Johnson Valley News 03/28/2019

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• Make plans now to come to the Johnson Valley Spring Dinner next Saturday, April 6th. Better than a restaurant, and only 7.00 per person; kids 12 and younger, 4.00.

of the Community Center open at 4:30 p.m. Dinner is at 5:00. Feast on
spiral-cut ham, potatoes, whipped-cream corn, green salad, plus
scrumptious desserts like Linda’s famous bread pudding, lemon mousse and

We also invite you to stay after dinner for the latest
news, announcements, plans for the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta on May 4th, the
general meeting, the last one until June, and door prizes!

Take the opportunity to get your tickets for the big raffle prize, see below.


Bigtime shutdown this weekend of Old Woman Springs Road (aka scenic Hwy
247), but the first 30 miles from Yucca Valley remain open.

you weekenders and visitors usually coming via Cajon Pass, a detour
using the I-10 to Hwy 62 north to Yucca Valley, then on to Hwy 247 to
Johnson Valley, may add a few miles, but you may find it somewhat
quicker. However, who can guess what kind of traffic patterns this
closure can cause?

The 2-way shutdown starts at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, March 29,
from Camp Rock Road (milepost 40) in Lucerne Valley to Bessemer Mine
Road (milepost 31) near Old Woman Springs Ranch. However, preparatory
work beforehand on the actual four miles under construction, with
flagmen holding traffic back to one lane in alternating directions,
usually adds a considerable amount of time to your trip.

Re-opening is at 6:00 a.m. Monday morning, April 1.

See the Caltrans Commuter Alert attached.


We hear acres of flowers can be seen in lower elevations driving up
from the I-10 through Morongo Pass. Between Yucca Valley and Johnson
Valley on Scenic 247, some of the best California desert scenery looks
Ireland green including the black lava buttes at Pipes Wash.

wildly-varying landscapes of the Homestead Valley show you a forest of
budding Joshua Trees and yuccas of Yucca Mesa, the open views from
Flamingo Heights and Landers, the mountains around Johnson Valley – all
transformed by more rain than we have seen in years.

Now every
creosote bush hosts a lush colony of fiddlehead, desert dandelion, white
chicory, and purple phacelia. Belly flowers have begun to carpet the
gaps. Trailing lavender-pink sand verbena and the tiny yellow Mexican
poppies color the dirt roadsides. Every week sees changes.

As you
head west in Johnson Valley from milepost 20 on, the desert looks much
as it looked when prehistoric nomadic tribes walked the trail now called
Old Woman Springs Road and the pioneer cowboys and homesteaders

Maybe the cottonwoods at Old Woman Springs Ranch have
greened up. You get that far before the roadwork closure (turn around at
the historical marker or Bessemer Mine Road).

Please be careful.
Locals get used to sharing a two-lane highway with drivers who ignore
55mph speed limits and serious no-passing zones. But even so, watch out
for vehicles making sudden photography stops.

For those who do
not usually go this way, you can find travelers’ services about mile
8-10 in Flamingo Heights. Ordinary cars navigate many of the
communities’ dirt roads ok. Go prepared for desert challenges if you
plan to head north into the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area.
Take it easy, enjoy.


Come to the Community Center for any event or Saturday Breakfast,
7:00-9:00 a.m. and take a stroll afterward in the Paul Van Hook Desert
Dreams Garden next to the parking area.

Weather permitting, the model trains may be running on the newly-expanded garden railway, see below.

which of the drought-tolerant but well-watered plants and trees have
waked up in the warmer days. Some have already bloomed, and the native
wildflowers have started. Some, like the famous Orange Jubilee, really
love summer heat and wait for warmer nights to come alive.

Take a
look at the commemorative bricks in the walkway to the pavilion. Think
about adding a memory of your own for garden visitors to see, now’s the
time. People, families, pets, memorials, acknowledgments, organizations,
military, whimsical messages, homesteaders – your laser-engraved
message can be anything you feel like.

