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

Posts tagged High Desert Events

Great Footpaths in the High Desert

High Desert Blogging publishes guest posts by High Desert residents and entrepreneurs. Interested in submitting your article? Contact us at

Guest Post by Beverly Prine

My family and I called Hesperia “home” for twenty-one years, but a little over one year ago we moved to Victorville. I loved our years there, nestled between the Church of the Nazarene and the new soccer fields.

California Aqueduct

There’s that old saying, “You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone” and it keeps ringing in my head because for twenty-one years I was able to bounce out my front door and reach the California Aqueduct trail in a quick ten-minute walk. Once I hit the Aqueduct trail, I could get lost in my mind and walk, run, or stroll along the waterway.

I always headed toward Main Street and made it a point to touch the chain-link fence before turning around. The route from Maple Aqueduct to Main Street and back was approximately 3 miles. Many times my walk was paused to stop and admire the ducks in the water, or to take in the pink clouds as the sun dropped into the west, or to stop and stretch out the muscles.

California Aqueduct in the desert

An aqueduct runs through it

Once I interrupted my walk to yell at some teenagers who had thought it was a good idea to walk out onto the concrete crossing over the Aqueduct and then jump into the swift-flowing water. They only laughed at me, and thankfully no one drowned. But that was a scary thing for sure, but to the kids, they saw it as funny. READ MORE »

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 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


How the Entrepreneur Can Learn How to Blog

Are you an entrepreneur who wants to learn how to blog?

High Desert Bloggers, Route 66 Molly Brown's

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

Starting a small business can easily become overwhelming with lists of priorities and important tasks to keep up with. Add learning a blog to that list, and it will be put under the if-I-ever-get-to-it section. The High Desert has blogging and entrepreneur groups that are motivating to beginning and pro-bloggers. Whether new or experienced, all bloggers need motivation. Look online for a group like these to get you motivated. If there isn’t one, start one. Need help starting a group? Visit or for ideas.

Networking with a like-minded individual is motivating and encouraging. That’s why groups like High Desert Bloggers and High Desert Entrepreneurs meet. High Desert’s Small Business Development Center is another wonderful help to the entrepreneur starting out.

Blogging workshops are also taught by bloggers. Meetups are scheduled monthly to give bloggers a boost of inspiration and motivation and are usually free. Occasionally, however, paid workshops are offered. The workshop entry fees are reasonable.

Scheduled from August through October are poetry and entrepreneur workshops in the High Desert. Kicking off the poetry workshops, will host a poetry contest this month. Contact us for more information, and check our blog daily as the contest will soon be posted. Also visit our Events Page for upcoming blogging, entrepreneur, and community events.

I’m so happy to have you visit our blog and hope that you will take a moment to leave us a comment. Let us know what blogging and entrepreneur information you are in need of. If you have a community event coming up, do let us know so that we can publish it on our blog.

Enjoy your summer!

High Desert Bloggers Meetup






Red, White, Blue and Things to Do in High Desert of So Cal

Freedom - July 4th

Photo by G.P. Horn










God bless America! July 4th – a day to show thanks and gratefulness for freedom, our country, our families, another day to live.

Things to do…

Ever made a flag clock? This one was special made by Greg Horn, my other half of 35+ years.

Upcycled flag clock

Red, white, and blue flag upcycled clock











Want to go to an improv show in the High Desert? This group, Funny Bizness, is family friendly and hilarious.

Darwin's A Team, Victorville, CA

Victorville’s Improv Comedy Troupe, Funny Bizness












Want to go vintage shopping July 4th weekend? Look up these places on Facebook for special holiday weekend hours and sales.

antique shopping at Antique Station, Oro Grande, CA

Antique Station vintage shopping, Oro Grande, CA










Linda Marie’s Enchanted Treasures – closed on July 4th but opens with a giant sale on Saturday, July 5th…


Shopping vintage in Oro Grande, CA

Linda Marie’s Enchanted Treasures, Oro Grande, CA













Don’t forget to stop by beautiful Carriage House Antiques this weekend…











The Desert Cottage is closed July 4th but open on Saturday, July 5th – lovely place to shop!

vintage shopping at The Desert Cottage

The Desert Cottage, Hesperia, CA










Allow Thoughts to Percolate, Then Write

 As soon as the weather cooled and thoughts of seasonal foods popped up in the blogs, I began thinking of the cozy places I like to be on an Autumn day. Do you find that a place near a sunny window with a steamy cup of tea or coffee is just the right way to start the day?

But who wants to limit the morning to just coffee and steamy tea? Often I will sit and write a poem just because that cozy spot near the window helps my thoughts to flow. I may enjoy the coffee more than the raw verses I’m working on, but eventually the poem takes shape and I read it through one more time to be satisfied.

