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Jawbone Canyon

Jawbone Canyon is a mecca for dirt bikers, hikers, and desert freaks in general. It is the closest habitation to Red Rock Canyon State Park. The canyon entrance is dominated by the Jawbone Canyon Store, a unique combination convenience store and deli in what seems like the middle of nowhere (and surprisingly good...try their tri-tip sandwich). The current store is a pre-fab building "enhanced" to appear quaint, like the previous Jawbone Canyon Store it replaced. The original store, called "Bonk's Jawbone Canyon Store" was indeed very quaint, an odd little convenience store that sold everything from cold beer to dill pickles to motorcycle parts. Bonk's collection of sexy beer adverstising posters was legendary. The original Bonk's burned down sometime in the late 90s, purportedly due to a meth lab on the premesis. We deeply regret that we have no handy pictures of Bonk's, for we assumed it would be around forever and "We'll photograph it next time we're out here." We never seem to learn our lesson in these matters. The picture at left is the current Jawbone canyon Store. The sole remnant of Bonk's is the "motorcycle-on-a-stick" sign visible from Highway 14.The entrance to Jawbone Canyon is about 1/8 mile north of the Jawbone Canyon Store on Highway 14, adjacent the the Jawbone Station BLM facility. We were unable to proceed farther than the canyon entrance due to time constraints and because we were in a two-wheel drive vehicle, but we've tavelled most of the length of the canyon on earlier visits, and some of us used to fly through it frequently on low-level sorties. As you enter the canyon, you are greeted by the crossing of the lower Los Angeles Acqueduct. he canyon is a magnificent place to explore and is an excellent example of terrain, flora, and fauna of the southwestern Mojave. As you approach Jawbone Canyon from the south on Highway 14, there will be no doubt in your mind when you have arrived. The new Jawbone Canyon Store has its very unique sign prominently posted about 1/8 mile south of the store entrance. We don't know the true history of this sign, but seems to be an up-again, down-again affair. The sign was originally a billboard-sized photograph of an unclad portly lady with the motto "Parking in Rear." A year or so after the sign was constructed the unclad lady was abruptly clad in a painted on red string bikini. Some time after the bikini was added the sign itself disappeared. We noticed on a trip last fall it had reappeared with the photograph of the unclad lady being replaced by a very realistic painting of the unclad lady which is almost indiscernible from the original photograph (my hat is off to the painter). We love this sign and hope it stays. May the lady enjoy everlasting fame. See below for the most up to date version of the sign.

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