Arts & Crafts, Coffee, Food, Gardens, High Desert Living, People, Places

Posts tagged Southwest

Day Trip Fun on April Fool’s in the High Desert

Day Trip to the High Desert

Wondering what you can do for a day trip on April Fool’s Day in Southern California’s high desert this year? Consider a visit to the California Institute of Earth Architecture in Hesperia. Attend a SuperAdobe open house.  READ MORE »

Take the Time to Read a Book

Read More Books

High Desert, CA bookstores

Hi Desert Book Oasis

Digital or Paperback?

Digital books may be easier for you to read because of convenience. But when is the last time you read an actual paperback or hardback book? Allow yourself the pleasure of spending an hour browsing in a bookstore. Notice the different sections instead of gravitating only to your favorite interest.  READ MORE »

High Desert Areas of the United States

High Desert Joshua Tree

Mohave High Desert Joshua Tree

There are four main high desert areas (at least 2,000 feet above sea level) of the United States. Bloggers who publish posts on High Desert Blogging generally write about the Victor Valley vicinity of San Bernardino County in Southern California (So Cal).

One of the topics of this blog is high desert gardening. If you have learned the tricks to growing a successful garden in So Cal’s dry, hot, and windy summers, high desert gardeners from any of the four high deserts (listed below) of the U.S. can benefit from your garden tips.

4 Most Popular High Deserts of the U. S.

  • High Desert in California (mostly Los Angeles County and San Bernardino County)
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Oregon (central & eastern)
  • Colorado Plateau

The more populated high desert California areas are in Los Angeles County cities of Lancaster and Palmdale, San Bernardino County cities of Victor Valley (Adelanto, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Victorville), and Barstow. Other high desert cities include Albuquerque, New Mexico and Bend, Burns, Lakeview, and Prineville in Oregon.

Interests such as the following commonalities can be found in most or all of these high deserts:

  1. Old and/or historic touristic area of town
  2. Coffee shops
  3. Cafes & cuisine
  4. Vintage shopping
  5. High desert gardening
  6. Art & culture
  7. Writer events
  8. Wagon trail history
  9. Surrounding mountains

Old and/or historic touristic area of town

Albuquerque, Oregon, and California high deserts offer a wide variety of things to do and places for tourists to visit. Old town and historic shopping venues are available in each of these high desert areas. Albuquerque has its Old Town, Victorville Old Town is known for its National Old Trails Highway, Route 66, and Bend, Oregon has the Old Mills District.

Bend, Oregon

Bend, Oregon

Rowena Point Columbia Gorge, By johninportland

Tour the Old Mills District in Bend on a Segway. High Desert Museum has high reviews, so include it in your list of places to see. Learn more about Oregon’s things to do in the high desert at TravelOregon.com.

Old Town Albuquerque

Albuquerque Old Town

Albuquerque’s Old Town Adobe Historic Church

Old Town Albuquerque has the best little coffee shop, Velvet Coffeehouse with specialty coffee and tea and the best berry scone ever.

Albuquerque Old Town Coffee

Velvet Coffeehouse, Albuquerque Old Town

Coffee in Old Town Albuquerque

Velvet Coffeehouse, Old Town Albuquerque

A short distance from Velvet’s is Wild Hare Studio.

Albuquerque Shopping

Wild Hare Studio Art, Albuquerque

Art Studio, Albuquerque Old Town

Wild Hare Art, Albuquerque Old Town

Another shop worth visiting is the Old Town Basket & Rug Shop with a large collection of Southwestern home decor. Take time to tour the church built in 1793, San Felipe de Neri Parish.

Victorville’s Route 66

Route 66 Museum, Victorville, CA

Route 66 Museum, Victorville, CA

See the Route 66 Museum in Victorville, shop at Santa Fe Trading Company for Southwestern home decor. If you like vintage shopping, it’s worthwhile to travel down Route 66 to Oro Grande.

antique shopping at Antique Station, Oro Grande, CA

Antique Station vintage shopping, Oro Grande, CA

Albuquerque, Oregon, and California high deserts’ are packed with Southwest, wagon trail, and Route 66 history for the writer. In fact, there are several writers’ events held annually in each of these areas including conferences, contests, retreats, and workshops.

