February 7, 2011

Leaving Long Beach

Last Friday morning we loaded lamb meal near the port at Long Beach, CA. We've loaded there once  before. Its a good load and a trip we enjoy, once we get back up the hill and out of the city. Being down in the Los Angelas area is not one of our favorite places to be, and being down by the port is even less appealing. 

Its just that down there by the port, its an "every man for himself" type environment. There is NO consideration on the road for anyone, even among the truck drivers. Its frustrating and a little stressful. It irritates us more than anything else.

Thankfully Malcolm always does all the driving down there because he doesn't want me to have to. And I don't argue. I help him navigate and watch for problems.

This trip into Long Beach was pretty easy and quick compared to how it can be, especially for a Friday. Still, we were really pleased to get in and out before the afternoon when there seems to be a mass evacuation of Los Angelas. Its a weekly thing. I think they all go to Vegas! Its not pleasant to be on the road at that time.

I was tense going into Long Beach, so I didn't get my camera out till we were leaving. There's not much pretty to look at, but there are some points of interest. First...

Palm Trees!
I know nothing about palm trees, their growth, or maintenance. In fact I didn't realize they had to be maintained. But recent observations have led me to believe they have to be pruned to look pretty. In fact I've seen the pruning process in action before. Without it, they look something like this...
...and are not nearly as pretty as one thinks a palm tree ought to be. Here's a closer look.

I guess the palms have to be trimmed off as they die and the new ones grow. Otherwise it looks un-kept and kind of tacky. But when they are trimmed up, there's nothing quite like them! I'm not "beach" person, but even so, I can appreciate palm trees. There's just something about them that must be universally appealing.

One thing about the port is that it is crowded with containers. Individually, they are not much to look at, but stacked up like this, its quite impressive!
These shipping containers are quite versatile and are used to ship all kinds of goods. They can be loaded on ships, attached to train cars,...
...or put on trucks.
One thing about them, they always look like they've been through hell. I've never seen one that wasn't rusty and dented and most of them have had some art work done to their sides, free of charge.

The port area is always crowded.
But then so is this entire section of California.

I know everyone is different and it takes all kinds, and I don't say what I'm about to say in a critical way at all. I respect and admire individual choices, but every time I come down here, I am amazed and just...well...who would choose to live like this???? I truly don't get it! But if they are happy...more power to 'em! I'm happy for them, and happy I don't have to stay!

I get to leave, though it might take some time and patience to do so.
If you look around and the between the vehicles in the picture above, you can see a certain color that's been lacking in a lot of my pictures lately....GREEN, the naturally occurring version.
And look...they even have some red going on...
and some purple...lots of it!
Back to palm trees: Can you identify which of these is not like the others?
It would be the two in the center, the ones that are just a little too perfect! I LOVE that the cell phone companies are doing this!

Its just so cool! And looks a lot less tacky than those big metal towers sticking out like sore thumbs all over the place.
Pretty convincing arn't they? I've seen palms and I've seen pines.
Have you seen any other kind of cell phone trees?

And what blog post of mine would be complete this time of year without some snow? Its just that you'll have to look through the smog to see it in the distance. But its there...
...along with lots and lots of traffic!

It actually only took us around an hour to get through the heavier traffic and get to "the hill" that climbs up out of the Los Angelas area and heads towards Barstow.

Its about a 10 mile climb, give or take a few miles. It doesn't look too impressive in the picture, but an uphill climb of that length can really bog a truck down. Some of the guys with sluggish trucks have a really slow go of it, and even our truck, with a more powerful motor than most, has to work a little to climb this one.

Along the way, in all that browness, do you know what I saw?
More flowers! Little yellow ones and there were even some little sunflowers growing along the roadside!
One good thing about going down to Long Beach is I get to enjoy a few moments of springtime to hold me over till the rest of the country gets caught up to it!

We delivered our load of lamb meal last night in Lebanon, TN. That's just about 30 miles east of Nashville. And now, we're sitting here waiting for our broker to call with a load. I've been sitting here blogging, admiring the rain drops on the windshield and listening to the pitter patter of them hitting the truck roof.

Malcolm, poor guy, has been standing outside in it fixing a leaking heater valve. He discovered antifreeze dripping out onto the pavement yesterday afternoon, and so since we didn't have anything to do this morning, we drove back into Nashville to pick up a part so he could fix it. It was not a pleasant job and he got soaked and chilled, and I heard a few unpleasant exclamations come up from beneath the hood as he worked, but at least now its done, and like he said, "At least I'm having to do it in the rain and not in freezing weather."

 I'm proud of him for finding a silver lining. I must be rubbing off on him. ;) 


Dreaming said...

I don't blame you about driving around LA. Any large city bothers me, although with a GPS it's a little bit easier.
I liked your cell phone trees. We have a number of fake pines around here. They blend in so well it took me quite a while before I noticed some of them. We also have a fair approximation of a silo. It sits up on a hillside near a farm, but is some sort of transmitter station.
Safe travels...wherever you go next!

sunnycalgirl said...

I live in So. Cal, about an hour and a half from LA. There are some pretty sights in Ca. I don't know anyone that doesn't mind the traffic. It's pretty bad!

Missy @ My Life Ain't Always Beautiful said...

LOve the palm tree's. I've never seen one up close but would like to today. ~ Take care.

small farm girl said...

There is NO WAY that I would live in a place like that. Give me a good mountain lake or stream and real trees. I'll brave the snow for that.

Meagan said...

So very cool about the cell phone towers! I have never seen anything like that! :-)

chandra said...

Great ppics!
Long leave letter

kmoorenielsen said...

This such a tiny cross section of the LA Basin, Long Beach and So. cal in general. There are huge wilderness ares all around Los Angeles, from the coast to those mountains in the distance. I think that people that aren't from around here wouldn't understand is the sheer variety in the LA Basin and surrounding mountains. From the inner city to a mountain stream in the foothills to miles and miles of State Beach dotted with campgrounds. There is literally just about any view or experience one could seek. I learned to ski an hour and a half from my house a mile from the beach. Plus the city of Long Beach is a beautiful, safe, fun, productive city to live in. From beautiful parks and beaches, malls, golf courses, botanical gardens, museums, etc. it's a city, a great American city.