By Elizabeth Taylor |Staff Writer|
Thousand’s are drawn to this artistic desert oasis, to find out what the ranch is all about.
The bottle tree oasis, located on a desolate stretch of roadside in Helendale, Ca,
glistens and gleams as travelers and locals continue to stop by and check it out.
“I found this place on Yelp as one of the destinations to stop at along Route 66 to get to Vegas,” said Joshua Tree resident, Jung Lee. “I just thought I’d stop by, take a few pics and make my way Vegas.”
The attraction to the ranch is a non-stop process full of photo ops,
but the beauty of the ranch is not just in the artistic placement of the bottles themselves, but in the story of how family togetherness made the ranch to be what it is today.
“My father and I used to camping out in the desert, and we would find dumps, dating back to the 1800s, full of old mining equipment and especially old bottles; my dad researched old maps, found all these clearly marked mining camps,” said owner and creator, Elmer Long. “We went out and found more stuff and brought it home; in 2000, I visited my dad, he had
Alzheimer’s, so I took the collection from him and began building on.”
Colors shimmer and sway with the wind as bottles and other eclectic items bask in the hot desert sun, but it was not always as vibrant as it is today.
Back when Long originally purchased the ranch, it was just a piece of land with no fence that sat alongside a set of railroad track.
“This is just a magnificent place,” said local resident, Danny Graves. “I can come here, have lunch, take photos and just enjoy the scenery.”
Tourists and travelers speak in different languages and take photograph’s, while hummingbirds whizz by the dozens for the feeders strewn throughout.
The ranch is, however, open to all whom have the desire to stop by.
“I’ve been doing this a long time,” said Long. “There are a problems with people coming on the ranch and trying to dig up things, but for the most part it’s fantastic people,”
A show of respect and gratitude can go a long way and the same goes for those who decide to take a gander beyond the bottles.
“I just enjoy coming out here and taking as many photos as possible,” said traveler, Charles Walker. “I don’t know of any other place quite like this one, and to not take advantage of all the great photo opportunities would just be insane.”
The Long family have opened up their property for all to enjoy; stop on by The Bottle Tree Ranch, shake hands with Elmer and let your eyes absorb the immense wonderment of what the ranch is all about.