Interested in guest blogging about your high desert? Contact us at hdblogging@gmail.com

 

High Desert Mailmax Postal Center in Hesperia, CA

Hesperia printing and mail center

Mailmax Postal Center
Hesperia, CA

High Desert Blogging is a blog focused on the community of Southern California’s Victor Valley, its people, businesses, arts and crafts, desert gardening, places to shop and eat, and events, etc. Introducing entrepreneurs, writers, and artists from the area is an important part of what our bloggers enjoy. When finding out information on local services offered by businesses, books written by authors, or art advertised for sale, getting to know the owners or individuals behind those products and services is appreciated by consumers.

One of the High Desert’s entrepreneurs is Angel Gonzales, a friendly face you often see when walking into the Mailmax Postal Center on Main Street in Hesperia.

High Desert mail and printing center

Mailmax Postal Center
Hesperia, CA

A Time Spent at Mailmax Postal Center

By Angel Gonzales, Mailmax Postal Center

A few weeks ago I had the blessing of my son’s visitation from the U.S. Navy for his annual family reunion, and like all the other times he visits, that thought of how quick the time will go still gnaws me to death. I was under the impression that perhaps something was wrong with me in feeling this way until my son began describing to me the very same feelings that I frequently had while he was home. In fact, he shared a story with me about a conversation that he had with a peer that worked in his department on how he communicated his feeling of not wanting to come because he hated the leaving to return to base in Georgia from his home in California. I do some serious soul searching regarding this phenomenon of mine, and what I came up with is two things.

  1. God really cares about even the smallest things that concern or move you
  2. He provides hope when all odds seem against you for God delights Himself in the impossible situations of your life to prove himself strong on your behalf.

Let’s start with the first. So here we are on July 15th, 2015 on a Wednesday at 12 Noon headed for the Ontario Airport to drop off my son and his girlfriend April to board their flight at 2:00 pm ending our two-week, fun-filled time together. My mind had played the scenario so many times during those fourteen days while he was with us. The heavy sadness would plague me as I would have to say goodbye for now, and now we were here on that day living it out. While driving down the 15 freeway headed south approaching the 10 freeway about to head west, and as we were passing the Ontario Mills Shopping Mall, I say to my son “Look, Dave and Busters, my favorite hang out.” I told him that the next time he visits, we would have lunch there. He simply responded with, “Yeah, Dad, next time.” The walk up to the terminal felt like someone strapped a 500-pound iron yoke to my neck, I was so heavy with sadness. As we approached the U.S. Airways counter, the lady at the computer terminal informs us that their flight was delayed a whole day and that they would not arrive on their military base until the 16th and very late at that. So after a short convening between the two of them, they decided to call the higher ups and explain the situation regarding their air flight which happens a lot in the military world. Their superior simply replied, “See you guys in a day or so.” I turned and looked at my son and say to him, “Dave and Busters?” He lets out a laugh, pats me in the back and we head back to our car to reload their luggage to our lunch destination to…well, you know where!

While walking towards the Ontario Mills, my wife along with my son and April followed about 10 feet behind me as I laughed and praised God exceedingly for removing the stigma of what I anticipated becoming a very sad day to a day of rejoicing and a good time awaiting us just one more time. In the midst of all this, I heard a still small voice speaking to my inner man that said, “I gave you not only this day, but the desire of your heart is about to come to pass.” It was as if the Lord did this one act to show me that he can and will, plain and simple.

The days that followed would prove my second point in that God moves the impossible for you. My son, being slightly determined to reenlist in the Navy, was pretty adamant about going international with his next move. It really felt like someone just knocked all the wind out of me. I will never manipulate the Lord for my will, but I will certainly make my voice and feelings known to him and with that said, before I knew it, my son sent me a text three days after he got home informing me that he put in for a transfer to San Diego, California Naval Base which is only a one and a half hour drive from our home. God surely moves mountains.

