Just Outside LA – Pioneertown, CA


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Sometimes you just have to get out of “Dodge”.  David and I took the opportunity to see one of our favorite bands play at “Pappy and Harriet’s” road house in Pioneertown, CA.  just a couple of hours outside of Los Angeles.  The draw was the ultra talented JD McPherson (Listen here) and their opening band, The Cactus Blossoms (from NE Minneapolis) playing in this intimate setting.  We headed east toward Palm Springs on the 210 freeway ending up in Yucca Valley.  The land of the Joshua Tree, almost another planet.

Pappy and Harriet’s itself could be enough for a visit.  It feels like John Wayne himself will ride up on horseback and greet you.

Pappy and Harriets


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DSC_0217 Pappy's door


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Our love for this music started back in Minneapolis listening to them on The Current.  One of our first LA concerts, was hearing the band perform at the Troubador last fall.  Each of these guys is such a talent on their own, and together they blow you away.

20141102_224659 Cactus Blossoms

20141102_230018 Pappy's sign at night

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Since it’s a 2 hour drive from LA, we decided to stay overnight.  We found an Airbnb listing for a great price. The view alone was worth every penny.  Four Stars.  Oh, and the star gazing was incredible.  Evening cocktails on the patio and french press coffee in the morning (bring your own coffee).  Down the hill in the little town of Yucca Valley they do have a funky coffee shop Cafe Ma Rouge with organic fare if you don’t want to brew your own.

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DSC_0271 joshua tree visitor center

Desert hiking had never been high on my “to do” list, but  we were only miles from Joshua Tree National Park, so we had to check it out.  It’s GORGEOUS and something everyone should take advantage of in So. CA.  Just fifteen dollars to park and a full day of trails and vistas.  Trails are for all levels, and rock faces for expert climbers as well.  I’m not a camper, but the campsites were inviting, especially in this cool Fall weather.

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You know how we love authentic tacos.  We found Algoberto’s on the main drag in Yucca Valley and brought them back to our house to eat with a view.  I’m a cheap date.  Just add tequilla and stars.  Best $14 meal you’ll ever have.

IMG_20100826_135656 algobertos tacos


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On our way out of town we checked out a few thrift stores and this fun antique store in search of our favorite mid-century modern treasures.

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DSC_0015 Moutains


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The drive is easy (if you go post rush hour) and the painted hills and snow capped mountains along the way so beautiful.  Proof positive you can get out of town, experience a totally different atmosphere on a dime.  GO.


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