While chatting with my desert/middle of nowhere explorer buddies about weird places to venture in the Southern California desert, Felicity and the Granite Museum at center of the world chapel came up. The Center of the world caught my attention and I quickly made a note to the list of places to explore, research and photograph at a later point.
Early July 2017 while I was researching for a place to visit over the weekend on a one day trip, I decided to visit Felicity, the Center of the World Chapel and the Granite Museum. From my research, I knew it was going to be about a 4 hour drive, as Felicity was close to Mexico / California and Arizona border. I had to plan properly for this trip.
I found a few routes that would take me to Felicity and decided to take the one through San Diego. That way, I can manage to add a few more attractions to visit along the way. I will talk more about these attraction spots in another post.
On the day of my trip, I deviated from my planned route and took a quick detour to Warner Springs to take some summer sunrise pictures of the Cottonwood tree and cut through the desert to get back on the freeway.
After spending an hour in Warner Ranch, I took Hwy 78 and County Hwy 2/S2 (Sweeny pass Rd). This will cut across the desert and put me back on Interstate Hwy 8. This detour to Warner Springs added an additional 2 hours to my already long drive but it was all well worth it. I got to explore and drive through places that I would never have attempted going to otherwise.
Three hours away from Warner Springs and a breath taking and scary drive later (as there were no other cars or any one along the way) on S2, I got to I8 and reached Felicity and pulled into the private road that leads to the visitors center a place called the “Center of the World”. With a sign of relief, that I am now at the Center of the World (pun intended)
I got out of the car and immediately felt like I was inside an oven! I knew it was going to be a hot day but not like this. The air was dry but at least it was breezy so the weather was slightly tolerable. Then I noticed the visitors center was closed. I saw some one doing landscape work and I asked what time the place will be open. That was when I found out that the visitor center will only be open only during certain period of the year from Thanksgiving to end of March each year. I was quite bummed.
When I realized that I have the entire place all to myself, I got excited. I quickly grabbed my gear and started exploring the place. The other bad news / things I noticed was as the center is closed, I will not be able to see the actual center of the wold placard inside the pyramid. Also, the arm of Michael Angelo was boarded up and the church was closed. So all I could do was explore around and take pictures of things outside.
There were quite a few interesting artifacts to explore even with the Visitor Center and the rest of the place closed. Some of them are
Section 12 of the old Eiffel Tower
Michael Angelo’s Arm Sculpture
Center of the World Pyramid and Placard
Korean War Memorial
History of the World Memorial
History of the US Memorial
History of Arizona Memorial
History of California Memorial
Center of the World Chapel / Church on the Hill
Desert Bowling Alley
Desert Checker Chess board
Since I did not get a chance to see the Center of the World placard and the inside of the church, a follow up trip is definitely in the plans later in the year and when the weather is mild.
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