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The Wyatt Earp Road to His Happy Days Mine

July 24, 2014
After our stop in Earp, California, yesterday, which is just across the Colorado River from Parker, Arizona, Kathy and I motored west, past Wyatt Earp's Happy Days Mine (which lies north from the highway in the foothills of the Whipple Mountains).

Highway 62

I assume this is the route Wyatt and Josie took from their winter home in LA, out through San Bernandino, Redlands, Joshua Tree and 29 Palms, in a wagon, of course. Hard to believe they traversed this desert with miles and miles of soft sand in every direction.

One of the reasons I took this back route to Cal was to take advantage of the summer heat to study highway heat waves. Got a couple pictures of the phenom.

I took this route for scenes like this: floating cars in the highway heat waves.

Noticed an amazing phenom along the railroad tracks that parallel the highway for many miles. People have created mini-signs with their names on them, girlfriends, etc. by utilizing rocks and wood. This goes on for miles and miles. It's hard to believe that many people have even used the road. We only met maybe four cars on the entire 100 mile stretch.

Motored up through Crazy Woman Valley and saw a ruined little ranchito. Stopped to take a couple photos. Heat really blasting (110 degrees) but had to get a couple shots of the ranchito ruins.

Ranchito Ruins #1

Ranchito Ruins #2

Stopped in Joshua Tree, the town, for lunch. Found a groovy little cafe, The Natural Sisters Cafe, which I would highly recommend. Brewed iced tea is the new standard for me. Fewer cafes bother any more and I can't stand instant. Tastes like water sifted through cat litter to me.

Natural Sisters Cafe in Joshua Tree: great guacamole burgers and brewed iced tea

Then headed up the mountain for Bear Lake. Temperature dropped about five degrees every mile. Kathy and I had a bet about how far it would go down. Kathy bet 84 and I guessed 87. When we pulled into a pine nestled destination the thermometer said 87.

"In hell, women are even more right."
—Wonderful Russ sent me this from a dude who goes by @dafloydsta

Views: 309

Comment by JimB on July 24, 2014 at 7:53am

It would be fascinating to chat with the individual(s) responsible for the ranchito to discover "what the heck provoked you to build HERE??!?"

Comment by Bob Boze Bell on July 24, 2014 at 9:22am

Actually I feel that way about most of the dwellings around 29 Palms and Joshua Tree. Talk about forlorn and shaggy. No trees, no landscaping, just barren, bladed house pads with a wrecked car or two, for spice.

Comment by Ed Wager on July 24, 2014 at 9:41am

Captain Renault: What in heaven's name brought you to Joshua Tree?

Rick: My health. I came to Joshua Tree for the waters.

Captain Renault: The waters? What waters? We're in the desert.

Rick: I was misinformed.

Comment by anthony martin on July 24, 2014 at 11:59am

  Carol and I go camping at Joshua Tree every late spring and early fall.We set up camp in the rocks and hike around in them.I take along my watercolour block to do quick watercolour sketches of the crazy rock formations.As I'm sitting there Desert rodents and lizards come up to mooch water and pieces of fruit.The Two Sisters is indeed a pretty decent little eatery.

Comment by Margaret-Anne Moore on July 24, 2014 at 12:22pm

I have never been in the area around Earp.  But, that roadway looks very good for such an out-of-the way place.  I went to Joshua Tree National Monument, to Twenty-Nine Palms, and to Desert Hot Springs when I was in college in the 1960s.  My Mother and I decided to go for a day trip.  We never went back.  I will take the road going through Indio any day.  In fact, whenever we have gone that way, that is the road we have taken.

Comment by Ed Wager on July 24, 2014 at 2:30pm

Drove thru Joshua Tree Monument a few times when my son was at 29 Palms, with the Marines.

Nice drive going that way. Not a lot of traffic.

Not much other reason to go that way, Graham Parsons having checked out of Room #8 at the  Joshua Tree Inn.

Comment by Kent Fevurly on July 24, 2014 at 2:32pm

Somewhere around that country is the tree that graced one of the greatest rock albums ever - U2's "Joshua Tree". 

Ed - "We'll always have San Bernadino."

Comment by Sue Cauhape on July 24, 2014 at 10:44pm

Anthony, Jeff and I stopped to hang out and photograph a joshua tree in the park. I looked down and discovered a whole highway system built by kangaroo rats. Reminded me of that Disney documentary about the beautiful desert, all those crazy kangaroo rats cavorting all night long.

As for "who would live in Joshua Tree or 20 Palms?"... I do believe Eric Burdon lives in one or the other of those burgs. After a childhood in Newcastle  Upon Tine, though, he probably considers it paradise.

Comment by Wolfgang on July 25, 2014 at 4:57am

Bob . . . very sorry that I'm not down there while you are in the area.   Our paths will cross one day.   :)

Comment by anthony martin on July 25, 2014 at 10:48pm

  Sue,

    Quite a few retired Hollywood types live out in the wilds of that area.They value the quiet life.

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