The Central Valley

michaelalreadytakenMarch 3, 2008

Long story short.

I "had" to drive to L.A. (not really but any excuse to get out and drive around California.

I took the PCH down. It defies description so I won't try.

L.A. at midnight is beautiful and pulses energy, the 101 outbound backed up for miles and miles. I was glad I was going the other way.

But I've seen all that before.

The real surprise came last night on the way back from Palm Springs.

I took I-5, which is elevated on the side of a mountain range/ridge for most of its course, away from anything urban and completely remote.

For two hundred miles I drove past the endless, unbroken, panoramic expanse of the city lights of the central valley.

There just aren't words.

It's je ne sais quoi to realize there are millions of people out there in all that beautiful farmland.

It may not have the immediacy of impact that Manhattan or downtown L.A. have but it more than makes up for it in scale.

It was a cold, dry California night last night and all those city lights just sparkled off and below on the right. To the left, black, dark, empty mountains with every single star visible.

This is a glorious part of the world, isn't it?


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carla17(Z7 NC)

I wasn't busy, you should have called! I am coming to see you one day, be forewarned!


    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 12:39PM
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kathwhit(z8, West OR)

Michael, I have driven that stretch of 1-5 many times on our numerous trips to DLand. It is a stunning drive in day or night. I especially love it in the spring when the hills are green, and the valley is being planted. It's also amazing in fall when the hills are all brown and contrast so starkly with the green valley. I guess in the winter, its usually covered in fog! I love the part going south when you see the mts in the distance ahead of you and they get closer and closer and then you go practically straight up and over to LA. Great scenery, but a looooonnnnnggg drive from my home.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 12:54PM
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Carla, you're welcome anytime. There is a spare bedroom and we're central to everything!

Kath, I've made the trip several times during the day and just never realized the extent of the "urbanization" of the valley until I saw the lights at night. It is beautiful right now, even in the daytime :). The hills are green and the orchards (endless as you know) are all in bloom. Just stunning. And you're right about the final approach to Los Angeles, through the grapevine. Although my route didn't take me through there this time it is impressive.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 2:46PM
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