Priced out of Malibu? Think about buying a Mojave desert ghost town and preparing it for the endtimes, as did one SoCal gold miner who told his story to the New York Times. Caltech-educated prospector/geologist Gerald Freeman had been coming to the desert since the fifties to look for gold; eventually he struck it rich, set up a mine, and bought a place in Malibu. But the distance between his Mojave mining operation and Malibu started to take its toll, and when the town of Nipton went up for sale in 1984, Freeman bought it for $200,000, according to an LA Times piece from a few years ago. (In gold??) The town had once been a booming railroad and mining burg, but by the eighties, it was pretty dusty, and had only one resident, who sold sodas to travelers who were likely lost on their way somewhere else.
Freeman and his wife and son slowly restored the hotel, a cafe, and a store. "The town is popular with roving motorcycle clubs and at one point sold the most lottery tickets in California," said the LA Times. (Shortly thereafter, another lotto spot opened up and stole away 95 percent of the sales.) Freeman's focus since then has been using alternative fuel sources, especially solar power, to help prep the townspeople for the "oncoming reality" of global climate change. because "The more independent we can become of outside resources, the better."
· A Ghost Town, Going Green [NYT]
· Turning his near-ghost town into a clean-tech boomtown [LAT]