Another Barstow building becomes a memory!

This morning as I drove in from Apple Valley to work, I saw a plume of smoke over the hills as I approached Barstow and I knew that something big was burning. It turns out it was an old furniture store building that sat right in the middle of Main Street and changed names over the years before finally becoming vacant.

Here is the link to the Desert Dispatch story:
http://www.desertdispatch.com/news/barstow_3912___article.html/west_building….

Here is a link to Steve Smith’s Flickr Photo of the mop-up:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/barstowsteve/2700935223/

Strange desert sighting

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I spotted this on my way into work yesterday and stopped this morning to photograph it. The building in the distance is a Walmart distribution center 2 miles away and the nearest store is 8 miles away. This was sitting on the other side of a fence along a dirt road accessed over a half mile away. This cart wandered a long way from home. I hate that people dump junk in the desert and this one was just wierd.

Monsoon season…already?

Every year around August, we get wrap around moisture from Arizona’s monsoon season and it makes our swamp cooler worthless. Higher humidity means less evaporation. The last few days we have had humidity rising at the end of the day and through the night to around 30%. Anywhere else, that might not be a big deal. Here the average tumidity is less than 15%, thus the evaporative cooler for the house. I guess this year the humidity is arriving early and making our house a bit stickier than we would like. At least we have fans to blow the air around.

Mom was a telephone operator

Switchboard Photo Link
One of my classmates posted this image on his Flickr account. My mother donated this switchboard to the Mother Road Museum in Barstow when they sold their house. I have seen it referred to as “Barstow’s 1st switchboard” which isn’t exactly true. It was one of the first and sat in a room with a dozen others until the equipment was replaced with computer switching and all the operators found other work. My mom stayed on as a construction clerk until retirement. It was always easy to remember mom’s work number. You dialed zero and asked for her by her first name. It was neat seeing all the operators working the switchbaords in that room.

I’m a lumberjack….

On Saturday, Jesse and I made the trip to Barstow to take care of a tree that fell at my brother’s house. Recent winds toppled it over and it was blocking part of the driveway. It was a little draining since we got there around 3 pm during the hottest part of the day. We worked for about an hour and brought home several souvenirs from the experience. Scratches and cuts don’t take that long to heal.

Extended Memorial Day Weekend

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We began the weekend seeing Indiana Jones on Friday Night. It was an ok movie, but Jesse thought it was cheesey. Saturday morning Renee & I painted the porch and prepared it for laying outdoor carpet. That afternoon, Jesse and I were off to watch and photograph the ORAF 500 in Johnson Valley OHVA. After watching a little off-roading, we headed for home. Sunday we were up early laying carpet on the porch before the wind got too strong. Monday was spent around the house with a little BBQ. Yesterday, we took Jesse out of school to go to Disney. Our annual passes expired yesterday so we took a final trip through California Adventure and the Magic Kingdom before heading home ahead of rush hour traffic. It was a good 4 days and we managed to get some work done at the house as well as enjoy some relaxing.

Speed Racer & Mojave Desert Road Trip

Tuesday night, Renee and I went to see the Speed Racer movie. Jesse wasn’t interested, but having grown up watching the cartoon, I wanted to check it out. Besides, it was only $5 on Tuesdays. It was a good attempt at making a live-action cartoon, but Iron Man was a much better written movie. The special effects and costuming were really great, but the movie itself is destined for the DVD bargain bin. Unless you are a die-hard Speed Racer fan, wait until it hits the discount DVDs.

Yesterday, I was able to go on a photo safari for work through the Mojave Desert. I began by photographing the Newberry & Rodman Mountains before making the trip to Amboy Crater. From there, I took photos of the Marble Mountains/Trilobite Wilderness before heading into the Mojave National Preserve. While there, I photographed the Kelso Dunes, Kelso Depot and Kelso Peak/Old Dad Mountains. Returning south at Baker, I took some photos of Rasor OHVA before heading to Afton Canyon. A quick stop at Camp Cady was followed by visits to Calico Early Man Site and Calico Ghost Town before returning to the office just in time to call it a day. Hopefully, I was able to get some decent photos that can be used on CaliforniaDesert.gov.