A collection of recollections of days gone by

Saline Valley Chronicles, Saline Valley, Saline Chronicles

The Saline Valley Chronicles is an effort to preserve the cultural landscape of one of America’s most unique places. Many people have encouraged me to write a book about my adventures in the early days of Saline Valley. I have been reluctant to do so for a variety of reasons, but recently folks have renewed their encouragement and I going to tackle the challenge.

Here is the plan:

I do not want to write a book. Too large a project; too confined a perspective. What I will do is begin to write a series of blogs on the early days of Saline Valley that I foresee compiling into a collection in PDF format. I will make that available online at no required cost. This will hopefully yield an organic work that can grow and be modified as time passes. I would like to name this collection: The Saline Valley Chronicles.

I want to encourage people who have suggestions, corrections, clarifications to leave comments on the blogs as is provided on the web site. These may yield modifications to an original transcript, and those offering suggestions that yield changes will be credited. If you have your own stories of Saline Valley and a desire to share, please contact me and I will compile a volume under the name: Saline Noir, giving all contributors all due credit.

Those are my thoughts for now. Please join me in this ongoing effort to preserve the cultural landscape and historical perspective, tales and legends of our favored corner of the world: Saline Valley



Links to Chapters in the Saline Valley Chronicles to date:

Introduction and finding my way(published 2/11/2018) A recount of finding myself in a new place called Saline Valley. This chapter also includes some discussions of the Bunker Hill mill site and the beekeepers of McElvoy Canyon.

The Bermuda Grass Triangle: (published 2/28/2018) Saline Valley has been the site of several strange disappearances and mysteries which have led to false rumors over the years. Having been involved in several of the investigations, I seek to clarify truth from fiction.

The Saga of Red Braden: (published 4/14/2018) Since writing the chapter on The Bermuda Grass Triangle, and the myth of the “murder cabin,” I have done a bit of research into the background of the Red Braden Cabin that may be worth sharing.  The information I share here comes from conversations with several people who personally knew Red Braden

What Makes Saline Valley So Special? (published 3/12/2018) Saline Valley is a unique corner of the Basin & Range province of the Mojave Desert, both geologically, and geographically as well as historically. There is more to Saline Valley than meets the eye of the casual visitor.

Geochemical Analysis of the Warm Springs: (published 3/23/2018) While I lived at the Saline Valley Warm Springs, two of the most commonly asked questions were: “Is the water drinkable?” and “Where does the water come from?”

Genesis of Communities – Early Days (published 4/8/2018)  While we recognize Saline Valley as being an expanse and celebration of emptiness, it was a far emptier place in the not so distant past. Many communities have evolved through a long history of visitations.

Early Days at Lower Warm Springs (published 5/27/2018) Early camp at the Saline Valley Lower Warm Springs was a far different experience than the present camp. I share my recollections of my experience of camp when I arrived in 1980.

History of the Saline Valley Hot Tubs (published 7/8/2018) Offering a history of the genesis of the Saline Valley hot tubs at the Lower Warm Springs and the birth of the cinder cone peace sign.

The Saline Valley Outhouses (published 8/26/2018) The Saline Valley outhouses have gone through many changes over time. Through the years they had ass much character as the characters who used them.

A Week That Was  (published 12/28/2018) Many of my stories in the Saline Valley Chronicles have been about days gone by. Recollections of good times passed and past. Some things never change (for better or worse) and my most recent trip into the Valley brought that truth home.

The Art of Firewood in Saline Valley (published 2/2/2019) Historically an evening campfire was a nightly social event at the Warm Springs of Saline Valley. This basic luxury required a simple necessity: firewood

Desert Distancing (published 5/4/2020) A pictorial illustrating an exercise in distancing during the pandemic and coinciding with a wondrous spring bloom of desert flora in Saline Valley

Christmas in Saline Valley (published 12/24/2020) Christmas in Saline Valley have always been the best holidays in memory. While the world traditionally strains under the pressure of the holidays, Christmas in Saline Valley embodied the very best of tradition and celebration.

The Donner Party assaults Saline Valley (published 3/12/2022) Travel into and out of the Saline Valley has often been a perilous adventure. Before social media and improved cell phone coverage, a trip into Saline Valley was often a matter of tossing the dice and hoping for the best. Even with the advent of “improved” information (for better or worse) across social media platforms, the unknown can often rise in surprise and thwart even the most stalwart. This is an account of just such a time, when determination conquered all, and love moved mountains.

The Marble Bath (published 3/7/2023) Many of the current visitors to the Saline Valley have come to hear of Marble Bath, located toward the top of Steele Pass, connecting Saline Valley with Eureka Valley. Not so many people know how it came to be, or why it came to be. Fewer know of the original Marble Bath.

The Winter that Was: 2023 (published 4/2/2023) The winter of 2023 brought some of the more challenging road conditions to travelers in Saline Valley.