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Want to Escape from LA?

Try Roughly Manor –

You are there!

Only a couple of hours East on the U.S. 10, then take California Highway 62, also known as 29 Palms Highway. Go through Morongo Valley and Yucca Valley until you reach the sacred and profane 29 Palms, California. Make a left on Utah Trail, then a right onto a dirt road called Joe Davis Drive. Keep your eyes open for the sign on your left, or you will end up driving into different strangers driveways until you find the right one. Roughly Manor, just the name conjures up what the desert means to me: a rough and unforgiving environment that is filled with beautiful grandeur. If you don’t like the desert, well then go to Lake Arrowhead, or Sequoia National Park, or take the PCH up to Morro Bay and eat something yummy at the Bayside Cafe. I’m talking about Roughly Manor Bed and Breakfast today, which is in the heart of the high desert. I think it takes a special person to appreciate the haunting beauty of a place like the high desert. Joshua Tree National Park, which is just a hop and a skip away from Roughly Manor, is just one of several camping experiences that you can enjoy in the region, but if you feel like taking it easy, kicking back with the desert as your backdrop, then I recommend Roughly Manor most heartily. It is not cheap, but it is not out of this world pricey either. As I put it to one person, “It’s high class living at middle class prices.” It’s AAA approved with 3 Diamonds. According to the AAA website, Three Diamonds means, “These establishments appeal to the traveler with comprehensive needs. Properties are multifaceted with a distinguished style, including marked upgrades in the quality of physical attributes, amenities, and level of comfort provided.” Well, I couldn’t have said it better. But it’s the pastoral beauty of some of the property that hasn’t been “upgraded” or rebuilt, that give it such charm. Take the windmill and the water tower for instance.

A beautiful backdrop

The broken windmill (of my mind)

Then there is the scenery. In the heat of the day, the mountains look harsh and brutal. They say, “Just try it. You will die up here!”

Do you want to climb it?

But as nightfall approaches, and the sunlight softens, the shadows on the hills beckon you. “C’mon over. Just makes sure you have a flashlight and a blanket, hon.”

Nightfall approaches

Besides the beautiful surroundings, there is a pool and jacuzzi. I never think the jacuzzi is hot enough, any jacuzzi! There are gardens and fountains galore. I just love this place. Our room had a small refrigerator, a kitchen sink and microwave. Television was supplied by a satellite dish, which I always hate. The picture starts to break up at the slightest provocation. The room was well appointed and the bed. I wanted to take it home with me! It was so comfy! That’s where I spent most of my time so here’s a picture of that as well.

Four poster!

Croquet, anyone?

To see my complete album of pics from our stay at Roughly Manor Bed & Breakfast, go to


About Russell Smith

I was born at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. I find inspiration in the lives of so many people from Joan of Arc to Oscar Wilde. While my primary avocation is photography, I also enjoy philosophy, theology and most of all, history. My beloved wife, Robin Anne Smith, who passed away in 2013 is also an inspiration to me. My beloved partner, Dana is also a great support and inspiration to me. I'd be remiss if I did not mention my cats: Natasha, Maxwell, Tigger and Nigel.

4 responses »

  1. Looks great! I love the ocean best- but certainly appreciate the desert landscape- especially at sunset.

  2. Sounds wonderful. Perfect get-away. Right in the heart of the desert but still nice and cosy.


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