The Sky Village Swap Meet, formerly a drive-in movie theater, is an outdoor marketplace where many a treasure can be found. Perhaps the most stunning treasure is the Crystal Cave, a meditative space made of foam, running water, passion, and thousands of crystals.
Created in 2004 by Bob Carr, the Swap Meet’s late owner, the Crystal Cave is decorated by everything from amethyst and rose quartz to seashells and porcelain. The walls are coated with insulation foam, giving it a cave-like texture. A lovely running water feature was added later.
The Crystal Cave was almost a very short-lived project. Carr destroyed it along with most of the Swap Meet in 2008 when it looked like the City of Yucca Valley was going to claim the whole piece of land under eminent domain.
Local sentiment prevented the seizure, but the cave itself remained a ruin until 2010, when two Danish art students helped Carr recreate and expand it. They helped get the project featured by High Desert Test Sites, a group that highlights art installations in the desert.
Anyone who stops by to see the cave can look in the windows, but if you were lucky enough to have visited there when Carr was present, he might have let you in to meditate alone for a while. A plaque quotes Carr’s desire to make his creation so beautiful that no one would be able “get up the nerve to bulldoze it for any reason.”
Sadly, Bob Carr died in January 2019. His wife Elizabeth says, “He died as he lived—on his own terms and with dignity and grace.”