So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. (MATTHEW 17:20)

NOW GO GET YOURS!

 

Mailmax Postal Center, 15555 Main St., Ste. D-4, Main Street in Hesperia offers printing services, faxing, mailbox rental, and is an authorized shipping center for FedEx, UPS and USPS. 
(760) 244-6867

 

Route 66 Road Trip Food and Shopping in Hesperia, CA

The next time you take a road trip on I-15 between LA and Las Vegas, try out the Outpost Cafe by the Pilot Travel Center in Hesperia. Outpost Cafe advertises “good grub” and no kidding! Great breakfasts, salads, and hamburgers – great big portions, too. Incidentally, this cafe is on the recommended list of places to eat at the Cooking on the Truck website.

Next door to the cafe is a fun shop, Highway 66 Trading Co. Feel at home at this shop with friendly service! If you’re looking for Route 66 and

Highway 66 Trading Co. Owners Lois Trenberth and Gene Chomowycz

Friendly Service at Highway 66 Trading Co. and Route 66 DOT Medical

vintage automotive collectibles, garage art, or man cave items, this is the place to visit. Looking for cool jackets? They’ve got those, too.

shop for cool jackets at Highway 66 Trading Co. in Hesperia, CA

Jacket Shopping at Highway 66 Trading Co.

Truckers can also go to the Highway 66 Trading Co to find a new service — Route 66 DOT Medical for DOT physicals and drug screening. This office serves as a convenient stop to help truckers with their medical evaluations. The address is 8685 Highway 395 Unit B, Oak Hills, CA 92344, and the contact number is (909) 360-1808.

 

High Desert Holiday Vintage Shopping

Gypsies with basket give-away Dec. 6th

Gypsies with basket give-away Dec. 6th

Like vintage? If you’re near the High Desert in So Cal this Saturday, December 6th, several vintage shops are hosting giveaway holiday/vintage baskets. The baskets are co-hosted by the shops and the High Desert Bloggers (http://highdesertblogging.com). Residents of the High Desert can enter to win a basket. There’s more…

A new antique and sweet shop is coming to Oro Grande on Route 66. Don’t miss their grand opening December 6th! It’s near Linda Marie’s Enchanted Treasures, Silver Trails Vintage and Antiques, Antique Station and Cross Eyed Cow Pizza.

Oro Grande, CA Pizza

Cross Eyed Cow Pizza

Shop early so you can get in on the chance to win a basket. Shop, eat pizza, and top off your day with dessert at the sweet shop’s grand opening. There’s more…

Let us not leave out the High Desert vintage shops that are in on the basket giveaway fun. These shops participating are:

  •  Mind Your P’s and Q’s (7th Street, Victorville)
  • Vintage Gypsies (Across from Mollie’s Restaurant Hwy. 18, Apple Valley)
  • The Desert Cottage (Bear Valley Rd., Hesperia – next door to American Tire Depot)
  • Linda Marie’s Enchanted Treasures
  • Silver Trails Vintage and Antiques

Readers of this blog post who don’t live in the High Desert but want a chance at winning one of High Desert Bloggers’ holiday baskets, you can enter to win the http://highdesertblogging.com’s  holiday basket:

Holiday Basket Giveaway

Metal Basket Giveaway

You can enter to win it by emailing us at hdblogging@gmail.com and including your name and email address in the body of the email. The winner of this basket will be announced Saturday, December 6, 2014.

High Desert vintage shoppers, hope to see you Saturday!

 

Desert Writers Escape to Catalina Island

Guest Blogger: Brenda Hill, Newberry Springs

 

Catalina Island Writers Retreat

Brenda Hill at Catalina Island Retreat

 

What a fun time, and insightful learning experience for five California writers. Santa Catalina Island was the perfect choice for the first Writers Escape Weekend.

