submit an entry for the 2018 desert destination log!
a collaborative collection of information about local sites of interest
submission deadline EXTENDED to january 15, 2018

Do you have a passion for a must-see destination in the High Desert area or beyond (up to a day-trip's distance from Joshua Tree)? High Desert Test Sites and A-Z West are now accepting submissions for the 2018 edition of our Desert Destination Log! The A-Z West/HDTS Desert Destination Log is a collaborative collection of information about local destinations and sites of interest that have been either gathered over time for research purposes, or have been submitted by friends of HDTS and A-Z West residents. The second edition will come out in early 2018, and will be available to purchase at the HDTS HQ, on the HDTS web store, and at a few other exciting locations TBA! 

kip's desert book club
mojave desert sanctuary by gary j. george
january 1, 2018

I can't think of a better way of enjoying the first day of 2018 than by coming to my place for a Desert Book Club meeting at 7pm. We will be reading Mojave Desert Sanctuary by Gary J. George which is the third in his series of mysteries set in the Mojave desert around the fascinating town of Smoke Tree. This book features an intelligent and beautiful Japanese Vegas show girl, wise guys from Chicago and ranch hands from the Mojave Preserve with the cool factor of 1961 to make it even better. I can't wait to read the other books in the series.

Kip's Desert Book Club
Playa Works: The Myth of the Empty by William Fox
December 4, 2017 at Boxo House


Dry lake beds have been a subject near and dear to my heart for a long time. It turns out that a very insightful book was written about them in 2002. I am looking forward to our December 4th meeting at Bernard Leibov's BOXO House at 7 PM to talk about Playa Works: The Myth of the Empty by William Fox. A PDF copy of Playa Works can be found on the Project Muse site,

high desert test kitchen
november ingredient: acorn
november 20, 2017 at copper mountain mesa community center


Oak trees are prolific food producers, offering up meaty, soft nuts packaged in sturdy shells with rugged caps, known to everyone as the iconic acorn. Southern California hosts several of the 900 species worldwide; coast live oak, canyon oak, black oak, and scrub oak dominate desert-fringe terrain. With each tree being capable of producing hundreds of pounds of wholesome dense fruits, acorns were a staple in native diets and remain an important wild food source for both humans and animals. These little nuggets vary in shape and size, but generally boast an impressive nutritional profile, ranking high in the fat, fiber, and carbohydrate categories. It’s a perfect fall food, versatile and adaptable to any number of holiday dishes calling for flour or nuts. You can purchase acorn flour in Asian and specialty markets, but if you’re feeling ambitious, you’ll be rewarded with rich, nuanced flavors from fresh acorns you process at home. Just make sure you properly leach them—a necessary process to render acorns edible. There’s a lot of info out there on the web, so before you get started, be sure to do some research. And as always, harvest sustainably and with permission.
—Sarah Witt