Friday, April 22, 2011

Bored and Out on the Road

We were both going a little stir crazy yesterday and despite the fact that Keith has been doing a lot of driving lately, decided to take a little ride out into the country for an hour or two. We got on the 58 going towards Tehachapi with the thought that we would take the back roads that we've taken many times before through the foothills, and then saw the turnoff for Lamont, a little farm town that I've never been to before. There is a huge section of the south valley that we've never explored, all flat farmlands and orchards and a few little towns. We drove through Lamont which looked like your typical small town, and then down some more country roads, all of them perfectly straight on a huge grid of straight roads and fields. We ended up near the foothills going through Arvin, which is the town where unemployment is at 45% because nearly everyone who lives there works in the fields.

I really liked this town, it was very sleepy, nobody on the downtown main street, no traffic, probably because when 45% of your town is unemployed, nobody has any money to go shopping downtown. It is nestled up in the far end of the valley with a beautiful view of the mountains and packing houses all along the edge of town. I had no idea that they grew potatoes in Arvin, but there were two potato packing houses but kind of quiet looking potato packing houses. We did see oranges going along the conveyor belts into big huge metal bins at another packing house and did see workers in some fields cutting what looked like cabbage or cauliflower and wrapping them in plastic right there in the field on a big truck bed thing.

I didn't take any pictures but did steal some off of the internet for your viewing pleasure.

The red dot is the metropolis of Arvin.

This picture is quite obviously not mine since it wasn't snowing on the mountains yesterday.

You do sort of feel like you are driving through Tijuana, although a whole lot cleaner. The town is predominately hispanic or latino or whatever the politically correct word is these days. Every building has signs in Spanish.

On the way back we passed by the hugest dairy farm I've ever seen, with the hugest stinkiest smell to go along with it.

We feel a little better about things today. Our neighbor Nathan has been talking up an open mechanic's job at the cement plant where he works so he gave Keith the phone number to call the supervisor guy, and he talked to him yesterday and will send along his resume and application when Nathan goes to work on Monday. They are really looking for a journeyman mechanic which Keith isn't but the guy said if he looked like a good fit he might give him a chance. The job has been open for a long time because it's a 3am to 11am shift and none of the union guys who would qualify are interested in driving way up into the mountains by Lebec to work such a weird shift. It's a long drive from here, about 1 1/2 hours, but it is a union job and pays well, so we'll see.


Jim and Heather on Meerkat said...

So sorry about Keith's job situation... At least he tried! Sort of same thing happened to me when I quit insurance and moved to Mexico. I have a better quality of life now and that is what is important! Hang in there :)
PS Liked the pics of the buildings in Arvin - makes me feel at home.

DancingMooney ♥ said...

Oh gosh! Is 3 hours round trip of driving every day worth it? I guess we do what we gotta do, when we gotta do it... I hope something wonderful comes out of all of this.

The husby and I were also in a similar situation when we decided to move to Oregon in 2007... We took a cut in pay for a better quality of life, but shortly there after the economy crashed and we've been trying to lay low ever since.

We've downsized our lives as much as we possibly can {okay maybe we can give up TV or something...} but, in the long run, even though we've really gotten to live on so much less {and an 826 sq ft house to boot} we are so much happier.

Not sure if moving to a quiet/smaller town is an option with the housing market being down, but sometimes downsizing even more than before, can turn out to give you so much. *hugs*