The bricks are
terracotta-color engraved in black. Delivery usually takes about a month
after we build up the minimum order of five of either size and pay the
After costs, JVIA divides your donation equally for maintenance of the Garden and the Community Center.
4×8” size, 50.00 + 10.00 setup fee.
8×8” size, 100.00 + 10.00 setup fee.
The design is free; you receive a proof before we place the order.

up the order forms at the lobby desk, or e-mail me for one. If you want
to order a brick as a gift, we will send a card to the recipient if you
wish, and a notice when it is in place.

• Court Prittie, Don Minnix and Ken Cash have been working on the railroad and the garden pathways.

the G-scale train layout, moving boulders, and performing trial runs
with Court’s larger locomotives, makes the crew pretty sure visitors
will have a good show even before the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta.

will know what I’m saying here: the big Hudson steam locomotive passed
the expanded curves with flying colors, bells and whistles. The huge
#4014 Big Boy, even though articulated, encountered problems on the
largest available standard curves. This requires future adjustments to
the layout, making custom-curved track, but Court is determined. He’s
had this 45-pound four-foot-long loco for years and never had a track
that could handle it.

Bad news: Some damage to newly-laid rails
showed up this week. It looked like they had been stepped on, and the
foundation of the raised and leveled rail bed had to be re-done. PLEASE
make sure kids stay outside the Garden Railway layout at all times; they
are too young to understand if adults don’t warn them, tracks, town
buildings and G-scale figures are not toys!
NO ONE wants a big honkin’ fence in this garden.

Watch your step. You may encounter work in progress, garden hose or tools on the dirt pathways at any time.


The Morongo Basin Conservation Association has announced that
registration is now open for the 2019 Desert-Wise Landscape Tour on
April 27 and 28.

 The registration page at includes a link to a pre-Tour Guide that provides details about this year’s Tour.

Registration is $10 for non-members, $5 for members. You may start or renew your membership as part of your Tour registration.

April 7, the online Tour Book and Directions will be sent to you. You
can get your printed Tour Book at the MBCA  table during the Yucca
Valley Earth Day Fair, Saturday, April 20, as well as at four
registration sites each day of the Tour.

• Have you seen the gleaming stainless steel barbecue cart on display as you come in the hall?

Get tickets to win this beauty anytime before our Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, May 4, only a dollar each, six for 5.00.

prize, donated to us for a fundraiser by Home Depot in Yucca Valley, is
a Dyna-Glow gas outdoor grill cart with two stainless steel burners
equipped with steel tents for even heating across the whole grill.

thermometer built into the stainless hood, easy-to-read when closed,
gives you perfectly cooked food without cooking the cook. Also included,
a warming rack and side shelves, one of which opens for a burner for
pots or pans.

Easy to clean and maintain, easy to roll away. Don’t miss this chance to roll it away yourself!

If you can’t make it to the Cinco de Mayo party, be sure to write your name and phone number on the back of each ticket you buy.

• Reminder, Dr. Chris Lawrence plans to be back in Johnson Valley tomorrow, Friday, March 29,
for the weekend. His mobile chiropractic care vehicle carries three
sizes of portable tables, therapeutic ultrasound, vibratory massage, hot
packs, and ice packs.

Call or text for an appointment at your home or office, 760-810-2443. Or schedule an office visit in Apple Valley if you prefer.

Members of the Johnson Valley Improvement Association receive the
Johnson Valley Journal six times a year. It contains news, Association
events, photos of wildlife, OHV happenings, history, and advertisements
for businesses willing and able to serve us out here and on the highway.

Your stories and photos could be part of it! Deadline for
receiving items for the May-June issue is April 12. Ask about ad sizes
and rates for your business or service.

If you are not a JVIA member yet, you may join anytime, only 15.00 per person for the rest of 2019.

