If you are ever traveling through California’s central valley on state route 99, make sure you make a pit stop at Bravo Farms in Traver. I had just embarked on a long summer road trip and was traveling through the central valley on my way to Yosemite when I started to see signs advertising cheese, nuts and ice cream. I thought, I could use some mozzarella to go with the tomato and balsamic salad I had packed for dinner! I pulled off the highway and found Bravo Farms, which at first glance was a basic roadside stand although a bit cooler. The view from the outside was just the beginning, Bravo Farms was holding a secret inside.
One of the things I love so much about road trips is that while there is always the destination in mind, there is the journey. The journey itself is just as satisfying as the destination. I have yet to get in my car for a trip and not find anything interesting along the way. Whenever I go somewhere, I always have to tack on a couple of hours to whatever “drive time” is expected. There’s gonna be stops! There’s gonna be U-turns. You just never know what you’ll see out there on the road. Side trips and welcome distractions are everywhere!
On my quest for fall colors on Route 395, the June Lake Loop was at the top of my destinations list. I had been on part of this loop over the summer and just knew it would be a great spot for fall color since the aspens were everywhere along the road. The June Lake Loop, also known as highway 158, loops from US 395 past June Lake, Gull Lake, Silver Lake and Grant Lake before merging back into Route 395. It was still raining as I arrived at a small parking lot along Silver Lake where there was a stand of Aspen Trees and a small trail over looking the lake.
I recently headed out to US Route 395 in search of fall colors in Mono County. It was a horrible, horrible drive. When I left home at 2:30am the lightning storm was just settling down without dropping any rain. I didn’t realize that I was headed into the big storm. The further northeast I drove, the bigger the flashes of lightning. I was storm chasing! Out on the desolate stretch of road, the lightning put on a scary yet beautiful display. I so wanted to find a turn off and get some awesome lightning photos, but decided against it since the strikes (for me) were a little too close for comfort. I almost turned back and went home, but I drove on. Really? What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
When I applied to be an apprentice in The Arcanum way, way, way back in January of 2014…I never really thought I’d be chosen by a master. I was nobody, from nowhere after all. How would I ever stand out among the literally thousands of applicants and be picked by a master? What a difference a year makes!! Today I celebrate my 1 year Arcanum anniversary! On July 16, 2014 I received the email that would completely turn my world upside down. I had been chosen by one A.D. Wheeler to be in his brand new cohort in The Arcanum. In fact, I was his very first apprentice.
On December 30th a very rare thing happened, it snowed in Joshua Tree National Park! When I was a kid, our church pastor had a thing about Joshua Tree. I never understood it. I had never been. I didn’t even know exactly where it was. I stumbled upon Joshua tree in May of 2012 during a day trip to Salton Sea. It was pitch black that night so I took the opportunity to take some really bad star photos.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving, I got in my car and took a little day trip to Niland and the Salton Sea. It was a beautiful fall day, sunny and mid 70s in the desert. I had the sunroof open and was having a grand ole time. Little did I know that I would be driving home that night in my bare feet and smelling like poo.
I took a drive down the coast to La Jolla one fine October day. You see, I had heard of this place where you could go down a tunnel into a deep dark cave where cool things would be revealed. I arrived at the Cave Store with my $5 in hand ready for an adventure! The sign at the entrance was foreboding “145 Steps. Please do not attempt the trip if physically unable.” I hoped I had the skills necessary.