Lancaster and Palmdale: Footloose and Fancy Free in the High Desert 

Standard

   
Staying true to my stubborn Aries self, I chose to overlook the stern warnings from a coworker about all the dangers of this area, threw caution to the wind and headed out to the “big bad” Antelope Valley Fair for some fun in the High Desert sun. And now that it’s all over, I have to say…Man! What a BLAST! 

My primary goal was to see Dennis DeYoung play a show at the AV Fair, but upon further research I discovered that there really are some cool things to see and do here.  Once there it’s hard to believe that you are still officially in LA County. Whoa… What a difference 78 miles can make!  

First stop, Antelope Valley Winery where we were warmly greeted by Candace and offered two complimentary samples of the locally made wine. Candace took in my feedback from the first pour and was able to pick just the right wine for me! The Runway White was exactly what I was looking for. A very chatty and informative hostess, she suggested I try some dipping pretzels with cheese. And you know what? She hit a homerun! Sitting outside in the shade of a big tree on the lovely Donato Family Vineyards, I got to chillax for a while and take it all in. Just what was needed on this toasty late summer afternoon. Too bad I didn’t arrive a few hours earlier, as they have a Farmers Market Saturdays from 9am to noon. But I did get to meet a really sweet, young couple who recently moved to the area from San Antonio and we chatted about all the incredible things to do in Southern California. Always up for meeting cool people and those kinds of conversations! Such a lovely and memorable afternoon. 

   
  We said our goodbyes and made our way over to the Oxford Inn & Suites Hotel in Lancaster.   

This town, like most others, may have some less than stellar areas and residents, but I will tell you what… I have nothing but positive remarks when it comes to this hotel. The front desk staff were friendly, quick and easy check-in and as luck would have it, I arrived just in time for Happy Hour! Each room receives drink vouchers and access to the late-afternoon Scooby Snacks! I made a small garden salad for my little vegetarian doggy man, Elliott and a small bowl of chips and salsa for me! How cool is that? 

  
The room was neat as a pin and well appointed. 

   

Got little man settled in and headed out for the AV Fair!

Oh boy, me and my fascination with fairs and festivals. The wild rides, neon lights, fried food creations, the laughter, screams and electric energy. Intoxicating! I got an insider tip on the phone when I called to get ticket info on the concert. If you buy a General Admission Ticket to the fair, you can sit in the Grandstands (first come first served) for FREE to watch the shows. Well HELL! I’m all for free! Thanks for the tip! I cruised around for an hour or so before the concert. I love perusing all the booths and exhibition halls. I met Raul, a super interesting Peruvian man who was selling craft goods from his homeland. We talked all things Peru and he even turned me on to the hauntingly angelic voice of Yma Sumac and her song about fairies and spirits called Chuncho. Check it out! God, I love meeting cool new people! 

  
Snagged a perfect front row aisle seat in the grandstands and before I knew it, Dennis DeYoung took the stage! See my separate post on the show. But in summary, BEYOND AWESOME!!! He was everything I had ever hoped for in concert!! 

After the show, I strolled around a bit, snapped some shots of the neon lights, and indulged in the ultimate fair food… FRIED OREOS. OH MY GOD. So sinfully delicious! Like donut holes with melted OREOS in the middle. YOWZA!  Note: I DID give 2 of the 4 away to some kids in line, so as to save myself from complete gluttony. 

    
 As the cliche goes, it’s always best to leave on a high note, so I did just that. Got to my car without incident and made it back to the hotel to reunite with my furry little friend who was anxiously awaiting my return. 

Slept like a log on the ultra comfy bed and while enjoying the fabulous free brekkie in the dining lounge, I meditated on the day ahead. I had wrestled with idea of whether or not to take the trek out to the land of the unknown to check out The Kill Bill Church and finally decided WHAT THE HELL, WHY NOT? The adorable young man at the front desk chatted with me for quite some time and came up with two other filming locations for me to visit, since I would be all the way out there anyway. He even printed out maps for me to each one. So sweet! I had a full tank of gas, 3 bottles of cold water, snacks and Elliott by my side. I was confident that I could make this journey safely and have photos to share. And I did! And here they are! 

Out in the middle of NOWHERE…and I mean NOWHERE, if you pay close attention to directions and mileage, you will come across THE KILL BILL CHURCH. And let me tell you, the vibe is just as desolate and otherworldly as it was in the movie. LOVED IT! Beautifully isolated. Set against a deep blue sky. And no one around…anywhere. Can’t you just picture Uma now? 

  
A suspicious white van passed me, stopped ahead and began to back up in my direction. Without a second thought I took that as my cue to get the hell outta dodge. No sense in sticking around to see what he wanted. 

More peaceful open-road driving amongst scenery like this: 

 

  
And by the grace of the smart phone map, arrived at the next stop…Club Ed. Google it. A movie set built circa 1970’s and has been used in countless productions. Again, you are out in the middle of NOWHERE. Kinda scary yet so exciting at the same time. My adrenaline, along with the A/C was on full blast all day. 

   

   
 Two down, one more to go. I read about Four Aces Movie Set and someone mentioned “watch out for the caretaker, he doesn’t allow anyone to walk around or take photos.” Well as soon as I pulled up, there he was. I was a little nervous until he waved me over with a smile. I told him I was just passing through and was hoping to take a few photographs. Must have been my lucky day. Thanks to my Guardian Angel.

   
    
    

This set was built by a Santa Monica man, who actually built Club Ed way back when. He purchased over 250 acres here and built this multi-faceted movie set. A diner, a mechanics garage and a Route 66-esque Motel. SPECTACULAR down to every single last detail.  

  
  

After a good long visit and chat session we headed out with smiles on our faces and creative spirits buzzing from the thrills of the day. 

The last item on my to-do list was a visit to the world famous Musical Road. Honda engineers actually built grooves into a 1/4 mile stretch of pavement in such a way that when driven over at approximately 65-70 mph you will delight in the sounds of The Lone Ranger Theme song! 

Honestly, how much fun are you allowed to have on any given day? 

All this to say, get out and explore, discover, see, hear, taste, do, experience & live! That’s what we’re here for, right? 

  

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Lancaster and Palmdale: Footloose and Fancy Free in the High Desert 

  1. Anna Overley

    Sally, you never cease to amaze me with your need and drive to find explore the unknown and bizarre. But what an experience you had. And of course you make friends wherever you go. People are drawn to your vibe. Thank you for taking the risk and sharing the trip. Your words and photos are priceless!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s