Monday, August 23, 2010

Another Road Trip

This last Friday and Saturday, Jim had to drive up to the California Central Valley on lots of business, so I told him I wanted to tag along and help him with the driving. It was a 4 hour trip that included taking the 5 Fwy thru the Grapevine, a winding stretch of road that goes from sea level to 4000 ft in a really long uphill battle. Whenever I travel the Grapevine I'm always afraid that the radiator will overheat. You see so many semi's on the side of the road cooling their engines down. We always stop in Gorman (at the top of the Grapevine) to stretch our legs, and get something from Mikey Dee's. Yummy!

When you drop down from the Grapevine this is what greets you (above), miles and miles of endless flat, scorching hot road that takes you thru Bakersfield, with rows and rows of cropland. We saw lots of pepper plants, grapes on the vine, olive trees, pomegranate trees, fruit trees and cornstalks this time round.

If you continue up the 5 you drive thru Fresno then on up to Sacramento, but we took the 65 Fwy cutoff that headed us right towards the Sequoias, our destination being Portersville, one of the many towns at the base of the great mountains. The drive up the 65 was even more dismal then along the 5 we had just departed outside of Bakersfield. Tumbleweeds and oil drilling equipment, yuck! But as we neared Portersville, the landscape grew more lush because of all the agriculture. Once we left there we headed up to Lindsey where Jim had more business to see to. Lindsey is a more rural and smaller farming community then Portersville.

Our final destination for the night was Tulare, a huge agricultural and farming area, where Jim had even more stuff to do. On the way into town I mentioned that I could really use some cow manure for my ceramic sawdust firings that I do at school, so Jim pulled off to the side of the road and we collected many fabulous specimens of cow dung; actually, Jim did most of the collecting while I was busy talking and cooing at the sweet cows. Poor things, the flies were eating them alive.

All these towns we visited had wonderful old time downtown areas with fascinating architecture. This was Tulare.

This was the 99 Fwy that took us into Visalia that evening for a scrumptious dinner. What a beautiful sunset! Visalia is considered the heart of the Central Valley. It's the largest town around and it's farms and crops are spectacular. Lots more money in this community. And what beautiful farm boys we saw in the restaurant. Clean cut, strong and good looking I must say. :)

This is the theater in downtown Visalia. I was impressed with the groups that were performing there. That night was Los Lobos and on Sept. 2 the Doobie Brothers were coming into town. I want to see them, but I sure don't want to make that drive again anytime soon.

Another shot of the sun setting as we were walking the town, and then we lucked out, a live group was performing in an open air venue in town . We stumbled across them, as we were walking off our dinner. They were pretty good too, we sat and listened for awhile until they got a little too loud for us when they started playing some heavy metal. See ya later boys!
On our trip home I asked Jimmy to take me to 3 fiber stores that I had located in downtown Bakersfield. He's such a good sport, but by the time we got to the 3rd one, he had pretty much had it. LOL I think he fell asleep. When my son heard that he had taken me fiber shopping, the first words out of his mouth to Jim were "I'm sorry". Can't tell you how many stores poor Zach has accompanied me to, and barely survived.

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