As mentioned in my post about Rock-a-Hoola, I love photographing abandoned locations, and we stumbled upon quite a few during our road trip, dotted in between tiny towns, and miles of fields. So here is quite the picture heavy post of what happens when buildings get left behind…
When it comes to my passion for photographing abandoned Americana, my love really is with places from the mid-20th century or older. However any place that is abandoned I’ll check out, even if it was abandoned just thirteen years ago, which is the case with Lake Dolores’ Rock-a-Hoola Waterpark off Interstate 15 in Newberry Springs.
Originally, the area around Lake Dolores was a private resort, but opened to the public in 1962. By 1998, it had new owners, and a massive remodel, which added the Rock-a-Hoola Waterpark with the most horrendous and gaudy “retro” theme, which ended up looking like a that 1980s vision throwback to the 1950s. You can check out a video of what it once looked like here, now it has been overrun by graffiti, and I was able to only locate one spot that featured the original “Rock-a-Hoola” text. The park closed in 2004.
Today, a hill looms high with nothing but oddly foreboding supports from the long disappeared waterslides over tag ridded buildings that continue to fade and decay in the hot Mojave sun.
I took loads of photos, so gear up for a pretty picture heavy post!
No, that’s not a typo, I really did mean “mane” like a horse’s mane, because today I’m sharing some images from one of my favorite high desert locations, Pioneertown, and it really is Mane Street there.
Just after my family left from visiting for my grandmother’s services, Patrick’s mother came to visit for a week, and when she departed, he and I headed out for the high desert of Joshua Tree for a few nights for some much needed R&R. After checking in at my favorite place to relax, the Joshua Tree Inn, we headed up to Pioneertown for dinner at Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace.
Pioneertown was founded in 1946 a group of Hollywood personalities, but lead by cowboy actors Dick Curtis and Russell Hayden, who decided it was time for a permanent 1880s style town for filming the popular westerns of the day. It was the legend himself, Roy Rogers who broke ground for the first building on September 1, 1946. The town takes its name from western singing group, Sons of the Pioneers, which Rogers was a part of.
I am sorry to report I don’t have any images from our time spent in Portland. I was incredibly busy constantly visiting with friends and family, and shopping of course! What I do have to show for our trip though are some shots I took of some ghost towns. we visited during our journey back home.
Honestly, I can’t recall when I first fell in love with the old mining towns along California Highway 49. What I do remember though is being very young and marveling at the old buildings the small town of Mariposa, where my great aunt and uncle used to lived (they have since moved to Seal Beach). We visited them every so often during our trips to California, and I always loved returning to that town. California’s gold rush is a unique moment in time, and a driving force in California’s rich (no pun intended) history, much like the Spanish missions and Hollywood. The towns that sprung up from it continue to draw me in whenever I get the chance to drive through them.
After crossing the border between Oregon and California, we peeled off I-5 just before Sacramento and made our way down Highway 49 visiting Amador City, Sutter Creek, Mokelume Hill, Murphys, Angels Camp, and Columbia. Sadly, we didn’t make it into Mariposa (it’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since I was there) but there are still many more gold rush towns I wish to visit, and I know we will make it there one day. But today I just want to share with you some of the images I took during our visit to these quiet and peaceful towns.
A couple of years ago we visited Coloma, where gold was first discovered in California, and you can take a peek at here.
Patrick and I didn’t have much down time after getting home. In fact we are off to Joshua Tree for the weekend! So I better go repack my suitcase! I hope you all have a lovely weekend!
Over the weekend Patrick and I drove up the coast and crossed another one of California’s Missions of the list, Mission Santa Barbara, founded in 1786.
Nicknamed “Queen of the Missions”, and sitting upon a hill that overlooks the town of Santa Barbara, as well as the ocean, Mission Santa Barbara has a color exterior, one that shows little of the horrors it endured during a massive earthquake in 1925, as it was fully restored just two years later in 1927.
Onto the next California mission!
Shawl: Found by my dad!
Peasant top: Pin-Up Girl Clothing
Skirt: I don’t remember!
Coral Squash Blossom Necklace & Ring: West of Texas, Redlands, California
Bracelet: A random antique show we went to on a road trip…
Tooled Leather Purse: Retro Rejuvenation, Coburg, Oregon
Each time I would visit Palm Springs and return home I would get asked “Did you go to Salvation Mountain?” Here’s the funny thing about where Salvation Mountain is… It’s hardly “close” to Palm Springs. Palm Springs, and its neighboring cities of Palm Desert, Cathedral City, and Indio are the closest cities of any real consequence to Salvation Mountain, which is actually located in Niland, near the southeastern edge of the Salton Sea, and about 75 miles from Palm Springs. But it’s like, if you’re already that far out into the desert, why not go? And this time we finally made it. So, what is Salvation Mountain?
In 1984 a man by the name of Leonard Knight trekked out to Niland and began to build a monument to God, and the message of “God is Love”, a message Knight felt so deeply and wanted to share with the world. He added to the mountain in a variety of ways every day. He also covered his vehicles in the same message with incredible detail. Seriously. People come for the mountain, but the trucks to me are the real work of art. No matter your religious beliefs, I think Salvation Mountain is a must see for those interested in the weird and bizarre of California’s desert landscape, as well as those interested in folk art, because it truly is a prime example of folk art.
Knight passed away in February of 2014, but Salvation Mountain doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. It’s still looked after, and it is still an incredibly popular spot for people to visit, at least a dozen people came and went while we were there.
This pretty much wraps it up for my Palm Springs posts. I did a bit of shopping, and am contemplating a “haul” post, but not entirely sold on the idea yet…so we’ll see!
Hat: Ricochet, Joshua Tree, California
Blouse & Shorts: Buffalo Exchange
Belt: I honestly don’t remember…
While millions were out searching for deals on Black Friday, Patrick and I went to Disneyland to get into the Christmas spirit, do a bit of gift shopping, and say “Hi” to a few characters.
As for our place, it’s all decorated for the holidays, have been for about a week or so. Took about a week to get up actually. I used to wait until after Thanksgiving, but I simply can’t anymore! How about you? Are you the type who decorates for the holidays before or after Thanksgiving?
Sweater: Antique Alley, Portland, Oregon
Skirt & Penny Loafers: Buffalo Exchange
Bangles: Here and there…
49’er & Scarf: Don’t remember…
Pin: Disneyland’s Holiday Time Tour, 2014
Purse: Christmas gift from Patrick last year