Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ortega Highway in the Sunshine

Ortega Highway, in the sunshine
Where the days are longer
The nights are stronger than moonshine
You're gonna go I know
One minute you’re driving down the road enjoying the scenery the next thing you know people are flashing headlights at you and looking panicked. I need to give you a bit of a geography lesson before I tell my tale. Our humble abode sits in a little valley known as the wine country of southern California. Oh don’t go getting all impressed we don’t have a vine other than weeds on our property. We in a word live inland thus the nickname of our area is the Inland Empire. Empire of what I’m not sure but it can be lovely. Kahuna loves the beach and in order for us to get to the beach which is as the crow flies about 21 miles from our house. Not bad right?
Wrong. We must traverse the mountain range that stands between us and the beach to feel the salt air on our face and the cold water on our toes. The road we usually travel is the most direct route which takes us over the Ortega Pass and is called; you guessed it, the Ortega Highway. It is a long and winding road that leads, not to your door unless you live in San Juan Capistrano but to the beach. It is treacherous and there are often accidents along the road which car enthusiast and motorcyclist love because of its twisty turny nature. It is also a major thoroughfare for the working class of people who live in the I.E. and travel to the bergs of upscale Orange County for work.

Now that I have given you that little lesson I will get on with my tale. Kahuna and I headed to La Hacienda de Bruno in order for him to meet with some city officials on a project. He dropped me off at home where I loved up on my dogs, um I mean I got some work done, and he made his meeting. He had another meeting back in Orange County later in the afternoon. We have had some really weird weather the last couple of days which included thunder, lightening and hail. Today was rife with all of these things. While Kahuna went to his meeting the dogs and I cowered in the house and waited out the storm. Kahuna arrived back to retrieve me and calm the dogs at the appointed time and we headed back towards the Covered Wagon which is parked near the beach. We started up Ortega Highway and made it through about half of the curves and swurfs when every car we met started flashing their headlights and looking panicked. Now where I come from that means “slow down dumb ass there is a cop ahead”. So I being the navigator said “honey, you might want to slow down. Looks like there is a police officer up ahead.” Kahuna looked at the speedometer and slowed his already sensible speed down. Then we saw it.

There was a young man standing in the middle of the highway trying to direct traffic around it. Kahuna being a man of action parked our vehicle and went to help. I sat helplessly looking about until I realized I had a camera. I’m not sure what happened other than a few moments before we arrived at this scene this trailer was hitched behind a truck full of construction workers. The next thing they knew it was upside down and they had shit themselves. While Kahuna directed traffic I took pictures.
(you can click on the pictures to make them bigger and easier to read)

It looks like he took the turn to fast and didn't have the trailer firmly connected.

Evidnetly this guy was supposed to do the safety check.

People get in way too big of a hurry. They almost ran over these guys trying to get the site cleaned up. Everyone out there were people who stopped to help these guys. We actually saw a state transportation employee bust through the accident scene and drive away. He did not stop and lend aide, he did not help direct traffic and he did not obide by the etiquitte of the road and drive slowly through the sight in order to avoid running over people who WERE trying to help.

These guys came from the Forestry Service Fire House. They were so effecient and professional. I think they have had a lot of practice.

There were 3 men in the truck that was supposed to be attached to this trailer. They all looked as if they had seen a ghost or maybe their life flash in front of them.

This kid was very enthusiastic. He ran up the road trying to slow people down.

It was also his first day on the job so he needed some instructions.

The line of traffic was stacked up for about 5 miles. I counted several hundred cars before I finally gave up. It is a very travelled road.

Now then what will I see today?

Oh and just so you know. I'm not ignoring you it's just I have very spotty internet at our current site. We are parked outside of a major military installation and I think maybe they are signalling aliens with intense lasers and microwaves which in turn are blocking my internet usage. No? Ok maybe my cell coverage just stinks in this particular park. I am however on the lookout for those errant meteors which might hurtle to earth and smoosh me into a molten heap of nuclear waste.


Girly Stuff said...

That looks delightful in every way.

I'm glad you guys are OK.

Did you ever make it to the beach? Are you guys in a camper?

The Texas Woman said...

Us bloggers and our cameras! Great reporting!

The Texas Woman

terri said...

Life is so much more interesting when you have a blog in which to write about it, isn't it?

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Spotty internet is a small price to pay for spending time in such a gorgeous place--though the weather has not been its best.