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.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Wonder Valley in Forbes Magazine

It's not often that Wonder Valley is mentioned in a national financial magazine like Forbes, and in a sense we really weren't. It was Wonder Valley Olive Oil, the olive oil not made here, and more and more associated with Joshua Tree.

Here's the mention:
How A Trip To Marfa Boosted This Brand's Bottom Line

"We met Alison and Jay Caroll who left their life in LA to move to the Mojave desert and start Wonder Valley Olive Oil company. They were the most inspiring couple; their travel, simplified life in Joshua Tree and desire to create something and work with their hands."

This is all seems to be true.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

WV December Community Meeting

Everyone is invited and welcome to attend and participate in the
WV December Community Meeting
from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, December 13, 2017
at the
Wonder Valley Community Center
80526-1/2 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277

Representative from the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (the "Base") 
to discuss illegal shooting, the dumping of animals, and other issues.

The agenda will be posted at the Wonder Valley Community Center and online 
on or before Wednesday, December 6, 2017.
Agenda posted, 7:30 a.m., December 6, 2017
Meeting Notes posted, 7 a.m., December 28, 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Free Thanksgiving Dinners and Food

Many thanks to the businesses and organizations below who reach out to those in need through the holidays.

The Joshua Tree local free food program is serving a vegetarian/vegan Thanksgiving celebration at 5 p.m. on November 19, at the United Methodist Church, 6213 East Parkway, in Joshua Tree. Vegetable will be distributed to those in need. Please bring your own place setting.

The Way Station provides free raw turkeys and Thanksgiving dinner fixings for anyone in need on November 21. The gates open at 8 a.m. You must be signed up between 8-10:30 a.m. The Way Station is located at 61722 Commercial Street, in Joshua Tree. Catholic Charities will be present to help with utility bills. A continental breakfast with hot beverages will be served.

John’s Place in Yucca Valley offers free Thanksgiving breakfast from 7 - 11 a.m. and free Thanksgiving Dinner from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 23. John’s Place is located at 56249 Twentynine Palms Highway in Yucca Valley.

Andreas Char-Broiled Burgers offers a free ham and egg breakfast from 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Nov. 23. They are located at 73780 Twentynine Palms Highway in Twentynine Palms.

The Beatnik Lounge is offering a vegan potluck from 3 - 6 p.m. at 61597 Twentynine Palms Highway in Joshua Tree. Bring a healthy vegan dish, if you can, and a place setting for yourself. No charge and no one turned away.

Food for Life offers a free Thanksgiving meal from 1 - 4 p.m. on Nov. 23 at the First Baptist Church, 6414 Split Rock Avenue in Twentynine Palms. The church will also be distributing a limited number of coats and blankets.

Desert Trail, November 16, 2017

The Dale Basin Well Owners meeting was held on November 12. Clarence Chambers resigned after 18 years serving as President, and Mary Quamme is looking for someone to take her place as Secretary-Treasurer. She has also held this position for 18 years. Former Vice President Jerry Peek is the newly-elected President and Max Rossi is the new Vice President.

Huge thanks go to both Clarence and Mary for their many years of service and assistance to the well owners in Wonder Valley.

The USDA Food Distribution will take place at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526½ Amboy Road near Blower Road, on Monday, November 20 from 10:30 to noon.

The Salvation Army Food Distribution will also be this week, on Wednesday, November 22 at the Wonder Valley Community Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Since the birthstone for November is the topaz and the flower is the chrysanthemum, we send out Rainbows-of-Topaz-and-Chrysanthemums to Karen Meyers (75) and Sharon Fangmeyer who celebrate their special days this week. Happy birthday to you both!

And Anniversary wishes go out to Bill and Sherry Hague this week. Congratulations, Sherry and Bill!

Darlene’s Commentary: I enjoyed reading an article about birds in “Tidbits” and would like to share some interesting things with you. Hummingbirds must eat more than their body weight each day. All domestic breeds of chickens originated with the red jungle fowl of Southeastern Asia about 8,000 years ago. The albatross can fly thousands of miles without ever landing, even sleeping on the wing. It shuts down half of its brain at a time, placing the other half on auto-pilot!

