Elmer Long’s forest of over 200 bottle trees along Route 66.
As a child, Elmer Long roamed the desert with his dad, collecting everything and anything they could including an incredible collection of glass bottles.
When Elmer’s father passed away, he inherited his collection and began constructing his first bottle tree.
Elmer Long is just as fascinating as his bottle ranch, always welcoming guests and willing to strike up a conversation. He longs for the old days when people traveled to discover the towns and wonders along the roads. I guess my interest is somewhat like Elmer’s since our family often traveled along Route 66 while heading back east to visit relatives.
Each way you turn, there’s always something new to see, including this Jeep in the middle of a bottle tree forest.
BTR isn’t all about the bottles, he’s collected quite a few interesting treasures including this old historic bell.
Now that’s a big bottle tree.
Route 66 shout outs can be found throughout the ranch.
Besides being a beautiful gallery, the hollow bottles also whirr a sweet tune when the wind passes through them.
Elmer’s welding skills helped grow his forest of bottle trees starting in 2000.
Bones & Bottles
BTR is free and open to everyone but there is a donation box so that you can help him with his art and if you donate you can take a small piece of glass as a souvenir.
Glass Works. Donate and you get to take a small piece of BTR with you.
I was so thankful I was able to meet and chat with the artist. He’s extremely nice, likes to take the time to get to know you and doesn’t mind taking a photo with you when you visit.
No need to water these glass trees although you will find plenty of real ones sprinkled throughout the ranch which helps cool down your journey as you explore his beautiful creations.
Bones, bottles, lamps and parts of a stove.
Roadrunner, meep, meep!
BTR is located along the Mother Road, Route 66, @ National Trails Hwy, Oro Grande, CA 92368 (between Barstow & Victorville). Stop by and say hello to Elmer if you ever find yourself out that way, you won’t forget it. I was always bummed that I missed the chance to meet Leonard Knight @ Salvation Mountain before he died. You never know when great folk artists are gonna leave this earth, so get out and meet them while they’re still here.