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REDUX: January 2010-Off Roading Legacy is worth fighting for

By   /   May 18, 2014  /   7 Comments

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(Originally posted January 2010)-29 Palms Off Roaders have a wonderful and long history of homesteading and public service. From the very first homesteaders off-roading was a not only a way to get from point A to point B but the only way many could get into the basin. The Off-Road Legacy is heralded in murals through out the town. The first bus service was an off-road excursion.

Starting in 1938, Johnnie Hastie provided public transportation from the desert to “down below.” He built his first bus from a used 1928 Chevrolet truck, adding a wooden body, seats for 12 passengers and a sturdy roof to haul cargo. During winter a stove onboard provided warmth from wood that his passengers had gathered. When tires and gas were rationed during World War II, Johnnie filled endless shopping requests in Banning, hauling ladies dresses, restaurant and mining supplies, even live chickens. He also served as a courier for local businesses until the first bank opened in Twentynine Palms. When Johnnie retired in 1973, he had driven over seven million accident-free miles. This 13- by 32-foot tribute was painted by artist Tim O’Connor of Twentynine Palms at 73339 29 Palms Highway (Superior Automotive). Dedicated: February 15, 1997.

The 29 Community Trails Plan celebrates that long legacy of our founders. We need to get behind this plan and make your voice heard.

It is almost as if these latte licking tie-dye wearing hairy arm pitted left coast refugees have got us defending our lifestyle as if we are are bad guys. Well Ladies and Gentlemen we are not the bad guys. We are the majority, and it is damned time we let the City know.

Write or email your Council and let them know that you will remember how they treat the off road community at the ballot box.



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About the author

Dan OBrien


Cactus Thorns has been online in one form or the other since 2001. What started as a personal blog documenting the corruption and lack of Due Process of the 29 Palms Community Development Department has turned into over these many years into a hugely popular Independent Alternative News Media Outlet. We have partnered with other media including The Desert Star Weekly, Joshua Tree Star, other blogs, indie media and an incredible staff of volunteer Reporters, Commentators and Opinion Makers to create one of the most read, honest and dependable alternative to the Local traditional Media services in the country. Thanks to you the reader we are in the 5% of most read sites in the World.


  1. Why are the Anti against legal Off-Highway Vehicle trails in 29 Palms? Why are the Anti against removing the unconstitutional part of Ordinance 3973? Why do the Anti claim 199 off-roaders will be assembled on a property next door to you?

    The reason is power control and money. Look around have you ever seen large groups of people assembled anywhere except at the parade or carnival? The answer is NO. This Anti movement is about sterilization of the desert. The Coordinator of the Community ORV Watch was caught running illegal Vacation Rentals and this touched off an investigation.

    This Anti movement is not about OHV use its about Vacation Home Rental Income. You see the Anti believe their Hoity Toity vacation home renter wants the desert sterile. Anything that the renter might not appreciate should be removed to increase rental income and repeat business.

    I personally do not believe in the spraying of Malathion or spreading of poison pellets just so some City Folk don’t get spooked by a bug or something. I could care less if Mr. and Mrs. Hoity Toity don’t want to see my son on his mini bike on a dirt road I pay to maintain.

    The wildlife and my son were here before the weekend renter so the vacation home owner needs to come to grips that WE come first. These Anti do not care about you, I, or the community they care about their rental income and agenda only.

  2. desertracerswife desertracerswife says:


    Its pretty sad.

    They have no problem building their houses and fire pits over burrows do they?

    And if they really cared about the homesteads like the Poste one, why is there so many that are falling in ruins without a care? And what about the ones they are renting out? Do they really care or is this a smoke screen used to pull on the heart string of people?

    Also lets talk about vacation rentals. Are the owners really concerned about the turtles and other animals? In their rental homes do they have a desert wildlife guide to assist those from LA and other city areas that don’t have any idea about our wildlife in the desert? If so I would LOVE to see it.

    Lets think about it, your from LA, hanging around staring at the mountains and a turtle walks through the yard. You have never seen a live desert tortise..what do you do? A) point at it in utter shock or B) pick it up?

