When we drove to Santa Barbara on Friday, we encountered horrific traffic. Fortunately most of it was going the opposite way, but we did hit a really bad patch a few miles from Gilroy (the garlic capital of the world).
This happens to be a part of California that Walt is quite familiar with because in the days when he used to go out on field trips to work with farmers on water projects, this was an area he visited often. So, being the smart, resourceful person that he is, he got off the freeway at Morgan Hill and drove into town so he could drive the city streets until we could see that traffic on the freeway had loosened up a bit.
Unfortunately, a lot of other people seemed to have that same idea so it was heavy traffic here too, with the additional slow-down of stop signs on every corner. But going through an old farm town area, with its quaint shops and interesting theater marquee....
...was kind of fun. Morgan Hill is near Salinas, where John Steinbeck lived and set some of his stories, particularly "East of Eden" which is set right where we were driving (it was less developed then, of course), hence the outdated movie playing today!
One of the things we passed by too quickly for me to get my camera out and pointed in the right direction was this cool pumpkin pyramid at a pumpkin farm that is about to open for business next week. I was disappointed not to have the photo, but it was not the end of the world. However, when we got to Santa Barbara, I told Walt that on the way home, I would like him to drive through Gilroy and Morgan Hill again so I could get the picture then.
We left Santa Barbara around noon, after a late lunch and more visiting with Alice Nan and then on up the road. My friend Kari takes wonderful photos with her iPhone from a moving car (some really lovely ones from their recent trip to Europe) and so I was practicing to see if I could also do that. Many turned out blurry, as my iPhone photos almost always do, but I did like this picture of the Gabilan Mountains, of which Steinbeck wrote to eloquently,
and this wall of trees that I really like, just out of King City. I've always wanted to photograph it, and today I did.
Walt got off the freeway in Gilroy, as I had asked him to, and we drove through town. I thought I remembered the pumpkin patch being on a corner lot, but we got all the way through Gilroy and no pumpkins. It had been a huge pyramid and as this isn't even October yet, I couldn't imagine they had sold them all over the weekend.
We kept driving and driving and eventually, I just put my camera away and was going to tell Walt that he could turn at the next stop and head back up to the freeway, when suddenly there it was: my pumpkin pyramid!
I got out to take a photo and that's when I discovered that the disc for the camera was still in the laptop, which meant that all those photos I took at V's restaurant that I was so thrilled to get, I didn't get at all. If I hadn't been trying to be surreptitious, so that I just took the photo quickly and then hid the camera, I would have noticed the warning that there was no disc in the camera.
Walt parked, unloaded the trunk, got out the laptop and I retrieved the disk and took my pumpkin photo. I was very happy with it, after all. We came home, collapsed and watched the two Jeopardy episodes we had missed, and I watched the Emmy broadcast from last night. (I realized with great guilt that when Alice Nan turned the show on about 2/3 of the way through it, after Joe had finished watching golf and football, I asked if we could turn it off because I wanted to watch it from the beginning. How selfish of me! I knew I had it recorded at home, but I deprived her of seeing any of it without even thinking about what I was doing. Sorry, Alice Nan!)
The dogs are very happy to see us again, and I'm glad to be home.