Johnson Valley News 03/09/2018

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• JVIA  has 150 memberships processed so far this year; however, we counted only 28 in the hall last Saturday to enjoy the Corned Beef Dinner.

We know the weather forecast earlier in the week did not look very promising, and weekenders might have assumed this was not a good time to come out and play, but Saturday turned out to be a gorgeous day after all.

We know some do not care for corned beef (too salty) or cabbage (too easily overcooked and smelly) but not last Saturday in the hall!

Since only 19% of the membership and a few guests made the scene for this feast, we give you some details.

Michele and Arlan Hawthorne took charge of the shopping and cooking. Michele seasoned the corned beef (donated by the JVIA Board members) then nestled them into three covered roasters to slow cook, with occasional top-ups of water to guarantee moist tenderness, then removed them to hold warm for slicing.

Then little round boiling potatoes went into the broth, grouped by size to guarantee equal doneness. Next, the cabbage went into the broth and cooked to perfection, no mushiness, no sulfur smell. The carrot sticks were first parboiled, then seasoned and tossed in olive oil and oven-roasted to come out colorful and delicious. We had a choice of an Irish soda bread and a muffin to go with it all.

Linda Walsh, Vi Minnix and Jim Hanley lent a hand during the afternoon, and the buffet tables were set up for serving.

The dessert bar at the end of the buffet featured baked specialties by Linda Walsh. Her much-requested pineapple upside down cake appeared alongside some Irish-themed creations: an apple bread pudding with Irish whiskey sauce; a chocolate trifle and a pecan-topped yellow Bundt cake both with Irish Cream flavoring; and the  Guinness Beer cake, a chocolate dream we remember from last year.

After rave reviews, many of us purchased dinners-to-go. Not a lot of corned beef or potatoes were left over, but you have a chance to enjoy them in the corned beef hash on the menu for this Saturday Breakfast, 7:00-10:00 a.m. First come, first served.

We’ll get to have a dinner by the Hawthornes again on Saturday, April 7 – spaghetti topped with marinara sauce from Vince’s Spaghetti House in Ontario!

Linda Walsh is already plotting desserts and a delicious Sangria drink (non-alcoholic and refreshing!) Once again, an outstanding dinner for only 7.00 per person, mm-mm.

• The railway crew in the Paul Van Hook Desert Dreams Garden are refurbishing and re-laying all that brass track in the garden railway layout, while watching for more green buds and looking for rain.

The Johnson Valley Improvement Association are making plans for events during this 60th Anniversary year of the Association, indoors and outdoors when the weather stays fine. Everyone is welcome to every one of these events; you do not have to be a JVIA member to participate.

All except for June happen on the first Saturday of each month, so save the dates!

Next up is the Spaghetti Dinner on Saturday evening, April 7

Then comes our Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, Saturday afternoon, May 5.

On Saturday afternoon, June 9, it’s the Johnson Valley Landowners Jamboree and free picnic. This Information Fair will acquaint landowners with each other and share referrals for resources and businesses who serve our remote community for home improvements, repairs, water delivery, offroading equipment and trails – a myriad of details to inform newcomers and weekenders who to go to for what. (No first Saturday dinner in June or JVIA General Meeting.)

We look forward to the July 7th 2-Buck Chuckwagon, a Fried Chicken Dinner on August 4th, a Johnson Valley Cooks Potluck with Back-To-School Supplies for admission on September 1st.

The Johnson Valley Oktoberfest October 6 is a highlight of the year, and then we greet the holidays with the November 3rd Turkey Dinner and December 1st Ham Dinner.

Old friends and new faces, good times ahead.

• Just at milepost 30 on Scenic 247, you see the white fenceline enclosing a former alfalfa field and beyond it, ranch buildings and a grove of venerable cottonwood trees.

This site was the desert half of the Heart Bar Ranch. Heart Bar drove their cattle up Rattlesnake Canyon every year for summer grazing near Big Bear. Old Woman Springs Ranch served as the winter quarters for that operation, which ranged cattle from Lucerne Valley to Pipes Wash in an area about 10 miles wide, along the north slope of the San Bernardino Mountains.

The historical marker relating the Old Woman Springs story sits just past the alfalfa field. Well-known springs and wells in and near Johnson Valley were developed by Heart Bar, as well as Rock Corral.

We had the pleasure of visiting this historic place some 15 years ago. The cottonwoods surround still ponds of fresh water; that year a flock of migrating Canada Geese rested on them.

Rarely open to the public, on Saturday, April 14, you can take an exclusive tour of the handsome ranch house and the surrounding property. Where does all the water come from? What was life like here, for prehistoric nomads, for early 20th Century ranch hands, for residents after the last cattle went to market? Did you know they had a railroad station?

Hosted by the Morongo Basin Historical Society, the tour costs 20.00 for members, 30.00 for non-members. Sign up ASAP! Pre sign-up is a must.

Pre-pay by mailing your check to:
Morongo Basin Historical Society
PO Box 2046
Yucca Valley CA 92286
(write “OWS” on the memo line)

or download the
OWS sign-up sheet from

For more info, contact Claudia at
or call 760-364-7896.

Look for the MBHS sign at the gate. Gates open at 9:30 a.m., tour begins by 10:30.
Bring food and a folding chair for a picnic by the pond and the trees – who knows? You might see those large Canadian visitors floating around.

Don’t miss it. The day may come when the State could fill this age-old view with industrial-scale solar fields.

• Reminder, Saturday, March 17th, behind the firehouse in Lucerne Valley. Not just the stuff that can be collected by volunteers, but all HHW wastes.

Get rid of the old yucky stuff in the garage, motor oil and used filters, old paint remnants and pesticides. They will also take old TV’s computers, printers, cell phones microwaves, all the tired old electronics. Believe it or not, those musical greeting cards should be recycled not trashed.

Bring sharps/needles in an approved container, please.\, but no other medical wastes.

Also, they cannot accept business or commercial wastes, tires or appliances. See the attached flyer for ALL the do’s and dont’s.
>>> You cannot take all of the above items, and more, to the landfills<<<

Easy to get to, only a 25-minute drive from JV on Scenic 247. (Reward yourself with lunch: the Crispy Chicken in the Deli Cafe at Lucerne Valley Market and Hardware.)

Everyone welcome to every Saturday Breakfast, monthly Dinner, scheduled
activities and special events at the Center; you do not have to be a JVIA
member to join the fun.

Johnson Valley Community Center
50567 Quailbush Rd.
From Hwy 247, turn onto Larrea Rd,
go 1-3/4 miles to Quailbush Rd. The building is on your left at the corner.

The Paul Van Hook Desert Dreams Garden is next to the parking lot and open
to visitors for free. When the weather is good and the garden railway crew
are available, the trains may run after Saturday Breakfast (served
7:00-10:00 a.m. in the hall).
Off-roaders navigating by GPS – according to Google Maps, the coordinates for the Community Center are
34.3424938     -116.56066880000003.

When you travel to and from the OHV Area, you can legally cross the highway at any of the community roads, but not travel on the right of way. A dirt trail parallels the highway on the north side. Remember to take it easy, watch out at blind corners.

If you come up Larrea Road, travel alongside it, off the pavement. Plenty of parking at the Center.

See ya,


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