Saturday, November 29, 2008
Over the hills and into Southern California
There’s a little road that winds through the most idyllic area of rolling hills to the east of Napa. We started our day yesterday driving through vineyards and small ranches in the mist with the sun breaking through here and there as we climbed or descended past fat, happy horses, little farm buildings, stone fences and grassy hills. Forty miles later we arrived at Winters, California, a little agricultural town where walnuts and citrus fruits are grown. From there we hit the freeway and roared through the Great Central Valley. This is the agricultural heart of California; it’s criss-crossed by irrigation canals, and seems to go on forever, especially since we were under a heavy bank of clouds. After many hours of freeway driving the eight-lane road ascended to the 4,000 foot Tehan pass. Traffic was bumper to bumper and disabled cars cluttered the shoulder through the summit area. As soon as we were over the pass the sun came out. Suddenly we’re in Southern California. We pulled off at a truck-stop town called Castaic where we found a place to stay and ate in a 24-hour diner. This morning the sky is blue, the sun is warm and the flowers are blooming.