TRAVEL FROM SALINAS, CALIFORNIA, TO THE HILLS OF HORNITOS, OTHER MOTHER LODE PLACES, THE DONNER PARTY TRACKS, BIG SUR AND EVEN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON BY VIEWING WWW.ON-SCENIC-ROUTES.COM.  THEN, READ THE BLOG ON WWW.ON-SCENIC-ROUTES.NET BY JOHN EVANS, PHOTOGRAPHER AND APPELLATE ATTORNEY.  I JUST KNOW YOU WILL ENJOY ALL OF HIS PICTURES. 

I CAME ACROSS MR. EVANS' PHOTOGRAPHY OF THE BEAUTIFUL COUNTRYSIDE AND THE OCEAN BLUE WHILE DOING SOME UP-TO-DATE RESEARCH ON HORNITOS, CALIFORNIA; NAMELY, BECAUSE I HAVE NOT VISITED THE AREA FOR MANY YEARS.  I USED TO LIVE IN BEAR CREEK, CALIFORNIA, FOR A FEW YEARS AS A TEENAGER AND I ATTENDED MERCED HIGH SCHOOL IN MERCED COUNTY WITH DONALD PAGE WHO WAS MY FORMER NEIGHBOR.  HIS FAMILY'S FARM WAS ABOUT AN EXTRA 10 MILES SOUTH OF BEAR CREEK.  THERE, WE LIVED NEXT TO A DRY CREEK LOADED WITH BEAUTIFUL OAK TREES.  I USED TO WATCH DONNY BALE HAY ON WEEKENDS, TOIL THE SOIL AND FEED THE ANIMALS.  HE HAD A BROTHER THAT USED TO COME TO OUR PLACE AND VISIT.  DONNY WAS DATING ROSEMARY WHO WAS THE HEAD CHEERLEADER AT MERCED HIGH AT THAT TIME.   HORNITOS, BEAR VALLEY (JOHN C. FREMONT'S HOMESTEAD AND MINES),  CATHEYS VALLEY, AND THE ENTIRE 49 TRAIL WERE CLOSE TO US.   LET US NOT FORGET YOSEMITE VALLEY AND THE MERCED RIVER DOWN BELOW AS ONE CLINGS AND HUGS THE 49 TRAIL FOR FEAR OF GOING OVER THE CLIFF.  ONE CAN ONLY IMAGINE HOW MANY DONKEYS, MULES AND COVERED WAGONS WENT OVER.  I KNOW I ALMOST DID WHILE DRIVING OUR CAMPER AND BACKING UP BECAUSE I COULDN'T BELIEVE I HAD PASSED "BAGBY" AND DIDN'T SEE IT.  IT WAS ALL UNDER WATER.  I LATER FOUND OUT THAT THE DAM WAS OPENED AND BAGBY WAS NO MORE.  MY HUBBY, BROTHER AND I HAD CAMPED AND FISHED THERE A FEW YEARS EARLIER NOT KNOWING WHAT WAS PLANNED FOR THE DAM. THERE WERE NO OTHER PEOPLE THERE BUT US.  I LATER FOUND OUT WHY.

THEN, THERE IS SALINAS, CALIFORNIA, THAT IS DEAR TO MY HEART BECAUSE MY PARENTS LIVED THERE IN THE 1920S BEFORE I WAS BORN.  MOM TOLD ME SHE WORKED PACKING SARDINES IN MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA.  BEFORE ALL OF THIS HAPPENED, THEIR FIRST HOME WAS IN WEED, CALIFORNIA.  BY 1923, THEY WERE IN SANGER, CALIFORNIA, WHERE MOM GAVE BIRTH TO HER FIRST CHILD. THEN, THEY WENT TO SALINAS AND SAN JOSE.  I KNOW THIS BECAUSE MOM'S OTHER LITTLE GIRL WAS BORN IN SALINAS AND DIED OF PNEUMONIA AS AN INFANT THERE.  AND, MY BROTHER WHO WAS KILLED IN PALAU BY THE JAPANESE, WAS BORN IN SAN JOSE.  AS FOR STEINBECK, WHO CLAIMED HE WAS IRISH AND GERMAN, I STILL HAVE MY DOUBTS THAT'S ALL HE WAS.   WHAT WAS HIS GRANDFATHER'S BROTHER DOING IN ISRAEL HELPING THE JEWISH PEOPLE?  IN HIS WRITINGS, HE BELITTLES PEOPLE IN THE SALINAS VALLEY, OTHER THAN HIMSELF.  YES, HIS FATHER HAD A GOOD JOB AND THE FAMILY HAD A NICE HOME THERE.  I WOULD SAY THAT HE DECIDED TO WRITE BOOKS ABOUT HOW THE OTHER FOLKS LIVED AS HE HAD BUILT-IN SUPPORTERS AT THE HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS WAITING FOR HIS WORK.  THE ONLY MOVIE BASED ON HIS BOOK THAT I ENJOYED WAS "THE GRAPES OF WRATH."  I COULD SOMEWHAT RELATE TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT TOOK PLACE. 

ANYWAY, WHEN SALINAS, CALIFORNIA, IS MENTIONED, IT BRINGS BACK MANY MEMORIES, EVEN GOING BACK TO FRESNO, CALIFORNIA, WHERE MY PARENTS MET IN 1918.  WHEN I WAS LITTLE, I USED TO ASK MY MOM QUESTIONS ABOUT HER YOUTH, HER PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS, ESPECIALLY SINCE MY MOM WAS SO PRETTY.

AFTER ALL OF THE DETAILS IN MY  FOREGOING STORY, BE SURE TO LOOK AT THE BEAUTIFUL PHOTOGRAPHY MENTIONED IN MY FIRST PARAGRAPH .

 

 

 

 

 

                                            

                                  

 





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