The Clovis Old Town Trail is part of a 13 mile pedestrian and bike path constructed on land once used by the Southern Pacific Railroad for a spur line. Three thousand volunteers from Clovis and Fresno came together on May 6, 2000 to plant approximately 5,000 trees on the “Great Rail—Trail Planting” day thus establishing a Guinness World Record for the most trees planted in an urban setting in one day! The Clovis Old Town Trail along with the Fresno portion, The Sugar Pine Trail, offer trail users shade, beautiful scenery, and a great deal of civic pride.
Yesterday while I was at a guild meeting in Fresno, my husband ran the Sugar Pine portion of the trail, which goes from River Park Mall in Fresno to the Old Town Clovis Trail. He said it was a “good place to run with a lot of trees.”
When you meet someone newly relocated to the central valley of California the topic of weather will quickly be broached:
“Hot enough for you? Well lucky for us it’s a dry heat.”
“Winter’s pretty mild around here ‘cept…for the fog.”
At which point the newly arrived will probably answer, “Oh fog, no I’m used to fog, I grew up in [fill in the blank with the name of somewhere with anemic coastal style fog.]” Or better yet, they will tell you they grew up in the Midwest with snow blizzards. If you have good home training you’ll politely smile and welcome them to the area. If you’re not so well-mannered you’ll guffaw and tell them they have no idea what they’re in for. Either way, if you happen to meet up with these folks again a few months into “fog season” you’ll see their self-assurance has eroded and their eyes are bugged out and glassy. “This is way worse than any fog/snow I’ve ever seen. It’s soooooo thick!” Told ya (or wanted to tell ya) so!
Tule (too-lee) fog is a weather phenomenon unique to the central valley of California. Named after the Tule River, the fog is produced when moist air fills the valley bed and is trapped against the cold damp ground by an inversion layer of warmer air above. Essentially the vapor droplets in the fog freeze forming an impenetrable cloud on the ground.
Until I read Cai’s description of Tule Fog I thought it was everywhere. I had no idea that it was unique to California. I remember many times driving in fog so thick that it was impossible to see anything and being afraid to pull to the side of the road for fear of being rear ended. As a side note, it does not help to roll your window down and stick your head out–visibility does not improve. I looked at Cai’s Tule Fog postcard many times and thought I saw headlights in the fog. What I didn’t see (until the rug show at Friends-By-the-Sea where it was pointed out to me) was Tule Fog written as plain as day.
When visiting the Monterrey area, what else reminds you of this area of Central California’s coast line other than the long cypress that clings to life on a rocky point stuck out into the Pacific Ocean. Years ago, I took my daughter on a coastline trip of California from Crescent City to Carmel. We drove the 17 Mile Drive and stopped frequently to look at the ocean and finally the Lone Cypress. I had a new camera that I was learning to use and took some pictures. While some of the pictures turned out pretty good, some didn’t but this is still a very memorable event that was diminished due to a poor camera shot. Larry Clark
The Lone Cypress reminds me of the week I spent at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, California, attending the Monterey Fiber Jam. As you know, the Monterey Fiber Jam was one of the catalysts that set me on this “Postcards from California” journey.
The Postcards were displayed for 3 days at Friends-by-the-Sea Rug Camp at Rockaway Beach, Oregon. Arlene Strutz, the camp Director, has labels written in calligraphy for all the rugs in the display. As you can see, the rug show is in a building with high ceilings and natural light. There is room for all the rugs to be displayed without crowding. The Postcards were hung on white foam board in a prominent place and I received many positive comments from visitors to the show.