“No shit, Sherlock”, I muttered, in response to an interruption on the screen as I tapped on my laptop on the way to Las Vegas.
“Your preferred networks are not available”, says the computer, when I had not asked to get onto WiFi. I knew that! We were halfway between Barstow and Baker, in the high desert of California, and apparently someone nearby had a locked wifi connection and the computer was doing its duty of constantly scanning for connections.
Not only was the internet connection not available, neither was much in the way of greenery. There were millions of little desert shrubs and dry hills with bits of valiant chlorophyll desperately trying to get a foothold, but it’s a harsh environment.
Roadside on the way to Baker, CA
Mind you, I acknowledge the beauty of the desert intellectually, but seen from the freeway with bits of shiny litter in the median, it’s nowhere as appealing as the varying terrain in Whittier, whose semi-arid natural state is blessed with one of the natural wells which produces abundant water for nearly every plant to thrive. As a result, Whittier is “Prettier”. We have pink blossoms on trees in November, very few deciduous trees, and each yard seems to be populated with plants from a variety of places around the planet. It’s a profusion of flowers in Whittier nearly year round, and trees everywhere.
The house is about 100 feet higher, up the stairs.
Steep part of the yard-grass protects from erosion
And April in Whittier is the lushest month for greenery. On our final day of packing, I had taken a break to take pictures of our yard. We use way too much water, but we’ve need it to maintain the stability of the hillside. We’ve put in as many native plants as possible, and justify the grass on the steep slope as necessary to stop erosion. We’ve already seen quite a lot of erosion, especially in the first two years before we got the grass put in. I have no intention of making the news by having the house slide down the hill because we failed to protect it!
The "flower forest", as a former student called it, on the canyon floor beyond the big gate.
It’s a pretty spot, as we’re at the mouth of a canyon, and the house is situated so that we see few houses, and those at a fair distance. The canyon floor is a fire break managed by the city, and the far side of the canyon is conservancy protected, so we have a wonderful, quiet spot surrounded by nature, yet right in the city. Yes, it’s true. I’m spoiled when I’m home.
Very popular and fun Mad Greek Cafe in Baker, CA
But now I’m traveling, and am discovering the delights of the road, especially eating establishments. In Baker, California, we discovered the wildly kitschy Mad Greek Cafe. How could we resist? And the gyros salad was great. Ah, things are looking up.