17 March 2022

Susan Sorrells and her own desert town of Shoshone

Susan Sorrells has been called the “Queen of the Desert” and among a “shortlist of the most interesting people in California.” The Smith College graduate spent time in Liberia with the Peace Corps, worked for California Sen. Thomas Kuchel in Washington, D.C., and lived for four months in the Soviet Union during the Cold War while considering a career as a diplomat. She ultimately returned to California to claim her birthright, the entire town of Shoshone — a small, once-bustling mining town, whose cluster of historic buildings flanks two sides of a highway that slices through the Mojave on the way to Death Valley. Sorrells shared the story of her journey and how she is using the town to advance a new kind of ecotourism.

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