Two Days & Four Dogs in the Desert

I’ve been wanting to make this little trip for a while.  Winter seems like a good time to head to the desert & avoid the heat even though the days are so short.  In summer, you get maybe four more hours to shoot — but it’s not a good time of year to break down in the desert.  Today’s shooting was made even shorter because I stopped at Griz’s foster parents in Acton for a couple of hours.  I adopted Griz (one of my dogs) from them in May and it was fun to show them his tricks, muscles and all that.

Lots of miles between stuff but, despite that, I was pretty productive.  Let’s start with the Valencia Lanes in Newhall.  Maybe the sign had neon panels originally.  The building was not worth shooting:



From Lancaster — originally, the Bermuda Inn.  Here’s what the sign looked like then:

Later, as the Bon Reussite Resort, it was “a fat camp for celebrities that was kept very discreet.”  Evidently, closed for at least 15 years:



From Rosamond — at the Kieffe & Sons Ford dealership.  Neon removed — but, thankfully, the sign is still there:



From Tehachapi —


This wooden sign is also at Kelcy’s:



From Inyokern — a reworked older sign but fun lettering and colors:



Kramer Junction Antiques (in Kramer Junction) — has loads of petroliana like this:


and indoors (note: a lit Dog n Suds sign in the middle and a large Pep Boys statue on the right):


A couple of the signs inside:


While I’ve seen several Fisk Tire Boy statues, I’ve never seen a Fisk sign before:



Silver Dollar Liquors in Boron, CA:



Another sign from Boron.  Obviously, the Desert Lake Motel originally — and apparently pretty swanky:



I zipped up to the Borax Visitor Center in Boron to shoot the 20 Mule Team statues.  While there, I found a nice photo-op spot for the kids.  The plaque describes this as a 190 ton truck tire, 11 feet tall.  Left to right, that’s Grem, Nik, Griz & Fix:


Hard to pick the cutest, isn’t it?



From Lenwood — I don’t know what this place was originally:

On to Barstow for the last bit of the day and this post’s photos.  Tom’s Welding has amassed a huge collection of signs.   There were a lot more that I couldn’t get to since the place was closed for the day:

blog17 blog18


B&B Plumbing:



Most of the signs are dark in Barstow at night – but here’s a nice oldie:



and this one is obviously new — but awfully nice:

That’s it for today.  I’ll get photos from tomorrow up on Monday or Tuesday.  It’s gonna be a long drive home tomorrow night — compounded by holiday traffic.  In the meantime, don’t forget — more photos from today over at Flickr:

6 thoughts on “Two Days & Four Dogs in the Desert

  1. You’re right it’s hard to pick which of your pups is the cutest – they’re all cute!

    Glad to see folks collecting up the old signs and preserving them. And it looks like the RE in LAUDERETTE have been replaced, so nice that folks are taking care of their signs too!

    Funny you say you went to the desert to escape the heat – I always assumed the desert was the hottest place to be!

    Happy New Year DJS and here’s to more snapshotting for both of us in 2014!

    Mod Betty

    • Yes, the Launderette sign is what it seems: some of the neon is color-mismatched — which makes it even sweeter, if you ask me. This is the time of year to visit the desert and places like Vegas and Phoenix.

      Best to you in 2014!

  2. You are recording history in a visual form. That is worth saving. People will look back at the great signage of that era. I just love seeing the signs and the natural aging. Thanks

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