Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Windy Weekend in Ridgecrest, CA



We spent four nights parked next to our Lazy Daze twin at friends Robin and Lydia’s house in Ridgecrest, home of China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station where Lydia is employed. It’s not the most “happening” kind of town, but we did a little sightseeing, beer tasting, hiking, biking and socializing, despite a couple days of high winds.

We visited these Arc Houses, innovative tiny homes of 400-500 square feet with high arched ceilings and a wall of windows. You can see more photos of the finished product on the builder’s website, Shelter Dynamics.


They have two that are being worked on for a show in June. This one had been a model home previously but they got new sponsors for the appliances and such, so it was being completely redone inside.




The high arched ceilings make it seem very spacious, but closet and cabinet space was minimal. We could imagine one of these sitting on a bluff overlooking the ocean.


Although Ridgecrest does not have its own brewery, Indian Wells Brewery near Inyokern is only about 15 miles away. Of course we had to stop, since this is Lydia’s favorite beer. It’s good stuff!



Robin buying a couple jars of her favorite snack. We never did try one.



Besides making some nice tasting beers, they are also famous for their wide variety of sodas.



On Saturday we drove 20 miles east of Ridgecrest to the Trona Pinnacles, an interesting geological area of over 500 tufa pinnacles rising from the bed of the Searles Dry Lake basin.

But on the way we stopped by the Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse and Burro Corrals. Managed by the BLM, the captured horses and burros are prepared for adoption here. It’s closed on weekends but there is a perimeter dirt road you can drive around to get closer to the animals.




It’s a four mile washboard road to get here, but this is BLM land so you can camp for free. There is one not very clean vault toilet.

We weren’t sure what was going on with all these vehicles but found out they were shooting a Toyota commercial.



It was an interesting place to hike and climb around on the pinnacles. For it being a Saturday we were surprised there were only a couple other people out there, besides the film crew.



Lydia has done some really good night photography among the pinnacles. It’s an eerie barren landscape.




Robin and Lydia’s cute klee kai puppy Koyuk.



Apparently a Toyota made it to the moon.



We also wandered the streets of Randsburg, a old gold mining town just off Hwy 395 south of Ridgecrest.






No need to go to Mexico for teeth.


I think we may have found our next RV, and it even has solar. Look closely at the VW van on the deck.


There is a lot of rusty stuff around town.

Ridgecrest 2016

We also went for a chilly, windy hike in the Radamacher Hills. The house Robin and Lydia were living in when we visited them in 2013 was just a short walk from one of the trailheads so we had been here before, but it’s a good place for a workout as all trails lead up.




It was a fun weekend, despite having to spend an extra day waiting out the strong winds. Today we’re heading for the hills.


  1. Those Arc Houses would be like living in an RV. They look very nice.
    How could you not taste Robin's favorite snack. Looks so yummy...not!
    Used dentures? Good grief.

  2. About tiny houses, I often hear from folks who couldn't imagine living in one. Imagine, though the stock house may not have enough storage, you could hammer on the walls.....Add to the structure without worrying about the weight!! You could accumulate stuff!! Oh wait those are the same folks that couldn't image living in an RV..... Lots variety and fun stuff today!

  3. Actually this looks like a very fun time. LOL at the name of Lydia's favorite brew. We adopted two burros from Death Valley in the mid 80's. Wonder if they were ever at that facility?

  4. Where to begin?? The used dentures, bizarre sodas, Magic Bus, Toyota moon landing…..hilarious!!! I've always wanted my own burro. Not so sure how that fits in with our traveling lifestyle, though. :-))

  5. Love those Arc houses! Looks like you made the most of your time in a rather desolate area. Martian Poop!

  6. I was just reading about those Arc Houses yesterday. They look interesting but I would struggle with lack of cabinet/closet space. Although this looks like an interesting place to spend a few days, I am looking forward to the next post, one of my favorite places to explore.

  7. Very interesting places! The Arc house is really neat. I'll have to keep an eye out for the Toyota commercial. It definitely looks like the moon (from I've seen in photos...never been there...haha).

  8. We're still looking for the Land Rover commercial we saw filming in Lone Pine in October! What a fun visit - you really saw a lot in that little place. Mom lived in Trona in the '30s....can you imagine? Love the Arc house, like living in a piece of art. Hope the winds stay calm.

  9. Jim...waiting for the White House Saloon to open, no doubt. Seems like Will Robinson should be in those photos. Wonder if all those hiking trails were there back in the days of Lost in Space filming...

  10. What fun! Lots to do around that area. Mo lived in China Lake a long time ago, and I lived in Lake Isabella. My best memory of Ridgecrest is the 60 mile drive while in labor to deliver my third child at the hospital there. Ah well...life is fun and you two are certainly having a good time.

  11. Ridgecrest is certainly well-known for wind. In fact, you don't use a car-cover in that place unless you have tie-downs. Our son has had to replace roof tiles, even.

    If you are going back, see if you can make reservations to be guided to some petroglyphs on the base. I think the isolated "silly putty" factory (chemists) on the base hosts one of the guides

    1. They had a guided petroglyph tour on Saturday while we were there but it was booked weeks in advance. Besides, Jim has kind of had his fill of petroglyphs!

  12. What fun meeting up with you in the hills, as one of our friends described it: "an RV blind date!". Now in touch with Sue because of you folks, looking forward to many chris-crossings on the road.