February 8-9, 2007
Randsburg is a living ghost town in the high desert near Ridgecrest, CA. It is part of the
Rand Mining District that also includes Johannesburg and Red Mountain. It is also a
place that we passed many a time driving to Grandma's or Aunt Shirley's House when we
were young but we never stopped to see it. So Kristine and I went and now have stories
After leaving the Owen's Valley we ate dinner in Lone Pine then Kristine called to make
reservations at the Cottage Hotel in Randsburg. Kristine soon found out that the
Cottage Hotel was all booked with members of the band that had arrived for the "Floozy
Festival." Then the Hotel proprieter, who had an Australian accent, asked Kristine,
"Why are you coming here?" Kristine explained how we wanted to come and stay tonight
and wake up in the morning and explore the ghost town. The proprieter then gave
Kristine the phone number for another place in town that had rooms, the Randsburg Inn.
So Kristine calls the Randsburg Inn. Again she gets asked, "Why are you coming here?"
Apparently not many people stay the night in Randsburg. Anyway, the lady said she had a
room available but didn't take Kristine's name or number or credit card info or
anything. And when, about an hour and a half later, we arrived in Randsburg, the town
was absolutely silent. Not a soul moved and it was rather dark and ominous. We knocked
on the door of the Inn but no one was there. So Kristine called the lady. She said she'd
be right there and a minute later there she was walking down the deserted street to
the Inn. She let us in. The front consists of an antique/junk store that was very musty
and dusty. She led us through two doors to the rooms in the back. She opened the first
one on the right and said, "Ooops, it's not made up. My housekeeper is in Illinois this
week." So she set about making the beds. Meanwhile Kristine and I explored the shop
out front. Here there was an incredible assortment of old bottles, knick-nacks, cowboy
boots, and other miscellaneous artifacts. In a few the innkeeper was done and then she
said, "You are the only guests but I do have a permanent resident. His name is Randy.
He is the cook at the General Store and he should be home soon." Then she left.
Both Kristine and I were a little worried about this Randy character but figured there
wasn't anything we could do. So we moved our stuff into our little room which consisted
of two twin beds and little else. The bathroom was down the hall. To get to it we would
have to pass Randy's room...
Once Randy came home he said hi and disappeared into his room. Both Kristine and I
were wary about going to the bathroom by ourselves at first but later that night I
ended up getting sick so I made the trip alone. And needless to say, neither of us slept
well that night what with the lone man in an adjoining room and the noises and creaks of
the old building and all.
The next day we got up, took showers, then went to eat at the General Store. Turns
out Randy cooks up some great pancakes and French toast! The General Store sports a
soda fountain that was brought all the way from Boston at the turn of the century. It
sailed on a ship all the way around Cape Horn!
Then we explored the ghost town - there was much to see. The old saloon, opera house,
jail, etc. Apparently this is a popular day trip for people interested in mining history and
for OHV'ers that like to ride on the surrounding trails.
At noon or so we headed south towards Aunt Shirley's. We haven't seen her or our
cousins for almost 4 years! We had fun cooking dinner that night (carne asada and
homemade chile rellenos!) and telling her about our adventures with Randsburg Randy.
We also had fun looking through old family photos.
The next day we all drove south to Lake Arrowhead where we met my mom and dad.
There we stayed at the Bracken Fern Manor Bed and Breakfast and they all threw me a
|There was little to do in our little room at the Randsburg Inn...
except read and sip wine coolers
|Signs near the door of the Randsburg Inn
|A kiss for the Randsburg Inn Donkey
|Even jeeps have stirrups in this here town
|Even in the desert you can have a beautiful garden and trees
|Kristine's first album cover?
|About the only thing worth looking at in Red
Mountain was the Silver Dollar Saloon
|Aunt Shirley and Jesse grill the chiles
|Me and Aunt Shirley make the rellenos
|Dillon teaches Kristine to play bass guitar
Check out Dillon's hair!
|Spike, their very cute and outgoing Chihuahua