Monday, August 4, 2008

August 4 - On the Photogenographic Road

Off to Southern California today, via I-5, initially approaching its junction with 580 at the eastern edge of the Diablo Range,

an elemental world of greens and tans,

with pale undulating shadows in the midafternoon sun.

The road goes south, of course, past storied areas including the orchards south of Shane P. Donlan's (south of Westley),

the incinerator at Crows Landing (where for some time the exit sign was crushed in a fashion that really did look like an aerial avian accident),

the sycamores by Orestimba Creek at Newman (albethey a bit speedy-fuzzy),

and Little Panoche Mountain.

Somewhere between the latter and Panoche, subtropical moisture appears (not an auspicious sign for walking in the mountains farther south), as the world continues to unfold past

Joaquin Rocks,

the grim stockyards of Harris Ranch,

canyonic foothills near Kettleman City,

Lost Hills,

sentinel powerlines north of Buttonwillow,

Pine Mountain over regimented fields,

the southern Tehachapis and a speedy shadow,

the California Aqueduct,

and Arvin, the setting sun occluded --

to the Grapevine (with a truck occlusion) --

up, up,

with oak-studded summits,

abrupt walls,

pastoral grazing,

the gathering dark in the Lebec / Frazier Park area

to Tejon Pass.

The road goes ever on, by the Grand Ranch of Gorman Naked Mountain,

Liebre Mountain,

desert vegetation invading from the Antelope Valley (Mojave),

milky-placid Pyramid Lake,

the yawning gap of Cherry Canyon (looking up to the Old Ridge Route)

and Piru Gorge, with Black Mountain Beyond.

At Violin Canyon overcrossing,

the interstate traffic lanes reverse (as if suddenly transplanted to a desertic Britain, with the medial as intervening ravine [an eastern term, to continue the meta]), and down we go,

as the grade reveals trespassing housing --

Magic Mountain redeeming itself in the sunset

which illumines the Rye Canyon area, beyond which rise

the Santa Suzanna Mountains near Gavin Canyon,

where cliffs

and lonely Big Cone Douglas Firs stand at attention before Newhall Pass --

to the San Fernando Valley (with the California Aqueduct coming down the other side of the mountain like a suspect Great Wall of California, center left),

the San Gabriel Mountains, John Browning's, and, ultimately, rest.