Mountain Yucca

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On Highway 74 between Palm Desert and Hemet, California, I had just entered the Santa Rosa Indian Reservation in the San Jacinto Mountains when repeated sightings of blooming Yucca plants made me pull off the road to take a few photographs. I made a couple photographs with the Nikon SLR, which was loaded with black and white film, then returned to the saddlebag for the Lumix FX-o1, a somewhat old digital point and shoot camera, because of the colors of the blossoms themselves.

I like the look of the Yucca when it is in bloom and I see it throughout my travels in the American Southwest. The black and white photos of the Yucca don’t appear here because I haven’t shot the rest of that roll of film (and won’t for several days).

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Route 74 over the San Jacintos is one of my favorite local rides, particularly through Garner Valley where all of the horse ranches are located among the big pines. The road surface, however, is gradually deteriorating. The stretch of Route 74 between the City of Palm Desert and the junction of Route 371, the road that rolls down to Anza, is getting increasingly washboard-like because it has been so long since the road surface was updated. That is nothing unusual in California at the present. It seems that the entire state’s roads and streets are in extreme duress.

In my city, Riverside, I sometimes wonder if the rough street surfaces are going to eventually destroy my internal organs. When it comes right down to it, it is a management problem. Bad management. The various state, county, and municipal government agencies are plagued by never-ending ineptitude and lack of foresight, of course.

I can foresee a time in the not-too-distant future when I’ll think three times about riding that particular stretch of Route 74, the “Palms to Pines Highway”, because the road will have become a torture to ride. That is a rather pessimistic view, I know. I hope I’m wrong…