Karen’s Commentary: First, many thanks to columnist Fran Becker for the kind words regarding the loss of our little dog. Second, thanks to Annie French for sending lots of nicely cut-out coupons for the military families overseas. And last, congratulations to husband Ted for bringing home four more ribbons from the Weed Show! The competition this year was fierce, with the number of fantastic entries at an all-time high, but Ted came through once again, proving how talented he really is.

If you’re looking for Wonder Valley information, go to Ken and Teresa Sitz do a bang-up job keeping this website updated and interesting.

Handy Hint: For a unique coffee table with storage, top four wooden crates (open sides facing out) with an old door. You can screw everything to a plywood base and add castors if you like. The vintage look is very popular!

Thought for Today: “I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult.” – Rita Rudner

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

Illegal shooting in Wonder Valley

There was non-stop shooting in some areas of Wonder Valley over the Veterans Day weekend, starting at daybreak and continuing until dark. The shooting included pistols and high-powered assault weapons. Only shotguns are legal in Wonder Valley including on BLM land. There were 10 calls to the Sheriff's Department over the three day holiday, with deputies responding. No citations were issued.

I, Teresa Sitz, asked Lt. Barta of the Sheriff's Department, about the calls at last Monday's MAC meeting, and read the public comment of an elderly disabled resident who could not attend the meeting. Tom Zeigart of Yucca Mesa also commented on the issue.

On Tuesday, three residents including myself, attended the Board of Supervisors meeting and gave public comment. My comment is listed below.

Lt. Barta pulled me out of the meeting to discuss the issue. He was in receipt of photographs taken of the shooters and he gave me his contact information so that we could continue to work on the issue.


Good morning. My name is Teresa Sitz and I have served as the MAC Delegate for Wonder Valley for the last three years. I want to thank the Board of Supervisors for making the Bob Burke Government Center available for us for public comment. I also appreciate the attention and support that the Board has given Wonder Valley in the past.

I am here today to address a serious ongoing issue in Wonder Valley - the illegal shooting of firearms, especially high-powered pistols and rifles. This issue has come up many times in local community meetings, and we have attempted to address it by working with the Sheriff’s Department, the Base, the BLM, and the MAC.

The main obstacle to solving this problem has to do with jurisdiction. Though the County forbids shooting anything other than shotguns in Wonder Valley, many residents and visitors feel that if they step onto BLM land within the checker board of Wonder Valley that they can shoot anything they want, any time they want. Confusion about jurisdiction makes enforcement difficult.

The BLM has told me that County rules regarding shooting apply on BLM land within the boundaries of Wonder Valley, but they have issued no official statement that can be used to clarify the law to the Community, to the Sheriff's Department, and to visitors. And so the shooting of pistols and high-powered rifles continues, with both residences and roads within the trajectory of high-powered rounds. It is only a matter of time before somebody is accidentally wounded or killed.

In addition, the boundaries of the County shooting map for Wonder Valley do not align with the boundaries of Wonder Valley, and so, within some residential neighborhoods open shooting is allowed any time, day or night with any kind of weapon, including assault weapons. We request that Land Use revise the shooting maps to conform to the boundaries of our neighborhoods.

Another problem is that when the Sheriff’s Department is called to the site of shooting, the shooters stow their illegal weapons and tell the Sheriff’s Department that they were only shooting shotguns. It may not be possible to enforce current laws against long-range pistols and rifles in our neighborhoods without making shotguns illegal, as well. I believe it is time to consider this as a solution to ending illegal shooting in Wonder Valley.

My neighbors complain to me that many Sheriff’s deputies do not know the law regarding illegal shooting and are therefore unwilling to enforce it. At this time, especially during the holidays, our neighborhoods are under siege, with high velocity weapons being fired within range of our homes from dawn until dusk. Without the Sheriff's Department to enforce the law we have no one to turn to for help.

I ask the Board of Supervisors to work with our community to keep us all safe from illegal shooting in our neighborhoods.

Thank you for your time.
The County Firearms Ordinance may be found at the link below:

The BLM: Target Shooting on America's Lands
Public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are available for a variety of undeveloped recreational activities, including target shooting except where prohibited by federal, state, and local laws.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Wonder Valley: now with more Joshua Tree

If you love the "idea" of Wonder Valley, but maybe not the reality, this is the vacation rental for you: "The Big Blue of Wonder Valley (but really located in Joshua Tree)."

