April 10, 2021

Photo Essay: Camp Iron Mountain, The Best-Preserved WWII-Era Training Camp in Gen. Patton's Desert Training Center

About 50 miles west of the Arizona border, 32 miles north of the town of Desert Center...

...north of the juncture of Highways 62 and 177... one of the best-preserved sites of General George S. Patton’s training efforts in the high desert during World War II. 

April 09, 2021

Photo Essay: An Easter Sunday Celebration at West Hollywood's Historic St. Victor Catholic Church

I'd been meaning to swing back by St. Victor Catholic Church in West Hollywood during the pandemic to document its stunning stained glass windows and mosaic mural—but somehow, even with so much more time on my hands, I hadn't gotten around to it yet.

I hadn't been to mass there since Christmas 2019—but then again, my formal church visits are usually few and far between. 

I'm much more likely to go to any church for some quiet reflection on a solo, unceremonious trip. 

But then Easter rolled around and, well, what better time? 

April 07, 2021

Photo Essay: A Sun-Soaked Stay at a Modernist Hacienda in Borrego Springs

The first time I stayed overnight in Borrego Springs, it was at Palms at Indian Head—a Mid-Century resort palace that still captures my imagination and draws me to visit, even if I haven't booked a room there. 

Since then, I've gone camping in the park, stayed in a tipi in Ranchita, slept on a military cot on my friend's porch in a windstorm, partied hard at the Warner Springs Ranch, and tried out Mid-Century motel life at Stanlunds Inn (the former Guppy Motel) in Borrego.  

But there's only one place I've returned to for an overnight stay while visiting Anza-Borrego Desert State Park: Boynton's Hacienda del Sol. 

April 03, 2021

Photo Essay: A Sugary Walk Down Candy Lane

Just in time for the Easter candy eggstravaganza, there's a new walk-through interactive experience at the Woodland Hills mall...


April 01, 2021

Photo Essay: The Retirement Ranch of An Oil-Employed Fossil-Finder, W.W. Orcutt

At one point a few years ago, I'd set off to visit and document all the historic ranges in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and its environs.

But somehow after 10 years in LA, I still hadn't made it to Orcutt Ranch.

Maybe it's because its name didn't carry the same weight for me as "Paramount Studios" or "Lake Enchanto" or "Gillette" (of the razor empire). 

Its namesake, William Warren (W.W.) Orcutt, was a SoCal oil geologist and Union Oil exec whose name is less recognizable to us today than perhaps it was in his heyday. (Or, at least, to me—a California transplant.)