Bagdad Cemetery: Upon A Desert Driest

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…

For us and countless others, Jevetta Steele’s haunting lyrics from the song, “Calling You,” from the 1987 indie cult classic “Bagdad Cafe” will forever evoke the particularities of a small desert town on Route 66 contrasted with the vastness of the Mojave Desert.

However, Bagdad Cafe was not actually shot in Bagdad. Not Bagdad, California, and not Baghdad, Iraq.

The award-winning German film, directed by Percy Adlon, was filmed in Newberry Springs at the former Sidewinder Cafe, which decided to let the name “Bagdad Cafe” live on, drawing throngs of international tourists.

Desert road de Vegas vers nulle part
Certains placent mieux qu’où vous avez été
Une machine à café qui a besoin de certaines fixation
Dans un petit café “juste dans le virage…

It’s hard to see at first. The old airport sitting out by itself, between Newberry Springs and Daggett. Like many places in our desert, it’s too tough to disappear, and has a story to tell. Explore its fascinating history and find out what’s happened since the county mandated evictions in 2012…

Along a solitary dirt road, five miles north of Interstate 15 in Newberry Springs, if you know where to look, you can find Saint Antony’s Coptic Orthodox Monastery. You’ll know right away you’ve ventured into somewhere really amazing…

There’s nothing quite like an abandoned amusement park. Forlorn, seemingly forgotten and graffiti’d to the hilt, the place still imbues a whimsical peek into better times when it was filled with throngs of sunscreen slathered fun-seeking families and teens…

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