Our industrious and hip friends at Wonder Valley Olive Oil offer this vacation rental on their site  Stay for $145 a night. Book your visit at

Monday, November 6, 2017

Dale Basin Well Owners Association Meeting

Everyone is invited and welcome to attend the biannual

Dale Basin Well Owners Association Meeting

Sunday, November 12, 2017, at 4:00 p.m.

Godwin Christian Fellowship
6389 Godwin Road, Wonder Valley, CA 92277

If you have a well, come join - only $5 per person per year. 
There will be annual elections, too, so if you'd like to be involved - now's the time.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Desert Trail, October 26, 2017

Sharon and Orville Fangmeyer celebrate 55 years together this week. Happy anniversary, Orville and Sharon!

Darlene has graciously given up her commentary space so I can write about our little dog. Thank you, Dar.

Karen’s Commentary: We said goodbye to one of our sweet little dogs this week. She was part of our life for more than 13 years, and we will miss her terribly. In 2004, our only dog died of cancer. It wasn’t very long until the quiet around our house caused us to take a trip to Palms ‘n’ Paws, “just to look.” As we walked past an upper cage, a little dog was dancing on her hind legs and pawing at the air, trying to get our attention. Ted said, “That’s the one,” and I said, “No – that dog’s too little!” Needless to say, Ted won out, we walked back around and took a second look at her. So “Patty” went home with us and became “Pippi Longstockings.” She was about a year and a half, according to personnel at the shelter and at the vet’s office. She was a small fluffy ball of curly beige-colored fur from nose to tail. Her head was a little round ball of thick curly fur, with only a little black button nose and two big brown eyes visible through it all. About a week after she’d come home with us, Ted took her into town to be groomed, then brought her to City Hall where I was at work. Some strange dog was on the end of Pippi’s leash! It had a long thin nose, little floppy ears and a poof of fur for a tail! The ball of fluff had turned into a beautiful apricot-colored toy poodle! The transformation was hard to believe. Not too long after this, she acquired a new title:  “Pippi Longstockings, Princess of the World.” She was a dainty little thing that pranced around on tiny paws and entertained us immensely while trying to make us believe she was a Rottweiler. After a couple years, we got her a “sister,” a pug named “Bonnie.” She wasn’t delighted to have a sister, but she was delighted to have somebody to boss around. Over the years she has given us so much love, and of course an equal amount was always returned to her. She had a few major illnesses and injuries that were frightening, but she managed to pull through all of them. But this time age was not on her side and she just couldn’t fight anymore. We will never, ever forget our little darling Pippi Girl.

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

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Bonefest 2017 - The Palms

"Bonefest 2017"
Desert Halloween Party!!!
At the Palms in Wonder Valley
83131 Amboy Road, 92277

Featuring live music with:
  • The Sibleys
  • Bellstarr
  • Easier
A costume contest: prizes for best costumes
Probably a dance party...because, well, dance party

Saturday, October 28, 7 p.m. - midnight. No cover.
More info: 760 - 361 - 2810 / 310 - 920 - 4804

Free camping available.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Crime Stats for September 2017

The figures for 2015 and 2016 were supplied by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. The figures for 2017 were gleaned from media reports so these numbers have not been confirmed by the Sheriff's Department.

An increase in numbers does not mean there has been an increase in crime. An increase may be due to increased public awareness and willingness to report crime.

Remember, if you call the Sheriff's Department, always ask for an incident number.


In case of an emergency: dial 911
Sheriff’s Department non-emergency: 760-956-5001

Code Enforcement: (909) 884-4056 or (760) 995-8140

Animal Control:  (800) 472-5609


San Bernardino Sheriff's Department (always call first)
private land trespass - (760) 366-4175

BLM (Bureau of Land Management)
public land trespass - (888) 233-6518

San Bernardino Code Enforcement
(909) 884-4056 or (760) 995-8140

CRISIS WALK IN CENTER: Open 24/7 - (760) 365-6558
7293 Dumosa Avenue, Suite 2, YV 92284
No appointment necessary

SUICIDE HOTLINE: (800) 273-8255

VETERANS CRISIS LINE: 1-800-273-8255, press 1

Crisis counseling, information, referrals and access to the immediate safety of emergency domestic violence shelter.
(760) 366-9663 x1

