• This Saturday evening, September 4th, the Johnson Valley Potato Bar offers you a big baked potato with a big lineup of toppings to choose from, including chili as a side dish or to decorate your potato.

Also on offer: green salad, plus ice cream for dessert. Bring your family, bring your friends; dinner is only 4.00 per person; kids 12 and younger, 2.00.

Doors open at the JV Community Center at 4:30 p.m. Dinner is at 5:00.

• The 11th Annual Johnson Valley Oktoberfest is Saturday, October 9!

Purchase your Oktoberfest admission tickets at a 33% savings at Saturday Breakfast between 7:00 and 10:00 a.m., or online at www.johnsonvalley.com. Quantity limited; the 8.00 admission price ends after September 25. Also, 12.00 each at the door!

The Beer Garden behind the Community Center will be open from 3:00 p.m. ON. The Brew Menu gives you your choice of five different home-brewed craft beers. (Correction: last week I mixed up the Wheat Ale with an earlier version. This year our brewmaster offers Raspberry Wheat Ale again, first to sell out!)

For craft beer or hard cider, 12-oz. 3.00.
(Purchase the souvenir Oktoberfest pub glass (5.00) and you get a full 16-oz pour!)
Or try out the Sampler: three taster cups for only 4.00.
Also available, soft cider, soft drinks and bottled water, 1.00.

• Bad news: We read that California legislative leadership was preparing to utilize their infamous gut-and-amend procedure to strip the language of a bill (originally voted to tweak passenger lanes and toll rules for the Bay Bridge) and replace its language, so it's mandating vaccines for public accommodations and in employment.

Quite a switcheroo, right?

The draft language reportedly requires:
“each person who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, who seeks to enter the indoor facilities of that establishment, to show proof to an employee or authorized agent of the establishment that the person has been vaccinated against COVID-19.”

It looks like non-compliance would incur heavy penalties.

They would keep the unvaccinated folks out of hotels and other lodging, restaurants and bars, movie theaters, concert halls, sports arenas and stadiums, and gyms. More businesses to go down the tubes?

They do exclude restaurants that offer only takeout options, which was the solution for the JV Community Center for so long during the previous lockdown.

We can hope we won’t face those difficulties again. At least we now have the big pergola for shade at the front entry, so you won’t have to work on your suntan while you wait for your breakfast or dinner orders!

• Thinking about heading to a National Forest over Labor Day weekend? Think of a Plan B.

The U.S. Forest Service has closed all of California's national forests but one, including those in southern California, because of our numerous wildfires. The San Bernardino, Cleveland, Angeles and Los Padres National Forests ringing urban Southland areas will all be shut through September 17.

They intend to help ensure the safety of the public and of firefighters, who are stretched thin on multiple wildfires in northern woods, to minimize the chances of visitors becoming trapped in a national forest during a fire, or of new fires being sparked accidentally or intentionally in drought-struck woods and chaparral grasses.

If you decide to come to the high desert, the temps are bearable if you don’t mind high 80’s or low 90’s with cool nights. It looks like the pop-up monsoon season thunderstorms have cleared off.

You may want to log on to that page and print out this info. By the way, NO, repeat NO, developed campgrounds or recreation sites exist in the Johnson Valley OHV Area!

Just remember to carry plenty of water and take it easy during the hottest part of the day. Drink that water before you feel thirsty to avoid dehydration and heat stroke. Don’t go out alone; let people know where you are going. Make sure your guests know where they came from and how to get back. Be safe and have fun!

-We have the 21.5” square Sidekick Bandana Map available at the Community Center, silkscreened with a topo map of the Johnson Valley OHV Area trails and topography plus GPS Coordinates for the original Hammers trails, 8.00. Don’t leave home without it! (We know people who like its treasure-map appearance so much, they framed it and hung it on the wall.)

- History buff? While you are in the Community Center, take a look at “Heart Bar Ranch and Johnson Valley Neighbors.”
This prime historical source, written and published in the 1980’s by early JV homesteader Martha Coutant, has been re-published by the Morongo Basin Historical Society, with permission and help from Stan Coutant, Martha’s son. MBHS also added more vintage photos from their collections.

Heart Bar cowhands gave Martha first-hand accounts of cattle-ranching at Old Woman Springs. They will give you a whole new perspective when you look at the wild scenery along Old Woman Springs Road (the prehistoric trail now the route of Hwy 247.) Check named wells still surviving on AAA maps, a legacy of Heart Bar, not always accessible today, but not yet forgotten.

This large-format book is only 20.00 (discounted for you by the MBHS as a JVIA fundraiser).

For breakfast, dinner, or Oktoberfest, the Johnson Valley Community Center, 50567 Quailbush Rd. is easy to get to, with plenty of parking.

From Hwy 247 between mile markers 21 and 22, turn onto Larrea Road at the big red Johnson Valley sign, drive 1-3/4 miles up to the corner of Quailbush, and you have arrived! The Paul Van Hook Desert Dreams Garden is right next to the parking area.

Everyone is welcome to every event at the Johnson Valley Community Center, built, maintained, and operated by generations of volunteers of the Johnson Valley Improvement Association (JVIA) for over 60 years.

Who might you meet here? JV residents and weekenders, visiting offroaders and travelers from nearby communities, folks who have made the Saturday Breakfast a highlight of every weekend in JV.  (As I used to say before graduated in 2000 from weekender to permanent resident, ah, someone else to cook and do dishes!)

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Of course, you can address questions or comments to me anytime.

Keep smiling!
Betty Munson

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Johnson Valley Weekly Neighborhood News
by Betty Munson