Carolyn’s Curios and Curiosities
Leaving Palm Springs for Fresno with 330 miles planned for the day, we ate a hearty breakfast, filled up with fuel and set off. The town hadn’t been as glamorous as I think I’d expected but we’d had another great couple of days.
Travelling between the expanses of wind turbines, we marvelled at the sheer scale of the venture. Between them, they generate enough power for 330 000 homes. No fossil fuel consumption, no waste products, clean energy.
The I10 stretched before us and with Kath at the wheel, we hit the HOV lane at a speed which indicated a slight disregard to the stated speed limit! (#justsaying!) The other four lanes slowed almost to a standstill with the weight of traffic but we carried on with only one car and a motorcycle in front of us. Now, HOV stands for High Occupancy Vehicle and, to illustrate the American worship of personal transport, High Occupancy means 2! Even that was defied by the motorcyclist who didn’t have a pillion passenger.
I’d researched the route and saw that we passed a number of places which brought back memories. ‘Downtown Burbank’ from Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in announced by Gary Owens with one hand to his ear; ‘Pasadena’ by the Temperance Seven linked to The Pasadena Roof Orchestra; San Fernando of the ‘Last Train to…’ fame by Johnny Duncan and the Blue Grass Boys and, for me, Anaheim where I had my first ever visit to America which was for an educational conference in 1991.
Trucks slowed as we climbed the inclines of I5 which saw them struggling round Pyramid Lake and the oddly named Hungry Valley. Some of them were almost unable to keep climbing and the ominous sign saying ‘Radiator Water available’ sent a clear message. The climb was to over 4000 feet and we passed evidence of the fires which had ravaged parts of California during the drought. Some agriculture was obviously possible as we passed grapes, olives and one corn field. We saw cattle being fed fodder and adverts for a Vintage Cheese Factory showing some dairy and beef production but didn’t see any growing pasture. There seemed to be a significant campaign by farmers for more dams to be built to provide irrigation. ‘More dams mean more food’ read the posters.
So, we arrived in Fresno despite our Sat. Nav. insisting that Sacramento should be pronounced ‘Sacramenno’ with an apparently silent T… which led me to imagine an afternoon meal where people didn’t speak… Silent tea?! Sorry, I was driving by that time!
The last time a Road Trip involved a cinema visit was, on Kath’s recommendation, to see ‘The Mechanic’ with Jason Statham whose facial expressions ran the whole gamut from A to… err… B! Just!
So, with trepidation, another of her choices… and what a difference! Action, acting and humour in ‘Angel Has Fallen’. Ok, I’d worked out the villains from 5 minutes in but, hey, an enjoyable film in a very comfortable stylish cinema called the Manchester Regal. Wow!
Our hotel room in Fresno? It had to be Room 101!