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• While you are at the Johnson Valley Community Center, pick up your discount Early Bird Oktoberfest tickets!

You can also reserve your tickets online by secure credit card at www.johnsonvalley.com

The 10.00 Admission, now at the discount price until September 30, includes the Dinner, and gets you your entry wristband.
The patio Beer Garden will open at 3:00 p.m., offering five craft beers and a hard cider on tap.

To go with your brew, enjoy fresh homemade pretzel bites FREE while quantities last.

The traditional German Dinner Buffet is between 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Don’t miss out; quantities are limited. Admission will be 12.00 per person after September 30, and at the door on Oktoberfest day, Saturday, October 15.


(For full Oktoberfest details, pick up the latest Johnson Valley Journal in the Community Center, 1.00.
We no longer mail automatically to members; you can subscribe for future issues when the Early Membership Campaign begins this month.)


• Calico was founded in 1881 as a silver mining town in the multicolored Calico Mountains. Inspiration for much of Knott’s Berry Farm, it was preserved and restored by Walter Knott and became a popular destination for its Old West ambiance and curious buildings. This ghost town/theme park is now a county park named Calico Ghost Town.

Calico Days, always a favorite, happens this year on Friday and Saturday, September 24-25.

Fun for the family includes gunfighting shows, fast-draw demos, and musical performances.

Check out the hands-on Old West Encampment. Traditional contests include the annual Costume Contest, the Bucket Brigade, the Burro Run, and the Miner’s Triathlon.

From Johnson Valley, it’s about a 70-mile drive. Turn left onto Hwy 247. Remember, you turn right at the Lucerne Valley Crossroads onto Barstow Rd. to continue on 247 to Barstow (through one of the most scenic sections of this highway).

Turn left to merge onto the I-15 North. Keep left at the fork to stay on I-15 N, go to Exit 191 to Ghost Town Road.

Calico Ghost Town address:
38900 Ghost Town Road,
Yermo, CA 92398-0406
Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for kids ages 4-11, and free for children 3 and under. For more information, call (909) 387-2757.


• We hear from our friends in Lucerne Valley that our Fall “superbloom” of small yellow bouquets is not unique.
Linda Gommel of the Lucerne Valley Market & Hardware wrote that it is, “many bristle chinchweed, a stupid name for a beautiful little flower. Pectis papposa.”

Chuck Bell, of the Lucerne Valley Economic Development Association, and a frequent attendee at the HVCC meetings, wrote,

” ‘Cinch weed’ or ‘pepper grass’. Typical Fall desert plant.  Don’t know the scientific name.  Cattle hardly eat it – very pungent.  I think it’s part of the gazillion species of mustard.  Makes a nice carpet and pretty sure they are native to sandy areas.

But maybe someone can check it out.  My flower book is almost in shreds.”

Ditto here, Chuck.
But a brief online search on www.desertusa.com shows both Linda and Chuck have it right:

Color: Yellow
Common name: Chinchweed, Many-bristle cinchweed
Latin name: Pectis papposa

However, no reference to mustard found so far.

Jim Harvey, who first brought these tiny flowers to our attention, agrees it is pungent, “not a pretty flowery smell at all.”

Not having any experience with the taste preferences of desert cattle, we’ll take Chuck’s word for that part.

All our photos show it in sandy areas at all altitudes in JV. Desert USA does say “especially good for stabilizing or restoring disturbed or degraded areas. May be less suitable for general garden use.” Given the smell, that fits.

“Flowering time: After summer rains, Jun, Sep-Nov”– that sorta fits.
Guess we just missed it all these years – too darn hot to go outside?

• Reminder, the JV Saturday Breakfast hours moved later by half an hour. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. Close at 10:30. No change of menu, still with the never-empty coffee cup. Menu prices and prices for items on the Boutique Table include sales tax. All tips are donations to help operate the Center.

P.S. Help wanted! Vacations and family events have shrunk our pool of volunteers for cooking and serving Saturday Breakfast. If you think you might be able to help out even part of the time, ask the cashier or a server how it works.

The mailing address is:

50567A Quailbush Rd.
Johnson Valley CA 92285

Directions to the Community Center:

From Hwy 247, turn onto Larrea Road and go 1-3/4 miles to Quailbush Rd.
The Community Center is on your left at the corner.

The Paul Van Hook Desert Dreams Garden is next to the parking lot, open to all.
No charge; just keep the dog on the leash and kids out of the train layouts – THANKS!

Betty Munson
c/o Ship-It-Shop
51720 Hacienda Rd.
Johnson Valley CA 92285

By Betty Munson

Betty Munson c/o Ship-It-Shop 51720 Hacienda Rd. Johnson Valley CA 92285

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