Day 1: SW Vacation -> Calif to Arizona

Here we go!  Three weeks all carefully planned out to maximize my precious vacation time.  Only about half of it is paid but I’ll deal with the debt later.  If you want to contribute to gas, I won’t stop you.  Donations to Sparkle’s tank can be made through my email address at (  Thanks!!

First stop was in Corona, CA for this sign which was restored a couple of years ago.  I’m a little obsessed with Happy Bear signs right now since I just finished writing an article for the SCA Journal about them.  This is the only Bear sign still lit so it deserves three photos here.  By the way, for more examples & info about these signs, my webpage is here:




Headed eastward into the desert in the morning.  Here are a couple of signs from Hemet, CA:



Five Corner Liquors in San Jacinto, CA:


From Desert Hot Springs, CA:


The Broadview Lodge in Desert Hot Springs is no more but this single sided panel has been placed at the back of the property.

Colt’s Lodge in Palm Springs has two modern diver signs next to the pool (thanks Heather David for the tip!):




This motel in Peyton Shores (near the Salton Sea) is long gone but this sign remains:


Around 11am, I decided to crank up the A/C.  Nothing.  And it was already 93 degrees.  So, the dogs and I toughed it out since we were in the middle of nowhere and there were no reputable repair shops that I saw.  There were signs for miles advertising the date shakes in Westmorland.  I was so ready for this and it was sheer nirvana:


A few signs in Brawley.  Garcia’s Market:


Long abandoned sign without a building:


At the Mexican border in Calexico.  I don’t know what business this sign advertised for originally:


And then across the border into Arizona — woo hoo!  In Yuma where I spent the night.


Pep Boys to the rescue — an appt at 9am to get the A/C repaired.  Sounds like it was just the freon.  Bone dry.  Since I never use it where I live in SoCal (right on the beach where it rarely gets above 70).  It sounds like another 30 mins and we will be on our way.  I hadn’t planned on posting to the blog until I got home but this was a good way to kill the time.  More photos over at Flickr:

I’ll get posting the rest of the vacation when I get home at the end of the month.

Happy trails,

dj & the dogs

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10 thoughts on “Day 1: SW Vacation -> Calif to Arizona

  1. I had seen a couple of photos of the Broadview sign awhile back so I knew it was still around. It’s definitely still in view. You just have to walk a few feet up a little hill to shoot it. Unfortunately, it was morning so I didn’t have the sun directly on it. Afternoon would have been better. You take what you can get. You never know if something will be there the next time you get the chance.

  2. The article won’t be published until the Fall (SCA — Society for Commercial Archeology). I’ve been writing the signs articles for the organization for the past 10 years or so. The link to the page at my website has a lot of the same info and more photos.

      • Thank YOU for the gas money!! I sure used it today. The dogs and I were all over Tucson. Load of gorgeous photos to share… eventually. Crawling into bed now. This heat (100s all day) is killing us. No energy for extracurriculars like blogging at night.

  3. Well, you are still out there taking the photos, that’s the main thing ! We’ll see them eventually 🙂

    • If I get a rainy day (hope not!), catching up on some posting will give me something to do. I thought today might be the day because they were forecasting “mostly cloudy” but it was a false alarm. “Mostly cloudy” like “chance of rain” are completely meaningless. All I had were white puffies but full sun all day so…

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