Gay Travel in Twentynine Palms/Morongo Basin
Believe it or not, gay travel to the Twentynine Palms/Morongo Basin area is steadily increasing. Our location between Palm Springs, Lake Havasu, and Las Vegas brings many GLBT visitors to our area, and it shows. Our thriving GLBT community is growing at a rapid rate. Folks wanting to escape the dreariness of San Francisco's weather, the smoginess of WeHo's air, or the traffic jams in the Coachella Valley come here to visit, and they fall in love with it! Many of them end up buying their permanent or retirement homes in the area, and become members of the community. They are artists, social activists, business owners, doctors, musicians, store and office managers, lawyers, teachers, and geographers. If you think you won't meet anyone exciting and interesting while in the Twentynine Palms/Morongo Basin area during your travels, think again! I miss the natural beauty and mystique of the area, but I also miss the people. They are a homey, down-to-earth lot, and they lack the pretentiousness that is found in the city. Best of all, they care about who you are, not what you are. Some of the best friends I've ever made are here, and I wouldn't trade that for anything.
Rock Climbing in Joshua Tree National Park
Rock climbing -- you can't beat it! Nomad Ventures and Joshua Tree Outfitters, both located in Joshua Tree, about fifteen miles west of Twentynine Palms on CA-62, has all the climbing equipment you'll need and more!
The Beauty Bubble Hair Salon and Museum
Where else can you get a modern haircut surrounded by beauty equipment dating back to the late 1800's? Jeff Hafler catered to the Hollywood elite before deciding he had had enough of the city, and moved to the fascinating area of Wonder Valley, located just east of Twentynine Palms. Call Jeff for an appointment and directions. Don't need your hair cut? You are welcome to visit the museum ($5 donation, please).
The Oasis of Murals
I didn't really check out 29 Palms too much. I just strolled through to grab something to eat and get some gas before I headed back into Joshua Tree National Park. There was not much that struck me here except one thing. They call 29 Palms the "Oasis of Murals". Throughout the town there are many murals painted of different themes. Many of them have to do with the town history and people who have lived there for so many years. A lot of the newer ones lean towards a more artistic edge though. If you are driving through, you will see them.
Our Weekend Homestead
"Five Acres of Heaven"
After 10 years of sitting on 5 acres of property in Joshua Tree we bought our Echo Park neighbors homestead cabin in 29 Palms, just down the road from fellow "Weekender" and offbeat LA Celebrity Huel Howser.
From the early 1950s through the late 1960s the US Government patented out land in the High Desert of California, for 5 acre weekend homesteads. Since the 1930s locals had petitioned the US Government to allow the 5 Acre Homesteads. Prior to this the Government only allowed homesteading on 140 acre tracts that required the petitioner to live off the land and to produce a crop.
Once the Government changed the rules the floodgates were open and tens of thousands of people petitioned the Government for their 5 acres and builders popped up everywhere to meet the governments requirements that in order to receive 5 acres free a dwelling of 400 square feet and of adequate construction be built.
Today as you drive across the high desert you’ll see hundreds of decaying homestead houses or “Claim Shacks” strewn across the desert.
Fortunately for us our Echo Park neighbors spent an extra $330 and had theirs built of masonry. Today due to their excellent care our little desert house stands strong.