Spring in Pioneertown and Joshua Tree, April 2010
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9 April 2010:  Spring break!  Lisa and I made tracks for the desert, this stepping back into the days of the Old West at Desert Willow Ranch, a charming cottage that was about the size of our own house out in Pioneertown.

We'll let Desert Willow Ranch describe more:

"Pioneertown was founded in 1946 as a live-in movie set for the western movies that were so popular at the time. Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Russel Hayden ('Lucky' in the Hopalong Cassidy Series), and other instrumental in the founding of the town. Since no one felt that this new town should be named after one man, it was decided to name it after a popular western singing group - THE SONS OF THE PIONEERS.
The Desert Willow Ranch was bought from Russel Hayden in 1969. What you see on the 5 acres was laid out and developed by John and Gay. Smith."


Another photo of the Desert Willow Ranch, out in the back yard where you can keep horses.  We have no horses, and we didn't bring our three-legged cat, either.

The back of the Desert Willow Ranch, where Lisa and I sipped cold beers, relaxed and read books, looking out into the beautiful desert.

Wagon wheel on the Desert Willow Ranch.

At some point, I snoozed.  Was it at 4:44?  The beautiful psychedelic lights of the alarm clock blinked yes.

Desert view around Pioneertown from the Desert Willow Ranch.

Pioneertown Sound Stage.

The Jack Cass Saloon at Pioneertown.

The desert calm on the five acres at the Desert Willow Ranch in Pioneertown, just after the sun went down.

Peace and calm in April in Pioneertown.

Dinner at Pappy and Harriet's Pioneertown Palace.  The catfish sandwich was pretty great, and the bluegrass band wasn't bad either!

10 April 2010 - You can't really go out here and not go into Joshua Tree National Park, right?  Lisa and I hit the Boy Scout Trail, eventually branching off to the Willow Hole Trail.

April is a great time to head to the desert.  Cactus flowers and wildflowers are bursting with color, and the weather's great.  The red cactus flowers here are amazing, and I got in close with the Leica DLux 4 point-and-shoot for this and the other close-up shots.

And Lisa joined in on the close-up photography as well!

Another view along the Boy Scout Trail in Joshua Tree National Park.

The snow-capped peaks of San Jacinto as seen from the Boy Scout Trail in Joshua Tree National Park on a beautiful spring day, with the sun starting to come out.

The top of a flowering Joshua Tree.  The name Joshua tree was given by a group of Mormon settlers who crossed the Mojave Desert in the mid-19th century. The tree's unique shape reminded them of a Biblical story in which Joshua reaches his hands up to the sky in prayer. And nobody seems to mind that it's actually a yucca, not a tree.

Lisa's friend asked to send her a photo of her hugging a Joshua Tree as proof that we made it!!  And so here it is.

Spring in Pioneertown and Joshua Tree, April 2010
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