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When I set out for the desert on Thursday morning, my only firm destination was Elmer Long’s Bottle Tree Ranch, a quirky, colorful, and completely original outdoor art installation in Oro Grande, a tiny town halfway between Victorville and Barstow.

It’s not easy to describe this magical place and, frankly, most of the photos I’ve seen (including my own) simply don’t do it justice.

Located alongside historic Route 66, the Bottle Tree Ranch is comprised of approximately 200 welded-metal bottle trees as well as an array of vintage signs and found objects.

And while the light, admittedly, wasn’t great when I was there, I also regret that I didn’t time my visit more strategically. Because I can only imagine how spectacular the Bottle Tree Ranch must be later in the afternoon as the sun is going down. I’ve seen a few particularly luminous and kaleidoscopic images on Instagram that make it clear I must plan a golden-hour visit soon.

For a great article on Elmer Long’s beautiful creation, click here.


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