This year I rang in the new year at Hicksville Trailer Park, a themed trailer park retreat designed as an adult play land for artists, musicians, and anyone else who needs a bizarre desert getaway.
While there is much more to Hicksville than the sleeping quarters, the most wonderful thing about this desert oasis hands down is the eclectically themed trailers that make up the “rooms” of this unusual motel. Eight in all, they range in size and luxuries, the consistency lying in the fact that staying in each trailer will give you a completely different experience and atmosphere than your neighbor. Regardless of being created as tributes to some fairly specific subjects, it’s unlikely you’ll have trouble finding one that appeals to you. Whether you’d prefer the plush, purple decadence of The Fifi, the gritty, psychobilly feel of The Lux, or the rustic ranch decor of the corral-encased Pony, you’ll feel absolutely engrossed in whatever theme you choose.
Hicksville is very secretive of its location, sending guests directions the day before reservations are scheduled, and strictly banning all social media locator applications. Its remote desert location allows for privacy and immersion in the experience of the “motel” that creator and owner Morgan Higby Night envisioned as a retreat for artists, musicians and anyone else who wanted to enjoy the magic of Joshua Tree in a safe, inspiring environment.
The gates to the trailer park opened in April 2010, and has since become an underground favorite, getting most of its guests through word-of-mouth. Exotically themed sleeping quarters aside, Hicksville provides all sorts of desert fun, including a hot tub, sa altwater pool, an outside shower, a canteen with full bar capabilities, and a newly added library. Our personal favorite was the BB gun and archery shooting range, where during the initial tour, we were wearily asked by Morgan to “refrain from shooting each other-with anything” implying it has been a frequent issue in the past.
Every trailer is very specialized, and a great amount of detail is applied the inside and out of each one. The Integratrailor may just be the most locally appropriate theme, as Hicksville is in the same desert “neighborhood” as it’s namesake, the Integratron. The Integratron is a giant dome in nearby Landers, built by aeronautical engineer George Van Tassel at the behest of the extraterrestrials that he claimed to communicate with. The inside of the Integratrailor is designed like a spaceship, complete with stars that move across the ceiling as you lie on metallic sheets.
The Lux pays homage to what was by far one of the most influential and long-lived bands in the underground music scene, and coincidentally this authors all-time favorite. Headed by husband and wife team Lux Interior and Poison Ivy, The Cramps were one of the first garage bands, pioneers of the punk scene, innovators of psychobilly, and inspiration for early goth rock. The band stayed active for over 30 years, until Lux Interior’s death in 2009, and The Lux trailer is the perfect memorial to him. Flat black and leopard print decor, nothing but horror flicks on the TV, and a jukebox that plays anything you like, as long as Lux is the one singing.
Designed by Ryan and Marci Hessling of Fifi Mahony’s, a wig store in New Orleans, The Fifi was a decadent palace of a trailer. Every inch dripping in crystal and shades of lavender, The Fifi contains a swanky wet bar, a movie star-worthy vanity, and an assortment of wigs that you are encouraged to try on and feel fabulous in. It was the obvious location for primping, indulgent lounging, and glamorous photo shoots, and had delightfully flattering lighting, as a Fifi should.
After two nights at the fabulous Hicksville, we felt at home and accepted, and when it was time to leave, we were tempted to sit on the ground, arms linked, and protest our eviction. We had actually come up with a fairly elaborate plan to stay while listening to recordsin “The Sweet” trailer, drinking in the new year, and designing our future Hicksville tattoos. We even made a sign. Out of respect for others who may want to enjoy it, we decided instead to think of as many excuses as possible to come back.
Photos by Ryan Swift
DO IT YOURSELF:
To make reservations at Hicksville, visit their website. Trailers can be reserved individually, or the site can be rented out in its entirety. Hicksville is also available for events, weddings, and also serves as a recording studio for musicians and editing studio for filmmakers. Many thanks to Morgan Higby Night, for his gracious hospitality, saintlike patience, and for sharing his brilliant vision with us in this magical desert space.