Monday, April 06, 2009

A Trip to Santa Ana, California

The location of this entry (Santa Ana, California) will no doubt come as a surprise for those who have read this account with no previous introduction; indeed, I think it would be fair to say that it came a quite a surprise to me.

Dad recently finished a compressor that he had been asked to repair, and, the compressor being needed, we made the trip over here. He is presently discussing the condition of the machine with the owner of the complex, and I am sitting here sweating in the driver's seat awaiting his return.

We had, it must be said, been planning the trip for quite some time, and I am happy to have been able to see the mountains one more time before I move to Chicago. We started out yesterday at about 2:30 p.m., and by the time we reached the western edge of San Antonio, it had begun to rain.

The rain was contrary to the weather reports we had checked before heading out, but after Hurricane Claudette we have learned better than ever not to put too much faith in weather forecasts.

One of the many cities we visited along the way was Junction, to which I have not been since my years in cowboy poetry. Much had changed in the little town, and I was surprised to learn that the city was now home to a branch of Texas Tech University.

A few new nice gas stations had been erected close to the interstate, and a barbecue restaurant that had previously been located in the general downtown area now had a nice place near the freeway, and we each ate a sandwich there.

After Junction, I drove until Deming, New Mexico. The sun had gone down by the time we reached Sonora, and I was inhibited from observing the West Texas mountains that had once captured my imagination and compelled me to ask my parents to consider seeking a place around Fort Davis or Alpine.

Usually, all I was able to see were their shadows, but the clear beauty of the stars amply made up for what I had missed by seeing the mountains. East of Fort Stockton, Dad told me that the area to the north was now filled with electricity-generating windmills similar to the ones we saw near Palm Springs, California today, and I could only blink in disbelief, astounded that it had been so long since I had been there.

His statement was confirmed when I saw what first appeared to be radio towers to the north. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the red lights towards the top were not stationary or slowly pulsing as is normal for radio and cellular service towers, but that the lights seemed to flicker quickly. I quickly realized that I was seeing the blades pass in front of the lights every few seconds.

A very nice trip to Santa Ana, California indeed.