"The desert?" people ask in disbelief. "Why would anyone want to live there?" The very word conjures up images of rattlesnakes, scorpions, unbearable heat, dried animal skeletons and barren wasteland. But not all deserts are uninhabitable or foreboding. The High Desert of California, for example, is not only survivable, but actually has many advantages for the people who live here. The High Desert is about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles and is on the opposite side of the San Bernardino Mountains. It is made up of several communities: Victorville, Apple Valley, Adelanto, Hesperia and Lucerne Valley. Their combined population is about 125,000 - about twice as many as 10 years ago.
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