Thursday, June 4, 2009

June 4 - Here We Go Again

It's six months now, and I can tell you, it's time for a quick trip to Southern California, particularly since the winter-break trip was a delightful-mixed CA-AZ ramble and the spring sojourn was non-existant, what with the non-overlapping vacations of DVC and St. Mary's (plus, the weather's been unusually unsettled for this time of year). So back on the road again,

against the arid-grassy inner Coast Ranges, to where I's 5 and 580 join

north of

Westley / Ingram Creek,

then south past Del Puerto Canyon,

the sole sycamore corridor

at Newman along Orestimba Creek,

descending to Los Banos Valley

where a relatively recent homestead against the freeway presages the approach of

Santa Nella's

Ramada Mission de Oro.

From here, down to the runoff channel of San Luis Reservoir,

past ominous orchards,

up over a Coast Range shoulder

to Panoche Mountain

and Exit, north of the

serrated ridges of

Joaquin Rocks Valley.

The iPod is just about out of power, which is a good enough excuse to take in the palmy


splendors and


eccentricity of the

pungeantly windswept

Harris Ranch, spending an hour in the classically-musicked bar with a biscuit, milkshake (how positively sober), and another page orchestrated of Elijah Rock, thanks to the wonders of the laptop.

Onward. To the side canyons of

Kettleman Hills and

City, where the

crossroads are even lonelier;

across the southern San Joaquin Valley to the canals of

Lost Hills,

of stark power lines

attended by the roadside enterprises near Buttonwillow and

Stockdale Highway, as

the southern Sierra and

Transverse Ranges come into focus near


aquaducts rising into the Temblor Range.

And up we go by Grapevine


through the steep walls of the Canyon,

to the high-country

near Fort Tejon,

stopping briefly

below Frazier Mountain

at its namesake Park.

Over Tejon Summit, it's all downhill approaching Black Mountain,

above Pyramid Lake,

below the Old Ridge Route,

across from Whitaker Peak

past Paradise Valley / Canton Canyon,

down the suburban-encroached Violin Grade,

to uncertain preservation at Rye, reaching John Browning's early enough that we can still head out to a local spot in

San Bernardino before mixing a section of

A Walk Through California, Op. 151: San Bernardino.