Babes Ride Out

Pioneertown General Store

Pioneering Woman of Joshua Tree | Meet Pioneertown General Store Owner Sarah Tabbush

PeopleAshmore Ellis

One of our favorite things is highlighting people who live in the communities we call home. Joshua Tree is filled with vintage shops, art studios, adventure tours, restaurants, all owned and operated by some of the most kind hearted ladies in the world. We encourage you to take time and read about these women (and visit their establishments while at Babes 6) who've created a life and own amazing businesses just a few miles from where you'll be camping. Introducing our newest content series, Pioneering Women, that specifically highlights these ladies and what they do to make Joshua Tree one of the most unique and welcoming towns we've ever been to. Meet Sarah Tabbush, owner & manager of 2 local retail shops: Pioneertown General Store and The Mother Lode Antiques (proud to be taking this over from the current female owner who has been there for over 30 years)!

Website & Social handles

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Where are you originally from? Los Angeles, CA

What brought you out to Joshua Tree, CA?

I grew up coming to the desert for vacation and I’ve always loved it. About 4 years ago I bought a home in Pioneertown and figured I’d retire here one day. I don’t think I spent one weekend away since then! I finally left my corporate job in LA, started my business and moved out here full-time a couple of years ago.

What is your favorite part about living in the desert?

There is something really beautiful and intriguing about a landscape that is constantly trying to kill you… cacti, joshua trees and mesquite trees have serious thorns; rattlesnakes,  scorpions, and tarantulas are everywhere; the summers are very hot and the winters are windy and cold. Access to typical city conveniences is limited. Despite all of that, and partly because of it, this place has magic in the air. I look at the harsh elements as an initiation of sorts. If you make it through all of that, you’re gonna be here for a while.

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Tell us about your business (what you do, day to day, it’s purpose, etc.)

I have owned the Pioneertown General Store for about 2 years now, selling vintage clothes and locally made apothecary and gifts. Everything in the store comes with a story and its own energy, which is why I am so drawn to old things. I spend mornings sourcing clothes at thrift store and garage sales and working on my website. I work in the store most days from 11-6, alternating between the Pioneertown General Store and The Mother Lode Antiques.

I am taking over ownership of The Mother Lode Antiques in old town Yucca Valley as of January 1. I’m extremely excited and humbled by this endeavor. About 8 months ago I was approached by the current owner (Nicky) who is looking to retire after more than 30 years doing antiques in this area. As part of the transition she has been teaching me how to date and value older pieces, how to refinish antiques, and lots of other trade secrets. I am grateful to be carrying on her legacy.

What is it like to run your own business?

I’m very grateful to own 2 businesses in the desert along with so many other amazing women. Most of the businesses around here are women-owned and it’s been that way long before I ever set foot in the sand. I would go so far as to say we live in a matriarchal society out here in many ways. We work hard to help each other out-- we chip in to help another business owner remodel her space, we support our local makers by buying and selling their goods, we promote each other, and at the end of a busy weekend we all have dinner together at Pappy’s.  It’s certainly not competitive.

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Tell us about any moments of clarity while operating your own business. This can include triumphs and struggles and how you cope/learn / celebrate them:

Do you. If you try to run a business to appease a certain subset of the population it will never be as successful as following your personal passions.

What do you have planned for the future?

The Mother Lode Antiques is a huge endeavor for me for the rest of the year.  I will officially take over full ownership January 1, and I plan to do some remodeling before then. Ripping up carpet, sanding concrete floors, painting walls, etc. And lots and lots of buying to fill the store!

Tell us a fun fact about Joshua Tree that most people wouldn’t know:

Okay here’s one a few about Pioneertown and one about Joshua Tree/s…

Pioneertown was built as a movie set for many of the black and white western films in the 40’s/50’s. A few of the famous films from our area are: Judge Roy Bean, Cisco Kid, The Gene Autry Show, and Annie Oakley. The town was founded by Dick Curtis, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and Russell Hayden.  The name “Pioneertown” comes from the band of which many of these films stars were in, called “Sons of Pioneers.”

The name Joshua tree was given by a group of Mormon settlers who crossed the Mojave Desert in the mid-19th century. The tree's unique shape reminded them of a Biblical story in which Joshua reaches his hands up to the sky in prayer. Legend has it that these pioneers named the tree after the biblical figure, Joshua, seeing the limbs of the tree as outstretched in supplication, guiding the travelers westward.

Any recommendations of points of interest (shops, restaurants, geological sites, anything outstanding) you’d recommend to ladies traveling to Babes Ride Out 6?

