• Speeding on Hwy 247, not on the racecourse, has become a hotter topic than ever.

If you plan to head for Johnson Valley before, during, or after KOH week, be aware you may meet someone unfamiliar with the dips and turns of 247.

For example: In Pipes Wash by the Pioneertown turnoff, a car sped around three other cars, without room to get back in before the road climbs out of the wash. Lucky. No oncoming traffic, invisible to the speeder, who put everyone in jeopardy.

Or, how about Mr. Impatient, coming around two semis, playing chicken with oncoming vehicles? Lucky, the leading oncoming driver swerved off the road safely (and the two pickups following too closely had time to slow down).

The infamously insufficient no-passing zone on the curve near Boone has claimed victims for decades. At least the locals know, as you approach Crestview Road, look out for impatient passers in your lane who cannot see you.

We hear descriptions of heavy-damage head-ons but check your rearview, too. These guys can come up behind you out of nowhere.

The consensus is, most of today’s speeding vehicles are newcomers to this area, maybe townies not used to two-lane rural highways. Or unfamiliar with rules of the road or speed-limit signs in the USA.

Many of the cars, SUVs, and pickups are black or very dark, and the kind of high-dollar transportation not ordinarily chosen by those of us living with desert heat and dust.

So, heads up. We know increased traffic headed for Boone Road can cause slow-ups, but the scary near-misses began long before now. Remember, the Ricky Racers always want to be first in line. Don’t let them spoil your good times.

KOH WEEK ?? JAN 28 - FEB 6
• Tomorrow, Friday, January 22, the Welcome Gate on Boone Road opens for entry into the Johnson Valley OHV Area at Means Lake, home base for all King of the Hammers events.

Next Thursday, January 28, pre-running the full course begins. Drivers try to familiarize themselves with obstacles and pit distances and figure out the best lines to take in the boulder-filled Hammers trails – eleven going up and seven going down (including driving up Jackhammer).

Another first: an EV Class, new technology to challenge the builders. As usual, KOH is setting the pace for off-road innovations.

They have also established an intranet to communicate with race teams – all driver meetings will be virtual Zoom calls. Communication with teams can be quick.

Motorcycles, side-by-side UTVs, Legends, T-Trucks, and Ultra4 vehicles all face unforgiving terrain and unpredictable weather conditions. The ultimate desert race runs on Saturday, February 6 – the 2021 OPTIMA Batteries King of the Hammers presented by Lasernut, starting at 8:00 a.m. It finishes at 10:00 p.m. then “everybody picks up all the trash, and everyone goes home safely.”

New this year, a trail tentatively named “Kings’ Graveyard,” described by Dave Cole as “highly technical.” That’s KOHspeak for “next to impossible.” It will be lighted for racers' safety after dark. There will be no pit stops on Lap Three, so it’s shorter but harder.

If you choose to join them anytime during KOH Week: the $30 General Admission per person gives you access to the Lake Bed and dispersed camping for the entire KOH calendar of desert racing events. However, you must have the Covid Protocol wristband to access the Hammertown spectator area, race team garages, or vendor booths.

Health screening at the Welcome Gate includes a temperature check and acknowledgment of being symptom-free. Kids under 18 are not tested.

Rapid COVID-19 Tests for $20 are available on request. The Pre-Event COVID-19 Testing Protocol for spectators, race teams, vendors, media, staff, and volunteers requires proof of a negative test within seven days before your arrival. If you wish, order an HKP test with your KOH ticket for $30, including shipping, or get a third-party vendor test on your own.
Or, present documentation from a lab or doctor of antibodies or vaccine, or recovery with no symptoms for 14 days.

You then get your special wristband for entry into Hammertown.

If that’s not your choice? They still have racing for you and Jumbotrons for live race viewing in other areas. The decision lies with you, the spectator. It's an entirely outdoor event in a remote desert location that expands over 92,000 acres.

Cole said the fans always help make this a success, with things like controlling trash. They will make this year successful and fun if everyone goes with the attitude of responsible recreation.

Access to the 2021 King of the Hammers race on Saturday, February 6th, will NOT require COVID Testing.

Log on to www.ultra4racing.com for tickets, schedules, and updates, as well as spectator and volunteer info.

