Tag Archives | California

You can do it, Girlfriend: guerilla camping on public land

The first necessary skill of guerilla camping is the ability to ferret out free overnight spots to camp along the road. That was the topic of the last post. The second necessary skill is the ability to find spectacular places to camp for free on public land. (Which means land you’ve paid for with your tax dollars–a […]

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Boron, California. Patches on the soles of its shoes

  Highway 58 east of the Mojave Preserve is a well-traveled and unremarkable stretch of road. Flat, open, no stores or gas stations, which caused me some anxiety until I hit Four Corners, a busy crossroads with at least three gas stations. Six miles farther, I pulled into Boron. The weather was blowing cold and […]

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Land of the 20 mule teams

  Remember Death Valley Days, the classic TV western? How about 20 Mule Team Borax, the old-timey whitener and brightener for laundry? For those of my approximate vintage (you know who you are), Death Valley and those 20 mule teams were the stuff of legend and romance, even though at that tender age, I never […]

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Desert ranchers

  Driving through the miles of creosote scrub and Joshua tree forests in the Mojave National Preserve, it’s hard to imagine anyone living there, let alone trying to earn a living. Yet, fences, outbuildings, corrals, and equipment all indicate that someone is, or was, engaged in that pursuit. Most of them are historic reminders of the […]

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Minerva Hoyt–Southern belle to desert lady

  What possible connection could a pampered Southern socialite have with the rugged, lawless California desert terrain of the early 20th century?  Short answer: She preserved it. Minerva Hamilton Hoyt was bona fide American royalty. She was born on a Mississippi plantation in 1866 and attended finishing schools in a rarified and privileged atmosphere. She […]

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