    Us in the desert know not to touch them, but the idiots they are renting to will most likley pick it up and have a photo-op with it to show all their friends.

    For crap sake.. its not rocket science. As Ken said, the only thing they truley care about is the money lining their pockets.

  3. Branson Hunter Branson Hunter says:

    An out of town cabin owner near me comes out from Orange County with family members and friends several times a year to ride all over the desert as though they own thousands of acres of BLM lands. My area is not a designated riding area.

    Once a very old and very large Tommy tortoise appeared. They brought Big Tommy back to their camp for the weekend. Of course, that was a death sentence Tommy. But I’m sure the camp fire warmed his little body during the fun and games.

    An Australian who owns land out here with a container on his property told me told me about Big Tommy after they had gone. The Australian was part of their group. I saw big Tommy a few day before the crowd arrived. He was just munching on some desert grass, most likely thinking about getting his plan together for the upcoming mating season.

    Big Tommy would have made good dish for Ken’s Grandmother’s tortoise soup recipe he had in here several years ago.

    Nonetheless, I’m spoke to these fine folks about §3793 and the need to stay on their 20 acres, and Code Enforcement has warned them numerous times. Nice people though. But it hasn’t sunk in.

    Next time the come out here, I’m going to get a hold of FOGR and request they come out here and talk to them. The FOGR group seem to be good people. That’s not all I’m going to do. But that’s for another day.

    I think this story cements the view that most of the out of town riders are usually the ones that cause much of the problems.

  4. Branson you really cant call a property owner an out of towner. You could say the owner of a Cabin near me. Now if they were renting a vacation home for the weekend out of towner would fit. No property owner can be called an out of towner simply because they own.

    Branson you have been bugging me for grandmas recipe so here goes. The main problem with turtle soup is cleaning the turtle. You have to be certain that every last speck of fat is removed from the meat before cooking. This is not too difficult because the fat is between the skin and the flesh.

    To butcher a turtle you start by chopping off the turtle’s head. Be careful because the head will still bite even after it is removed from the body and the body will still crawl away after the head is removed. Turtles don’t die right away.

    When the body stops trying to crawl away, dip it in boiling water and scrape off the exterior layer of skin, including the shell. The result will be a bright white carcass, compared to the muddy brown-green you started with.

    Next step is to remove the shell. Cut along grove on each side between the front and back legs. It is the narrowest part of the shell. The tail, neck and all four legs are attached to the top of the shell. Remove from shell and you have the bulk of the meat. However, there will be some meat on the bottom shell and top shell.

    It is at this point that you remove the fat. Just roll back the skin and with a paring knife and your index finger scrape out the fat.

    Good luck with your turtle soup Branson. Just cook it long with lots of vegetables and it will be good if you removed all of the fat :)

    Sometimes it better to stay out of the neighbors business unless you want the neighbors in your business. Example is Sherry Hall

  5. Branson Hunter Branson Hunter says:

    Ken, Dan wrote an interesting article informing off-road vehicles are apart of Basin history. It was good public relations. Your several posts undermines what I thank Dan was trying to accomplish.

    Out of town land owners who use their land and break the law — be they under code or not paying bed taxes, or illegal offroaders — are not much different. I’ll disagree with on this you Ken.

    The problems I have is that you’re always are on the side of illegal off-roaders. Out of town owners have the right to enjoy their land, but not to violate state, county and federal laws.

    It’s more effective (and more productive) working at amelioration of legal off-roader’s bad rap, than fanning the flames of bad public relations.

  6. Branson please with your vast knowledge and thanking of what Dan was trying to get across explain to us how my above posts side with illegal activity. IM waiting…..

    Oh and my son on his mini bike on a dirt road I pay to maintain is legal

  7. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    Dan, what is the status of the Couinty’s Off Road Trail plan? You and I sat on the city’s sub-committee and it was decided that the city wouldn’t establish their plan till the county did in order for the trails to mesh. So you could go from 29 to Johnson Valley on one trail.

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