P.S. Your face mask benefits a lot if conditions become dusty.

• The Johnson Valley Saturday Breakfast-To-Go continues, cooked to your order. Time: 7:00-10:00 a.m. every week.

Dress warmly this weekend and prepare for rain. ?Rain?!? Yes, rain, and the forecast says freezing temps at 7:00 a.m. warming to mid-thirties at 10:00 a.m. The snow ?(snow!?!) arrives later in the afternoon. Holy Moley.

Place your order and pay in the lobby (cash or credit card). We still can’t invite you to wait inside. Stay out front for the server to bring your order to you.

Save some wait time: call 760-792-4555 to order in advance. If the line is busy, please call again. Kim, the cashier, won’t be able to keep checking for messages. You might get here before the kitchen gets your order!

The menu again:
Breakfast Burrito with fresh salsa, only 6.00;
Omelette with cheese and your choice of bacon, ham, or sausage, plus a side of hash browns, 6.00.
Or, take your choice from our regular dishes:
Hash Browns with a Biscuit; or
Pancakes; or
Biscuits and Gravy; or
French Toast.
Each comes with two eggs scrambled or over easy, and your choice of bacon, ham, or sausage.
The Large breakfast is 6.00; the Small breakfast is 4.00 (one egg, smaller portions)

Cash or credit card accepted.

• In the last week, cameras on two Johnson Valley properties recorded a truck trespassing.

The first was too far from the camera to show much detail at night. The truck drove in and stopped on the driveway. It was described as white or light-colored.

Today, we received a notice of a “newer White GMC dually 4 door truck” driving to the back of the property then heading back out after several minutes. This location is some three miles away from the first report.

Up to no good?
WHITE GMC 1.jpeg

• This deadline applies to JV residents or property owners so that you can be eligible for voting privileges or run for office.

Obviously, right now, we have no way of knowing when we will be allowed to hold a meeting again, although we do have a couple of items on which to vote.

The 15.00 per person dues for the Johnson Valley Improvement Association can be paid any time of year by anyone who wants to join up, of course. Today we have only 63 memberships processed, WAY behind the usual number in January. But hey, no meetings, no dinners, no socializing at breakfast, no big events drawing people from all over – Membership Applications waiting on the lobby desk sit lonesome.

All members also receive the Johnson Valley Journal. Well, normally you would, but Journal production also has been on hiatus since last March. Fingers crossed, we can manage to resume publication soon.

To sign up or renew for 2021, please download the attached Membership Form to print and mail with your check.
Or, pay online by secure credit card with PayPal, on www.johnsonvalley.com (but please fill out and mail the Membership Form anyway!)

Or, sign up in person at any Saturday Breakfast. And if possible, add your name to the list of JVIA Member Sponsors.

(Some renewing members have not entered their e-mail address on the application form. If you no longer wish to receive these JV NEWS e-mails,  please notify me directly at ranchotaj@gmail.com, don't reply to this e-mail.)

???We repeat, the cash reserves built up by JVIA Member Sponsors who included extra donations with their dues have cushioned the Covid-19 lockdown.

Outgo never shut down last March; our only regular inflow comes from the Saturday Breakfasts. This seems like a bad time to ask for donations, but if you can spare some $$, they are all needed and very welcome!

Covid Compliant grants protect JVIA against more expenses caused by continuing to follow County guidelines. For these, we owe thanks to our County Supervisor Dawn Rowe, who urged that community non-profit associations be eligible to receive these County grant funds.

The Johnson Valley Community Center mailing address:
50567A Quailbush Rd.
Johnson Valley CA 92285
(mail pickup about once a week)

The phone number is 760-364-3575, although these days rarely anyone is there to answer; no messages.

From Hwy 247, turn onto Larrea Rd, go 1-3/4 miles up to Quailbush Rd. The building is on your left at the corner, paved roads all the way.

The Paul Van Hook Desert Dreams Garden is next to the parking lot, open to all.

Everyone is welcome to every event at the Center when we can resume doing the fun stuff; non-members included.

Betty Munson
Please print and mail form:

Weather Underground PWS KCALANDE6

Johnson Valley Weekly Neighborhood News
by Betty Munson