Saw this in the paper...
The bikes were quite in evidence Thanksgiving weekend. We were there on Sunday and most had gone, but the locals were still talking about the "bumper to bumper" traffic LOL.
Thanks, Dez. At least the L.A. Times is free online. The O.C. Register costs to sign up.
Mrs DS and I have spent the night at the Cottage Hotel a few times while exploring the desert. I'ts really important to stay the night only during the quiet week nights.
Randsburg is a great little place, but it is very small. So it can be extremely busy when bikers gather there. There are limited lodgings, so it's important to check ahead if you want to stay over. If the inns are booked up, you can be assured the limited dining options will be overwhelmed as well. There will be lots of people out and about, and if you had looked forward to a tranquil getaway in a semi-ghost town, you'll be disappointed. There's one main street, about a half mile long, and a few small side streets, and the mining areas around the townsite). Just about everything on the main drag is historic, except the fire station and another one or two buildings.
The Randsburg Inn is a more traditional hotel. Goat's Sky Ranch, formerly Cottage Inn, has B&B rooms and several cottages. The owners are a husband and wife named Goat and Scrappy.
https:/…218743821474950 (couldn't find a website for Goat's Sky Inn).
If nothing is available in Randsburg, the nearest major town is Ridgrecrest, about a half hour away. But if you want to have a historic experience and feel as if you were playing a part in a Western movie, and you can get a spot in Randsburg, take it.
Great catch, dez. Thanks. I appreciate the comments by everyone here in our lil' desert fraternity/sorority. Helps our visitors in this expansive, wild, open range (where it's not fenced) Mojave Desert.
The article mentioned Trona as a place to go if Randsburg was overwhelmed and crowded with offroaders. That would give one room to roam, but as far as lodging, I don't remember there being any in Trona itself. There's a small store, a gas station, a library, museum and the high school there in Trona, all on or just off the paved main road in town that goes from Ridgecrest to Panamint Valley.
Trona is a half hour or so from Ridgecrest, which is about 20 to 30 minutes from Randsburg. So for a bit of extra effort and travel time, one could have an area pretty much all to themselves, if desired. But then again, you'd miss the ice cream treats and ambience of Randsburg. The place really is appealing, and not just to off roaders. It's your very own "abandoned western movie set." Now where have we heard that phrase before, Frisco_Roadrunner? (wide grin)
Not the first LAT article on Randsburg. latimes.com/travel/…axzz2rygGstCl The "White House Saloon" used to say "White House Saloon and Floozy House." Randsburg is small, but bigger than its neighbor, Johannesburg. It's close to beautiful Red Rock Canyon State Park. http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=631
Thanks for posting Dez. Considering a stay there in september.....
Thanks for the other links Sutter and FR.Edited: 2:47 pm, January 31, 2014
** "The article mentioned Trona as a place to go if Randsburg was overwhelmed and crowded with offroaders. That would give one room to roam, but as far as lodging, I don't remember there being any in Trona itself. There's a small store, a gas station, a library, museum and the high school there in Trona," **
Trona has one motel near the north end of town. It's a dump. A few years ago, the south wing was gutted by a fire and the charred skeleton sat there being an eyesore for several years, which no one would get away with in an incorporated town or an urban area (Trona is unincorporated, at the very northern edge of San Bernardino county, and the county seat is two hours away). I think the place is currently called the Pinnacle Inn. It's gone by several other names over the last couple of decades. I stayed there a few times in better days, when it was less of a dump, but it's never been the lap of luxury. Many years ago, I checked in late one afternoon and was in the room for a few minutes moving my things in without the lights on, and then I spotted a pinhole in one wall with light coming through! Obviously, someone's peephole (eye roll). If I'd turned on the light immediately, I might not have spotted it right away--and maybe not while fully clothed. (another eye roll). I plugged it with TP, but I honestly don't remember if I told the management.
The motel used to have a cafe next to the lobby, where I ate a time or two. If I was in town on a Sunday morning, I'd walk across the street to church, but a few years ago I went by on the way to Death Valley and the church had become a bare lot. I had to go around and take another look to confirm what I thought I saw. There wasn't even a stick left. Some time later, I learned from friends in church in Beatty that the Trona site was abandoned because the building was undermined by salt. It leached up from the Searles Lake bed and corroded the foundation over the years. I don't know how it was eventually discovered, but the church's facilities management people decided it wasn't feasible to restore it. The Trona congregation was very small, so it was merged into one in Ridgecrest. There is still nothing on that lot and I've never seen any signs of life, ownership change or attempts to sell, etc. It's probably unmarketable, at least for building. It isn't even on the lake side of the road, but on the west side. I wonder how many Trona buildings are in the same situation, but may be residences or small businesses whose owners can't just walk away from a plot of land.
There was once a Chinese restaurant in town called Aggie's, which I never had the pleasure of sampling. The town has very limited gourmet offerings. If you want good meals, and you simply want to know you'll be able to find something to eat, the closest reliable place is Ridgecrest. Once Panamint Valley Road reopens, Panamint Springs will be 50 miles away; until then, the detour makes it 140 miles..
Trona also has a sheriff's substation, a volunteer fire department, and the museum Underdog mentioned, in a historic former residence near the main Searles Valley Chemical Corp. refinery. I was there a few years ago, and it's worth a visit. Not a major museum, but interesting in the same way as the little local museums in Lone Pine, Beatty, Shoshone, Randsburg, and Boron. For nature enthusiasts, the big must-see is the Trona Pinnacles, an expanse of tufa formations just south of town (unpaved entry road with a Bureau of Land Management marker; may require 4wd). Like the Mono Lake tufa, everything showing above the ground was once totally submerged under the ancient lake. The pinnacles are 5 miles from downtown Trona, and entirely dry, but if you go in person, you can get an idea of how big and deep Searles Lake once was.
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