The 29 Palms Oasis

29 Palms is a good-sized desert town, mostly because of the military base, but also because it has the west entrance to Joshua Tree National Park. Near the park is the wonderful family-owned 29 Palms Inn, a place I've stayed many, many times.

Before the Inn, which is built on a beautiful, natural oasis, the local Serrano Indians, a Shoshone-Piute offshoot, made their homes here. Then in the middle of the 1800s, they got massacred by miners and settlers and those who lived moved higher into the mountains.

In the meantime, the Chemehuevis were fighting a losing battle against the Mojaves, so they moved up to the spring and had a satellite colony here. This is where Willie Boy was from (mostly) and also the man he killed, Mike Boniface. They didn't get into it here, that happened down in Banning, but when Willie Boy ran to get provisions, he ran here.

The other Chemehuevi, including his mom, had all been cleared out "for their own protection," and the bottom line is, that when all the smoke had cleared, the Willie Boy incident was the deciding factor that sent all the Chemehuevi away from the oasis and off to Parker Dam.

As a travel note, dinner at the 29 Palms Inn was wonderful as always (they have an organic gardens that provides the freshest vegetables in town) but no rooms available. Had to bunk at the Cactus Patch on the recommendation of the bartender. That's why y'all should always tip. You never know.














Still on the Willie Boy trail.

Three Days in the Mojave Map

29 Palms Inn

Joshua Tree National Park


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~ by ravenjake on January 12, 2008.

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