Homeward Bound

Concord Travel Blog

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Traveling along I-5
This is the last day of our vacation.  It has been almost two months since we rolled down the I-5 past green fields and orchards.  Crops such as cotton and table grapes were still bright and growing under a hot sun.  Today those same grape vines and cotton fields have turned brown.  Many fields have been plowed bare.  Most of the orchard trees, happily, still hold their leaves, although the farther north one travels, the more dried out they look -- except the citrus trees.  Those are evergreen.  The pear trees have been shaved at the top until all are evenly flat.  They look quite odd.  In this area, California's Central Valley, there seem to be only two seasons: cold and wet or hot and dry.
Pyramid Lake
  The hot/dry season seems to last a very long time, from late April until at least mid-October.  If it was in a natural state, there would be semi-desert vegetation.

Traveling northbound from the Los Angeles area, our route takes us past hills and mountains and over Tejon Pass at about 4,500 feet altitude.  Going down the 6-mile stretch of the road known as The Grapevine, a somewhat steep and winding area with a speed limit for the big trucks of only 35 mph!  There are runaway truck ramps in two or three places just in case of brake failure.  As they had down The Grapevine those brakes can be seen smoking!  I would not want to be driving i front of one of those guys!

Today's drive seemed so long.  The scenery is very monotonous once the mountains are left behind.  I must say, though, that this was a very pretty day, weather-wise.
"Sam and Mira" with Ajja at our final rest area stop.
  Unlike our southbound drive in September, the temperature was very mild.   Clouds were far more interesting than the flat blue sky one usually encounters here.  After lunch I drove while Jag slept.  After 2  1/2 hours of fairly flat road I became so sleepy I was seeing double.  We stopped at a Crow's Landing vista point overlooking t
he nearby town of Patterson.  This community has grown so much.  Houses have now been built almost up to the Delta Mendota Canal.  The rest was very refreshing.  The scenery was pretty, although haze obscured the view of the Sierra Nevada Mountains on the other side of the valley.

We returned home to find it peaceful and quiet.  Other than a bit of dust, the house was neater than I had remembered leaving it!  It felt good to enter the front door.  I still have some mixed feelings.  I think I would like a few days to get my perspectives back to normal, then take off again.  I don't think that will happen any time soon.  The cost is just so high at hotels and motels, to say nothing of gasoline and restaurants.  Still ....
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Traveling along I-5
Traveling along I-5
Pyramid Lake
Pyramid Lake
Sam and Mira with Ajja at our fi…
"Sam and Mira" with Ajja at our f…
Velvety hills near Gorman, CA
Velvety hills near Gorman, CA
Beautiful hills of the Tehachapi R…
Beautiful hills of the Tehachapi …
Traveling down The Grapevine
Traveling down The Grapevine
First view of the California Centr…
First view of the California Cent…
Cotton being picked (sorry about t…
Cotton being picked (sorry about …
Newly plowed field
Newly plowed field
Looking south from Crows Landing …
Looking south from Crow's Landing…
Green fields near Patterson, CA
Green fields near Patterson, CA
Concord
photo by: jagnroz