Ken Layne is driving past Wonder Valley — an unincorporated community he calls the "weird cousin" of Joshua Tree. He is uneasy. Years ago he got a speeding ticket on this road and it cost him $600. Now he sets the cruise control on his car to 59 mph every time he drives out here.
"This is prime bighorn sheep territory," he says, looking beyond the plastic coyote on his dashboard toward the wide-open vistas. "There are no signs of people except for us."
He points out the dust devils spinning off in the distance. This is his life now.
For six years he ran the absurdist — and vicious — political blog Wonkette. Keith...