Saturday, August 6, 2011


US 395 more or less divides the Mojave Desert and the Great Basin desert, and travels north-south from Hesperia up past Lake Tahoe and into the Cascade Range in Northern California. US 395 continues up to the US-Canadian border.
Along the way, Randsburg is a dusty ghost town that plays host to dirt bikers who buzz the desert on weekends like mounted hornets on steroids. Otherwise, during the week, in the morning, it's quiet and friendly. Not much happens in Randsburg, California. It's not a candidate for massive downtown redevelopment funds. It's not trying to amass fortunes to get an NFL football stadium, and nowhere to be found are mass franchise marquee logos like Macs or Starbucks. You get your coffee at the General Store, where a couple of savvy waitresses hold their own against a small group of regulars who greeted me with appropriate skepticism, and begrudgingly acknowledged me with muttered hellos, good mornings. It's all I ask. I ain't posing as no regular. I'm a LA guy, generally, with desert leanings and I'm not usually armed.
Downtown Randsburg wouldn't look good in new coats of paint, the sidewalks aren't paved nor smooth, and they're patrolled overhead by the occasional soaring hawk that peeks down, spies a rat or two and works his way in for an early snack.
The waitress asked if I'd like room for cream, and asked the other gal where the lids were. They supplied me with coffee, tipped me off that the lid wasn't tight. The Jeep snuggled in between new Ford trucks, shiny red 4X4s.
Tourists are welcome, especially if they spend a buck or two. Back on US 395, it's five or so miles north to the Ridgecrest cutoff, several more south to Johannesburg that's right on 395 and shows no sign of intelligent life.
Step lightly, be respectful, don't draw attention; that's how I roll.
I hope you get a feel for this special place in these morning photos I shot with the Canon Powershot 3sIs. Comments are always welcome, especially the positive ones.
Peace. .

by the way, you can left click on the photos, once and/or twice, for more close-up detail on these dusty dives.

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