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"All roads lead to Slash-X Ranch"
BARSTOW - Off-highway Vehicle enthusiasts in Southern California are well familiar with the Slash-X Ranch Cafe.
Located eight miles south of Barstow on Highway 247, the cafe has been in operation since 1950, and was purchased by Brian and Gayle Lynn in 2004. Open every week Friday through Sunday, the Slash-X Ranch Cafe is a popular weekend destination ride for OHV operators.
"I think it's because of the uniqueness of it," Gayle Lynn said. "It's people coming in from the desert. They ride here in all kinds of creations. Bikes and quads, homemade vehicles."
A typical weekend at Slash-X will see riders pulling up in large groups and congregating for a few hours at the ranch, eventually departing back to camp via the numerous dirt bike trails in the Stoddard Valley area.
The cafe gets plenty of traffic from street vehicles as well, and the majority of the cafe's customers are regulars, including some that have been visiting Slash-X for more than 40 years.
"Everyone that comes here will tell you, it's the family environment of the off-roaders," Randy Lynn, 29, said. "And that's why everyone loves this place.
The Slash-X Ranch is a 44-acre property, with the cafe sitting front and center. The areas surrounding the ranch are available to the public for camping, and according to Brian Lynn, who passed away in 2011, "Out here, all roads lead to the Slash X Ranch,".
Gayle Lynn continues to operate the cafe along with her sons R.J., Ryan, and Randy, and have seen customers travel from as far as the Netherlands and Switzerland to visit.
"The people that you meet, the friends you make. It's just fabulous," Gayle said. "That's one thing we're very lucky with. We have such a large group of people that come from all over Southern California and out of the United States. We get a lot of snowbirds from Canada."
Features inside the cafe include a memorial to the late Brian Lynn, a wall-length shuffleboard table, and the Julia Roberts stool, where patrons can sit in the seat where the famous actress shot a scene for the movie Erin Brokovich at the Slash-X Ranch Cafe.
The menu is loaded with food options like the OHV Burger and the Mountain of chili-cheese fries, and at peak hours customers will pack the Slash X to enjoy a meal and the camaraderie of the loyal customer base.
The outdoor barn on the ranch has been the venue for everything from weddings and music videos, and on any given weekend the Slash-X Ranch Cafe is host to one of the largest gatherings of OHV riders in the state.
"All of us are unanimous in how much we love this place," Randy Lynn said. "We'll never sell it. We love this place so much and it's going to be in the family for generations."