The question of “what do I write?” and “how can I be inspired to wri

A writer needs the time to think before writing

A writer needs the time to think before writing

te something?” can cause a new blogger to grow self-doubt. It’s better to be ready to write than to sit at a blank screen and struggle to produce something. Your mind can be tricked into working for you.

While you are busy doing other things your mind can be prompted to think of good topics for your blog. Let’s look at a few tactics that can help:

a) If you have a themed blog where you discuss and share ideas about a certain topic, then paying for a subscription to a magazine in that topic or field will be a handy tool to rely on.

b) When you are reading the newspaper or scanning through an online web paper, jot down short notes about topics that may be related to your theme. Always watch for the odd stories that can prompt your Muse in a heartbeat.

c) If you come across an email or a newsletter in your surface mail that may relate to your blog, write it down.

d) Once you have collected several of these leads, you’ll need to research them all a bit to produce a good starting idea.

e) Keeping a camera with you at all times, will make you rely on using it more often. So, if your blog is general news or trends, you’ll have a simple way to snap a photo and write about it. At many of our guest bloggers come across new ideas without trying. Some of them go to public events, walk and talk to the people who are enjoying the event then ask for a photo and their name. In just a few minutes, you have a strong story idea, pictures to go with it, and sudden enthusiasm to get home and write.

f) Sometimes, no matter what you try, the words won’t come to you. It’s best to get up and walk away. Take a short walk outside for some fresh air, do a small chore that will take your mind off of the blog for a few minutes. But, never let yourself fall into the trap of procrastination for the blog’s sake. No, no.

All writers need time to allow their thoughts to percolate. They need the uncluttered space to let ideas swirl and combine until a creative action arrives. Relaying on a few researching tools had already prompted your mind to work on those topics. It primed the mind to focus, and while you were busy with other ideas, it focused more intently on your selected subject. Moments later the thought will arrive and your readers will be enriched by it.

And you know all of those ideas that you didn’t choose today, they can each be prompts for upcoming blogs. So you are that much ahead!


Rusty LaGrange

If you like what you read here, then follow me at




Hesperia Days Brings Humanitarian Projects to Light

In the celebration of Hesperia’s 25th Year as a City, a colorful assortment of vendors filled the Hesperia Lakes and Park Saturday and Sunday. Food vendors and carnival games entertained the large number of young families with children. If you strolled through the entire Park, you would have seen many small businesses shoulder-to-shoulder with non-profit and humanitarian groups.

One that caught my eye was the Wagon Wheel Ranch Foundation. These folks are working to bring awareness to children who are challenged by not being fully aware of their environment. With training at the ranch, the organization enhances the children’s ability to understand and work with nature. They are combating a condition called Nature Deficit Disorder.

Wagon Wheel horse 1

Help children learn how they can work in their environment

Children join a horse camp there and learn not only to ride, but care for the animals and accomplish tasks as a team. They  have numerous activities that help strengthen their goal to interact with their environment and their community.

In keeping with these activities, Wagon Wheel Ranch is hosting a special event — Hands, Hearts & Horses — with animal chiropractor Dr. Rod Block. Block is a famous chiropractor to the animal stars and human celebrities of Hollywood. With 42 years of experience, he is offering class time with those who wish to understand animals, their energy, and how to understand them better.

 Ever wanted to figure out the emotional and psychological components of your horse? Here’s a chance to do that. A portion of proceeds from this one-day clinic will go to the Wagon Wheel Ranch Foundation to help them develop their programs. The date is this Saturday, Sept. 28th beginning at 9 am. Entry fee is $10 with additional fees for specific elements of the clinic. Call for clinic reservations if you wish to bring your horse for a session, too.

Opportunity Drawings will be held all day, and food

Child & Horse Therapy at Wagon Wheel Ranch

Child & Horse Therapy at Wagon Wheel Ranch

 is available from Triple S Concessions. Call for directions to Wagon Wheel Ranch 760-389-2002, or email to, or go on line to The ranch is 3 miles south of Hesperia airport at 5676 Telephone Canyon Rd.





Rusty LaGrange

if you like what you see here, contact me at

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.












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 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.

10 Things To Do in the High Desert Before Summer Ends

Hesperia Days, 2012

Hesperia Days, 2012

Attending a free jazz concert with the hubby on a Friday evening at a High Desert Starbucks  has made me ponder about the days left in summer.  The concert was specially memorable because an elderly gentleman who recently passed away was honored by those who remembered him frequenting this particular Starbucks.

National Grandparent’s Day is this Sunday. It’s a great opportunity to do something special for a grandparent. One of the best ways to honor grandparents is to actually spend time with them, listen to them, take them out for yogurt, or to an outdoor live concert in the park. Today there are a few of them being held in the High Desert.

