when facing this adorable representation. I found this on the Internet last Autumn and it reminded me of the toddler-sized dancing rag dolls where children could slip their feet into an elastic band on the doll’s feet.

Who wouldn’t want to dance across the grassy yard with a light-footed blonde, and constantly beaming, partner, who knew all your steps. Yes, I had one, though it belonged to my younger sister, I would gleefully spin across the lawn under the English walnut tree. She didn’t have the same dancing images that I did. And, although I was a bit embarrassed to be dancing with a doll while nearly teen-aged, it seemed that the doll inspired me to just go for it.

Yet, here it was, attempting to scare away ravenous birds who just wanted to dive into the garden.

Scarecrows have been around in some form since Egyptians first netted their fields to catch flocks of quail in their fields. Greeks and Romans were the earliest to use human -styled scarecrows. In the Medieval era when anything that vexed you had to be demonic or sent by some evil-worshipping villager, they were using children as bird scarers.

Even as the Pilgrims were preparing their first meal with the First Americans, who taught them survival skills, the farmers were using what they knew from decades earlier. They had time to grow European corn and potatoes and carrots to offer at the first harvest dinner. The natives offered maize, squashes, and seeds, berries, and nuts , as well as fish, watercress, lobster, dried fruit, clams, venison, and plums. But, funnily enough, there is no research listing actual turkey but other fowl arrived on the platters.

Planting, tending, weeding, watering, and harvesting, while keeping the critters at bay, was a full-time job. And whether you were Native or New Englander, each harvest was the indicator of whether your village would store enough food and be strong enough for the encroaching winter.

Most crows would look twice before landing

Most crows would look twice before landing

Even in the Southwest, scarecrows were employed in the New World, too. Some tribes used young boys to tend the flocks and scare birds by throwing rocks at them. Others used woven reed and yucca to hang a variety of feathers, sticks and bones that clacked.

 

Creative and a bit punkish

Creative and a bit punkish

A scarecrow swaying and flapping in the breeze was, and continues to be, a deterrent for most animals, not just hungry crows. Think about your garden scarecrow. Is it a collection of tin pie plates hung from cords in the trees? Whirligigs are often spinning in the garden, then after the harvest season, can be found on porches and front yards. Do you stuff an old tattered pair of jeans and a flannel shirt? Or do you get creative and invent a new version like the young lady shoo-away scarecrow?

One of friends placed soft and rancid pumpkins around the edge of her garden to deter daytime garden invaders, but I think she had more night visitors that were attracted to the odors.

Let us know what you do in your garden when it’s time to plant your scarecrow.

Rusty

Desert Cottage Joins Autumn Basket Give-Away

 

Grace and elegance are the best words to describe The Desert Cottage, a home repurposed into a fashion plate for vintage and antique pieces. It was such a pleasure walking slowly through what seemed like endless shops in one. Each room and cozy niche was tastefully decorated in vintage style with different themes. With 20 vendors, the mix is a true adventure.

A little bit camera shy, Yvonne and Anna, share a silly moment while showing the holiday decor

A little bit camera shy, Yvonne and Anna, share a silly moment while showing the holiday decor

 

Too many wonderful things… so little time. I think that’s my motto.

 

Anna at Desert Cottage

Anna at Desert Cottage

The Desert Cottage has also joined High Desert Blogging’s “Autumn Blog Basket Give-Away.” Their donor basket is filling fast with yummy foods, collectibles, and more, added daily. The drawing is scheduled for Saturday, December 6th at noon. A winner will be drawn from those who have signed in at the shop. Stop by and enter. There’s no charge, no tickets. It’s just the way that High Desert Blogging is giving back to High Desert  communities for their support these past three years.

Flower Arrangements by Yvonne

Flower Arrangements by Yvonne

 

For your visit there, be sure to talk to Anna, the owner and her long-time friend, Yvonne. They love to greet new visitors and cater to the many requests they receive from hunters looking for gifts and collections. Yvonne specializes in flower arrangements while Anna has a creative eye for vintage goodies. Her creations are placed throughout the main section. Christmas décor is beginning to fill in, so most vendors will have something for everybody.

 

The Desert Cottage can be found on Facebook and Instagram with latest sale items listed. Their hours are 10-5 daily with Sundays and Mondays closed, located at 15451 Bear Valley Rd near 11th Street, (760) 948-7225.

 

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