Thursday, October 5, 2017

High Desert Test Sites | October 21 - 22, 2017

HDTS 2017

Saturday, October 21. 2017

3 - 5 p.m.
Edie Fake with the Glass Outhouse
Glass Outhouse Art Gallery
77575 Twentynine Palms Highway
Wonder Valley, CA 92277

5:45 p.m.
Chill Out: Oliver Payne
Iron Age Road
Wonder Valley, CA 92277

7 - 10 p.m.
The Palm Talks
Palms Restaurant
831831 Amboy Road
Wonder Valley, CA 92277

The Palm Talks
     Community has become a buzzword for everything from right-wing fraternities, ecological collectives, and Silicon Valley burners to gentrification activists. The very notion of the term brings people together as much as it divides them; it creates a sense of belonging and a case for segregation, shared sets of beliefs and prejudices. More than likely, we are all voluntary and involuntary members of different communities, with contradictory values and conflicting agendas. Therefore, it might be more relevant to think of a non-community, where each and every one of us can be left alone together. But is this possible in today’s political climate? Is there anything left of the social infrastructure that supports operations of the self?
     The Palm Talks wants to know what the future of our non-community looks like. How can we not belong to a group that would likely take us as a member? How can there be the acceptance of difference without otherness? These are some basic ideas. The Palm Talks affords an opportunity to think about the groups to which we belong. Particularly in the context of the High Desert and the convergent ideologies represented there, it becomes ever more important to address the notion of community—as well as non-community—through personal anecdotes and oral histories, as well as critical methodologies. There is perhaps no better place to ask these questions than Wonder Valley, where some come to create communities, others to escape them, some a combination of both, and where all rely on the land, water, trees, animals, and everything else that is seemingly common to all.
     The Palm Talks includes both local and non-local contemporary thinkers, historians, writers, and artists, whose contributions culminate in a momentary glimpse into our collective state. Set within the context of the legendary Palms Restaurant in Twentynine Palms and presented with live musical accompaniment by M. Cay Castagnetto and The
Renderers, there will be a negotiation between language and sound, noise and meaning, music and speech. Participants in The Palm Talks include Fiona Connor, Trinie Dalton, Gary Dauphin, Steve Kado, Alexander Keefe, Nancy Klein, Annelies Kuiper, Cailin O'Connor, Litia Perta, Linda Sibio, Laura Sibley, Bobby Jesus and Frances Stark, Sam Thorne, James Owen Weatherall, and others.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Press Release - First-ever Morongo Basin plan for culture and arts underway

[I'm proud to say that Wonder Valley is represented by two members: Cathy Allen and Kevin Bone!]

Press Release - First-ever Morongo Basin plan for culture and arts underway

​Land Use Services
Linda Mawby
Senior Planner
(909) 387-4002<>

First-ever Morongo Basin plan for culture and arts underway

The community, including residents, artists, educators, and culture-oriented organizations and businesses throughout the Morongo Basin will be asked to participate in developing a Strategic Plan for Culture and the Arts.

The County of San Bernardino will lead the effort along with The Cultural Planning Group, a Southern California consulting firm specializing in the field of arts and culture with experience working with communities across the country to create cultural plans.

“The Morongo Basin is known for its artistic and creative way of life which continues to attract residents, businesses and tourists to this region,” said San Bernardino County Third District Supervisor James Ramos. “We hope the community will help us build this roadmap to continue to promote and celebrate the Morongo Basin as an artistic hub.”

The plan will assist Morongo Basin communities to articulate their vision for culture and the arts. This will lead to plans for activities that can fulfill that vision, such as art shows, arts education, musical performances, poetry readings, writing groups, festivals and seminars.

The Cultural Planning Group will work with a leadership group of community leaders, including artists and others, to guide the planning process grounded in the unique creative identity of the Morongo Basin, and to create a plan based on the priorities of the communities of Joshua Tree, Morongo Valley, Pioneertown, Landers, Wonder Valley, Yucca Valley, and Twentynine Palms. The local communities will implement the plan with guidance from the leadership committee.

The Strategic Plan for Culture and the Arts is expected to be complete in mid-2018. The first public meetings will begin before the end of the year.  To receive future announcements on how to become involved, submit an email address to  The San Bernardino County Land Use Services Planning Division will also be posting information on their website and social media links.  For additional information visit:

Felisa Cardona
Deputy Public Information Officer
County of San Bernardino
Phone: 909-387-5429

Our job is to create a county in which those who reside and invest can prosper and achieve well-being.

