2021 06 20
Here to stay but everyone wants their way out

Apple Valley is located on the southern edge of Mojave Desert 70 miles east of Los Angeles. In the 1920’s it was known for its apple orchards and as a weekend getaway for Hollywood film stars.

The apples and celebrities are gone now but the town has cheaper rents than San Bernardino which is a short commute away and where most of the jobs are. That makes it a good a place as any to live, if you don’t mind the heat, dry wind, and feel of a small town.

Apple Valley was another spot on the map I finally got to one day after photographing in the lower valley. I drove my car up the I-15 North, a steep, snaky road that cuts through the Cajon Pass, until it dumped me onto the flat, high desert plain of Hesperia, which blends into Victorville and Apple Valley just to the north.

Driving through the town itself - at least the business center of it - is what you see in most small towns but in a few more miles and minutes with the sun searing down you start to notice the sheer enormity of the desert. It flicks at the town’s edges and homes where backyards blend into stretching brown dirt and mesquite bushes. Window shades are drawn. Trees and bushes are planted to block out the sun. Homes are fenced to keep coyotes and intruders out and dogs and children safe. Cars - crucial transport to the non-desert world - clog front yards. Everything and everyone has adapted to the extreme circumstances of their surroundings. Here to stay but everyone wants their way out.