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Local Journal,

Why does NAWS China Lake make Ridgecrest so unique?

Ridgecrest is home to many interesting places. One of the most notable is the Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) in China Lake. The NAWS China Lake’s mission is to support the Navy’s research, testing and evaluation, and is THE high desert home of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division.

The Weapons Division is where the Navy and Marine Corps have developed or tested nearly every significant airborne weapon system in the past five decades. According to Wikipedia the 620 active duty military, 4,166 civilian employees and 1,734 contractors that make up China Lake’s workforce are employed across multiple tenant commands.

Many products have been developed for the fleet at China Lake, including missiles such as Sidewinder, Shrike and Walleye, just to name a few. It has been estimated that nearly 900 military and civilians passed through Armitage Field.

All aircraft operations at NAWS China Lake are conducted at Armitage Field, which has three runways with more than 26,000 feet of taxiway. And each year US Armed Forces conduct more than 20,000 manned and un-manned military sorties at China Lake’s NAWS. Also, foreign military personnel use the airfield and range to conduct more than 1,000 test and evaluation operations each year.

In 2014, California representative Kevin McCarthy introduced a bill to permanently designate Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake property for military use, arguing it would save taxpayer money and enhance the base’s mission. This bill would add 25,000 acres, including about 7,500
acres that were part of a bombing range in San Bernardino County, as well as 19,000 acres along the station’s southwest boundary.

From an environmental standpoint most of the land is undeveloped and provides habitat for more than 340 species of wildlife, including feral horses, feral burros (donkeys), Big Horn Sheep and many endangered animals, such as the desert tortoise, the Mojave ground squirrel and Mojave Tui Chub. The desert on which the installation is built is also home to 650 plant types – which makes sense considering it covers over 1 million acres.

Hopefully this will help you understand more about the remarkable Naval Air Weapons Station located right in our own backyard, which employs thousands from the Ridgecrest community.

Local Journal,

Maturango Museum in Ridgecrest? It’s worth a trip!

It’s time to take a field trip to Maturango Museum, located at 100 E Las Flores Ave. The museum is an important educational and cultural resource in Ridgecrest. The exhibit galleries feature the natural and cultural history of the Upper Mojave Desert. The Museum sponsors many programs and tours, such as tours to the world-famous Coso petroglyphs, and the Museum is an information center for Death Valley, the Northern Mojave Desert and the Highway 395 and 178 corridors.

The museum was named Maturango, after a large peak in the nearby Argus Range. The founding members began raising funds and collecting items for the museum and in no time the new Maturango Museum opened in December 1962. The museum remained at its founding spot, the Quonset hut for 24 years, but after major donations of labor and supplies from local businesses the Maturango Museum opened at its current location in October 1986. The Museum was brought to life in 1962 by a tremendous spirit of fundraising and volunteerism, commonly found among Ridgecrest Residents, and it is this same spirit by which the Museum continues to grow.

Did you know that admission to the museum is FREE to everyone the 2nd Saturday of each month! There is also no charge for admission to museum exhibits or the art gallery for members, anyone under the age of 18, or for active duty military. Admission is free to the gift shop and information area for everyone. The cost for non-members is $5 per adult age 18 – 54 and $3 age 55 and older. The Museum is open 10-5 daily, excluding holidays.

Please consider becoming a Maturango Museum member today! By becoming a member of the Maturango Museum, you will be helping to support our local community as well as obtaining member only benefits including free admission, monthly newsletters listing current events, reduced fees on museum activities including field trips and petroglyph tours, and special savings on purchases in the museum store. The Museum Membership also includes the privilege of free admission to other museums with whom the Maturango Museum has a reciprocal agreement. There are several ways you can become a museum member, by visiting the Museum, or by visiting their website and downloading a membership application or use the “Become A Member Now‘ link to purchase a membership online.

The Maturango Museum is certainly worth a visit with the family!

Local Journal,

A Look At TripAdvisor’s Top 12 Things To Do In Ridgecrest

TripAdvisor is a great site to find activities. The website contains hundreds of thousands of hotel and restaurant reviews, accommodation bookings, travel-related content as well as interactive travel forums. Surely you’ve heard of it!