Writers hailed from different parts of the country. All authors shared many diverse genres. Workshop subjects included short story, fiction, creative non-fiction, character/plot development and blogging.

When we first arrived on the magical shores of Catalina, we could walk to our conveniently located weekend hide-away, The Catalina Lodge.

One of the advantages of Catalina is very few cars, only golf carts and bicycles. We explored the nooks and crannies of this magical island by foot from sunrise to sunset, then again in the evening to marvel at the nearly full hunter’s moon illuminating the boats in the bay. I took a refreshing swim at the local beach each day.

Brenda Hill's Catalina Harbor Photo

Catalina Harbor

 

Catalina Island, CA

Sunrise on Catalina Island

We feasted on gourmet coffee, authentic Mexican specialties, and fresh Mahi Mahi. The golden sun was warm. The ice cream was a cool refresher.

One night we enjoyed a starry night “at home” in our cozy courtyard. Cheese, nuts, fresh fruit, and wine was the perfect writers picnic under an almost full hunters moon.

Another highlight of our retreat was a  tour through the museum. The rich natural and social history of the island is fascinating.

Leaving this unique place is always bittersweet for me. All of us would have enjoyed at least one more day of sun, fun, fellowship and learning.  While dolphins danced near the deck of our ferry, our merry little group of writers planned our next writers retreat.

Avalon, CA Ferry

Catalina Ferry

Look for the details of the Spring Writers  Escape, perhaps to Big Bear, on this blog. We would enjoy hearing your comments, suggestions and ideas. 

 

 

Brenda Hill is the author of Success, Your Path to a Successful Book,
Our Love Affairs with Food and Travel, and blogger at http://www.whereandwhatintheworld.com/.
IFWTWA
breechill@yahoo.com

How to Meet People in a New Community

Feeling alone in a new community without close family and friends nearby is a terrible feeling. Finding the solutions to the loneliness begins when you go where the people are.

When my husband and I purchased a cabin in the High Desert of southern California, I didn’t know people in the community. My mother and mother-in-law had both just passed away. Grief hit and didn’t let up for a long season. Grief and loneliness became too much for me to deal with. Then I happened to read an article about the High Desert branch of California Writers Club (HDCWC) held at Apple Valley’s library the second Saturday of each month.

I went to the next meeting. No seats were available in the back. I had to go up to one of the front rows. Talk about intimidating! They even asked visitors to stand and introduce themselves, including their writing interests or publications.

You might feel intimidated at first like I did at the first HDCWC meeting. It’s okay to feel that way at first. Remember that it’s the beginning of finding solutions to your loneliness. Either you become a hermit or get out and meet people. I got out and met people. It worked, but it took time.

Look around your new community for places that look interesting. Do research online for hobbies you enjoy. Find a 5K to participate in. Visit churches until you find one that you feel is best for you and your family. Join an improv comedy, a scrapbook, or blogging group or start your own. Get involved in the community.

Darwin's A Team, Victorville, CA

Victorville’s Improv Comedy Troupe, Darwin’s A Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And there they go!

And there they go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High Desert Bloggers, Route 66 Molly Brown's

High Desert Bloggers at Molly Brown’s on National Trails Highway

 

 

 

Running and Walking in the High Desert, California

Submitted by Guest Blogger Beverly Prine

http://bevie-morningcoffee.blogspot.com/

5K, Hesperia, CA

5K, Hesperia, CA – 9/11 Remembrance Run on the Hills of Ranchero, Wednesday, September 11th, 2013. Taken at the corner of Danbury Ave and Ranchero Road.

 

 

As a resident of the High Desert for over twenty years, I often enjoy taking long walks along the California Aqueduct Trail. During the summer months, early morning is the best time to walk the Aqueduct, aka “AD.” Walking with someone is ideal, just in case of trouble. The “Buddy-System” we learned in kindergarten applies to walkers and runner of all ages.

