Monday, March 12, 2018

Cloud Museum - Bard CA

It's always a good thing to find another desert oddity. If you like old things like I do (especially cars), this place would be right up your alley. A guy named Johnny Cloud started collecting old cars and other things many years ago. He eventually ended up with so much stuff, that he turned his place into a "museum." Bard California is a tiny little town (population under 100) near Yuma Arizona. 

This post has a lot of photos, so I'll give everyone a break and not include much more narrative. I could say a lot more about this place, and all of it would be good. 

Middle of nowhere

There must have been 150 cars here. This was my favorite.


 There were also a ton of other historical items 


 Most of the cars were either Ford Model T's, or Model A's. A lot of them were trucks.

Johnny Cloud has a story for almost every car he has. Who owned it, where they lived, and how he came to get it. 










Two posts ago, I was at another place (Mentone Beach) that also had a lot of outboard motors lined up like this.


 I can't even imagine how much money these lights are worth, but I know it's a lot.

 Anybody here (besides me) that remembers when you wouldn't dare take a car across, or into the desert without at least one of these water bags in front of your radiator?







 





 Well, this place is in the desert...



 An RV that is actually older than ours!

I don't know about you, but this looked darn spooky to me.


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88 comments:

  1. That's a ton of old cars. Shame so many have been sitting out in the elements. Bet that place is worth a fortune. The American Pickers guys would go nuts there.

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    1. Hi Alex! Sitting in the elements in the desert doesn't do nearly the damage that happens in more humid and wet areas. I never thought about it, but you are right about it all being worth a fortune.

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  2. WOW....would love to see this in person as well

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    1. Hey Keith! It is definitely worth the drive.

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  3. ...the 'middle of nowhere' is looking might neat my friend.

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    1. It always does Tom! Most of my favorite places are in the middle of nowhere.

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  4. I have never seen or heard of that many old cars and trucks in one place. Do any of them run, or are any being restored? That one in the first two pictures; all I'd need is a fedora, cigar and a Thompson to give Al Capone a run for his money.

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    1. I never have either Mike. There are quite a few of them that run, but he said that he doesn't have the time to keep them all running. I'm right there with you, I LOVE the car in the second photo.

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    1. I agree Mac! He's a pretty interesting guy.

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  6. Wow, that is quite the collection he has. Love to see this in person too.

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    1. Hi Bill! I'm really happy that I was able to see it.

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  7. Oh my goodness, these rusty cars are wonderful, love seeing them all lined up with the wheels in a proper line. And the outboard motors, great! And all those wooden wheels hanging on the wall. I wonder if he ever sells any of the cars to collectors and restorers. Like you, I enjoy quirky collections of odd things, especially mechanical stuff. And I admire (sort of) the person who puts together and then maintains such a collection. And then I wonder what will happen to all this stuff when the main character is no longer there to keep it together.

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    1. Hey Sham! I agree about enjoying the quirky stuff. No place has more it than the desert. His family lives next door to the museum, and he has a precious young granddaughter who is all over this place, so maybe she will take over.

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    2. Thanks for the headsup on the blog post. I don't know why I couldn't see it, I'm definitely losing it. I belong in the barn with all those other old crocks. teehee.

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  8. The one with the bullet holes must have quite a story!

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    1. I thought the same thing William. Actually quite a few of them had the random bullet hole or two. It seems that anything sitting outdoors in the desert, is going to gain a bullet hole or two.

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  9. My goodness, what a terrific collection of amazing vehicles Pat!

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    1. It sure was Brian! I was really surprised.

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  10. Interesting. This guy didn't believe in restoration at all!

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    1. Hey Red! I should have shown more of the building with the restored cars in it. The lighting was terrible though. Maybe I'll update this post sometime.

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  11. Hmmmm.... I think my comment on this post must have evaporated, and I think my comment on the previous post disappeared too.... I wonder why?

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    1. Hey Sham! It's here! I'll go check on the last post.

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  12. That's an interesting place to find in the middle of the desert. I wasn't on my back for my redwoods shot, but was low to the ground. With those trees a couple of feet doesn't make a difference!