Kip's Desert Book Club

Gold Fame Citrus, By Claire Vaye Watkins

7 p.m., October 2, 2017 at
The Palms Restaurant
83131 Amboy Road
Wonder Valley, CA

Bring something for the potluck if you' like to take part.
For more information see:

Friday, September 22, 2017

Food in Wonder Valley

Our friends from Wonder Valley Olive Oil are having a dinner. I got the invitation - I think I signed up at their site - but was a day late and $120 short to get a place at the table.

If you don't know what a "paladar" is, come sit by me. I looked it up. It's a little restaurant run by "self-employers." It's a Spanish word related to the root for "palate."

The Olive Oilers describe the event thusly:

"Our seasonal paladars are leisurely multiple course communal suppers, cooked over an open fire, where strangers become friends, all set to the background of the beautiful high desert near Joshua Tree, California. The dishes will be prepared with the remainder of the 2016 harvest olive oil by chef Jay Wolman of Small Trades. Jay's background is working in landmark kitchens such as Diner, Marlow & Sons, and newcomer Hart's (of Bon Appetit's Top 10 best new restaurants 2017).

"Live music & cocktails at 5 pm followed by a five course menu and wine pairing by Oeno Wines."

See the menu.


Volunteers distributed 83 boxes of food on September 18 at the Wonder Valley Community Center, serving 108 people. All low income Wonder Valley residents may self-certify on site. The next distribution is Monday, October 16.  The doors open at 10:30 a.m There is a Salvation Army Food Distribution at the WVCC this coming Wednesday, September 27 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., first come first served. All you have to do is sign your name and you'll be given a box. No waiting.

I want to thank all of our volunteers: Mary Quamme, Star Javiar, Karen Meyers, Stand Up Bob Woods, Mighty Mike Gillespie, Steven Wilhelm, Ken Sitz, Sunny Downer, and Grey Hill. We couldn't do it without you, and we love your sunny faces and wonderful, generous attitudes. This is what Wonder Valley is all about. Remember, some people are so poor that all they have is money.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Highway 62 Open Studio Art Tours

Three artists represent Wonder Valley in this year's Highway 62 Open Studio Art Tours: Robert Arnett, Perry Hoffman, and Mark Heuston. The tour runs for two weekends: October 14 & 15, and October 21 & 22.

Mark Heuston specializes in metal work and his studio will be open the second weekend only. Perry Hoffman specializes in tile and mosaics, and Robert Arnett in painting, and their studios will be open both weekends.

Go to for maps to the studios and more information.

Free Flu Shot Clinic

With the cooler fall weather approaching now is the time to get protected from the coming flu with your annual flu shot at the 

Twentynine Palms Senior Center
 6539 Adobe Road
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

From 1:30-3:30 p.m., on September 26th and 27th .

Hosted by Reach Out Morongo Basin and presented by Walgreens Pharmacy, a licensed Pharmacist will be on hand to provide flu shots to adults and children. No appointment is required and all walk-ins are welcome. 

For more information contact Reach Out Morongo Basin at 760-361-1410.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wonder Valley Community Meeting with Special Guest

Everyone is invited and welcome to attend and participate in
The Wonder Valley Community Meeting
Monday, October 2, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at
The Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-1/2 Amboy Road
Wonder Valley, California 92277

Our Special Guest for this meeting will be
Mark Lundquist, Aide to District Three Supervisor James Ramos

Please feel free to bring your questions.

The Agenda for this meeting will be posted at here and at 
the Wonder Valley Community Center by Monday, September 25, 2017.

Agenda posted 11 a.m., September 23, 2017.
Meeting Notes, posted October 9, 2017, 8:00 a.m.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Desert Trail Column, September 14, 2017

The Wonder Valley Community Meeting held last Saturday was very interesting, as usual. Teresa Sitz organized the meeting and Chief Scott Tuttle was there to discuss fire department issues and answer questions. A great suggestion was made by Ed Vallerand to request that the Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council meeting be held in Wonder Valley once a year. It was also suggested that the meetings be rotated on a regular basis, with each of the nine areas represented being the host every nine months. This would give the people who cannot drive to the meetings in Joshua Tree the chance to meet all the delegates and County representatives, and for those people to meet us and see what our community is like.

