A few weeks ago my Honey and I went on a Sunday afternoon drive to the desert ~ out toward Twenty-Nine Palms (home to a large Marine Base). It was not ALL pleasure, we were on a mission; to see a piece of dirt he and his siblings inherited. As we always do when we're heading off the mountain, we checked out "places of interest" we might be crusing by during our outing. As luck would have it, we'd be going by Yucca Valley, in the Morongo Basin, which would put us very near PIONEERTOWN! (It's about 26 miles north of Palm Springs).
PIONEERTOWN was built back in the '40's as a wild west movie set. The day we visited, the desert weather was perfect at 73 degrees. We meandered around MANE Street as did a couple dozen other "tourists." Normally, this place is bustling on weekends with, not only people checkin' out a "bit of the past," but with Gunslingers, Saloon Gals in their tight-waisted, frilly dresses, giddy-up horses and the likes. If you're hangin' out the second and last Sunday of the month (April thru October) you'll see some shoot-outs...so watch your back! Just check out some of these mean lookin' faces and you'll know what I mean!
ROY ROGERS, a famous singing cowboy/movie star, played a big role in PIONEERTOWN. He was the one responsible for the building of PIONEER BOWL, and much more. It's said he threw out the first ball. Besides Roy, other celebrity western-stars who spent time filming cowboy flicks here were Gene Autry, The Cisco Kid, Gail Davis, Judge Roy Bean, Hopalong Cassidy and Bud Abbott...to name a few. Picture the heydays back then, if you will.
We'd already eaten lunch before we headed to PIONEERTOWN, otherwise we would have grabbed some grub at Pappy and Harriets Pioneertown Palace, located right thar on the property. This particular day it was packed with folks who had some nice lookin' Harley's parked outside by the hitching post. Oh boy, did the smell of bar-b-cue and onions ever surround that joint!
Now if you've come a long distance and want to bunk down for the night, you might want to rest your weary bones where the stars (as in movie) slept, at the "original" PIONEERTOWN MOTEL. I'm tellin' ya'll, this place is cute as a bug's ear and will make ya think you've stepped into some time-machine! You might wanna call ahead fer reservations.... And get this, they even have stables to board your horse if that's what you galloped in on.
There's so much more to say, but if I told you every blasted detail then I'd be taken' some of the fun out of it for you, if you decide (and you're near or passing through this beautiful desert area) to drop in and see this spread... and you really should!
Don't fret, you don't have to put on chaps, hats or boots to visit PIONEERTOWN. Just say Yee-haw every now-and-again to the fine folks who take care of this yippee i o get along little doggie wild-west "faux" town.
Lil' extras to check out:
- OLD PHOTOS ~ From way back when.
- FILMOGRAPHY ~ List of some of the movies made here.
- MORONGO BASIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY ~ Thank goodness for these folks!
(any typos or gramm-er boo boo's ya'll saw was dun on perpose) :)
YOUR #1 ACTIVERAINER IN SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY & THE SAN BERNARDINO MTNS.