Thia belongs in December ( AM December 22)

I have to fiddle with this ,becasue it does NOT belong right here, in the fat middle of springtime.
8:30AM
We just left home and it is FOGGY, damp and miserable. If you have never been in the Central Valley in the winter,this is what it looks like. Flat.
My plan is to take a picture every hour because..well, what is familiar to me might possibly be interesting to someone else. Or not. I’ve been taking this same drive for the last 40 years. Turn left at Bakersfield. It’s entertaining to ME.

9:30
More of the same. Flat. Wet. Grapevines. Walnuts. A lot of wet and miserable and cold. Knitting in car.

Keep in mind that knitting in the car is the zen that allows me to think these powerful thoughts. Make these earthshaking connections. and in general, just get it. It’s the Zen of the art. The simplicity of the pattern, where form follows function Ugly scratchy yarn is set free to sail the high ways. Likewise icky plastic needles that taste like rotted milk or dead fish. Liberate them back to the Earth. My personal knitting favorites are bamboo and wood needles and soft yarns in pretty colors that don’t remind me of rotting leaves. That pretty well rules out all the dirt colors.
9:45
McFarland
There’s a prison here. Heck, there’s a prison practically every 90 miles along the whole of the Central Valley. If half the felons made a trip TO this part of the world, they would give up their wicked ways. The weather here is terrible. AND did you know that where ever it is that you commit your crime you have to GO BACK and do your parole? Which is dandy if you knock over a bank across the stree from Disneyland, but imagine knocking over the 7-11 around here? Crappy weather and what are your job prospects? Prison work (cross that one off the list), construction and farm work. I’ve done all three.

10:20
Oildale..not pronounced “Oil Dale” but “oyl duh ale”. People from Tulare (pronounced To-Larry, not Two Lar) don’t get down this far south and don’t say it right. They cain’t help it none that they ain’t from places outta the Grapes of Wrath or Halliburton.

10:30
Here’s where you take a left at the Tehachepi (Ta-hatch-a-pea)exit. There’s a prison there, too. We stopped at THE worst truck stop for gas…not a car friendly stop. This was a TRUCK stop. One toothed hookers (that would be hookers of indeterminate ages, plural, with one random tooth in each singular head) lounging at the doorways. Varying Brittney-Madonna-Paris-Christina hooker get-ups. An entire wall devoted to condom and sextoy dispensers in the bathroom, which was grungy to the max. I’ve stopped at my share of icky places but this was #1 with a bullet for the worst in North America.


11:00
Walnut Orchard
We’re moving out of the flat part of the San Joaquin Valley and into the mountain pass where there are orange groves and stone fruit trees that need the colder weather to set a crop. (I know all this stuff. Grew up on a farm.) I can recognize most crops and fruit trees we drive by, Pretty entertaining on a trip. at least for me.

Hartley Walnuts…they look like little hearts when you hold them in your hand. Sorta kinda. Well, more than other walnuts do. And if you whack them right on the pointy part, you get pretty little halves that look nice on cookies, if you are a cookie baker sort of mother kind of person.

Probably the last grapes we’ll see; we’re just outside of Lamont, which is, oh still in the Valley. It’s not noon yet.

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