Yesterday, we left Palm Springs and headed north to meet up with my brother, Dave, and his husband, Geoff, at their home in Parkfield, CA. We stopped north of L.A. and spent the night in Castaic. Probably should have just kept going, but Sunday we went the rest of the way to Parkfield. We took Interstate 5 up the San Joaquin (or Central) Valley. It's known as the 'Food Basket of the World' because of the diversity and volume of crops that are grown there. It's a strange and interesting place. As soon as you enter the valley, the sky goes from brilliant blue to a pervasive haze. The valley floor is flat so you can see for miles in all directions. The fields are vast, but they are not all there is to see. Entering from the south, one of the first things you see is the 1.7+ million square foot IKEA distribution center. Not what you might expect to be greeted with in the 'World's Food Basket'. There are huge dairy operations; sheep farms; orchards; and fields, both fallow and planted with crops I didn't recognize. We also passed oil wells, irrigation canals, vast strings of electrical towers, and construction and industrial sites.
Turning west, the valley gives way to rolling hills and ranches. About 15 miles outside of Parkfield, we stopped for lunch at the Jack Ranch Cafe where you can find good food and a memorial to James Dean in the parking lot. He died in an auto accident nearby in 1955. We arrived at Dave and Geoff's in plenty of time to watch the Super Bowl.
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Ann, Doug, Moose, Darla, Sunny, and with gratitude, Winnie and Chinny.