First of all, I’m excited—I think this will be a lot of fun, and I look forward to meeting lots of you and exploring the abandoned geometry of a city that was never fully built in the first place (and about which you can read a bit more here). Even CNN is excited, writing that nearly “200 people have committed to a trip to California City, California, a planned city in the middle of the Mojave Desert that was never finished. It is now home to about 15,000 people, many of whom live within a surrounding network of crumbling roads, the vestiges of the abandoned city plan.”
So I think we need to activate Plan B: we will still arrive via that Rite Aid (9482 California City Boulevard) at 1pm tomorrow, and you should still use it as a place to get something to drink or whatever else you might need (and there’s a fast food place next door if you need a bathroom break), but if you do not actually speak to me, or to anyone else, for that matter—perhaps because you are a misanthrope attracted to abandoned cities in the desert—don’t worry: just head out of the city, going northeast along Randsburg Mojave Road, onto 20 Mule Team Parkway. Here’s a link to the most basic map of that road.
This is not a guided tour, and we are not experts. This is a kind of documentarian flash mob, and together we’ll produce the largest archive of contemporary California City photographs that exists anywhere in the world. We can start by filling out this Flickr group—but, again, feel absolutely free to do your own thing and save your own photographs wherever you choose to do so.
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So bring sunscreen, fill up your gas tank, wear comfortable shoes, don’t forget some water, and I will see you out there in the middle of nowhere.