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    1. That's what I thought Al. You never know what is going to turn up out there. You are right about how tall those trees are. Amazingly tall...

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  13. Amazing collection! Is he still collecting, and what is he going to do with it? By now it must be worth a ton! Also those bikes ...and like the car you chose:):)Thank you for sharing this interesting museum! Hope you guys are doing well!

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    1. Hi Jeannette! If he is, I don't know where he's going to keep it all. We are doing great, and hope you are doing the same.

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  14. That guy is definitely a Collector with a Capital C.....wow! What an interesting find -- and it seems like if you were going to stumble across something this weird and this fascinating the desert would be the place. We grew up in a remote valley in Eastern Washington/Northern Idaho ... and you couldn't drive your car up the surrounding grades without that bag for water. (Well, your father couldn't.)

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    1. Yes he is Sallie! You are right about the desert being the place for oddities. I wasn't driving either when those bags were prevalent.

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  15. Beautiful car abtiques, fabulous.

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  16. Wow what an incredible collection, Pat!

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    1. Hi Marleen! It was indeed incredible.

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  17. FANTASTIC photographs, Pat! I especially love them because I'm such an admirer of not only vintage-type museums that seem almost like a vintage graveyard, but I also love the look of rusty metal. I think it makes things look more valuable.

    Those are some awesome-looking vintage cars! The car with the bullet holes reminded me of the movie, Bonnie and Clyde!

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    P.S. That final image of the doll is spooky indeed, but I actually like it!!!

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    1. Hey Ron! Thanks so much. There bullet holes in some of the other cars also. Heck, there are bullet holes in almost everything in some parts of the desert.
      I liked seeing the doll, despite it's creepiness.

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  18. wow what a great collection and what history attached to each one, especially the bullet holes! Yes the doll is creepy.

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  19. wow...would love to get my 8x10 view camera out there...on my list, thanks!

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  20. Trying again to post.... but perhaps it will not appear, like my other comments.

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    1. Hi Sharm! Your original comment is here. It's about 15 comments up.

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  21. Wow! I stopped by thinking I would see clouds, yes, a museum dedicated to clouds! Interestingly, I wasn't the least bit disappointed seeing these amazing cars. What an incredible collection. Totally cool!

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    1. Hi Robin! Coming from you (and only you), I totally believe that.

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  22. Hi Pat. My gosh, a seriously cool collection!! You manage to find the most interesting places. Along with the cars, I like his various displays... old radiators, outboard motors, lanterns, and a totally cool old RV!!

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    1. Hi Pete! I agree with you, I also loved all the other items. He must have had a fortune in old lights, horn, and accessories. I took photos inside the old RV, but they were pretty bad (as was the whole interior),

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  23. Oy - that's a scary final photo there.
    But this spot looks really fun. I love that he has detailed stories for every single car there.
    Thanks for showing me, a CA native who's seen much of the state, another special locale formerly unknown to me.

    I hope you're well, my dear friend.

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    1. Hi Robin! Don't feel too bad about it, California is a ginormous state, right?

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  24. that is a whole army of cars!

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    1. It sure is DEZ. An army of rusted cars...

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  25. Wow!!! Now that’s a photographers dream!!! What a fun desert find!!! Do you know about these places before you get there or do you just find them?

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    1. There was almost too much there Kathy. To answer your question, some of them I've heard about, and others I just find. The fringes of small towns are a gold mine of cool things.

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  26. The last photo is like one of them scenes from Silence of the Lambs or some movie like that - ya.

    The photos of the antiques are great.
    I am glad there is no place like that near me that I know of.
    Can't afford to hoard more :)

    Have a Happy Weekend, Pat!
    Peace :)

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    1. Yep, it gave me the willies. I am having a happy weekend, and you do the same. We went to an you can eat snow crab fest tonight. Yum!

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  27. Holy cow! What an amazing place! Great find, great shots!

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  28. I bet you could spend a whole day there easy! Isnt it wonderful that individuals have taken it upon themselves to preserve history. What an amazing collection. Some great shots there. And yes, that doll is spooky. And I love the old RV too.
    Those bullet holes reminded me of Bonnie and Clyde haha. Some amazing stories too I bet.
    Thanks for sharing. Looked like a lot of fun Pat.

