Driving along Pearblossom Highway (Hwy 138), it’s just you and maybe a few hundred cars and trucks passing by in both directions. Perhaps lost in thought, or just concentrating on surviving the drive, you look ahead and the roadway becomes a beacon to place unknown to most people, even though they may pass it every day. You’re approaching the ruins. Soon, you will know what others don’t. The history of a failed dream. Welcome to the Socialist community of Llano Del Rio…

John Cushenbury aimed to hit it big, and looking back, he did. A prospector and miner in 1860, Cushenbury discovered silver in the limestone deposit where Mitsubishi Cement Plant is now situated. Hopefully the next silver baron in California, Cushenbury set up a mining camp at the springs below his deposit. When word got out about the discovery the local desert came alive with dreams of grandeur that prospecting brings. Little did he imagine that someday his strike would result in a mega-million dollar kingdom of cement…

“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…

There’s an air in Big Bear that sets it uniquely apart from the bustling cities an hour away. Maybe it’s the vivid visual imagery at every turn, the crisp weather, nice people, diverse neighborhoods, or amenities. But I think it’s much more.

This is the stuff of our childhoods that sparked a thousand day dreams of the Wild West and beyond. Where the good guys fought the bad guys and always won. The world needs more of that…

Originally, this path was an ancient Native American trade route that eventually led to the Pacific Ocean. In 1776, a Spanish Franciscan Friar, Francisco Garcés, traveled the same trail as he explored the desert on behalf of the Pope and the Spanish crown. By the time of the Civil War, the trail had evolved into what we now know as the Mojave Road…

We’re not saying Apple Valley, California, is in the middle of nowhere, although Los Angelinos may argue differently. This 62 foot labyrinth is great place to go to clear your head and get back in touch with nature. To listen to the wind and not much else. Despite its popularity, of all the times we’ve visited here we’ve never come across anyone else at this spot. We hope you enjoy the same pleasure…

By 1963, Robert McCulloch moved his businesses to Arizona and bought 26 acres of land right next to Lake Havasu. He paid a little over a million dollars for the place, and Lake Havasu City was born. He even opened a chainsaw factory that employed several hundred workers. After all, every city needs a population. So then, when you’re at the top of your game, and you own your own city, what do you do next? A multi-million ton antique to decorate the place might be nice…