Monday, February 06, 2006

Plenty to see in Ol' J.T.

Chickens seem to follow me everywhere
We had a great time in Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley this past weekend. The weather was the mid-70's during the day, low-60's at night. Most of our daytime excursions involved shopping. We went to the Swap Meet at the Yucca Valley Drive-in on Old Woman Springs Road, then we hit a few thrift shops and antique stores. My friend, Jacquie drove in from Palm Springs and toured some of the shops with us.
The Swap Meet at the old drive-in is really fun and very picturesque. People just drive in their pick-up trucks, drop down the tail-gate and sell their junk. The owners of the Swap have built some old west tableaus on the grounds. If you're looking for machinery, nuts, bolts, old pottery, sun-fried CDs, records, etc., this is your place! Once in awhile I find some interesting costume jewelry or some old yarn. Once, years ago, I found this great little accordion in perfect condition. I don't play the accordion, but for $25 it was too wonderful to pass up!
This time, I didn't purchase a thing at the Swap Meet. I did get some groovy 60's and 70's crochet and knitting magazines at a local thrift shop though. One of my fave finds was this little monkey vase. In the old days I would have bought this immediately. Today, I'm satisfied with taking a photo of it. I just don't have room for anymore knick-knacks! Another highlight, located in one of the antique stores is the Coleman Langern Museum. It doesn't take much to excite me. This is also one of Mr. Larry's must-visit spots in Yucca Valley.
Antone Martin's Desert Christ Park
Later in the day we drove over to Desert Christ Park on the Mohawk Trail in Yucca Valley. This park was conceived by artist-sculptor Antone Martin. In the early 1950's he constructed figures out of concrete of Christ, Mary, the 12 apostles and other biblical figures, scattered among the joshua trees and yucca plants on a sloping, rocky area. During the earthquake of '92, many of the statues toppled over and were damaged. Subsequently, vandals hit the park and did more damage. Today, however a foundation has been formed and volunteers are working to restore many of the statues. If you're interested in contributing to the Foundation, check out this website. The park is a very beautiful and surreal place. I've been visiting for almost 20 years and have seen many changes in the surrounding area. The Desert Christ Park remains as a wonderful example of folk art.
You never know what you'll see in the high desert. We even came upon a truck-drivin' poodle!



At 7:23 AM PST, Blogger MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

AHHHHHHHH!!!!! MONKEYS!!!!! :) I *so* would have bought that off of you! And the Christ park thing looks fantastic (surreal is the perfect word). Even tho I'm not big on the religion thing, with your description and the pix, I'm drawn to it. Mebbe I can convince my pack to roam that direction next time we have an outing. Its kinda like ancient Rome + Pompeii + ???

Verrah kewel.

At 12:07 PM PST, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Hey Monkeygurrrrrl....Yes, the ceramic monkeys were cute...the photo will have to suffice. If you're THAT interested, I can tell you where the store is in Yucca Valley. I'm sure the piece is still there.
I like your revelation that Antone Martin's Desert Christ Park is like Pompeii...excellent observation!

At 5:25 PM PST, Blogger carlita dee said...

Do I see $300 on that monkey vase? You could get ten live monkeys for that!

OK. The truck driving poodle? That's what cameras are made to capture!

At 5:50 PM PST, Blogger MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

:) Yeah, okay. I saw the $300 price tag. Good thing I have the picture. Thanks, Ellen!


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