For most people, this is a place to drive through. The majority of people who experience Barstow do so as a gas or food stop between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. For them, it offers little more, and the small towns outside of the mighty metropolis of Barstow (at under 30,000 people it is by far the largest city in the region) barely register a glance.
Until recently, I was one of these people, driving through here on my way to a place I viewed as better. And then Covid hit, and I suddenly found myself desperately searching for places easily accessible from my home in LA via car. I have now made three trips to the area, not to pass through, but to explore, to learn, and to experience a region that was a blank spot to me.