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Thread: Rice, CA

  1. #1
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    Default Rice, CA

    Just outside 29 Palm, CA on CA62 there is a sign leading into the Mojave that says pretty clearly what you are in for "No Services 100 miles." That 100 miles leads to Vidal Junction near the Arizona border. About 74 miles in there appears to be the ruins of an old Union 76 station along with a fence row with a lot of old abandoned shoes. I stopped by last week and found several building foundations and evidence of home construction. I did some research and discovered this is what is left of Rice, CA. Its not really clear when Rice was founded but what is known that sometime before 1942 the Army bought out the airstrip and reformed into the Rice Army Airfield. The Rice Army Airfield is notable as one of the finalists for the Trinity Test...the first nuclear bomb test which, ultimately went to White Sands. Gradually the town dwindled down to nothing and was abandoned by about 1960. The only thing remainng active was the Union 76 gas station which, shut down in the 70s. When Rice became a ghost town apparently it became notable for the Rice Shoe Tree which, was burned down in 2003. Now people throw their old shoes on the fencing installed after the fire. Apparently Rice was also in Fast and the Furious movie too...
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  2. #2
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    The 76 gas station was closed down in 1982. I know this because my family was the last one to live there and manage it. The burned area you have a photo of was the house we lived in.

    Interesting facts about Rice: If you go down that dirt road that intersects with the highway, you will drive 40 miles, going past the Blythe Integlios and another ghost town called Midland. One mile down that road is the Riverside County/San Bernadino County lines. When Rice was a military training ground for Patton's troups, there was a cathouse there...when the sheriff was coming to bust them, they would just walk down past the county line and wait him out

    One mile east of Rice, there is a dirt road that turns south off the highway. About a half a mile in, you will be on the tarmac of the base that Patton used to train his troups. It's quite odd to see this huge cement airport slab in the middle of nowhere. You can see it on Google earth and if you aren't expecting it to be there, you would wonder what it was!

    The mountains and washes are filled with shells of old cars, old military equipment and some interesting trash...but beware of the sidewinders there a lot of them.

  3. #3
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    Big Bear Lake, CA
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    Rice even was a stop on the Santa Fe mixed (freight/passenger) trains. It is now used as an interchange point by the Arizona and California Railroad.

    John
    Last edited by josta; 12-13-2013 at 05:41 PM.
    Josta

    Big Bear Lake, CA

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by losingitinvegas View Post
    The 76 gas station was closed down in 1982. I know this because my family was the last one to live there and manage it. The burned area you have a photo of was the house we lived in.

    Interesting facts about Rice: If you go down that dirt road that intersects with the highway, you will drive 40 miles, going past the Blythe Integlios and another ghost town called Midland. One mile down that road is the Riverside County/San Bernadino County lines. When Rice was a military training ground for Patton's troups, there was a cathouse there...when the sheriff was coming to bust them, they would just walk down past the county line and wait him out

    One mile east of Rice, there is a dirt road that turns south off the highway. About a half a mile in, you will be on the tarmac of the base that Patton used to train his troups. It's quite odd to see this huge cement airport slab in the middle of nowhere. You can see it on Google earth and if you aren't expecting it to be there, you would wonder what it was!

    The mountains and washes are filled with shells of old cars, old military equipment and some interesting trash...but beware of the sidewinders there a lot of them.
    That's a **** of a story. I used to take Highway 62 from Laughlin and Bullhead to get out to Desert Hot Springs on company travel. I used to stop at Rice every time and have lunch in my car. I thought it was just a burnt out gas station until I got out and started digging, hence what I wrote here. Nice to get a little background on the place from someone that lived there.

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