Most of California’s population lives in the San Francisco Bay Area or in SoCal—in which residents are grateful to own a tiny quarter acre of a very costly and crowded region. As my mom says, “You pay for every drop of sunshine in California.” It can be easy to forget there’s more to California than the coastal cities. In fact, if the state were ever to split, it would be more logical to split it vertically than horizontally. The center of California is mostly valleys, wide open land. The east is mostly mountains. Below are some pictures taken from central California, along I-5. Not the most exciting landscape but this, too, is California.


I-5 starts in Mexico and ends in Canada. It’s the only U.S. interstate highway to touch both borders. A portion of it began, hundreds of years ago, as the Siskiyou Trail for Native Americans. In 1820, trappers from the Hudson Bay Company were the first non-Native Americans to use it.


Here’s a pix of the Grapevine in 1947.


And here’s long ago pix of freeway construction in Los Angeles…


I-5 is one of the most traveled interstates in the country, linking Los Angeles to Sacramento.  Along one stretch, a huge cattle farm fills both sides of the freeway. Fills the air, too, with Eau de Bovine.



IMG_3277A lot of truck traffic goes up and down I-5. A LOT.



California produces nearly half of all the fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in the United States. Nearly half!


Stick to the coasts for the scenery, but don’t leave California without discovering the valley land. It’s home to many wonderful, hardworking people who farm and/or transport a large proportion of food for the entire country.

It’s another view of California, and one that affects you the most.

[Tweet “You pay for every drop of sunshine in California… @suzannewfisher”]

Old B&W pix courtesy of the California government:

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