Thank you, Tim, for clearing our roads right away following the wash flowing with Twentynine Palms runoff from Saturday’s storm. We appreciate it!

Darlene’s Commentary:  I agree with Fran Becker, famous columnist for Desert Heights News! I had the same thoughts about how I would love to say, “B-r-r-r, it is actually cold outside” or “B-r-r-r, I’d better bring my sweater.” I thought I couldn’t take another day of triple digits and 150 per cent humidity. This morning’s Weather Channel forecast shows seven days at 99 degrees and lower! (Twilight Zone music, please!)

Karen’s Commentary:  I’m in awe of people who speak multiple languages. I took four years of Spanish, but still can’t come close to speaking it fluently. I can read and pronounce every word correctly; I just can’t understand most of them! In Mexico, I had to resort to saying “woo-woo” along with a hand gesture of pulling a train whistle to get my meaning of a train across! Pretty pathetic.

The non-profit 29 Soaring Club meets every Sunday, weather permitting, at the Twentynine Palms Airport on Highway 62 at Godwin Road, from 11am to sunset. The club owns two gliders and one tow plane which are kept at the airport. The public is welcome to come out to watch these gliders do their stuff. Glider rides are available at a cost of $20 to $50 (cash only) depending on the altitude desired. Gift certificates are also available. This is a great idea for a unique gift! Call Mike at 760-464-2835 for further information.

Handy Hint:  Use plastic bags for storing food only once, then toss them. The corners and ziplock closures are difficult to clean, they can’t take dishwasher heat and they don’t dry well – making them little germ factories.

Thought for Today:  What happened when the dairy cow tried to jump the barbed wire fence? Udder destruction!

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

Rain in Wonder Valley.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Wonder Valley rainbow

Photo courtesy of Wonder Valley resident, Patty Micciche House, who wrote:

"The only time I've ever seen a full-on, Lucky Charms end-to-end rainbow is here in the desert. It's incredible!"

Highway 62 washed out before Ironage

Photo courtesy of Wonder Valley resident Ellie Greenwood, who write,

"I drove out to where the rain washed out Hwy 62. It was at the big dip past Star's Way Out but before Iron Age. This is what I saw..."

Highway 62 was closed yesterday east of Godwin due to heavy rains.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Stuck in the sand.

By Z107.7 News, on September 8th, 2017

A missing person’s report Wednesday led to the rescue of two men who had gotten their vehicle stuck in the sand in Wonder Valley. Deputies were called to the 80500 block of Amboy Road about 8:20 p.m. for a report of missing persons, where they learned that a father and his 20-year-old son were lost somewhere in the desert. The Sheriff’s Department called in its helicopter, but the pilots were unable to find them or their vehicle. The son finally walked out to a home and called his mother, and he was then able to tell deputies that he and his father had gotten their vehicle stuck in sand between Amboy Road and Highway 62. The helicopter then found the vehicle and picked up and returned the older man—described as “drunk” —to his family, who said they would retrieve their vehicle Thursday. Last week, on August 28, a Sheriff’s deputy rescued three tourists from Spain who got their rental car stuck in sand in the Quackenbush live fire area on the Marine Base.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Crime stats for July and August 2017

The source for the 2015 and 2016 numbers is the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, which has provided us general numbers the past 2 years. The numbers for July and August 2017 were not released by the SBSD, but were compiled from media reports.

These numbers do not indicate an increase or a decrease in crime, only a change in the number of calls from the residents of Wonder Valley, the number of reports filed, and arrests made.

JULY 2017

JULY 2017
JULY 2016
JULY 2015



Thursday, August 31, 2017

Desert Trail, August 31, 2017

As you probably already know, our Wonder Valley Community Center, located at 80526 ½ Amboy Road near Blower Road, has been closed for a few weeks and will probably be closed for a few more. However, it’ll be open for food distributions, meetings and special events. Hopefully, it will be open again soon on a regular basis, along with our Wonder Valley Book Program. Have patience.

Teresa Sitz has passed her training and will soon be a California State Certified HIV and Hepatitis-C Tester. She will be volunteering for the Desert AIDS Project and with the Morongo Basin Healthcare District. Congratulations, Teresa! It’s wonderful to know people so willing to give their time and energy to help others in need. Teresa is definitely that kind of person, and we thank her.

