Monday, May 18, 2020



 A drive up Route 99 (now I-5), a portion of which is known as The Grapevine for its twists and curves. It is early morning in late July. Already hot at 8:00 a.m. The Bug’s water-cooled engine keeps chugging by stalled cars, the same cars which passed us earlier.

windows down
the swoosh of warm air 
muffles our laughter

We stop at Castaic Junction for coffee and donuts, then turn westward toward Santa Paula.  Avocado, walnut and citrus trees in neat rows, blossoms on some, fruit on others.

honey bees
working the orange groves
braceros in straw hats

We continue to climb and reach the crest overlooking the Ojai Valley, named by the Chumash Indians, meaning the Valley of the Moon.  Just before descending we find, tucked in between orange groves, a small Italian market and pizzeria.  We sit in the shade of olive trees and order pizza.  The patrone, an old Italian man from Sicily, upon learning that I am part Sicilian, joins us outside, carrying a bottle of home-made wine hidden in a towel because he has no liquor license.

Down below, in Ojai, the temperature is nearing 100 degrees.  We browse the shops, staying in the shade of the arcaded streets.  Continuing onward and upward, out of Ojai on route 378 to the Los Padres National Forest.  The ground parched and cracked.  Sage and manzanita more abundant.  Chaparral and scrub oak.  Posted in a low spot a sign:  SUBJECT TO FLASH FLOODS.

cerulean blue sky
looking up when we cross
a dried-up stream

We reach Lake-of-the-Woods, a developer’s dream in the 1930s which never materialized.  A man-made lake, never filled, and cottages, never built.  Now, just a sunken dust-blown area where the lake was intended. A small settlement with a few houses scattered here and there in the pines and up dirt roads.

Above Lake-of-the-Woods is the pine and oak studded Mt. Pinos, popular for skiing and hiking.  I gather pinecones to save for holiday decorations, needing to venture only a few steps in either direction to have a full bag.

sticky pine sap
suddenly I have
a green thumb

funneling dust
the fragrance of resin
on my clothes

We return down through Lake-of-the-Woods and eastward through Frazier Park back to highway 99, south down the Grapevine and home to Los Angeles.  

a cool shower
washing down the dust
with gin and tonic
Bottle Rockets


Magyar said...

__ Grand Adelaide, such vivid structual segments: haiku, scripture, and photographs. _m

Adelaide said...

Thanks Doug. It was a carefree time back then and many fond memories.

stay well d safe


Gillena Cox said...

That gin and tonic sounds inviting. Thanks for sharing your outing in haibun


Adelaide said...

Thanks, Gillena. Let's have a G & T together.


sandy said...

I've just myself been trying this form of poetry, haiku and I saw your blog over at Magyar's list. I like what you have writtten.

I love how so much is expressed in so little words.

Adelaide said...

Thank you, Sandy for your comments. Happy to meet you. I lived in LA for 19 years and still go to visit my sister whenever I can.


P.S. You have lovely photos of birds, butterflies, flowers and squirrels.