Daggett, California: The Tiny Town That Changed Perceptions of the Mojave Desert

“There ain’t no sin and there ain’t no virtue. There’s just stuff people do.”

—John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

Perhaps no dusty desert town from the 19th Century exemplified Steinbeck’s quote better than Daggett, California. Shootouts, saloons, hangings and frontier justice, the old town had it all, and so much more…

Sandwiched between Old Route 66 and Interstate 40, Daggett Pioneer Cemetery goes virtually unnoticed by passerby’s. There is a distinct sense of peace among the weathered tombstones and grave markers found here. Even 20 years after my initial visit, it still is a palpable feeling and it remains one of our favorite historic cemeteries…

Grab a jackass, a single blanket and a jug of Oh Be Joyful and come with us to meet some of the most colorful characters in one of Death Valley’s most notorious ghost towns. A pivotal scene from the 1969 movie “Easy Rider” was even filmed here. But it sure wasn’t the last.

Ballarat, Baby…

Jerome, Arizona. Just a small town with a killer view. Can you hear the sounds? Can you feel the energy? Walk down almost any road in town and let your imagination run loose. You might experience the past if you’re lucky.

Jerome will grow on you. Who knows, you might not ever want to leave. You wouldn’t be the first…

Times have changed since my first trip through Amboy at about 90 miles an hour. It was 1970 and I was 16, traveling with friends to camp out at Hole in the Wall rustic site in the Providence Mountains…

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