The bright and terrible desert


“There’s California just over the river, and a pretty town to start it. Needles, on the river.”

— John Steinbeck


Top: 66 Motel, Needles, Calif. Above: El Garces Hotel, “Crown Jewel of the Desert,” Needles.


The Palms Apartments, Needles.

“But the river is a stranger in this place. Up from Needles and over a burned range, and there’s the desert. And 66 goes on over the terrible desert, where the distance shimmers and the black center mountains hang unbearably in the distance.”

— John Steinbeck

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