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Stopping by a field on a sweltering day

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I’d had about enough of Interstate 5 the other morning, and I decided to get off the road and stretch my legs for a few minutes. I was near a place in Tulare County called Alpaugh, which was pretty much in the middle of nowhere. The exit had what the highway signs like to refer to as “no services”—no gas station, no fast food, no sign of humanity.

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I don’t want to make it seem as if I’d traveled to the other side of the moon. It was just the San Joaquin Valley, a place I’d lived several decades ago for almost five years, a place I was familiar with. In fact, I’m among the small number of north-south commuters who can see some beauty in these wide-open spaces. In this shot, for instance, there’s the moon itself, straight above the double-yellow lines. It was much more prominent to the naked eye than it was to the lens.

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Directly across the road from where I’d stopped on the shoulder, there were some wild sunflowers growing. They were growing tall, in fact, so I made part of my stretching exercise capturing the flowers with the moon in the background. Once again, the moon was much more prominent to my naked eye than it was to the lens.

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So even in the desolation of a hot San Joaquin Valley morning, it was possible to stretch my limbs and grab a few shots before getting back on the interstate.

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  • Royal Calkins August 20, 2014, 3:03 pm

    There are ways to get places without going through Alpaugh, Paul. It is almost impossible, however, to bypass Ducor

    • Paul Skolnick August 20, 2014, 3:17 pm

      The one I try never to miss is Earlimart.