Janet Keener
10 Images

River’s edge

Janet Keener, a 12-year resident of the Colorado River Communities, takes her daily walk along the river bank. The remote area is the last outpost of the Inland Empire and many people thrive here, taking refuge in the water and the solitude. “You either love it here or hate it, there is no middle ground,” says Keener, chairwoman of the board of directors of the Colorado River Senior Center in Hidden Valley. (Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times)
Debbie and Leonard Hook relax on the porch of their trailer in Lost Lake along the Colorado River. Leonard had wanted to live in the area since he was a boy and the couple finally made the move from Hesperia last year. (Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times)
A white heron stands amid the reeds on the Colorado River. The string of residential hamlets stretches out north of Blythe along the river and ends just below the town of Vidal, where Wyatt Earp once mined for gold. (Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times)
Avid fisherman Daniel Jones makes an effort to go out on the river every day. When he’s not fishing, Jones heads for the mountains in his custom-made dune buggy. (Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times)
Deer gather for an early-morning meal in Hidden Valley. Other animals include rattlesnakes -- in two colors -- and scorpions, along with the birds that head for the river banks. (Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times)
Al Querry is reflected in his coffee table, which displays the various insects, spiders and other creatures that he’s collected while living in Hidden Valley. (Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times)
Linda Osburn, Linda Barnard, Billie Jean Bednarczyk, Pat Miranda and Dorothy Heacock play Mexican Train dominoes. Few things can deter them from their Thursday matches at the Colorado River Senior Center in Hidden Valley. (Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times)
The diner at Lost Lake is empty on this particular morning. It’s the local hangout for those who live in the nearby trailer park. Along with food and beer, it also sells clothes and jewelry. (Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times)
Danna Le waits for a friend outside the Lost Lake store. Though adjusting to the hot, hard-scrabble river life can take time, residents view the wide-open landscape as a sanctuary from urban stresses. (Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times)
Janet Keener, Linda Osburn, Kay Jones and Linda Barnard stroll along the bank of the Colorado River in front of their homes. (Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times)