So what does the website state about Ridgecrest? Here is a look at TripAdvisor’s top 12 things to do in Ridgecrest, California as of 2019:

  1. Maturango Museum – currently has 111 reviews with a travel rating of 4.5 out of 5.0
  2. Little Petroglyph Canyon – 40 reviews with a 5.0 travel rating, TripAdvisor describes the Little Petroglyph Canyon as a “Cosos Mountains canyon containing rock paintings that pre-date Native Americans.”
  3. Red Rock Books – located at 206 W Ridgecrest Blvd currently has 16 reviews and a travel rating of 4.5. One review stated that Red Rock Books is a “must visit when in town”.
  4. China Lake Naval Weapon Center – a travel rating of 4.0 with 47 reviews it is described as “The largest naval research area in the U.S., 1,200 square miles of desert and mountains, allows a limited number of tours into Little Petroglyph Canyon.
  5. Fury’s Sports Bar – according to 4 reviewers Fury’s Sports Bar has an excellent travel rating of 5.0 and is described as “a beacon of light” and an “authentic sports bar”.
  6. Casa Corona – 6 reviewers gave this ‘Authentic Mexican’ restaurant a 4.5 travel rating.
  7. Ridgecrest Area Convention & Visitors Center – with 4 reviews and an excellent 5.0 travel rating the Ridgecrest Area Convention & Visitors Center is described as “friendly and informative” with “great travel info”.
  8. Petroglyph Park – currently with 7 reviews and a travel rating of 4.0, one reviewer said the Petroglyph Park is “Located centrally in Ridgecrest and near the road to Trona, this park has replicas of Native American petroglyphs and pictographs. There are picnic areas and a
    playground. You can spend as much time as you, like there, but the essentials of the place can be taken in in 30 minutes. A fun place.”
  9. Rademacher Hills – 3 reviews with an excellent 5.0 rating, one reviewer wrote “Rademacher Hills is a popular trail for folks who like hiking in the heat! Must be prepared for desert wild life and high temps.”
  10. Maggi Cerutti Massage – 2 reviews with a travel rating of 5.0, is described as a “home based business” with “a flexible schedule”.
  11. Chimney Peak Byway – Currently only has 1 review with a 4.0 rating, this review states Chimney Peak Byway has “some awesome valley views”.
  12. Blue Star Massage – located at 1539 N. China Lake Blvd, Blue Star Massage currently has no reviews.

Do you agree with this list? Have you visited any of these places?

Local Journal,

Do you know the world famous celebrities that grew up in Ridgecrest?

There are a plenty of celebrities that are born and raised in Los Angeles or other notable prominent cities in California but did you know that Ridgecrest is the birthplace to a few noteworthy celebrities too?

I am sure you have probably heard of the pop rock band Blink-182. Did you know that the bassist and co-lead vocalist Mark Hoppus was born right here in Ridgecrest, California in 1972?

Mark Hoppus, who was really the face of Blink 182, has described Ridgecrest as being composed mainly of “geniuses, scientists, physicists…”. His father developed missiles and bombs for the Navy testing center.

In late 1964, almost a decade before Mark Hoppus, Ridgecrest would also become the birthplace to Lacy Barnes. Lacy would go on to compete in the 3 separate Olympics where she would win championships in the US women’s discus throw and become track and field champion in the 1988 and 1991 Olympics. She was also one of the top US finishers in the 1996 Olympics held in Atlanta, GA.

So, fellow Ridgecrest residents, keep those dreams alive and your eyes open because you may pass by the next Mark Hoppus or Lacy Barnes at the new Walmart!

Local Journal,

Do you remember the Ridgecrest earthquake in 1995?

