posted on Jul, 6 2018 @ 08:50 AM
a reply to: FredT
Visitors to Edwards Air Force Base can sometimes arrange a tour of Pancho's through the Air Force Flight Test Museum. These visits have to be
coordinated because the ruins are located behind the small arms range and, though distant, are considered to be in a hazard zone.
Sometime, possibly in the early 1980s following the premier of "The Right Stuff," Edwards officials started having annual barbecues at the Pancho's
site. It was invitation only for Edwards personnel, family, and select friends. Then about a decade later it was opened up to the public with tickets
purchased through the Museum and a few other venues in Lancaster. The base archaeologist started getting worried about the impact of all these
visitors. So, instead of letting guests wander freely through the ruins, guided tours were provided by the Environmental Branch. I was one of the
volunteer tour guides for several years.
Eventually, the annual barbecue at Pancho's was essentially eliminated and moved to a different location to prevent further impact. Kind of sad,
really, but at least the site remains accessible to the occasional tour. I'm not sure what advice I can give on that front. If you show up
unannounced at the main gate, asking for a tour, it doesn't hurt to be a celebrity. Just sayin'.
The ruins include the airfield and rodeo grounds, cattle ranch, foundations of the main house, bar/dancehall, and hotel, the fountain, and a round
swimming pool with a ramp for horses. One of the foundations is marked with impressions of Pancho's Rancho Oro Verde brand.
After being ousted by the Air Force, Pancho Barnes attempted to start up again in Cantil, but never achieved her former success. She eventually moved
to Boron, where she died. Her abandoned house in Boron still remains but I have never visited that site.