Saturday morning presented us with the allure of a six-hour drive just two days after an equally long confinement in the air. Oh, hell, we’ve committed to a hotel in Beverly Hills and wouldn’t dare withholding from the bellhops the privilege of moving our mountain of stuff up to our room.

Our journey down Interstate 5 cut through low hilly terrain carpeted by crops halfway to the horizon. These consisted mainly of precisely planted rows of grapevines, steadily ripening under the sun’s powerful aura. Beyond these hills, framing the view on all sides, rose mountains splotched with green and brown hues. We were in the midst of an expansive valley. The scenery was interrupted only rarely, by interchanges bearing signs for lonely settlements, like Three Rocks and Kettleman City. Though we didn’t stray off course, I imagine a visit to one of these would’ve revealed a world as rustic as if deep in Dixie. 

After a captivating half-dozen hours, civilization gradually emerged as we rolled into LA.