How Green Is My Valley

March 18, 2023

I drove to Southern California today.. my semi-annual trip to see brothers and as many other family members as I can fit in. I was supposed to leave yesterday, but the trip got delayed a day due to that weird thing that happens to me the night before a long drive where I can’t fall asleep. This started way back in about 2010 when I was about to drive a van-load of junior high school kids to a leadership conference in Irvine… and, well, it’s a long (and funny) story about anxiety-induced insomnia that I don’t want to write about at this moment. But suffice to say, if I think too hard about the fact I have a long drive ahead of me, there’s a good chance I’ll psych myself out and won’t be able to sleep. Even if I have no reason to stress. I get into self fulfilling prophesy territory and then it’s curtains. Oy.

Anyway, left a day later after a GREAT night’s sleep (insomnia-induced exhaustion does that to a person). Got an earlier than usual start (8:00), ran into unexpected Saturday traffic (what the…) which started in the San Fernando Valley and didn’t let up until about the 110 interchange (ugh!), and generally turned what should have been a breezy drive into a slog. BUT… look what all these record-breaking storms have done to the California Central Valley!

The other thing I saw a TON of — which I rarely see — was wildflowers in spectacular abundance..

Both of these were taken blind as I drove… that is: I keep my eye on the road and just hold my camera at arm’s length and shoot out the passenger side window. I cut, crop and level the horizon later. I don’t bother getting rid of the reflections…

But wow oh wow! Pretty, huh?

Other highlights: seeing quite a bit of snow on the southwestern edge of the Tehachapi Mountains and the northeastern Emigdio Mountains. (Yes, I had to look up the mountains that comprise the Tejon Pass and define the so-called Grapevine.) I also discovered an organic family farm called the Little Purple Barn just before the Grapevine, which was lovely… a little off the beaten path, but worth the short drive. Got a strawberry rhubarb pie for Matty and Michael, which was a great addition to our dinner that night.

(NTS: Don’t forget those crazy dinner guests.. a Russian social media influencer (a gorgeous model who posts pictures of herself vacuuming in her underwear) and her self-made millionaire husband.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: