July 7, 2020

Bobbi Fabian's first experience with desert was with the Warner Brothers Roadrunner cartoon. Growing up in Melbourne Australia, Bobbi made her way to America looking for more opportunities as a photographer, finding she felt more at home  in the U.S. than in her home country. Bobbi moved to the U.S. in 2003, settling in Los Angeles. With an MA in Photography Bobbi was a freelance photographer and educator for most of her working life – commissioned by brands like Timex, Penguin Books, Audi and other household names.

On a road trip through America, while working on a project, she and a friend made a point to go through Death Valley and Joshua Tree. Staying at the Amargosa Hotel, they felt so at home, they decided to meet there eve...

June 22, 2020

Born and raised in the Tri-Cities area of Detroit, Michigan, Marylee 'Boo' McIntyre grew up gathering bushels of berries, apples, apricots and what ever other fruits were in season with her siblings to be used in the creations her grandmother and mother would bake from the day after Thanksgiving through the December holidays. Over the years, baking became a way to relieve stress and get grounded.

Marylee's first encounter with the desert was visiting neighbors from Royal Oak, MI, who had a place in Lake Havasu, Arizona. Marylee and her then husband loved it so much, six months later they were living there. A lake in the middle of the desert was fascinating to Marylee. At that time, the largest employer in town was McCulloch Chain...

June 9, 2020

After 20 years in Los Angeles and a career in the film industry, Jody Curtis was guided to the Mojave desert in 2008.

A seeker of deeper spiritual understanding from an early age, her first experience with desert was visiting her Mom and step-dad during one of their annual stops in Slab City. Taking several days to wind down from the stress of the city, Jody often found she didn’t want to leave the desert to go back home.

Just after leaving her job at NBC, Jody was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer. A defining moment for Jody, her first thought was 'I have to get out of the city and get back to nature’.

By this time, her Mom had settled in Landers and so, Jody moved to the desert, having purchased a home sight unseen.

Traveling back and...

May 19, 2020

Photo: Laura Crane

At the age of six, Rosa Ficara had her first experience with desert - her family had just moved to the desert from Waterbury, CT. Rosa doesn’t recall much about the move other than the fact that the desert was much warmer than those Connecticut winters.

As the first-born of Italian immigrants, Rosa spoke Italian (two dialects) before she spoke English. At that time, this area of the desert wasn’t extremely diverse and in school, Rosa found herself befriending schoolmates in a similar situation – one was Japanese-American and the other was Korean-American.

At 17, Rosa was ready to leave the desert and explore, heading down to University of California Riverside to study language. In addition to two dialects of Ital...

May 15, 2020

Born and raised in San Diego, Shaney Jo Darden's first experience with the desert was traveling to visit her grandparents who lived in Palm Desert. About ten years ago, Shaney Jo started coming to the hi-desert to visit a friend, who owned Rimrock Ranch in Pioneertown. Rimrock became a place for Shaney Jo to bring her staff for annual employee retreats: learning about new programs, receiving training and enjoying some off-site downtime hiking, taking in a sound bath at the Integratron or having a social night out together at Pappy & Harriet’s.

After a number of trips to the hi-desert, spending more and more time here and meeting the community, Shaney Jo began to realize this was a special place for her. Having spent nearly 10 yea...

April 21, 2020

Forty years ago, stifled by life in a small Michigan town, Jacqueline Guevara's vibrant, fun-loving mother loaded her 1972 Cadillac Coupe de Ville and hit the road with her teen-aged daughter for a new start in Palm Springs. Driving into this desert oasis was Jacque's first experience with desert.

In this episode, Jacque describes working in the Palm Springs hospitality industry in the 1980's and the life skills she acquired in those jobs. A change in ownership lead to a subsequent lay-off from her job at the Palm Springs Country Club leaving Jacque jobless for the summer. With her sons out of town visiting their dad, Jacque wasn't sure what to do with the time on her hands when a friend teaching ceramics at Desert Arc invited Ja...

April 7, 2020

Cathy Snodgrass was born and raised in Freeport, Texas, a small town down the coast of Galveston, Texas. Her first experience with desert was watching western movies. 

In 1976, driving through what was then Joshua Tree National Monument, Cathy rounded a mountain and found herself looking down on the 'quaint' town where she and her then Marine husband would be stationed. Cathy knew immediately this was home and made it a condition of her second marriage that they never leave 29 Palms – that was 40 years ago. Cathy will tell you, “I’m very heart bound to the area”.

In this episode, Cathy describes a time she went back to Texas to visit, she says she couldn't wait to get back to the desert, feeling "smothered by all the green."


March 24, 2020

Artist and founder of Earth House Studios, Sharon Davis creates colorful art and installations at her home in Morongo Valley.

Sharon and I bonded as two Jersey girls, so you might get hungry listening to the beginning of this episode.

Sharon left NJ for the first time in in 1974 and came to California, landing in Huntington Beach, moving on to Moreno Valley, then Palm Springs. After that she's moved between the east coast and Texas, Virginia and Maryland, with a few stops back to California in between.

Her first desert experience was in Palm Springs, which Sharon found to be way too hot. When she did decide to come back west, having some pretty specifics requirements for her property, she thought she'd land in Pioneertown, but fou...

March 10, 2020

Like the roots of the honey mesquite and creosote, Robin Kobaly's desert roots go deep. Her immediate family moved to Morongo Valley when she was 2 years old. At six, Robin had an extraordinary experience with desert wildflowers - an experience she was hesitant to share, being part of a scientific community, fearing her work would not be taken seriously. 

In her studies of plants, Robin also came to appreciate the ways in which Native Americans used plants dyes for basket-weaving, textiles and ceremonial paints and tells a story about the dye found in prickly pear cactus.

Studying plants with her mother in the Morongo Valley, they would collect and sometimes serve them for dinner. "My brothers were always petrified about what the...

February 25, 2020

Carol 'Dusty' Seddon's first desert experience was in and around the Mojave near Apple Valley in the mid-90’s accompanying a group of friends from an Orange County college, who were coming out to perform archeological digs.  Dusty immediately fell in love with the feel of the desert – the dry air, the quiet and so much different than what she’d know in the suburbs. On these digs they mostly found tools, stones used in cooking, and maybe bits of pottery.

In October of 2005, returning from a Mitchell Caverns trip, Dusty was looking for a more adventurous route back home to Orange County.  She pulled out a map and found a route that would bring her through Amboy, to a place she’d heard of called, Joshua Tree.

As dark fell, Dusty foun...

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