Godwin Christian Fellowship Church, located at 6389 Godwin Road near 29 Palms Highway, will add a Spanish Worship Service from 9 to 10:30 every Sunday morning, beginning September 3. Because of this new addition, the English service times will be changed slightly, now starting at 10:40 and ending at 12:10. The new Spanish service will be led by Assistant Pastor Alberto Aleman. You may contact him at 760-910-9603, or you may contact Pastor Max Rossi at 831-234-6848 or

email By the way, Pastor Max, the stained glass panel inside the church made by Charlotte Williams, the world globe on the east side of the church and the beautiful gate on the west side of the church are all wonderful additions.

Twentynine Palms Airport, located on 29 Palms Highway near Godwin Road, is owned and operated by San Bernardino County. It has two runways, and there are no user fees charged to land or take off from this airport. There is a small group of tenants who keep their planes parked at the airport, including a few inside the hangars on the property. This is a non-towered facility, meaning there is no control tower. There is a self-service 100-low lead fuel station onsite. The Twentynine Palms Soaring Club meets here regularly, military training operations take place occasionally and multiple planeloads of Toys for Tots are flown in and delivered to waiting military personnel every December. For further information, call 760-361-8548 or 760-247-2371, or go to

Handy Hint: Get every last dab out of your toothpaste tube by rolling the end up tightly and clamping it with a binder clip.

Thought for Today: Not sure if I should be more concerned about the son who locked me out of my bedroom today or the one who showed me how to pick the lock.

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

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Comedy at The Palms

Boneybone Productions and The Palms presents:
An evening of comedy and music featuring the hilarious female-driven sketch comedy group from Hollywood, "Whoa Man," and songs by 29 Palms' own Tim and Faith Chinnock of "The Adobe Collective."

8:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 30, 2017.
Admission: $7
The Palms Restaurant
83131 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277

Monday, August 28, 2017

Wonder Valley March Meeting | September 9, 2017

Wonder Valley March Meeting | September 9, 2017

Everyone is invited and welcome to attend 
our monthly community meeting from 
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Saturday, September 9, 2017 
at the 
Wonder Valley Community Center
80526-1/2 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley, CA 92277.

The agenda will be posted on the door of the Wonder Valley Community Center on Monday, September 4, 2017, and is also posted below.

AGENDA posted 10:00 a.m., September 4, 2017:

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Lightning over Wonder Valley

"Monsoon and training 'lighting' aboard the Combat Center August 2, 2017." Photograph by Wonder Valley artist Lisa Manifold

Monday, July 31, 2017

Palms will be close August 17 - 30

If the churches were savvy they'd set up a free breakfast for allus sinners with nowhere to go on August 20 and 27.

Anyway, y'all are on your own. Andreas and 29 Palms Inn in Twentynine Palms are both good for breakfast. Maybe we'll see you there.

Two arrested in Wonder Valley

By Z107.7 News, on July 28th, 2017
Two Wonder Valley men were arrested Wednesday morning, accused of burglarizing a storage container. According to a Sheriff’s report, witnesses interrupted two men, later identified as Randell Vessells, 48, and Justyn Holsclaw, 20, who had broken a lock on the storage container in the 4000 block of Steeg Road in Wonder Valley. The suspects then ran off. Deputies located Vessells north of the residence. Holsclaw ran from the deputies into the desert and was captured after a short foot pursuit. Holsclaw had a red duffle bag with him that contained a cutting saw and various tools. Deputies determined that Vessells was a parolee at large. Randell Vessells was arrested for investigation of burglary and on a parole violation, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $25,000. Justyn Holsclaw was arrested on suspicion of attempted burglary, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $25,000.

No August community meeting

I just passed an exam to qualify for a 4-day class to become an HIV test counselor. I've been volunteering with Desert AIDS Project and Morongo Basin Healthcare District. DAP is sponsoring my training. This is part of a longer range plan to advocate for harm reduction programs in our communities.

For this reason I will not have time to prepare for an August community meeting. Our next Wonder Valley Community Meeting will be Saturday, September 9, 2017.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Wonder Valley Dream Catcher

Joshua Tree artist Bruce Carlton snapped and titled this  picture in Wonder Valley recently, found outside an unoccupied cabin.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Crime Stats June 2017

The figures for 2015 and 2016 were supplied by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. The figures for 2017 were gleaned from media reports so these numbers have not been confirmed by the Sheriff's Department.