Do you remember where you were on August 17, 1995? At 3:39 pm on that day an earthquake with magnitude 5.4 occurred just 11 miles north of Ridgecrest, shaking the entire area and spawning over 2,500 aftershocks over the next several weeks. A second earthquake struck the surrounding area on September 20, 1995 at 4:28 pm with magnitude 5.8 which was one of the largest earthquakes to hit southern California at that time. There were over 1,900 aftershocks recorded following the first 2 weeks after this quake according to the Southern California Earthquake Data Center.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) states there are about 10,000 earthquakes in Southern California each year, however most of them are so small they are not even felt. Most recently there were reports of 2 earthquakes within 5 hours of each other on December 5, 2018. A magnitude 4.7 quake in the Mojave Desert, 55 miles northwest of Ridgecrest at 1:40 pm, and then a 2.1 quake in Panorama City around 6:30 pm.

The American Red Cross website goes into detail on what to do before, during and after an earthquake. It states if you are inside during an earthquake you should drop, cover and hold on. Once the shaking has subsided use stairs to exit the building if necessary and be aware of your surroundings, checking yourself for injuries and prepare for aftershocks. It also states that you should look for and extinguish any fires, which are the most common hazard after an earthquake.

For tips on how to prepare for an earthquake or what to include in an emergency preparedness kit you can visit the American Red Cross website. You can also to download the NOAA radio app and the American Red Cross Emergency Alerts app to your smartphone. Do you have any tips or ways that you have prepared for an earthquake?

Local Journal,

Fresh Veggies In Ridgecrest? Yes, it’s possible!

You’ve likely driven down South China Lake Boulevard on a Saturday and have seen the tents set up. What is going on over there anyway? No, Coachella is not moving in, Burning Man has not relocated, and the fair isn’t in town. It’s even better…. It’s the Ridgecrest Farmers’ Market!

The Ridgecrest Farmers’ Market is a fantastic place to get fresh fruit and veggies and other local items. The Farmers’ Market is even open in the winter time. The winter hours are 9am to 1pm. You can support your local community by buying veggies and produce locally.

So Ridgecrest, why not make the healthy choice this coming weekend and visit the Ridgecrest Farmers’ Market? Place it on your calendar so you don’t forget. For those of you that have been, what are your favorite purchases?

The Ridgecrest Farmers’ Market is located at 911 S. China Lake Boulevard and is open on Saturdays in the winter-time from 9am to 1pm.

Local Journal,

Why is the Ridgecrest Register necessary? Don’t we already have a couple newspapers in town?

It’s a question that has come up a lot– on our Facebook page, via email, and in the comments. Now it’s a question that i’d love to answer publicly with more context. To quickly summarize, The Ridgecrest Register is not a newspaper, it is a new type of publication focused on collaborative community journalism.

The internet has played a substantial role in changing the news industry over the last decade. Many local publications across the country are now owned by huge million dollar conglomerate companies that are focused on turning a profit and increasing value for the owners of the company. While employees working for such news organizations have the best of intentions in many cases, the corporations themselves exist primarily with a goal to turn a profit. In many cases, this is reflected in a terrible news experience — where visitors are forced to pay to read content or are inundated with a significant amount of ads.

If you surf the internet for some of the leading publications across the country (Such as the Boston Globe and the New York Times), you will likely encounter a message that requires you to pay to view content. Many publications cannot justify providing news and information for free and in many cases the publications are littered with advertisements.

The Ridgecrest community is already served by the Ridgecrest Daily Independent (Which is owned by GateHouse Media which is owned by New Media Investment Group which owns dozens of publications across the country and is valued at $744 million dollars as of this posting) as well as Ridgecrest News Review which is an excellent source of free news information. There are also other publications such as High Desert News.

The Ridgecrest Register is different. We are not a news publication – we are an online community journalism platform. We exist so that you can share your opinions and views with others in this community. Therefore we can provide free content with very few ads and we can ensure that absolutely every post is hyper-locally focused specifically for Ridgecrest.

Thank for your the support so far. We have a lot more in store for this community! Be sure to subscribe by visiting (We now have 100 subscribers!) To help us grow and increase our reach, please consider contributing an opinion or viewpoint on a local happening. Email We already have quite a few interesting posts and topics lined up over the next couple weeks.

