How green is my Countryside

With a break in the wet storm-track weather, Spring has arrived in the sunny green uplands. We had to do a Costco run for more yard-stuffs and so made our way down to Folsom.
Leaving Folsom we went out on White Rock Road to catch a bit of Country and travel through the pastureland. The hills are swathed in an awesome emerald-green and dotted with boulders and horses and cows. After going under the freeway we passed two lineman trucks and a bunch of guys at work. Up the hill a row of telephones had ceased to march in order and instead lay in a drunken sprawl on the landscape. Out of eight visible poles only two were upright, with the rest leaning or bent-broken. The high winds we last week experienced must have played havoc out here, and finally repairs had come to the countryside.
People who live cossetted in square-block towns and cities with piped-in water, sewer, and electrical everywhere take so much for granted. The infrastructure that many Liberals detest so much that they protest its existence, is really a very thin crust laid down and easily wiped-away by Nature herself if it were not for the constant efforts of big guys out in big truck fixing all the broken parts. It its the height of affluent arrogance and naiveté to signal your ecological “virtue” and status by turning OFF your power for even an hour. Bah!
Instead of traveling back through the housing sprawl we hung a left on Latrobe Road and went out through the scattered tilt-up office-parks deeper into the country. The four lane road quickly disappeared and turned into a narrow lumpy windy hilly skein of asphalt that ran alongside a rushing sparkling creek, fat with water. The clear bright sunshine and greenery was broken by canopies of shade thrown down by tall oaks. Out in the pasture across the fence-line we saw a huge oak that had broken its roots out of the ground and lay wrecked in pieces. Wind? Lightning? Both probably – one way or another a giant tree had fallen.
As we went up and down the roller-coaster road out to Latrobe, all around we saw tall standing trees, but in the midst here and there, one after another, was a fallen one. Probably counted seven downed trees from what we could see, each one a huge pile of firewood for anyone enterprising enough to get out there and start sawing.
At the tiny town of Latrobe we turned left and went back up the hill on South Shingle Road. Past some guy’s equipment yard on the right-corner, then the one-room schoolhouse and firehouse on the left, and past the yellow-house and it was gone. What was once a thriving railroad hub in the 1860’s with four hotels and a population of around 800 is practically a ghost-town now, but a pleasant one.

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About NotClauswitz

The semi-sprawling adventures of a culturally hegemonic former flat-lander and anti-idiotarian individualist, fleeing the toxic cultural smug emitted by self-satisfied lotus-eating low-land Tesla-driving floppy-hat wearing lizadroid-Leftbat Califorganic eco-tofuistas ~

8 thoughts on “How green is my Countryside

  1. There is a disease that kills Oak trees. It was passing through the Big Sur area maybe ten years ago, on its way northward. All the oaks in that area died. It was the reason that that huge forest fire destroyed that part of the state. That was due to the Forest Service not allowing anyone to cut up all the dead oak trees, which after drying out for several years provided an incredible amount of fuel for that fire.

    My sister had property on hyway 1 there, and after she had all her oaks removed, you could then hear and see traffic on that road. Nothing much left but Redwood Trees on the property. Well, those and lots of weeds, since there was lots of sunlight reaching the ground without the shade from the oaks.

    No cure for the disease. Eventually, all the oaks will be gone from CA, I hear.

    • Soooo many oaks in California, and a lot up here look different than the coastal and valley oaks with the spiky leaves, skinnier and taller and with soft rounded leaves – but what do I know about plants?

  2. Sure brings back memories for me. If you had continued south and turned left on Old Sacramento Road, you would have arrived in Plymouth, where I went to grade school in the mid-sixties. Rode the bus to school from the hills above Fiddletown.

    I’ve been through Latrobe many times in my younger days. When it is green during spring and the creeks are running, it just magical. More than once, I even got to see a train on that old rail line. Even as a kid, I thought what a beautiful ride it would have been in one of those open box cars.

  3. Hmm, never turned that way–Latrobe is just an occasional thruway to 16. Although I have Googled those train tracks–one direction ends in Diamond Springs (at a Wal-mart), the other terminates at a larger line in Folsom. I’ll have to turn sometime (if I’m not already running late).

    • They run the train on weekends for kids, up from Shingle Springs to a small station somewhere off Oriental St. (I think) before you get to Wal-Mart, with volunteer flag-men at the crossings where the road and the rails meet. It’s neat and we always wave at the folks out there enjoying that. 🙂

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