Roadtrippin’ to Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace

Early morning before the crowds showed up in Pioneertown, California

The roots of this legendary hangout and music palace goes back to 1946, when a movie set façade was built on the lot to look like a “cantina” for many of the western films filmed at Pioneertown, California in the 1940s and 1950s.

“Pappy + Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace” originally opened in 1972 by Harriet’s mother, Francis Aleba, and her husband, John as a biker bar called the “Cantina.”

In 1982, Harriet and her husband, Claude “Pappy” Allen, took over and renamed the place “Pappy + Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace.”


Desert Rose of Pioneertown, California

Her name is Desert Rose and she’s a performer in the Mane Street Stampede, which just returned to the wild, untamed streets of California’s Pioneertown.

Desert Rose was kind enough to pause for a portrait along the boardwalk of the infamous Mane Street Hotel. Pioneertown, a legendary movie set dating back to the 1940s, is located just a few miles up the hill from Joshua Tree National Park.


Surfing The Wedge. Newport Beach

One of the most legendary of surf spots is certainly the Wedge in Newport Beach, California. The waves are also favorites with some of the world’s top bodyboarding and bodysurfing athletes.

During the summer (May – October), the City of Newport Beach generally restricts the use of “hard boards” at the Wedge from 10 am to 5 pm, but usually allows soft boards for the safety of body surfers and swimmers. The infamous “blackball” flag is flown by lifeguards when the restrictions are in place.

While surfing has been a popular sport in Newport Beach since the 1900s, the Wedge’s unique shore-breaking waves are formed with the help of the rock jetty created in 1936 as the entrance into Newport Harbor. When conditions are just right, especially during a south or south/southwest swell, The Wedge can occasionally produce monster waves up to 30 feet tall.

© 2000 - 2019 Daniel R. Stiel. All Rights Reserved., Landscapes, Photography

Borrego Badlands Milky Way


A late-summer view of the Milky Way in juxtaposition with Ricardo Breceda’s giant sculpture of a Woolly Mammoth.  The glow along the bottom of the photo is a distant San Diego.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Borrego Springs, California.