Camp Cady: Veterans Day Missive

Greetings from Camp Cady, California! Armistice Day (later to be named Veterans Day) is still about 60 years away, but here we are, taking you back in time to the loneliest, meanest U.S. Army outpost in the United States, a year before the Civil War went hot.   It is a day in 1860, and
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Deputy Will Smithson and men like Ed Silver lived in Daggett at a time when the west was supposed to have been tamed, when it had become civilized, you might say.

Unfortunately, the news of civilization seemed to have bypassed Daggett, and to locals and drifters alike, the Wild West was doing just fine the way it was, thank you.

Justice was going to be meted out in the tradition of the west if the angry mob caught up with Silver.

A rope and a tree waited for the former Buffalo Soldier, unless the sheriff could catch him first…

Eddie World’s ginormous ice cream sundae cleverly disguises its water tower. The lighted sundae draws weary, curious and hungry motorists on the 15 Freeway like a beacon to a desert oasis. But this, boys and girls, is no mirage.

Eddie World in Yermo features some of the rarest and most unique items of Lakers’ memorabilia you’ve ever seen. Eddie World even has the actual hard floor of the original court of the Great Western Forum.

But wait. There’s more.

Much, much more.

Hawaiian poke? You got it. 90-second custom pizza’s? Check. Candy galore? They have that too.

Let’s not forget the cutting-edge gas pumps, Tesla power stations and clean restrooms with games embedded in the urinals either.

And that’s just the beginning.

Eddie World advertises that it’s “different from the rest.” But is it too good to be true?

Calico’s reputation as a ghost town is well deserved as there are numerous reports of actual ghosts being sighted. Lucy Bell King Lane, a longtime resident who ran Lucy Lane’s General Store has often been seen in her store.

Margaret Olivier, the last schoolteacher, has been seen teaching in her classroom. Tourists who have talked with Margaret thought she was part of the staff dressed in period costumes, only to find out she has been dead since 1932. There is even the ghost story of Dorsey, the shepherd dog that carried the US Mail between various mines.

Was that really the howling wind that woke us up at 3 a.m. at our Calico campsite, or was it Lucy Lane?

There are at least ten Bagdad’s in America. They survive in federal geological surveys and maps of California, Florida, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Virginia, New York and Tennessee. Only three have post offices.

But only one Bagdad holds the distinction of having once thrived in the often inhospitable environs of the Mojave Desert.

Bagdad, California survived 767 consecutive days without precipitation.

Many things changed, but the desolation, searing temperatures, and lack of rain were just some of the things you could count on that wouldn’t.

Bagdad continued to survive the many changes that occurred with mining, railroads and Route 66, but the opening of the new interstate would prove to be its defeat…

Harper Dry Lake bed in the Mojave Desert was the site of secret flight test programs conducted by the Hughes & Northrop aircraft companies during the 1940s, including the first flight by an American rocket-propelled aircraft. Howard Hughes tested aircraft and built a hangar here. Years later, it was decided Harper Dry Lake was the best place to launch the space shuttle’s heir apparent, the Lockheed Martin Venture Star.

Harper Dry Lake Marsh, near the tiny community of Lockhart, California, is practically a stone’s throw away from the world’s second largest solar farm facilities.

Despite environmental challenges, peaceful Harper Dry Lake Marsh remains an enduring host to a wide variety of migratory waterfowl…

The Mojave Desert wears a coat of many colors. Both majestic and mysterious, Rainbow Basin is notable for miles of fantastical and beautiful shapes of rock formations, its fossil beds and geologic wonders.

Don’t expect a Skittles rainbow though. You will enjoy its varied palette of natural hues but it’s subtle and changes throughout the day with shadows.

Surprises await just off the beaten path. Park your vehicle to the side of the road and go for a walkabout. Hiking Owl Canyon offers many discoveries, such as lava tubes, dry water falls and…

Welcome to our second installment in our continuing series.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Captain has turned on the Fasten Seat Belt sign.

We hope you enjoy your flight with us as we return to the magical, majestic and oftentimes mysterious past.

We’ve added a few surprises along the way. It’s a short flight so don’t expect candied peanuts.

Buckle up, buttercup. It’s going to be a heck of a ride…

“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…

Have you ever wondered what it used to look like in the Mojave Desert in yesteryear? When ingenuity and pure desert grit was king? Do you want to learn secrets the desert has to tell?

Please join us for Part One of many trips through time illuminating the Mojave Desert’s amazing past and present. Trip the light fantastic with us–the desert way…

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