Saturday, December 23, 2017

We made the New York Times!

For better or worse you can read about Wonder Valley in:

In the California Desert: Vast Darkness, Vibrant Music, an Oasis
In Wonder Valley, the silence makes its own kind of noise. And Twentynine Palms makes its own kind of music.

The article was written by By Ivy Pochoda for the Decemeber 19, 2017 issue. Ms. Pochoda is the author of the book Wonder Valley.

Does this sound like us?
"Except for a bar and a used bookstore that’s rarely open, there were—and are— no amenities in Wonder Valley. There are no stoplights or streetlights, nothing to punctuate the night sky. After dark, dogs howl and coyotes yip in anticipation of a kill. 
"The landscape is monotonous — a flat and almost ghostly expanse of scrubby desert whose most impressive feature is the tenacity of the flora, fauna and human beings who survive there. But there’s an unsettling sort of beauty in the challenges Wonder Valley presents, especially after dark. For night is when this far corner of the Mojave gave me its odd reassurance that it was still possible to go somewhere unexpected, that it wasn’t only O.K. to be lost, it was somehow necessary."
That seems like a pretty fair assessment.

New Year's Eve at The Palms Wonder Valley

Mew Year's Eve 2017 at The Palms
Live music by Catt & The Deacon, Firebug, and The Sibleys. 
8 p.m. start. No cover. Free camping.
The Palms, 83131 Amboy Rd, Wonder Valley CA 92277
[updated January 30, 2017]

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Desert Trail Column for December 21, 2017

The Wonder Valley Community Meeting, organized by Teresa Sitz, was very informative. Representatives from the Marine Corps Base and the Sheriff’s Department were on hand to answer questions concerning illegal shooting, stray animals and off-road vehicle use. The Fire Department representative was unable to attend due to the current emergency fire situation. Teresa Sitz announced at the meeting that she has been chosen as our new Wonder Valley Community Center Coordinator and should start sometime in January. We are very happy to hear that our community center will be open on a regular basis again.

The Salvation Army Food Distribution takes place on Wednesday, December 27 at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road near Blower Road, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We send out Rainbows-of-Turquoise-and-Narcissus to Teresa Sitz and Laurel Seidl who celebrate their special days this week. Happy birthday to you both!

And congratulations go out to Mary and Les Lindsley who celebrate 36 years of marriage this week. Happy anniversary to you!

Karen’s Commentary: Would someone please tell me what in the world DISH Network has to do with our local channels? As far as I know, the Los Angeles channels’ signals are received on Pinto Mountain where they are changed from VHF to UHF and sent to our antennas. Or at least, that’s how it used to be. When and how did DISH come into this picture? I am totally baffled.

Darlene’s Commentary: Here are a couple easy and personal last-minute gifts for Christmas. Make a special photo album by printing out some pictures on your phone and putting them in a small photo album. You can print the pictures on your own printer or at a place that prints photos such as RiteAid. Or, in place of photos, use index cards with typed or handwritten favorite recipes on them.

The Food for Life Ministry prepares and serves delicious hot meals every Saturday at the Church of the Nazarene, 72603 Juanita Drive in Twentynine Palms, from 3 to 5 p.m. If you are unable to get there, Reach Out Morongo Basin may be able to deliver the meals to your home. Call 760-361-1410 for further information.

Handy Hint: Paint the inside of one or more cabinet doors with chalkboard paint, then use chalk to write to-do lists, grocery lists, reminders, phone numbers, etc. Use a chalkboard eraser or soft cloth to clean everything off and start over.

Thought for Today: 
Our paper money isn’t paper at all. It’s 75% cotton and 25% linen. In Benjamin Franklin’s day, people repaired torn money with a needle and thread!

Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Desert Trail, December 7, 2017

The Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council meeting will [NOT] be held on Monday, December 11 at the Joshua Tree Community Center, 6171 Sunburst, at 6:30 p.m. [There are no MAC meetings in August or December.] Wonder Valley’s Councilmember Teresa Sitz will pass along any concerns of Wonder Valley residents to our County Supervisor James Ramos. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend. Contact Teresa at 760-865-9550 or for further information.

The Wonder Valley Community Meeting, organized by Teresa Sitz, will be held on Wednesday, December 13 at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road near Blower Road, at 11 a.m. A representative from the Marine Corps Base will be present to discuss illegal shooting, the dumping of animals and other issues. Contact Teresa for further information.

We send out Rainbows-of-Turquoise-and-Narcissus to Elsilynn Foster (11) and Diana Akins who celebrate their special days this week. Happy birthday to you both!

And anniversary wishes go out to Ted and Karen Meyers who celebrate 57 years together this week. Happy anniversary, Karen and Ted!

Karen’s Commentary: This week I sent manufacturer’s coupons to U.S. Navy and Army bases in Sicily, Japan, Germany, Belgium and Italy. The commissaries on the bases honor coupons up to six months expired, and these coupons help expand military families’ budgets. If you’d like to send coupons to our bases in foreign countries, go to to get the addresses of bases requesting coupons. By the way, the postage is the same as if you are sending them next door to your house!

Darlene’s Commentary: I just had to share this interesting bit of information I read recently. The world’s largest aspen “tree” is located in Utah, in an enormous grove of quaking aspen trees. The grove covers 197 acres and contains about 47,000 individual aspen trees, and every tree is connected by the same root system! The oldest trees range in age up to 130 years, but the root system is perhaps 80,000 years old! The entire organism is a single male aspen tree.

The Wonder Valley Community Church, 82575 Amboy Road at Kuhns Road, holds church services every Sunday at 10:30 a.m., plus Bible Studies at 9:15 a.m. on Sundays and at 8:30 a.m. on Mondays. A potluck luncheon takes place following the regular service on the second Sunday of each month. Call Pastor Garry Brooks at 760-367-0279 for further information.

Handy Hint: If you have wasted space underneath a cupboard or shelf, screw in cup hooks and hang a handled basket or tote bag for extra storage.

Thought for Today: The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly and lie about your age.

Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Supermoon over the Sheephole Mountains, December 3, 2017

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Music at the Palms this Saturday night

Live music starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 9, 2017
The Palms Wonder Valley
83131 Amboy Road
Wonder Valley CA 92277

  • Victoria Williams
  • The Blues
  • Wildlife Freeway
  • Florian C
  • Max Maximillian
  • The Sibleys

Free Parking * Free Camping


When I was taking Fire Technology classes at Copper Mountain College a year ago, in hopes of restarting a Paid Call Firefighter (PCF) program in Wonder Valley, I kept hearing one name, over and over again, Kasandra Shaw.

Shaw, along with Jack McConaha and Star Javiar, were instrumental in maintaining the PCF program in Wonder Valley, at least before County Fire took over.

An obituary in the Hi-Desert Star reported that Shaw died on November 12 at Desert Regional Hospital. She was 65. She worked as a PCF for 10 years. She was an artist and loved painting, writing, singing, and dancing.

Services will be announced. For more information, please call her son, Dylan Hubbard, at (760) 408-6831.

Mary Sibley tells me that Shaw worked as a bartender at The Palms for several years.

Kasandra Shaw touched many lives, and many people in Wonder Valley mourn her death. If you have anything you'd like to share about Kasandra, please include it in the comments.