At first, it seemed as though the California gods had beef with us. Cloudy, cold weather. Directional woes in Camp Pendleton and LA. Stuie's knee injury. Fogged Hearst Castle. And we had to miss the last third of the Pacific Coast Highway between LA and San Fran, the third that includes Big Sur (the top location on my list of things to see on the west coast), because of that mudslide. But good thing all that noise happened because, if it didn't, I would never have been able to see Hidden Valley Ranch.
In an effort to go around the mudslide, we drove the connecting highway between the PCH and the freeway. On that highway we passed a little sign to our right that read "Hidden Valley Ranch." That's the truth.
The ranch was just as you would have expected. The clouds parted, and the sun happily beamed down. Farmers were walking the fields, tending their crops, chewing straw, smiling, and waving at the cars that passed. The fields of salad dressing crops were ripe and ready for harvest. Expansive and serene raspberry vinaigrette orchards filled our view to the left of the highway. In the distance, we saw free range cows grazing and laughing in the distance, making jokes at the expense of Wisconsin cows. Kids were running around and shouting, having fun, throwing water balloons filled with thousand island dressing. Some little gaffers were on the beach, burying each other in cherry tomatoes. A few children were chasing after the vegetable truck. The vegetable truck man was having a special that day on Russian dressing-covered radishes on stick. People were walking down to the creek to wash their clothing in the Caesar dressing river. The fork-spoon grabber stand was on the side of the road displaying it's salad removal wares. Charlie Sheen was snorting ranch flavoring packets. Alfalfa sprouts were blowing in the wind.
And, now, we're here in San Francisco. I'm in to it. Beautiful people are every where. Everyone has flowers in their hair. (That was for Coop.) It's sunny. We are about to go to City Lights Bookstore for some beatness. Stuie's knee is feeling saucy and vigorous. We went to a Tequilla Bar last night with Stuie's brother's friends Macaiah and Re. The people were good and the food was good and the tequilla was good. We're feeling optimistic.