Twentynine Palms is known for quite a few things. It's got the lovely, walkable Oasis of Mara, and Roughley Manor (with its famous resident owls), and, our favorite, and we hope yours as well, that "29!" statue that sits on the south side of Highway 62 as you enter town.
Something else, though, that's put the desert enclave on the map? A home that belonged to a man who was all about maps, and exploring, and getting around California to know the people and their stories. Yes, we speak of the one and only Huell Howser, a 29 Palms denizen and lover of wide, big-sky vistas, which the city is blessed with.
The beloved travelogue host passed away in January 2013. Now his home in the Joshua Tree National Park-adjacent area is for sale, according to Curbed, and the price? Just a smidgen under $400,000.
And by "smidgen" we mean five grand. (Smidgen seems like a word Mr. Howser might have liked, so we use it in his honor, as we'll use "amazing" before this post is over.)
It's a 1953 home sits on nearly 12 acres, and it is that classic mid-century pool-laden desert beaut. If Mr. Howser didn't see area jackrabbits hopping around his yard, well, we won't believe it. Surely the local wildlife knew they had a celebrity neighbor?
As for inside the house? Whoever takes ownership will of course bring their own items and artifacts, but it'll be hard not to picture a few things the host picked up during his time on the road for PBS. Everyone was mad for Huell -- a sweeping statement, yes, but surely you've seen an episode of "California's Gold," or more likely a hundred episodes, like the rest of us? -- and we have to believe he was gifted with some sweet jars of homemade preserves or local art during his hosting days.
Did those treats once fill his Twentynine Palms abode?
Here's hoping that the person who buys the house possesses some of Mr. Howser's adventuresome and happy spirit, for nostalgia's sake. Because, indeed, that would be amazing. Or, our favorite H.H. line ever: It just doesn't get any better.