Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Three Perfect Days in the Desert!

We survived the holidays, and don't have to be back to work until Jan. 3, so my wife and I are out in the desert for a few days. Not sure why I like the desert so much... stress reducer?  Escape mechanism?  Whatever, I just know I like it out here in 29 Palms!

Three Perfect Days:  Day 1 (12/28/10)
As we eat breakfast at the dining room table, looking out at the desert, I notice a big crescent-shaped piece missing from a prickly-pear cactus.  How strange...
Bite mark out of Opuntia cactus

Well, it didn't take long to solve the mystery. A few bites later into my apple fritter toast, it became very clear who the culprit was!!  A BIG jackrabbit!

Caught in the act!!!
After breakfast, time to work on the "bottle tree" (will post a picture tomorrow).  Then time to take the Jeep out for a little exploring, rock hunting, and photography. Heading north on Lear Ave. from Hwy 62, we run across a homestead cabin late in the afternoon.  Can't resist taking a picture. I always wonder... who owns (or owned) this place? What was their story, and why did they have to walk away from their dream?

One Room Homestead Cabin

What a view from the Outhouse!!
Here's the "kitchen"!

Toaster Oven with Birdhouse Inside!
Back in the Jeep, down the next dirt road to the next homestead cabin. On the way, we pass by this sign... Rancho Not So Grande!  Ya gotta love the folks in the desert! 

We reach the next homestead cabin just as the sun is ready to set... hard to take a bad picture when the light is soooo perfect!

Pink Cabin in 29 Palms
Even the doors look artistic in the late afternoon light!

Front door, with bottom halve and outer wood skin missing

Back door with outer wood skin missing
Three Perfect Days:  Day 2 (12/29/10)

Day 2 started not as perfect as planned... very high winds, light drizzle.  My original plan of constructing a windmill would have to wait.  However, the bottle tree my wife put together yesterday was still standing... amazing!

So, after dropping some furniture off at Rosy's Thrift Store in 29 Palms, we continued east on Hwy 62 to an area called Wonder Valley.  We turned north on Sheldon and explored every dirt road we could find!  I could never figure out why they call it Wonder Valley, but spending time this afternoon after the storm had passed through, and seeing the wide open spaces surrounded by multiple mountain ranges, was simply incredible.  Truly a "wonder".  We were able to collect some incredible rocks today, in addition to some old desert wood I plan to use for shelves.  As always, couldn't pass up the abandoned homestead cabins. Hope you find these as interesting as I do!

Cabin #1:  Cozy, on 5 acres. Very private with no neighbors.  Forever views right out the front door!

This one includes a natural stone outdoor cooking area!

Forever view right out the front door... you can see for miles!

Oiginal kitchen looks like it was bright and cheery!
Cabin #2: Open and breezy... well ventilated!

Yes, definitely a fixer but look at the view!!!

View out of interior wall facing East
 Cabin #3: Beautifully located on a desert knoll with killer views in every direction!

Wow... true desert solitude
Cabin #4: Flat, level 5 acre lot.  Needs some roof work.
That's my beautiful wife exploring the area!
 Cabin #5: This one's a real fixer (note 2x4 supports holding up one wall; caved-in roof).
Bring your hammer!

Wonder Valley living up to its name!!

Three Perfect Days:  Day 3 (12/30/10)

Winds are very high again today, so had to bite the bullet and build the windmill in less than ideal conditions.  However, perfection is in the eye of the beholder, and in my view, any time spent in the great wide open is perfection!

Had a surprise visit from a buddy of mine. Bruce is the leader of the band I am in, and we've been making music together for almost 15 years. A great guy, and he's taught me more about music than anyone else. He was making a delivery in the area today and knows I have a place in 29, so wants to come by and  check the place out. Next thing I know, I see a tractor-trailer that is too big to navigate the turn on my sandy desert road!!

Truck's too big to make the turn up to my place!
So, on to the windmill construction project! I bought this guy on the internet, so wasn't really sure what to expect.  Turns out this 10' model is surprisingly well designed will quality materials; I give it a thumbs up. If you're in the market, Google "Barnyard Supply".  A fun project, and should give us years of enjoyment! Check out my knit cap... a Christmas gift from my sister over at Lap Dog Knits blogspot.  Man, did it come in handy!

Spinning like crazy on this windy day!
So ends our "three perfect days"... a great mix of fun, relaxation, exploration... reading, photography, even a suprise visit from an old friend!


  1. I love these old cabins! And the "kitchen"! I could live with one of those.

  2. I LOVE the old homestead cabins, too! I have friends who bought one in Indio Hills. Theirs is cement block, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom on 5 acres. They've made LOTS of improvements and it's really comfortable. Sometimes I go exploring, too! Lovely late afternoon light!

  3. I did not know that jackrabbits would eat the cactus! Interesting!!!