Friday, September 2, 2016

From the Desert to the Sea (Day 15)

Today we left the desert, driving through the Tehachapi Pass, a mountain pass that separates  the Mojave Desert and the San Joaquin Valley in California.  The San Joaquin Valley produces grapes (raisins and wine) cotton, nuts (especially almonds and pistachios) citrus, and vegetables.  The Valley has been called “the food basket of the World.”  The area also produces oil and gas—one oil field (Midway-Sunset) is the third largest in the US.  It is a fascinating drive with a varied scenery from Tehachapi, through Bakersfield, then west on Route 46 to Paso Robles, and turning north on Route 101 into the Salinas Valley.  As we drove along we passed truck after truck loaded with garlic, broccoli, lettuce and other produce, which will all be shipped out to grocery stores across the country.  Amazing!

At Salinas, we turned west toward the Monterey Peninsula and encountered a totally different kind of scenery.  Monterey has an elevation of 26 feet above sea level and sits along the Pacific coast.  Not a bad place for a mother-in-law to live!  Cher’s mother lives just a block up from the  now “touristy Cannery Row”—which from 1920 through 1950 really did consist of “real canneries” which packed sardines.  It must have been a “smelly” place back then!  

While the scenery along the way today was fascinating, my thoughts were also focused on several friends experiencing health issues.  I can hold these friends in my bundle of love and care “on the road” just as I can back home in my study or sitting on the deck in my back lawn.  

There is an annual Greek Festival over Labor Day weekend here in Monterey.  I visited the festival last year and enjoyed the music, the Greek coffee,  and the pastries.    I plan to do the same this weekend.  
The Pacific Coast near Monterey

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