Pondering about summer days, I thought of meaningful activities like the outdoor concerts an individual or family can participate in. In spite of several triple digit days, the summer evenings are beautiful and perfect for inviting friends over for an outdoor barbecue or a dinner setting outdoors. See the list of ideas below:

  1. Grill and invite friends over for an outdoor dinner under the stars.
  2. Make homemade vanilla ice cream for a summer dessert.
  3. Go to an outdoor concert (see City of Hesperia Park, Apple Valley Courtyard).
  4. Honor your grandparents. If your grandparents aren’t living, spend time with and do something special for a relative or friend who is a grandparent. A grandparent whose grandchildren live far away would appreciate the company. (National Grandparent’s Day: Sunday, September 8)
  5. Hesperia Days, September 21-22. Join the 5K and watch the parade on Main Street, Saturday, September 21.
  6. Shop at Farmers Markets in September.
  7. Bunco Mania (Happening today!)
  8. Music in the Moonlight at Sunset Hills, Apple Valley.
  9. See the High Desert’s Monster Truck Extravaganza at the Fairgrounds. (Happening now – from 10:00 am ’til 12:00 pm.)
  10. Have a picnic with family and friends.

Make memories with family and friends. Learn a new hobby like archery. Take a class held at the Recreation and Parks District in Hesperia, Victorville, or Apple Valley. Start working on that book you’ve always said you wanted to write. Attend the High Desert branch of the California Writer’s Club that’s always held on the second Saturday of every month at the Apple Valley Library.

Whether you go to the beach, the mountains, or stay close to home, there are fourteen days left to make plans for summer. Schedule too tight to fit in plans then? No worries. Autumn is coming with cooler days to look forward to!

The Turf Wars Between Bloggers and Journalists…Who’s Winning?

Computer and Keyboard by mantasmagorical at morgueFileYesterday, my mom tried to convince me to hop a plane to Oklahoma in order to blog on the recent tornado’s devastating aftermath there. According to her, traditional news outlets weren’t doing justice to the coverage and a real writer (her words, not mine) was needed to get the job done right. After assuring her that there were plenty of bloggers, vloggers and other citizen journalists already on the ground– not to mention a slew of local news organizations doing a great job in Oklahoma, she accepted that I had enough work to do here without flying out to find more. Still, her sentiments made me think twice about the bazillion conversations I’ve heard over the years about turf wars brewing between bloggers and journalists.

“We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Ideas About Media to Bring You a Fresh Idea Known as Blogging!”

Ever since blogging began to gain momentum toward the end of the 20th century, people have had opinions about whether or not bloggers should share the same level of respect as journalists. Both report news and events; both have their works electronically published and both can earn a living by properly applying their skills. While most journalists have studied hard and paid good money for college degrees that underscore their talents and discipline, there’s no age, experience or educational prerequisite for blogging. Though many bloggers do have college degrees (some even have journalism degrees), it’s understandable that trained journalists would not want to share media recognition with someone who hasn’t paid their proverbial dues to the media industries in terms of education and job experience.

Weekend Newspaper by gracey at morgueFileBlogging the News

Increasingly, bloggers are being recognized for their efforts, however. Often they are granted the same type of special media access typically reserved for trained journalists and blogs are often the go-to source for live breaking news, such as what was seen during the Arab Spring. In many minds, the attention paid to bloggers on the ground, especially in places where traditional journalists are stifled, serves in further blurring the lines between what is authentic journalism and what is not.

Blogging From the Bottom Of the Barrel

As a blogger and a fan of reality television, I was intrigued by the unfolding of a similar conversation about blogging vs. journalism in recent episodes of VH1’s Gossip Game series. While the show highlights the challenges of seven women working in various facets of urban media– namely magazine publishing, radio broadcasting, journalism and blogging– a lot of infighting took place between the women over who is and who isn’t a journalist. Debate also ensued regarding the perceptions of many that bloggers are not only NOT on the same level as journalists and other media professionals, but are at the bottom of the barrel in any conversation involving public media.

Two Journalists, Two Perspectives, One Medium

It was quite enlightening to watch the arguments between Jas Fly and Sharon Carpenter, two formally trained journalists on the show. Having been in the industry for a number of years and having worked for several mainstream news brands such as CBS and the BBC, Sharon Carpenter quite early made it a point to distinguish herself as a true journalist. Jas Fly, a freelance journalist with fewer years on the circuit than Sharon didn’t seem to have a problem with this until she felt Sharon made an attempt to downplay her status as a journalist since Jas’ work has largely appeared online. In one discussion, in particular, Jas commented that while Sharon may have more years and hardcore news credentials under her designer belt (all of the girls are fashionably fabulous on the show), the fact is that, today, both women currently work in online media. Sharon Carpenter is employed by the urban entertainment website Global Grind which Jas Fly was quick to point out as existing on a very leveled playing field with many of the websites that she freelances for.

Shade Tree Journalists?

The two bloggers on the show, Vivian and Ms. Drama, also received a bit of shade from a couple of the other cast members. An argument was even made (and dismantled) that the demarcation between the two careers is that journalists perform considerable fact-checking before reporting a story where it was falsely assumed that bloggers do not. Repeatedly, on the show and in real life, however, it has been proven that journalists are not always the most thorough fact-checkers and that some bloggers actually are.

Continued Debate

Following the on-air sparring matches between women intent on garnering respect for their career choices, others in the media industry chimed in with their opinions on Twitter and throughout the blogosphere. A number of interesting thoughts were shared with many pointing out that radio, television and print journalists often rely on bloggers to get information that mainstream professionals simply don’t have access to (such as what is often seen in civil uprisings around the world), as well as juicy tidbits from those who have behind-the-scene-off-the-record access to celebrity gossip and other inside information.

Certainly, every blogger cannot automatically be considered a journalist. I mean, blogging runs the gamut from sites that exist for work at home moms to those that help authors sell books to those that highlight special writing and editing services. I imagine that there are as many hardcore news blogs on the web as there are those dedicated to cute cats. Of those that are fact-based, hard-hitting information blogs, however, I am left to wonder…

Is Citizen Journalism Real Journalism, After All?

So what do you think, dear readers? Is there a clear line between journalism and blogging? Should there be? Should journalists and bloggers be afforded the same respect? Tell us your thoughts in the space provided below.

Current Events


Oh and One Last Thing!

Don’t forget to check the High Desert Bloggers out this weekend at the San Bernardino County Fair where we’ll be live-blogging and answering all of your questions about starting a blog for business promotion or personal joy. RelyLocal has invited us to be at their table right at the Fair’s main entrance so you can’t miss us. Come on out and say hello and also find out about the incredible shop local movement underway here in the High Desert.

5 Reasons Every Business Blog Needs a Professional Blogger

Hiring a Blogger MConnors at morgueFile

Now that you’ve read the 10 Reasons to Maintain a Business Blog, it’s time to discuss whether or not you need to hire a professional blogger. Certainly, you can write your own blogs or even assign the task to someone else in your organization. Before you decide to do either, however, consider these 5 very important benefits of hiring a pro blogger.

1. A Professional Blogger Has the Writing Talent You Desire

In general, if you can speak you can write. With that said, not everyone has a flair for blogging. In some cases, this goes beyond simply lacking the mechanics of good writing, but also encompasses writer’s block or a genuine fear of writing. A professional blogger has a way with words and knows how to effectively overcome common writing challenges in order to produce the top-quality content your business blog needs.

2. A Professional Blogger Can Dedicate Adequate Time to Your Business Blog

One of the greatest concerns a lot of business owners have about starting a business blog is having the time it takes to regularly maintain such a space. In cases like these, outsourcing makes perfect sense. You simply tell a professional blogger how many posts you’d like to publish per week and that person schedules the time to get it done while you are free to apply your time toward other important business matters.

3. A Professional Blogger Gives Your Content the Right Amount of Focus

Often, entrepreneurs will start a business blog with the intention of its maintenance being a top priority. What often happens, however, is that other tasks vie for an owners time and the blogging priority begins to lose steam. Before long, a blog is abandoned and the content that remains becomes outdated and stale. By hiring a professional blogger business owners can avoid a diminishing focus on their blog as a pro blogger keeps the task of posting fresh content at the top of her editorial schedule.

4. A Professional Blogger Has Experience That Can Benefit Your Business

Beyond stringing words together, there’s a method to professional business blogging. This involves staying abreast of the latest SEO strategies, understanding what attracts audiences and knowing how to market a business blog in the right venues. A professional blogger has experience in these realms, which can save considerable time and be of immense benefit to a business.

5. A Professional Blogger Knows How to Share

Speaking of marketing, a great deal of it involves online sharing. Of course, most people think of major social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but there are literally hundreds of other networking venues where bloggers regularly engage. Remember, bloggers are online an awful lot and we love to share our work with others. Your business benefits by being introduced to audiences that you don’t typically have contact with and which may be of even greater benefit to your bottom line.

We’re Here For You…Especially This Weekend!

If you’d like to learn more about hiring a professional blogger, be sure to stop by the RelyLocal table located right at the Fair’s main entrance this weekend. Several High Desert Bloggers will be in attendance as we help raise awareness about the shop local movement and about blogging in the High Desert. We’re happy to answer any questions that you may have about blogging when you stop by to say hello.

Your Comments Are Appreciated

Do you currently have a business blog? Do you maintain it yourself or have you already begun to outsource that task? Tell us all about your business and your blog in the comments section below.



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