Local Journal,

Ridgecrest Residents Can Help Save Lives On Highway 395

You’ve undoubtedly traveled on highway 395. This legendary highway serves as a major artery from the greater Los Angeles area to Ridgecrest and beyond. While this highway is a vital transportation access-way for Ridgecrest and communities of the Eastern Sierra, it also holds a dark and deadly history that unfortunately has taken the state of California far too long to fix.

Highway 395 is significantly undersized for the amount of vehicles that travel on it daily. In areas south of Ridgecrest, this major thoroughfare has many segments with only a single lane for each direction of traffic. Additionally, there are frequent reports of vehicles crossing over solid yellow lines. Over the last decade, this has led to dozens of head on collisions, many fatal.

The state of California has allocated resources to widening the segment, but it may take two more years for the expansion project to be completed. The expansion cannot come soon enough. Last month, there was yet another deadly head on collision on this highway just south of Ridgecrest.

So what can you do as a Ridgecrest resident to help save lives on the 395?
1) Support the “Save Lives on the 395” Facebook page:
2) Report any and all dangerous traffic maneuvers (vehicles crossing solid yellow line) to the CHP.
3) Stay alert and drive defensively – spread the word of the dangers so that others can stay alert and cautious while driving this dangerous stretch of road, until the widening project has been completed.

Local support has prompted California to begin widening the segment. With continued vigilance, we can ensure safe travel until the segment has been fully widened.

Local Journal,

Vegan in Ridgecrest? Is it possible?

Becoming a vegan is quickly on the rise and continues to increase with time. Ridgecrest offers vegan food! What is a Vegan? Vegans do not consume any animal products or by products. This means food free of meat, including eggs and free of dairy of any kind that is produced from the milk of an animal. Some vegans also do not consume honey or white sugar, as cane sugar is sometimes processed with bone char. We found several eateries located in Ridgecrest that will please your taste buds and keep your conscious at ease.

For breakfast try any of their fresh smoothies, acai bowls or sandwiches at Pure Healing Foods, located on North Norma Street. They also have “build your own” wraps, pizza and salads with meat free and dairy free options! This location also sells vitamins and offer plenty of information on the foods they offer and the food’s health benefits.

For lunch or dinner head over to Bangkok House Restaurant, located on West Inyokern Road. Bangkok house has two pages full of vegan options! Such as, pad see ew, spring rolls, stir fry veggies and papaya salad. Any meat dishes can be substituted with tofu, but keep in mind that some Thai food is prepared with fish sauce. Be sure to ask ahead if you are seeking the vegan option!

              Ridgecrest has plenty of vegan food options, will you give it a try? Why not try it for one week, Ridgecrest?

Local Journal,

New Year Resolutions In Ridgecrest?

The new year has begun, and it is time start fresh. Many Americans commit to several New Year’s resolutions to better themselves or just for fun. Some of the top New Year’s resolutions in the United States include, working out more, learning a new hobby and reading more books. Luckily for all of us, Ridgecrest is the prime location for either of these resolutions.

              Working out doesn’t have to be tedious or boring. We found that there are over 20 different fitness centers right in Ridgecrest. This is a significant number considering there are only 28,880 residents living in Ridgecrest, according to the United States Census. No matter your workout preference, from yoga at The Yoga & Massage Center of Ridgecrest, to cross-fit at CrossFit Ridgecrest, MMA at Flawless Victory MMA, to the straightforward fitness center at In-Shape Health Club, Ridgecrest has it!

              Learning a new hobby is also one of the top New Year’s resolutions made in the U.S.. Ridgecrest has many places to fulfill the need to learn a hobby. There are several hobby supply locations in Ridgecrest for those who like arts and crafts, music or comic collecting such as, Just Imagine! and Bitchen Stitchen & Promotions.

              Learning about things that you find interesting has a fulfilling experience. Many chose to read more books as their New Year’s resolutions. There are a few bookstores in Ridgecrest for those who like to take their time and own the books they read or if borrowing a book sounds more appealing, Ridgecrest is home of the Kern County Library, located on East Las Flores Avenue. At the library you will be greeted by knowledgeable staff and many books to read to your heart’s desire.

              What are your New Year’s resolutions?