A Trip Through Time: The Mojave Desert Then and Now, Part III

Have you ever wondered what it used to look like in the Mojave Desert of yesteryear? When ingenuity and pure desert grit was king? Do you want to learn secrets the desert has to tell? They’re all around us if we just look. Please join us for one of many trips through time illuminating the
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Mescal, Arizona, located about 40 miles Southeast of Tucson, Arizona, near the town of Benson, is the home of Old Tucson’s second western movie town location. Situated on 60 acres of land which is leased from the Arizona State Land Department, Old Tucson Studio is surrounded by acres of wide open spaces and not a
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Take a drive through Lake Havasu City today and it is hard to imagine a time when Jet Skis and speed boats weren’t racing through the wide expanse of blue water, or when Spring breakers and snow birds weren’t making it a prime destination in the desert. The London Bridge was purchased by Robert McCulloch
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Corn Spring is in the Chuckwalla Mountains of the Colorado Desert seventeen miles southeast of Desert Center. Native Americans relied on the springs, and they engraved many petroglyphs on the rocks in the area.

The Chemehuevi, Desert Cahuilla and Yuma bands frequented the spring and carved elaborate petroglyphs in the nearby rocks. Some of the oldest rock art is over 10,000 years old…

Bluff Lake is a reservoir located just 3.8 miles from Big Bear Lake, California. Located at 7,600 feet, Bluff Lake Reserve has towering pines, a 20-acre lake and meadow, and majestic outcrops of quartz monzonite.

Once a stopover resort for pack burro trains and stages bringing tourists to Big Bear in the late 1800s, it is home to several species of rare plants and is a thriving animal habitat…

When Roy’s Hotel is not ground zero for multiple thriller film shoots or welcoming the throngs of dusty tourists getting their fair share of the Route 66 experience, the quiet of Amboy settles in all around.

The solitude is so profound it’s almost deafening. The peace of the ghost town with its long-abandoned St. Raymond Church and nearby pioneer graveyard consumes you. It invites you to explore and renew.

Give yourself time to absorb this little time capsule of a town and its cemetery just a bit east on Route 66…

Take a short walk on this quiet mountain trail, surrounded by pines and open spaces, and you see it up ahead. White crosses in a semi-circle, around the gnarled truck of a tree. So, what have you stumbled into here? Well, give us a minute or two and we’ll tell you about the mountain town that refused to live.

Here, just above the highway, are about 25 marked graves in the little cemetery that served the town mining town known as Doble. The names of those interred here, except for one child, are a mystery. crosses were placed here by Boy Scouts during the 1940s.

Before it was Doble, the place was known as “Bairdstown.” It came to life after the brothers Carter filed four gold mining claims in 1873, on the mountainside that now wears their name. The utterance of the word ‘gold’ was usually all it took, and the rush was on, probably before the brothers finished unpacking their picks and shovels…

There was a time when cowboys ruled the day, or at least the airwaves, and the good guy always won.

From Tom Mix in the early 1900s, to Clint Eastwood and Kurt Russell today, most of us have wanted to be a cowboy or cowgirl at one time or another.

Many of us grew up knowing that among the cowboys of the cinema, Roy Rogers was king, and Dale Evans was his queen.

Fast forward. After going through a few years of relative dormancy, in 2015, the Roy Roger’s Double R Bar Ranch came into the sights of Jim Heffel.

Now an accomplished horseman and part-time stunt rider, Jim and his wife Deena bought the farm in a friendly manner of speaking…

Collected at Rand District Cemetery are the final resting places of some five generations of dream chasers, miners, merchants, ranchers, freighters, madams, promoters, vigilantes, teachers, movers and shakers, loafers and busy bodies; most from somewhere else, from all over the world, all brought here by the winds of fortune, and caught, like nuggets, in holes in the ground.

Burro Schmidt, famous for digging a half mile tunnel through a solid granite mountain for 38 years, left his beloved town only twice in his lifetime. Little did he know as happenstance would have it that years after his death a widow by the name of Tonie would pay the ultimate tribute to the miner by protecting his legacy for the rest of her life, and spending eternity next to his grave…

Just what keeps the memory of this old town alive more than a century after it was born in the midst of the mining boom of the 19th Century?

Walk down Butte Avenue and, in the middle of the block, you will surely find the answer at the Rand Desert Museum.

Founded in 1943 and given over to Kern County in 1948, the museum is the heart and soul of the old town.

When Kern County couldn’t bear the expense of maintaining the museum, it was given back to Randsburg proper.

To this day it is run by the residents of the Rand Mining District.

Even more that a hundred years later, there remains life in these hallowed hills.

This year, the 16th Annual Old West Day took place right on the main drag thru town, Butte Avenue.

I like big buttes, I cannot lie…

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