Since June of this year, I have started running, which is not any faster than my walking pace, but it works a different muscle-group than walking. Running with a buddy, or two or three, is even better than walking with a buddy. I got the chance to meet some running-buddies at the Ranchero Underpass Opening Ceremony on June 29th, 2013. At first I was intimidated when I was approached by an extremely fit young woman who introduced me to her group called “Mom’s Run This Town,” also known as MRTT. This individual was an experienced marathon runner (that’s 26 miles) and invited me to look up her group on Facebook.

I joined the Facebook group, “High Desert, CA Moms RUN This Town,” but a few more weeks passed before I actually made the commitment to meet up at a running event. This first event I attended was a run around Malibu Park and surrounding area on a Saturday morning. It was a nice surprise to see a familiar face, and meet six new people. One of the new friends I met runs at my pace, and we quickly became running buddies. I am so glad to have found someone who is like me, a beginner, and who is working at increasing miles and pace. Some in the group took off fast and ran the five miles in record time. Others ran and walked and finished before Mar and I, who brought up the rear of the group.

Not long after, Mar and I met many from the first run at the Maple AD trail, and I was glad to have company on “my” home-trail. The almost-five miles from Maple to Main Street on the trail of the aqueduct was very pleasant, as we watched ducks and ducklings in the water, and heard a coyote cry in the distance.

Mar and I have been running together three times a week for the past two months, and we are enjoying our progress. There are days when I need her encouragement to get going, and there are other days when she needs me to push her. This morning, for instance, we ran my favorite trail, which is the Ranchero Underpass. We start at Ranchero Road and 7th Avenue, and run east toward Danbury Avenue. On the return from Danbury back to 7th, I was about to quit and give up, but she was at my side, giving me words of encouragement to keep going.

At the beginning of each run at five-thirty in the morning, before the rooster crows, we love to look up at the stars and constellations still visible before sunrise. During the time of the Super-Moon last week, we marveled at its beauty, as we chased the setting of the moon on the return run, from Danbury back to 7th. The bonus about this running route is the trains that pass us overhead as we run. The Hesperia Airport is nearby, and sometimes we watch helicopters and airplanes land and take-off.

The highlight of September was running with MRTT at the Hesperia Days 5K, and Mar and I both improved our time, coming in at thirty-five minutes and thirty-eight minutes, respectively. I am no longer intimidated by others who are faster. The whole point of running is to get off the couch and get outside, exercise and get moving. The bonus is meeting new friends who encourage and inspire each other, not only in running but also in life in general. This quote from George Sheehan at Runner’s World sums it up:  “It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.”

 

 

September 21-22, 2013 Hesperia Days Event in the High Desert

 

On Your Mark...

On Your Mark…

 

Hesperia Days kicked off this gorgeous cool morning with the 5K Run/Walk/Skate. You can’t beat this kind of weather for a morning workout. Amazing turnout!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The skaters got a head start with runners next and walkers following.

GO!

GO!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A terrific representation of families and people of all ages. It’s a great way to promote health and fitness and family fun in the High Desert. Look at the strollers. Even family dogs joined in on the fun. Gotta keep the pets fit, too.

And there they go!

And there they go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fit for a 5K!

Fit for a 5K!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interested in training for a 5K run? Commit to a regular training program similar to what John and Karen have done, a husband and wife team (Karen, on the right in above photo and husband John in the middle, pose with their friend from St. Joseph Health, St. Mary in Apple Valley.) John and Karen commit to a regimen of cardio workouts, walking, running, and biking. They will participate in The Apple Valley Reverse Triathlon on September 28th.

Willard, a member of the High Desert Branch of the CA Writers Club

Willard, a member of the High Desert Branch of the CA Writers Club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Willard is a member of HDCWC, the writers club that meets at the Apple Valley Library every second Saturday monthly.

Visit HDCWC.com to find out how you, too, can learn to write and publish a book. HDCWC is hosting a writers conference in the High Desert in October.

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