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  29. Great collection. I like it.

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  30. Hello, what a cool collection of vintage vehicles. It is a great museum to explore. The bright yellow vehicles reminded me of my first car, it was a bright yellow Camaro. Happy Sunday, enjoy your day and new week!

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    1. Hi Eileen! It really was fun looking around there. I bet you loved that Camaro. Happy Sunday to you also.

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  31. Hi Pat! What a great post, I absolutely love it. And, of course, a large part of that is your photography … great work! The old stuff fascinates me. One of my hobbies has been collecting railroad memorabilia from the days when passenger rail service was the preferred way to get around the country. An old rusted lantern has so much character and, to me, that can be said for these old cars too. I wonder what will become of Johnny’s collection once he is no longer with us. It seems like Johnny located an oasis and turned it into a museum. Fascinating stuff! I’ve got to agree with you on your selection of a favorite in that 2nd photo. Just awesome! Thanks, as always, for sharing. Looking forward to your next adventure! John

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    1. Hey John! Thanks so much! I agree with you about things. Newer items don't really interest me that much. The old stuff in many cases almost seems like art. I'm not sure exactly what he will become of his collection, but he has a young granddaughter who has grown up right there at the museum, and she seems to love this stuff also. That would be awesome if she kept it all going later. Thanks for great comment John, I'm really glad you enjoyed it.

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  32. After I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I
    recieve four emails with the same comment. Is there a way you can remove me from
    that service? Thanks a lot!

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    1. Go to the post and "un-check" the box.

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  33. What a cool place for a photo safari. I'd love to take my camera there. It kind of reminds me of my yard growing up. My dad was a collector of everything. I loved his old model t truck.

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    1. It was a great visit, but I'd like to go back there sometime when the sunlight wasn't so darn harsh.

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  34. Oh my gosh Pat, a photographer's delight! What an incroyable collection of vintage motors! I can only imagine how many shots you had to edit down to get here, must have been hard 😀 and yes, your last capture is a wee bit creepy 😀😀

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    1. It sure was Grace. I really did take a lot of photos. I did have to cut down the number of photos, but it wasn't too hard because so many of them were washed out by the very harsh sunlight.

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  35. What a cool place! Is this off of route 66? Though the doll is kind of creepy! Have a great week.

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    1. It was a cool place, and that doll was totally creepy! Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post and commenting.

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  36. to visit this museum would be an interesting thing to do. Seems a bit odd that all cars seem to have the same "natural" color. Sand and rost :)

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    1. Yes, it was very interesting and I'm really glad we found it. The colors of the cars are all the same because they have been in the desert about 100 years.

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  37. oh wow we would love to go to this place, there is so much patina on the old cars. I am always looking for stuff like this to take photos of. Great Blog. Thanks so much for your comment on my blog. cheers, Nora

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    1. Hi Nora! I know what you mean. When I found out about this place I couldn't wait to get there. I just wish it would have been earlier in the day.

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  38. I'd definitely visit that place. So many cool cars and trucks! That old RV was sweet, too :)

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    1. I hope you do get to visit it. I should have included a couple of photos from the inside of that RV. It had everything you would need, but it was in bad shape.

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  39. Oh man, I LOVE old cars and stuff! AND I was in southern California LAST WEEK (at Joshua Tree and Palm Springs and Salton Sea) so I was practically THERE. Awesome pics! Hope you and the missus are well.

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    1. Hey VEG! I know that you do love this stuff. I saw your photos today and they are fantastic. The missus is well, thank you very much.

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  40. There's a lot of history packed into that place. And yes, that last one is a bit strange!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. I stumbled upon that creepy scene on accident. Whoever staged it like that knew what they were doing. Thanks Stewart!

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  41. This is the kind of place I'd love to see but know I never will, so thanks for such a detailed survey Pat.

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    1. You are most welcome Dennis. It's my pleasure.

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  42. Cool places. Those old cars are so neat to see. I loved the wheels on the wall. That doll was a bit creepy. - Always enjoy your photos, so much to see and look at and it's all well photographed.

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  43. Thanks so much Ida! It was a great place to visit.

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