Idylwild is a great ride, one of my favorites. It’s about 20 degrees cooler up that mountain though so dress accordingly!

The Integratron in Landers is 38 ft tall dome structure with a diameter of 55 ft designed by Ufologist and Contactee George Van Tassel. Van Tassel claimed the Integratron was capable of rejuvenation, anti-gravity and time travel. It’s located where multiple vortexes and aquifers converge, making the energy pretty magical.

If you’re looking for something local and chill, ride through Pipes Canyon to Pappy and Harriets- our local honky-tonk. Great BBQ and cold beers (I personally show up for the tequila). As you walk down Mane street you’ll see the old western movie sets which are now private homes and stores. The Goat Soaps bring their adorable goats on weekends, not to be missed. The Pioneertown General Store is on Mane Street, too so come say hi!

Babes Ride Out

Babes Ride Out 5's Pioneertown Route Packs in the Fun (60 Miles Roundtrip)

Riding RoutesAshmore Ellis

Babes Ride Out is a true riding event which means when the sun comes up, grab a coffee, some breakfast at camp, and get outta there and explore some of the best riding in Southern California. We aren't joking when we say the camp clears out during the day. If you stay behind, you are blowing it! Stop by the Mojave Land Trust booth , pick up your Biltwell route map, and make sure to download these directions before you go. 

This route hits some of our all time favorite places in Joshua Tree. If you rode like hell to get to the event or a newer rider and just want to cruise, this mellow ride is for you. 

Pioneertown  (60 Miles)

  • 1 hour and 30 min round trip on your bike
  • Amazing little route that takes you through some winding roads with minimal stop lights
  • Pappy and Harriets is a must see, eve Paul McCartney played show on their small stage
  • Pappy and Harriets also has an insane lunch! Their mac and cheese is incredible.
  • Pioneertown is an old set created for Hollywood westerns. You'll be able to visit Sarah Tabbs at the Pioneertown General Store which is stoked with vintage and locally made items! Make sure to take advantage of the 10% discount she has for ALL ladies attending BRO. 
  • Last time I checked, a few mini ponies were hanging at in Pioneertown (please take a photo with them and tag it #ProgressiveDarkRoom so we can see!)
  • La it. Best brunch you will ever have in your life and a small detour from this route
  • Download route HERE
This is the best way to avoid stop lights.

This is the best way to avoid stop lights.

Pappy and harriets , We love this place!

Pappy and harriets , We love this place!

Behind Pappy and Harriet's is a cool western town. Ashley Marsh from Sailor Jerry seems to approve. 

Behind Pappy and Harriet's is a cool western town. Ashley Marsh from Sailor Jerry seems to approve. 

Ladies taking over Pappy's! 

Ladies taking over Pappy's! 

La Copine <3  Address : 848 Old Woman Springs Rd, Yucca Valley, CA 92284

La Copine <3 Address: 848 Old Woman Springs Rd, Yucca Valley, CA 92284

Before you ride please note:

  • IF YOUR GPS TAKES YOU ON DIRT ROADS TURN AROUND!!! The link above has correct directions :) 
  • You are riding at your own risk so please make sure you view the route & mark your gas stops based on tank size, check the local weather where you are going, check for last minute road closures,  and have the skill set to ride comfortably. 

Locals 101 | Meet Sarah Tabbush Owner of Pioneertown General Store and Joshua Tree Local

People, Roll CallAshmore Ellis

Joshua Tree is filled with tons of small businesses owned and operated by the kindest people you will ever find. These locals know the area like the back of their hand, welcome us with open arms, and are thrilled to invite all 2,000 of you ladies coming to Babes Ride Out 5 to stop by and say hello. Meet Sarah Tabbush, owner of the Pioneertown General Store (located behind Pappy and Harriets) Sarah has generously donated a ton of items to the Moto F.A.M raffle for Babes Ride Out 5 and will be working at her store all weekend. Stop in, say hello, and pick up hand made one of a kind souvenirs. As a bonus, Sarah has offered a 10% discount to ALL Babes Ride Out ladies who stop by. 

Located behind Pappy and Harriets! If you do the Pioneer Loop, this is the spot to stop!

Located behind Pappy and Harriets! If you do the Pioneer Loop, this is the spot to stop!

