Thursday, August 23, 2012

An Incredible Adventure...

So imagine it's 1955 and the government is giving away 5 acres of free desert land. Free!! All you have to do in return is build a very modest "structure" (box) to improve the property... minimum size something like 10' x 12'... and it's all yours! About the size of a Tuff Shed, maybe a little bigger! Heck, easy, right?
So you sign up for your free 5 acres (sight unseen), look on the map to try to figure out where in the heck 29 Palms is (you've never even heard of it), pack up the Chevy station wagon with all your camping gear, food, and water, and either start building the box yourself or try to find someone to do it for you.

You finally arrive at your location and it turns out your 5 acres is absolutely in the middle of nowhere. Think of remote, and now multiply that by 10! No water, no electricity... certainly no phones. All you can do is put your cots on the ground and you, your wife, maybe a couple of kids, maybe even the family dog, sleep under the beautiful desert sky (and hope the critters don't bother you!).
Almost no one else around for as far as the eye can see! And as you start to learn the ways of the desert, you find it grows on you and you want to spend more and more time there. You might even daydream at work about leaving the rat race behind and going out to the desert to live full-time. What an incredible adventure it must have been. Cars were so much less reliable back then... the trip from LA to 29 Palms must have been incredibly daunting, with frequent break-downs and very few people around to help! Oh, and no cell phones or air conditioning!
So next time you drive through the desert and you see these little boxes, especially common out in the 29 Palms and Wonder Valley area, let you mind start to wonder. What must it have been like? What an incredible adventure it must have been!!

Linking to Skywatch Friday. Check it out for great skies from around the world. Have a great weekend!

37 comments:

  1. certainly a rather modern 'go west, young man' adventure. :)

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  2. Great post! I love the desert pictures,they are so beautiful, but it would be daunting to try to live there!

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  3. I can't imagine taking a chance like that, even for the enticing offer of 5 free acres! What an adventure, though! I didn't know such a program existed. Love the photos!! The next to last one is my fave!!

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  4. Your photos are incredible too!

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  5. These are a little too 'paintingfied' for my taste, but whoa, what colours! I love the drama in these shots. I had no idea the US government used to give land away for free...

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  6. That's an interesting quirk of history. Wonder what happened to the folks who took up the offer. Love the way you have told the story and edited your photos.

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  7. Awesome desert skies! Living in the desert is very challenging...

    http://www.womenandperspectives.com/2012/08/sky-watch-morning-joy.html

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  8. Wow! Thats an incredible story! REMOTE! Lovely set of pics!

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  9. Terrific story, awesome skies and marvelous captures for the day!! Great editing as well! Thanks for sharing with us! Happy SWF! Enjoy your weekend!!

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  10. Wow - what an adventure - and so tough.

    Your photos are fabulous - just stunning!

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  11. Awesome photos! So dramatic. I have a friend who lives in 29 Palms. I didn't know it was a recently settled place ;-)

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  12. Incredibly beautiful pics! A terrific post!!

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  13. I love seeing your desert photos,I can enjoy the scenery from "Down the Hill". We used to ride trail motorcycles out in the California deserts in the 1970s and 80s so I can honestly say ,It is a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there! I did enjoy riding out to the Early Man site and viewing the long abandoned miners cabins,of course the presence of a empty stone cabin meant one had better keep a sharp eye out for tailings or you might ride right in to a big hole or worse an open shaft.

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  14. Awesome shots and love the vibrant colours:)

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  15. Beautiful photos! Happy sky watching.

    Skywatch

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  16. Cool shots from the desert. The last shot is my favorite, I love the colorful clouds.

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  17. Great post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  18. Great post! Happy Skywatching! :D

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  19. Actually I just read a fiction book where the mother came from 29 Palms...I thought it was a made up place until your post! Really love this post and of course the photos.

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  20. I think all that emptiness would be a bit intimidating! How did they live, in the desert?

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  21. That would have been an adventure. Fantastic shots of a beautiful part of the world.

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  22. What a great adventure !!! And beautiful photos - i can feel the heat from the desert !!! Thanks for stopping by at my place - have a nice week end ! Greetings from Liva

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  23. Wow, your photoshopings are amazing !!!

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  24. Amazing colors! You should also submit it on my new photo meme, Orange You Glad It's Friday, featuring photography with a little or a lot of orange! It can be found on my blog every Friday. Hope to see you there!

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  25. Great set of photos! Yes, this actually did happen. I cannot imagine trying ti eke out a living though in these areas. Today it provides an adventure to visit, but I am sure back then it was quite a hardship. Great photos!

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  26. Wonderful use of color! Very artistic.

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  27. 29 palms sounds ever so pretty, that is rugged landscape out there

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  28. Wow! What a story, what a landscape! Amazing. Beautiful photography and lyrical words together make me want to step into that world lost by time but not.

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  29. What a fun post and great photos! My dad was a Marine and we lived in San Clemente when he was stationed at Camp Pendleton prior to shipping out to Viet Nam. Long way of saying I know about 29 Palms and how desolate that country is! Beautiful though, in its starkly stunning way. What an adventure it would have been indeed, and to live there back in the day, and not in some beautiful, comfy off-grid earthship or strawbale house like populates many a desert these days, but in a little box like the one in your photos! Man, we have gotten SOFT!! :-)

    That last photo is nothing short of mesmerizing!

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  30. There is a lot of empty land in the desert southwest, and these nice shots show it well!

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  31. I'd do it...there, not where I am right now in the nothingness of southern Wyoming. The pictures remind me of an A-bomb test.

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  32. Incredible and scary too! Beautiful photos though :)

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  33. My husband's family did this in Arizona. They had all intentions of homesteading, did a few improvements, and eventually lost interest. My husband and his sister talked about this a while back, wishing, of course, that it hadn't just been a pipe dream.

    Beautiful shots - love the desertscape with or without the little structures.

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  34. Love the intense colour of these shots!

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