An increase in numbers does not mean there has been an increase in crime. An increase may be due to increased public awareness and willingness to report crime.

Remember, if you call the Sheriff's Department, always ask for an incident number.


In case of an emergency: dial 911
Sheriff’s Department non-emergency: 760-956-5001

Code Enforcement: (909) 884-4056 or (760) 995-8140

Animal Control:  (800) 472-5609


San Bernardino Sheriff's Department (always call first)
private land trespass - (760) 366-4175

BLM (Bureau of Land Management)
public land trespass - (888) 233-6518

San Bernardino Code Enforcement
(909) 884-4056 or (760) 995-8140

CRISIS WALK IN CENTER: Open 24/7 - (760) 365-6558
7293 Dumosa Avenue, Suite 2, YV 92284
No appointment necessary

SUICIDE HOTLINE: (800) 273-8255

VETERANS CRISIS LINE: 1-800-273-8255, press 1

Crisis counseling, information, referrals and access to the immediate safety of emergency domestic violence shelter.
(760) 366-9663 x1

Friday, July 14, 2017

Food Distribution, Monday, July 17, 10:30 a.m., WVCC

The Community Action Project (CAP) 
U.S.D.A. Commodities Food Distribution will be:

Monday, July 17, 2017, 10:30 a.m.

Wonder Valley Community Center
80526-1/2 Amboy Road

Wonder Valley, CA 92277

Low income Wonder Valley residents self-certify on site.

PICKING UP FOR A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER?If you want to pick up food for a Wonder Valley resident living at a different address, download and print the form below, have that person fill it out and sign it, and bring it with you to the food distribution. If it's filled out correctly you'll be allowed to take a box of food to them.

The form above also contains the Emergency Food Assistance Program 2016 Guidelines for qualifying monthly and annual household income for household size. Low-income Wonder Valley residents self-certify on site.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Desert Trail, July 13, 2017

The USDA Food Distribution is scheduled to take place at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road near Blower Road, on Monday, July 17 from 10:30 to noon. However, before coming down, please call  Community Center Coordinator Ric Figueroa at 760-367-9880 to make sure it is not being postponed.  There are some paperwork issues that should be ironed out by then.

Since the birthstone for July is the ruby and the flower is the larkspur, we send out Rainbows-of-Rubies-and-Larkspurs to Jan Peek who celebrates her special day this week. Happy birthday, Jan!

Karen’s Commentary:
First, coupons went out this week to Army, Navy and Air Force bases in Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom.

Second, here is important information about Adult Protective Services. If you see or suspect elder or dependent adult abuse, don’t ignore it! Call the toll-free 24-hour hotline at 1-877-565-2020. Calls are confidential and callers can remain anonymous. Calls that report an allegation of danger or presence of abuse will be promptly investigated. Services are provided at no cost and without regard to income. Types of abuse include physical, sexual, isolation, financial, neglect, abandonment and mental suffering. Help that’s available includes emergency response, counseling, care planning, bus or gasoline vouchers, emergency shelter, in-home protection and referral to other community services. Abuse should be everyone’s concern.

Darlene’s Commentary:
Bearded cryptantha, aka "sock lice"
Boy, howdy! Old Mother Nature must be kind of cranky these days. First she tries to drown us with that wonderful steady downpour earlier this year, but it did come with a promise of a spectacular wildflower blooms. Well, she kept to her word – amazing bunches of glorious wildflowers appeared! In fact, we also had a superior bloom of those small cactus-like plants appropriately known as “sock-lice,” and tiny, tiny fine-barbed sticker bushes that make you itch like crazy. Those things are not fun, Mother Nature! Now, don’t get me wrong, I still love Mother Nature, but why did she now decide to turn Wonder Valley into a giant oven with no controls?? I just hope that this coming winter will be somewhat normal. Right.

Godwin Christian Fellowship holds regular services at 10:30 every Sunday morning. On the third Sunday of each month, there is a luncheon following the service honoring everyone having a birthday that month. For further information, call Pastor Max Rossi at 831-234-6848.

Handy Hint:
Brown bags with holes punched in them are perfect storage places for alliums – a fancy name for onions, shallots and garlic – for up to three months.

Thought for Today:
Slightly more than 69 percent of firefighters in the United States are volunteers.

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

Wonder Valley sunrise, TSS.