Name: Sarah Tabbush
Location: Pioneertown
Business | Job: Owner/Manager, Pioneertown General Store
Social Handle: instagram: @pioneertowngeneralstore and @sarahtabbs

Sarah Tabbush on moto.jpg

Tell us about yourself and how you ended up in Joshua Tree:

I grew up in Los Angeles and spent most of my life bouncing around from city to city trying to find the perfect place to call home. But when I finally came back to the desert where we used to vacation as a kid, I realized this place was perfect. It had all the wonderful elements of every city I’d ever loved. The desert, and especially Pioneertown, has the friendliness of the south, the beauty of the southwest, and a certain outlaw attitude that really resonated with me. This would be where I’d finally be able to settle down and “retire.”

How has your desert surroundings changed your lifestyle?

I slowed down a ton. The most important things to me now are preserving nature, spending time with my growing group of friends and investing in our small community. I start every day with a quiet cup of coffee on the patio with my dog Thelma. I finish most days watching the sunset in the same spot sipping tequila. The pace of my days are set by the sun and who’s having a BBQ.

Tell us how your business came to be.

I’ve always been passionate about bringing people together through community.  I’ve always done some type of volunteer community outreach and my last corporate job was in a marketing role for TOMS shoes. More and more it started to feel like I could better serve this purpose in a smaller capacity right here in the desert. I wanted to provide a place for all of the amazing creators in our community to sell their goods- I wanted to directly help build our local desert economy. I also wanted to have a space where people could come and feel comfortable hanging out- you wouldn’t just come to pick out a few things, you’d want to hear the stories of the people behind the products that I sell and stay a while. Beverages, a turntable and a comfortable seating area were important elements of the store design!
What is a day in the life like when you run your own business? Most days you’ll find me in the shop with my dog Thelma (nicknames include wild child, dingo… you’ve been warned). I’m usually chatting with locals and visitors aged 13-75 over a cup of coffee or a beer. My favorite moments are when  someone new comes by the shop and they’re greeted by old-timers who tell stories about the old days of Pioneertown when Hells Angels and horses all rode together on our dirt roads. 

Vintage, hand made goods, and all sorts of treasure.

Vintage, hand made goods, and all sorts of treasure.


What are you currently working on?

I’m always looking to support more females doing amazing things. I have more than 15 handmade products by local women and friends of the community and I’m always looking for more. I have product made by men too, but not as many…  It just so happens that the desert attracts some badass women and I love that!


What is something you cherish about Joshua Tree?

There is a spirit of community, kindness and creativity that I’ve never seen elsewhere. You have to be pretty tough to make it out here. The weather is hot and dry in the summer and cold in the winter (it even snows in Pioneertown at 4500 ft altitude). We have tarantulas, scorpions, bears, rattlesnakes. Not to mention trying to make a living! We really rely on one another to survive.  I’m extremely grateful to be a part of this community. 

What are you donating to the raffle?

I’ll be donating a few handmade items from some of my favorite ladies creating badass things:
Handmade leather motorcycle wallet by Joshua Tree local Maya Vega  Golden Hour Leather
Handcrafted Mojave Bush Balm Chapstick by Pioneertown local Sarah Witt , Motorcycle Bell by Jennifer Ilalaole  CobraCult Jewelry, Desert sunset chainstitch embroidered patch from Die Trying TX Tarot Deck by Joshua Tree local Mary Evans Spirit Speak Love’ Strawberry Rose Oxymel by Joshua Tree local herbalist Rachel Burgos Snakeroot Apothecary.

Any recommendations for ladies traveling to Joshua Tree for Babes Ride Out 5?

Try to avoid the sandy spots on the dirt roads if you’re on a street bike! And if you find yourself there anyway… the old-timers always taught me to just keep on the throttle and ploy through like you’re driving a boat.  But slow and easy dragging your boots works too! 
And do the Pioneertown ride! Not only is my store on the route… but it’s my favorite ride. 10% discount for all BRO ladies at the Pioneertown General Store, too! Here are some other great spots to shop in the area:

  • The Bloomin’ Gypsy Homegrown for plants, flowers and other treasures
  • Hoof and the Horn: Men’s and women’s western and bohemian style clothing and more 
  • The End: Magical curated vintage and designer clothing shop featuring local art, jewelry and textiles 
  • Funky and Darn Near New: Colorful vintage clothing store featuring local artists and more
  • Black Luck Vintage: Vintage, vinyl, clothing and handmade art
  • Pioneer Crossing, Tamma’s Magic Mercantile and The Mother Lode for antiques and other desert finds
Sarah and her angel, Thelma &lt;3&nbsp;

Sarah and her angel, Thelma <3