Back at the Inn, we dined at Enzo’s inside Glen Tavern and must say this is soma gouda Italian fooda. A glass of Valley of the Moon Chardonnay and their lightly toasted sourdough with rosemary bread hinted at what was to come. My roasted eggplant served with succulent homemade marinara on a bed of al dente noodles was excellent. Dessert was a creamy panna cotta with a light raspberry sauce to die for.
Finally, we had no choice but to retire to the close quarters of room 307 (I had a martini at the lounge and brought a fresh one to the room). We decided to shake (not stir) the spirits with a séance in the unusually large closet and call forth the dead. It didn’t take long until we felt like children and decided to act like adults, take the candles into the Jacuzzi tub in the bathroom, which I might add fits two and is well worth a night in room 307 alone.
After a good night’s sleep in a very comfortable bed, my girlfriend asked why there was blood on the white sheets on my side of the bed and sure enough, there were multiple red droplets, fresh, because they stained me. No, it wasn’t her time of month No, I hadn’t cut myself in a drunken stupor. Had the decapitated prostitute been in my bed? I was pretty freaked out. Yes I took photos and we eventually wrote it off as flower petals we had picked in the garden the day prior, an anemic explanation. I felt compelled to apologize to the hotel manager but she smiled and said no worries…it was 307. I suggest you spend a night in 307.
Final Destination III
We opted to ride the backside of the San Gabriels from Santa Paula to our final destination in Joshua Tree. Hwy 14 to Hwy 18 through Apple Valley is beautiful 200-mile ride through an arid desert. Harley ditched the trunk on this Road Glide Custom CVO in favor for a streamlined look. The saddlebags have ample space for weekend trips but for distance touring, a color-matched Tour-Pak trunk is available. The stitched seat is acceptable but the passenger pillion leaves a little to be desired for 200-mile treks (so girlfriend says). Road Glide wears minimal chrome. Instead, this CVO has many parts sprayed black for a darker look and even the clutch and brake lines are braided-black stainless steel. It also sports exclusive 19-inch front and 18-inch rear “Agitator” rims, anti-lock braking system (ABS), and cruise control. CVO gave the Road Glide a powerful 200-watt Harman-Kardon stereo system with six speakers. Very audible at 85 mph, every one of these bikes comes loaded with its own 8GB iPod that plugs into a holder located in one of the saddlebags. We rocked the Best of the Byrds to Joshua Tree.
High Desert Phantoms
Our final hotel on this Ghost Writers haunted jaunt was the Joshua Tree Inn. Room 8 is where Gram Parson of the Byrds died. It’s a really bizarre true story made into a movie called Grand Theft Parsons. Parsons had made a pact with his manager, Phil Kaufman, that whomever didn’t die first would cremate the other in Joshua Tree. When Phil learned of the plan to bury his friend in New Orleans, Kauffman, honoring his vow, commandeered a wildly painted hippy hearse and wearing cowboy boots, cowboy hat, and Levi jacket with “Sin City” stitched on the back, headed to Van Nuys airport. Kaufman somehow persuaded an airline employee that the Parsons family had changed its plans and wanted to ship the body privately on a chartered flight, they loaded the casket, he loaded up with beer and Jack Daniels and drove to Joshua Tree. The stone that marked the desert cremation has been relocated in front of room 8.