I’m born and raised desert. Born in Las Vegas raised in the deserts of Southern California. I am one of a handful of people who can actually say they lived in Baker CA.
Baker. “The Gateway to Death Valley” is what the sign says if you stop there for soda or gas on your way to or from Las Vegas off the 15. Baker has a huge thermometer telling you it’s hot. Not much else to see. Death Valley is the obviously more famous attraction.
Our family lived there for a couple of years when I was in 2nd and 3rd grade. My father worked for the phone company. They housed roughly 30 families out in the middle of nowhere Baker so the workers could go to the different mountains and probably set up the stations and towers most of us use for phone services today. Or I could be entirely wrong and whatever they worked on 40 years ago has been replaced by a tiny machine. Truly no clue. None the less it was why I lived in Baker in the 70’s and was really the start of me being a desert kid. I remember catching lizards with some of the other kids and bringing them home to mom hoping to get to keep them as a pets.
From there work moved my father and everyone else in our Baker compound, ugh I probably forgot to mention, the houses where we were lived were all built in this community type style fenced in as a group. It became a minimum security prison later or so I was told! Any way they moved everyone to the High Desert. Victorville, Hesperia and Apple Valley. Dad built our house in Hesperia.
One of my chores growing up was weeding. Mostly tumble weeds but the usual prickly bad guys were there too. In oversized gloves dad had already used countless times that were full of thorns I would be sent to a section of fencing to clear along. Oh man my dad would get mad if I just broke the top of the weed off and didn’t try to get the root and all. I am not lying he would check. This is the same man who would say “Good afternoon.” to me at 9 am on a Saturday and scowl because I had slept in so late.
I lost part of my pinkie finger in an accident at the dump due to yard work. It’s a long story I will write at another time when safety becomes a topic.
What took me way too long to get at is I’m by no means a professional desert anything. I am not a plant/cactus expert, nature guru, whatever nor am I claiming to be or even in school to become any of that. No, I have just lived and done yard work in the desert a really long time so hopefully when I say it’s hot out or don’t touch that or you probably shouldn’t it’s with some old school desert credibility.
Here in AZ we have plants and animals that only live in this desert. I want to share some pretty awesome stuff with those of you who may never make it to this part of the world. Or maybe I can inspire you to come see it and experience it yourself.
In the roughly three weeks we have been in our new home I already have stories… and its with that I bring you this blog.