Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Places I Would Like To Work A Shift Or Two

This is one of those places that I've driven by a bajillion times. On my way to the Sierras, The Inyos, The El Pasos, and parts of Death Valley, I drive by a sign that says "Randsburg 1 mile". Usually, I just keep going, in a hurry to get where I'm going or to get home.

A little while back, I stopped in to grab some lunch. The place is a living ghost town, a little town trapped in a time warp. Randsburg was formed as a mining town, supporting the many mines in the area. As mining has pretty much died off, Randsburg has somehow remained, relying on tourism to survive.

It is protected by the Kern County Fire Dept, Station No. 75.

I spoke with the crew on duty the day we stopped by. They are staffed with two persons on duty, a captain and a medic. It is a slow station, but as is common with locations like this, when they do get something, it can be quite ugly.

They protect a large chunk of U.S. hwy 395, a road that my family calls blood highway. The immediate area is a huge off-road recreation area, which leads to bloody mayhem, particularly in the cooler months. Although we didn't discuss it, I am sure that a lot of trauma and medical patients are flown out, especially the ones that are located out in the weeds.

Additional help is a long ways off, so these folks are on their own for quite a while when there are multiple patients or something burns.

Randsburg has a downtown, including a small store with a restaurant inside. They have cold beer and great burgers. It is owned by a lady who is a school teacher, who works in Ridgecrest about 40 minutes away.
Randsburg also boasts a suburb:


And plenty of free parking:

Note that the above parking lot is designated for off-road vehicles. Randsburg is the only town that I know of where you can actually ride your quad into town, grab lunch and ice, then ride back to camp. Randsburg relies heavily upon off-roaders to support their local economy.

While I don't think I would want to be stationed here (especially in the summer), a shift or two would be cool. Maybe someday I will get the chance to do a ride-a-long over a busy holiday weekend. 

If you ever happen to be driving on Hwy 395, between Kramer Junction and Ridgecrest and are looking for a bite to eat, make the drive into Randsburg and go the General Store. You won't be disappointed.

Thanks for reading,

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