On the Road Adventures
Friday, February 19, 2010
Feb 19, Lodi
Yesterday we discovered a little store, The California Fruit Depot, just barely a mile from the RV park where we usually stay when we go through Bakersfield. They have oranges, dates, all kinds of nuts and assorted other yummy things and is run by a group of women who laugh a lot. It’s going to be a must-stop from now on. Check out their site at http://www.calfruitdepot.com/
For geo-cachers, the cached called "Crazy 9 to 5" is located there, so that’s an added incentive to stop.
We took a leisurely morning and finally set off north, up I-5. If I-50 is the loneliest highway in America, then I-5 has to be the most boring. Brown hills, blah, blah; fruit orchards a solid mass of uniform green or dead-looking bare branches, blah, blah, blah; acres and acres of desert and tumbleweeds with angry orange signs saying “Desert created by Congress.” I always dread this stretch every time we come this way.
This time, though, it was a totally different highway. This time it was blooming. All those blah orchards? Diamond white, palest pink blush, lavender, and screaming hot pink as far as you can see. Some of the farmers planted different kinds of trees in alternating rows, so there the trees made light and dark rows like corduroy lying across the land.
The orchards close up are a multi-sensory pleasure. Gypsy and I took a walk over to a nearby orchard of almond trees when we stopped for lunch and took some pictures. First there was the pleasure to the eye of white blossoms in orderly rows and the beauty of the delicate individual blooms. Then as we got closer, there was the pleasure to the nose of an almost tangible fragrance that was heavy enough in the still air that a mouth-drawn breath left a taste of honey on the tongue. And finally, pleasure to the ears of the song of industry and satisfaction hummed by a symphony of bees.
The hills were covered in a dozen different shades of green with spray-painted accents of lemon yellow mustard blossoms, oranges and golds of poppies, and blue lupine that look like small ponds clinging in defiance of gravity to the sides of the hills. The fallow fields still have their angry signs, but the ground is green and lush right now, and many of the fields host flocks of sheep with fat mamas and their tiny white babies with pogo-stick legs.
The journey along the highway passed much more quickly than it usually does, with lovely things to look at all along the way. I may never love I-5 for most of our trips along it, but in February it is a beautiful road.
Tomorrow, home and all sorts of wedding projects for Darling Lizzie's June wedding. Fun!