JV NEWS e-mail keeps you up to date between Journals, including stories
and information published in the weekly community news columns in the
Hi-Desert Star. If you prefer not to receive these e-mails, just reply
and say Cancel.
out the Bear Jamboree on the Spring Boutique Table – teddy bears for
all ages.  Poker fans will love the poker-face Lucky Bears; Lucky
Lottery Bears keep your tickets safe. It’s a sure bet the other little
bears will find a good home, also. Superhero Dog has already left the

Shop the New-To-You Table every time you come to the
Center. Newly-donated items arrive every week; you donate whatever you
wish to pay for them. Need a few utensils for cabin or camper? How about
games or puzzles? Collectibles and home decor? You never know what you
will find next! Always just what you need! (And if you have some useful
items in good shape, bring them in! Almost anything goes, but sorry, we
do not have room to store or display clothing or shoes.)

All proceeds go toward the activities and events at the Center.

JOHNSON VALLEY” bumper stickers designed by Paula Mattecheck as a
fundraiser for Pets of the Hammers, available at the Community Center,
Your choice of two versions, 1.00 each, six for 5.00.

Visit Pets of the Hammers on Facebook; they reunite lost or found pets in Johnson Valley with their families all year long!

the trails in the Johnson Valley OHV Area just across the highway. Take
pictures, please – skies, flowers, rock formations, junior off-roaders,
family trail riding – and e-mail them to me.

Get your Sidekick
Offroad Map of the Johnson Valley OHV Area when you come to the
Community Center, a topographical map, showing the original Hammers
trails, general information, and off-road tips. The folding paper map is
3:00. The silkscreened Bandanna Map is 8.00. Don’t leave home without

Navigating by GPS? – find your way to the Community Center:
34.3424938     -116.56066880000003.
through the community roads is not necessary when you head to or from
the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area. Go straight down the
nearest road to the highway, cross directly over the highway legally to
use the dirt trail that parallels the north side of Hwy 247.

Please travel on the dirt alongside the pavement if you come up Larrea Road while in or on a green-sticker vehicle.

any vehicle, street-legal or not, going over 25mph damages dirt roads.
Delivery vehicles and the trash truck do the worst, but OHVs get the
blame. Volunteers to do tractor work and drag the roads: no County
maintenance here, just your neighbors.

Noise can carry, and dust can drift a long way. Let’s not annoy the folks who live here.

is welcome to every event at the Center! Both JVIA members and
non-members are welcome to scheduled activities and special events!

Regularly-scheduled events:
Saturday Breakfast, 7:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Dinner, every 1st Saturday at 5:00 p.m. followed by the General Meeting (except May and October).

Board Meeting, on Friday following the 1st Saturday, 6:00 p.m.
Card Club on Tuesdays, noon-4:00 p.m.
Hobby Club on Wednesdays 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m, except the 4th Wednesday; they come in on the 4th Friday, 10:00 a.m.
Quilters every 4th Wednesday, 9:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Special events:
Homestead Valley Community Council holds regular meetings here three
times a year on the third Monday, at 3:00 p.m. The next will be in June
and October.
These monthly meetings rotate among the four Homestead
Valley community centers: Flamingo Heights, Yucca Mesa, and Landers,
then back to Johnson Valley. None are very far apart, easy to get to
from here on Hwy 247. The Next HVCC meeting, Monday, April 15, 3:00 p.m.
at the Yucca Mesa Community Center. Our County Supervisor Dawn Rowe
plans to be there.

JVIA Fundraising events: Cinco de Mayo Fiesta,
May 4, and Oktoberfest, October 12, usually begin in the afternoon.
They include great food, plus margaritas and craft Mexican-style lager
in May, and lots of craft beers and cider in October. No General
Meetings those months.

The Center and the Garden are available
for your birthday celebrations, family gatherings, weddings. JVIA asks
for a donation to cover overheads and that you leave the place as you
found it. Check with me for availability.

Johnson Valley Community Center
50567 Quailbush Rd.
Johnson Valley CA 92285

From Hwy 247, turn onto Larrea Rd,
go 1-3/4 miles up to Quailbush Rd. You see the building on your left at the corner.
(Scroll to the bottom of the website page, click on the JOHNSON VALLEY WILDFLOWERS button)

Betty Munson

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