Thursday, August 25, 2011

A hot dusty adventure .....Part one

I am taking you along on a drive out to the range near Piru California, where we were last week for the World Steel Challenge Tournament.

As we drove past Magic Mountain, I (jokingly) asked Mr C if he would like to skip competing in the match and go for a few rides at Magic Mountain. "hmmmm not today he replied" Later on in the day, as we returned from the match, I asked again if he would like to go have fun on the rides, nope, he still did not want to go, although he said if I wanted to, he would go along. I said " it would be a shame to waste the ice cream I had just eaten by throwing up. *chuckle*

Beside the highway there are acres and acres of the small sweet red and yellow peppers growing, and I could not help but think about the $4:99 for a two pound bag of these delicious peppers I buy to snack on.

Orchards are slowly spreading up and over the low hills, and if it wasn't for irrigation, this would be a dry, dusty almost bare landscape, except for the hardiest of plants which can survive the scorching heat and dry conditions..

Last year when we came though here, we stopped at a roadside fruit stand and I bought oranges thinking, as are grown here, and freshly picked, they would be the sweetest oranges I would ever taste. Not so, they were almost 'pucker up' sour, what a disappointment.

It is so pretty as the fog drifts in over the hills and down into the valley.

Every year, for the past five years, when we arrived in Piru, this beautiful deep pink Bougainvillea in someone's front garden,has been in full bloom.

Besides all the other tropical plants growing in the front garden of people's homes, there are many palm trees. It is quite an interesting little town with both old and new buildings, some homes are obviously well maintained and others not so much, typical of many small country towns.

It was interesting to see a rather large apartment complex being constructed in Piru, it won't seem to be such a small community when we next pass through.

Irrigated crops abound along the valley floor as we drove towards the range.

Behind the fence is a nursery, and I would have loved to have some of the tropical plants I could see, in my own garden, but of course they would not do well in our cooler climate, here in Western Washington.

We leave the paved road to drive out to the range over a very bumpy dusty one.

Our rented vehicle was slowly changing from pristine white to beige, as dust settled over it as we followed the vehicle in front of us.

Cattle shelter from the baking sun in the shade of the trees, and the blades of the windmill remain still from lack of any breeze.

We drove slowly past the practice range, where many shooters were getting in some last minute practice before competing.

After, it seemed, a very long dusty drive, we arrived at the parking area.

Looking up to the topmost bay where a stage called 'outer limits" is located. This stage can make or break you. Many shooters do not like this stage.

Looking back down the hill you have to climb to reach "outer limits"
It does not look all that steep, but try walking up this incline carrying a heavy bag containing your firearm, ammunition for eight stages, plus cold water, snacks and anything else you may need during the day
, in temperatures which can be in the low 90's to low 100F


betty-NZ said...

What a lovely part of the world! Your tour is fascinating!

Gail Wilson said...

It looks like a very hot and dusty place this time of year!

Anonymous said...

Some very interesting pictures of your trip Jenn,,, but the pics of the beautiful Bougainvillea made me think back of my hometown in SA. A very colourful bush that's a familiar sight, even our garden had a few,, unfortunately, here it's an almost unknown sight and plant.

Jim O said...

Over the last 25 years, for myself and many other Steel Challenge competitors, this barren, hot & dusty land has always been "The happiest place on earth".